Show Buzz and Busts

By Rex HoggardJanuary 30, 2009, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. ' The Bird's Nest zealots took the time to learn the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College fight song only to find out the institution's most decorated son ' Boo Weekley, who, for the record, attended ABAC for 1 years ' was not playing this week's FBR Open. And Phil Mickelson begins 2009 looking more like a 10 handicap than a Tiger-tamer.
Yet, Scottsdale storylines aside, the real 'Cut Line' action was unfolding back east at the Orange County Convention Center. Welcome to the PGA Merchandise Show edition of the 'Cut Line.'

  • TaylorMade's r9 driver: There was a lot of buzz around the show floor regarding the state of the economy ' although we can honestly say we didn't hear the words 'toxic assets' or 'bailout' uttered once ' there seems to be no shortage of technological leaps and TaylorMade's new r9 driver topped most folk's list.
    Two of our favorite Tour reps lauded the r9 for its versatility and ease of use and it must be pointed out that neither rep works for the Southern California manufacturer. High praise in an ultra-competitive market.
    Last Monday at the Bob Hope Classic Pat Perez was the first player in the TaylorMade truck and received the first r9 on Tour; 90 holes later he was hoisting his first Tour title.
    The 420cc head allows eight different face angle settings and three adjustable weights allow for optimal ball flight. It is, as one Tour rep said, a tinkerer's dream. We would, however, suggest a warning: 'Not for the indecisive.'
  • Boo: The man from Abraham Baldwin has reached one-name status, and just to prove the point Weekley unleashed his own clothing line. 'Boo by Firethorn' features a colorful assortment of greens, oranges and blues splashed with 'duck blind' camo print.
    The line features golf shirts and outerwear. No word yet on if Weekley is going to coordinate something to match those matching tartan jackets he has won the past two years at in Hilton Head.

  • Annika: No, not the recently married Swede who brought grace and power to the LPGA, but the fragrance the recently retired trailblazer is about to unveil. While we claim no expertise in this area, the sample Sorenstam had, well . . . didn't smell.
    Word is Sorenstam sent all the fragrances from her collection for analysis and the chemist concocted an eau de parfum to match her tastes. 'Ms. 59' did offer plenty of tweaks before she went with the final scent.
    'The first one, wow. It was like a teen-ager's apple smell or something,' Sorenstam said complete with yuck face. 'It took a couple of times.'
  • Swing String: There are never any shortages of gizmos on display at the Show and most look like a prop from 'Tin Cup,' but Booth No. 4305 featured the Swing String that was billed as 'your personal driving range.'
    At least that's what the sign said above the Swing String's booth. There was a crowd five deep around the Swing String booth, which means it must be a winner. Of course, the horde may have had something to do with Kara Monaco, the 2006 Playmate of the Year who was in the booth signing autographs.

  • Widgets: Our high school economics teacher told us to find our widgets, but some Show products defy explanation.
    * Teach-n-Towel: Golf towels with footprints for proper putting, chipping, driving and iron shots. When they produce a towel with the proper foot placement for the Chi Chi Rodriguez sword dance, then they will have something.
    * Reinventing the wheel: In the Show guide there are a number golf tee companies listed. One offering claimed to add 10 yards to a player's drive, while another guaranteed straighter shots. We're all for technological advancements, but sometimes it's neither the hammer nor the nail.
  • Phil Mickelson: Rounds of 76-73 are hardly reason to ring the alarm at Camp Phil and he still has plenty of time to find his putting touch before the Masters, but the bigger concern is Lefty's place on the marquee.
    Mickelson has slipped to fourth in the Official World Ranking and is quickly coming up on the one-year anniversary of his Northern Trust Open victory, which will further erode his ranking total. Golf needs an on-form Mickelson almost as much as it needs a healthy Tiger Woods.
    One word ' Bethpage.
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    Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

    Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

    Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

    The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

    In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

    "That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.

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    "I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

    Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

    But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

    "Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

    "He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."

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    Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

    The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

    Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

    Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

    "I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

    Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.

    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

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    The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

    Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

    Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

    "I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

    "Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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    Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

    On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

    Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

    What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

    Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

    Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

    Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

    Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

    His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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    McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

    They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

    England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

    Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

    Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.