Winsday Hot List: Golf and gossip

By Win McMurryJanuary 30, 2013, 6:00 pm

Four tournaments into the 2013 season and we’ve already seen the golf world swirling with a wind-shortened tournament, a rookie triumph, a playoff victory, and the reminder of Tiger Woods’ dominance at Torrey Pines. There have been rumors and mumbo jumbo, induced by everything from politics to women. We’ve rounded-up the hottest topics and discarded the junk as the Tour heads to the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

1. For the love of the game: The year opened with romance gossip on Tour regarding Dustin Johnson and Wayne Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina. Now attention has turned back to Tiger’s love life. It was reported he was trying to make things work again with ex-wife Elin Nordegren, to the tune of a $350 million pre-nup and anti-cheating clause, but then news broke last week about a budding relationship with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn.

2. Alternatives to long putters: At the PGA Merchandise Show this past week, TaylorMade’s Frank Firman confirmed that the sales of the long and belly putters that accounted for 12-to-15 percent of putter sales during 2012 fell to about 3 percent in December in the aftermath of the November 28th proposed anchoring ban. TaylorMade is no longer manufacturing new long putters and has decided to introduce alternative models, like the Daddy Long Legs that conforms. Other companies like Odyssey and Ping are doing the same.

Winged Foot

3. Winged Foot: Phil Mickelson will have another shot at the U.S. Open that slipped through his hands in 2006, but not for seven more years. The 2020 U.S. Open will be contested at Winged Foot, the A.W. Tillinghast design in Westchester, making the upcoming rotation Merion (2013), Pinehurst No. 2 (2014), Chambers Bay (2015), Oakmont (2016), Erin Hills (2017), Shinnecock Hills (2018), Pebble Beach (2019), and then Winged Foot.

4. Tiger: Woods picked up his first victory of the season, seventh Farmers Insurance Open title, and eighth victory at Torrey Pines (including his 2008 U.S. Open playoff win) Monday. Lesson to be learned here: You can pencil Tiger in as the victor when he’s playing where he’s most comfortable (Bay Hill, Muirfield Village, etc.).

5. LPGA’s global reach: The new biennial match-play competition, the International Crown, was unveiled at last week’s PGA Show. It will kick off next year and will feature eight countries which can compile the strongest four-player teams determined by world rankings. It showcases the global nature of women’s golf, yet will be contested in the United States. Not everyone wins; a select few top players like Suzann Pettersen would not be eligible because their countries do not have enough teammates eligible to compete.

Steve Stricker at the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions

6. Stepping away: Steve Stricker announced at the beginning of the season that he’d be going into semi-retirement. Have you noticed his absence? It’s still early, but for a player who has been ranked as high as second in the world, it makes you think about anyone’s staying power these days on the PGA Tour – other than Tiger, and maybe Phil, and perhaps Rory McIlroy. We’ve experienced a sabbatical from the game by Tiger and we have the threat of one from Phil due to the political climate in California, and now McIlroy is not slated to play during a five-week span after missing the cut in his debut in Abu Dhabi. But all of this comes in the midst of the PGA Tour moving to a wrap-around schedule.

7. Phil’s politics: After speaking publicly about life changes he has considered in the wake of what could be taxes as high as 62 or 63 percent of his income, Mickelson took a step back, saying at Torrey Pines that he should not have spoken out as he did. It’s still unknown where Phil and his family will be moving if they do leave their Cali life, but Phil has always liked shaking things up and challenging the system.

8. Golf’s QR Code: They’re commonly seen these days as scan-able codes for you to zap with your smart phone to retrieve more information as part of consumer advertising, and the World’s Largest Golf Club and Spa Resort (certified by Guinness World Records) has taken it to their level, to promote sustainable and eco-tourism. Two-thousand employees created the real life QR Code by holding umbrellas on the driving range in Shenzhen, China.


9. Streamsong: Taking a page from their Bandon Dunes success, the new Tom Doak, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw golf mecca hosted its grand opening Jan. 26 with around 300 golf media, fans, friends and family from the golf industry in attendance. It’s 85 miles southwest of Orlando, in the middle of nowhere in what looks like anything but a Florida landscape. I had the opportunity to play the Coore-Crenshaw Red course on Sunday, leaving my home in the Orlando area at 5:15 a.m. for a 7:45 a.m. tee time. Worth the trip.

10. “Name Your Price” golf balls: Hate buying balls? announced a Priceline-type concept where golfers can “name your price” by entering a price suggestion on balls until an amount is accepted. The balls will be shipped to your home after the interactive online transaction. Start bidding!

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”