Category: Tim Clark

June 14, 2013

VIDEO: Wayward tee shot interrupts Carl Pettersson's approach shot in backswing

Posted at 1:36 PM by Coleman McDowell

ARDMORE, Pa. -- Merion is playing tough -- and that's without your ball becoming a moving target in your backswing. 

While on the fifth hole Friday morning, Carl Pettersson was about to hit his approach into the 504-yard par-4 when a ball came bounding across the fairway directly towards him. When Pettersson took his club back, his ball was there. But before he entered his downswing, it was gone. The intruding ball had knocked Pettersson's ball between his legs.  

The culprit? Brandon Crick, former college standout at Nebraska who made it into the U.S. Open field by way of local qualifying. With the most precise timing and aim, Crick managed to move Pettersson's ball right out from under him. Crick played his ball from where it stopped, while Pettersson was allowed to move his ball back to its original location without penalty.

Was this a once-in-a-blue-moon accident? Maybe. Or could it be the first domino to fall in Mike Davis's plan to sabotage golfers who use belly putters? (Like our unsuspecting victim, Pettersson)

Pettersson went on to make a bogey. Crick managed a birdie.

Step one of Davis' plan is complete. Watch out Tim Clark. 

January 23, 2013

Clark speaks out against anchored putting ban in players' meeting: Truth & Rumors

Posted at 9:58 AM by Jeff Ritter

Tim-ClarkAs expected, the anchored putting ban was the hottest topic at the PGA Tour players' meeting held Tuesday night at Torrey Pines.

The USGA and R&A have already ruled to ban anchored putting starting in 2016. The Tour generally goes along with the ruling bodies' decisions, but there is some chance that the Tour could enact the ban earlier or decide not to adopt it all, though that seems unlikely.

Golf Channel's Randall Mell reports that at least one player, Tim Clark (pictured), who currently employs an anchored putting stroke, spoke up adamantly against the ban:

One PGA Tour pro after another leaving the mandatory players meeting declined to comment for the record, but two participants in the meeting said Tim Clark stepped up strongest in defense of anchored putting.

According to the two participants, who did not want to be quoted, U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis gave a presentation outlining the proposed new definition of a legal stroke, which would ban anchored putting. The presentation included photographs of proper and improper strokes. Afterward, when Davis invited questions, Clark was the first to ask a question.

Clark, born with a condition that doesn’t allow him to pronate his wrists, uses an anchored long putter. He isn’t playing the Farmers Insurance Open this week but flew into San Diego to attend the meeting.

“There were a lot of questions, but it was surprising that most of the players who use anchored putters didn’t say anything,” one observer in the meeting said.

Stephanie Wei spoke with three players, who asked that their names not be used. She reports that the USGA presentation, and a discussion of anchoring and bifurcation, took up more than half of the two-hour meeting. Her three sources (Players "Albert, Bart and Cal") were representative of the three main positions that Tour players have taken on the ban -- adamantly opposed, in favor of and indifferent.

Albert summed up the opposition's stance: "It's about the actual governing of us as players. I'm not so sure that if PGA Tour members voted, anchoring would NOT be illegal. The real issue is, why do people the USGA Board of Directors, people who don't play golf professionally, get to make rules for guys that do? That's the main sentiment."

He continued: "The USGA has put Tim Finchem in a very interesting situation. He's basically going to decide — well, it's up to the PAC and board of directors to decide whether we accept this or say no. It's a proposed rule and the PGA Tour hasn't accepted every rule the USGA has put fort and this is no exception."

Player Bart was in favor of the ban and disagreed with the idea that the Tour should consider going its own way: "In my opinion, the height of arrogance is thinking the Rules of Golf should be tailored to us (Tour pros). The beauty of golf as an individual game is that everyone plays by the rules. Guys are asking, why do we play by THEIR rules? That’s arrogant to me. One of the guys who talked a lot admitted, 'Yeah i am looking out for No. 1, I’m looking out for me.'"

Player Cal, the indifferent one, summed it up succinctly: "I really just don't care… because I'm a good putter."

After talking to her sources, Wei concludes that PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is in favor of approving the ruling, and she seems to suspect that the Tour will adopt it despite all the debate.  Finchem is expected to talk more about the meeting during his press conference on Wednesday.

(Photo: Chris Condon/Getty Images)

August 21, 2012

Top pros react to news from Augusta National

Posted at 12:37 PM by Mark Dee

Reaction from some of golf's biggest names to the news that Augusta National will admit its first female members.

Tiger Woods: "I think the decision by the Augusta National membership is important to golf...The Club continues to demonstrate its commitment to impacting the game in positive ways. I would like to congratulate both new members, especially my friend Condi Rice." (Via AP)

Annika Sorenstam: "I was delighted to hear the news this morning that Augusta National has allowed two female members into their club. The women invited, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore are highly respected women and business leaders. They will be great representatives for women in the game. I always felt that Augusta would eventually allow select female members. They are obviously a private club and I figured they would do it when they felt the timing was right and I am glad that day is here. Amazing things on the horizon for the game I love so much...Today is a historic day." (Via

Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA Tour: "At a time when women represent one of the fastest growing segments in both playing and following the game of golf, this sends a positive and inclusive message for our sport." (Via AP)

Jack Nicklaus: "Everyone at Augusta National shares a similar passion for the game of golf, and I know they will be great additions to the club." (Via AP)

Bubba Watson: "You know, it was funny, I got a text from my manager, Jens Beck, right before I got on the plane to fly up here, so I told my wife, and so we were flying up here, and my wife said, "Do you think it'll be me? Do you think they'll announce me as a member?" So it was funny. We landed, she actually said, I'm not sure I'll say her name correctly, Condoleezza Rice, she said she thought she might be-- we knew there was going to be two. We got the text or the call from my manager that there was going to be two ladies, and so yeah, my wife joked she wanted to be one of those ladies, but obviously she didn't make the cut. Maybe she's the third lady."

"But no, it was good to see. It's always in their time. They want to do it the right way, they want to get the right membership in there what they're looking for, and obviously it's great. It's great for golf, it's great for the game." (Via ASAP Sports)

Zach Johnson:"They've got their decision, their decision making and what they want, and they'll do it when the timing is right. In my opinion, or based on what I've read and what I've seen, the timing is right to have a couple women members so far and hats off to them. If that's their prerogative and that's the direction they want to go, that's fantastic. I don't know the specifics. I know this time of year is when they start inviting new members, so I know there's a longer list than just two women...Knowing some of the members there, they're always very gracious to have new members come in, and I don't foresee that being any different. It seems like Chairman Payne is a guy -- well, I think he's great. I think he certainly has always had a pretty open mind about things, and that's why you've seen some tweaks and changes at Augusta and the Masters. Yeah, I think it's fantastic."(Via ASAP Sports)

Sergio Garcia: "It's great. I mean I'm not a member so I don't have any say on that. That's great. I hope they enjoy it and plays as many times as they can and enjoy the course." (Via ASAP Sports)

Tim Clark: "I think it's great. It's a sign of the times and Augusta is a top notch club. Obviously about time and it's a place I love and love going to. It's nice to see them make that move." (Via ASAP Sports)

Carl Pettersson: "It's probably good but, you know, it's a private club. They could do whatever they want. But it's probably about time, yeah. Probably good." (Via ASAP Sports)

Gary Player: "Great news. Augusta National admits its first female members in 80 years: Condoleezza Rice & Darla Moore." (Via Twitter @garyplayer)

January 17, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Marino credits Wie pairing for success

Posted at 11:19 AM by Ryan Reiterman

Steve Marino fell just short of his first PGA Tour win on Sunday, but Ferd Lewis at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser said Marino has Michelle Wie to thank for helping him settle into the pressures of playing golf at the highest level. Back in 2007, Marino, a rookie just out of Q-school, was paired with Wie at the Sony Open.

It was an experience that, at the time, he had compared to being "kind of thrown into the lion's den."

But for all his trepidation and taut nerves, Marino not only survived it, finishing in a tie for 34th, but won points with the gallery for the aplomb with which he handled the pairing. He joked with her, encouraged her and, in the process, steadied his own nerves.

Looking back, Marino was able to say, "In a way I think that actually helped me, my first event on the PGA Tour, getting paired with Michelle Wie. There were so many people around, I think it was good for me to experience something like that right off the bat, and it gave me some confidence to realize that I handled it well and I made the cut and I didn't get overwhelmed by the situation. So, yeah, I think it was definitely a good thing for me. That was a big confidence booster for me."

Harrington keeps tinkering
This week's European Tour event in Abu Dhabi marks the debut for most of the top players in the world. It also marks the debut of Padraig Harrington's new swing, according to Brendan O’Brien at the Irish Examiner.

By his own reckoning, the man from Stackstown has made anything up to 20 nips and tucks over the last four weeks. Most of them are minor alterations and he couldn’t quite remember them all but he gave it a hell of a good old rattle.

Here’s just a taster…

He has changed his choice of grips, weakened his grip, lowered his hands on the club, altered his routine for practising putts and changed his ‘trigger’ which, for him, was two big ‘waggles’ before he hit his shot.

Of all his latest experiments, the trigger is the big one — a mental nuance rather than a physical one — a tricky procedure which other players have addressed with varying degrees of success in the past.

I'm not going to be an armchair swing instructor, but at 39, Harrington better hope his swing changes take hold fast. He's quickly running out of time while trying to fix a swing that was good enough to win three majors in two seasons.

But this little nugget from O’Brien should give Harrington fans hope that he can regain his major-championship form:

It was also interesting to hear Harrington say that, contrary to popular belief, he first began to pick at his game five years ago and not just after he won his third major in the space of 18 months, the 2008 US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

Clark on the DL?
We're only two weeks into the PGA Tour season and there are already several players dealing with injuries. Geoff Ogilvy cut his finger on a piece of coral and withdrew from Kapalua. Zach Johnson smashed his toe before the season opener. Now Golfweek's Alex Miceli reports Tim Clark, who tied for second at the Sony Open, might be out for this week's Bob Hope after dealing with a painful blister on his toe during Sunday's 36-hole marathon finish.

Clark, who shot 66-64 in the 36-hole finish at Waialae Country Club, was limping with a blister on his left little toe late Sunday while practicing on the range for a possible playoff. That didn’t happen, as Mark Wilson sealed his third PGA Tour victory with a 16-under 264 score in the rain-delayed Sony.

Clark plans to fly to La Quinta, Calif., site of the Hope, and then decide whether he can play.

Tweet of the Day

Poulter IanJamesPoulter: Just watching the Pats vs the Jets in the bar. I need to get into this football.

July 08, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Memories of Players Championship; who's No. 1 in '10?

Posted at 1:51 PM by Gary Van Sickle

You could probably stump the best Trivial Pursuit players at your dinner party with this one: Who won this year's Players Championship?

Yeah, um, it was unforgettable. It was, uh...

Never mind. Tim Clark, the diminutive South African, won it, his first victory in nine years on the PGA Tour. Maybe you forgot about him because of all the Tiger Woods news. Or maybe because he hasn't been on many leaderboards since then. Yeah, that could definitely be it.

Craig DeVrieze in the Quad City Times addressed the question, what ever happened to little Timmy? He asked Clark how many days the party lasted after he finally won.

"How many weeks?" the 34-year-old South African corrected Wednesday at TPC Deere Run. "A few weeks."

"I took some time off after that and probably enjoyed myself too much, but I'm getting back into now," he said. "Today my swing felt good and my game feels like it's getting back. I got back to working out and doing the things I needed to do play well. I guess after nine years without winning, I allowed myself to celebrate."

Why not? Starting with a runner-up finish at the 2006 Masters, Clark long had been considered a lock to land in the winner's circle. He thought so, too. He said he never found himself pressing.

"This game is tough, tough, enough," he said. "And every week we try hard, and it doesn't always happen. I had to believe that it would happen at some stage. And the Players Championship is probably the tournament you would least expect to win. I just sort of let it happen, didn't get ahead of myself and was able to play well."

Clark would like to think he can play well at Deere Run this week--if, that is, the golf clubs lost in transit arrive in time for his 12:28 p.m. tee time.

If not, he'll scrounge up some replacement clubs and hope for the best.

Double Take
One thing you can count on during the John Deere Classic is that native Iowan Zach Johnson is going to get wall-to-wall coverage. It just so happens that Zach Man had a pretty interesting Wednesday, which the Quad City Times was all over like corn feed on a pig's snout.

Zach Johnson stood on the TPC Deere Run practice green, neither relishing this anonymity nor being baffled by it. Then again, you're not going to get many autograph seekers or ogles of admiration when you are sporting a caddy's vest in the John Deere Classic Pro-Am.

This Zach Johnson, who works in fleet sales for Lindquist Ford in Bettendorf, has had his share of misidentification for the famed golfer by the same name -- the Zach Johnson who won The Masters, the one who is on the John Deere Classic board of directors, the one whose likeness graces the 400-square-foot piece of art at the Deere Run first tee grandstands.

"There are a few instances where I have had to call for golf course tee times under a different name," said the Quad-Cities Zach. "There have been many times where I've given my name and they've hung up on me because they thought it was a prank call."

He also has had some unknowing souls seek his signature on a hat or golf ball. "The best one, though," said Zach, "was back in '05 when I was in my brother-in-law's wedding which was in Iowa City."

The pro golfer hails from Cedar Rapids, so you can see where this one's heading.

"We pulled up to the church for the gathering of the wedding party an hour before the ceremony," Zach said. "A guy was standing there. Someone asked him what he was doing and he said he was waiting for somebody. A couple of minutes went by and the guy then offered, `The person I am waiting for is Zach Johnson.' I thought, great, now what trouble am I in? When he said he had been waiting for him all of this time because he was one of his biggest fans, I realized he had been there to see the golfer. I had to say, no, sadly, I was the `other' Zach Johnson."

Though the JDC's Zach Johnson is in his ninth year of playing in this Quad-Cities pro golf tournament, the car salesman has only met him on one occasion.

"It was a couple of years ago," he said. The golfer's reaction? "He said, `No way, let me see your ID.' Through all of these years, he is the only other Zach Johnson I have met."

The pseudo-Zach jumped at the chance to be the pro-am caddy for Steve Lindquist, the dealership's owner. Guess who the pro was in their group. The real Zach Johnson? Nope. That would've been a cliche. It was Bob Estes.

The other Zach, by the way, says he carries a 20 handicap. And no, he does not own a green jacket.

Who's No. 1?
The Smartest Question of the Day Award goes to Ron Green Sr., the veteran apparently-not-completely-retired columnist for the Charlotte Observer who wonders, Who's the PGA Tour player of the year?

The correct answer, by the way, is nobody ... so far. Which is Mr. Green's point.

We're 28 tournaments into the PGA Tour season. The cleated gypsies have roamed from Hawaii to Arizona to Mexico to Florida to Georgia to the Carolinas to Ohio and various other stops, 28 in all with another encampment this week in Illinois.

If my arithmetic is correct, which is highly unlikely given my grades in school, they've hit about half a million shots in competition so far this year.

After all that, we should have a pretty good idea who is going to be the player of the year. But we don't. They've played 28 tournaments and had 25 different winners. Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Justin Rose have two wins apiece. Jason Bohns and Derek Lamelys and Graeme McDowells have won most of the rest, with an occasional intrusion by more recognizable names.

Players we thought might rush into the vacuum created when Tiger Woods took several months off and came back without his game have not. The PGA Tour Player of the Year award has been won by Tiger Woods in ten of the last 13 years. Along the way, he has generated unprecedented –- unimagined -- interest in the game. With his troubles, the way is open for others to seize the banner but it isn't happening.

Green's choice for the leading contender for the award so far is Els. But with two major championships yet to play, that could obviously change. Yeah, are Bohn and Lamely playing in the British?

On Second Thought ...
In this day and age of media overkill in sports, it would've been interesting to see the reaction to what happened at the end of the last Women's U.S. Open at Oakmont in 1992. Patty Sheehan pushed her drive on the 72nd hole into the right rough. But due to casual water, she took a free drop in the fairway, hit 5-iron onto the green and made a birdie putt to force a playoff with Juli Inkster, which Sheehan won.

Wouldn't you love to hear the talking heads of ESPN and Golf Channel debate the fairness of that rule? The talk wouldn't be about the ruling--it's not like an umpire messing up a pitcher's perfect game with a bad call at first base. It would be about an awkward rule of golf that allows a player to move a ball out of the rough, where birdie wouldn't have been a likely option, into the fairway, where it became one. It would've been a hot topic in the digital age, that's for sure.

Eighteen years later, Inkster admitted she still had a sour feeling about it. Colin Dunlap recalled the odd ruling in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Inkster was asked Wednesday a simple question: Has she gotten over the ruling?

"Well, yeah," Inkster said. "Well, no.

"It's the worst ruling in the history of golf. But I've overcome it, yes. It is what it is. She made a great shot after that and made a great putt, so..."

OK, we get it. The answer is no, she's not over the ruling. We don't blame her.

October 07, 2009

Time management as important as course management at Presidents Cup

Posted at 8:51 AM by David Dusek

Camilo-Villegas-Tues SAN FRANCISCO — During a typical week on the PGA Tour, professional golfers get to set their own schedules. They can practice as long as they like, eat where and when they choose, and prepare for the start of the tournament however they want. In short, golfers get to be selfish.

But the Presidents Cup is all about the team, and a player's time is not his own. Canadian Mike Weir, an International team veteran who has played in four previous Cups, noted that players have to attend several functions early in the week and are constantly being shuttled all over town.

Still, each player has to get his homework done. In order to be ready to play his best, Weir says, it's important take full advantage of the practice time he gets. "You have got to make the most of when you're out there on the range and on the golf course to get done what you need to get done."

Camilo Villegas (above), a native of Colombia who is making his Presidents Cup debut this week at Harding Park, seems to have an attitude tailored for weeks like this.

"There is time for everything," he said Tuesday afternoon. "Yes, you have your commitments with the team and with the media. Yes, you have to sign X and Y stuff. But at the end of the day, you still have two or three hours that are your time. I'm one of those guys who think that it's important to be in the gym, so I'm going to find time to go to the gym. I'm going to find time to do my practice. I'm going to find time to be with the team. It's a matter of being organized. If you are organized you can have time for everything and prepare yourself for the best."

South Africa's Tim Clark, preparing to compete in his third Presidents Cup, takes a slightly different approach.

"I don't do a whole lot of practice during tournament weeks," he said. "I play the pro-am and hit a few putts on a Wednesday, and I'm pretty much ready for the tournament. So adjusting to this is not a big deal."

Clark said that the event's off-the-course commitments — like team dinners, Ping-Pong matches and bus rides — are part of the fun of competing in a Presidents Cup. But don't confuse Clark's relaxed attitude with ambivalence.

"Come Thursday, everyone will have done what they need to do to get their game right," he said.

(Photo: Monica Davey/Getty Images)

May 30, 2009

What to Watch For: Sunday at Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

Posted at 8:00 PM by Damon Hack

About the only thing worse than being the best player without a major is being the best player without a PGA Tour victory. Tim Clark is that man, but maybe not for long. The South African leads Colonial by two shots over Steve Stricker, Steve Marino and Jason Day heading into Sunday's final round.

Clark has international wins on his resume and a runner-up finish to Phil Mickelson at the 2006 Masters, but he has six second-place finishes on the PGA Tour. The smallish Clark seems to have the perfect game for Colonial -- he's hit a million greens this week -- and I'm going to be watching his first few holes closely on Sunday to see if he wobbles early or starts quickly.

I'm not a huge fan of the long putter, but Clark has been on with his. After three calm days, though, the wind is expected to blow into Fort Worth on Sunday. Not only will that make club selection dicey, but it could make those short putts a little harder to coax in. Clark's long putter is almost as tall as he is (Clark is 5'7).

I'm also going to be watching 21-year-old Jason Day, one of golf's talented youngsters with a sweet swing. I keep getting Day confused with Sean O'Hair -- they have similar moves -- and like the rest of the New Kids on the Block he crushes the ball. I thought Day might stumble a little Saturday, but I was wrong. He was rock solid.

Day will be in the second-to-last group with Stricker on Sunday, an interesting pairing between an upstart looking for his first win and a veteran looking for his first win in two years. But if Clark keeps pounding those fairways like he has the first three days, he'll be handing off that title of best player without a PGA Tour victory.

For more golf updates, and NFL tidbits, too, follow

February 26, 2009

Live-Blogging Tiger's Return: Thursday's second-round match against Tim Clark

Posted at 10:38 AM by Alan Bastable

Alan Bastable, senior editor for Golf Magazine, will live-blog Thursday afternoon's match between Tiger Woods and Tim Clark, which starts at 2 p.m. Eastern. Connell Barrett covered Wednesday's match.

Continue reading "Live-Blogging Tiger's Return: Thursday's second-round match against Tim Clark" »

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