Tuesday, December 1

Jarrod Lyle Receives PGA Tour Courage Award

News from PGATour.com:
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The PGA TOUR has awarded the PGA TOUR Courage Award to PGA TOUR member Jarrod Lyle, who has overcome two battles with acute myeloid leukemia in his lifetime. The Australia native is in the second year of a Medical Extension granted to him due to his life-threatening illness.... 
The PGA TOUR Courage Award is presented to a player who, through courage and perseverance, has overcome extraordinary adversity, such as personal tragedy or debilitating injury or illness, to make a significant and meaningful contribution to the game of golf. Lyle is the second-ever recipient of the Courage Award, joining Erik Compton who received the award in 2013.... 
"I am very humbled to be receiving this award from the PGA TOUR," said Lyle. "It has taken a lot of fighting for me to get back to the PGA TOUR but it has been well worth it. For me to get back after the things I have dealt with shows people in similar situations there is hope for them, and if they stay positive and fight for every day then they can succeed in life. To be back playing with all the guys again and saying thank-you was very important to me. The players, officials and fans of the PGA TOUR were extremely supportive to me and my family throughout my time away and I can never repay them for that."
Lyle will donate the $25,000 charitable contribution to Challenge, an organization that supports children and families living with cancer.

Monday, November 30

Aussie Champ Matt Jones Recalls His Idol, Greg Norman

1987 Flashback: Greg Norman meets Matt Jones for the first time. Matt won the Australian Open Golf yesterday. Channel...
Posted by 7 News Sydney on Sunday, November 29, 2015

MATT JONES WON THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN on Sunday, edging World No. 1 Jordan Spieth and fellow Aussie Adam Scott by a shot at the Australian Golf Club of Sydney.

I admit that I was most interested in posting the above video of Jones meeting his idol Greg Norman in 1987. Jones was a boy of 6; he is now 35 and an Open champion in his homeland.

It wasn't easy, though. I guess it never is.

Jones had nervous moments and stumbles during the final round ("It was stressful out there"), but nor was Spieth especially sharp. The two men in the final group fired 73 and 71, respectively. Meanwhile, Scott surged with a 65 and Rod Pampling carded a course-record 61 to finish fourth.

"I've watched the Australian Open many years growing up," Jones said, "watching Norman especially because he was my idol.

"Just to have my name on that trophy with Norman, it's something I'll never forget. It's a dream come true for me and something I can't have taken away from me."

(H/T Michael Collins)

Friday, November 27

Telltale Signs You Watch Too Much Golf

(From the archives.)

ARE YOU A GOLF TV WATCHING ADDICT? Find out. Check out the Golf Digest slideshow "15 Signs You Watch Too Much Golf on TV" by Alex Myers.

Here are a few of my favorites:

"Hello, friends."
"You greet everyone by saying, 'Hello, friends.' Even if they aren't your actual friends. Even if it's just one friend."

"You often start whispering like Roger Maltbie for no reason."

"You actually know who is leading the FedEx Cup standings before September."

"You often forget to shower during weeks of major championships."

"When you check into a hotel, your first question is, 'What channel is the Golf Channel?'"

"The Masters theme song is your ringtone—and was the first dance at your wedding."

Our Turn

We could think of more "signs" that didn't make Alex's list. Try some. Here are a few of mine:

You know the names and roles of the broadcast team for European Tour events. (And you pull all-nighters watching some of those events live.)

You talk to the TV, making comments, and two seconds later you hear what you said on your TV. (Actually, this happens frequently to me. My wife just shakes her head, if she happens to be in the room.)

You know every golf cliche, golf saying and famous golf quote since the beginning of time.

You wish you could caddie for some of the young players because you know the golf courses (from seeing them on TV for a million years) far better than they do.

My Golf TV Habit

First of all, I try to peak during the majors. That's when I watch a lot. (Sometimes I feel like I need to take off the Monday after the Masters.) But, overall, I've cut back on watching golf on TV in recent years. Now excuse me because I need to check what's on Golf Channel.

Thursday, November 26

Golf on TV: Emirates Australian Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship

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


Emirates Australian Open
Dates: Nov. 25-28
Venue: The Australian Golf Club, Sydney, Australia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-5:30 a.m., 2-7 p.m. (Thursday Replays)
Thursday         8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-5:30 a.m., 2-7 p.m. (Friday Replays)                       
Friday              8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-5:30 a.m., 2-7 p.m. (Saturday Replays)
Saturday          8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-5 a.m., 2-7 p.m. (Sunday Replays)

Broadcast Notes

Australian Open licks off The Open Qualifying Series for 2016: The official process for The 145th Open at Royal Troon begins this week with the Australian Open. The Australian Open is the first of 14 events in nine countries that will comprise The Open Qualifying Series for 2016. The top-3 finishers in the top-10 not already qualified will receive exemptions into the 2016 Open Championship.

Spieth defends: World No. 1 Jordan Spieth defends his title one year after closing with a final round 63 to win the 2014 Australian Open.

Headlining the field: Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Steven Bowditch, Darren Clarke, Bryson DeChambeau, Marc Leishman, Jarrod Lyle, George McNeill, Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, John Senden, Peter Senior, Jordan Spieth and Lee Westwood.

* * *


Alfred Dunhill Championship
Dates: Nov. 26-29
Venue: Leopard Creek Country Club, Malalane, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5:30-7:30 a.m. (TD), 7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday              5:30-7:30 a.m. (TD), 7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes
Grace defends: Branden Grace defeated Louis Oosthuizen be seven strokes for his fifth career European Tour win and his second Alfred Dunhill Championship victory.

2016 Race to Dubai begins: The Alfred Dunhill Championship is the first of 45 official events in the 2016 Race to Dubai on the European Tour and the second-to-last event on the 2015 Sunshine Tour.

Tuesday, November 24

Jason Day's Letter to Younger Self

JASON DAY HAS HAD QUITE AN IMPROBABLE life and climb. And he's still only -- what? -- 28. Not exactly a geezer.

Day's story can melt the most cynical among us. He captured a portion of his biography in a "Letter to My Younger Self" at The Players' Tribune.

It begins:
Dear 12-year-old Jason,
I'm telling you the truth, but you're laughing.
There's no chance, you're thinking. No chance. You're thinking I'm crazy. You're thinking that nothing, right now, could be further from possible. You're staring out at that vast, blue Beaudesert sky — it's all sky — and you just can't see it.
But trust me on this one.
You're going to be the No. 1 golfer in the world.
No — I'm serious, mate. No. 1. The top of the mountain.
So, if you're looking for some inspiration as you begin this Thanksgiving week (if you're in America), read Jason's entire letter. It's good stuff.

Also, in case you missed it, below is "The Jason Day Story" produced by his sponsor RBC. It's very good.

Monday, November 23

Rory McIlroy: 'I Guess I Saved the Best for Last'

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.
EVEN THE BEST IN THE WORLD need constant motivation and stimulation and there's no doubt that Rory McIlroy got that in spades in 2015. The impressive way he closed out his third Race to Dubai title in four years by winning his DP World Tour Championship marks him out as a special talent.

The arrival on the scene of Jordan Spieth and Jason Day can only be good for McIlroy. But the fact that he mentioned "putts" or "putting" some 16 times in his post Dubai press conference is certainly an indication of his mindset.

"For me, it seems like the more pressure I'm under or the more it means, the better I putt, which is a nice thing to have," he said. "I feel like my game and my putting has been gradually progressing throughout these last few weeks. It was nice to hole (sic) some putts over the weekend there that I needed.

"But I know if I putt like this and I putt like this regularly, this is what can happen, because as I said at the start, my ball-striking has been there all throughout this Final Series, and even before that, even coming back from the injury, my ball-striking was never the thing that I was worrying about...

"I feel like the last few events, I've come off the course a lot of times frustrated because I really feel like I could have done better and I put myself in the position to do better.

"But I guess I saved the best for last. I feel like I finally showed this week what was in there. I just needed to find something to be able to let it out and thankfully this week I was able to do that."

In other words, if I putt well, it's game over folks.

With four wins from 20 starts this year, McIlroy has never had a better year in terms of success rate. That he didn't win one of the three majors he played irked him no end and missing the Open though injury was a blow.

It's perfectly reasonable to expect more brilliance from Rory in 2016, especially if that putter stays warm.

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

Friday, November 20

Meeting Trick-Shot Artist Wedgy Winchester

I MET LARRY "WEDGY" WINCHESTER IN JUNE in Seaside, Oregon, where he and his wife run a small inn. Not only did my wife and I happen to stay there, but I learned that Wedgy has quite an interesting history as a golf professional, traveling the world as a trick-shot artist.

This talented fellow also won the 1984 Long Drive Championship -- with a 60-inch driver! Wedgy's winning drive measured 319 yards, 14 inches. (Read the story in the New York Times.)

The below photo of Wedgy and me was taken at Gearhart Golf Links. I watched Wedgy tee off and he striped it down the middle of the 1st fairway. I had several great conversations with Wedgy during my stay on the Oregon Coast.

If you're in the area, look him up. Wedgy is a nice man and a terrific golf ambassador.

Wedgy and yours truly in Gearhart.

Thursday, November 19

Tiger Woods: 'This Is Something I Want to Do'

TIGER WOODS CARES ABOUT THE RYDER CUP. And if anyone questions that commitment, Tiger has already signed on as a vice captain for the 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup team. In fact, Tiger might care more about the Ryder Cup than he ever has, especially since his fitness to compete at a high level is jeopardized by a slew of injuries, surgeries and recoveries.

The captaining phase marks a new beginning and what might be a career transition for the winner of 14 major championships. I expect Tiger will make yet another comeback, but his physical condition and competitive abilities are two large questions marks.

In addition to Woods, U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III also named Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker as vice captains. The three men join Tom Lehman, who was appointed as Love's first vice captain in February.

"To welcome four vice captains of this caliber is a giant first step toward preparing the 2016 team for success," Love said at PGATour.com. "Tom, Jim, Steve and Tiger have over 50 years of combined Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup experiences that they are eager to share. They'll also be my eyes and ears from event to event next year on TOUR. That's invaluable, and as captain, I am grateful for their commitment, dedication and passion to win."

"I'd like to thank Davis for his confidence in me and for my selection as a Ryder Cup vice captain," Tiger said.

"This is something I want to do. I will continue to do whatever I can to help win the Cup back. Once I'm fully healthy, I'd like to try to make the team too, but either way, I'm very excited to work with Davis, the other vice captains and the players to get a U.S. victory."

Love will name a fifth vice captain later on.