Archive: May 2012
Will the next Woods to win a major be Cheyenne?
Tiger Woods's niece received an exemption to next week's Wegmans LPGA Championship in Pittsford, N.Y., and John Dell of the Winston-Salem Journal says Woods has the game to compete.
Woods had an outstanding career at Wake Forest, winning twice and setting the school record for lowest career scoring average of 73.71. Last season she averaged 73.69, the fourth best in school history.
She played in the Wegmans in 2009 but missed the cut as an amateur. But her former coach at Wake Forest, Dianne Dailey, said Woods impressed everybody with how she carried herself.
"She missed the cut by one shot, but it was what she did off the course that impressed the folks running the tournament," Dailey said. "She put on a clinic, visited a hospital and was gracious with her time while she was there. I had one of the organizers call me afterward, and she told me Cheyenne was great to work with and was so cooperative."
Cheyenne's famous uncle will also be tuning in.
"It's exciting to see her grow and mature, and I'm just proud of her, and to see her embark on a professional career in golf is very exciting to me," Tiger Woods said, "not only from being her uncle but as a fan."
Member rips club for nude golf, other shenanigans
Piedmont Driving Club member John C. Weitnauer is not happy with some of the recent ... "activities" at his club, and decided to write a letter to the club president about it. Somehow, the letter fell into Deadspin's hands, and the rest is history. Here's how the letter begins:
I have heard that, during and after the latest member/member golf tournament, a great deal of — to put it mildly — inappropriate behavior occurred.
I have heard the following:
• several members decided to play several holes with no shirts. I am sure that this is contrary to the rules of the golf course. Had this been the only infraction of good manners that apparently occurred at the tournament, I would not be writing this letter.
• one member decided to play the 14th hole completely naked. I have not researched it, but I suspect this is a crime in Georgia.
• several members urinated on one of the greens, in the presence of the caddie, a female, and one or more of the members deliberately exposed themselves to her while urinating. I suspect that this is also a crime in Georgia.
Believe it or not, the letter actually gets worse from there. You have to read it to believe it.
Video of the Day
In case you missed it, Jack Nicklaus got a little choked up introducing his friend and formal rival Tom Watson on Wednesday at the Memorial.
Tweet of the Day
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"I just feel like I need some rounds."
Then he paused for a moment before the punchline.
"These two-day weeks aren't really that good for me."
McIlroy has always poked fun at himself, and after a few rough weeks, it was clear Wednesday McIlroy isn't hitting the panic button yet.
He missed the cut in his last two starts -- the Players and the BMW PGA -- and admitted last week he may have slacked a little bit in his preparation. McIlroy elaborated Wednesday at Muirfield Village that he also hadn't seen his coach, Michael Bannon, that much this year. The two met last week after McIlroy missed the cut, and Bannon is here this week to fine-tune McIlroy's swing before he defends his U.S. Open title in two weeks.
But first, McIlroy wants to get to the weekend here at the Memorial Tournament, where he's finished in the top 10 twice in three starts.
"When you've went on a run where you've hardly finished outside the top five and then all of a sudden two missed cuts, it's more of a shock than anything else, just a little bit surprising, and it's something I haven't really had to deal with in a while," McIlroy said. "I just have to knuckle down and figure it out and get back to the way I was at the start of the year."
Even though McIlroy has a U.S. Open in his trophy case and has reached No. 1 several times, he's still 23 years old and trying to figure out life on Tour. This year McIlroy jumped to the PGA Tour full time and moved from Northern Ireland to Florida. Oh, and he began dating tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.
"This year has been a big learning curve for me because I'm still trying to find a balance between being a top‑class golfer and handling media commitments, sponsors' commitments, trying to have a life outside of all that, just trying to balance everything," McIlroy said. "It's something that it's hard to do all of them all at the same time. Yeah, it's something that I'm still figuring out how to do. But I've got a good team around me, and we're trying to figure that out at the minute."
McIlroy is also getting used to the 24/7 scrutiny of his game. He'll likely never be under the microscope as much as Tiger Woods, but McIlroy is certainly a player whose game is now dissected every week. Smashing U.S. Open records and being No. 1 tends to bring a little more attention, which he learned the hard way last week after he chucked a 6-iron after a bad shot at the BMW PGA.
"I didn't think it was that big a deal, and then I wake up the next morning and it's all over the papers in the UK, and I'm just like, Oh, my God," McIlroy said. "It's just one of those things, and it's something I'm going to have to deal with and learn how to do."
(Photo: Matt Sullivan/Reuters)
DUBLIN, Ohio -- When Jack Nicklaus started the Memorial Tournament, he wanted to model it after a little tournament down in Augusta, Ga. And just like the Masters, the Memorial Tournament has a few traditions every year that make the event special. Now that he’s done playing, Nicklaus doesn’t do too many press conferences, so every year at Muirfield Village, Jack’s presser has become a must-see event since it offers a rare opportunity to pick the brain of golf’s greatest champion. Here are a few highlights:
On Bubba's shot at the Masters: “I'm trying to visualize how much he hooked the ball at 10 at Augusta. I don't know how much he hooked it, but he obviously hooked it a lot. But what amazed me was when the ball came down on the green with a hook as hard as he hit it, it backed up. It backed up the hill, and I said, How do you make a golf ball do that? That was kind of interesting I thought.”
On taking control of his golf swing: “[Bobby Jones] said I need to be responsible for my own swing and understand when I have problems on the golf course how I can correct those problems on the golf course myself without having to run back to somebody.
“And during the years that I was playing most of my competitive golf, I saw Jack Grout maybe once or twice a year for maybe an hour. If I was in the Miami area or something, I'd run down and see Jack and we'd spend about an hour and we'd spend five minutes on the golf swing and an hour catching up. But he taught me young the fundamentals of the game. He taught me how to assess what I was doing. When I made a mistake, when I was doing things, how do you on the golf course fix that without putting yourself out of a golf tournament and then teaching yourself.”
On talking with Tiger about his swing changes: “I was asking him, Why do you need somebody to watch you all the time? He said, I really don't. He said, I go to Sean and I get some ideas, but then I really go work on it myself and try to learn what I want to do and how I want to do it, which I think is the right way. I said, If you're doing that, you're on the right track, but all I read in the papers is how Sean is making a swing change on you. He said, That's not what I'm doing. I said, Okay, that's fine then, because he's trying to be responsible for himself.”
On winning his first U.S. Open 50 years ago: “I almost won in '60 at Cherry Hills, and I really look back, it's one that I gave away. But I was 20 years old. I gave it away because I didn't know how to win. And then the next year I didn't really give it away, but I had a good chance to win, and I finished fourth. I felt going into Oakmont that, man, I'm not letting this one get away.”
On his recent visit with Arnold Palmer at Oakmont: “The purpose of the visit to Oakmont was to try to get a couple of shots for a special they're doing for USGA on the '62 Open, 50 years since then. And Arnold says, Why do I have to do that? They want me to do the one with Casper in '67. I lost them both. (Laughter.) I said, You won enough. We'll get to yours that they won. I said, Did they do one at Cherry Hills, Arnold? Yeah. Okay, I lost there. We were kidding each other about it.”
On the early days of the Tour: “We talked about traveling in the car, back in the day when we didn't have disposable diapers, and we had a diaper pail in the backseat with a port-a-crib and off we went. Let me tell you, you'd better keep the windows open. I'll tell you what, it didn't smell very good.
“And all the players, we'd all try to figure out and go to the same motel so we could have cookouts, and then the wives would take turns watching other people's kids. If one of the guys was in contention, the other wives would take care of their kids and they'd go watch their husband play golf. We did a lot of that kind of stuff in the days when we were playing.”
On being a slow player: “I got a two stroke penalty at Portland, and I got a two stroke penalty at Houston playing with Cary Middlecoff, and he didn't get a penalty, so then I knew I was really slow. You don't know Cary Middlecoff, but he was the slowest.”
You might remember French golfer Thomas Levet for his T2 finish at the 2002 British Open at Muirfield or for breaking his shin jumping into a pond after winning the 2011 French Open. However, we bet you'll never forget Levet if he becomes the first golfer to play an event in a meat dress.
Yes, Levet has promised to play his next tournament in the UK dressed as Lady Gaga if he gets to 1 million followers on Twitter.
If I go past 1M followers,I will play as lady Gaga my next tournament in the uk!!— thomas Levet (@thomaslevetgolf) May 28, 2012
He's got a ways to go, with fewer than 6,000 followers on Twitter as of Wednesday afternoon.
In related news, Twitter has officially jumped the shark.
The Golf Boys -- the "musical" group of Ben Crane, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson -- performed their hit "Oh, Oh, Oh" Tuesday night at Bubba Bash in Columbus, Ohio.
Watson's Bubba Bash is a Christian rap concert that raises money for a medical clinic in Kenya.
5-year-old makes hole-in-one in Wisconsin
Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel posts an item that will make you laugh or cry, depending on how long you've waited for your first ace:
YOUNG ACE: Max Frieseke of Glendale smacked a drive and watched his ball soar toward the green, bounce onto it and roll into the cup for a hole-in-one. Good for him, but what's the big deal? Well, Max is 5 years old and is finishing K-4 at Holy Family Parish School in Whitefish Bay. He used the driver from his starter set to ace the 53-yard third hole at Lake Park Golf Course while playing recently with his parents, Bob and Beth Frieseke. "Beth and I were going crazy," Bob said. "We were more excited about it than Max was. In his mind, he thought it was like a hole-in-one in mini-golf."
Montgomerie might set his sights on the 'senior grand slam'
After failing to qualify for this year's U.S. Open, 49-year-old Colin Montgomerie said he might turn his attention to the 'senior grand slam' when he turns 50 next June, according to Martin Dempster of The Scotsman.
“I may as well come clean and say I am tempted by the idea of a ‘senior grand slam’,” admitted the eight-time European No 1. “A tall order, I know, but golfing dreams are not solely the preserve of the young.
“I turn 50 a month ahead of the 2013 Senior Open and I will see how I enjoy the camaraderie that week. I’m beginning to suspect I will like it a lot. I will be in the class of ’63 that includes Vijay Singh and Davis Love."
Montgomerie is our choice for best player to never win a major -- sorry, Luke -- and we look forward to seeing him on the senior tour.
UPDATE: Tiger's niece to play in Wegmans LPGA Championship
Golfweek.com reports that Tiger Woods's niece Cheyenne Woods will make her debut as a professional at the Wegmans LPGA Championship on June 7.
Cheyenne Woods, a recent Wake Forest graduate, will play her first tournament as a professional June 7-10 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. It’s the second major of the LPGA season.
Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, will play Wegmans on a sponsor exemption. She also played this event in 2009 as an amateur but missed the cut. That was her first start in a professional tournament.
Tweet of the Day
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, who was relaxing at Muirfield Village on Wednesday morning before a handful of interviews to promote donatelife.net, said he nearly withdrew from the HP Byron Nelson Championship after a health scare two weeks ago.
"I didn't want to freak anybody out, so I didn't say anything," Compton said.
Compton wasn't feeling well in the third round and considered withdrawing after only a few holes. He stuck it out, carded a 71, and saw a doctor on site at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas, Texas. After Compton divulged his medical history, and a few tests proved inconclusive but troubling, the doctor insisted that Compton go to the ER for more tests Saturday night. He began feeling better, was discharged around midnight, and despite everything shot a final-round 68 to tie for 36th place.
"I made 18 birdies, which led the field," Compton said, "but my head wasn't in it for big portions of the tournament. I three-putted 10 times."
“Wasn’t quite in the routine,” Johnson joked Tuesday at Muirfield Village.
Johnson has been sidelined with a back injury he suffered while trying to help a friend move a jet ski. The injury forced Johnson to miss the Masters, and he hasn’t played in a tournament since a T35 at Doral in March.
“I really didn't touch a club for five, six weeks,” Johnson said.
This is the second time in less than a year that one of the tour’s brightest stars has been out with an injury. Johnson had knee surgery in November to repair cartilage, and he was returning to full strength when he injured his back.
“I had knee surgery and then I rehabbed that, and really, that went really well,” Johnson said. “And then to have a back injury was pretty frustrating. But I'm all healthy now and all good, and I'm ready to play golf.”
Johnson’s back will be tested in the next few weeks as he tackles Muirfield Village this week, and then Memphis next week before heading to the U.S. Open at Olympic Club, a place Johnson knows well. In 2007, Johnson lost in the first round of the U.S. Amateur at Olympic.
“It played tough during the U.S. Am,” Johnson said. “I know they've made some changes, but I think it's a good course.”
Johnson could use a good finish this week, not only for his confidence, but also because he’s slipped all the way to 24th in the Ryder Cup standings. Johnson was a key part of the last U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams, but he calmly dismissed the notion there was any added pressure to make the team.
“I want to be on the team, and I'm going to do whatever I can to make it,” Johnson said. “Obviously having a couple months off hurts a little bit, but I've still got plenty of time to make the team.”
(Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced Tuesday that Fred Couples and Nick Price will serve as captains at the 2013 Presidents Cup.
Couples played in four Presidents Cups and captained the U.S. team in 2009 and 2011.
"Without being on the team, there's nothing better than to be a captain," Couples said.
Price will serve as captain of the international team for the first time. He played in the event five times and takes over the captain's job from Greg Norman.
The 2013 Presidents Cup will be held at Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio.