Category: Charles Howell III


December 18, 2012

Charles Howell III has new confidence after coaching change

Posted at 3:52 PM by Mike Walker

Charleshowell_frysCharles Howell III at the 2012 Frys.com Open, where he finished T11. (Getty Images)

When Charles Howell III arrived on the PGA Tour in 2000 with a picture-perfect power swing and an Augusta, Ga., pedigree, he was tagged with that impossible-to-fulfill moniker: the Next Tiger.

Howell, 33, never ascended to those heights, but as he approaches his 13th season on Tour, he said he’s proud to still be out there competing and, with new coach Gary Gilchrist, and he’s hoping he can build on the improved form he showed in the Fall Series.

“I’m glad I’ve been able to play this many years on the PGA Tour,” Howell said in a recent interview with Golf.com. “Certain goals and expectations can get in the way of the recognizing that playing out here is an achievement. I’m most proud of my consistency.”

He doesn’t regret those Tiger comparisons, either.

“It was a compliment, first of all,” he said. “There was an inordinate amount of buzz around Tiger and we all rode the wave of that. What Tiger’s accomplished in golf is probably underappreciated. To be even in the same sentence as him is a compliment."

Howell has won two times on the PGA Tour, at the now-defunct Michelob Championship at Kingsmill in 2002 and the Nissan Open (now Northern Trust Open) in 2008. That’s not enough, he said.

“I want to win more,” Howell said. “I’ve finished second 15 times and I’ve won twice. And honestly, getting in position to win is what makes the game fun.”

Howell, who previously worked with golf instructor Todd Anderson, made the switch to Gilchrist before the Fall Series. Howell had not been pleased with his season, which started well enough with a T2 finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii but included missed cuts at the Players and the two majors in which he played, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship. “Not that my golf is a reflection of my teacher,” Howell added.

When he started working with Gilchrist, Howell said he developed a better balance to his practice time and tried to discipline himself to work on chipping, putting and his wedges as much as the full swing. It paid off. After missing the cut at the Deutsche Bank Championship and the Justin Timberlake, Howell finished T11 at the Frys.com Open, T7 at the McGladrey Classic and T15 at Disney.

Yani2Gilchrist, who counts women’s world No. 1 Yani Tseng among his students, said that he had known Howell since Howell was a teenager working with David Leadbetter, and he’s followed Howell’s career closely ever since. 

“I saw his talent and it was great to watch his career and see his enormous potential,” Gilchrist said. “Over the years, looking back he hasn’t reached his full potential yet. His best golf is still to come.

“For me, having the opportunity to work with a player of his caliber is great,” he added. “It’s a big responsibility to help someone guide their career and make a huge impact.”

His teaching philosophy is focused on controlling the ball, not the swing, Gilchrist said, and he’s as much interested in physical training and mental preparation for tournaments as the technical elements of the golf swing.

“Every single golfer is different, with different tendencies, personalities, approaches and swing,” he said. “Many players prepare to play, but they don’t prepare to win.”

What winning often comes down to, Gilchrist said, is the player getting out of his own way, like Ernie Els at the 2012 British Open.

“Once you make golf your best friend, you can do anything,” he said. “But if you fight golf, there’s only going to be one winner and I know who that will be.”

Photo: Gary Gilchrist and Yani Tseng at the 2012 U.S. Women's Open. (Getty Images)

May 21, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Casey Martin close to qualifying for U.S. Open

Posted at 11:52 AM by Mick Rouse

The last time the U.S. Open visited the Olympic Club in San Francisco it was 1998 and Casey Martin rode in his golf cart all the way to a T23 finish. Now, in between coaching at the University of Oregon, he is on the cusp of making his grand return fourteen years later, reports Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Martin, who suffers from a birth defect known as Klippel Trenaunay Weber syndrome in his right leg, created buzz as he filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour in 1997 that would allow him to use a cart in competition. 

As the appeals process began its three-year odyssey - the tour argued that walking is a fundamental part of the game and that no player should be permitted to use a cart - media attention engulfed Martin. It crested at the Olympic Club, from his Monday practice round with Woods to his first two rounds alongside 1994 Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal.

In 2001, Martin successfully won his Supreme Court decision against the PGA Tour and is now only 36 holes away from bringing his golf cart back to Olympic.

It remains a wild longshot, but he could create one of the coolest stories of this 112th U.S. Open. Martin hadn't even entered Open qualifying in five years, because his coaching duties leave him little time to practice or play, but he couldn't resist the nostalgic lure of Olympic.

He went out and shot 2-under-par 70 in local qualifying May 7 in Vancouver, Wash., good enough to advance to the next stage. Martin will take his crack at sectional qualifying - a grueling, 36-hole test - June 4 in Creswell, Ore.

"It's going to have to be an act of God," he said before advancing through locals. "I'm doing this to see if you can catch lightning in a bottle."

Just imagine the circus Martin will generate if he really does qualify for next month's Open. His story would come full circle - from one U.S. Open at the Olympic Club to the next, from aspiring tour pro and legal crusader to content college coach and improbable Open qualifier.

While the pressure is now fully on Martin, he did get a bit of a reprieve from the USGA while filling out his entry form for the U.S. Open and the elaborate application requesting a cart for competition.

Given his history - more than a bit well-documented - Martin asked some folks at the USGA if he really needed to complete all the paperwork. They told him to skip it.

OSU misses the cut

For the first time in school history, Oklahoma State University's men's golf team has failed to advance to the NCAA Championship, reports Golf Channel.

The Cowboys failed to qualify for the finals at Riviera C.C. when they finished eighth out of 13 teams in the Ann Arbor (Mich.) regional tournament on Saturday. The five-man team finished at 11 over par in the 54-hole event. The team was 14 shots shy of the fifth-place cutoff to advance to the finals, to be played May 29-June 3.

Oklahoma State had advanced to the NCAA championship in each year of the program's existence, dating back to 1947.

During the last 60 seasons, OSU's golf program has notched 10 national championships, 8 individual national championships and 49 conference championships while claiming alumni such as Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Charles Howell III, Bob Tway and Trip Kuehne.

Two-time defending champs Augusta State also missed out on the opportunity to claim a third consecutive title, finishing four shots out of qualifying through the Athens, Ga. regional.

Deron Williams hits Chelsea Piers

Because the New Jersey Nets are absolutely terrible, Deron Williams has a lot of time on his hands these days before he is inevitably traded to either the Mavericks or the Heat. So, like any golf aficionado in New York City with some time to kill, Williams made his way to Chelsea Piers. 

Color me impressed. Hank Haney, on the other hand? 

Looks like D.A. Points is reaching for a dinner date, though.

On-course rivals

Though the exact details are uncertain, a reader sent in this photo to Deadspin of two newlyweds posing in their Miami Dolphins garb with New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan while he enjoyed a round of golf.

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It's unclear whether or not the couple were married while wearing their Miami Dolphin jerseys or just had them on hand because that's the sort of thing Miami fans do. Either way, good on Ryan to take the time to pose with his fierce rivals. What was not documented, however, was Sal Alosi tripping the bride as she made her way down the aisle. 

Tweet of the Day

Bubba Watson is set to make his return at the Memorial Tournament, but that's only if he doesn't get a better offer in the meantime.

August 23, 2011

Earthquake in Virginia shakes up the Barclays Championship

Posted at 4:31 PM by David Dusek

EDISON, N.J. -- The pros were hitting balls on the range and playing practice rounds at Plainfield Country Club on Tuesday afternoon when tents swayed and the ground shook for about 15 seconds due to the 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Virginia.

The club, about 300 miles from the quake's epicenter, is the site of this week's Barclays, the first FedEx Cup playoff tournament.

Hunter Mahan and John Wood, his caddie, both felt the ground move on the practice range. "It wasn't hard, but it was definitely noticeable," Wood said.

Heath Slocum, who won the Barclays in 2009, was hitting chip shots on the range when the earthquake happened. As the ground rumbled under his feet, he told Ping tour manager Matt Rollins, "I feel like I'm going to pass out." Rollins told Slocum he felt the same sensation, and then the two realized what was happening.

On the practice green, Charles Howell was hitting putts off a mirrored training aid. The trembling caused the balls on the mirror to slide off.

One after another, the players on the range looked around, and then started Tweeting.

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ZachJohnonTweet

Beyond giving players and fans something unique to talk about, the earthquake will have no effect on the Barclays, which is scheduled to begin Thursday morning. No signs fells, no tree limbs came down and within moments it was business as usual on the range.

January 20, 2011

What to Watch For: Friday at the Bob Hope Classic

Posted at 9:51 PM by Ryan Reiterman

Vegas, Baby!
Vegas Tied for the lead with Boo Weekley heading into Friday's third round, rookie Jhonattan Vegas is starting to make a name for himself in his fifth career start on the PGA Tour. If Vegas goes on to win this week, it would cap an already amazing journey to the PGA Tour.

According to his bio in the PGA Tour Media Guide, Vegas grew up in Venezuela learning the game from his father by using a broom and rocks. Sound too crazy to be true? Vegas confirmed the story after his round Thursday.

"I hit plastic balls, rocks, whatever I could find around and started hitting everything around the house, breaking windows and all kinds of stuff," Vegas said.

Even more amazing is Vegas said he would love to change the mind of Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, who has called golf a "bourgeois sport" and closed several courses in Venezuela.

"I really hope to sit down with him, and talk to him, and tell him that it's not that way," Vegas said.

Charles Howell III Part 2?
In the age of young sensations Matteo Manassero, Ryo Ishikawa, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy, it's easy to forget the prime of a player's career used to be in his 30's. Using the old logic, there is still plenty of time for Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Charles Howell III to live up to their potential.

Howell, who is one shot off the lead after rounds of 66-66, feels he's ready to start the next chapter in his career.

"The fact that I still feel, and others feel, I've under achieved ... that's good," Howell said. "I sure as hell hope I have. Because that means I've got better days ahead."

Duval Watch Continues
The "David Duval is almost back" story has been written several times, but after securing his PGA Tour card last season, Duval is at least playing his way back. Over the past few seasons, Duval has relied on on past champion's status, sponsor's exemptions and medical exemptions as he's battled injuries, personal matters and a desire to play golf at the highest level.

Sitting only four strokes off the lead, and at a tournament where he once shot a 59 to win, the former British Open champion is eyeing another solid finish on his journey back to the top.

(Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

March 03, 2010

Daily Flogging: Tiger Woods speculation par for the course

Posted at 10:41 AM by Gary Van Sickle

Now that the mystery of where Tiger Woods has been and what he's been doing have been answered, more or less, that leaves us with only one big guessing game. When will he return to golf?

The speculation is off and running. Batting leadoff today, Charles Howell III. Howell spent an hour with Woods on Monday, he told Steve Elling of CBSSports.com, and said Tiger is in mid-season form, although Howell has no idea when he'll return. Woods was spotted on the practice range Sunday at Isleworth Country Club, and was there again Monday when Howell saw him and stopped to chat.

"Honestly, he looked as good as he ever has,"" Howell said. "Seriously, he seemed like he was hitting it the same as he ever did. Look, I am as curious as anybody about when he is going to play. But I didn't want to ask him about that. I just couldn't... Tiger looked good. He seemed in OK spirits, considering."

Howell was hesitant to say much. In fact, Howell made a joke when he was asked if he had happened to see anybody famous on the Isleworth range on Monday.

"Famous? Yeah, I saw Ryan Longwell, kicker for the Minnesota Vikings," Howell deadpanned. "You've heard of him, right?"

Now that the talk about Tiger's return is the topic du jour, you can expect a wave of predictions and good-will wishes from his competitors, some of which will be sincere. It's just good form, good sportsmanship and good business to wish Tiger well.

Masters champion Angel Cabrera held a news conference Tuesday and did just that.

"When he does come back, I hope it's in the Masters and he comes back in a great form," Cabrera said. "Obviously I want Tiger to be there. He's the best and when he's there, he makes tournaments different, it's a special tournament."

There will be no escaping Tiger talk until he does return. For instance, Nancy Lopez was the guest speaker for the 20th annual Springfield (Ill.) Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet, and Dave Kane of the State Journal-Register felt obligated to get Lopez's take on Tiger's troubles.

"As it went on and on, it became really disappointing," Lopez said. She said she has only talked to Woods at an occasional golf function, but Lopez said she feels like any other fan who feels jilted.

"I looked up to Tiger, really; I really admired him," Lopez said. "Now, I don't feel the same. I just hope he can fix his situation and can somehow end up happy with his wife and children. I pray for them."

"Tiger was the hero, the champion, the perfect person, and people enjoyed watching him play golf," Lopez said. "Nobody's perfect, and not everybody wants to be a role model. But in our case, you have to be.

"I finally came to the conclusion that God put me on this Earth to entertain. I still remember walking to the first tee for a practice round one time, and a gentleman stopped me and said, 'Nancy, I'd like you to meet my mother.' We started talking, and I realized this woman couldn't see. She said, 'Nancy, I can't really see you hit the ball. But I came out here so I could hear you hit the ball.' I'm like, 'Oh, my God.' I was getting teary-eyed. That kind of thing made me realize what I meant to people.'"

Lopez said she wouldn't be surprised if Woods plays at The Masters next month, but she can't see him making his return there.

"I predicted he'd play the week before The Masters, then play there," Lopez said. "I can't imagine he'd jump into The Masters as his first tournament back. If he doesn't play The Masters, there might be even more internal problems than we think.

"I think whenever he does come back, he'll realize there are people out there who still care that he's there. I don't think he'll be laughed at or be ridiculed. I really think they'll root for him. It'll bring him back emotionally. But (Woods' alleged affairs) will probably have more of an effect on women fans than men."

Meanwhile, a poll conducted by ABC News and ESPN said that 54 percent of those polled thought Woods was truly contrite, but only 39 percent had a favorable impression of him. His approval rating was 88 percent in 2000 and 84 percent in 2001.

The fact that Tiger's approval ratings have dramatically dropped, something that President Obama can relate to, was completely unrelated to the President's denial of a report that he personally reached out to Woods. Obama said he did not make a phone call to Woods, as reported in Golf Digest, and the magazine issued a retraction saying its mistake was due to a "misunderstanding."

March 21, 2009

What to Watch for: Steve Stricker, Nick Watney, Charles Howell III, Ryo Ishikawa

Posted at 8:07 AM by Damon Hack

Steve Stricker has seen the game of golf from all sides, including its underbelly. He has played well enough to win tournaments and poorly enough to nearly walk away from the game. Despite a bucketful of heartbreak in recent weeks - a collapse at the Bob Hope and a closing bogey to lose Riviera - he finds himself atop a leader board again, sharing a perch with Nick Watney. It's going to be fun to watch those two go head-to-head in Saturday's final pairing. Watney, who shared the final group with Phil Mickelson at Doral, is fast becoming a regular on the big stage. Get to know him. You'll be seeing him at the Presidents Cup.

One shot back is Charles Howell III, who normally would be gearing up for the Masters at this time of year but is currently not exempt. That would change with a victory. Once tabbed as the leader of generation next, Howell hasn't won a tournament in more than two years. His world ranking has slipped to 143rd. I'll be watching to see if this son of an Augusta, Ga., doctor can play his way into the Masters field for the eighth straight year.

FInally, I'll be keeping up with 17-year-old Ryo Ishikawa, who made the cut with a shot to spare, and Jim Furyk, who made the cut with no shots to spare after following his sterling 65 with a what-in-the-heck-happened 78. Furyk was fighting his swing and his putting stroke on a course where imprecision means trouble. The course is speeding up and mimicking a U.S. Open, so don't overlook Retief Goosen (U.S. Open champ in '01 and '04) who is one shot back.





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