Going the Extra Green Mile

By Rex HoggardMay 1, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Worse thing about missing the cut at Quail Hollow ' after, of course, the inevitable cash flow issues that follow a week without a paycheck ' is not being around for what is shaping up to be an epic weekend with the world Nos. 1 and 2 on an apparent collision course.
 
Made Cut
 
  • Quail Hollow Championship: Nowhere in the original Rules of Golf was it written that the game had to resemble child birth and its refreshing to see the scoring pendulum firmly swing back into red numbers.
     
    Tiger Woods tied the front-nine scoring record on Thursday, 69 players finished Round 1 under par and the top of the board looked like the stuff of marketing fantasy, with Woods and Phil Mickelson sitting first and tied for second, respectively.
     
    Good fortune only goes so far, and Quail Hollow officials dialed down the course for this years event, clipping the rough at 2 inches, in an attempt to liven up the festivities Augusta National style.
     
    We dont mind letting them go 12, 14 under, said tournament director Kym Hougham. We want some fun for our fans and the players.
     
    Done and done.
     
  • Nationwide Tour: The LPGAs decision to play last week in Mexico is a debate for another day, but Nationwide Tour officials deserve an attaboy for acting quickly and wisely to temporarily pull the plug on the Mexico Open.
     
    It often seems as if the Tour cant win with so many competing interest (see World Golf Championship item below), but postponing the event early was best for everyone involved and showed a refreshing level of concern for the players and the people who stage the event.
     
    A significant number of lives have been lost in Mexico, which is tragic. There are more important things for people to focus on at the moment, Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee said in a statement.
     
    Missed Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
     
  • WGC-HSBC TGIF LOL Champions: Or maybe they can shorten it to the Buy-A-Vowel Open. In one corner, we applaud the Tour for putting the world back in the World Golf Championships ' seems the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., atlas only included a map of the Lower 48 ' but are flummoxed by an event that doesnt offer official money or a Masters invite.
     
    Call it a WGC Lite and, to be brutally honest, the entire affair falls under the wrong execution of the right idea flag.
     
    The $7 million event will be played in Shanghai, China, Nov. 5-8, the fourth WGC and the only world event not played in the United States. And while Tiger Woods and defending champion Sergio Garcia have said they will play the event, news that a HSBC win will not be considered an official Tour victory (read: no two-year exemption) and earnings wont count toward a players yearly haul has caused a metaphorical double take from players and pundits.
     
    Wow, that's weird, a bewildered Anthony Kim said of all the small print that accompanied this weeks announcement.
     
    With the HSBC played so late in the season, a week before the Tours final stop at Disney, officials are concerned that such a large payout could up end the money list, but the middle ground officials are trying to walk is too murky.
     
    Asterisks are for baseball records and insurance contracts, not World Golf Championships.
     
  • One-in-Four Rule: The concept crops up a bit more regularly as bullish markets turn bear and corporate sponsorships thin like the Quail Hollow rough, but the curse of the independent contractor gained t traction last week when Stewart Cink, a much louder voice than most because of his position on the Tours Policy Board, called the one-in-four concept a pretty popular proposal right now thats circulating around the players and staff.
     
    Cink went on to couch his comments and, as is always the case with these types of affronts to independent contractors everywhere, the devil is in the details.
     
    One longtime Tour observer said the plan that is currently being circulated around the practice ground is to exclude the top five money winners from the requirement.
     
    Lets get this straight, the only way a one-in-four rule works is with Woods blessing and the only way to get his blessing is to exclude him from it. And they say fixing the economy is hard.
     

    Missed Cut
     
  • Creativity:It seems originality took a vacation a few years back when tournaments started doling out jackets to go along with those oversized checks.
     
    According to a recent Tour release, Augusta National was the first to award its champion a jacket in 1949. Good stuff, everybody likes green. But in the years that followed seven more events have made the jacket a champions staple, including three different shades of blue (Quail Hollow, light blue; Arnold Palmer Invitational, dark blue; FBR Open, just plain blue), a Seersucker (Memphis) and two Tartans (Heritage and Colonial).
     
    May we suggest a houndstooth coat for the winner of the LPGAs Kraft Nabisco Championship, a pea coat for whoever weathers the Crosby weather at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and a straitjacket for the last man standing the next time the U.S. Open is played at Shinnecock.
     
  • British Media: This is a bit of a 180 degree turn from our take on a similar issue last year, but the victory wasnt 24 hours old and the championship still some three months away and the U.K. press was already carving up Zurich Classic winner Jerry Kelly for saying he would skip this years British Open to play the Tours Milwaukee tournament.
     
    Full disclosure: the Open Championship ranks first in the Cut Line Grand Slam power ranking. The history, the quirky venues, everything except for the food works. But Kelly is not Kenny Perry, who ducked three of the four majors last year on his way to Valhalla glory, and Milwaukee is more than just an opposite-field event.
     
    The U.S. Bank isnt Kellys fifth major, it is his second or third, if not his first. The man bleeds Wisconsin red, has never won the Milwaukee stop and is loyal like a Packers fan.
     
    The British press may not understand Kellys motivation, and he never asked them to try.
     

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    DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

    The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

    Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

    He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

    Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

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    'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

    By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

    “The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

    Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

    Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

    A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

    "Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

    Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

    He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

    Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

    “It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

    "The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

    In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

    “I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

    The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”