The axe doesn’t drop officially until Saturday at the Deutsche Bank Championship, but “Cut Line” is a labor of love and, besides, Round 1 of the Playoffs gave us plenty of material to work with, so why wait?
Something old. Venerable is suddenly in vogue, and when it comes to golf courses that’s a good thing. More times than not the Tour plays the second – or, in the case of Liberty National, 89th– best course in town, a truth that may make economic sense but leaves one wanting for a little Donald Ross charm or A.W. Tillinghast subtlety.
All of which makes The Barclays return to Ridgwood Country Club next year and venerable Plainfield Country Club in 2011 all the more praiseworthy. Conventional wisdom suggests old classic like Merion (site of this month’s Walker Cup and the 2013 U.S. Open) or The Country Club (2013 U.S. Amateur) are too short for today’s pros. Don’t tell that to Geoff Ogilvy, who slipped over to quirky cool Wannamoisett Country Club in Rhode Island before heading to TPC Boston this week.
“Most enjoyable. I wish we played a few like this more often,” Tweeted Ogilvy, who, for the record, carded a 1-over 70. “It may be a hair short, but it’s as much course as I need.”LPGA resurrection. First Wegmans returned to the fold, now Owens Corning is back at the corporate table with a one-year extension to sponsor the Jamie Farr Classic.
After a tough year, some good economic news and a dramatic Solheim Cup was exactly what the tour needed and much of the credit should go to that “Group of 15” that united against former commissioner Carolyn Bivens. Even this week’s announcement was a not-so-subtle jab at the former commish.
“I just want to commend (LPGA acting commissioner) Marty Evans and her team for their willingness to pursue a livable business model for us,” said Judd Silverman, Jamie Farr Classic executive director.
Made Cut-Did Not Finish
Kenny Perry. At 49 years of age, the pride of Franklin, Ky., certainly has earned the right to have whoever he wants on his bag for his final years on the PGA Tour. It is the execution, not the edict, which caught “Cut Line” off guard.
According to the Associated Press, Perry’s long-time caddie Fred Sanders learned via the veteran’s manager he was being replaced on the bag by Perry’s son, Justin, after six years and 11 of Perry’s 14 Tour titles, not to mention clutch weeks at the last two Ryder and Presidents Cups.
Perry is an easy man to like, puts family and friends above all else, even majors. But Freddie, a friend as well as an employee, deserved better.
An Olympic odyssey. With less than a month to go before the International Olympic Committee makes a final decision on golf’s inclusion in the 2016 Games and picks a host city, the game’s bid took a bit of a logistical hit last week.
The IOC released a 98-page report evaluating each city’s bid for the Games and Chicago’s push seemed to take a blow while Rio de Janeiro appears to be the leader in the clubhouse. We’re not saying golf’s Olympic bid is tied to Chicago, but the logistics of moving the game’s top players to Rio and back in the middle of the major championship season may be a tougher sell.
Among the concerns pointed out in the IOC report was the lack of full financing for Chicago’s Olympic bid, the distance athletes would have to travel to equestrian, shooting, road cycling and mountain biking venues; and transportation concerns on the city’s Metra commuter rail service.
What, no problem with that century-long slump in Wrigleyville and the price of a walk-up in Lincoln Park?
PGA Tour. There are no guaranteed contracts in golf, a truth every bit as marketable as “These Guys Are Good,” but it would be nice if the game didn’t always eat its own.
Two years ago Brett Wetterich was on top of the game, ranked 32nd in the world and fresh off his first Ryder Cup. But since then a series of injuries have left the former rising star on the outside looking in for 2010.
After missing much of 2008 with a left shoulder injury, Wetterich returned in May but was quickly sent back to the DL with a wrist ailment he sustained at Torrey Pines in June. He hasn’t played at all this year and has been granted a major medical exemption for 2010, 17 starts to earn $731,077, but all of the perks he earned during his breakthrough ’07 campaign, starts in all the majors and WGCs, dried up on the rehab bench.
Wetterich, who celebrated the birth of his first child, Mia Elizabeth, on Aug. 28, is virtually starting over in ’10. So much so that he will likely play the final stage of Q-School to try and improve his status.
There are no freebies in golf, nor should there be, but there seems to be plenty of room for a little fairness.
Captain’s picks. Paul Azinger spent two years thinking outside the box and produced a dramatic American victory at Valhalla, while his U.S. Presidents Cup counterpart Fred Couples seems curiously content with the status quo.
Couples locked himself into his picks at the PGA, telling GolfChannel.com he planned to go with Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan. Both are solid picks, but what kind of debate will we have on Tuesday if Heath Slocum wins this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship?
As for international skipper Greg Norman, he’s been more guarded with his choices. We’ve got two words for The Shark: Michael Sim. Yes, he spent his year making quick work of the Nationwide Tour, but he’s the hottest player you’ve got regardless of league.
There are seven players ahead of Sim on the international points list including Adam Scott. Adam Scott. Enough said.