Curing FedExCup-itis

By Tom AbbottOctober 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editors Note: Tom Abbott is the host of Golf Central UK. He will be filing a bi-weekly column on thegolfchannel.com with news, opinions and his inside knowledge of the European Tour.
 
The Dunhill Links a Good Remedy for FedExCup-itus:
I think I might have FedExCup-itus. Is it me or do you feel like some of the wind has disappeared from the sails of pro golf now the FedExCup is over? The Seve Trophy was a prime example of how this fever has hit the top players in the game. The competition is supposed to pit the best of Great Britain and Ireland against the Continent of Europe. With the Presidents Cup taking centre stage in the United States, there really was no excuse for players to miss this.
 
I might give Luke Donald a small exception as he is a past champion of the Viking Classic, which ran opposite to the Presidents Cup. But Donald followed many of Europes big names and pulled out, I contacted the folks at IMG to see if Donald had a good reason for not being at the Seve Trophy, but they sent me a message back saying no statement would be issued regarding his absence. Ian Poulter had a wedding to attend, and seeing that it was his own, it seemed like a valid excuse. I can imagine the thought process: Whens a good week to get married thats not in the depths of the British winter? How about the week of the Seve Trophy? Garcia opted out; Harrington took a weeks rest despite the event being in Ireland; and Henrik Stenson was not a part of Team Europe.
 
The big-guns of Europe were not on display. Its a little disconcerting for the Europeans to hear Americans really hyped about the Presidents Cup, even saying they prefer it to the Ryder Cup. We want the Americans to see the Ryder Cup as the crme de la crme of team golf, the one they want to win; thats what makes winning for either side so special. But we cant help how the Presidents Cup has developed; it does give the International players a wonderful venue and excellent competition. The Seve Trophy seems to be a great way for the Europeans to respond, to have their own little Presidents Cup if you like. But with the failure of the big names showing up it seems were going the wrong way about it. Maybe its because the FedExCup took so much out of the players, and we still have some really important events left in Europe. Evidently the top Europeans dont give anywhere near as much merit to the Seve Trophy as the Americans give to the Presidents Cup, and I cant see this changing anytime soon.
 
So with that said, the Dunhill Links might just be the remedy for FedExCup-itus. Three of the worlds best courses: Carnoustie, St Andrews and Kingsbarns; Hugh Grant, Ray Romano, Dennis Hopper, Samuel L. Jackson and Sir Bobby Charlton among the celebrities; and 16 of the top 50 in the world teeing it up. Harrington returns to the site of his Open Championship triumph; Rory McIlroy the low amateur at The Open is playing as a pro; Nick Faldo makes his third start of the year; and even Scott McCarron is in the field ' what a week! And, of course, Renton Laidlaw is in the commentary box for live coverage for GOLF CHANNEL.
 
Hickory Golf:
During my recent trip over to The Open and Womens British Open, I had the chance to spend a little time at my home club, Walton Heath. The head professional, Ken McPherson, is one of the games great historians, a true golfing gentleman. Anyone making a trip to London on business or pleasure should stop off for a game or at least to pop into the shop and clubhouse. In its 104th year, Walton Heath has had just three professionals: James Braid, Harry Busson and Ken. Braid won five Opens and was a renowned club maker; Busson even more so ' during the Ryder Cup there in 1981 he was inundated with orders from the players themselves. This means Mr. McPherson has some wonderful clubs lying around, and this summer I got the chance to go out and have a good practice session with an old set of hickories. I cant tell you what they were, who made them or their particular vintage, but what I can tell you is, theyre not easy to stripe. I had more than a little trouble getting these beauties to go where I wanted and with some sort of decent flight. With this in mind I was interested to see the results of the World Hickory Championship, which took place last week at Craigelaw in Scotland. Lloyd Saltman was the victor with a 1-over 72. Competitors were limited to six clubs of pre-1935 vintage and many went all out by looking the part with classic Plus Twos and long socks.
 
If youre an avid golfer and are looking for a bit of a new challenge and a good laugh might I suggest obtaining a small set of hickories; I think youll find it fun.
 
Tom Abbott will host live coverage of the Longs Drug Challenge on GOLF CHANNEL beginning Thursday at midnight for viewers in the UK Sky Digital Channel 423.
 
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Related Links:
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    OB tee shot, bunker trouble dooms Rahm to MC

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:24 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The key to surviving Carnoustie is avoiding the bunkers.

    Jon Rahm found three bunkers to close out the front nine Friday, the start of a triple bogey-double-bogey run that led to a second-round 78 and missed cut at The Open.

    “All of them were as bad a lie as they could have been,” he said. “Besides that, things didn’t happen. I can’t give an explanation, really. I don’t know.”

    Rahm’s troubles started on the seventh hole, a par 4 with a steady left-to-right wind. Out of bounds loomed left, and Rahm, who primarily plays a cut shot, hadn’t missed left all week. This time, his ball didn’t curve, and the OB tee shot led to a triple.

    “Whenever I start missing shots to the left,” he said, “it’s really hard for me to play.”  

    After a career-best fourth-place finish at the Masters, Rahm has now missed the cut in consecutive majors.

    “Right now I’m not in any mental state to think about what happened, to be honest,” he said.

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    Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

    Bernhard Langer did not.

    The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

    "You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

    Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

    "I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

    Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

    As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

    "I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

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    Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

    Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

    Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

    Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

    “To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

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    Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

    Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.