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

M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with LA Open lead

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

Marina Alex was second after a 68.

Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open

So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

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Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

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Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''

Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.