Tuesday, October 23

Paul Azinger on Replacing Johnny Miller: 'I'm Just Going to Be Me. It's Got Me This Far, Right?'



IT'S OFFICIAL. PAUL AZINGER WAS NAMED as the lead golf analyst who will follow Johnny Miller at NBC.

Azinger is going to be busy in 2019. He will work the Masters for the BBC, the U.S. Opens for FOX, and the NBC golf telecasts beginning with the WGC-Mexico Championship in late February.

Azinger recently talked to golf writer Jeff Babineau at Gator Creek Golf Club. Here are a couple of Azinger snippets from Babineau's story for MORNING READ:
I'm not trying to fill Johnny's shoes. You can't fill those shoes. I'm different than him. I'm just going to go for being me. It's got me this far, right? I'll stir it up. I'll say stuff. It'll just pop up, like it does when I'm giving a lesson. But I'm not looking to carve my own path. I'm just looking to fit in. They've already established what they've got there. These guys are all experts.
On Johnny Miller:
I talked to him for about 15-20 minutes. I asked him a lot of questions. I asked him about Tommy Roy. I wanted to know about Tommy Randolph [also in NBC production] … What is Dan Hicks like? All that. You've got to high-praise Johnny, because he's done it for a long time, and Johnny would tell it like it is. Johnny had this ability to inflect his voice; he'd be saying stuff you disagreed with, but because of the way he inflected it, you weren't so sure. He was an influencer. We phone-tagged, and we talked. We have a lot in common, really, but I'm not Johnny. I'm different than Johnny. He told me, 'You keep calling it like it is.' And that’s what I plan on doing.
Azinger won a dozen times on the PGA Tour, including one major, the 1993 PGA Championship.

Saturday, October 20

VIDEO: Ian Poulter Explains European Domination in Ryder Cup



WHY DOES EUROPE KEEP WINNING?

It's not that complicated. It can't be solved by a U.S. task force or a pod system. Ian Poulter explains.

Tuesday, October 16

Lead Golf Analyst Johnny Miller to Retire from NBC Broadcast Booth in Early 2019


LEAD GOLF ANALYST JOHNNY MILLER WILL RETIRE from NBC Sports in January 2019. Miller's last event will be the Waste Management Phoenix Open. 

In a statement to Golf Channel, Miller said:

"The call for being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling. The parents are trying to make a living, and the grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer there is a time and a season for everything."

Miller has spent 29 years in the NBC booth after a Hall of Fame career that produced 23 wins on the PGA Tour, including two majors, the 1973 U.S. Open and 1976 Open Championship.

In December 2012 I enjoyed a long dinner with Miller at a Lexus event at Pebble Beach. Following are my notes on a small piece of that conversation:
I asked Johnny if he ever foresaw himself doing TV work. No, he said. He's signed on for three more years with NBC. After that it sounds like he'll be gone, except for an occasional event. He wondered aloud who might take his place. I said, "You must enjoy it." He's still in the tower after 20-plus years. Johnny said he feels like he has something to offer and brings something different to the game. My wife told him how she appreciates his candor. He told me a story about his mom's blackberry pie. He always wondered why it was the best. His mom finally shared the secret: mostly ripe, sweet berries, plus a few select tart ones. An approach that can also work well for golf commentary.
Reports say Paul Azinger will replace Miller.

The 2018-19 PGA Tour Schedule: Events, Dates, Courses, Purses



THERE'S NO OFF SEASON IN GOLF. I expect only the most dedicated golf fans notice or care. Here's what's ahead for the men of the PGA Tour, and those who watch.

OCTOBER
Oct. 4-7: Safeway Open (Kevin Tway); Silverado Resort and Spa North, Napa, CA; $6,400,000
Oct. 11-14: CIMB Classic (Marc Leishman); TPC Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; $7,000,000
Oct. 18-21: The CJ Cup; Nine Bridges, Jeju Island, South Korea; $9,250,000
Oct. 25-28: WGC-HSBC Champions; Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, CHN; $10,000,000
Oct. 25-28: Sanderson Farms Championship; CC of Jackson, Jackson, MS; $4,300,000

NOVEMBER
Nov. 1-4: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open; TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, NV; $6,800,000
Nov. 8-11: Mayakoba Golf Classic; El Chameleon GC, Playa del Carmen, Mexico; $7,100,000
Nov. 15-18: The RSM Classic; Sea Island Resort, Sea Island, GA; $6,200,000
Nov. 22-25: ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf; The Metropolitan Golf Club, South Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia; $7,000,000
Nov. 29-Dec. 2: Hero World Challenge; Albany, New Providence, Bahamas; $3,500,000

DECEMBER
Dec. 7-9: QBE Shootout; Tiburon, Naples, FL; $3,300,000

JANUARY
Jan. 3-6: Sentry Tournament of Champions; Plantation Course at Kapalua, Maui, HI; $7,000,000
Jan. 10-13: Sony Open in Hawaii; Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, HI; $6,200,000
Jan 17-20: CareerBuilder Challenge; Stadium Course, La Quinta, CA; $5,900,000
Jan. 24-27: Farmers Insurance Open; Torrey Pines Golf Course, San Diego, CA; $6,900,000
Jan. 31-Feb. 3: Waste Management Phoenix Open; TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ; $6,900,000

FEBRUARY
Feb 7-10: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am; Pebble Beach GL, Pebble Beach, CA; $7,400,000
Feb. 14-17: Genesis Open; The Riveria Country Club, Pacific Palisades, CA; $7,200,000
Feb. 21-24: Puerto Rico Open; Coco Beach Golf & CC, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico; $3,000,000
Feb. 21-24: WGC-Mexico Championship; Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City, Mexico; $10,000,000
Feb. 28-March 3: The Honda Classic; PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, FL; $6,600,000

MARCH
Mar. 7-10: Arnold Palmer Invitational; Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, FL; $8,900,000
Mar. 14-17: The Players Championship; TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Verde Beach, FL; $10,500,000
Mar. 21-24: Valspar Championship; Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Palm Harbor, FL; $6,500,000
Mar. 27-31: WGC-Dell Match Play; Austin Country Club, Austin, TX; $10,000,000
Mar. 28-31: Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship; Corales Puntacana Resort & Club, Punta Cana, D.R.; $3,000,000

APRIL
Apr. 4-7: Valero Texas Open; TPC San Antonio, San Antonio, TX; $6,200,000
Apr. 11-14: Masters Tournament; Augusta National GC, Augusta, GA; $11,000,000
Apr. 18-21: RBC Heritage; Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, SC; $6,700,000
Apr. 25-28: Zurich Classic of New Orleans; TPC Louisiana, New Orleans, LA; $7,200,000

MAY
May 2-5: Wells Fargo Championship; Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, NC; $7,700,000
May 9-12: AT&T Byron Nelson; Trinity Forest Golf Club, Dallas, TX; $7,700,000
May 16-19: PGA Championship; Bethpage State Park BK Corse, Bethpage NY; $11,000,000
May 23-26: Charles Schwabb Challenge; Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, TX; $7,100,000
May 30-Jun. 2: The Memorial Tournament; Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, OH; $8,900,000

JUNE
Jun. 6-9: RBC Canadian Open; Hamilton Golf & Country Club, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; $6,200,000
Jun. 13-16: U.S. Open; Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, CA; $12,000,000
Jun. 20-23: Travelers Championship; TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, CT; $7,000,000
Jun. 27-30: Rocket Mortgage Classic; Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, MI; New tournament

JULY
July 4-7: 3M Open; TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, MN: $6,600,000
July 11-14: John Deere Classic; TPC Deere Run, Silvis, IL; $5,800,000
July 18-21: The Open Championship; Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, NIR; $10,500,000
July 18-21: Barbasol Championship; Keene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, KY; $3,500,000
July 25-28: WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational; TPC Southwind, Memphis, TN; $10,000,000
July 25-28: Reno-Tahoe Tournament; Montreux GC & CC, Reno, NV: $3,300,000

AUGUST
Aug. 1-4: Wyndham Championship; Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, NC; $6,000,000
FedEx Cup Playoffs:
Aug. 8-11: The Northern Trust; Liberty National GC, Jersey City, NJ; $9,000,000
Aug. 15-18: BMW Championship; Medinah CC, Medinah, IL; $9,000,000
Aug. 22-25: TOUR Championship; East Lake GC, Atlanta, GA; $9,000,000

Sunday, September 23

VIDEO: Tiger Woods Wins Tour Championship for 80th PGA Tour Title; Justin Rose Claims FedEx Cup



HE DID IT. TIGER WOODS WON the season-ending Tour Championship in a fairy tale comeback that virtually no one expected, including him. It was his first victory since 2013. Woods now has 80 victories on the PGA Tour, just two short of the record set by golf legend Sam Snead.

"I loved every bit of it," Woods told NBC Sports after shooting a 1-over 71 to win by two shots over Billy Horschel, who closed with a 66. "The fight and the grind and the tough conditions. Just have to suck it up and hit shots."

Tiger added: "I've had a not-so-easy last couple of years and I've worked my way back and ... it's just hard to believe I've won the Tour Championship."

Meanwhile, Justin Rose edged Woods to win the FedEx Cup and earn the $10 million bonus. Rose finished T4 at the Tour Championship but came out on top in the season-long points race.

"That's PGA Tour royalty," Rose said about winning the FedEx Cup.

Now it's on to the Ryder Cup for Woods. After his improbable comeback, anything seems possible, at least at the moment.

Wednesday, September 12

VIDEO: Keegan Bradley Ends Long Drought With Playoff Victory at BMW Championship



IN THE FINAL ROUND OF THE 2018 BMW Championship on Monday, Justin Rose and Keegan Bradley tied at the end of regulation play and proceeded to sudden death.

Bradley carded a 4 on the first playoff hole to earn a long-awaited victory. It was Keegan's first title in 161 events, or six years.

Despite the playoff loss, there was good news for Justin Rose. The 38-year-old Englishman moved to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.

U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk: 'It's a Well-Rounded Team, and We'll Go to Work'


WILL THE AMERICANS WIN THE RYDER CUP on European soil for the first time in 25 years?

The 42nd Ryder Cup will be contested on September 25-30 at Le Golf National in Paris, France. Despite an impressive victory in 2016 at Hazeltine, the U.S. squad faces a huge challenge: win their first away game since 1993.

They beat Europe 17-11 last time out in Minnesota. Before that Europe had won three in a row, six of seven, and eight of 10. It's no time to be giddy.

With Captain Jim Furyk's final pick of Tony Finau on Monday, both teams are set.

"(I've) got a lot of confidence in those players," Captain Furyk said a week ago. "I think we have some great chemistry. I think we have some great pairing opportunities. We've got some great veteran leadership and we've got some youth. It's a well-rounded team, and we'll go to work, get set to go."

U.S Ryder Cup Team
Captain Jim Furyk
Points qualifiers:
Brooks Koepka
Dustin Johnson
Justin Thomas
Patrick Reed
Bubba Watson
Jordan Spieth
Rickie Fowler
Webb Simpson
Captain's picks:
Bryson DeChambeau
Phil Mickelson
Tiger Woods
Tony Finau

"It’s going to be a great challenge because we know how strong the European side is and how well they play at home," Phil Mickelson said. "but it's a wonderful chance, an opportunity for us to do something I haven't done or been a part of in my career, and would very much like to."

European Ryder Cup Team
Captain Thomas Bjorn
Automatic qualifiers:
Francesco Molinari
Justin Rose
Tyrrell Hatton
Tommy Fleetwood
Thorbjorn Oleson
Jon Rahm
Rory McIlroy
Alex Noren
Captain's picks:
Paul Casey
Sergio Garcia
Ian Poulter
Henrik Stenson

"If I had written down 12 names before I started my captaincy journey, it wouldn’t have been far away from this," Captain Bjorn said.

Friday, September 7

The Only Jack Nicklaus Designed Putting Course Opens in Jupiter


I SAW THIS IN THE NICKLAUS NEWS that lands in my email inbox. The Gold Cub Mini Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus design, opened recently in Jupiter, Florida.

"We went through the same thought process in the design as we would on a full-sized course," said Nicklaus Design Associate Chad Goetz via WPTV. "We hope the result is something very different than the typical miniature golf experience, and one that is enjoyable for golfers and nongolfers alike."

It has at least one thing in common with all the other Nicklaus courses. It's hard.

"I only played one hole, and I was challenged on that one!" Jack said, laughing.

One good thing: It doesn't cost much to play this Nicklaus course.

RATES
Kids 6 and up: $12.50
Kids 5 and under: $7
Seniors (over 60): $10
Military: $9
Unlimited: $18.50