Knost's recipe for success: Get to work

By Will GrayOctober 9, 2014, 11:35 pm

NAPA, Calif. – Colt Knost knows exactly where his 2014 season bottomed out.

Mired in an unsuccessful campaign on the Tour, Knost was a late entry to the Midwest Classic in July. He arrived for the tournament in Kansas City, Mo., late Wednesday night and teed off the following day without a practice round.

“I shot a 78 the first day,” he recalled. “I realized this ain’t – you can’t do this. You’ve got to go to work.”

It’s a familiar refrain for the 29-year-old, whose seven years as a pro have included more ebbs and flows than most players might experience an entire career.

After he won a pair of USGA titles in 2007, Knost was seen as a can’t-miss rising star. That perspective was validated when he won twice during his rookie season on the Tour, launching him to the PGA Tour. But the success quickly dried up, and Knost has spent the last four seasons bouncing between the two tours.

Knost opened his 2014-15 season with a 4-under 68 at the Open to move within two shots of the early lead, and offered candid reflection on the journey that brought him to this point in his career.

“I’ve kind of had this theme before, but I just realized that in the last five years, I haven’t put in the work that I did when I was in college and my first year out on the Tour,” he said. “I knew that if I wanted to get back to where I feel like I belong, that I needed to get to work.”

Knost was a member of the decorated U.S. Walker Cup team in 2007, a squad that included Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson. While those players have had great success on the PGA Tour, Knost’s resume is much more pedestrian: two top-10 finishes in 116 starts, with his best result a third-place showing at the 2012 RBC Heritage.

After a worry-free ascension through the ranks to begin his career, Knost admits that he didn’t respond well to the first signs of adversity.

“I kind of took the game for granted, I feel like, when I first turned pro. I mean, everything was just so easy,” he said. “I thought things were going to be really easy, and they weren’t. And I slacked off.” Open: Articles, videos and photos

After Knost’s missed cut in Kansas City earlier this summer – a 36-hour pit stop that he said was “like the shortest golf tournament trip ever” – a return to the PGA Tour seemed like a longshot. But he re-dedicated himself alongside swing coach Randy Smith, and those changes paid immediate dividends, as he cracked the top five in three of his next four starts.

The last in that line of results, a playoff loss at the first Tour Finals event, ensured that Knost would get his card back for the new season. It capped a remarkably quick turnaround, one that he traced back to his brief trip to the Show Me State this summer.

“I flew home [from Kansas City] and went to work that weekend with Randy, and haven’t played bad since,” he said.

For a player still shy of his 30th birthday, Knost has seen the highs and the lows of the game. The experience has granted him the perspective of a veteran, and it has helped him savor the days when things go according to plan.

“You learn a lot in this game, I think, and I’d say you definitely learn more from the negatives than the positives,” he said. “Confidence is just so key in this game, and I have a lot of it right now. I’ve played well for two, three straight months and it just feels nice.”

The path to the upper echelon is rarely straight, even for the most talented players. Adversity can wear thin a player’s resolve, and poor results can erode his self-belief.

Knost understands that process all too well, but after emerging from his latest valley he finds himself in contention once again on the PGA Tour.

Having hit rock bottom, he believes he’s begun to hit his stride.

“I think we all mature at different times in this game,” he said. “I mean, some people figure it out right away, and some people it takes until they’re 35 or so. I’m 29 now, and I think I’m starting to figure it out a little bit.”

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Watch: Woods uses computer code to make robotic putt

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 3:10 pm

Robots have been plotting their takeover of the golf world for some time.

First it was talking trash to Rory McIlroy, then it was making a hole-in-one at TPC Scottsdale's famous 16th hole ... and now they're making putts for Tiger Woods.

Woods tweeted out a video on Tuesday draining a putt without ever touching the ball:

The 42-year-old teamed up with a computer program to make the putt, and provided onlookers with a vintage Tiger celebration, because computers can't do that ... yet.

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Woods admits fatigue played factor in Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

There was plenty of speculation about Tiger Woods’ health in the wake of the U.S. team’s loss to Europe at last month’s Ryder Cup, and the 14-time major champ broke his silence on the matter during a driving range Q&A at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.

Woods, who went 0-4 in Paris, admitted he was tired because he wasn’t ready to play so much golf this season after coming back from a fourth back surgery.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

The topic of conversation then shifted to what's next, with Woods saying he's just starting to plan out his future schedule, outside of "The Match" with Phil Mickelson over Thanksgiving weekend and his Hero World Challenge in December.

“I’m still figuring that out,” Woods said. “Flying out here yesterday trying to look at the schedule, it’s the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I’ve been so focused on getting through the playoffs and the Ryder Cup that I just took a look at the schedule and saw how packed it is.”

While his exact schedule remains a bit of a mystery, one little event in April at Augusta National seemed to be on his mind already.

When asked which major he was most looking forward to next year, Woods didn't hesitate with his response, “Oh, that first one.”

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Podcast: Fujikawa aims to offer 'hope' by coming out

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 17, 2018, 12:03 pm

Tadd Fujikawa first made golf history with his age. Now he's doing it with his recent decision to openly discuss his sexuality.

Last month Fujikawa announced via Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first male professional to come out publicly. Now 27, he has a different perspective on life than he did when he became the youngest U.S. Open participant in 2006 at Winged Foot at age 15, or when he made the cut at the Sony Open a few months later.

Joining as the guest on the latest Golf Channel podcast, Fujikawa discussed with host Will Gray the reception to his recent announcement - as well as some of the motivating factors that led the former teen phenom to become somewhat of a pioneer in the world of men's professional golf.

"I just want to let people know that they're enough, and that they're good exactly as they are," Fujikawa said. "That they don't need to change who they are to fit society's mold. Especially in the golf world where it's so, it's not something that's very common."

The wide-ranging interview also touched on Fujikawa's adjustment to life on golf-centric St. Simons Island, Ga., as well as some of his hobbies outside the game. But he was also candid about the role that anxiety and depression surrounding his sexuality had on his early playing career, admitting that he considered walking away from the game "many, many times" and would have done so had it not been for the support of friends and family.

While professional golf remains a priority, Fujikawa is also embracing the newfound opportunity to help others in a similar position.

"Hearing other stories, other athletes, other celebrities, my friends. Just seeing other people come out gave me a lot of hope in times when I didn't feel like there was a lot of hope," he said. "For me personally, it was something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and something I'm very passionate about. I really want to help other people who are struggling with that similar issue. And if I can change lives, that's really my goal."

For more from Fujikawa, click below or click here to download the podcast and subscribe to future episodes:

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Davies takes 2-shot lead into final round of Senior LPGA

By Associated PressOctober 17, 2018, 2:00 am

FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies recovered from a pair of early bogeys Tuesday for a 2-under 70 that gave her a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior LPGA Championship as she goes for a second senior major.

In slightly warmer weather on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, the 55-year-old Davies played bogey-free over the last 11 holes and was at 6-under 138. Brandi Burton had a 66, the best score of the tournament, and was two shots behind.

Silvia Cavalleri (69) and Jane Crafter (71) were three shots behind at 141.

Juli Inkster, who was one shot behind Davies starting the second round, shot 80 to fall 11 shots behind.

''I had a couple of bogeys early on, but I didn't panic,'' Davies said. ''I'm playing with a bit of confidence now and that's good to have going into the final round.''

Davies already won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer at Chicago Golf Club.