United we stand

By Rex HoggardSeptember 10, 2011, 2:00 pm

Everyone remembers.

The college student whose simple world had just been complicated to the extreme, the young adult who was haunted by images of passenger planes turned into weapons of mass destruction and especially the businessman who has spent a decade trying to make sense of it all.

Whatever byproduct or baggage that was born from Sept. 11, 2001, the single certainty is that everyone remembers where they were when the world changed.

For Lucas Glover the events of 9/11 crashed into his idyllic college world just after a morning coaching education class during his senior year at Clemson. The future U.S. Open champion was in his room when a friend called.

“My best friend and I would go to lunch at 11:15 (a.m.), that was our deal. So I got back to the room and he called me and said, ‘Put on the TV.’ I had no idea. It was between the two impacts (at the World Trade Center),” Glover recalls.

Glover spent the next eight hours or so in Clemson’s fundraising offices watching the unexplainable. He went out and got everyone in the office lunch, then dinner, because there was nowhere else to go.

“We were amazed and in awe. I’ve said it 100 times, I could have gone and enlisted that day,” he says. “You hit every range of emotion in one day, maybe in an hour for some people.”

An ocean away Trevor Immelman had just sat down to have lunch in a London-area pub with his future wife, Carminita, when the aspiring young European Tour player was shaken by the news.

“It was a nice day and our server came up to us and was like, ‘Man, you won’t believe it … someone just flew into the World Trade Center,’” Immelman remembers.

But the South African didn’t watch the events unfold in horrific HD clarity like most of the world. Instead he gazed out of the window of his apartment and was fixated by a single thought.

“I had an apartment that was on the flight path to Heathrow (airport) and I watched those planes come in and wondered what was going through the people who were on those planes minds,” he says. “It must have been pretty scary for those people.”

For Rich Davies it would be the confluence of two similarly tragic events eight years apart that would set him on a unique path. The native South African learned of the attacks during a meeting in his Charlotte, N.C., offices, and while others spent the next few days shell-shocked and sullen, Davies marveled at how the attacks drew out the best in America.

It was a thought that returned to him eight years later when a close friend’s plane crashed on the way to New York City. That accident occurred on Sept. 11, 2009.

“The message to me was pay attention to that date,” Davies says.

From the second tragedy was born Golf 9/12. Davies, who moved his family from South Africa in 1982, had two objectives for the new organization: honor his lost friend and find a way to rekindle the unity that swept across Americana on Sept. 12, 2001.

“The day after, for me, it was special because the reasons my family came to America were never more evident than on 9/12,” says Davies, a North Carolina developer. “The entire nation displayed the kind of unity that is always under the surface but doesn’t always come out.”

On Monday players across the country will tee off in what is essentially a nationwide event linked by smart phones and powered by a unique scoring application. But the competition is secondary to what Davies and fellow co-founder Johan Immelman, Trevor’s father, hope to accomplish.

The plan, in bullet form, is to rekindle that post-9/11 patriotism one foursome at a time.

“The idea is not to just have a fun day but to remember and reflect on what you felt like on the day after,” Davies says.

Glover remembers Sept. 12 with almost the same clarity as he does 9/11.

“The unity and the passion our people had was impressive,” Glover says. “I don’t think another day or another incident will ever do that to our country again. Especially as divided as we are now.”

As does fellow Golf 9/12 ambassador Trevor Immelman, who can equate the national unity the organization is looking to reawaken to the post-apartheid days in South Africa when then-President Nelson Mandela used the national rugby team to mend a fractured country, a watershed moment that was the basis for the movie “Invictus.”

“(Mandela) always said, sport has the ability to unify a country and a group of people,” Immelman says. “We’re just trying to tap into some of that.”

It’s why Davies decided golf was the perfect medium. Golf courses across the country can be used to bring players together through camaraderie and competition and a universal scoring application was made available to participants through the organization’s website (golf912.org).

Funds raised from Monday’s event, each player makes a $12 donation, have been earmarked for four charities – the Armed Forces Fund, which provides financial assistance to military families; the 9/11, Pentagon and Flight 93 memorials; local first-responder organizations and what Davies calls a global initiative.

“We hope to provide funds to various international organizations on a grass-roots level that will help keep something like 9/11 from happening again,” he says.

But most of all Davies & Co. want Golf 9/12 participants to remember, not the shock and sadness of the initial attacks but the sense of unity and purpose that permeated the American psyche on Sept. 12, 2001.

“So many people had forgotten what we thought was important,” he says. “This is a chance to remind everyone of what we’re capable of doing.”

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Finau returns to action 3 weeks after Masters injury

By Ryan LavnerApril 24, 2018, 6:22 pm

AVONDALE, La. – Nearly three weeks have passed since Tony Finau suffered a gruesome high-ankle sprain while celebrating a hole-in-one at the Masters.

And to some surprise, he’s already back on the course.

Finau was on the range at TPC Louisiana on Tuesday morning, preparing to return to competition alongside fellow Utah resident Daniel Summerhays at the Zurich Classic. After a half-hour warmup session in which he was able to shift into his left side, he walked slowly but without a limp.

“The only way we’re going to know where we’re at with the mobility is to continue to do what my foot normally does – and that’s walking and playing golf,” he said. “With this golf course and the setup of the tournament” – a flat course, with two days of alternate shot – “what better way to gauge where we’re at than by playing this tournament?”

Finau said that he mostly tried to stay off his injured ankle and foot the week after the Masters. Last week was more physical therapy and strength training, to test his limits. He’s been working with the Utah Jazz trainers, as well as the physical therapists at the University of Utah Orthopedic Center, to return to the Tour as quickly as possible.

“The journey is far from over as far as dealing with the foot,” he said. “I’ve dealt with ankle injuries before, and they can linger. I don’t think it’s going to be 100 percent for a while, but I do feel like it’s ready to go and play and compete and continue to get better as I do that.”

Finau said he was shocked by the amount of support he received after his fluke injury in the Par 3 Contest – “A lot of guys who I didn’t know had my number reached out” – and that he only posted the gruesome photos of his leg after the Masters, so that fans knew what he endured to tie for 10th (including a Sunday 66) in his first start at Augusta.    

“I didn’t want anybody to think that I had excuses,” he said. “I’m there to play. I was ready to play once my tee time came around. Obviously people knew the scenario I was dealing with, but after the fact people could respect the process I had to go through throughout the week, during the round, after the round, taping it, and then seeing the condition it was in.

“Hopefully people were able to respect what I was able to do with limited action on my left side.”  

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Longtime pals Furyk, Duval the 'rustiest' Zurich team

By Ryan LavnerApril 24, 2018, 5:58 pm

AVONDALE, La. – Jim Furyk and David Duval are the winningest two-man team here at the Zurich Classic, combining for 30 PGA Tour titles during their careers.

These days, they’re also known for something else.

“We’re probably the rustiest team in the field,” Duval said with a laugh Tuesday. “Certainly the least rounds played.”

Of the 80 teams in the field at TPC Louisiana, the Furyk-Duval partnership may have raised the most eyebrows.

Furyk, 47, has scaled back his schedule over the past few years, after dealing with a variety of injuries. As the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, he also has more on his mind than choosing clubs and reading greens. Duval, 46, has made only 11 Tour starts since 2014, transitioning instead to the broadcast booth.

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos

And yet they’re here, together, paired for just the second time in a Tour event. Furyk found that hard to believe. Of the dozens of rounds these two aging warriors have played over the past two-plus decades, they teed it up together in only one Tour event – the 2002 Invensys Classic at Las Vegas.

“I know we played a lot on Mondays and Tuesdays,” Furyk said. “So playing in a tournament, that’s going back 15 years ago. I can’t remember last week who I played with, so …”

More vivid are his memories of their time together on what was then known as the Nike Tour.

“We had a span there where I think we played eight to 10 weeks in a row and we played practice rounds together,” Furyk said.

Duval mentioned the idea of teaming up at the Zurich last year, and Furyk accepted. This is just a one-off, a chance for old friends to reconnect, even if their own expectations are low.  

“When the folks out there go play golf, their idea of golf is hanging out with their buddies, right? Folks that they love playing golf with, enjoy being around,” Furyk said. “That’s what this event gives us. To get back together is really what it’s all about.”

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By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 24, 2018, 4:30 pm

 New Golf Channel Travel Series, Golf Advisor Round Trip, and Fan Trip Experiences Highlight Additions

 Preview Clip: Golf Advisor Round Trip: Danzante Bay

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 24, 2018) – The leading source of golf course ratings and reviews, Golf Advisor, is expanding how it super-serves the traveling golfer. The Golf Advisor portfolio now will include a new Golf Channel travel series and premium travel experiences at world-class resorts and clubs.

“Since founding Golf Advisor in 2014, the site has grown dramatically to become the number-one course rating and review platform in the game. Golfer’s opinions are complemented with a veteran staff of writers, including Matt Ginella, Bradley Klein and Brandon Tucker, that provide expert travel advice on how to maximize your experience,” said Mike Lowe, vice president and general manager, Golf Advisor. “Now, we are excited to be elevating the brand and its offerings to not only showcase some of the most exciting golf destinations in the world on Golf Channel, but also to allow the traveling golfer to come along with us.”

Premiering May 2 at 8 p.m. ET, Golf Advisor Round Trip, will be a 30-minute series taking viewers around the world to showcase amazing golfing destinations. Matt Ginella, who has traveled more than a million miles since he began reporting for Golf Channel in 2013, will serve as series host and become Golf Advisor’s Editor-at-Large.

“There is no better education than travel, and it’s a buyer’s market in the world of destination golf,” Ginella said. “It’s a dream come true for me, my crew and the entire Golf Advisor team to be given the chance to inform, inspire and entertain our viewers and followers, alike, and to tell the stories about the places they may venture to next.”

In addition to his role as television host, Ginella also joins an expert Golf Advisor editorial team, including award-winning golf travel, history and architecture journalist Bradley S. Klein, Senior Managing Editor Brandon Tucker and other leading voices in golf travel.

The Golf Advisor Round Trip premiere episode will visit the stunningly beautiful Danzante Bay on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, and will feature its dramatically picturesque golf course that runs through beaches, cliffs and canyons, and was designed by famed architect Rees Jones. Watch a clip from the show Here.

Other destinations scheduled to be featured on Golf Advisor Round Trip in 2018 include:

  • Big Cedar Lodge, a wilderness resort experience in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.
  • Reynolds Lake Oconee, golf in the rolling lake country of northern Georgia.
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C., one of the world’s most popular golfing destinations offering more than 90 courses.
  • Ireland, one of the world’s most popular international golfing destinations and home to some of the most iconic golf courses.

Golf Advisor Getaways will provide opportunities for individuals and groups to travel with Ginella and other Golf Advisor personalities to the destinations featured on the Golf Channel series. They will serve as host and trip “captain,” responsible for organizing itineraries that not only include great golf, but also destination side-trips, entertainment and varied dining experiences. More information can be found on how to join these trips at www.GolfAdvisor.com/getaways.

Scheduled Golf Advisor Getaways in 2018 include:

  • Sept. 9-12:  Big Cedar Lodge
  • Oct. 14-17:  Reynolds Lake Oconee
  • Dec. 6-9:  Danzante Bay

As a rapidly growing digital destination for the avid golfer, Golf Advisor has achieved record growth in the last year, highlighted by all-time records across various key metrics (pages views +16%; unique visitors +32%). The site features more than 700,000 user-generated golf course reviews of more than 15,000 golf courses around the world from its active community of golfers, as well as its popular Best of Lists.

 -NBC Sports Group-

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Watch: Kid Rock makes 40-footer in front of Nicklaus

By Grill Room TeamApril 24, 2018, 1:51 pm

For the second consecutive year, rock star Kid Rock (Bob Ritchie) teamed with Jack Nicklaus in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf Celebrity Shootout, last week at Big Cedar Lodge.

And while they didn't defend their title - the team of Johnny Miller and Larry the Cable Guy won - the Kid did show golf's ultimate legend how he rolls on the greens.

The Golden Bear and the American Bad A**. What a team.