Second Chances

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2009, 4:00 pm
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As we inch closer to the dog days, its getting harder and harder to make the weekend. Cut Lines rigid weekend standards, however, prove to be more of a sliding scale as we commend and condemn the PGA of America, European Tour and Adam Scott.
Made Cut
  • PGA of America: Check the lineup for the Senior PGA Championship and it reads like a whos who of American classics.
    In recent years the Senior PGA has made stops at venerable venues like Aronimink (Philadelphia), Laurel Valley (Pennsylvania) and Oak Hill (New York). This weeks stop at Canterberry is another gem.
    In baseball, there is no going back to Ebbets Field, and the current Soldier Field in Chicago appears as if it ate the original version, but in golf these classics can be spruced up for the modern game with little heavy lifting and are a direct link to the games past.
  • Zach Johnson: Two weeks ago in the confines of TPC Sawgrass mens grill Johnson was still searching for answers behind his final-round meltdown at the Quail Hollow Championship.
    Im going to put it behind me, he sighed. I didnt dwell on it, and thats a good thing.
    A week later in San Antonio he closed the Quail Hollow chapter for the rest of us with a third-round 60, his second 60 on Tour, and his sixth Tour title. Since 2007, only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have more victories and consider this, among the games elite players Johnson is the best at hitting fairways. Dialed back grooves in 2010 are going to make the kid from Cedar Rapids a perennial contender.

    Missed Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
  • PGA of America: Its a Cut Line first, an organization makes it through the first two rounds for a spot in the weekend only to fall on the 54-hole axe. Happens to Tour players all the time, just ask the 12 who were sent packing after three rounds at The Players.
    Ryo Ishikawa may have crafted himself a handy resume on the Japan Golf Tour, but how does three missed cuts and a 71st-place finish on the PGA Tour qualify anyone for a special exemption into this years PGA Championship?
    Ishikawa may go on to be the world-beater everyone claims he is, but right now there is much more style than substance to the young mans game and the PGAs freebie has a bottom-line feel to it. Glorys Last Shot seems to have taken a shot to the kidneys with this one.
  • Shane Lowry: Easy to like the cherubic Irish lad and until we walk a mile in his soft-spikes its impossible to say whether he made the right decision to turn pro.
    The Walker Cup, however, is a different animal, particularly for a player who cut his competitive teeth on Irelands Home International squad. We once asked Jason Gore the highlight of his golf career and the big man didnt hesitate ' the 1997 Walker Cup. I could hardly get the tee in the ground I was so nervous, he smiled.
    There is also evidence that an intense Walker Cup bout is the best way to prepare for life as a pro. In 2005 when J.B. Holmes blew away the Q-School field he said his play was the direct result of the confidence he gained in that years match. Two years later hard-swinging Dustin Johnson made a similar connection.
    The point? Playing for glory and country trumps even the largest purses?
  • Corning Classic: Our colleague Randall Mell wrote it best, Norman Rockwell didnt paint Corning (N.Y.) to life. It just feels that way.
    Its hard to blame the economy or LPGA Tour or Corning for pulling the plug on the little tournament that could, but that doesnt change the fact that golf will lose something special without small-market stops like Corning.
    Maybe the game has outgrown the likes of Corning (pop. 10,321), and thats too bad.

    Missed Cut
  • European Tour: In the Irish twilight and amid the glow of the Europeans crushing victory over the U.S. side at the 2006 Ryder Cup, Sergio Garcia used his bully pulpit to take a back-handed swipe at the Nationwide Tour.
    Hopefully we won't get asked if the Nationwide Tour is the second-best tour in the world anymore, El Nino said in a not-so-subtle shot at all of those who argued the Nationwide circuit was deeper than the European Tour.
    But Lowrys victory at last weeks Irish Open begs the question: How is it possible a relatively unheralded amateur can clip the best on the worlds second-best circuit?
    Lowry is the third amateur in recent years to win on the Euro circuit. By comparison, Daniel Summerhays is the only amateur to ever win a Nationwide Tour event in 2007 (for the record, Phil Mickelson was the last amateur to win on the PGA Tour in 91 in Tucson).
    Second best, indeed.
  • PGA Tour: Seems there is no instant in instant replay on the games biggest stage. The video of Kenny Perry during a playoff at this years FBR Open is inconclusive, at best, and officials were rightfully quick to absolve him of any wrongdoing.
    Why this came up more than three months after the fact boggles the mind.
    And they think they have problems with the video review process at the new Yankee Stadium, which takes a mere eight minutes because of the location of the review booth. Were guessing Tour rules chief Mark Russell has never heard of YouTube
  • Adam Scott: As if things werent bad enough for the struggling Aussie. But five consecutive missed cuts, a two-way miss and a cold putter were just the tip of Scotts emotional baggage last week.
    According to reports, Kate Hudson, whom Scott was linked with earlier this year in Hawaii, is reportedly seeing Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. Whats next, a flat tire on the G4?

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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 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 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.”