Friday, July 1

3 Handicap Ken Griffey Jr.: 'My Baseball Swing Messes Up My Golf Swing'

BASEBALL GREAT KEN GRIFFEY JR. is headed for the Hall of Fame, but he is also headed to the golf course because that's what he does in retirement. And he's good, real good.


From Ben Reiter's article, Griffey talked about his golf experience: "He plays golf— a lot of golf.  He had recently returned from a four-day, 121-hole trip to Bandon Dunes, in Oregon. He's yet to play Augusta, but not because of its exclusivity. "I can get there," he says. "I just ain't had a chance to go."

Griffey Jr. on his golf handicap: "I'm a 13… Am I a 13? No. But I want you to write that… [Later, he admits] I'm a three. But when you write this, it's gotta be a 13." [The USGA indicates that he is a three.]

Griffey Jr. on why he's reluctant to swing a baseball bat these days: "The whole thing is, my baseball swing messes up my golf swing… It'll take me literally three days to get it back."

Read the entire interview.

Thursday, June 30

Golf on TV: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Open de France, Cambia Portland Classic, Barracuda Championship


By Golf Channel Communications

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PGA TOURS

The International Federation of PGA TOURS stages its next World Golf Championships event this week – the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – in Akron, Ohio. 40 of the top-50 in the Official World Golf Ranking are competing in the no-cut field with 61 players, which feature 22 of 24 members of the 2015 U.S. and International Presidents Cup teams and 24 of 29 winners from the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season.

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
Dates: June 30 – July 3
Venue: Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         1:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              1:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on CBS (Eastern):
Saturday          2-6 p.m.
Sunday            2-6 p.m.

Lowry defends: Shane Lowry defeated Bubba Watson by two strokes to earn his first career PGA TOUR win in 2015.

Headlining the field: Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Shane Lowry, Davis Love III, Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott.

* * *

European Tour

At the European Tour’s 100th French Open in Paris, France, Rory McIlroy headlines the field, where four places are available to The Open as part of The Open Qualifying Series. The leading four players not otherwise exempt who finish in the top-12 will earn an invitation to The Open at Royal Troon.

100th Open de France
Dates: June 30-July 3
Venue: Le Golf National (Albatros Course), Paris, France

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         4:30-7:30 a.m. (Live) / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday              6:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          7:30 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Sunday            7:30 a.m.-Noon (Live)

Wiesberger defends: Bernd Wiesberger defeated James Morrison by three strokes at 13-under par to earn his third career European Tour win.

* * *

LPGA Tour

Cambia Portland Classic
Dates: June 30-July 3
Venue: Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, Ore.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         9-11 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Friday              9-11 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Saturday          4-7 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            4-7 p.m. (Live)

Henderson defends: Brooke Henderson returns to the site of her first career LPGA Tour win, when she finished at 21-under par and won by eight strokes in 2015 after Monday qualifying for the tournament.

Headlining the field: Brooke Henderson, Stacy Lewis, Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen, Morgan Pressel, Yani Tseng, Karrie Webb and Cheyenne Woods.

* * *

PGA TOUR

The PGA TOUR is staging the Barracuda Championship (formerly known as the Reno-Tahoe Open) this week in Reno, Nevada, featuring a modified stableford format. The Barracuda Championship is part of The Open Qualifying Series, where the low finisher who places within the top-5 and ties that is not otherwise exempt will receive an exemption to The Open at Royal Troon. 

Barracuda Championship
Dates: June 30-July 3
Venue: Montreux Golf & Country Club, Reno, Nevada

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6:30-9 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-6:30 a.m. (Friday Replay)
Friday              6:30-9 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-6 a.m. (Saturday Replay)
Saturday          7-10 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Sunday Replay)
Sunday            7-10 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7 a.m. (Monday Replay)

Henry defends: J.J. Henry defeated Kyle Reifers with an eagle on the second playoff hole to earn his third career PGA TOUR win and his second win at this event.

Headlining the field: John Daly, Graham DeLaet, J.J. Henry, Trevor Immelman, Rocco Mediate, Geoff Ogilvy, Jon Rahm and Camilo Villegas.

Wednesday, June 29

Greenbrier Owner Jim Justice: 'It's Impossible to Describe the Devastation'

TRAGIC NEWS OUT OF WEST VIRGINIA since last Thursday, including the cancellation of the Greenbrier Classic, which is minor compared to the loss of life, homes and more.

Coincidentally, I was driving through West Virginia that Thursday when torrential rains devastated parts of the state. It was slow going, and dangerous -- I saw a car spin out in front of me and hit a concrete median -- but I had no idea there was catastrophic flooding until later. I drove on through Ohio and made it safely to Indianapolis that day.

The Greenbrier was hit especially hard. More from the Charleston Gazette-Mail:
"It's impossible to describe the devastation," [Jim] Justice said. 
Flooding had engulfed the area. Lives were lost. Tragedy had struck. And, as an aside to the devastation, Justice’s baby, his joy, the Greenbrier Classic, a multi-million dollar PGA Tour event, was scratched. 
"We started conversations late, late Thursday," said Andy Pazder, executive vice president and chief of operations of the PGA Tour. "We started seeing the images. Then, on Friday, we saw the devastation, not only to the golf course, but to the town. We made the decision Saturday." 
It was tough for Pazder, who happens to be a 1988 graduate of West Virginia University. He knows the state. Also, he was in the early meetings to place a PGA event in the Mountain State back in 2009. 
"It was hard to look at those images," Pazder said. "I've always had a special connection to West Virginia and the tournament." 
The Classic overcame the winds of a derecho in 2012, but Justice said he knew immediately. There would be no event in 2016.

VIDEO: Jordan Spieth May Be Next to Reject Rio


WORRIED ABOUT A MOSQUITO, would-be Olympic golfers have been dropping like flies.

Jason Day and Shane Lowry are the most recent high-profile golfers who have announced they will be sitting out the 2016 Olympic Games.

Who will be next?

Perhaps Jordan Spieth, who is expressing doubts in the above clip.

"If I see any significant threat," Spieth said, "is it worth it? Probably not."

At the moment, eight of the top 11 players in the world are still committed to the Rio Games. They are Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Danny Willett, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia.

Monday, June 27

Muirfield Will Vote Again on Female Membership

NOW THAT IT HAS LOST the British Open, Muirfield is rethinking the necessity of female members.

The Associated Press reported:
GULLANE, Scotland — Muirfield intends to stage another vote on whether to admit female members after being stripped of its right to host the British Open. 
The Scottish club failed in May to get the two-thirds majority required of its membership to change its policy, drawing disapproval from across golf.
In addition, Henry Fairweather, captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, said:

"The club committee believes that a clear and decisive vote in favor of admitting women as members is required to enable us to begin the task of restoring the reputation of the club that has been damaged by the earlier ballot outcome."

Muirfield has hosted the British Open 16 times dating back to 1892, including in 2013 when Phil Mickelson surprised the golf world with his first Open victory. I have a feeling the vote will come out differently the second time around.

Friday, June 24

Oops! ARMCHAIR GOLF Misquotes Carl Sagan

It is far better to grasp golf as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
– (not said by) Carl Sagan

Biographical note: Carl Sagan was an American astronomer and astrochemist.

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

Wednesday, June 22

Citing Zika Virus, Rory Drops Out of Olympics

RORY MCILROY HAS PULLED OUT of the Olympic Games, joining Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Marc Leishman and Vijay Singh. ESPN.com reports that Rickie Fowler might be next.

The Olympic golf movement is in shambles, and, based on what I read, the entire Rio Games seem to be hanging by a thread. Sad stuff, to be sure.

McIlroy's statement:
After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 
After speaking with those closest to me, I've come to realise that my health and my family's health comes before anything else.
Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take. 
I trust the Irish people will understand my decision. The unwavering support I receive every time I compete in a golf tournament at home or abroad means the world to me. 
I will continue to endeavour to make my fans and fans of golf proud with my play on the course and my actions off it.

Tuesday, June 21

Regret City: The USGA and Dustin Johnson Ruling

THE USGA DOESN'T CALL THIS an apology. But I think we can call it an apology. It registers a 10 on the regret meter. Players and others in the golf world, in what seemed like a unanimous voice, blasted the organization for its handling of the Dustin Johnson rules incident during the final round of the U.S. Open. Fortunately, DJ cruised to his first major win despite the distraction.

USGA Statement Regarding Dustin Johnson Ruling

The USGA wishes to congratulate Dustin Johnson on his victory and thank him, and the other players in the field, for their professionalism and grace throughout the championship. Dustin is a wonderful champion, a talented golfer and a gentleman.

Our team at the USGA has seen and heard a great deal of discussion and debate about the ruling on Dustin’s ball moving during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club. In addition to the explanations we offered upon the conclusion of the final round, we add these comments.

Upon reflection, we regret the distraction caused by our decision to wait until the end of the round to decide on the ruling. It is normal for rulings based on video evidence to await the end of a round, when the matter can be discussed with the player before the score card is returned. While our focus on getting the ruling correct was appropriate, we created uncertainty about where players stood on the leader board after we informed Dustin on the 12th tee that his actions on the fifth green might lead to a penalty. This created unnecessary ambiguity for Dustin and the other players, as well as spectators on-site, and those watching and listening on television and digital channels.

During any competition, the priority for Rules officials is to make the correct ruling for the protection of the player(s) involved and the entire field. In applying Rule 18-2, which deals with a ball at rest that moves, officials consider all the relevant evidence – including the player’s actions, the time between those actions and the movement of the ball, the lie of the ball, and course and weather conditions. If that evidence, considered together, shows that it is more likely than not that the player’s actions caused the ball to move, the player incurs a one-stroke penalty. Officials use this “more likely than not” standard because it is not always apparent what caused the ball to move. Such situations require a review of the evidence, with Decision 18-2/0.5 providing guidance on how the evidence should be weighed.

Our officials reviewed the video of Dustin on the fifth green and determined that based on the weight of the evidence, it was more likely than not that Dustin caused his ball to move. Dustin’s putter contacted the ground at the side of the ball, and almost immediately after, the ball moved.

We accept that not everyone will agree that Dustin caused his ball to move. Issues under Rule 18-2 often require a judgment where there is some uncertainty, and this was one of those instances. We also understand that some people may disagree with Rule 18-2 itself. While we respect the viewpoints of those who disagree, our Committee made a careful and collective judgment in its pursuit of a fair competition played under the Rules of Golf.

In keeping with our commitment to excellence in all aspects of our work on behalf of the game of golf, we pledge to closely examine our procedures in this matter. We will assess our procedures for handling video review, the timing of such, and our communication with players to make sure that when confronted with such a situation again, we will have a better process.

We at the USGA deeply appreciate the support of players, fans, and the entire golf community of our championships and our other work for golf – and we appreciate your feedback as well. We have established an email address (comments@usga.org) and phone mailbox (908-326-1857) to receive comments. We thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.