Cut Line Flip-Floppin

By Rex HoggardAugust 28, 2010, 3:43 am

With his divorce in the books Tiger Woods shows flashes of life on the golf course, Colin Montgomerie flops on his captain’s picks and the PGA Tour flips the spring schedule to round out a particularly hectic start the playoffs.

All golf seems to be missing these days is a wildcard game.

Made Cut

Tiger Woods. It’s far too early to claim the world No. 1 has his competitive groove back, although his opening 65 at Ridgewood Country Club was his best card of the year by any measure, but at least he was able to change the conversation.

Check Thursday’s transcript from The Barclays, of the 36 questions Woods was peppered with, all but one were about his game, of all things. He also took a big step toward qualifying for next week’s event in Boston, which is good for everyone.

But it was the strangely forthright way in which he handled Wednesday’s questions regarding his recently completed divorce that was most impressive.

“My actions certainly led us to this decision. And I've certainly made a lot of errors in my life and that's something I'm going to have to live with,” he said.

Chambers Bay. Despite reports of over-baked greens and winds that looked straight off the North Sea on Thursday, the Pacific Northwest muni is putting on a show at this week’s U.S. Amateur.

Some 700 yards were clipped from the 3-year-old layout for the match-play portion of the championship, exactly the type of flexibility that the U.S. Golf Association savors in its new venues, and the hard, fast conditions will be a welcome respite from the steady diet of over-fertilized U.S. Open courses when the national championship is played at Chambers Bay in 2015.

It’s taken the New World a few centuries to grasp this, but brown is finally the new green.

Tweet of the Week: PaulAzinger “Hey, @ianjamespoulter (Ian Poulter) is it too late to ask a question? I was busy polishing this (the Ryder Cup trophy).”

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

PGA Tour’s pro-am policy. A faulty alarm hasn’t caused this much of a stir since Jean Paul, the Trinidad and Tobago marathon runner who slept through Jerry Seinfeld’s collection of alarm clocks, and perhaps the most difficult part of Jim Furyk’s disqualification for showing up late to his Barclays pro-am is that he is the consummate professional.

By almost all accounts, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, but that only trivializes the need for the rule. Protecting sponsors is more important now than ever, but it seems Barclays got it coming (with a top player missing a pro-am) and going (said top player is now missing the tournament proper).

Can’t say there’s an easy answer, but Joe Ogilvie had an interesting take.

“I was on the Policy Board when we made the DQ pro-am rule, a mistake,” Tweeted Ogilvie. “(A) missed pro-am should be a day with sponsor on players’ dime, no DQ.”

Add commissioner Tim Finchem to the pro-am “make good,” and now we’re really talking crime and punishment.

FedEx Cup Playoffs. Four years in and the Tour still doesn’t seem to have this postseason thing right.

Missing from this week’s playoff opener are Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer and (the most recent Tour winner) Arjun Atwal. You don’t hold a World Series without the ALCS champion and you don’t have a “playoff” event without three of the four major champions.

Atwal is the most glaring omission, having started the season with Tour status and getting bumped on a technicality, proving for the umpteenth time that there are too many lawyers in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Missed Cut

Heartache in Hilton Head. The Tour’s spring shuffle is complete, although the reason behind the musical chairs remains a mystery. In short, the Texas Open jumped into the Heritage’s long-held post-Masters date and everyone else moved back a spot and lost a turn, or something like that.

According to Tour chief of operations Rick George the move is a one-off, with order expected to return in 2012, but if the shuffling was intended to help boost the field in Texas, one of the circuit’s most successful events on the charity front, it seems counterintuitive.

“It’s going to kill their field,” said one veteran player. “It’s so easy to go from Augusta to Hilton Head. Going all the way to San Antonio, stupidity. Then have Colonial right after The Players and Charlotte. Another field killer.”

And what of the “Texas Swing,” which grouped the San Antonio stop, Colonial and the Byron Nelson together this year? The Tour may be in Texas the week after the Masters, but its heart will remain in Hilton Head.

Colin Montgomerie. The problem with chest pounding is always the follow up. Just over two months ago the Scot warned that it was “a given” that any European with hopes of landing a captain’s pick would be at this week’s Johnnie Walker Championship, a not-so-gentle hint that attendance at Gleneagles was mandatory.

This week Monty flopped, conceding that Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey, Luke Donald and Justin Rose were still on his radar despite the fact the foursome is playing this week’s first playoff event in New Jersey.

“I could pick three who aren’t here, I suppose,” Monty allowed. “Having qualified for the FedEx (Cup) series, as long as they are playing competitive golf then I’m quite happy.”

In a related item, Corey Pavin said Anthony Kim’s absence from a team BBQ at the PGA Championship was excused. As a “make good” he and Furyk must host a dinner party for the cast of “Jersey Shore.”

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Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

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Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

Off the course, they're also different.

The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

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Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

"Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

"No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

“I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

“Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

“We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”