Cut Line: Stars on parade

By Rex HoggardSeptember 23, 2011, 10:46 pm

ATLANTA – With just 54 of the world’s best in action on the main stage this week – 30 at the Tour Championship and 24 at the Solheim Cup, both no-cut stops – it seems apropos that Cut Line’s weekly lineup would be filled from the gallery.

To Greg Norman’s strangely motivational take on Tiger Woods to John Daly’s strange behavior, it has been the action outside the ropes that has been all at once compelling and confounding.

Made Cut

FixIt Cup? For five years we’ve heard the FedEx Cup is too confusing, too contrived, too ill-fitting a concept for a game that values majors above all else. But as Friday’s leaderboard unfolded at the Tour Championship, it was difficult to separate historic fact from the sea of hyperbole.

At the close of business the top of the marquee read Adam Scott – who is also currently projected to hit the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot – K.J. Choi, Jason Day, Luke Donald and Bubba Watson. Not exactly a “B” list of the Tour’s rank and file. And the record further shows that the Cup has been won in the past by Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk. Again, not a bad group to round out anyone’s fourball.

The science and semantics may be a golf ball shy of a full sleeve, but considering how the last few Grand Slams have played out there have been some major leaderboards that should be as lucky as the Tour Championship's.

East Lake: No, not the Rees Jones restoration of the old Donald Ross gem, although we are certainly glad to see the former is having a better week. It’s the East Lake Foundation that’s 4 up on conventional wisdom and cruising.

One former Georgia Tech golfer reminisced this week how far the club and surrounding neighborhood have come. Before the revitalization there was an automatic press during rounds when gunshots were heard and players rarely played Nos. 3, 4 and 5 late in the day for fear they’d be robbed.

Now the club and surrounding community is a blueprint for other troubled neighborhoods across the country, but to hear Tom Cousins, the 79-year-old patriarch of the East Lake project, they haven’t accomplished anything yet.

“Warren Buffett told me, ‘I want to see this done in every U.S. city before I die.’ I told him we’re the same age so we better hurry up . . . or live until we’re 110,” Cousins smiled.

Sean Foley: The thoughtful swing coach was due for a good run and it came in a rush the last week or so. Just days after his newborn son, Kieran Malcolm, returned home from an Orlando, Fla.-area hospital with an inspiring clean bill of health, one of Foley's players, Justin Rose, won the BMW Championship.

Kieran was born on Aug. 26 with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a life-threatening condition in which an abnormal opening in the diaphragm can lead to parts of the stomach or other abdominal organs moving into the chest cavity

“They said he’d probably be in the hospital 15 weeks and he came home last week. All the doctors were amazed,” Foley told Cut Line late Sunday. “It makes bogeys and everything else, well, basically unimportant.”

Funny how perspective whips nitpicking every time.

Tweet of the week: @JasonDufner “Thanks to Eric [sic] “whatever your last name is” from the Morning Drive, I am on my way to Atlanta. #motivation.”

Erik Kuselias was glad to help.

Missed Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Greg Norman: Imagine the chances that the Shark would ruffle feathers this month and the offending event would have nothing to do with his Presidents Cup picks, which are due on Tuesday.

In an item that promises to go directly to the U.S. Presidents Cup team’s bulletin board, Norman told Golf Magazine that Woods lacks the “street smarts” to fully recover his game.

“He thinks everything's OK because his world is so cocooned,” Norman added.

Stephen Ames thought it wise to poke the bear once and he turned into 9-and-8 road kill at the 2006 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Missed Cut

Sergio Garcia: The man who has taken on the golf gods and the fashion police can now be called the unofficial spokesman for everything that is wrong with professional golf’s “Generation Me.”

Following last Saturday’s second-round 67 at the BMW Championship “El No-no” was asked his plans for Sunday’s closing turn considering his precarious position on the leaderboard (T-7) and the FedEx Cup standings (53rd).

“I just want to get done,” he said.

In Garcia’s defense, the BMW was his 21st worldwide start this year and his on-course haul this season on the PGA Tour is a paltry $1.5 million. Greece isn’t the only thing in Europe that should be embracing austerity.

John Daly: Speaking of coddled headliners with a light grasp on reality, “Big John” stretched the bounds of the ugly American on Friday at the Austrian Open.

On the 15th hole during the second round, Daly was informed by a tournament official that he’d taken an incorrect drop away from a television tower and would be penalized two strokes for the infraction.

After a lengthy discussion with the official, Daly decided to go with “Plan B” and walked off the golf course. The incident came just a few holes after Daly had thrown a golf club into a water hazard.

It’s time for Daly to change his catch phrase from “Grip it and rip it” to simply “Get a grip.”

LPGA: At best, the tour’s handling of the Lexi Thompson affair is an administrative snafu, at worst an inexplicable example of misplaced showmanship. Either way, a circuit in desperate need of a break breezed right past the “free money” sign on the way to the soup line.

Cut Line has to believe that the 16-year-old phenom has a date with a tour card next week following her historic victory on Sunday in Alabama, a poorly conceived pause to keep from overshadowing this week’s Solheim Cup. But the damage is done.

LPGA commissioner Michael Whan should have been waiting for Thompson on the 72nd hole on Sunday with a trophy in one hand and a tour card in the other. Instead, the circuit offered administrative double-talk and what should have been a hallmark moment delivered only a flurry of petitions and postulations.

File this under unsolicited advice, but when the future calls, it is best not to let it go straight to voicemail.

Getty Images

Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

Click here for a look at all three series segments, as well as past Golf Lives features.

And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 


Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.

Getty Images

Pepperell likely sews up Masters invite via OWGR

By Will GrayOctober 15, 2018, 2:13 pm

Eddie Pepperell received a trophy for his win Sunday at the British Masters, but another prize will be coming in the mail at the end of the year.

Pepperell held on to win by two shots at rainy Walton Heath, giving him his second win of the year to go along with a pair of runner-ups. The Englishman started the year ranked No. 133 in the world and was as low as 513th in May 2017. But with the win, Pepperell jumped 17 spots to a career-best 33rd in the latest world rankings.

It means that Pepperell, who finished T-6 at The Open while fighting a hangover in the final round, is in line to make his Masters debut next spring, as the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of the calendar year become exempt into the season's first major.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

Another player now in the mix for that top-50 exemption is Emiliano Grillo, who went from 62nd to 49th with a T-2 finish at the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic. Grillo has played in two Masters but missed this year's event. Marc Leishman moved up eight spots to No. 16 with his win in Malaysia, while T-2s result moved Chesson Hadley from 75th to 60th and Bronson Burgoon from 162nd to 102nd.

There were no changes among the top 10 in the latest rankings, with Dustin Johnson still ahead of Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Francesco Molinari remains in sixth, with Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth rounding out the top 10.

Both Koepka and Thomas are in the field at this week's CJ Cup in South Korea, where they will have an opportunity to overtake Johnson for world No. 1.

With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods stayed at No. 13 for another week.

Getty Images

USGA, R&A unveil new limits on green books

By Rex HoggardOctober 15, 2018, 1:53 pm

Following a six-week feedback period, the USGA and R&A unveiled a new interpretation of the Rules of Golf and the use of green-reading materials on Monday.

The interpretation limits the size and scale of putting green books and any electronic or digital materials that a player may use to assist with green reading.

“We’re thankful for everyone’s willingness to provide feedback as we worked through the process of identifying a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior managing director of governance.

Players will be allowed to continue to use green-reading books beginning in 2019, but the new interpretation will limit images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480), and books can be no larger than 4 1/4 inches by 7 inches (pocket-sized). The interpretation also bans the use of magnification devices beyond normal prescription glasses.

The USGA and R&A will allow for hand-drawn notes in green books as long as those notes are written by the player or their caddie. The rule makers also dropped a proposal that would have limited the minimum slope to four percent in green-reading material.

“These latest modifications provide very practical changes that make the interpretation easier to understand and apply in the field,” Pagel said.

Getty Images

CIMB purse payout: Leishman earns $1.26 million

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 1:34 pm

Marc Leishman never let off the gas pedal and cruised to a five-stroke victory at the CIMB Classic. Here's how the purse was paid out at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

1 Marc Leishman -26 $1,260,000
T2 Emiliano Grillo -21 $522,667
T2 Chesson Hadley -21 $522,667
T2 Bronson Burgoon -21 $522,667
T5 Justin Thomas -20 $237,300
T5 Abraham Ancer -20 $237,300
T5 Charles Howell III -20 $237,300
T5 Louis Oosthuizen -20 $237,300
T5 Gary Woodland -20 $237,300
T10 Kevin Chappell -19 $175,000
T10 Si Woo Kim -19 $175,000
T10 Shubhankar Sharma -19 $175,000
T13 Kyle Stanley -18 $122,640
T13 Byeong Hun An -18 $122,640
T13 Paul Casey -18 $122,640
T13 J.B. Holmes -18 $122,640
T13 Stewart Cink -18 $122,640
T13 Austin Cook -18 $122,640
T19 Keegan Bradley -17 $89,320
T19 Kevin Na -17 $89,320
T19 Nick Watney -17 $89,320
T22 Keith Mitchell -16 $71,120
T22 John Catlin -16 $71,120
T22 Cameron Smith -16 $71,120
25 Xander Schauffele -15 $59,920
26 Joel Dahmen -14 $54,320
T27 Kevin Tway -13 $50,120
T27 Gaganjeet Bhullar -13 $50,120
T27 Scott Piercy -13 $50,120
T30 C.T. Pan -12 $43,820
T30 Thomas Pieters -12 $43,820
T30 Beau Hossler -12 $43,820
T33 Billy Horschel -11 $35,303
T33 Ryan Palmer -11 $35,303
T33 Ryan Armour -11 $35,303
T33 Kiradech Aphibarnrat -11 $35,303
T33 Danny Lee -11 $35,303
T33 Kelly Kraft -11 $35,303
T39 Brice Garnett -10 $27,720
T39 Jamie Lovemark -10 $27,720
T39 Brian Stuard -10 $27,720
T39 Jimmy Walker -10 $27,720
T43 Jason Dufner -9 $20,160
T43 Satoshi Kodaira -9 $20,160
T43 Chez Reavie -9 $20,160
T43 Justin Harding -9 $20,160
T43 Ernie Els -9 $20,160
T43 Jason Kokrak -9 $20,160
T43 Sam Ryder -9 $20,160
T50 Branden Grace -8 $15,365
T50 Sanghyun Park -8 $15,365
T50 Andrew Putnam -8 $15,365
T50 Rafael Cabrera Bello -8 $15,365
T54 Ted Potter Jr. -7 $14,280
T54 Ben Leong -7 $14,280
T54 Brendan Steele -7 $14,280
T54 Sihwan Kim -7 $14,280
T54 Troy Merritt -7 $14,280
T59 Whee Kim -6 $13,720
T59 Davis Love III -6 $13,720
T59 James Hahn -6 $13,720
62 Michael Kim -5 $13,440
T63 Pat Perez -4 $13,160
T63 Tom Hoge -4 $13,160
T63 Anirban Lahiri -4 $13,160
T66 Scott Vincent -3 $12,740
T66 Brandt Snedeker -3 $12,740
T66 Ryan Moore -3 $12,740
T69 Peter Uihlein -2 $12,390
T69 Brian Gay -2 $12,390
71 Minchel Choi -1 $12,180
T72 J.J. Spaun E $11,970
T72 Berry Henson E $11,970
74 Ollie Schniederjans 3 $11,760
T75 Scott Stallings 5 $11,480
T75 Jon Curran 5 $11,480
T75 Rahil Gangjee 5 $11,480
78 Leun-Kwang Kim 13 $11,200