A Russian farce

By Tom AbbottJuly 29, 2008, 4:00 pm
Golf balls being stolen from the fairway, professional hockey players shooting 99, touring professionals pulling their own bags... just some of the delights from this year's Inteco Russian Open.
 
I am one of the biggest supporters of the European Tour ' as the Golf Central production team can attest ' but even I have to draw the line at the farce which unfolded at Le Meridian Moscow Country Club last week. No disrespect to Mikael Lundberg, a deserving champion, but the event was a little off the mark.
 
There are only 15,000 golfers in Russia, so they were always going to struggle with galleries. But even so, the turnout was rather disappointing. I saw about 10 people during our coverage on Thursday. The decision to include Evgeni Kafelnikov and Alexey Kovalev was bizarre. Maybe it attracted media attention in the home country, but when you have a good showing in the Russian Amateur surely it would merit opening up a couple more spots to golfers in the top 5 of that event?
 
I think the European Tour has to look at putting a bit more effort into this tournament. It's great they are branching out to developing golfing nations ' India and South Korea are both of the schedule this season ' but the tour needs to make sure they get it right. The sponsors deserve such treatment, especially when forking over a couple of million dollars. The product is on the world stage and the quality of the European Tour brand is tarnished slightly with what we saw last week.
 
The Ladies visit Sunningdale
 
The final major in womens golf plays out this week at the magnificent Sunningdale Golf Club, just west of London. Ive had the pleasure of teeing it up there on a couple of occasions and it's certainly one of my favorite lay-outs.
 
The clubhouse puts on a very special lunch as well, and any trip would not be complete without a visit to the restaurant. Lately, the club has become a little more showbiz than years past, as famous members and big name golfers give the place a little more glamour.
 
Also, its nice to see some of Britains inland gems getting a major championship. The mens Open Championship is confined to links venues, but the womens doesnt have that parameter yet. There are so many courses that fit this tournament; Id love to see the tour use them.
 
Elsewhere
 
The Challenge Tour is in Ireland this week for the Challenge of Ireland presented by Glasson. Englishmen David Horsey and Seve Benson are 1-2 in the standings, separated by just over 1,500.
 

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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


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    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”

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    Watch: Spieth, JT hole bunker shots in back-to-back groups

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    Jordan Spieth has a thing for holing bunker shots at the Travelers Championship, where he made one in a playoff to win last year.

    He did it again in Round 1 at TPC River Highlands, knocking in this shot for eagle at the par-5 sixth to reach 4 under par for the tournament



    In the next group, Justin Thomas did the same thing to reach 1 under. Keep an eye out for the best part of this highlight, when Thomas' caddie Jimmy Johnson tries to hand him his putter.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


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    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

    While Johnson tied for 12th last week at Shinnecock Hills, that was just his second top-15 finish since the Sony Open in January. But the veteran is no stranger to fast starts at TPC River Highlands, having now opened with 65 or better four times in his last eight appearances dating back to 2011.

    It’s a course where he continues to have success, even if his past consistency hasn’t lived up to expectations.

    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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    First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

    By Grill Room TeamJune 21, 2018, 6:35 pm

    It was revealed earlier this week that Greg Norman would be one of the athletes showcased in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features the models stategically posed in the nude.

    Well, the first photos are out from Norman's shoot and ... here they are, if you want them.