Toms hopes for captaincy in the future

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 15, 2013, 11:43 pm

LA QUINTA, Calif. – When the call came, David Toms was in a duck blind at one of his favorite hunting spots in Arkansas. On the other end of the phone was new PGA of America president Ted Bishop.

That December morning they talked for a while, very civil, and Bishop was complimentary of Toms as a player, person and figure in the golf community. Ultimately, it was relayed that Bishop and the PGA were going in another direction with their search, that they appreciated Toms’ interest in the position. Typical correspondence between boss and prospective employee. 

And a few days later, in the heart of downtown New York City, live on NBC’s “Today” show, Tom Watson was unveiled as the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain.

“I want to be a captain some day, but it wasn’t like it was disappointing,” Toms said Tuesday after a practice round at the Humana Challenge. “Maybe at some point I’ll get that opportunity, but for now I wasn’t disappointed at all.”

Surprised, perhaps. Toms fit the mold of recent Ryder Cup captains. He was in his mid-40s, with a major championship – a PGA, no less – to his credit, and was still semi-active on the PGA Tour, enough, at least, to still be chummy with the players. If nothing else, he was the only candidate to officially file paperwork with the PGA expressing his interest.

In a letter, Toms wrote that he could do a good job, that he knew all the players, that if the organization went in their usual sequence – if the PGA didn’t break the mold – that he would gladly take the honor, he would do the best job he could.

“It wasn’t like I asked for the job,” Toms said. “I just said that I would definitely not turn it down and thought I could do a good job.”

Little did Toms know, however, that the PGA had been courting Watson for 13 months, even before the U.S. team and captain Davis Love III endured a heartbreaking loss at Medinah. Bishop was so determined to land Watson, in fact, that he produced an 85-page document detailing the reasons why the eight-time major champion, who will be 65 when the matches begin, should get the gig at Gleneagles. Toms said he thought he was a candidate only because he had read and seen on TV that he was a candidate.

“I wasn’t surprised with the pick that they wanted to shake it up,” he said, but now a larger question looms: Has the formula been rewritten? How will captains be selected in the future?

If Watson is successful at Gleneagles, if the Americans win on foreign soil for the first time in two decades, then what? The race for the 2016 Ryder Cup captaincy may be even more intriguing.

Maybe, Toms said, this is a sign that there’s more to his career, to his life as a 46-year-old father of two.

Toms still wants to play the Tour. Hey, Darren Clarke withdrew his name from Ryder Cup consideration this year because, essentially, he doesn’t want to waste two years of his career – he thinks he can still compete. So does Toms.

Back home, he has started an academy for juniors in Shreveport. One of his kids, 15-year-old Carter, has ambitions of playing in college.

“It was all fine, really,” Toms says of the PGA’s decision. “I’m a busy man, to be quite honest, with a lot of things going on. Everything happens for a reason. I’ll be fine.”

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Watch: Pieters snaps club ... around his neck

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 1:19 pm

After opening in 3-over 75, Thomas Pieters was in no mood for more poor play on Friday.

Unfortunately for Pieters, he bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round of the BMW PGA Championship and then didn't like his second shot at the par-5 fourth.

Someone - or some thing - had to pay, and an innocent iron bore the brunt of Pieters' anger.

Pieters made par on the hole, but at 5 over for the tournament, he was five shots off the cut line.

It's not the first time a club has faced Pieters' wrath. 

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Woods would 'love' to see Tour allow shorts

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:59 pm

Players on the European Tour are allowed to wear shorts during practices and pro-ams.

The PGA of America permitted players to show some leg while prepping for last year’s PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods would like to see the PGA Tour follow suit.

"I would love it," he said Thursday in a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf. "We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it's summer down there.

"It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts."

Caddies are currently allowed to wear shorts on Tour, during events.

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Feasting again: McIlroy shoots 65 to lead BMW PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 12:04 pm

Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET

Rory McIlroy made seven birdies and no bogeys on Friday for a 7-under 65 and the second-round lead at the BMW PGA Championship.

After opening in 67, McIlroy was among the early groups out on Day 2 at Wentworth Club. He made three birdies and no bogeys on the par-35 front nine on Friday, and then went on a run after the turn.

McIlroy made four consecutive birdies, beginning at the par-5 12th. That got him to 12 under, overall, and gave him a clear advantage over the field. With two closing par-5s, a very low number was in sight. But, as he did on Day 1, McIlroy finished par-par.

"I've made four pars there [on 17 and 18] when I really should be making at least two birdies, but I played the other par-5s well," McIlroy said. "It all balances itself out."

Full-field scores from the BMW PGA Championship

McIlroy has made 14 birdies and two bogeys through two rounds. At 12 under, he has a three-stroke lead over Sam Horsfield.

"The work has paid off, to some degree," McIlroy said of his practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. "I still feel like I'm hitting some loose shots out there. But, for the most part, it's been really good. If I can keep these swing thoughts and keep going in the right direction, hopefully this is the type of golf I'll be able to produce."

This event has been feast or famine for McIlroy. He won here in 2014, but has three missed cuts in his other three starts. This week, however, he’ll be around for the weekend and is in position for his first European Tour victory since the 2016 Irish Open and his second worldwide victory of the year (Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"I have the confidence that I'm playing well and I can go out and try to just replicate what I did the day before," McIlroy said about his weekend approach with the lead. "On the first tee box tomorrow I'll be thinking about what I did today. Trying to just keep the same thoughts, make the same swings. I went a couple better today than I did yesterday. I'm not sure I'll keep that progression going but something similiar tomorrow would be nice."

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Goat visor propels Na to Colonial lead

By Will GrayMay 25, 2018, 1:29 am

Jason Dufner officially has some company in the headwear free agency wing of the PGA Tour.

Like Dufner, Kevin Na is now open to wear whatever he wants on his head at tournaments, as his visor sponsorship with Titleist ended earlier this month. He finished T-6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his second tournament as a free agent, and this week at the Fort Worth Invitational he's once again wearing a simple white visor with a picture of a goat.

"I bought it at The Players Championship for $22 with the 30 percent discount that they give the Tour players," Na told reporters. "It's very nice."

Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Perhaps a change in headwear was just what Na needed to jumpstart his game. Last week's result in Dallas was his first top-35 finish in his last six events dating back to February, and he built upon that momentum with an 8-under 62 to take a one-shot lead over Charley Hoffman after the first round at Colonial Country Club.

While many sports fans know the "GOAT" acronym to stand for "Greatest Of All Time," it's a definition that the veteran Na only learned about earlier this year.

"I do social media, but they kept calling Tiger the GOAT. I go, 'Man, why do they keep calling Tiger the GOAT? That's just mean,'" Na said. "Then I realized it meant greatest of all time. Thinking of getting it signed by Jack (Nicklaus) next week (at the Memorial)."