Hooks Cuts from Faldo to Phil

By Rich LernerOctober 6, 2006, 4:00 pm
  • Nick Faldos engineered the most remarkable personality transformation since George Foreman went from sullen bully to lovable teddy bear.
     
  • Whats the moment of the year in golf? Tiger breaking down in tears at the British Open? Darren Clarke holing a chip shot at the Ryder Cup? Sadly, its probably Phil Mickelson picking his ball out of the cup on the 72nd hole at Winged Foot -- the course of golf history so radically altered inside of 10 tragic minutes.
     
  • Lee Trevino offers this Ryder Cup fix: Make Tiger Woods the playing captain and let him pick whichever 11 guys he wants.
     
  • As it turns out, this was not, as expected, the year for the young stars on the LPGA, but rather for the established Hall of Fame members. Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer are winless, while Se Ri Pak and Karrie Webb have recaptured greatness.
     
  • Hard to imagine that Coke, which sponsors the TOUR Championship, and Mercedes Benz, attaching its name and considerable dollars to the 07 season opener, are too thrilled with Mickelsons decision to stay home. Majors, not money, motivate Phil. Some of us would swim to Hawaii to stay in the Ritz Carlton Kapalua and play for a million.
     
  • Alex Hay, formerly the lyrical voice of the BBC, on Faldo: He used to say very little. Now you cant get him to stop talking.
     
  • Eyebrows are raised when Jack Nicklaus is mentioned as a possible Ryder Cup captain for 2008. Whats the difference? Hell, make Jack Black the captain, or Jack Daniels for that matter.
     
  • With both Tiger and Phil on different planets, golfs so starved for a new, charismatic, young American superstar whos willing to play in Houston and Greensboro and Memphis.
     
  • There are already 77 players on The PGA TOUR whove earned at least a million dollars this year, raising the question: Is the huge money making guys so comfortable that its killing that burning desire to actually win golf tournaments?
     
  • Lets amend the previous idea that Tigers on another planet. Hes actually in an unknown galaxy. His current win streak, longest in a calendar season since Hogan won six straight in 48, gives Tiger at least a half dozen of the 12 to 15 greatest achievements in golf history. In no particular order, lets obviously submit Jones grand slam; Jacks 18 majors; Nelsons 11 in a row; Hogans triple major season of 1953; and Sneads 81 PGA TOUR victories. Then, without argument, can we safely include the following from Tiger: four consecutive majors; U.S. Open by 15 in 2000; Masters at 21 by 12; three U.S. Amateurs in a row; 67.79 scoring average in 2000; the career slam at 24; first ever with three seasons of eight victories or more; and six in a row, not once but twice? Oh, and hes now won multiple majors in back-to-back seasons, each worthy of consideration in the discussion of the handful of greatest single seasons ever.
     
  • Finally, something to chew on from the late, great Byron Nelson: We had to play every week to make a living. We played because we loved to play. We were family, really. Today the players see each other only at the first tee and practice tee. In our day, when we left Phoenix, Louise and I would tell Valerie and Ben (Hogan) wed stop at Las Cruces, New Mexico, at a little bus stop that specialized in tamales.
     
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    Watch: Elvis returns, whiffs golf shot at Tiger Jam

    By Grill Room TeamMay 21, 2018, 12:18 am
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    Crenshaw pleased with reaction to Trinity Forest

    By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 12:02 am

    DALLAS – Despite the tournament debut of Trinity Forest Golf Club coming to a soggy conclusion, course co-designer Ben Crenshaw is pleased with how his handiwork stood up against the field at this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

    Crenshaw was on property for much of the week, including Sunday when tee times were delayed by four hours as a line of storms passed through the area. While the tournament’s field lacked some star power outside of headliner Jordan Spieth, Crenshaw liked what he saw even though Mother Nature didn’t exactly cooperate.

    “We’re pleased. It’s off to a nice, quiet start, let’s say,” Crenshaw said. “The week started off very quiet with the wind. This course, we envision that you play it with a breeze. It sort of lends itself to a links style, playing firm and fast, and as you saw yesterday, when the wind got up the scores went up commensurately.”


    Full-field scores from the AT&T Byron Nelson

    AT&T Byron Nelson: Articles, photos and videos


    That assessment was shared by Spieth, a Trinity Forest member who has become the tournament’s de facto host and spent much of his week surveying his fellow players for opinions about a layout that stands out among typical Tour stops.

    “A lot of guys said, ‘It’s grown on me day to day, I really enjoyed it as a change of pace, I had a lot of fun playing this golf course.’ Those were lines guys were using this week, and it shouldn’t be reported any differently,” Spieth said. “It was an overwhelmingly positive outlook from the players that played.”

    Crenshaw didn’t bristle as tournament leaders Aaron Wise and Marc Leishman eclipsed the mark of 20 under par, noting that he and co-designer Bill Coore simply hoped to offer a “different experience” from the usual layouts players face. With one edition in the books, he hopes that a largely positive reaction from those who made the journey will help bolster the field in 2019 and beyond.

    “To me, the guys who played here this week will go over to Fort Worth, and hopefully the field at Colonial that wasn’t here would ask questions of the people who were here,” Crenshaw said. “You hope that some good word spreads.”

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    A. Jutanugarn wins Kingsmill playoff for 8th title

    By Associated PressMay 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

    WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Ariya Jutanugarn birdied the second hole of a playoff Sunday to win the Kingsmill Championship for the second time in three years.

    Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 66 to match Nasa Hataoka (67) and In Gee Chun (68) at 14-under 199.

    Jutanugarn and Hataoka both birdied the first extra hole, with Chun dropping out. Hataoka putted first on the second extra hole and missed badly before Jutanugarn rolled in a 15-footer for her eighth career victory. The 22-year-old Thai star's older sister, Moriya, won the HUGEL-JTBC Championship in Los Angeles in April for her first LPGA Tour victory


    Full-field scores from the Kingsmill Championship


    Jutanugarn started the day two shots behind Chun and had a two-shot lead before making bogey at the par-5 15th. Hataoka, playing with Chun in the final threesome, birdied No. 15 to join Jutanugarn at 14 under, and Chun made a long birdie putt on the par-3 17th to also get to 14 under.

    The tournament was cut from 72 holes to 54 when rain washed out play Saturday.

    Brooke Henderson closed with a 65 to finish a shot back. Megan Khang was fifth after her third straight 67.

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    Jimenez wins first Champions major at Tradition

    By Associated PressMay 20, 2018, 9:32 pm

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Miguel Angel Jimenez finally got to light up a victory cigar after winning a senior major championship.

    Jimenez won the Regions Tradition on Sunday for his first PGA Tour Champions major title, closing with a 2-under 70 for a three-stroke victory. He celebrated with a big embrace from fellow Spaniard and two-time Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal, who hoisted him in the air.

    After a round of photos and speeches from local dignitaries, Jimenez finally got to break out the celebratory cigar.

    ''It's time to have a medal in my pocket and it's nice to be on the first major of the year,'' he said.

    Jimenez held or shared the lead after every round, taking a three-shot edge into the final round at Greystone Golf & Country Club. The Spaniard finished at 19-under 269 for his fifth PGA Tour Champions victory.

    ''It's been a wonderful week,'' he said. ''My game was amazing, really.''


    Full-field scores from the Regions Tradition


    Steve Stricker, Joe Durant and Gene Sauers tied for second.

    It was the third time Jimenez had entered the final round of a senior major with at least a share of the lead but the first one he has pulled out. He tied for third at the 2016 Senior British Open and for second at the 2016 U.S. Senior Open.

    Durant and Sauers finished with matching 69s, and Stricker shot 70.

    Jimenez birdied two of the final three holes including a closing putt for good measure.

    Jimenez entered the day at 17 under to tie Gil Morgan's 21-year-old Tradition record through 54 holes. He got off to a rough start with an errant tee shot into a tree-lined area on his way to a bogey, but he never lost his grip on the lead.

    Jimenez had three bogeys after making just one over the first three rounds, but easily held off his challengers late.

    His approach on No. 18 landed right in the center of the green after Stricker's shot sailed well right into the gallery. He had rebuilt a two-stroke lead with a nice birdie putt on No. 16 while Durant and Stricker each had a bogey among the final three holes to leave Jimenez with a more comfortable cushion.

    Stricker and Durant both had par on the final hole while Sauers also birdied to tie them. Durant had produced two eagles on No. 18 already in the tournament but couldn't put pressure on Jimenez with a third.

    Stricker's assessment of his own performance, including a bogey on No. 17, was that he ''made quite a few mistakes.''

    ''Just didn't take care of my ball, really,'' he said. ''I put it in some bad spots, didn't get it up and down when I had to a few times, missed a few putts. Yeah, just didn't have it really, didn't play that good, but still had a chance coming down to the end.''

    Jeff Maggert finished with a 64 and was joined at 15 under by Scott McCarron (67) and Duffy Waldorf (66).

    Jimenez made a birdie putt on No. 16 one hole after falling into a tie with Stricker with a bogey. Durant faltered, too, with a bogey on No. 16.

    ''When (Stricker) made birdie and I make a bogey on the 15th, everything's going up again very tight,'' Jimenez said. ''It's time to hole a putt on 16, for me that makes all the difference.''

    Stricker had two wins in his first four senior tour events this year and remains second on the money list. He has finished in the top five in each of his events.

    Bernhard Langer finished five strokes off the lead in his bid to become the first to win the Tradition three straight years. He shot 66-67 over the final two rounds after a slow start.