Friday, October 31

Oops! ARMCHAIR GOLF Misquotes Frankenstein (Halloween Edition)

“I am alone and miserable; golfers will not associate with me.”
(not said by) Frankenstein

Biographical note:
Frankenstein (or Frankenstein’s creature) was the focus of an epic 19th-century novel by Mary Shelley.

This misquote brought to you by The Armchair Golfer.
Getting it wrong for the love of the game.

Thursday, October 30

Appendectomy Won’t Stop Jeff Overton

JEFF OVERTON IS ON THE BUBBLE. At No. 126 on the PGA Tour money list, Overton has just two events to try to break into the top 125 and secure his card for the 2009 season.

The nagging discomfort he feels in his gut isn’t from the pressure. Overton had an emergency appendectomy on the Tuesday following the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open.

“It stinks,” said Overton, who could only hit his 8-iron about 120 yards in recent days. “It feels like I’ve done about 500 crunches in my stomach.”

At this time, it doesn’t appear the tour will grant Overton a medical extension. So he’ll just have to gut it out. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, October 29

ARMCHAIR GOLF Briefs

(As a service to readers, following are golf events, products, services and more. Endorsement is not implied.)

The Range with Bil Dwyer (TheRangeShow.com) is a new online golf comedy show. Currently, there are four short installments. Dwyer is a stand-up comedian who has been featured on Last Comic Standing, Extreme Dodgeball, Battlebots and many game shows.

Briefly
The Thumb Caddy (ThumbCaddy.net) is a training and playing aid for your grip … Owen Glen in Blairsville, GA, hosted a community awareness day that drew many attendees … Emerson & Church Publishers (EmersonAndChurch.com) has released Going for the Green! An Insider's Guide to Raising Money with Charity Golf … FiZGOLF (FizGolf.com) has a new golf gear cleaner product for under $10 … SkyCaddie (SkyGolf.com) calls itself the No. 1 rangefinder in golf … Travel + Leisure golf readers have rated the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma as a World’s Best in a survey … Taylor Anderson was the winner of the Natalie Gulbis essay contest.

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, October 28

A Green Rose

(Pocketwiley/Flickr)

JUSTIN ROSE THINKS GREEN in more ways than one.

“Justin Rose has committed to a scheme that carbon offsets all the travel he makes as well as that of his caddie, coach and fitness trainer,” wrote Iain Carter at the BBC SPORT Golf Blog earlier this month.

“Obviously there's been a lot of talk about the environment recently and it's something that my wife and I are very much aware of,” Rose was quoted as saying.

It didn’t say what Rose does to offset his carbon footprint.

−The Armchair Golfer

Monday, October 27

Regular Guy Tiger

(Mike Davis/Flickr)

TIGER WOODS IS A REGULAR GUY. Who knew?

At least that’s what New York Times golf writer Bill Pennington reported after a golf outing with Tiger and two dozen other regular guys at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles.

“This was not the Tiger Woods I had been around in tournaments throughout the past decade,” Pennington said.

“There was no stoicism. He giggled and asked questions. It was like being at a barbecue.”

Actually, this isn’t that hard to figure out. That other Tiger − let’s call him Tournament Tiger − is in a completely different mindset when he's at the office. He’s kind of like Jason Bourne − very results oriented.

−The Armchair Golfer

Sunday, October 26

Sergio Garcia Wins One for Seve


Sergio Garcia (Jim Epler/Flickr)

THERE’S NOT MUCH SERGIO GARCIA can do for fellow Spaniard Seve Ballesteros, who lies in a Madrid hospital bed recovering from three brain operations in recent days.

But one can have a pretty good idea idea what Seve would tell him: Go out and play tournament golf. Play with abandon; play to win.

Garcia won the Castellos Masters on his home course on Sunday, his first European Tour title in three years. He shot a final-round 67 for a three-shot victory over Peter Hedblom. Garcia dedicated the win to Ballesteros.

“I couldn't help but think about Seve,” Sergio told the AP. “I'm sending all my love to him and his family and hope he recovers soon. I hope this victory helps him to get a little better.”

Nice win. Nice gesture.

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, October 24

Oops! ARMCHAIR GOLF Misquotes Thomas Huxley


“God give me strength to face golf
though it slay me.”

(not said by) Thomas Huxley

Biographical note:

Thomas Huxley was an English biologist.


This misquote brought to you by The Armchair Golfer.
Getting it wrong for the love of the game.

Thursday, October 23

Golf’s 3 Most Consistent Swings

Mickey Wright on SI

I SAW THIS IN THE TRANSCRIPT of today’s media conference at the Grand China Air LPGA. The questioner referred to Judy Rankin’s three most consistent golf swings:

1. Ben Hogan
2. Mickey Wright
3. Annika Sorenstam

Hogan would be on everyone’s list. Mickey Wright? Hogan himself said Wright’s swing was the best he’d ever seen. (Plus she won 82 events, including 13 majors.) And the third is the soon-to-be retiree Annika Sorenstam.

“So can you tell us a little secret about your swing?” Annika was asked.

“This game is hard enough and I try to make it as simple as possible by just really rotating around my spine,” she said.

”There's one swing plane, keeping the same through the wedges, through the drive and the same swing tempo.”

There you go. Take that to the course and see how it works.

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, October 22

Adieu, Jean Van de Velde

“My career I can compare to a good bottle of wine. You take a glass and enjoy it; you take a second glass and really enjoy it; a third, then the bottle is getting empty.”
−Jean Van de Velde, as quoted by Reuters

I LIKE JEAN VAN DE VELDE. Always have, always will. Poor guy, I tend to think. He threw away the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie with that infamous triple-bogey 7 on the 72nd hole.

But is he “poor”? I think not.

The philosophical Frenchman has handled his catastrophic defeat with more grace and perspective than just about any human being could muster. And as Johnny Miller has correctly pointed out, Van de Velde got one of the worst bounces in major championship history on his second shot. He can live with it.

“Don't be sad,” Jean said at the time. “I made plenty of friends, because a Scottish man won. So, at least that's something.”

Now that “the bottle is getting empty,” the 42-year-old Van de Velde mentioned the other day that he will cut back his playing schedule to about a dozen tournaments a year. There are other things to do in life.

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, October 21

‘The Right Sticks’ by Tom Wishon

GOLF DIGEST HAS CALLED TOM WISHON “one of the three men on the edge of golf technology.” Wishon has been a golf club designer for more than 33 years. And, as I was told in a letter from his publisher, Wishon’s clubhead designs have won tournaments on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and the Ryder Cup.

I’ve been hanging on to Tom’s new book, The Right Sticks: Equipment Myths That Could Wreck Your Golf Game, since this past summer. Whether you're mildly or acutely interested in how equipment affects your golf game, this book may benefit you.

Wishon lays out 37 myths about golf equipment, such as “Your new driver has a larger sweet spot” and “I am not a good enough golfer to be custom-fitted” and “Any club that is not ‘brand name’ is junk.” The list goes on.

Tom’s two other most recent books won awards and he has penned more than 200 magazine articles on golf club technology.

Enter My FREE Book Drawing!

I’m giving away a free copy of The Right Sticks. I invite you to enter at right under the brown box. (UPDATE: Sorry, but the drawing is now closed. Look for more free drawings at the ARMCHAIR GOLF BLOG.)

−The Armchair Golfer

Monday, October 20

Putts Fall Like Stock Prices for Marc Turnesa

Marc Turnesa

WHEN GOLF MAGAZINE TELLS ME how to drain every 4-footer (in its October issue), I just chuckle. Not going to happen. And I have a decent stroke. But seriously, who do they think I am –- Marc Turnesa?

If you’re wondering who Turnesa is, he’s the PGA Tour rookie who won the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Turnesa carded rounds of 62-64-69-68 for a 25-under total and one-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar. Turnesa's first win earned him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

Getting back to putting, Turnesa holed 61 of 63 putts within 10 feet for the week. (Take a moment to ponder that stat.)

I couldn’t make that many putts in my dreams! (I’d probably hiccup three or four, even in golf fantasy land.)

No matter how many years I watch pro golf, I still marvel at how dialed in the tour players are, whether Tiger Woods, or, um, Marc Turnesa.

−The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, October 18

Finchem on Fixing the FedEx Cup

Tim Finchem

THE FIRST TWO YEARS of the FedEx Cup have been a bit like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. “This porridge is too hot. This porridge is too cold.”

And now PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is searching for “this porridge is just right.”

Following are excerpts from the commissioner’s PGA Tour blog, which address his three key objectives.

“I arrived in Ponte Vedra early this morning from a meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., with our Player Advisory Council, where we discussed potential revisions to the FedEx Cup in 2009. Based on feedback we have received from players, sponsors, media and fans over the past month, as well as our own preliminary review, we have three key objectives for improvements in 2009:

• The Playoffs should build towards a climactic finish, meaning the FedEx Cup should be decided at THE TOUR Championship.

• The FedEx Cup competition should culminate in a dramatic way, meaning a reasonable number of players should be in strong contention to win it at THE TOUR Championship.

• THE TOUR Championship field should consist of the top performers in the Regular Season in addition to players who have excelled in the Playoffs.

“I believe we can achieve these objectives while maintaining the essential structure of the FedEx Cup, including the four Playoff events.”

I agree with the objectives. But can the formula be tweaked to absolutely ensure the desired outcome? I wonder.

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, October 17

Consigue así la mayor brevedad, Seve



IT'S BEEN A TOUGH WEEK for Seve Ballesteros. The Spanish golf great has undergone two surgeries, one to remove a brain tumor and one to cut out a piece of his skull to relieve pressure.

Consigue así la mayor brevedad, Seve. (Get well soon, Seve.)

Above is a short clip of Seve at Augusta National, site of his three Masters titles. Enjoy, and have a great weekend.

−The Armchair Golfer


Related:

Seve Ballesteros Faces ‘Most Difficult Match’
Troubling News About Seve's Health

Thursday, October 16

At the Mic: Defending Champ George McNeill

“I really don't have any worries about anything. I've got a pretty good job. I have a pretty good life.”
−George McNeill

HERE'S WHAT I KNOW about PGA Tour player George McNeill: He’s the defending champion at this week’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. McNeill won the event in his rookie season when it was called the Frys.com Open. This year George has two top-10 finishes, including a second-place tie at the PODS Championship.

Judging from some of his answers at Wednesday’s media conference, he’s the kind of guy you’d be comfortable having a beer with.

Does he feel pressure as the defending champion?

“Honestly, I haven't felt really any pressure,” McNeill said. “I don't feel any different than any other event that I've been to, other than more than one or two people know who I am.”

OK, then what’s the one thing George is most insecure about?

“I really don't have any worries about anything. I've got a pretty good job. I have a pretty good life.”

What’s he like?

“I'm just pretty normal, I guess.”

Really?

“Everybody asks me how winning last year changed my life, and I said, ‘Didn't really change me at all.’ I still do a lot of the same things. I'm able to afford some nicer things that I wanted, a boat and stuff like that.

“My life really hasn't changed. I have the same friends. I treat them the same way. They treat me the same way, which is that they don't let down when they can get a good rib in.”

−The Armchair Golfer


Related:

The 15 Syllable Golf Tournament

Wednesday, October 15

The 15 Syllable Golf Tournament

(Roadsidepictures/Flickr)

THE PGA TOUR IS IN LAS VEGAS this week for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. That’s a serious mouthful. Don’t try saying it five times fast. You’ll fail.

Last year it was the Frys.com Open (benefiting the same charity), and was won by George McNeill. For most of the years since the 1980s, it’s been known simply as the Las Vegas Invitational.

About 130 players will tee off Thursday at TPC at Summerlin.

−The Armchair Golfer

Tuesday, October 14

D.A. Weibring Is 1 for 65

ILLINOIS NATIVE D.A. WEIBRING turned pro in 1975. Since then he had played in 64 major championships on the PGA and Champions tours and never won. Until last Sunday.

The 55-year-old journeyman came from four strokes down with 14 holes to play to win the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship at Baltimore Country Club. Consider it a lesson in perseverance.

“… I did always believe that I could win a major championship, and didn't get it done on the regular tour,” D.A. said.

(Weibring had five top tens in majors, including a third-place tie at the 1987 PGA Championship and 1988 U.S. Open.)

“I had my chances and I had a great chance in The Players Championship at Sawgrass years ago, having the lead the majority of the week,” he said. “But sometimes things happen and they just fall into place. They did this week, and it was great having my wife with me, Kristy.”

Weibring now has five titles each on both tours. His son, Matt, was an All-American golfer at Georgia Tech and currently plays on the Nationwide Tour. Dad taught him something this past week: never give up.

−The Armchair Golfer

Monday, October 13

Q&A: Geoff Shackelford

NOT MUCH ABOUT GOLF escapes Geoff Shackelford. Geoff diligently blogs at GeoffShackelford.com, writes for major golf publications, and has authored several books about golf and golf course design.

Called the Herbert Warren Wind of golf bloggers by Sports Illustrated, Geoff serves up multiple, daily tidbits from the golf media, and his many golf-savvy readers chime in. It’s a lively forum.

Last week Geoff answered a few questions for ARMCHAIR GOLF.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: Now that the buzz has died down, any lingering thoughts on the Ryder Cup?

GEOFF SHACKELFORD:
I continue to think of all the great shots, clutch putts and overall exciting play, and how shocked some people seem to be at how thrilling golf can be if you just let the boys play. The folks at Valhalla did a great job cleaning up the hillsides and removing trees to create some amazing amphitheaters that added to the fun, because some of those roars were amazing. But the course setup really woke people up to just how absurd so many setups have become. People saw that golf can an exciting game when you combine great players being allowed to play and big crowds. Rough was not a factor in any way.

And I continue to scratch my head thinking of certain strategic decisions by Faldo each day. He bungled the foursomes pairings and the Sunday singles lineup made no sense. It’s just amazing that such a smart guy had two years to plan and understand some pretty basic things and didn’t get it right. But pressure does funny things to humans. Which is why the moral of this story is: surround yourself with multiple assistant captains who aren’t afraid to speak their mind!

ARMCHAIR GOLF: Who is your player of the year?


GEOFF SHACKELFORD:
Tiger. Sorry Padraig, but the U.S. Open win was epic and Tiger won more events in a shortened season than Padraig.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: Give your assessment of next year’s majors venues.


GEOFF SHACKELFORD:
Augusta: probably the last year of the second cut before they use the groove rule change as cover for getting rid of it; Bethpage: should be exciting in terms of the buzz and fun to see how Mike Davis repairs the various blunders of 2002 and what other fun stuff he has in mind; Turnberry: figures to be an ugly week if the course changes are as bad as I've heard; Hazeltine: this is going to be huge for the PGA of America because Oakland Hills was lousy just a year after they had one of their all-time best events at Southern Hills where low rough and short grass made the players grind in the way that is most interesting and rewarding.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: What are your favorite golf courses?


GEOFF SHACKELFORD:
Anything people describe as a “fun little” course is my cup of tea. I love that slightly derogatory description. I heard it yesterday about Rustic Canyon and just laughed. It’s the ultimate compliment. Unfortunately, we have a severe shortage of fun little courses.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: Will Tiger still be Tiger when he comes back?


GEOFF SHACKELFORD:
Probably better since he was in such bad shape. And he’s got to be so bored, so when he comes back he’ll be refreshed and really ready to grind. It’s just not looking good for his competition.

ARMCHAIR GOLF: What are you working on?


GEOFF SHACKELFORD:
My website, some really neat magazine assignments, some videos of our course projects, and I’m preparing for our restoration project at L.A. Country Club, which I am really excited about. It’s going to be so fun to get George Thomas’s vision very close to how he left it. That will make the course unique both because he did some amazing things at LACC North, and also considering how poorly his other courses have evolved.

−The Armchair Golfer

Sunday, October 12

Seve Ballesteros Faces ‘Most Difficult Match’

A STATEMENT FROM SEVE BALLESTEROS on Sunday confirmed the fears of many: the five-time major winner has a brain tumor.

“After exhaustive checks at the hospital they have detected a brain tumor,” the statement read.

“During my career I was one of the best at getting around obstacles on golf courses. Now I want to be the best at confronting the most difficult match of my life with all my strength.”

It's not yet known whether the tumor is malignant. Seve will undergo a biopsy on Tuesday.

Famous throughout his career for miracle recoveries, ARMCHAIR GOLF will be pulling for Seve to once again escape a dire situation. If you’re a praying person, say one for Seve and his family.

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, October 10

Troubling News About Seve’s Health

ON FRIDAY THE TELEGRAPH reported that “Seve Ballesteros is gravely ill in intensive care.”

“The 51-year-old has been undergoing tests since collapsing at Madrid's Barajas Airport last Friday,” wrote correspondent Edward Owen.

“Such is the seriousness of his condition that his family has been summoned to La Paz [Madrid] Hospital and a full medical bulletin is to be issued on Saturday.”

Now Seve is apparently out of intensive care and in stable condition, but it’s feared that he has a brain tumor, according to the report.

“...doctors say he is now conscious and talking but they have detected 'a grave illness' after tests and scans on his brain.”

Telegraph stories:

Story 1
Story 2

Say a prayer for Seve and his family.

−The Armchair Golfer

Thursday, October 9

Guess the Pro Golfer


(Susánica Tam/Flickr)

THIS ONE IS about as easy as it gets. She goes for back-to-back wins this week at the Longs Drugs Challenge. It would be a career first.

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, October 8

Q&A: The No. 1 Ball in Golf

ARMCHAIR GOLF caught up with the Titleist Pro V1 during a break at a recent photo shoot. Here’s what the No. 1 ball in golf said about itself, the players and more.

Q: Can you tell a little bit about yourself?


TITLEIST PRO V1:
Love to. I’m a Urethane Elastomer™ covered 3-piece multi-component golf ball featuring enhanced aerodynamics with slightly higher flight for longer distance, soft feel and Drop-and-Stop™ control.

Q: Is that it?

TITLEIST PRO V1:
I’m designed for serious golfers of all levels that demand Tour-validated technology and performance. I provide long and consistent distance with the driver and long irons, while maintaining a soft feel and high performance into and around the green.

Q: OK, thanks. Nice job. So, do you ever get tired of all the promotional work, photo shoots, tournaments and other events?


TITLEIST PRO V1:
It goes with the territory. When you’re No. 1, expectations are extremely high. I always have to be on my game and perform at the highest level. I’m up to it, friend. I’m the Titleist Pro V1, the No. 1 ball in golf. Everyone plays me.

Q: Well, not everyone. Tiger doesn’t.

TITLEIST PRO V1:
Next question.

Q: Do you ever think you go too far?


TITLEIST PRO V1:
Excuse me?

Q: Distance.

TITLEIST PRO V1: Oh, the distance question. No, man. The powers that be decide that stuff. And the players. They hit the living crap out of me. There’s nothing like leaving the tee at 180 m.p.h. and flying 340 yards. What a ride! It makes my Urethane Elastomer™ cover tingle just thinking about it.

Q: If you were a player, how would you mark you?


TITLEIST PRO V1: Huh?

Q: If you were a player, how would you mark your Titleist?


TITLEIST PRO V1: Got it. Don’t you love that commercial? All the players talking about me and how they mark me. It’s so cool! I have to go with David Toms, though. I like his answer best. A “T” above the “T.”

Q: Who are your favorite players?


TITLEIST PRO V1:
All the guys that play me.

Q: Do you have to say that?


TITLEIST PRO V1:
Yeah, it’s in my contract.

Q: Thanks for taking the time.


TITLEIST PRO V1:
You got it.

(This is an ARMCHAIR GOLF spoof.)

Tuesday, October 7

Justin Leonard, Mr. Comeback


Justin Leonard at the 2008 U.S. Open. (Gordons/Flickr)

IT BEGAN IN EARNEST this week a year ago at the Valero Texas Open. The road back from No. 126 in the world got a whole lot smoother and straighter for Justin Leonard after his Texas Open win. It was Leonard's first title in over two years.

Leaving Butch Harmon, Justin reunited with his childhood coach, Randy Smith. It was obviously working.

This year Leonard won again at the Stanford St. Jude Championship. He racked up enough points to secure a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team and is currently ranked 23rd in the world.

That’s an impressive comeback, and the relatively young Leonard, 36, could still have several more productive years on the PGA Tour.

−The Armchair Golfer

Monday, October 6

Dustin Johnson Is Not a Household ‘J’

Dustin Johnson

CALL ME DERELICT in my Armchair duties, but I didn’t watch the Turning Stone Resort Championship. OK, I saw a few highlights and a tiny bit of Golf Channel replay coverage. That’s it.

I did know that Jeff Overton was leading after two rounds. I was rooting for Overton –- from a distance. But Dustin Johnson? I admit that I’d never heard of him.

Most of the other 10 “J’s” on the PGA Tour –- Fredrik Jacobson, Lee Janzen, Brandt Jobe, Richard Johnson (there are two Richard Johnsons, by the way), Zach Johnson and Steve Jones –- are players I know of.

If you go to the personal page of Dustin Johnson at PGATour.com, you’ll see a headshot photo and a lot of white space. Zilch, in other words. Who is this guy?

Answer: The winner of the Turning Stone Resort Championship. No. 41 on the money list. A long hitter.

Dustin will be hanging on to that tour card, thank you very much.

−The Armchair Golfer

Saturday, October 4

Europe or Bust for John Daly?

(James Marvin Phelps/Flickr)

JOHN DALY HAS EARNED $56,017 on the PGA Tour this year, making just five cuts in 16 events. The troubled 42-year-old is running out of options. So, according to an AP story, he’s considering the European Tour.

“I know in Europe there are still a million opportunities to play,” Daly was quoted as saying. “It's a great tour. Guys on that tour have shown themselves and proved themselves to be great players.”

Part of JD’s problem was a rib injury that restricted his mighty swing. He had surgery this past summer to deal with a golf ball-sized cyst. Doctors also found two small fractures in his rib area. The recovery has been slow, but Daly is starting to feel better about his game.

“Now I feel like it's all starting to come together. I'd love to play four or five weeks in a row like I used to do. I can't do that because I'm not exempt.”

For now, Daly will continue to rely on sponsor exemptions and hopes to play his way back on tour.

−The Armchair Golfer

Friday, October 3

101 Fitness Tips for Golf by Ted Vickey

MY IDEA OF GOLF FITNESS is to walk and carry my clubs. Ted Vickey, on the other hand, has 101 fitness tips. And apparently you don’t have to be Tiger Woods or Vijay Singh to benefit from them.

“I've recently published my new book, 101 Fitness Tips for Golf,” Ted wrote me in July. “My background? I was the Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center for the Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations.”

My disclaimer: I haven’t read Ted’s book and am not endorsing it, but I at least want to let you know about it in case you would like to check it out.

101 Fitness Tips for Golf contains simple and effective tips and exercise to improve you game and stay injury free,” reads the promotional copy.

More here:
Ted Vickey
My Fitness Caddy

−The Armchair Golfer

Thursday, October 2

Tiger Woods Raves About Anthony Kim

Anthony Kim

MARK O’MEARA HAS DONE IT AGAIN. First, as Tiger Woods described in a short clip, O’Meara mentored Woods early in his career. Tiger said O’Meara is like a big brother.

O’Meara has done essentially the same thing for tour prodigy Anthony Kim, Tiger said. Kim was apparently partying more than practicing until O’Meara got his attention. Now Kim looks and plays like the next big thing on the PGA Tour.

“It’s just amazing how much talent this kid has … and what he could be,” Tiger said.

Tiger Woods clip

−The Armchair Golfer

Wednesday, October 1

Talking Golf with Bob Rosburg

(ABC Sports)

LAST NIGHT I TALKED TO BOB ROSBURG, or “Rossi,” a former PGA Tour player and ABC broadcaster. Rosburg won six times on tour, including the 1959 PGA Championship, but he’s probably best known for his 33 years as an on-course commentator for ABC.

Rossi told me he had great admiration for his ABC colleagues: Dave Marr, Brent Musburger, Jim McKay, Jack Whitaker and others. “I was a very lucky guy to come along at that time,” he said.

I asked him about McKay, who recently died. “He was a great, great man. He loved golf and he loved horse racing. Jim was a wonderful guy.”

One big career highlight for Rosburg was hitting the first shot at the 1959 Ryder Cup at El Dorado in Palm Springs. “That was quite a thrill,” he said.

His only Ryder Cup appearance, Rossi won both his matches, as the Americans regained the Cup. “I played with [Mike] Souchak in the doubles and we won pretty easy, and I won pretty easy in the singles.”

I asked Rossi what he thought about the recent Ryder Cup matches at Valhalla. “Azinger did a great job. I think all the guys were excited about playing.” He called blaming European captain Nick Faldo for Europe’s loss “a bunch of bull.”

Rossi hasn’t been playing golf after a bout with cancer this past year, but is feeling great now. “From what they say, everything is in remission, so I might play a little.”

−The Armchair Golfer