Cut Line A Cup Half Empty

By Rex HoggardAugust 14, 2010, 2:59 am
2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – The Ryder Cup is always the story within the story during PGA Championship week, but this year the biennial grudge matches stole the spotlight from “Glory’s Last Shot” for all the wrong reasons.

If the captain’s press conference on Wednesday was any indication, this year’s matches may make the heated “War on the Shore” look like the Tavistock Cup. WWE’s Vince McMahan would have been proud, and “Cut Line” scarcely knows where to start.

Made Cut

Tiger Woods. Whatever the relationship between the world No. 1 and Sean Foley, Woods gets kudos for bringing in a second set of eyes – let’s be honest, the video stuff didn’t seem to be working – and realizing he needed help.

Be it by desperation or design, Foley seems a good fit for Camp Eldrick. His credentials (having coached two players to three Tour titles in the last two months) are beyond reproach and his deft handling of this week’s media frenzy suggests he’s up to the task of living in the world No. 1’s fish bowl.

A word of unsolicited caution, however. Swing instructors are like football coaches, they get too much praise during the good times and far too much blame during the bad. Just ask Hank Haney.

Club pros. Twenty non-descript players, the lunchbox set of professional golf, will quietly go about their business this week at the 92nd PGA Championship. Most will be gone long before Sunday’s trophy ceremony, but all will cherish the experience to the extreme.

“Shot 67 (on Wednesday),” said Ryan Benzel, one of “Cut Line’s” favorite 9-5ers and a Pacific Northwest teaching pro. “This is awesome.”

Not bad for a guy who folds shirts and hawks tee times for a living.

Tweet of the Week: @PaulAzinger “Tiger said he would accept pick to play (Ryder Cup). Said he wants to be there! Does that now make him a lock to be on the team? I say it does.”

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Woods, Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim. Wednesday’s soiree at captain Corey Pavin’s rented house wasn’t mandatory. Wasn’t even highly recommended, but for one player wrestling with public perception problems and another fresh off a stint on the DL it was a curious miss.

According to multiple sources, all but three players from the top 20 on the U.S. points list attended the meeting, with Woods, Mickelson and Kim taking a curious pass.

Lefty is first on the points list and certainly deserves a pass, and perhaps Woods and Kim had perfectly legitimate reasons for skipping – fondue on the menu and a cash bar come to mind – but it just seems the American side could use all the team building it can get right now.

Corey Pavin/Jim Gray. Whatever side of the he said/he said debate you subscribe to, the high-profile row between the U.S. Ryder Cup captain and the Golf Channel contributor leaves little room for conversation.

Both miss the 54-hole cut because they let what should have been a private conversation between adults escalate into a strange public disagreement on Wednesday at the PGA Championship.

Whistling Straits’ 18th hole. Herb Kohler’s gem has been described by some as the best 17-hole course in the world, and this week’s PGA suggests there is something to that with players largely praising the faux links layout.

The Straits’ 18th hole remains a work in progress, however. A new fairway built down the left side will get little use this week since it would require a 310- to 320-yard drive to reach the short grass and little room beyond that before there is more rough and hazards.

One Tour caddie didn’t pull any punches when asked if anyone would use the new landing area, “Yeah, if you’re a dumbass.”

Missed Cut

Colin Montgomerie. “Cut Line” has had big fun with the European skipper this year, but the Scot’s actions of late have slid from the entertaining to the inexplicable.

Monty scolded reporters earlier this week for asking about a reported injunction he has against an ex-girlfriend. According to a recent report he, “won an injunction in the British courts to prevent his ex-girlfriend from revealing details about their relationship.”

“Excuse me, I'm here to talk about the Ryder Cup,” Montgomerie said when asked about the injunction on Wednesday. “So please, no further questions on that or any other subject regarding anything – or anything regarding my private life. By definition that is private.”

Curious then that Monty had a much different take on Woods’ “private life” earlier this year when he wrote an article in the Telegraph Sport.

“Turning up at Celtic Manor could be one of the hardest things Tiger ever does. He will worry about how the wives of the other players will react to him,” Monty wrote. “Some of them might find it hard to welcome Tiger back into the group.”

Similarly, some might find Monty’s comments difficult to stomach.

United Kingdom taxman. Whether Woods, or any other American, would accept an invitation to play this year’s Ryder Cup took an interesting turn last week when reports surfaced that they may be subject to U.K. taxes on endorsements and other income.

For Woods, whose portfolio already has taken a healthy hit this year, that could be as much as £1million. The European Tour, which runs overseas Ryder Cups, is in discussions with U.K. tax officials.

“My accountant has told me I could be liable,” Paul Casey said. “I will always go back because it’s home, but I fear it will keep people away. I’m not a huge fan of paying through the nose for something.”

And fans heading to this year’s matches in Wales thought they were paying through the nose.

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.

Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos

Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters

English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”