Honesty and Anger Sutton Speaks

By Rich LernerNovember 3, 2006, 5:00 pm
From the range of his new golf course in Fredericksburg, Texas, 60 miles from Austin, Hal Sutton looks beyond the rugged hill country and plainly does not like what he sees on the horizon.
Im so disgusted with where everythings gone I dont even want to play the game, he told me Thursday by phone.
Hal Sutton
Hal Sutton has played in only one PGA TOUR event this year, missing the cut in the Nissan Open.
And so he hasnt. I havent played but three times in the last three months, he said with his cowboy drawl. Ive enjoyed being a daddy and a husband. Now 48, Hal has four kids age three to 10.
The call to Sutton was intended to yield an opinion on Paul Azinger, the new Ryder Cup captain. Hes the right choice, Sutton responded without hesitation. He represents what the Ryder Cup is all about. Hes got passion. But there have been captains before that have had passion.
In fact, the U.S. is 0 for its last four blood-and-guts, spit-in-your-face captains: Lanny Wadkins, Curtis Strange, Hal, and most recently, Tom Lehman. Ben Crenshaw, the only victorious captain of the last decade, surely had passion, but it was served differently, with the gentle touch of an old mystic. Tom Kite, on the losing end in 1997, didnt outwardly breathe fire.
Theres no captain thats going to make the difference, Sutton said with a tinge of resignation. Of course now, the phone call was no longer about Azinger.
Were in a vacuum in golf in America, Sutton began, and I knew I was about to experience a strong Texas wind.
Were consumed by the almighty dollar, he said. Weve forgotten that we all play the game because we love it. Greatness doesnt worry about money. Greatness worries about bein great.
Were a product of our environment, he explained. Were playing a game that requires us to hit it high and long. In the old days we had to do more with different golf shots.
Sutton emphasized that its not necessarily the fault of the players. We got too many people in leadership capacities that dont understand the game at its core, he said. Were conforming to what they say the market wants and what manufacturers are giving us and its weakening our players.
The market wants Tiger Woods. And therein, Sutton believes, lay a problem.
Everyones trying to be like Tiger, said the man who took heat for pairing No. 1 with Phil Mickelson in an experiment gone terribly wrong at Oakland Hills. Theres no individualism. Theyre all trying to swing like Tiger.
Look, Rich, he implored, growing more animated, its 400 yards to the other end of the range from where Im sittin and if Jack and Arnie and Raymond and Lee and Gary and Tiger were hittin balls we wouldnt need to walk down there to tell which is which. You could tell em from 400 yards away.
Is that the players fault? No. Its just that weve got it built in our minds that you have to be a certain way to be good.
I have respect for Jim Furyk because he doesnt conform to anybody, Sutton added. Hes been doin it his way for a long time and hes been doin it pretty damn good hasnt he?
Sutton puts some blame at the doorstep of Americas junior golf system.
We dont have world class players in their 20s, he said. Thats a failure on our part.
The greatest in the world learned the game on the golf course, Sutton said. People think you can learn it on the range. Mechanics make you tight. It will not free you up to play the game. There were many days when the great players werent hittin it their best and they still figured a way to win. You dont need reinforcement after every shot.
With the promise of PGA TOUR millions, youngsters and parents chase the dream, often spending lifes savings to attend intensive academies while traveling a junior tournament circuit that would wear down even a hardened veteran.
We need to go back to investing in kids' futures with no agendas and no management fees, try to realign whats important in the game. Everyones taking out of the game and not putting back in. I had people teach me the game and never charged me for a lesson.
We all have an investment in this game.
It took us a generation to get into this and it will take us a generation to get out of it.
And then, Hal had to go, the competitor who once feared no golfer, not even Tiger, now in something of a self-imposed exile. The work of fixing the game too big for one man, hes content to put the finishing touches on a golf course amidst the rolling hills of Texas, far from the profession he no longer knows.
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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”