Dotting the 'i' in Ohio

By Rex HoggardJune 3, 2011, 8:50 pm

DUBLIN, Ohio – It’s a new week, which means there must be a new world No. 1. Luke Donald, however, doesn’t have the look of a man renting the top spot, while Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples is already reserving a spot on the American team plane for Tiger Woods.

Both players bookend this week’s edition, which Cut Line would gladly trade for a tattoo that explains when, and why, Rory Sabbatini will be suspended.

Made Cut

Luke Donald. The Englishman ascended atop the Official World Golf Ranking in style last week, a KO of reigning No. 1 Lee Westwood in OT at the European Tour’s flagship event in England.

Those who point to Donald’s major record or a perceived inability to close are missing the point. No one has been more consistent over the last 24 months than Donald.

All in all, it was a good week for the Brothers Donald. Just days after Luke won the BMW PGA Championship his older brother, Christian, was hired to caddie for Martin Kaymer, one of four players to hold the top spot in the world in less than a year.

“You never know how good you can become,” Christian Donald said of his brother’s accomplishments. “He’s been so close and worked so hard. It’s brilliant.”

Rickie Fowler. The standard bearer for the Tour’s generation next has had better rounds on much bigger stages, but few as meaningful as his first-round 68 on Thursday at Muirfield Village.

A little more than a week after losing the only swing coach he’s ever had, Fowler was back at work doing what Barry McDonnell had been teaching him to do since he was 7 years old – play golf with confidence and with a purpose.

McDonnell died last Tuesday and Fowler is scheduled to attend a memorial for him next week at Murrieta (Calif.) Valley Golf Range, the public practice tee where the duo perfected that slashing action.

He may be just 22 years old, but Fowler knows that playing for McDonnell at the Memorial will be a lot easier than saying goodbye to him next week at Murrieta Valley. “That will be where it really hits me,” Fowler said.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Jack Nicklaus. Never easy calling out a legend and if the Golden Bear had all the facts he likely would have reacted differently, but on Tuesday Nicklaus seemed downright flummoxed by the news that Jason Day, who has recently been granted playing privileges at Muirfield Village, wasn’t playing this week’s Memorial.

“He does, and he's not here? We'll take that away,” Nicklaus deadpanned.

What Nicklaus didn’t know is that the young Australian is moving this week from Dallas to Columbus with his wife, Ellie, who is recovering from surgery and had a follow-up appointment this week in Houston.

Nicklaus, who famously played more than 19 events in a season just five times in his Hall of Fame career, always made his family a priority. Which makes Day’s absence easily excused.

Memorial. First Muirfield Village was swamped by 7 inches of rain in May that made Nicklaus consider a new name for his storied club: “Lake Muirfield Village.” Then Tiger Woods was sidelined with injury and forced to skip the event for the second time in four years.

The final blow came on Monday when the whole of Columbus, Ohio, went dark with the news Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel was resigning in the wake of a tattoos-for-memorabilia scandal.

The first question in Nicklaus’ annual “State of the Golden Bear” press conference was about Tressel. Even on the rare occasions when it doesn’t rain during the Memorial, the dark clouds are impossible to escape.

Tweet of the week: @JustinRose99 “Just been called Mr. (Adam) Scott all night by our waiter! Funny how girls don’t seem to make that mistake!”

Missed Cut

Rory Sabbatini. Not sure what’s worse, that Sabbo is getting a slap on the wrist for what can only be called chronically bad behavior or that there is no way to know whether the Tour’s preeminent bad boy is even in the penalty box.

Neither the PGA Tour nor Sabbatini is saying, but when Memorial officials announced via the tournament’s website that he’d withdrawn from the field the speculation was he’d been given a two-week suspension for an on-course dustup with Sean O’Hair in New Orleans.

Yet Sabbo has played the Memorial just once since 2006 and hasn’t been seen at next week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic in over a decade (2000). If he is suspended, forcing him to miss two events he likely wouldn’t play is a recipe for recidivism. If he hasn’t been suspended then why not?

Heritage. We know times are tough, but when the Tour is unable to secure a title sponsor for a 42-year-old staple that is almost universally considered the circuit’s “best in class” something is wrong.

Numerous reports that a new title was imminent seem to have been premature and although there is still no deadline for The Heritage to secure a sponsor time is running short.

“Working it hard with the Tour and keeping our fingers crossed. We are certainly into the 13th hour though,” tournament director Steve Wilmot wrote in an email last week.

Fred Couples. With more than five months before the U.S. team travels to Australia for this year’s Presidents Cup matches Captain America seemed to box himself in when he told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis that he would pick Tiger Woods for this year’s squad even if he didn’t qualify.

Corey Pavin tried that box on for size at last year’s Ryder Cup and found the space, well confining.

Couples later correctly explained that Woods “doesn’t have to prove a lot to any captain.” But what if Woods continues to struggle, or worse, spends a large portion of the next few months on the DL because of injury? Woods has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt, but why box yourself in with such an early call?

Boom Boom does get kudos for suggesting, jokingly . . . we think, that his team be clad in Levi’s instead of Peter Millar, but “commissioner (Tim) Finchem said, ‘Sorry, we can’t play in jeans.’” Which lands commissioner Buzz Kill on the all-time “missed cut” list.

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 5:30 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 1-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-1-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-1-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 1-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
(61) K. Na: 0-1-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 5:14 pm

There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.

The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.

"I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."

Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.

"I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."

Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2018, 5:10 pm

PREVIEW: Perez details rocky collegiate golf experience at Arizona State

Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

“This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”

The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:

  • Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
  • Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
  • Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.

Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.

A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.

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Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 2

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

Here is how things played out on Day 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 1 match results:

Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Adam Hadwin (38)

Group 1: Kevin Kisner (32) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)

Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) vs. Patton Kizzire (48)

Group 2: Francesco Molinari (21) vs. Luke List (60)

 Group 3: Jon Rahm (3) vs. Chez Reavie (43)

Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) vs. Keegan Bradley (63)

Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Haotong Li (34)

Group 4: Patrick Reed (19) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)

Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Cameron Smith (46)

Group 5: Patrick Cantlay (30) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)

Group 6: Rory McIlroy (6) vs. Jhonattan Vegas (44)

Group 6: Brian Harman (18) vs. Peter Uihlein (57)

Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) vs. Dylan Frittelli (41)

Group 7: Xander Schauffele (20) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)

Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Jason Dufner (42)

Group 8: Louis Oosthuizen (25) vs. James Hahn (56)

Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) def. Kevin Chappell (33), 7 and 6: Avenging an opening-day loss, the Englishman won the first four holes and needed to make only three birdies in a monster rout of Chappell. The 2017 Presidents Cupper made five bogeys and conceded two other holes but still has a chance to win the group.  

Group 9: Daniel Berger (26) vs. Ian Poulter (58)

Group 10: Paul Casey (10) vs. Kyle Stanley (45)

Group 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick (31) vs. Russell Henley (51)

Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Bubba Watson (35)

Group 11: Branden Grace (23) vs. Julian Suri (64)

Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Brendan Steele (36)

Group 12: Charley Hoffman (22) vs. Alexander Levy (55)

Group 13: Alex Noren (13) def. Thomas Pieters (39), 5 and 4: Noren made quick work of Pieters in what could be a match of future Ryder Cup teammates. Noren built a 4-up lead after seven holes and then cruised from there, moving to 2-0 this week and eliminating Pieters. In 30 holes this week, Noren has made 12 birdies and no bogeys.

Group 13: Tony Finau (29) vs. Kevin Na (61)

Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) vs. Satoshi Kodaira (40)

Group 14: Rafa Cabrera Bello (17) vs. Charles Howell III (59)

Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Webb Simpson (37)

Group 15: Gary Woodland (24) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)

Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Yuta Ikeda (47)

Group 16: Ross Fisher (27) vs. Zach Johnson (54)