Cut Line Cup Ramblings

By Rex HoggardOctober 1, 2010, 11:24 pm

“Cut Line” was going to dub this week’s edition “Corey’s calamity,” but in fairness to the U.S. skipper it’s best to let the matches play out before dropping that hammer.

Still, there’s no denying the U.S. side’s slow start or escaping the PR nightmare that is waterproof-gate. But it all makes one wonder, was giving Paul Azinger a second crack at the captain’s chair really that far fetched?

Made Cut

Bubba Watson. The Florida Panhandle native is being compared to Boo Weekley, who charmed and clowned his way into American hearts at the 2008 Ryder Cup, but Watson has been more Casey Stengel this week than Weekley.

Among Watson’s gems:

“I just see it as a competition and hopefully by the end of the week, we have won more matches than the other team. I don’t look at the history of it. No big deal to me.”

“(Major Dan Rooney) said that he wanted to play golf in the Ryder Cup and we all said we wanted to fly planes.”

“Tiger's game is different than mine. Jim Furyk's is different than mine, Phil Mickelson’s – well, his is pretty close to mine, we both miss fairways a lot of time. Maybe I should talk to Phil.”

“Well, sure, I cried (when he listened to Rooney’s speech) – probably cry again if I'm not careful. So – I love you guys.”

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

U.K. press. At last year’s Presidents Cup U.S. captain Fred Couples gave Michael Jordan an assistant captain’s golf cart and the run of Harding Park, an experiment that was largely applauded for its team building.

This week Pavin trots out U.S. Air Force Major Dan Rooney to motivate his team and is savaged by the U.K. press for dredging up “War on the Shore” type tactics. Lost in translation is that along with being a decorated F-16 pilot Rooney is also a PGA of America professional and the creator of Patriot Golf Day.

Truth be told, Rooney has spent more time in tournament press centers this year promoting Patriot Golf Day than many of the U.K. scribes and his speech to the U.S. team was probably more fair and balanced than what some have written this week.

Rory McIlroy. Love the kid, but why poke the bear? Stephen Ames did it at the 2006 WGC-Match Play Championship and was last seen on La Costa Resort’s 10th hole with Buick tracks running down his back.

In McIlroy’s defense when he said he would, “fancy” his chances against Woods at the Ryder Cup given the state of the world No. 1’s game Woods had just finished at 18 over par at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

But Woods lives for slights, real or perceived, and as innocent, and spot on, as McIlroy’s assessment may have been it was needless bulletin board fodder for a man fueled by the unintended backhand.

Asked this week what he made of McIlroy’s desire to play him Woods said only, “me too.” Translation: see you on Sunday.

Missed Cut

Tweet of the Week: @PaulAzinger “I’ve arrived (at Celtic Manor)! But I’m unable to access the press room. What a difference a couple of years makes.” Funny, if given the choice most scribes would ban Corey Pavin from the press center and give ’Zinger a lifetime pass.

Celtic Manor. Enough ink has been wasted this week in regard to the Twenty Ten layout, site of this week’s matches, and Friday’s deluge did little to enamor the Welsh gem to the masses.

Every four years the world schleps to Europe to play Samuel Ryder’s intense member-member on a distinctly American-style golf course instead of one of the old world’s classic links layouts.

Not sure the Europeans would have a distinct advantage if they were playing this week’s matches up the coast at say, Royal Liverpool; but it would be a much better atmosphere and, given the drainage qualities of links courses, we wouldn’t be looking at a Monday finish.

PGA Tour. In the 12 months since Doug Barron became the first player to run afoul of the circuit’s anti-doping policy much has changed – the 40-year-old journeyman has lost 10 pounds, Tiger Woods is no longer the invincible goliath the media once made him out to be and the treatment that got Barron bounced from the Tour is now legal.

Or is it the fine print in the circuit’s anti-doping policy that has changed? Either way, the same anabolic steroid testosterone treatment that led to Barron’s one-year suspension is now acceptable thanks to a therapeutic-use exemption that had been denied at least once in the past.

Only the lawyers and doctors know for sure, but we know an “example” when we see one.

Corey Pavin. European skipper Colin Montgomerie joked after Pavin forgot to introduce Stewart Cink at Thursday’s opening ceremony that the home team was already 1 up in the matches.

But as a muddy morning turned to thoughts of a Monday finish in Wales Captain America’s gaffes seemed to pile up to the point the Europeans were beginning to look dormie.

Let the record show the Americans flew to Wales . . . on a British Airways charter, inexplicably were issued rain gear that didn’t work – an understandable snafu since the chance of rain in Wales is so low in October – and the U.S. captain whiffed his team introductions.

Like football coaches, Ryder Cup captains are given too much credit when a team wins and too much blame when they lose. They must, however, be on top of the small details and from the first tee shot Pavin looks like a man in need of a few mulligans.

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Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

Watch the video below.

The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

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Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

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Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”

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Bubba fires 63 to win his third Travelers title

By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 9:52 pm

Bubba Watson fired a final-round 63 to storm from six back and steal the Travelers Championship. Here’s how Bubba came from behind once again at TPC River Highlands.

Leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-17), Stewart Cink (-14), Beau Hossler (-14), J.B. Holmes (-14), Paul Casey (-14)

What it means: This is Watson’s 12th PGA Tour win, his third of the season, and his third Travelers title. Watson picked up his first Tour victory at this event in 2010 – when he also came from six back – and won again in 2015 in a playoff victory over – guess who – Casey. Thinking he might need a round of 60 to scare the leader, Watson made eight birdies, the last of which came on the 72nd hole, giving him the outright lead by one. A short while later, Casey would bogey the 16th and 17th to end the drama and allow Bubba to breathe easy. With the win, Watson becomes the only Tour player to win three times this season. He moves to third in the FedExCup points race, behind two-time winners Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

Round of the day: Cink’s round was a stroke better, but Bubba earns this title for winning the title. The left-hander made the turn in 2-under 33 and then ripped off five birdies on his back nine to take the clubhouse lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

Best of the rest: Cink looked as though he was going to record the second sub-60 round at the Travelers in the last three years. The 2009 champion golfer of the year played his first 10 holes in 7 under par on the par-70 layout. Cink added three more birdies but also added two bogeys to settle for 8-under 62, tying the round of the week. The 45-year-old has finished T-4 and T-2 in his last two starts.

Biggest disappointment: Casey (2-over 72) began the day up four and couldn’t close. Even par on his round through 15 holes, he missed a 4-footer for par on 16 and found the water off the tee at 17, ending his chances. The Englishman, who ended a nine-year Tour winless drought earlier this season at the Valspar, is now 1 for 4 with a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Shot of the day: Watson’s wedge from 77 yards at the 72nd hole, setting up his eighth and final birdie of the day.

Quote of the day: “That’s the best shot you ever hit.” – caddie Ted Scott to Bubba Watson on his approach at 18