Thursday, October 31

Golf on TV: WGC-HSBC Champions and Charles Schwab Cup Championship

By Golf Channel News

Following is the tournament lineup and TV schedule for this week.

WGC-HSBC CHAMPIONS
(PGA Tour/European Tour)
Dates: October 30-November 2
Venue: Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai, China

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Wednesday 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Thursday Replay)
Thursday 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Friday Replay)
Friday 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Saturday Replay)
Saturday 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sunday Replay)

Event Notes

Race to Dubai: While the co-sanctioned tournament is the final WGC event of 2013, it also serves as the second of four events in the European Tour Final Series in the Race to Dubai and has no cut.

Headlining the Field: Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Dustin Johnson.

* * *

CHARLES SCHWAB CUP CHAMPIONSHIP
(Champions Tour)
Dates: October 31-November 3
Venue: TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, California

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 4:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 4:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 4:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 4:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10 p.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Down to Two: Kenny Perry and Bernhard Langer are the only players in the field of 30 with a mathematical chance of winning the Charles Schwab Cup points race, with Perry leading Langer by 612 points entering the week. Langer needs to win this week and have Perry finish in a two-way tie for 5th or worse to win the overall Charles Schwab Cup, otherwise Perry will win the Cup.

Major Setting: Unlike most Champions Tour non-major events, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship will be played in a 72-hole format instead of the typical 54-hole event.

Double Points: Just like major championships on the Champions Tour, the Charles Schwab Cup points are doubled this week with players earning two points for every $1,000 earned (only top-10 finishers could earn points in events during the regular season).

Headlining the Field: Kenny Perry, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Tom Lehman, Michael Allen, Rocco Mediate, Fred Funk, John Cook, Russ Cochran, Mark Calcavecchia, David Frost and Corey Pavin.

Wednesday, October 30

Pettersen Putting Heat on Park in POY Race

Suzann Pettersen (dnkbdotcom)
WITH SIX WINS, THREE OF THEM MAJORS, one would think Inbee Park is a shoo-in for Rolex Player of the Year. But here comes Suzann Pettersen. The Oslo, Norway, native has been tearing up the LPGA circuit.

The LPGA.com's Ward Clayton reported:
With Suzann Pettersen's phenomenal stretch run, Inbee Park's bid to become the first South Korean to win Player of the Year is a bit more tenuous. With a victory last week at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, the 32-year-old Pettersen has moved within 38 points of Park.

Pettersen has won three times and recorded two thirds in her last five starts. She hasn't finished worse than seventh since the U.S. Women's Open in late June. In 30 rounds beginning at the Manulife Financial Classic, Pettersen has recorded only three rounds over par. Park, who didn't play last week, won six times by mid-summer, but has only one top-10 since that last victory in the U.S. Women's Open in late June.
Here's a current comparison of the season's two stars:

CategoryInbee Park Suzann Pettersen
Player of the Year290 points252 points
Rolex Rankings11.97 (1st) 11.38 (2nd)
Wins6 (3 majors)4 (1 major)
Earnings$2,335,460 (1st)$2,241,847 (2nd)
Scoring 69.93 (3rd)69.59 (2nd)
Top-10 Finishes914

Stacy Lewis, last year's Player of the Year, still has a chance to repeat, but it's a very slim one. Lewis would have to win the last three tournaments on the LPGA schedule. She would also need Park to finish outside of the top 10 in the final two events.

Tuesday, October 29

Guan Beats Tiger and Rory in Skills Challenge

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Guan Tianlang at Mission Hills. (Mandarin Media)
For the second year in a row, Rory McIlroy (67) defeated Tiger Woods (68) in The Match at Mission Hills. However, in the shotmaking exhibition that preceded the match, 15-year-old Guan Tianlang got the best of both major winners.

By Mandarin Media

GUAN TIANLANG WAS ON HAND to take part in a Skills Challenge, staged prior to The Match before a crowd of some 120 junior golfers, most of whom were in town for an important junior tournament played at Mission Hills Haikou Oct. 26-27. With this sort of spirited, local support, young Guan beat both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in the skills competition, besting his heroes 50 points to 30.

Speaking before the contest, a confident Guan had said, "I'm playing well at the moment and am confident that I can beat them in this challenge."

And beat them he did.

"I was so lucky," Guan said afterward, sharing a laugh with Tiger and Rory before assembled media. "When I was in the States, I had a chance to, for example, view you guys practicing your short games and your technique. I consider myself very lucky to win this skills challenge today."

Rise of Junior Golf

Rory and Tiger with junior golfers. (Mandarin Media)
Prior to the Skills Challenge, Woods and McIlroy had spent some practice-range time coaching and sharing advice with all the junior golfers on hand, including members of the China National Junior Team.

"They hit the ball very well, but golf is not all about that—it's about getting out on the course, shooting scores and knowing your way around the golf course," said Woods. "I just hope they enjoy it, have fun doing it, have fun trying to do it a little bit better and enjoy the competition part."

Junior golf development remains at the heart of Mission Hills' golf strategy. Before 2013 is through, Mission Hills will host 36 junior tournaments featuring golfers from 30 countries. In January of 2013, in a move widely praised by the international golfing community, Mission Hills announced that three of its courses would be open to golfers under the age of 16 on a free-of-charge basis.

"This is a great initiative, having two golf courses for under-16s free. It's incredible," McIlroy said.

"I wish, back when I was growing up, which wasn't that long ago, we had places like that, where we could come and play golf for free. To make golf more accessible, especially in a country like China where it's seen as a rich man's game, is just—it's phenomenal."

Monday, October 28

Sean Foley Talks to Charlie Rose



SEAN FOLEY, BEST KNOWN AS TIGER WOODS'S swing coach, recently sat down for an extended interview with Charlie Rose, the CBS and PBS talk-show host. I realize the above video of the interview is 37 minutes long, but you might want to set aside some time for all or part of it. I thought it was interesting.

I was about to turn in a few nights ago when I flipped over to Charlie Rose on PBS. There was Foley talking Tiger, the swing, golf instruction and more.

You don't have to listen long to realize that Foley is a total golf-instruction geek. After seeing David Leadbetter and Butch Harmon at the Canadian Open when he was 13 or 14, Foley decided he wanted to be one of those guys. His career path was set.

"My whole life has been about the search for the perfect shot," Foley told Rose.

There's more to Foley than Tiger, although that's why he's famous, at least in a golf sense. Foley has defended his work with Woods, at times sounding testy. The crazy Tiger media glare will do that to people. Implosions happen.

With Charlie Rose, Foley comes across as candid, thoughtful and even humble. He admits that, as a golf instructor, his influence is limited. Not just with Tiger, but also with his other players: Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and Hunter Mahan. He also has worked with Sean O'Hair, Stephen Ames and, more recently, Luke Donald. (UPDATE: Sean O'Hair is NOT working with Luke Donald. My mistake.)

Not a bad stable.

I still don't understand why Tiger had to make such wholesale changes to his golf swing, even down to how he played sand and chip shots. I figured it was Foley's philosophy, an all-or-nothing approach, total buy-in. I also figured Tiger must have needed a re-tooled swing for his battered knee and mid-thirties, beefier body.

I do agree with Foley on at least one thing. Tiger can't go back to his 2000 golf swing that helped him win so many majors. Age and flexibility stand in his way, not Foley or any other swing coach or swing philosophy.

Friday, October 25

Country Stars Playing Golf

(Photo credit: Rusty Harmon)


Photo L-R: Ira Dean, Brian King of The LACS, Brian Finneran (NFL), Clay Sharpe of The LACS, Preston Brust of LoCash Cowboys, Andrew Copeland of Sister Hazel, Chris Lucas of LoCash Cowboys, Josh Kelley, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, Colt Ford, Chipper Jones (MLB), Craig Campbell, Adrian Young of No Doubt, Brad Penny (MLB), Tyler Farr, Larry The Cable Guy, Austin Dillon (NASCAR), Sean Willingham (PBR).

COUNTRY STAR COLT FORD HOSTED his second annual Colt Ford & Friends Celebrity Golf Classic in late September at the Château Élan Winery & Resort just outside Atlanta, Georgia. Proceeds of the annual event, which included a celebrity long-drive competition, silent auction, and an All-Star Jam, will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Stars and celebrities that participated included Charles Kelley from Lady Antebellum, Jamey Johnson, John Michael Montgomery, Josh Kelley, Craig Campbell, Ira Dean, Larry the Cable Guy, Laura Bell Bundy, LoCash Cowboys, The LACS, Tyler Farr and others.

From the sports world: Chipper Jones (MLB), Brian Finneran (NFL) and PGA Tour golfers Billy Horschel, Boo Weekley, Dustin Johnson, Scott Brown, Tommy Gainey and William McGirt.

Thursday, October 24

Golf on TV: 3 Tours in Asia

By Golf Channel News

Following is the tournament lineup and TV schedule for this week.

CIMB CLASSIC
(PGA TOUR)
Dates: October 24-27
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Wednesday 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 6:30-10:30 p.m. (Thursday Replay)
Thursday 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 6:30-10:30 p.m. (Friday Replay)
Friday 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 6:30-10:30 p.m. (Saturday Replay)
Saturday 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 6:30-10:30 p.m. (Sunday Replay)

Event Notes

Now It's Official: This week's CIMB Classic marks the first FedExCup event in Asia. For the first time in the event's four-year history, PGA TOUR members will receive official FedExCup points as part of the newly aligned 2013-14 PGA TOUR season.

New-look Field: The field increases from 48 to 78 this year with 60 players from the 2013 FedExCup list, 10 from the Asian Tour Order of Merit and eight sponsor's exemptions.

Headlining the Field: Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, Nick Watney, Billy Horschel, Bo Van Pelt, Angel Cabrera and Graham DeLaet.

* * *


BMW MASTERS
(European Tour)
Dates: October 24-27
Venue: Lake Malaren Golf Club, Shanghai, China

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 6-10 a.m. (Tape Delay)
Friday 6-10 a.m. (Tape Delay)
Saturday 6-10 a.m. (Tape Delay)
Sunday 6-10 a.m. (Tape Delay)

Event Notes

First Leg of the Final Series: This week serves as the opening event of the inaugural European Tour Final Series – the first of four events that will culminate with the Tour Championship in Dubai next month.

Headlining the Field: Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, Branden Grace, Thomas Bjorn and Nicolas Colsaerts.

***

AT&T CHAMPIONSHIP
(Champions Tour)
Dates: October 25-27
Venue: TPC San Antonio, AT&T Canyons Course, San Antonio, Texas

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Friday 3:30-6 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Saturday Replay)
Saturday 3:30-6 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Sunday Replay)
Sunday 3:30-6 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-1 a.m. (Sunday Night Replay)

Event Notes

Scrambling to Make the Field: This week's tournament is the final opportunity to vault into the 30-man field for the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup next week in San Francisco.

Down to Three: With the conclusion of last week's Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn, only three players can win the Charles Schwab Cup. Kenny Perry, Bernhard Langer and David Frost have a mathematical shot at winning the season-long prize at TPC Harding Park.

Headlining the Field: Colin Montgomerie, Nick Price, Bernhard Langer, Kenny Perry, Mark O'Meara, Rocco Mediate, Mark Calcavecchia, John Cook, Fred Funk, Russ Cochran and Corey Pavin.

***

SUNRISE LPGA TAIWAN CHAMPIONSHIP
(LPGA Tour)
Dates: October 24-27
Venue: Sunrise Golf & Country Club, Yang Mei Taoyuan, Taiwan

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday Noon-3 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Friday Noon-3 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Saturday Noon-3 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Sunday Noon-3 p.m. (Tape Delay)

Event Notes

Headlining the Field: Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer, Yani Tseng, Ai Miyazato, Beatriz Recari, Azahara Munoz, Na Yeon Choi and Anna Nordqvist.

Wednesday, October 23

Life on Web.com Tour: 'Out Here It's Peaceful'

GOLFDIGEST.COM HAS PUBLISHED A PHOTO ESSAY on the Web.com Tour. The 16 photos by Benjamin Lowy are in black and white. They were taken at the Omaha Cox Classic. Max Adler wrote the text. A tidbit:
It's not the level of competition, nor the difficulty of the courses, that distinguishes the Web.com Tour from the PGA Tour. 
"Out here it's peaceful," says Daniel Chopra. "Out there it's chaos, tens of thousands of people and big trucks backing in all over the place." 
Rare are the individuals, like Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, who succeed on the big stage from the onset.
I've always wanted to go to a Web.com Tour event. Just walk around and watch top players and their caddies with hardly anyone around. I should do it.

Tuesday, October 22

CIMB Classic Kicks Off 'Asian Swing'

Phil Mickelson is making his first
start in the CIMB Classic. (Flickr)
THERE ARE SEVERAL FIRST-TIMERS AT this week's CIMB Classic in Malaysia, now an official PGA Tour event. The 78-person field has no cut, which means FedEx Cup points (and cash) for all PGA Tour members who tee it up at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

PGATour.com's Sean Martin reported:
The PGA TOUR has its "swings," like the West Coast Swing and Florida Swing. Now there's the Asian Swing. Some players in the CIMB field are traveling to Asia for the first of two consecutive TOUR events [the other being the WGC-HSBC Champions]; others, like Charles Howell III, made the trip solely for the CIMB. The inclusion of FedExCup points was one reason Howell made his first trip to this event.

"The FedExCup points make it worthwhile. The points weren't all of it, but were a lot of it," Howell said, referring to the factors that convinced him to play this year. "I've been exempt before and not played. Now that these events count, it's hard not to play."

Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia are also making their first appearance at the CIMB. Mickelson and Bradley are among the seven Presidents Cup participants in the field, along with Graham DeLaet, Bill Haas, Marc Leishman, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama. This year's field was increased from 48 to 78 players and the purse was increased from $6.1 million to $7 million.
The CIMB Classic starts on Thursday and will air live on Golf Channel beginning at 11 p.m. ET.

Monday, October 21

Faldo Series Final Tees Off at The Greenbrier

THE GREENBRIER, THE HISTORIC GOLF RESORT in West Virginia, will host the largest-ever field in the 17th Grand Final of The Faldo Series, which tees off on Tuesday and concludes on Thursday (October 22-24). A total of 101 golfers from 19 countries will join Sir Nick Faldo for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event.

2012 champion Jack Singh-Brar with Nick Faldo.
"We are very excited about bringing the Grand Final to the U.S. for the first time," Faldo said. "The players will have the unique opportunity to experience tournament golf at a world-class resort that has hosted the Ryder Cup and the PGA Tour four times."

Defending champion Jack Singh-Brar will be aiming to become the fourth person to successfully defend a Faldo Series title. The 17-year-old has won the Berkhamsted Trophy this year and made the cut in his European Tour debut at the Russian Masters. The World Amateur Golf Ranking event will see golfers aged 12 to 22 compete over three rounds on the Old White TPC course. Off the course, they will spend time with Faldo, his coach Keith Wood and experts from TrackMan at the new Faldo Golf Center.

Eight American players will make their Faldo Series debut. Three West Virginia locals—Thadd Obecny II of Wheeling, Cambden Moore of Spencer and Adeena Shears of Parkersburg—will be joined by five PGA of America nominees (Zachary Bouchou, Forest, VA; Sam Burns, Shreveport, LA; Brad Dalke, Hobart, OK; Kristen Gillman, Austin, TX and Megan Khang, Rockland, MA).

Local school children will attend clinics with Faldo and watch the competitors in action, part of a Faldo Series drive to help grow golf at the grassroots level.

Supported by The R&A, The Greenbrier, ISPS Handa and the European Tour, the 2013 Faldo Series Europe schedule features a record 20 tournaments in 15 countries including six in England plus others in Ireland, Abu Dhabi, Chile, the Czech Republic, Scotland, Austria, Wales, Brazil, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, Greece and the USA.

Established in 1996, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year. Past winners include major champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.

(Source: The Greenbrier)

Friday, October 18

Padraig 'Happy Gilmore' Harrington at PGA Grand Slam of Golf



PADRAIG HARRINGTON HAD SOME FUN IN BERMUDA. At least on the practice tee. Paddy went on to finish fourth in the 2013 PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal Golf Course, a 36-hole event that features the four major winners. Harrington joined the group when British Open champion Phil Mickelson declined the invitation.

Here's how they finished:

Adam Scott 70-64-134 (-8)
Justin Rose 67-69-136 (-6)
Jason Duffner 69-70-139 (-3)
Padraig Harrington 74-71-145 (+3)

Masters winner Scott slipped into the pink jacket after a tap-in eagle at the par-5 17th hole helped him shake U.S. Open champion Rose. Rose led by two strokes at the start of the final round.

"It's been fun," Scott said, "but a trying couple of days here really, especially today. It felt like a long round out there, and standing on the 11th tee, it didn't look like a score like that was going to be possible, but I played very well and managed to slowly claw away at Justin."

Meanwhile, "Happy Gilmore" Harrington, in his words, "played stale golf, tired golf." The Irishman needs time away from the game, and hopes to "take close to a two-and-a-half-month break."

Thursday, October 17

Golf on TV: Homecoming for Inbee Park

By Golf Channel News

Following is the tournament lineup and TV schedule for this week.

SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN OPEN
Dates: October 17-20
Venue: TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nev.

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Bigger Stage: With the wraparound schedule in effect, the tournament now offers full FedExCup points and a substantially larger purse – $6 million this year compared to $4.5 million in 2012.

Headlining the Field: Angel Cabrera, Zach Johnson, Nick Watney, David Toms, Freddie Jacobson, Hideki Matsuyama, Ryo Ishikawa, Graham DeLaet, Russell Henley, Davis Love III and Vijay Singh.

***

GREATER HICKORY KIA CLASSIC AT ROCK BARN
Dates: October 18-20
Venue: Rock Barn Golf & Spa, Conover, N.C.

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Friday 2-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 2-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 2-4:30 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-2 a.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Modified Course Layout: After getting hit with nine inches of rain in a three-hour span in late July this year, the tournament was forced to create a reconfigured course layout for the event. A combination of the Jones and Jackson courses will make up what will be referred to as the "Champions Course," playing to a par-70 versus the typical par-72 in previous years.

Headlining the Field: Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price, Kenny Perry, Rocco Mediate, Fred Funk, Mark Calcavecchia, Michael Allen, Mark Wiebe, Roger Chapman and Brad Faxon.

***


LPGA KEB HANABANK CHAMPIONSHIP
Dates: October 18-20
Venue: Ocean Course, Sky 72 Golf Club, Incheon, South Korea

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Tape Delay)

Event Notes

No Cut – The 78-player field will compete in a 54-hole format and will play with no cut.

Homecoming for Inbee: The top ranked player in the world, Inbee Park, will compete in front of crowds from her home country this week at the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship.

Headlining the Field: Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Yani Tseng, Beatriz Recari, Azahara Munoz and Jessica Korda.

Wednesday, October 16

The Slow Play Golf Association (SPGA)

By David Savage

(Courtesy of DazMSmith)
MEMBERSHIP IN THE SLOW PLAY Golf Association (SPGA) is simple, especially if you follow these important guidelines:

1. Arrive in the parking lot at your tee time. That way the starter will try to hold everyone else up while you pay your fees and get your cart.

2. No two people out of the cart at the same time. One player has to complete his shot and return to the cart before the second person can exit the cart and begin planning his shot.

3. Take plenty of practice swings. Five or six minimum.

4. Wait for the group ahead to clear. Even though your best drive is 170 yards, the group ahead has to be on the green of the 400 yard par 4 before you can hit your drive.

5. Use all electronic devices: GPS, rangefinder, iPhone app, etc. before every shot. Immediately answer all cell phone calls and text messages. Tweeting frequently is encouraged.

6. Use the same club the pros use. Phil Mickelson hits his 7 iron 170 yards and you should be able to hit yours the same distance.

7. Following every bad shot, hit a mulligan.

8. Look for lost balls no matter how long it takes. Leave the cart parked in the middle of the fairway so the group behind knows you are still looking.

9. Park the cart in front of the green or at least on the opposite side of the green from the next tee.

10. View all putts from all four sides. The pros do and so should you whether it is the first, second, third or fourth putt.

11. After putting out, stroll back to the cart, return to the green to pick up the club you forgot, clean the clubs, place them in the bag, get into the cart, recount each stroke on that hole, record the score and then, and only then, drive to the next tee.

12. Never, ever wave the group through.

13. Never take a lesson from a golf pro. It may invalidate your membership in the SPGA.

David Savage lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.

Tuesday, October 15

VIDEO: Golf Legend Tony Jacklin on BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing'



TWO-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION AND RYDER CUP hero Tony Jacklin, 69, still has plenty of guts and passion. Jacklin was a celebrity dancer on "Strictly Come Dancing," a popular BBC show in its 11th season. America's "Dancing With the Stars" spun off (no pun intended) from "Strictly."

Jacklin took some ribbing from the media. "Did he need the money?" asked Des Lynam of The Telegraph. "Surely not. Was he clutching at another run at fame? I cannot imagine."

Not surprisingly, Jacklin was the first dancer to leave this season. He said he had no regrets. "I gave it my best shot but it was not good enough. ... It was a wonderful time and a wonderful few weeks."

At GeoffShackelford.com, commenters were mostly kind to Jacklin.

The Pro from Dover: "Living life! What is wrong with that? Go Tony, go! Bet it took more guts going on this show than making a 3 footer on the last hole of a major!"

RES: "Good for him. I'm sure he had a great time. Beats complaining about the distance the ball goes, denigrating Tiger's level of competition and looking for design work in Timbuktu, which is what most 70 year old pros do for fun."

At The Telegraph (online), telegraphtattle said: "Yes, he's an older contestant and struggled with the energy required, but he was a good sport and certainly didn't embarrass himself as Des [Lynam] suggests. TJ is much loved by his fans and the golfing world and will always be held in high esteem."

I've gotten to know Tony during the last couple of years. When I talked to him in August, he told me he was going to do the show. I wasn't too surprised. I admire Tony's go-for-it attitude. Without that mindset, the truck driver's son from Scunthorpe would never have become a golf champion.

(Visor tip: Geoff Shackelford)

Monday, October 14

8 More Ryder Cups for NBC

Editor's note: While the below announcement doesn't eliminate the sting of losing the U.S. Open to Fox in August, it certainly reinforces NBC's identity as a major golf network and the presenter of the Ryder Cup. Televising every Ryder Cup since 1991, NBC is guaranteed eight more (nine when you include 2014). The long-term deal was announced last Thursday.

By PGA of America

IN AN UNPRECEDENTED AGREEMENT, the PGA of America and NBC Sports Group today [last Thursday] unveiled a historic partnership to further raise the profile of the Ryder Cup, the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, and PGA Professionals across the networks of NBC and Golf Channel beginning in 2015. The partnership, which extends through 2030, and includes eight additional Ryder Cups on NBC, was announced today [last Thursday] by PGA of America President Ted Bishop and CEO Pete Bevacqua, and NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. The agreement also includes all-language and simultaneous streaming rights for NBC's Ryder Cup coverage.

The Ryder Cup, one of the most prestigious events in all of sports, has been televised by NBC since 1991. In 2012, the Ryder Cup was televised to nearly one-half billion households globally.

This agreement features a wave of new programming and special coverage of the Ryder Cup including: regular Ryder Cup preview shows, vignettes, features, reports and points updates on NBC and Golf Channel; a Ryder Cup Documentary Series on both networks; live coverage of practice rounds (for the first time ever) and the Ryder Cup Captain Selection Show on Golf Channel; and new Ryder Cup highlight programming on Telemundo and Mun2 to expand Hispanic viewership opportunities.

"In many ways, this is a transformational deal for The PGA of America," said Bevacqua.

"We are not only excited about the continued excellent coverage and treatment of the Ryder Cup, Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid and other PGA of America events by the NBC Sports Group, but we are eager to work with the networks of NBC, including Golf Channel, on celebrating the unique role of the PGA Professional in the game.

"Golf Channel is the daily voice of golf in this country. There are wonderful synergies that will be explored between that voice and The PGA of America, as we work together to honor PGA Professionals, draw upon their expertise and expand their relevance among those who already play the game and those who aspire to play."

Friday, October 11

Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and the Member Blues

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

(The final installment in a series on Hall of Fame golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr.)

Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
AT TIMES ROBERT TRENT JONES'S CHIEF OBSTACLE was not the landscape, but the club membership.

"When you have 400 members," Jones said, "you have 400 architects. Everyone wants the course adapted or built to handle their game. If someone is a natural hooker, he wants no ponds or out-of-bounds to the left. And they especially don't want me to remodel their favorite scoring holes."

Jones ran into such a problem when he redesigned the 4th hole at Baltusrol for the 1954 U.S. Open. He lengthened the hole, placed a tier in the green, put all the trapping toward the back, and then extended the water hazard around the front of the green. These changes were permanent and some of the members complained that Jones had made the hole too tough for them. Jones felt the hole, at 160 yards, wasn't tough enough and when the remodeling was completed, he played a practice round with members of the construction committee.

At the 4th tee Jones hit last, after the others in the foursome had driven safely onto the green. He addressed the ball and then paused a moment, thinking how the players had easily reached the green and remembering that they had thought the hole was too difficult. He smiled and said in his soft, unassuming voice, "I told you this hole wasn't unfair." And then he laced a low five iron onto the green. The ball hit six feet before the pin and hopped into the cup on one bounce. He had made the new hole's first hole-in-one.

For all his successes as a golf architect, Jones did not think he had contributed that much more to the development of the game.

"There is nothing new in course design over the last 50 years," he told me. "The principles are the same. It is only from the imagination of the creator that a course gets its character."

While this is true, he, more than any other modern practitioner, made the profession of golf architecture both a science and an art. He enriched the lives of millions of players and made everyone who appreciated natural beauty thankful that today, years after his passing, the sun, still never sets on the gifts that Robert Trent Jones, Sr. gave the game of golf.

Related:
'Doctor' Jones Made Pros Take His Medicine
Robert Trent Jones, Sr. on Heroic Golf
Bobby Jones, Robert Trent Jones and Peachtree Golf Club
The College-Educated Golf Course Architect
PGA Returns to Home of Robert Trent Jones, Sr.

John Coyne is a bestselling author whose latest golf novel is The Caddie Who Won the Masters. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Thursday, October 10

Golf on TV: Nick Faldo Makes Champions Tour Debut

By Golf Channel News

Following is the tournament lineup and TV schedule for this week.

FRYS.COM OPEN
(PGA TOUR)
Dates: October 10-13
Venue: CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin, Calif.

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Kicking Off a New Season – The Frys.com Open serves as the official start of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season. This week is the first of six official events to be contested in the 2013 calendar year as a part of the wraparound season.

Headlining the Field: Davis Love III, Billy Horschel, Charles Howell III, Ryan Moore, Vijay Singh, Hideki Matsuyama, John Huh, Robert Garrigus, Ben Crane, Jonas Blixt and Trevor Immelman.

***

SAS CHAMPIONSHIP
(Champions Tour)
Dates: October 11-13
Venue: Prestonwood CC, Cary, N.C.

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Friday 2-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 2-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 2-4:30 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-2 a.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Nick Faldo Makes Champions Tour Debut – Nick Faldo will make his first-ever appearance in a Champions Tour event staged in the United States. Since turning 50 in 2007, Faldo has twice played the Senior British Open (2007, 2009), but never a domestic event on the Champions Tour circuit.

Headlining the Field: Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Kenny Perry, Mark Calcavecchia, Corey Pavin, Mark O’Meara and Mark Wiebe.

***

SIME DARBY LPGA MALAYSIA
Dates: October 10-13
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (East Course), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 12:30-3 a.m. (Live)
Friday 12:30-3 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 12:30-3 a.m. (Live)
Sunday Midnight-3 a.m. (Live)

Event Notes

Elite Field – The field features just 72 players, which means there will be no cut after 36 holes. This is the second of five events on the Asia Swing for the LPGA Tour.

East to West – The LPGA Tour will take over the East Course at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club this week, while the West Course will host the PGA TOUR in two weeks for the CIMB Classic.

Headlining the Field: Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer, Suzann Pettersen, Yani Tseng, Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Na Yeon Choi, I.K. Kim and Jessia Korda.

Wednesday, October 9

VIDEO: Jack Nicklaus Explains New Golf Ball Line



DURING LAST WEEK'S PRESIDENTS CUP golf legend Jack Nicklaus unveiled a new line of golf balls. The "Nicklaus Black," "Nicklaus Blue," and "Nicklaus White" are designed to correspond with player skill levels.

"The idea of creating three balls corresponds to the teeing areas golfers typically play," Nicklaus said in a company statement.

"The Nicklaus White ball is designed for the players who might typically play the forward or white tees. Nicklaus Blue is designed for players who would typically play the middle or blue tees. And, finally, Nicklaus Black is designed for the single-digit or better golfer who generally plays from the back tees."

There's also a charitable element.

"A percentage from every golf ball sold in those shops will be donated directly back to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation to support pediatric programs and hospitals nationwide, while visitors to Nicklaus.com will have the ability to support the Foundation with voluntary contributions.

"We all know that the game of golf can be challenging enough, so we are trying to simplify the decision-making process of selecting the right golf ball and at the same time provide consumers the highest-quality golf balls and at a price that encourages charitable support."

The new golf balls will be in production this month and begin shipping in November. The balls will be available at Nicklaus.com and more than 200 golf and pro shops (at Nicklaus Design courses) around the United States.

Tuesday, October 8

Golf Fame Under Review in St. Augustine

Editor's note: To this outsider, the induction process of the World Golf Hall of Fame has sometimes looked like a popularity contest that favors modern players with questionable credentials (as compared to past inductees). I suppose that's to be expected. It can also cheapen the Hall. It will be interesting to see the changes that materialize from this review.

World Golf Hall of Fame statement:

FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE 2013 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors instructed the Hall of Fame to begin a comprehensive review of several of its processes. The review has focused on an evaluation of the criteria and process for electing/selecting all five avenues of induction and a review of the production of the annual Induction Ceremony, including date, location and presentation.

At this time, the strategic review is ongoing. The process of electing and selecting inductees and planning the Induction Ceremony takes several months and includes the coordination of the game's professional tours, governing bodies and allied organizations.

Therefore, in fairness to that process, the Board of Directors and the Hall of Fame have agreed to forego the 2014 Induction Ceremony. The 2015 Induction Ceremony will continue as planned, for the Monday of THE PLAYERS Championship, on May 4, 2015.

The review is expected to be complete in early 2014 and an announcement will be made after the Board of Directors approves any changes to be made.

Monday, October 7

New York Times: Captains 'Whiffed' at Presidents Cup

IN AN ODD WEEK THAT INCLUDED a squirrel named Sammy, buckets of rain and a speedy female streaker, the United States won its fifth straight Presidents Cup, fending off the Internationals by the score of 18.5 to 15.5. World No. 1 Tiger Woods secured the deciding point by beating Richard Sterne 1-up.

The International team narrowed a wide gap on Sunday by winning 7.5 of 12 possible points in the singles matches. According to the New York Times' Karen Crouse, there was potential for greater interest and drama on the final day, if only captains Fred Couples and Nick Price would have cooperated.

Crouse reported:
Golf was the big loser at the 10th Presidents Cup, but not because the United States — by the score of 18 ½-15 ½ — defeated an International team, composed of the top non-European players, for the fifth consecutive time and the eighth time in the event’s history. The time is coming when the rising talent in Asia will leave the Americans, who led at one point by 17-10, longing for the days when success in the event was as much of a gimme as Woods’s second putt on 18.

With the authority to wring some excitement out of a four-day deluge interrupted by what amounted to a lavishly produced exhibition, the captains Fred Couples and Nick Price whiffed.

The format called for them to pick their matchups the way people do their fantasy teams, in an open draft. The circumstances were tailor-made to manufacture enough buzz to help cut through the nasty weather and a day crammed with N.F.L. games and baseball playoff action. Woods versus Scott could have been thrilling, like watching Usain Bolt race Tyson Gay on the track. Also there for the public’s entertainment loomed Jordan Spieth versus Hideki Matsuyama in a showdown of rookies whose average age is under 21, and Ernie Els versus Phil Mickelson in a pairing of the last two British Open champions. 
The possibilities were thrilling.
But those possibilities didn't come to pass. It rained hard on Sunday. The most exciting thing that happened on the 18th hole might have been the streaker who sprinted down the fairway.

"I did my pairings this morning to try and win the Cup, not to put 1 or 2 together," Price said after it was all over.

While we're focusing on the negative, the tape-delayed broadcast by NBC was disappointing. Another reminder that the Presidents Cup isn't the Ryder Cup.

Friday, October 4

U.S. Holds 1-Point Edge at Presidents Cup


ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights of Day 1 at the Presidents Cup.

THURSDAY'S ACTION AT THE 10TH PRESIDENTS CUP in Dublin, Ohio, ended with the United States leading the International team 3.5 to 2.5. The Internationals were ahead early but the Americans rallied, winning the last three matches.

There was an avalanche of birdies in the six fourball matches at Muirfield Village Golf Club. More than 100 in six hours of golf. (The matches were delayed 80 minutes due to rain.) There were also two eagles. Plus one squirrel. U.S. assistant captain Davis Love III befriended the squirrel, which is now apparently the team mascot, named "Sammy."

After the matches, International captain Nick Price expressed confidence in his squad. "I'm not going to lose faith in those teams, to be honest. I really think that they're all ready to take their games to the next level."

Friday is foursomes, also known as alternate shot. Here's the lineup of matches:

Match 1: Phil Mickelson-Keegan Bradley (U.S.) vs. Jason Day-Graham DeLaet (International)

Match 2: Bill Haas-Hunter Mahan (U.S.) vs. Ernie Els-Brendon de Jonge (International)

Match 3: Steve Stricker-Jordan Spieth (U.S.) vs. Branden Grace-Richard Sterne (International)

Match 4: Webb-Simpson-Brandt Snedeker (U.S.) vs. Angel Cabrera-Marc Leishman (International)

Match 5: Tiger Woods-Matt Kuchar (U.S.) vs. Louis Oosthuizen-Charl Schwartzel (International)

Match 6: Jason Dufner-Zach Johnson (U.S.) vs. Adam Scott-Hideki Matsuyama (International)

Friday's matches tee off at 1:10 p.m. ET. Golf Channel and NBC have the TV coverage.

Thursday, October 3

2013 Presidents Cup TV Schedule and Event Notes

By Golf Channel News

PRESIDENTS CUP
Dates: October 3-6
Venue: Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Friday: 1-6 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. (NBC Replay)
Sunday: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. (NBC Replay)

Golf Channel on NBC Airtimes (Eastern):
Saturday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday: Noon-6 p.m. (Live)

Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team: Terry Gannon (Golf Channel Play by Play) / Dan Hicks (NBC Play by Play), Frank Nobilo (Golf Channel Analyst) / Johnny Miller (NBC Analyst), Gary Koch (Tower), Peter Jacobsen (Tower), Mark Rolfing (On Course), Roger Maltbie (On Course), Curt Byrum (Golf Channel On Course), Notah Begay (On Course), Steve Sands (Interviews), Jimmy Roberts (Interviews/Essays), Tim Rosaforte (Insider, News and Notes).

Event Notes

Format – The tournament will feature three different match play formats including six four-ball matches on Thursday, six foursome matches on Friday, five morning four-ball matches and five afternoon foursome matches on Saturday, and 12 singles matches on Sunday.

History – This is the 10th edition of the biennial event (contested in non-Ryder Cup years) and the United States holds a 7-1-1 record overall, and a 5-0 record when it is held in the United States.

Captains – United States: Fred Couples, Jay Haas (Assistant) and Davis Love III (Assistant); International: Nick Price, Shigeki Maruyama (Assistant), Mark McNulty (Assistant), Tony Johnstone (Assistant).

United States Roster – Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth.

International Roster – Adam Scott, Jason Day, Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Graham DeLaet, Richard Sterne, Angel Cabrera, Marc Leishman, Brendan de Jonge.

Broadcast Notes

Jack’s Place – Normally on display as the spring turns to summer for the PGA TOUR’s Memorial Tournament, Jack Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village takes center stage this week to host the international biennial event.

Live From the Presidents Cup to Broadcast On-site Tuesday-Sunday – LIVE FROM THE PRESIDENTS CUP will broadcast live and on-site at Muirfield Village throughout the week, both prior to and immediately following Presidents Cup matches.

Closing Ceremony Broadcast Live on Golf Channel – The closing ceremony will be broadcast live on Golf Channel immediately following Day 4 coverage on NBC on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 2

2013 Presidents Cup Predictions

THE 10TH PRESIDENTS CUP BEGINS TOMORROW (Thursday) at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. The United States has dominated the series, winning seven, losing one and tying one.

I expect the United States will win again this week. They are definitely more relaxed at the Presidents Cup, which has produced some great performances. They have a strong team with a nice mixture of veterans and youth. The Americans may be eager to prove themselves after the embarrassing Ryder Cup loss at Medinah last fall. The Europeans stole that one. (Or the Yanks gave it away.)

More: 2013 Presidents Cup Teams

This isn't the Ryder Cup, though. A Presidents Cup victory isn't the same. Sorry.

Experts (staff and contributors at PGATour.com) have weighed in. Seven of 10 are picking the United States. A few say it will be close but that the U.S. team is deep and won't lose on home soil. Maybe. Maybe not.

Sean Martin, along with two others, is a contrarian. He's picking the Internationals.

Martin: "Europe won the Ryder Cup for the first time on U.S. soil in 1987 at ... Muirfield Village. It's a good omen for a big upset."

Picking the United States, Bill Cooney offered this telling stat: "Five Americans ranked inside the top 25 in strokes gained-putting; only two Internationals ranked in the top 75."

Who will be making the putts this weekend?

The Opening Ceremony is later today (Wednesday). From PresidentsCup.com:
Emceed by Dan Hicks of NBC Sports, Opening Ceremony will feature U.S. Team Captain Fred Couples and International Team Captain Nick Price and their teams, as well as speeches from World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus; PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; and a video message from U.S. President Barack Obama, honorary chairman of The Presidents Cup 2013. 
Attendees will enjoy a brief fireworks display as the stage is reset for a special performance by American country-music group Rascal Flatts (two of three members hail from Columbus).
The competition gets under way with fourball matches on Thursday morning. Golf Channel and NBC will televise the four days of matches.

Tuesday, October 1

Young Guan Joins Tiger and Rory Show

Guan Tianlang will test his skills against Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy at Mission Hills. 















By Mandarin Media

CHINESE AMATEUR SENSATION GUAN TIANLANG will join World No. 1 Tiger Woods and two-time major winner Rory McIlroy in a Skills Challenge before the two established mega-stars head out for The Match at Mission Hills, to be held over the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou on Oct. 28.

Guan, who made Masters history earlier this year—competing as a 14 year old and making the cut on golf's biggest stage—will join his idols in a Skills Challenge on the practice range, as part of the warm-up prior to The Match. All three players will demonstrate precision and technique by hitting targets placed strategically around the range, while simultaneously engaging with and giving tips to what organizers expect to be a massive group of aspiring young golfers.

Guan, a Guangzhou native, has been a regular at Mission Hills youth tournaments since 2008. Indeed, Mission Hills Haikou will host a two-day tournament for juniors Oct. 26-27—winners of the boys' and girls' events (in the 12-15 and 16-18 age groups) will receive their prizes from Woods and McIlroy after The Match at Mission Hills. The low gross winners, boys and girls, will qualify for the International Junior Golf Tour's Tournament of Champions in Grand Cypress, Florida, May 25-27, 2014.

Directly after the Skills Challenge, Woods and McIlroy will also conduct a clinic for the Chinese National Junior Team, many members of which will have competed over the weekend.

Admission to The Match at Mission Hills (and the Skills Challenge) will be free of charge for all spectators under the age of 18.

'I might have a chance'

"It's pretty exciting for me to compete against Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in a Skills Challenge before they play The Match at Mission Hills," said Guan, who has become a golfing icon in his home country. "As the event is taking place in China, I hope to get some local support. I might have a chance because these are short targets. I'm glad it's not a long-driving contest!

"It will be nice to see Tiger again because he has been very supportive, such as when we practiced together at this year's Masters. I haven't played with Rory before, but we had a nice chat at the Masters and he also offered me some good advice. Both Tiger and Rory achieved a lot of success when they were teenagers, so I always appreciate it whenever they offer advice."

Woods, recently named PGA Tour Player of the Year for the 11th time, was happy to accept the skills challenge and looked forward to reuniting with Guan.

"The skills challenge with Guan should be fun," said Woods, holder of 79 PGA Tour titles including five this year.

"I'm really excited about his future and what he's doing for the profile of golf in China, so it's great he'll be a part of The Match at Mission Hills. I know we'll have a lot of junior golfers watching us that day and it's great that this has been added into the mix."