Cut Line Something Old Something New

By Rex HoggardSeptember 4, 2009, 9:00 pm

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?

Made Cut

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?

Missed Cut
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 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.

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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