Category: Raymond Floyd

February 15, 2013

Raymond Floyd upset at Hall of Fame for inducting 'guys who don't belong'

Posted at 10:31 AM by Mike Walker

RayfloydRaymond Floyd, a four-time major winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member since 1989, believes that the Hall of Fame is inducting players undeserving of the honor.

“The bar has been lowered,” Floyd said in the March issue of Golf Magazine. “Guys get voted into the Hall of Fame who don’t belong, who lack the numbers. I’m very upset at the Hall of Fame for that. It’s not fair to the people who went in early.”

Floyd didn't mention names, but the 2013 Hall of Fame class includes Fred Couples, who has won only one major (the 1992 Masters), and Colin Montgomerie, who has never won a major.

Who has been elected to the Hall who doesn’t deserve it?

Just look at the inductees over the last six, eight, 10 years. Some years, I don’t even vote because the names are not worthy of induction. One major should not get you into the Hall of Fame—maybe one major and 40 wins. I’m not gonna pick a guy with one major and 11 wins.

Fred Couples has one major and 15 Tour wins, and Colin Montgomerie never won a major, and they’ll be enshrined this year. It sounds like they didn’t get your vote.

I’ll just say that you should have at least two majors. At least! Wow, there are guys in there that it’s a joke. It takes integrity away from the term “Hall of Fame.” I’m very upset at the Hall of Fame.

You can read the full interview here. The March issue of Golf Magazine is on newsstands now; it is also available free for subscribers on tablets at

Photograph of Raymond Floyd at Old Palm Golf Club near Palm Beach, Fla., in December 2012 (Angus Murray).


Raymond Floyd says he was warned about Bernie Madoff

Posted at 10:28 AM by Mike Walker

Four-time major winner Raymond Floyd said he invested money with Bernie Madoff, but that his investment with the convicted Ponzi-schemer was "minimal."

In an interview in the March Issue of Golf Magazine, Floyd said Madoff was his neighbor in Palm Beach, Fla., but that they were never friends. Floyd said he was able to avoid substantial losses because he was "careful" about how much money he entrusted to the financier.

“Maria, my dear wife, was very smart,” Floyd said. “We never had [all our investments] in one basket. She kept us diversified. We didn’t have asignificant percentage [of our wealth] with him.”

How well did you know Madoff?

Not at all. We met. He lived seven houses away from me. We didn’t socialize. I’d heard about Bernie Madoff and how much money he was earning [for his clients] yearly. So I asked some dear friends involved in investing. They said, “He knocks all this money out every year, but no one knows how he does it. If you give him money, don’t give him much.” And my son, who’s a Wall Streeter, said, “Nobody knows what he does. Be careful.” So I was.

What was your reaction when his scheme was uncovered?

Look, money is money. It hurts to lose it. It’s like someone stole it. But it was minimal. When I read the stories about people who lost everything—people he swindled and it was their life savings—that just made me sick.

You can read the full interview here. The March issue of Golf Magazine is on newsstands now; it is also available free for subscribers on tablets at

Photograph of Raymond Floyd at Old Palm Golf Club near Palm Beach, Fla., in December 2012 (Angus Murray).

April 07, 2010

Can Tiger win? And other Masters thoughts

Posted at 1:51 PM by Gary Van Sickle

It's now Wednesday at the Masters and what's there to talk about? Still Tiger Woods, of course.

Ron Green Jr. raises two key questions. The first is whether Tiger can actually win this week, and he quoted Phil Mickelson's response: "That's a crazy question. He showed he can win in much worse condition in the 2008 U.S. Open," Mickelson said.

A sharper point from Green:

There have been suggestions that the past few months have eroded one of Woods' greatest assets - his intimidation factor. His personal problems have exposed a previously unknown side of Woods, shattering his carefully cultivated public image.

If some, perhaps most, players looked at him with a sense of awe before, how differently will they see him now?... There is one more what if. What if Woods is somehow better now than he was before?

"There was obviously a lot of distraction outside the golf course, and you've got to think with that going to settle down and go away...he's going to be a better player on the golf course going forward," Padraig Harrington said. "But maybe that's not short term. I'm talking longer term ... I think he'll be a stronger player because of it. Adversity makes you stronger." 

Larry Dorman in the New York Times examined the obstacles being faced by Woods and Phil Mickelson:

Woods, absent from the game since last November when he won the Australian Masters, has no form chart to measure his progress. In baseball terms, he has not faced live pitching. And that is just the physical side of the equation. On the mental side of the most mental of sports, there are more uncertainties. How will he deal with uncertainties about the turmoil in his personal life? His reception at Augusta National has been warm, but come Thursday will he be able to manage the shift into the single-minded and hyper-focused player who, by age 34, has won 71 tour events, 14 of them major championships?

Woods does not yet know the answers. After the fall he has taken, and the effort he has made to pick up the pieces, picking up his play to the level it was when he left off may require as much, or more, mental toughness than he had at his peak.

Can Tiger really change his stripes at this point in his career? Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press raised a valid point with this anecdote:

Tiger Woods never felt he had to apologize for his temper.  Perhaps the most infamous moment—and there are many—came at Pebble Beach in the 2000 U.S. Open, which he won by 15 shots.

Finishing off the fog-delayed second round on a Saturday morning, Woods hooked his tee shot on No. 18 into the ocean and screamed a series of profane words captured by the boom mike next to the tee marker. In most homes, it was cartoon hour. Eight months later, during a practice round at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Woods came to the 18th tee and went through a list of more swear words as he tried to remember exactly what he had said. Someone finally helped him out by repeating the phrase, adding, "At least that's what my kids told me."

Woods didn't find this funny. His face hardened. His eyes glared.

"I am who I am," he said and walked away.

And now he's going to try to be someone he has never been. 

Woods hysteria has now reached such heights that even Tiger's practice round gets reported on. Of course, it helped that Mark O'Meara, who played Tuesday with Woods, came out of the clubhouse to speak to a gaggle of waiting reporters after they finished. Woods didn't.

Chris Gay captured these highlights for the Augusta Chronicle:

Woods spent Tuesday fine-tuning his game in preparation for his first tournament golf since November. Though the four-time Masters champion hit several shots off line, leading to mulligans -- his drive at No. 7 flew into the trees; his approach at No. 18 found the right bunker -- O'Meara said his friend looks like he'll be in contention later this week.

"If he doesn't play well this week, I'll be surprised," O'Meara said. "I'm always surprised when he doesn't play well. He's going to give it everything he has. He'll do well. You know you never bet against him. He hadn't played much before he won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. For him, it's just a matter of being comfortable.

"You know confidence is a big thing in this game, even at Tiger's level. And that takes a little bit of time to develop. But I like what I saw today. He's ready."

Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press isn't the first to notice the potential role reversal for Tiger and Mickelson, especially given Tiger's stated goal Monday to be a kindler, gentler and more fan-friendly player.

Phil Mickelson has been spared the task of dreaming up a new persona. It's already been done for him. He's the kind of guy Tiger Woods wants to be. Devoted husband. Family man. Smiling. Generous. Friendly. Nothing more profane than a "darn" coming out of his mouth. The kind of guy you wouldn't mind seeing your sister date.

The guy you laugh with your buddies about in the locker room because he's out signing autographs by the hundreds while you're taking a steam. The guy whose life suddenly looks so good now that yours has gone so bad.

So, Tiger, tell us. Who's the phony now?

But there was more than Tiger to talk about on Tuesday at the Masters. John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer made the trek down Washington Road to do the now-cliche story on John Daly selling merchandise from his trailer in a parking lot, a recent Masters tradition. Cliche or not, Gonzalez captured the desperation of the scene better than most:

Daly stood outside his monstrous RV with girlfriend Anna Cladakis (as seen on the TV show Being John Daly!). The mobile home was parked in the Windsor Jewelers lot, just across the street from the Augusta players' entrance and a few yards down from the Army recruiters and their made-in-America camouflage Hummer. A row of long folding tables was set up end-to-end in front of the golfer and topped with all sorts of officially licensed Daly items, ranging from hats to golf balls to floor mats - all of which were branded with his lion head logo or initials or both.

Welcome to Daly's itinerant flea market, making stops at a golf tournament near you sometime soon. While the oppressive sun beat down and golf fans walked past with Styrofoam to-go cups and Koozies packed with sweaty Miller Lite cans, Daly posed for pictures and handed out handshakes.

"I've been here since 8 a.m.," Daly said. "I'll be here all day."

He was wearing a white T-shirt with "Arkansas" across the chest in black letters, gaudy black-and-white animal print shorts courtesy of one of his sponsors, Loud Mouth Golf, and well-worn black sandals. A faded black hat with a lion head logo sat atop his head, and dark sunglasses covered his eyes.

After taking a long pull from the cigarette in his right hand that had nearly burned down to the nub, Daly grabbed a crumpled $10 bill from a patron and stuffed it into his makeshift cash register - a small metal container no bigger than a shoe box with a lock on the lid.

Another obvious but relevant story being done by many this week is the recent rise of golf in England. Eight Englishmen are competing in this week's Masters, a record, and the country is practically giddy. James Corrigan covered his lads in patriotic glory for The Independent:

Two by two the English went out on to the Augusta National yesterday, each foreseeing the end of their country's Masters drought. Luke Donald and Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher and Chris Wood... if the old strength in numbers theory holds any weight, then Nick Faldo's last green jacket in 1996 may soon have another companion.

But then came a three-ball to send the jingoists wild. England has never gone into a major boasting three members of the world top ten before. But here they were, a trio a red roses rising proudly above the azaleas. No. 4 Lee Westwood. No. 6 Paul Casey. No. 7 Ioan Poulter. As a statement of a nation's intent, it was positively Churchillian.

Raymond Floyd went quietly Tuesday, announcing that he would not play in a 46th Masters this week. He is 67. Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe gave Floyd his due. Floyd won in 1976 and was a runner-up three times.

"I don't feel like it's the end of an era," said Floyd, who also won the US Open (1986) and PGA Championship (1969, 1982). "I've always enjoyed it. It has the fondest of memories, all of my appearances. I didn't want to go out and embarrass myself. I toyed with [playing], but I have a good feeling that I've made the right decision."

Wednesday's feel-good story of the day was about Augusta native Carl Jackson, best known for serving as Ben Crenshaw's caddie at the Masters. Jackson created the Carl Jackson Foundation last fall. Its goals include encouraging children to stay in school. Jackson himself dropped out of the ninth grade to begin caddying at Augusta National to support his mother and family. David Westin got the story for the Augusta Chronicle:

"It's something I wanted to do because I walked away reluctantly (from school)," Jackson said. "I was a better than decent student. I had the desire to be a good student. It was pretty tough on me."

The first recipient of the Carl's Kid award is A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School junior Chad Harris, who was selected by a vote of the teachers at his school. The 18-year-old received two tickets to a practice round and $100 toward school necessities.

Harris, accompanied by A.R. Johnson business teacher George Edwards, watched Crenshaw and Jackson as they played a practice round Tuesday at Augusta National. Harris had never been to the Masters before.

"I've never seen anything like this -- it's pretty beautiful. It's majestic. You barely see a leaf out of place," Harris said.

"He's been in this city all these years, like many other kids, and can't get a mental picture of what's going on on these grounds," said Jackson, shaking his head.

September 16, 2008

These Assistants are Good.

Posted at 9:02 AM by Michael Bamberger

OK. Now I've heard everything. A story saying that Paul Azinger, Cap'n America, is worried that he might have picked the wrong assistant captains. As if any Ryder Cup has ever been influenced in any meaningful way by the assistant captains. For starters, Azinger's assistants are Raymond Floyd and Dave Stockton. Both of them, and Floyd especially, are everything the modern American Tour player is not: flinty, tough, hyper-competitive, unspoiled. Having said that, they'll do a whole lot of nothing. But for the kids on the U.S. team, being around these two veterans -- a pro's pro in Stockton's case and the son of a pro in Floyd's -- will only serve them well. If they're smart enough to ask questions and listen hard. The wrong assistants? There are no wrong assistants and no right ones, but these guys are good. Oh, and they were on teams that actually won the Ryder Cup.

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