Help Wanted

By Rex HoggardOctober 7, 2010, 2:08 am

PGA of AmericaThe FootJoys aren’t dry yet and the sting of defeat still fresh, but on Tuesday the blue blazers at the PGA of America got back to work – Help wanted: 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup captain. Must be team oriented, media savvy and should understand the basic concepts of waterproofing. Some experience necessary. Non-major winners need not apply.

The PGA will name the next American skipper before the end of the year, which means Davis Love III is officially on the clock. Love, a six-time Ryder Cup player with a preferred pedigree, is the perennial 2012 pick, but he remained somewhat aloof about the job when asked about it on Wednesday.

“I think if you asked me two months ago, I'd have said no, I don't want to take any chance on screwing up playing,” Love said from the McGladrey Classic which he is hosting at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort.

“But now I look at it, I don't want to take any chances on not getting to be the Ryder Cup captain. If players ask me, are talking to me about it and they want me to do it, that's what I want to do. That's what it boils down to.”

In potential captain-talk that’s not exactly the enthusiasm the PGA is looking for following Monday’s half-point heartbreaker.

The problem, however, is that if not Love then who?

The last time a potential shoe-in waffled (Paul Azinger in ’08) we ended up with Corey Pavin. Whose next if Love blinks, Lee Janzen?

In 2008, following America’s rousing victory at Valhalla, PGA chief Joe Steranka dismissed the notion of simply asking Azinger to play two and skipper the 2010 team, figuring the lengthy list of qualified candidates exceeded the number of available chairs.

The question then, and now, is let’s see that list.

When Payne Stewart’s doomed plane went down in a South Dakota field in 1999 the natural order of U.S. captains was one of many unintended victims. Stewart, the commonly held notion goes, would have captained the 2006 team in Ireland, followed by Tom Lehman in ’08 and Azinger would get the Celtic Manor job.

But now there seems to be a leadership void that stretches from Azinger until the next crop of captains comes of age. Jim Furyk, who has the potential to be a game-changer, turns 50 in 2020; the same year as Phil Mickelson, whose leadership if not his play in Wales was inspiring. David Toms would be a viable candidate but he officially reaches his golf golden years in 2017 and Justin Leonard doesn’t turn 50 until 2022.

What will come of the decade or so until that foursome comes of age?

It is one of the game’s true injustices that Larry Nelson – who led men in a real war (Vietnam), won multiple majors and three times as many Ryder Cup matches as he lost (9-3-1) – never got his turn at the captain’s chair and the PGA could do much worse than the soft-spoken Georgian. But sadly the powers that be likely view Nelson’s age as a liability for an increasingly young U.S. team.

Janzen has the majors, but not the cup record (2-3-0). Ditto for Jeff Sluman, a perennial assistant captain who never actually played in the biennial grudge match.

There are other “obvious” choices. Freddie Couples would bring some much-needed California cool to an event that’s far too intense but his second go-around as the Presidents Cup skipper in 2011 makes “Boom Boom” a non-starter. Mark O’Meara, with multiple majors and five Ryder Cup starts under his belt, would seem to fit the bill, but his role in the player revolt a few years back appears to be a stumbling block.

For those who dismiss modern captains as little more than figureheads consider this gem from Boo Weekley, the emotional epicenter of the 2008 team, when asked if a captain can be the difference maker.

“We won by five at Valhalla? Paul was worth two (points),” he said.

In the futures category the Europeans have a 2-up advantage. Jose Maria Olazabal seems to be the 2012 guy, followed by Darren Clarke, if not Colin Montgomerie again in 2014 in Scotland, with Lee Westwood looming in the wings.

Of course, if the PGA had any interest in coloring outside the lines they could circle back around and give Azinger his second take in two years at Medinah, which would give Love the freedom to attempt to play on the 2012 team and slot him in for ’14. Love vs. Monty has a nice ring to it, no?

But then that would require a complete rewrite – Help wanted: 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup captain. Best available candidate.

And the PGA simply doesn’t do mulligans.

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High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

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Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

A post shared by ETPI (@etpi_performanceunit) on

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Arizona captures NCAA DI Women's Championship

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 11:56 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – Turns out this match-play format provides fireworks. Almost always.

In the four years since the women’s NCAA Championship has switched from the stale, 72-hole stroke-play format the championship matches have been pure magic.

This year, for the third time in the past four years, the final outcome came down to the last match and Arizona took home its third title with a 3-2 victory over Alabama on Wednesday when junior Haley Moore defeated senior Lakareber Abe on the 19th hole.

The Wildcats also won NCAA titles in 1996 and 2000, the latter when current Arizona coach Laura Ianello was on the team as a player.

“Arizona is my home, it is where I went to school and [the championship] needs to be back home,” Ianello said. “So I am so proud to be the coach to bring it back.”

Two days ago, Arizona was in the midst of an epic collapse. The Wildcats were safely in the third position after 54 holes of stroke play and needed only to be inside the top eight after 72 holes to advance to the match-play portion of the event.

But they played the worst round of the day and were on the outside looking in with one hole remaining when junior Bianca Pagdanganan made eagle on the par-5 18th hole. That propelled the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor that they ultimately won.

On the first day of match play, Arizona continued to ride the wave of momentum by defeating Pac-12 rivals UCLA, the top seed, and Stanford, a match-play stalwart the past three years.

Next up for Arizona was Alabama, the top-ranked team in the country and the second seed this week after stroke play.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a hell of a ride,” Ianello said, attempting to take pressure off her team, which, on paper, looked like an underdog.

But you know the saying, anything can happen in match play, and often does.

Alabama coach Mic Potter put out his three first-team All-Americans in the first three spots hoping to jump out to an early lead. Junior Lauren Stephenson played poorly in the opening match and lost, 4 and 3, to freshman Yu-Sang Hou.

Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight dispatched Wildcats Gigi Stoll and Pagdanganan easily in the second and third matches.

Arizona’s Sandra Nordaas beat Angelica Moresco, 1 up, in the fourth match meaning the fifth and final match, which was all square after 16 holes, was going to decide the NCAA title.

Lakareber lost the 17th hole when her approach shot sailed well short and right of the green in thick, gnarly rough. She attempted to advance the ball but could not and headed to the final hole 1 down.

With seemingly every golf fan in Stillwater on site, including several men’s teams here to participate in next week’s championship, Abe hit a laser second shot into the par-5 18th hole setting up a 12-foot look for eagle. Moore missed her birdie putt and Abe won the hole to set up extra holes to decide the championship.

In the extra frame, Moore was left of the green in two shots and Abe was short in the greenside bunker. Moore chipped to 4 feet and Abe’s bunker shot was 6 feet away. Abe missed, Moore made and Arizona walked away with the hardware.

“It means so much, it’s actually like a dream,” Moore said. “I’m just so happy for my team right now.”

Potter has been a head coach for 35 years – at both Furman and Alabama – and finally was able to collect his first NCAA Championship in 2012. Being so close to a second one will sting for quite a while but he will be able to live with the outcome for one simple reason.

“They fought their hearts out all year,” Potter said. “I just want to congratulate them for the way they battled, not only today, but in match play. Everyone gave their best on every shot - that’s all we can ask.”

Arizona def. Alabama, 3-2

Yu-Sang Hou (AZ) def. Lauren Stephenson (AL), 4 and 3

Kristen Gillman (AL) def. Gigi Stoll (AZ), 4 and 3

Cheyenne Knight (AL) def. Bianca Pagdanganan, 4 and 2

Sandra Nordaas (AZ) def. Angelica Moresco (AL), 1 up

Haley Moore (AZ) def. Lakareber Abe (AL), 19th hole

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Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.