Hooks Cuts - The Best of 06
Breakthrough Player of the Year -- Geoff Ogilvy
Breakthrough Player II -- Lorena Ochoa
Comeback Player of the Year -- Karrie Webb
Comeback Player II -- Se Ri Pak
Most Significant Story -- The passing of Earl Woods
Most Impressive Tee-to-Green Performance -- Tiger Woods at the British Open
Most Inexplicable Meltdown -- Phil Mickelson at the U.S. Open
Inexplicable Meltdown II -- Colin Montgomerie at the U.S. Open
Favorite Leaderboard Mystery Guest -- Kenneth Ferrie at the U.S. Open
Low Point of the Year -- TOUR Championship without Tiger and Phil
Low Point of the Year II -- U.S. blowout loss at the Ryder Cup
Sentimental Moment of the Year -- Darren Clarke holing out at the Ryder Cup
Snapshot Picture of the Year -- Tiger in tears after winning the British, embraced by Stevie
Snapshot Picture of the Year II -- Camilo Villegas in his Spider-Man crouch
Snapshot Picture of the Year III -- Michelle Wie on a stretcher at the John Deere
Most Bizarre Scene -- Tigers roof ball at Firestone
Eye Popping Tournament by Someone Not Named Tiger -- J.B. Holmes in Phoenix
Eye Popping Tournament by Someone Not Named Tiger II -- Phil by 13 at the BellSouth Classic
Eye popping Tournament by Someone Not Named Tiger III -- Stephen Ames at The Players Championship
Eye Popping Tournament by Someone Not Named Tiger IV -- Corey Pavin in Milwaukee
Best In-Your-Face Effort -- Ben Curtis winning not once but twice
Most Surprising Non-Winner -- Sergio Garcia
Most Surprising Non-Winner II -- Retief Goosen
Most Surprising Non-Winner III -- Ernie Els
Most Exciting Finish -- Webb holes out for eagle at Kraft Nabisco
Most Exciting Non-Major Finish -- Chris Couch's cross-handed chip-in to win in New Orleans
Most Excruciating Miss -- Greg Owen from 40 inches for par at 17 at Bay Hill
Excruciating Miss II -- Greg Owen from 24 inches for bogey at 17 at Bay Hill
Excruciating Miss III -- Loren Roberts from 4 8' for a million in Sonoma
Puzzling Fall -- Justin Leonard, 109th on the money list in 26 starts
Puzzling Fall II -- John Daly, 193rd on the money list in 21 starts
Puzzling Fall III -- Craig Perks, 254th on the money list in 18 starts
Shot of the Year -- Tigers long-iron hole-out at 14 at Royal Liverpool
Shot of the Year II -- Paul Caseys Ryder Cup ace
Clutch Putt of the Year -- Geoff Ogilvys par-save on the 72nd hole at the U.S. Open
Player of the Year -- Tiger Woods
Player of the Year II -- Karrie Webb
Player of the Year III -- Lorena Ochoa
Feel free to e-mail me with your best and worst, your freakiest and favorite moments of 2006. Have a peaceful Thanksgiving. Ill be enjoying with family, missing the laughs and wisdom from Great Grandmom Ethel, the broccoli casserole and encouragement from Aunt Marcia, now sitting round the great turkey day table in the sky.
Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner
'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team
“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 GolfChannel.com 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 Web.com 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.
Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey
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.
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.”
'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse
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.”
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.”
Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.
“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”
Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.
“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”