Professional Golf Archives

The world golf ranking system MUST be flawed if Luke Donald is still the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world.  Unfortunately, over its 26 years of existence and changes, golf’s player ranking system has never received the level of scrutiny of college football’s BCS ranking system.  Maybe now it should.  There’s a huge difference in these ranking systems however…….the BCS includes the subjectivity of voters (i.e., selected poll standings), whereas the world golf ranking system is ALL “math”- absolutely no voting involved!   Therefore, it should be relatively easy to get it right.  After all, a guy who is 0 for 40 in the major championships……really NEVER in contention down the stretch in any of them……..should clearly NOT be ranked as the BEST player in the world!     Nothing against the 34-year old Englishman who played his collegiate golf at Northwestern; but in his 12 years as a PGA Tour…

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I’m always glad when Leo Durocher’s famous adage of “nice guys finish last” is proven wrong………but this time maybe a little more so.  Ernie Els has been struggling with trying to find his majestic golf game in recent years, and he’s also been struggling to cope with his 10-year old son Ben’s autism.  He has been consumed by it, and golf just wasn’t that important anymore for the 42-year old South African golf Hall of Famer, known as the “Big Easy”.  Six strokes behind to start today’s final round of the British Open, Els shot a 68 for a one-stroke victory while 54-hole leader Adam Scott shockingly limped home with four straight bogeys and a 75 to finish second.  Ernie Els, one of the most admired and well-liked players on the Tour, found his game just in time to hoist the Claret Jug and put a momentary smile back on…

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As I watched an extraordinary number of TV coverage hours on the US Open this weekend, several thoughts and images remain with me……   Like no other American golf course, The Olympic Club is synonymous with stunning comeback wins and famous runner-ups.  Jack Fleck’s shocking victory over Ben Hogan in 1955, Billy Casper outlasting an over-aggressive Arnold Palmer in 1966, steady Scott Simpson overcoming Tom Watson in 1987, the overly-emotional Lee Janzen beating Payne Stewart in 1998, and this year’s champion 25-year old Webb Simpson (competing in only his 5th major championship tournament) coming from six shots behind to eliminate former US Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell. Rising high school senior, Beau Hossler, already committed to the Texas Longhorns, actually told Bob Costas after his Saturday round that he was changing his goals from being the low amateur to winning the tournament.  Absolutely nothing seemed to faze this…

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Casey Martin Re-visits Olympic Golf Club

The beautiful thing about the United States Golf Association’s U.S. Open is that it is just that, “open” to ANYONE who can qualify.  Fourteen years ago (1998), the last time the U.S. Open was played at the historic Olympic Golf Club in San Francisco, Stanford graduate Casey Martin did qualify but because of a circulatory disorder he was born with in his lower right leg requested the use of a golf cart in order to compete fairly.  By suing the PGA Tour under the Americans with Disabilities Act and appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that walking was NOT a fundamental element of the game, he was granted an injunction to use the cart, finished 23rd, and eventually in 2001 the highest Court in the land ruled in Martin’s favor.  Miraculously on June 4, he was the winning medalist at a U.S. Open sectional qualifier just 12 miles from…

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This past weekend in Woodlands, Texas about 40,000 lucky fans at the Champion’s Tour Insperity Championship got to witness something very special.  After Saturday’s tournament round was completed, nine of the game’s most legendary names (playing in three threesomes) teed it up for an 18-hole exhibition scramble.  The “Fab Four of Golf” (Palmer, Nicklaus, Player and Trevino) were joined by Miller Barber, Don January, David Graham, Gene Littler, and Dave Stockton.  In most likely will be their last time playing competitively together, the team of Palmer, Nicklaus and Player took home the winner’s trophy shooting 11-under par.  But, what the “Fab Four of Golf” each had to say about the uncertain future of Tiger Woods was perhaps the day’s most interesting tale.     Obviously, these guys know what they’re talking about when it comes to golf.  Collectively, having amassed 464 professional wins worldwide, 188 PGA Tour wins, and 40 majors,…

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Five Greatest Shots in Masters History

After tuning in to last week’s Masters, I’m convinced we may have witnessed the most exciting and emotional major golf championship ever.  Two golf shots in this year’s Masters qualify in my five greatest shots in Masters history. In all of its storied 76-year history, even Bobby Jones himself would have been astounded at some of the shot-making that occurred during Sunday’s final round. The Augusta National Golf Course has undergone many subtle and not-so-subtle changes over time. But these changes have never stopped players from continuing to hit those rare shots that appear to be nothing more than unrepeatable optical illusions. The greatest golf shots in Masters history are not necessarily those that have outright won the Masters, nor are they always struck by the games most famous players. Keep that in mind as you try to come up with YOUR five greatest shots in Masters history. Nobody has…

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With his recent win at Orlando’s Bay Hill CC in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, many would say that Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods has made it back after his fall from golfing and marital grace.  Tiger may never restore his personal image, whatever it was, but he is getting closer to sitting in the King of Golf’s throne again! It was his first win in 30 months, and it was the 7th time he’s won at Bay Hill.  (For all you golfing stat buffs….Sam Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open a record EIGHT times!).   Actually, as far as his golf game this year, Tiger Woods has performed very admirably…….but let’s just say “he’s no Tiger Woods yet”!   A T3 (Tied for 3rd place)  in Abu Dhabi (after losing the lead in the final round), a T15 at the AT&T Pebble Beach (after ballooning to a final round 75 playing with…

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Sergio Garcia Does His Best “Tin Cup” Imitation

They call him “El Nino” not “Tin Cup”, but the 13-year PGA Tour player brought back some fond memories of the 1996 movie when he duplicated Roy McAvoy’s score of 12 on a hole…..this time, at the recently completed Doral Championship in Miami. Like McAvoy, Sergio Garcia’s octuple-bogey required five balls to complete the hole but occurred instead on the third hole of his Sunday round……after an amazing eagle on his opening hole!   Unlike Tiger that day though, “El Nino” actually completed his round— with a 76. Not really all that bad considering an 8 over par on a SINGLE hole! In response to the barrage of questions, the often-temperamental Garcia kept his cool following this latest disappointment as he mumbled, “not today guys, I don’t have the energy”, while walking through the media tent on his way to the parking lot.   Even with seven PGA Tour wins…

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