Friday, October 30

Happy Halloween: 5 Terrifying Golf Shots

(From the archives.)

HALLOWEEN IS TOMORROW. But if you're a golfer—especially a tour pro who plays the game for a living—it's Halloween every day you tee it up. Because ghosts, goblins, haunted houses and Freddy Krueger are kid stuff compared to golf. Golf is sheer terror, a gruesome monster that will eat you alive.

Following are five of golf's scariest shots. (Note: The fright factor is on a scale of 1 to 10.)

The opening tee shot
Butterflies are common on the first tee, even for tour pros. That's why you see hooks, blocks and all manner of tee shots until the jitters wear off. (If they do.)
Fright factor: 7
(10 if it's the Ryder Cup)

OB right
Right-handed golfers who play a natural draw can somehow hit a push-fade when there are OB stakes down the right-hand side of the fairway. 
Fright factor: 7

Any shot over water
This one always amazes me. I think, "They're pros. No problem." Then splash. Last year I saw a journeyman dump a wedge shot in the drink while leading the Memorial. And it happens every year at the Masters. Someone hits it in the water when you least expect it.
Fright factor: 7
(10 if you're leading in the final round of the Masters)

The three-footer
I have a theory: The more you hate three-footers, the more three-footers you'll have. Actually, it's probably a law. Careers are made or destroyed by the short putt. Sam Snead. Doug Sanders. Scott Hoch.
Fright factor: 8
(10 if it's to win your first major)

The shank
"I think he shanked it." You don’t want Johnny Miller saying that on TV after you hit a 4-iron from a perfect lie in the middle of the fairway. Once it happens, it's in the back of your mind on every shot the rest of the way. Even on putts.
Fright factor: 10

Thursday, October 29

Golf on TV: CIMB Classic, Turkish Airlines Open, Toshiba Classic, Blue Bay LPGA

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR shifts to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic, with a field of 78 players competing in a 72-hole no-cut event. Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama and Sergio Garcia headline the field. 

CIMB Classic
Dates: Oct. 29-Nov. 1
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (West Course), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     10:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Live) / 2-6 p.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday         10:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Live) / 1-5 p.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 1-5 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / Noon-4 p.m. (Sunday replay)

Broadcast Notes

Tournament format: The field consists of 78 players including 60 players from the 2014-15 FedExCup standings, 10 from the Asian Tour Order of Merit and eight sponsor’s exemptions, competing in a 72-hole no-cut format.

Moore defends: Ryan Moore won by three strokes over Gary Woodland, Kevin Na and Sergio Garcia to successfully defend his 2013 title.

Headlining the field: Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Ernie Els, Patrick Reed, Anirban Lahiri, Daniel Berger, Justin Thomas, Branden Grace and Kevin Na.

* * *

EUROPEAN TOUR

The European Tour kicks off the first of four events in its Final Series, as World No. 3 Rory McIlroy leads the field at the top of the current Race to Dubai standings. Each of the four events features a field of 60-78 players with no cut, totaling a combined purse of $30.5 million. 

Turkish Airlines Open
Dates: Oct. 29-Nov. 1
Venue: The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5-10 a.m. (Live)
Friday              5-10 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          5-10 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            3:30-8:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

Final Series begins as McIlroy looks to maintain Race to Dubai lead: Rory McIlroy headlines the field as the Race to Dubai leader in the first of four events a part of the European Tour’s Final Series. Each of the four events features a field of 60-78 players with no cut, totaling a combined purse of $30.5 million.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Shane Lowry, Victor Dubuisson and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

* * *

CHAMPIONS TOUR

The Champions Tour stages its final event of the season prior to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week, with three players still in the running to win the Charles Schwab Cup: Colin Montgomerie (No. 1); Jeff Maggert (No.2, trailing Montgomerie by 39 points); and Bernhard Langer (No. 3, trailing Montgomerie by 66 points).

Toshiba Classic
Dates: Oct. 30-Nov. 1
Venue: Newport Beach Country Club, Newport Beach, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              5-8 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          5-8 p.m. (Live) / 2-3:30 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            4:30-7 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-2 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes

Couples defends: Fred Couples defeated Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Steve Pate by one stroke for his 10th career Champions Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Colin Montgomerie, Jeff Maggert, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Jay Haas, Vijay Singh, Mark O’Meara, Rocco Mediate, Marco Dawson and Tom Lehman.

* * *

LPGA TOUR

The LPGA Tour is in China for the Blue Bay LPGA, as Lydia Ko makes her first start since returning to No.1 in the Rolex Rankings.

Blue Bay LPGA
Dates: Oct. 29-Nov. 1
Venue: Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course, Hainan Island, China

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         2:30-5 a.m. (Tape delay) / Midnight-4 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday              2:30-5 a.m. (Tape delay) / Midnight-4 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday          8-10:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / Midnight-4 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday            8 p.m.-Midnight (Tape delay) / Midnight-3 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Broadcast Notes

Pace defends: Lee-Anne Pace defeated Caroline Masson by three strokes for his first LPGA Tour win in a 54-hole shortened event due to heavy rains.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Shanshan Feng, Hyo Joo Kim, Amy Yang, Suzann Pettersen, Sei Young Kim, Anna Nordqvist and Brittany Lincicome.

Wednesday, October 28

Brian Keogh: G-Mac Hungry for Turkish Delight

By Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.


News from Brian Keogh's
Irish Golf Desk.
GRAEME MCDOWELL INSISTS A TASTE of Turkish delight this week could transform the year from hell into the promise of a sweet '16 to come. The former US Open champion has slipped from 15th to 80th In the world this season and insists he will write off the European Tour season and turn his attention to the last two Fall Series events of the year in the US if he fails to grab a top-two finish on his debut in this week's Turkish Airlines Open. 

The 36-year-old Portrush man could be facing a difficult 2016 if he remains outside the world's Top 50 in a Ryder Cup year. But he honestly believes he's slowly turning the corner with his game and reckons one good finish somewhere in the world over the course of the next month will put a different complexion on what's been a 2015 campaign to forget.

"I'd take a top five and a top 10 over these next three or four weeks here and sit down over my Christmas dinner and say, alright, not my best year but we are still where we need to be and we are ready to go," McDowell said as he played the back nine on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal for the first time.

Ranked 64th in the Race to Dubai and needing only a modest finish to make the top 60 who qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, McDowell has set his sights far higher.

"Obviously I am not in the DP World Tour Championship right now," McDowell said. "But if I had a big week this week, it would change things. If I don't make a serious impact and I can't get myself into the top-20 in the Race to Dubai from this week, I am not really going to pursue it because the Earth Course in Dubai is not really a good golf course for me anyway."

Reunited with his old "fundamentals" coach Clive Tucker as well as current swing fixer Pete Cowen, he added: "I am highly motivated and I really felt like I have turned the corner so I am just trying to remain very patient and take each week as it comes and each week is an opportunity."

His potential 2016 season is not a concern right now, not because he doesn't have headaches, but because he's living week to week in search of that jackpot performance.

"I will cross that bridge when I come to it," McDowell said of his plans. "I have got this week plus those two Fall Series, which is my most likely route. One or two decent finishes and I am back where I want to be and I can salvage something out of the year."

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

Tuesday, October 27

VIDEO: Golf Channel Demonstrates the Anchoring Ban


THIS IS ACTUALLY PRETTY INTERESTING. Golf Channel folks, including rules expert Kendra Graham, demonstrate and discuss the anchored putter ban. What's legal and what's not is more complicated than I thought.

The ban goes into effect on January 1, 2016.

Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott have already stopped anchoring. As you might expect, their putting stats suffered in 2015.

The R&A and USGA released the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf on Monday. Here's what they said about anchoring:
Prohibition on Anchoring the Club While Making a Stroke - As announced in May 2013, the new Rule 14-1b (Anchoring the Club) prohibits anchoring the club either "directly" or by use of an "anchor point" in making a stroke. The penalty is loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play.
If you watch the above video, then, like me, you might imagine disputes during golf competitions.

"You were anchoring."

"No, I wasn't."

And if it occurs on television, will we soon be going to instant replay?

Monday, October 26

Phenom Lydia Ko Grabs 10th Tour Victory

I AND OTHERS ARE PROBABLY running out of superlatives to describe the golf career of 18-year-old Lydia Ko. The New Zealand native and LPGA superstar collected her fifth title of the season and 10th career victory on Sunday at the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship.

Lydia Ko (LPGA)
Ko shot four rounds in the 60s, including a final-round 65, her best 18 of the tournament. She won by four shots. As LPGA.com reported, Ko leads the tour in every major statistical category.

Ko also took over the top spot in the world (Rolex Rankings), trading spots with Inbee Park, aka "Queen Bee," who has been a dominant player on the ladies circuit.

"I think she's nicer than me, first of all," Ko said when asked about the potential for smack talk between her and Park, "and she's never going to give me any crap or talk behind my back."

These gals are good, and nice, too. Following are the youngest players to reach 10 tour victories (via LPGA Communications).

LPGA Tour
Lydia Ko – 18 years, 6 months, and 1 day, 2015 Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship
Nancy Lopez – 22 years, 2 months, 5 days, 1979 Sunstar Classic
Yani Tseng – 22 years, 6 months, 8 days, 2011 RICOH Women’s British Open
Marlene Hagge – 22 years, 6 months, 10 days, 1956 Denver Open

Notables
Horton Smith – 21 years, 7 months (men’s record)
Tiger Woods – 23 years, 6 months, 4 days
Jack Nicklaus – 24 years, 3 months, 12 days
Rory McIlroy – 25 years, 11 months, 29 days
Annika Sorenstam – 26 years, 7 months, 23 days

Friday, October 23

VIDEO: Golf Digest's 'Golfer in Chief'



From William Howard Taft being the first U.S. president to play golf to Lyndon B. Johnson using golf to help pass the Civil Rights Act, the above video offers a brief history of golf and the presidency.

For a complete history, read First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers, and Cheaters from Taft to Bush by Don Van Natta Jr. Van Natta's lively and authoritative story of presidential golf was a New York Times bestseller and Sports Illustrated book of the year.

I'm not sure which president coined the phrase, "Fore more years." (OK, I made that up.)

Thursday, October 22

Golf on TV: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship, UBS Hong Kong Open

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR’s 2015-16 season continues this week with the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, Nev. Rickie Fowler, along with Emiliano Grillo, winner at last week’s Frys.com Open, headline a field that includes Steven Bowditch, Keegan Bradley and Erik Compton. Fowler is making his first appearance at this event since 2010.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Dates: Oct. 22-25
Venue: TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nev.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5-8 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)   
Friday              5-8 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Saturday          5-8 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Sunday            5-8 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Broadcast Notes

Martin defends: Ben Martin captured his first PGA TOUR win at the 2014 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, defeating Kevin Streelman by two strokes.

Headlining the field: Steven Bowditch, Keegan Bradley, Erik Compton, Jason Dufner, Rickie Fowler, Emiliano Grillo, Brooks Koepka and Davis Love III.

* * *

LPGA TOUR

The LPGA moves to Taiwan this week for the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship, the halfway point of its Asian swing, with 14 of the top-20 players in the Rolex Rankings scheduled to compete. 

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship
Dates: Oct. 22-25
Venue: Miramar Golf & Country Club – New Taipei City, Taiwan

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         Noon-4 p.m. ET (TD) / Midnight-4 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday              Midnight-4 a.m. (Live) / Noon-4 p.m. (Friday Replay)
Saturday          Midnight-4 a.m. (Live) / Noon-4 p.m. (Saturday Replay)
Sunday            Midnight-4 a.m. (Live) / Noon-4 p.m. (Sunday Replay)

Broadcast Notes

Format: The field features 81 players competing in a 72-hole tournament with no cut. Defending champion and World No. 1 Inbee Park will not compete this week due to a combination of a prior commitment to one of her major sponsors and the date change for the tournament this year. She will return to the LPGA next week for the Blue Bay LPGA.

Headlining the field: Na Yeon Choi, Paul Creamer, Charley Hull, Cristie Kerr, Hyo Joo Kim, Lydia Ko, Jessica Korda, Minjee Lee, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Suzann Pettersen, Morgan Pressel, So Yeon Ryu, Yani Tseng and Michelle Wie.

* * *

EUROPEAN TOUR

The European Tour heads to Hong Kong for the UBS Hong Kong Open, a tri-sanctioned event between the European Tour, Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association.

UBS Hong Kong Open
Dates: Oct. 22-25
Venue: Hong Kong Golf Club (Championship Composite Course), Fanling, Hong Kong

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6-10 a.m. (TD) / 2-5 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday              6-10 a.m. (TD) / 2-5 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday          6-10 a.m. (TD) / 1-5 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday            6-10 a.m. (TD) / Midnight-4:30 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Broadcast Notes

Hend defends: Scott Hend defeated Angelo Que on the first playoff hole in 2014 for his first European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Padraig Harrington, Thongchai Jaidee, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Dustin Johnson, Anirban Lahiri, Graeme McDowell, Cheng-Tsung Pang, Patrick Reed and Justin Rose.

Wednesday, October 21

Book Excerpt: 'The Wrong Side of the Ball' By Mike Zimmerman

Available at Amazon
Reprinted from The Wrong Side of the Ball: My Fun and Frustrating Search for a Better Swing Through Left-handed Golf by Mike Zimmerman. Copyright © 2015 by Mike Zimmerman. Used with permission.

The following excerpt is from the Introduction, which is entitled "
A Sinister Proposition."

* * *

David Letterman: Fifty percent of the most recent winners have been left-handed, is that true, at Augusta?

Bubba Watson: Yeah. Fifty percent are right-handed, too.

– "Late Night with David Letterman," April 10, 2012


Want to win a few bets at the 19th hole? Ask the others in your foursome to name four lefties who have won major championships in golf. Your knowledgeable friends will quickly reel off the names Bob Charles, Mike Weir, Phil Mickelson, and Bubba Watson.

Imagine their shock and surprise when you tell them – as you hastily collect your winnings – that only one of those guys, Bubba Watson, is a true lefty. The other three are actually right-handed, but play golf from the sinister side.

Now imagine their rage when they realize you’ve tricked them. Fisticuffs ensue. Since you’re outnumbered three-to-one, they easily beat you to a pulp and take back your winnings. They also take your watch and the rest of the cash in your wallet, just for good measure.

Man, who are these guys!? Why you would want to play golf with three jerks like them is beyond me, but who am I to judge another man’s friends?

Later, in the E.R., you tell your wife what happened and she asks the obvious question: “Well …? If not Charles, Weir, and Mickelson [your wife is very knowledgeable about golf; that’s why you married her], what’s the answer? Have any other true left-handers ever won a major professional golf championship?”

A smile creeps across your bloodied face, but you wince only slightly at the pain. “Johnny Miller,” you gasp. “Greg Norman. Curtis Strange. Nick Price. David Graham. Byron Nelson.”

A hush falls as doctors, nurses, assorted orderlies, and the little old lady in the waiting room stop what they’re doing and draw silently closer, hanging on your every word. Everyone is astonished by the revealed wisdom that has already passed your swollen lips, but you’re not done yet. With strength fading, you summon another breath and whisper, like Charles Foster Kane spitting out “Rosebud”: “Hogan.”

A nurse faints. In the hallway, a bedpan crashes to the floor. Across the pond, a chill wind blows through “Hogan’s Alley” at Carnoustie.

“They’re all naturally left-handed,” you explain. “They only play golf right-handed.”

A tear runs down your wife’s cheek as she turns to the attending physician and says, “Doctor, my husband is obviously delirious and in great pain. Can you do something?”

Shaking his head with a sad and concerned look, the doctor lowers a mask to your face. Moments later the room goes dark and all is quiet.

In retrospect, maybe you should have just stuck to the conventional wisdom. Or at least made the stakes a little lower.

Mike Zimmerman is a husband, father, Christian, writer and golfer. Learn more about The Wrong Side of the Ball at thewrongsideoftheball.com and Amazon.

Tuesday, October 20

Alberstadt: 'Is Driver Off the Deck a Good Idea?'



IN A PLAYOFF AT THE FRYS.COM OPEN, Kevin Na faced a long second shot at the par-5 18th. His club choice was driver. Na explained that he hits driver off the deck all the time, including five or six of them during the Frys.com Open.

But the last one didn't come off.

Wrote Ben Alberstadt at golfwrx.com, "[T]he results of Na's attempt: a lovely, low, chunked, hooking effort that ended up well short, in the rough, totally out of position."

Na lost the playoff. Playing in his first PGA Tour event, Argentine Emiliano Grillo won after missing a 3-foot clinching birdie on the first playoff hole. Huge sigh of relief.

Alberstadt asked: "Is driver off the deck ever really a good idea, especially in a high-pressure situation?"

Na apparently had no regrets:
"The driver is the only club that's going to get me far enough right, past the front, where I can have an aim to win...I hit it all the time. I was very confident. Only thing is it was dark. It's a lot tougher. The ball was above any feet. Maybe I should have hit 3-wood. If I were to go to do it over again I probably would still hit driver...I don't know. Just a little unlucky there in the second shot. Driver is the right club. It was a little dark. Probably caught it 16th or 18th of an inch heavy and the club just turned over."
How about for amateurs? Do you (or have you) hit driver off the deck?

I used to before driver clubheads were the size of tortoises. Whether it was a persimmon driver or a small- or medium-headed metal driver, I'd go at it from the fairway on occasion. I'd need a good lie, of course, and certain other circumstances. Maybe I was hitting into the wind and wanted to keep the ball down. Maybe I had a bailout (like to the right) if it didn't work out. I'd shorten up my swing a bit, open my stance a bit, and aim left and play for a fade. I'd figure the ball wouldn't be airborne long so it could run harmlessly on the ground if I kept it somewhat on line.

These days driver off the deck doesn't work as well. (At least not for me.) The driver clubhead makes the golf ball look like an aspirin when you stand at address. That doesn't inspire confidence. I'd stay away from that shot unless the golf ball was sitting up and I was using my old Adams driver, which doesn't have a monstrous head.

Obviously, I'm not Kevin Na.

"Maybe I should have hit 3-wood," Na added, "but if I were to go do it all over again, I probably would still hit driver."

Hmmm.

(H/T Bernard Daily)

Monday, October 19

Bernhard Langer Surges to 25th Title

I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN in a couple of months when Bernhard Langer will be forced to putt without anchoring. The German golf legend probably still fumes about that decision. In the meantime, he keeps on winning and keeps on raking in big money on the second-chance tour.

Langer's 25th Champions Tour title and second win this season came on Sunday at the San Antonio Championship, where he fired a sizzling 7-under 65 to beat Scott Dunlop by three shots.

"It's always special to play well," Langer said, "especially on a Sunday when it really matters, when you're in contention. I was pushed again by a bunch of other players. It was just a matter of who was going to close the best."

Langer's 65 included eight birdies and a lone bogey.

The $270,000 check put Langer over $2 million for the season, the fourth consecutive year he's exceeded that mark. Langer also pulled within 66 points of Charles Schwab Cup points leader Colin Montgomerie with two events to go. Jeff Maggert is also within striking distance.

Watch out, Colin.

Thursday, October 15

Golf on TV: Frys.com Open, San Antonio Championship, LPGA KEB–HanaBank Championship, Portugal Masters

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR will kick off its 2015-16 season this week with the Frys.com Open in Napa, Calif., the first of 47 regular season events leading up to the 2016 FedExCup Playoffs next August. World No. 3 Rory McIlroy headlines the field, along with Hideki Matsuyama and Brooks Koepka.

Frys.com Open
Dates: Oct. 15-18
Venue: Silverado Resort & Spa (North Course), Napa, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (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) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Broadcast Notes

2015-16 season kicks off: This week marks the first of 47 official events during the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season, with seven of those events being played in 2015.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Chris Kirk, Daniel Berger, Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker, Ollie Schniederjans and Webb Simpson.

* * *

CHAMPIONS TOUR

The Champions Tour hosts its penultimate event this week prior to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship with the San Antonio Championship. Colin Montgomerie currently carries a slim lead over Jeff Maggert in the Schwab Cup standings, and Bernhard Langer also is within striking distance of the top spot.

San Antonio Championship
Dates: Oct. 16-18
Venue: TPC San Antonio (AT&T Canyons Course), San Antonio, Texas

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

Broadcast Notes

Allen defends: Michael Allen defeated Marco Dawson by two strokes for his seventh career Champions Tour win.

Headlining the field: Colin Montgomerie, Jeff Maggert, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Marco Dawson, Kenny Perry, Tom Lehman, Mark O’Meara, Kirk Triplett and Lee Janzen.

* * *

LPGA TOUR

The LPGA Tour is in Korea – just 20 minutes down the road from where the Presidents Cup was contested last week – for the LPGA KEB – HanaBank Championship, where nine of the top-10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings are in the field. 

LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship
Dates: Oct. 14-18
Venue: Sky 72 Golf Club (Ocean Course) – Incheon, South Korea

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live)
Friday              11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

Format: The field features 77 players competing in a 72-hole tournament with no cut. The event also is being contested only 20 minutes from the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea where the Presidents Cup was contested last week.

Baek defends: Q Baek defeated Brittany Lincicome and In Gee Chun with a birdie on the first playoff hole to earn her first career LPGA Tour win.

Headlining the field: Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, So Yeon Ryu, Lexi Thompson, Hyo-Joo Kim, Shanshan Feng, In Gee Chun, Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Charley Hull and Michelle Wie.

* * *

EUROPEAN TOUR

Portugal Masters
Dates: Oct. 15-18
Venue: Oceanico Victoria Golf Club, Vilamoura, Portugal

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6:30-8:30 a.m. / 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Friday              6:30-8:30 a.m. / 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes

Levy defends: Alexander Levy finished three shots ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts for his second career European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Bernd Wiesberger, Thorbjorn Olesen, Thomas Pieters, Pablo Larrazabal and Paul Dunne.

Wednesday, October 14

The 'Turkey 8' or Why Rory Is in Napa This Week

HERE WE GO. A NEW PGA TOUR season tees off tomorrow at Silverado Country Club in Napa, California. The tournament is the Frys.com Open. The headliner is World No. 3 Rory McIlroy. Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel and Webb Simpson are also in NorCal.

Wait a second. Why would McIlroy cross seven time zones to play in the season opener when he leads the Race to Dubai standings and still has three European Tour events on his schedule?

ESPN.com's Bob Harig reported:
McIlroy is basically required to play the tournament. Three years ago, he was among eight players who entered a non-sanctioned big-money exhibition in Turkey called the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final. 
The others were Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar. 
PGA Tour members are required to seek a release to play in conflicting events, but commissioner Tim Finchem did not grant it without payback. In return for allowing the players to compete in Turkey, Finchem extracted a guarantee that each of the "Turkey 8" would return to the Frys tournament at least once during the next three years .
I can just hear Commissioner Finchem fielding the request to play in the Turkey money grab three years ago.

"Would you like Frys with that?"

(H/T Bernard Daily)

Tuesday, October 13

PGATour.com: '10 Best Players to Never Win the Masters'



THIS CAUGHT MY EYE. Check out the above video for the PGA Tour's 10 best players without a Green Jacket. I've also listed them below.

1. Lee Trevino
2. Greg Norman
3. Johnny Miller
4. Hale Irwin
5. Nick Price
6. Ernie Els
7. Tom Kite
8. David Duval
9. Tom Weiskopf
10. Davis Love III

Do you agree with the list? Anyone else come to mind?

I thought of a few who might be long forgotten. One is Gene Littler. Another is Julius Boros. Lanny Wadkins and Curtis Strange are also Hall of Famers who could have won at Augusta. Ken Venturi got his heart broken at least twice there.

Finally, there's the man who started it all. Bobby Jones never won his own invitational.

Monday, October 12

The Happiest Haas of All

IF YOU'RE JAY HAAS, CAPTAIN of the U.S. President's Cup team, I don't know how things could have gone better in Korea. Maybe if the hosts knew how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for your team. That's all I can come up with.

The Yanks squeaked by the Internationals on Sunday by a point, 15.5 to 14.5. There was drama, choking, clutch play, a little bit of everything. Some folks, including me, thought this one needed to be close and even suggested a win by the Internationals would help the Presidents Cup after so much American dominance.

Well, it was certainly close, which made the matches tense down the stretch, especially for players not used to the unique pressure that accompanies these international team events. In the end, the United States chalked up another victory and the Presidents Cup continues on, perhaps gaining a little more interest and respect, although I doubt it.

I expect the Presidents Cup is, and might always be, the domain of golf diehards.

Getting back to Captain Haas, in the words of Jackie Gleason, "How sweet it is!" Not only did his team hang tough under duress, his picks came through in a big way. And one of those picks was his own boy.

There was plenty of discourse at media outlets on using a captain's pick for the veteran of every Ryder Cup team and Presidents Cup team anyone can remember. I'm referring to Phil Mickelson, of course. I criticized that pick because Lefty hadn't come close to earning a spot with his sticks and I thought at some point it's time to move on and let the next generation lead the U.S. charge.

As it turned out, Phil played inspired golf in Korea and was, as always, full of passion and encouragement on the golf course and in the team room. His young teammates wanted him there. Without a doubt, he was a great pick. Mickelson and his captain deserve much credit.

Lastly, if you're Captain Haas, you saw your other pick, your own flesh and blood (aka Bill Haas), anchor the singles matches and clinch the Cup on the final hole.

"I'm so happy for the team," a choked-up Captain Haas told NBC's Roger Maltbie. "A great bunch of guys."

As a captain and a father, it doesn't get any better than that.

Friday, October 9

Can a Belt Help Your Golf Game?

By Charles Prokop

Copyright © Charles Prokop. Used with permission.

A POST AT THE ARMCHAIR GOLFER about the Hickok Belt reminded me of something I’ve wondered about: Can a belt help your golf game?

I've always thought a belt didn't do a lot more than hold up my pants, but I might be missing something here.

I was looking at the credits in Golf Digest (yeah, I'm one of those guys) and noticed that Phil Mickelson's belt cost $2,050. Now I'm all for someone spending whatever they want on whatever they want as long as they have the cash. Phil certainly has the cash and gives a huge amount of it away to charitable causes. If he wants to wear a belt that costs the same as a Dave Ramsey Special used car, he has my blessing.

But why?

I usually get my belts at Wal-Mart, and I get one about every two to three years when the old one finally wears out. They cost me around $10 and are reversible. I wear the same belt most every day. I won't claim the belt makes a fashion statement, but people aren't usually staring at my waist. (If they are, it's not my belt that I check. I try to find a subtle way to check my zipper.)

I figure I can have a lifetime supply of belts for less than that one belt of Phil's.

I may splurge next time and go for a belt that costs $25. I know I'll never play like Phil, but maybe that extra $15 will shave a stroke or so off my handicap.

It turns out the Hickok Belt was alligator, just like Phil's. So maybe there's a gator skin and sports performance link. Who knew?

Charles Prokop is a clinical psychologist who writes about golf at fairwaywords.

Thursday, October 8

VIDEO: Phil Being Phil at Presidents Cup


ABOVE IS CAPTAIN'S PICK PHIL MICKELSON earning his keep.

Mickelson's holeout for birdie at the par-3 13th gave him and Zach Johnson a 2-up lead on Jason Day and Steven Bowditch of the International team. The U.S. duo went on to win their foursomes match and the Americans won the first session of the Presidents Cup by a commanding margin of 4 to 1.

But is Lefty enjoying himself?

"This is the most fun we have all year," he said, "and to spend and share time with each other, to play with each other, it's just so enjoyable and I'm so appreciative to be on this team, to be a part of the team and now to be contributing with the points."

There you have it.

Day 2 Fourball Matches

The fourball matches begin Thursday night at 8:35 p.m. ET on Golf Channel. The Internationals have a lot of work to do.

Match 6: Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace (INT) 

Match 7: Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker (USA) vs. Sangmoon Bae and Danny Lee (INT)

Match 8: Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson (USA) vs. Adam Scott and Jason Day (INT)

Match 9: Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes (USA) vs. Marc Leishman and Steve Bowditch (INT) 

Match 10: Bill Haas and Chris Kirk (USA) vs. Charl Schwartzel and Thongchai Jaidee (INT)

Wednesday, October 7

Presidents Cup TV Schedule and Event Notes

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

NBC Sports Group will feature more than 25 hours of live event coverage of the Presidents Cup, the biennial international event being held this week at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea. Golf Channel will feature live, primetime and overnight coverage beginning Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET and continuing through early morning SundayGolf Central’s Live From the Presidents Cup will offer insight and analysis to preview and recap event coverage of the matches throughout the week. 

The Presidents Cup
Dates: Oct. 7-11
Venue: Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, Incheon, South Korea

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 2-7 p.m. (Thursday replay)    
Thursday         8:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              6 p.m.-4 a.m. (Live) / 3:30-8:30 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          9:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-1 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          Day Three Re-Air (Noon-3:30 p.m.)
Sunday            Final Day Re-Air (Noon-6 p.m.)

Broadcast Notes

Format: The biennial match play event will feature five foursomes matches contested on Day 1; five four-ball matches on Day 2, four morning foursomes and four afternoon four-ball matches on Day 3, and 12 singles matches on the Final Day. The total number of matches this year has been reduced from 34 to 30, and a team must earn 15 ½ points to win the Presidents Cup. Each player must compete in at least two of the four sessions of play prior to the singles matches on the final day.

United States Team: Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Chris Kirk, J.B. Holmes, Bill Haas and Phil Mickelson.

International Team: Jason Day (Australia), Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), Adam Scott (Australia), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Branden Grace (South Africa), Marc Leishman (Australia), Anirban Lahiri (India), Charl Schwartzel (South Africa), Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand), Danny Lee (New Zealand), Steven Bowditch (Australia) and Sangmoon Bae (South Korea).

Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:
Play by Play: Dan Hicks / Terry Gannon
Analyst: Johnny Miller / Frank Nobilo
Tower: Gary Koch / Peter Jacobsen / Tom Abbott / Curt Byrum (Days 1-2)
On-Course: Roger Maltbie / Notah Begay / Jerry Foltz / Curt Byrum (Day 3-Final Day)
Interviews: Steve Sands