Wednesday, September 12

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 7

The Only Jack Nicklaus Designed Putting Course Opens in Jupiter


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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 28

VIDEO: Padraig Harrington Needs a Moment of Privacy at D+D Real Czech Masters



SOON TO BE 47, PADRAIG HARRINGTON had a good showing this past week on the European Tour. The three-time major champion finished runner-up to Andrea Pavan at the D+D Real Czech Masters. Harrington finished 20 under at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague.

"I'm seeing things about my game that I can improve and work on," Harrington told EuropeanTour.com. "I'm in a nice place. I just have to keep doing the good stuff and hopefully there'll be more tournaments like this ahead."

That camera operator was seemingly transfixed by Harrington, much to the Irishman's amusement.

Friday, August 24

There's a PGA Tour Intern at Ponte Vedra Beach Headquarters Named Island Green (No, Really)

ISLAND GREEN IS AN INTERN for the PGA Tour at tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, not far from TPC Sawgrass and its famous 17th hole.

From Golf Digest:
"I didn’t know too much," said Green of the Island Green at TPC Sawgrass. "I knew there was a golf course named Island Green in South Carolina, but I didn't know about the Island Green in general."
"I think we taught Island more about the island green during the interview process then he knew beforehand,” said Jim Clarke, the tour's Senior Director of Human Resources who also oversees the internship program.
Island Green will be a junior at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.

THE MATCH: Tiger vs. Phil on Thanksgiving Weekend in Las Vegas


THE TIGER WOODS-PHIL MICKELSON match is on. The golf titans (or old warhorses?) will square off on Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas. It's a $9 million winner-take-all match.

"We're going to have fun doing something that's never been done before," Tiger said, "and have on pay-per-view and doing something, trying to showcase golf and showcase golf in a different way."

Judging from social media, many are not enthusiastic about this event.

Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson said on Facebook:

"Tiger v. Phil feels phony to me. The whole Tiger-Phil thing is 10 years past its due date. Phil joins Twitter the day of the announcement. That was about as genuine as the “trash talk” that is sure to follow. Pay-per-view. Makes you wonder how many networks had a chance to take it and said no. And then to steal the name from 'The Match' featuring Hogan and Nelson vs. Ward and Venturi."


"Tiger vs Phil. Does anybody really care?" asked GolfShake.com.

I would watch this match if it was on TV. Pay per view? It seems doubtful at the moment.

Wednesday, August 15

Jack Nicklaus Walks 36 to Watch Son Play in 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach


JACK AND BARBARA NICKLAUS FOLLOWED son Gary as he competed in the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach, where Jack won the national amateur in 1961.

From Geoff Shackelford at Golfweek:
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus—both USGA Bobby Jones Award winners—walked all 36 holes at Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach, with Jack only occasionally taking a ride in a USGA security cart. He mostly hoofed it, resting on an old-school shooting stick like his old writer pal Herbert Warren Wind. He posed for cell phone photos, did plenty of meeting-and-greeting in player dining, and even got the occasional "do you remember me?" types, including one promoting his forthcoming instruction book. As always, Nicklaus was gracious even though he never took an eye off of Gary's play.
Gary was eliminated after rounds of 78-78. He hit the ball pretty well but putted poorly. The Golden Bear offered tips about Pebble's greens but it didn't seem to help.

"I'm 49 years old and I'm still not listening to my dad," Gary said.

Sunday, August 12

Brooks Koepka Holds Off Tiger Woods to Win PGA Championship



BROOKS KOEPKA CLAIMED HIS SECOND MAJOR of the season by firing a final-round 66 at Bellerive Country Club to win the 100th PGA Championship by two shots over a resurgent Tiger Woods.

Woods closed with a 64 to finish at 14 under despite spraying tee shots into the thick rough and trees lining the fairways. He only needed 23 putts on the soft greens.

Koepka never wavered as the 14-time major winner and Masters champion Adam Scott made their runs on the final nine. The 28-year-old with a placid demeanor has made history, first winning back-to-back U.S. Opens and now being in the company of only a few golf greats who have hoisted the U.S. Open and Wanamaker trophies in the same calendar year.

Koepka said, "For some reason the majors get my attention more. Every shot is so important. You have to be patient and I always do that very well in the majors."

Wednesday, August 8

Aussie Joe Kirkwood's 14 Points for Golf



By John Coyne
Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

RECENTLY I HAVE BEEN READING Joe Kirkwood's autobiography, Links of Life. Kirkwood was an Australian golf professional who won 13 times on the PGA Tour and was also known as a trick shot artist. His book was published privately in 1973. Kirkwood told his story to Barbara Few and the story has an introduction by Lowell Thomas, the famous news commentator, one-time chairman of the American Golf Hall of Fame and a friend of Kirkwood.

On the back jacket cover are words of praise about Kirkwood from Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon.

Ike writes, "My golf game shows the benefit of his magic touch….Joe Kirkwood—a real artist."

Nixon is quoted, "I recall vividly the day he taught me some of the things I know about golf when we met at Quaker Hill, and I shall always be grateful for his kindness on that occasion."

In his introduction, Lowell Thomas asks Kirkwood, while they are playing a round of golf at the Western White House at San Clemente, if he recalled President Wilson's famous Fourteen Points which Wilson believed could lead to world peace and then Lowell Thomas suggested, "How about summing up golf in the same way?"

Kirkwood took the challenge and dictated 14 points that Thomas had framed on the wall of the locker room at the Western White House golf course.

Thomas added the 14 points to his introduction of Links of Life. Here they are:

Joe Kirkwood's 14 Points

1. Relax, relax, relax!

2. When addressing the ball, stand almost straight, sitting back slightly on your heels.

3. Extend hands, arms and club out straight. That is, don’t drop your hands as though putting them in your lap.

4. Grip should always be the same. If you want a hook or a fade, a low shot or a high one simply alter your stance.

5. For instance if you want a high shot, open your club face and stand behind the ball.

6. Get biggest arc possible. Slow backswing. Slight hesitation at top.

7. Stay almost flat footed through swing until after ball is in flight and club head is out where it should be on the follow through. It’s okay to sway a light as you pivot, but your head must not move too much. On your pivot be sure to bring left shoulder way under.

8. Imagine you are looking underneath the ball. Avoid closing club face.

9. Whatever you do don’t let your body get ahead of your hands and the club.

10. Don't fight the wind. For example, on the Quaker Hill course, in playing the 7th where the wind often is from the West, hit a fade to the left and allow wind to bring the ball around. This way you will get more distance.

11. On pitch and chip shots keep arms still. Arms, hands, club all on piece.

12. On pitch and chip shots use slow easy rhythmical stroke, with a follow through. Don’t snap at the ball!

13. In rough, or any bad lie, open club face in order to cut through trouble.

14. In getting out of traps spank the sand with club head. Use light touch; easy stroke. Don’t bang at it. After rain, or in any hard sand, use a very light touch, caress it.

Relax! Be Loose! But not loose as a goose.

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

2018 PGA Championship Notes and TV Schedule



THE 100TH PGA CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS on Thursday at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. This will be the final PGA Championship played in August. Next year the PGA will follow the Masters in the majors lineup, teeing off at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, on May 16, 2019.

Designed by famed course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr., Bellerive hosted the 1992 PGA Championship won by Nick Price and has also been the scene of other majors such as the 1965 U.S. Open won by Gary Player.

The last time the PGA Tour visited Bellerive was in 2008 for the BMW Championship and the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

The Favorites
Here they are according to bookmaker Bovada.

8/1: Dustin Johnson
12/1: Rory McIlroy
14/1: Justin Thomas
20/1: Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth
22/1: Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose
25/1: Jon Rahm
28/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Tiger Woods
33/1: Francesco Molinari
40/1: Tony Finau, Patrick Reed
50/1: Patrick Cantlay, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson
55/1: Paul Casey, Alex Noren
60/1: Xander Schauffele
66/1: Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama, Joaquin Niemann
75/1: Thorbjorn Olesen, Webb Simpson
80/1: Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Kyle Stanley                             
100/1: Daniel Berger, Keegan Bradley, Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace, Brian Harman, Charley Hoffman, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner, Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Gary Woodland

Notable Groupings
Following are noteworthy groupings for Thursday and Friday, including Thursday tee times. (All times Eastern.)

No. 1
8:56 a.m.: Padraig Harrington, Jimmy Walker, Vijay Singh
9:07 a.m.: Bryson DeChambeau, Andy Sullivan, Kiradech Aphibarnrat
1:42 p.m.: Chris Wood, Alex Noren, Matt Kuchar
1:53 p.m.: Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott
2:04 p.m.: Tommy Fleetwood, Satoshi Kodaira, Marc Leishman
2:15 p.m.: Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari
2:26 p.m.: Gary Woodland, Sergio Garcia, Kevin Kisner
2:37 p.m.: Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose
2:48 p.m.: Aaron Wise, Paul Casey, Zach Johnson
2:59 p.m.: Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Pieters, Bill Haas
3:10 p.m.: Lee Westwood, Joaquin Niemann, Daniel Berger

No. 10
8:17 a.m.: Jim Furyk, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele
8:39 a.m.: Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Ian Poulter
8:50 a.m.: Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Pat Perez
9:01 a.m.: Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley
9:23 a.m.: Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods
2:32 p.m.: Thorbjorn Olesen, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Cantlay

100th PGA Championship Details
Dates: August 9-12
Course: Bellerive Country Club
Par: 70
Yardage: 7316 yards
Purse: $10.5 million
Winner’s share: $1.89 million
Field: 156 players
Defending champion: Justin Thomas

TV Schedule
All times Eastern.
Thursday, August 9: TNT 2 p.m.-8 p.m.
Friday, August 10: TNT 2 p.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, August 11: TNT 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; CBS 2 p.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday, August 12: TNT 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; CBS 2 p.m.-7 p.m.

Live Streaming Coverage
Live streaming coverage is available at PGA.com or on the PGA app.

Thursday, August 2

VIDEO: Bryson DeChambeau Says 'I Was Completely Embarrassed'



NBC SPORTS' MIKE TIRICO SITS DOWN with Bryson DeChambeau after the young tour pro's meltdown on the European Tour handed Richard McEvoy his first victory in 285 starts.

DeChambeau explains the situation, including all the context (his finish), that can't be captured in the few frames of him breezing by McEvoy with only a hint of a handshake and congratulations.

DeChambeau is thoughtful and eloquent. He owns up to what happened, understands how bad it looked, but also fills us in on what the camera and social media fail to reveal. Good interview.

By the way, this instant vilification is a problem, isn't it?

Every little thing is caught on video and magnified on social media. Some of it is newsworthy and even important, but a lot of it is plain silliness.

Monday, July 30

DJ Bags Third Win of Season at RBC Canadian Open



DUSTIN JOHNSON FIRED A 66 on Sunday to win the RBC Canadian Open by three strokes. DJ's 23-under total at Glen Abbey Golf Club came on the heels of a missed cut at Carnoustie Golf Links in the British Open.

"Winning here definitely means a lot," said Johnson, who signed with tournament sponsor RBC this year and has Canadian ties through his fiance Paulina and her dad Wayne Gretsky, the hockey great.

"I had a lot of support this week."

The world No. 1 golfer shot rounds of 68, 66, 65 and 66 to notch his third win of the season and 19th victory on the PGA Tour. All his tour wins have come since 2008.

Friday, July 27

Youth on Course Continues Strong Growth

By Buffalo Agency

(PEBBLE BEACH, CA) Youth on Course — the organization renowned for its record-breaking national growth to provide affordable golf access – continues remarkable growth with state and regional golf association partnerships increasing 120 percent in the last 18 months.

In 2018, more than 41,000 members are on pace to complete 115,000 rounds at 900-plus golf courses nationwide. Now in 26 states, this marks Youth on Course’s largest growth period to date, continuing their upward climb towards their goal of providing $5 golf to kids in all 50 states. At the end of 2017, Youth on Course had 30,000 members across 19 states.

"There are millions of kids interested in playing golf but might not have the opportunity," says Adam Heieck, Youth on Course Executive Director. "As we continue expanding our membership and national footprint, we're able to provide more young people with access to affordable golf, which is our ultimate purpose."

According to the National Golf Foundation, golf is an $84.1 billion industry with golfers ages 6-17 making up 11% of all players. In 2017, 2.7 million juniors played golf, an increase of 12.5% since the last time this study was conducted in 2011. Youth on Course’s dedication to providing accessible golf has helped support these numbers by equipping young golfers with a reliable outlet to play consistently.

2018 partnerships include:

  • Golf Association of Philadelphia 
  • Iowa Golf Association
  • Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado
  • Maryland State Golf Association
  • Metropolitan Golf Association
  • Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association
  • North Dakota Golf Association
  • South Dakota Golf Association
In addition to subsidized rounds, the organization also facilitates college scholarships, paid internships and a caddie program. Since the inception of the scholarship program in 2008, Youth on Course has awarded 222 students with scholarships totaling more than $1.4 million in financial support. The current Youth on Course scholarship retention rate is ninety-eight percent, with 53 students already graduated.

Wednesday, July 18

2018 Open Championship TV Schedule and Tournament Notes



147th Open Championship
Dates: July 19-22
Course: Carnoustie Golf Links
Par: 71
Yardage: 7402 yards
Purse: $10.5 million
Winner's share: $1.89 million
Field: 156 players
Defending champion: Jordan Spieth

Open TV Coverage
All times Eastern.
Thursday, July 19
Golf Channel 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday, July 20
Golf Channel 1:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday, July 21
Golf Channel 4:30 a.m.-7 a.m.
NBC 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 22
Golf Channel 4:30 a.m.-7 a.m.
NBC 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Live streaming coverage at TheOpen.com.

VIDEO: Jean Van de Velde Explains That Disaster at the 1999 Open Championship



JEAN VAN DE VELDE RETURNED TO CARNOUSTIE to relive one of the most famous moments in Open history.

Could anyone handle that massive disappointment with more grace?

Tuesday, July 17

2018 Open Championship: Carnoustie Golf Links Preview (VIDEO)



ON THE EAST COAST OF SCOTLAND, Carnoustie Golf Links, site of this year's Open Championship, is the northernmost course in the Open rota. It's also the toughest. No one seems to argue this point.

The above video is a good preview of Carnoustie heading into the 147th edition of the Open Championship that tees off early on Thursday morning. There are aerial footage and interviews with Carnoustie's head pro and another fellow.

Playing to a par of 71, Carnoustie is longer than any course in Open history: 7402 yards.

This will be the eighth time Carnoustie has hosted the Open Championship. Here are the previous champions:

1931 Tommy Armour
1937 Henry Cotton
1953 Ben Hogan
1968 Gary Player
1975 Tom Watson
1999 Paul Lawrie
2007 Padraig Harrington

Wednesday, July 4

'Death from the Claret Jug' By James Y. Bartlett From Yeoman House Books

HERE'S THE BOOK DESCRIPTION from the publisher:

Death from the Claret Jug again features the adventures of golf writer Pete Hacker, who covers the game for his Boston newspaper. Hacker is in St. Andrews, Scotland, to cover the Open Championship and finds there is trouble afoot in the Auld Grey Toon as an official with the Links Trust is murdered, and his body dropped into the depths of the Bottle Dungeon at St. Andrews Castle.

Whodunnit?

The cast of suspects includes a flamboyant and controversial American resort developer with a history of run-ins with the Links Trust. But there's also a professor at St. Andrews University who wants to ban golf entirely and disrupt the tournament; the Marquess Cheape, whose family has for generations held the title to the land beneath the famed Old Course; and some shadowy Russian figures who might be interested in a big business deal, or might just be interested in mayhem.

So while the world's best golfers are battling the elements and the golf course to win the title of "Champion Golfer of the Year," Hacker is chasing leads and clues from pub to pub on the narrow and twisting lanes of St. Andrews. And Hacker's girlfriend, Mary Jane, is along for the ride on her first visit to Scotland.

Death from the Claret Jug is Bartlett's fifth Hacker mystery. And with the recent publication of Death in a Green Jacket, set at the Masters in Augusta, Ga., Bartlett has made the turn in his planned four-book Major Tournament series.

Death from the Claret Jug is available in both trade paperback ($14.99) and e-book ($4.99) editions, and can be purchased from Amazon.com.

James Y. Bartlett is one of the most-published golf writers of his generation. A former staff editor for Golfweek, Luxury Golf and Caribbean Travel & Life magazines, he also wrote regular columns on the world of golf for Forbes FYI and Hemispheres (the inflight magazine of United Airlines) and contributed articles on golf, travel, lifestyle and fashion to dozens of national publications, from Esquire to Golf for Women.

Thursday, June 28

VIDEO: Tribute to Five-Time Open Champion Peter Thomson



PETER THOMSON IS THE G.O.A.T. in Australian golf. No one Down Under touches his record. This is a nice tribute to the man and includes words from fellow Aussie Adam Scott and South African Gary Player.

Thomson won five British Opens during an era when it was THE major golf championship and at a time when American tournaments were not very accessible to players across the oceans.

Thomson was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988. He won about 70 tournaments worldwide, including 22 on the European Tour.

Golf on TV: Quicken Loans National, KPMG Women's PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, HNA French Open

PGA TOUR
Quicken Loans National
Course: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm / Yardage: 7,107 / Par: 70
Purse: $7.1 million
Winner's share: $1.278 million
Defending champion: Kyle Stanley
TV Schedule:
Thursday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (Golf Channel); 3-6 p.m. (CBS Sports)

Embed from Getty Images

LPGA TOUR
KPMG Women's PGA Championship
Course: Kemper Lakes GC / Yardage: 6,741 / Par: 72
Purse: $3.65 million
Winner's share: $547,500
Defending champion: Danielle Kang
TV Schedule:
Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (NBC Sports)

USGA/PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
U.S. Senior Open
Course: The Broadmoor GC / Yardage: 7,264 / Par: 70
Purse: $4 million
Winner's share: $720,000
Defending champion: Kenny Perry
TV Schedule:
Thursday, 4-9 p.m. (FS1); Friday, 3:30-8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday-Sunday 4-9 p.m. (FS1)

EUROPEAN TOUR
HNA French Open
Course: Le National Golf / Yardage: 7,247 / Par: 71
Purse: $7 million
Winner's share: $1.167 million
Defending champion: Tommy Fleetwood
TV Schedule:
Thursday-Friday, 4:30-10:30 a.m. (Golf Channel)
Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Golf Channel)

Friday, June 22

MORNING DRIVE: Betsy King and Golf Fore Africa Bringing Clean Water to Rural Villages



GOOD WORK BY HALL OF FAMER Betsy King and Golf Fore Africa, the organization she founded in 2007.

King explains her project to bring clean water to improve lives in rural areas. They are partnering with World Vision to raise money for wells.

Betsy King won 34 times on the LPGA Tour, including six majors, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1995.

Wednesday, June 20

Phil Mickelson Apologizes for U.S. Open Fiasco



PHIL MICKELSON HAS COME TO HIS SENSES.

He sent this statement via text to a few reporters earlier today:
I know this should've come sooner, but it's taken me a few days to calm down. My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend. I'm embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I'm sorry.
I'm mostly a Mickelson fan, but his supreme confidence in himself and unapologetic takes cross the line at times. They strike me as arrogant. His behavior on the 13th green and explanation during the third round of the U.S. Open were Phil at his worst. He did something stupid in the heat of the moment. And then he dug in afterward, justifying his actions.

It was a really bad look.

Sure, the USGA got the setup wrong on Saturday, but it's cowardly to blame them.

Golf is a humbling game. It certainly humbled the best golfers in the world at Shinnecock Hills. Judging from his apology, perhaps Phil is a bit more humble. I hope so.

Monday, June 18

Brooks Koepka Embraces Hardship to Win Second Consecutive U.S. Open



BROOKS KOEPKA LIKES HARD GOLF COURSES. They don't get much harder than Shinnecock Hills in the 118th U.S. Open. That suited Koepka but few others. Now he is one of only seven repeat champions in the long history of the national open.

Koepka fired a closing 68 to finish at 1-over 281 and edge Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (2 over), who shot a record-tying 63 in the final round. The 28-year-old Florida native opened with a 75, followed with a 66 and carded a 72 on Saturday when historic Shinnecock Hills turned into a beast and produced average scores above 75.

Bring it on, said Koepka.

"I enjoy being pushed to the limit. Sometimes you feel like you are about to break mentally, but that's what I enjoy. I enjoy hard courses. I enjoy playing about the toughest in golf you are ever going to play."

Nothing bothers Koepka, his caddie said. That's the perfect attitude for the toughest test in golf.

Curtis Strange, the last man to win back-to-back U.S. Opens, marvels at the new athletic breed of tour pro and Koepka in particular.

"[Koepka] is a good striker of the ball and he’s strong and he has a good short game,” he said. "He'd beat me like a yard dog."

Koepka joins Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ralph Guldahl, Ben Hogan and Strange in the elite club of repeating champions. Only Anderson has won three in a row. Koepka will have a go at that mark next June at Pebble Beach.

Thursday, June 14

2018 U.S. Open: Four Share First-Round Lead at Shinnecock Hills

Dustin Johnson at work on Shinnecock's greens.
(©USGA/Darren Carroll)
















WORLD NO. 1 DUSTIN JOHNSON, Scott Piercy, Ian Poulter and Russell Henley shot 1-under 69 on a windswept Shinecock Hills Golf Club to take the lead in the opening round of the U.S. Open.

Jason Dufner matched par with a 70.

The rest of the 156-player field wandered through 18 holes making too many bogeys and others. The average first-round score was 76.4.

Phil Mickelson had a 77. Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth shot 78. Jason Day had a 79. And Rory McIlory carded an 80.

This is already feeling like the olden days of the U.S. Open.

Wednesday, June 13

2018 U.S. Open: A Field for the Ages

Embed from Getty Images

FOLLOWING ARE USGA MEDIA NOTES on the 2018 U.S. Open field of 156 players, which includes 20 amateurs.

OLDEST & YOUNGEST – Kenny Perry (pictured above), at age 57 (born Aug. 10, 1960), is the oldest player in this year’s U.S. Open field. Perry won the 2017 U.S. Senior Open and became the sixth player to win the championship twice. Steve Stricker (born Feb. 23, 1967) is age 51. Noah Goodwin, who won the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur, is the youngest at age 17 (born June 20, 2000).

FIELD FOR THE AGES – There are 10 players in the 2017 U.S. Open field who will be 20 years old or younger when the first round begins on Thursday, June 14. Philip Barbaree, the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, is one of five players under age 20.

There are 17 players in the field who are 40 or older. Ernie Els, 48, won two U.S. Opens, in 1994 and 1997. Jim Furyk, 48, won the 2003 U.S. Open.

The average age of the 156-player field is 30.13.

INTERNATIONAL GROUP – There are 27 countries represented in the 2018 U.S. Open. The United States has 83 players in the field, while England has 17 and Australia has 9.

Countries with players in the field – United States (83), England (17), Australia (9), South Africa (6), Republic of Korea (4), Japan (4), Scotland (4), Canada (3), Spain (3), People’s Republic of China (2), France (2), New Zealand (2), Northern Ireland (2), Sweden (2), Argentina (1), Taipei (1), Colombia (1), Costa Rica (1), Denmark (1), Germany (1), Republic of Ireland (1), India (1), Italy (1), Mexico (1), Norway (1), Thailand (1) and Venezuela (1).

FATHER AND SON – The U.S. Open's final round has been played on Father's Day since 1965. There are 10 father-son pairings who have played in the U.S. Open that include a champion. The father and son did not necessarily play in the same Open. In seven of the 10 pairings, the father is the champion.

 

Father-Son Pairings – Includes an Open Winner

Name                                                               Champion
Tom Sr. and Willie Anderson                            Willie (1901, ’03, ’04, ’05)
Julius and Guy Boros                                       Julius (1952, ’63)
Johnny and Billy Farrell                                    Johnny (1928)
Hale and Steve Irwin                                         Hale (1974, ’79, ’90)
Johnny and Andy Miller                                     Johnny (1973)
Jack and Gary Nicklaus                                     Jack (1962, ’67, ’72, ’80)
Gary and Wayne Player                                    Gary (1965)
George and Alfred & Harold Sargent                George (1909)
Bill and Payne Stewart                                      Payne (1991, ’99)
Tom Jr. and Curtis Strange                                Curtis (1988, ’89)

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONS – A group of U.S. Open champions will play together at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Lucas Glover (2009), Graeme McDowell (2010) and Webb Simpson (2012) will start on the 10th hole on Thursday at 1:25 p.m. Glover won by two strokes in a Monday finish due to weather at Bethpage State Park (Black Course), in Farmingdale, N.Y. McDowell became the first European since Tony Jacklin in 1970 to win the U.S. Open, prevailing at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. Simpson edged McDowell and Michael Thompson by one stroke at The Olympic Club, in San Francisco, Calif.

2018 U.S. Open TV Schedule and Championship Notes



THE 118TH U.S. OPEN BEGINS ON THURSDAY at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southamption, New York. This is the fifth time Shinnecock Hills has hosted the national championship. Brooks Koepka is the defending champion.

PAR AND YARDAGE                   
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club will be set up at 7,440 yards and will play to a par of 35-35—70. The yardage for each round of the championship will vary due to course setup and conditions.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club Hole By Hole
Hole123456789Total
Par43445434435
Yardage3992525004755894911894394853,819
Hole101112131415161718Total
Par43444453435
Yardage4151594693745194096161754853,621

ARCHITECTS                           
Willie Davis completed the first 12 holes in 1891 and head professional Willie Dunn contributed six holes by 1894. The path of the railroad line forced the club to acquire land north of the clubhouse, where, from 1916-17, Charles Blair Macdonald fashioned six new holes for play. William Flynn then constructed 12 new holes and largely altered Macdonald's layout from 1929 to 1931. The clubhouse, built in 1892, underwent a major restoration in 2016 but remains substantially the same as a century ago.

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CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD           
The starting field of 156 golfers will be cut after 36 holes to the low 60 scorers (and ties).

SCHEDULE OF PLAY                
Eighteen holes of stroke play are scheduled each day from Thursday to Sunday. In the event of a tie after 72 holes, a two-hole aggregate playoff will take place following the completion of Sunday's final round.

PURSE
The 2017 purse was $12 million; the winner earned $2.16 million.

TV SCHEDULE
TV coverage on FS1 and Fox. All times ET.

Thursday, June 14
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (FS1); 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Fox)

Friday, June 15
10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (FS1); 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Fox)

Saturday, June 16
11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. (Fox)

Sunday, June 17
10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. (Fox)

LIVE STREAMING
The U.S. Open will have more than 115 hours of live streaming coverage at usopen.com and on U.S. Open app channels.

(Source: USGA Fact Sheet)