Friday, April 21

Another Back Surgery for Tiger Woods

AS REPORTED THURSDAY ON TIGERWOODS.COM, Tiger Woods has undergone his fourth back surgery.
Tiger Woods (Allison)
"The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain," Woods said. "When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long." 
The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute. 
"After he recovers from surgery, he will gradually begin his rehabilitation until he is completely healed," Guyer said. "Once that's accomplished, his workouts will be geared to allowing him to return to competitive golf. 
"If you are going to have single-level fusion, the bottom level is the best place for it to occur. Some individuals are born with one less vertebrae, which would be similar to someone who had a single-level fusion," Guyer added.

Thursday, April 20

Golf on TV: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf, Valero Texas Open, Shenzhen International


From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 19, 2017) – World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino will headline the Legends division at the PGA TOUR Champions’ Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge, airing on Golf Channel. The PGA TOUR is in San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open, where Charley Hoffman will defend his 2016 title. On the European Tour, Bubba Watson and Tommy Fleetwood lead the field at the Shenzhen International in China.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge
Dates: April 21-23                                                                      
Venues: Buffalo Ridge (Springs Course) & Top of the Rock, Ridgedale, Mo.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              Noon-3 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-2:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          5-7 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-2:30 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            5-7 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-2:30 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Champions Division Teams: Michael Allen/John Daly, Woody Austin/Mark Calcavecchia, John Cook/Joey Sindelar, Jay Haas/Fred Couples, Miguel Angel Jimenez/Jose Maria Olazabal, Tom Jenkins/Mark O’Meara, Jerry Kelly/Steve Stricker, Davis Love III/Scott Verplank, Sandy Lyle/Ian Woosnam, Andy North/Tom Watson.
Legends Division Teams: Gary Player/Jack Nicklaus, Mike Hill/Lee Trevino, Allen Doyle/Hubert Green, Tony Jacklin/Tom Weiskopf.
Austin/Allen defend: Michael Allen and Woody Austin finished one stroke ahead of David Frost and Roger Chapman to win the 2016 edition of the event.

PGA TOUR

Valero Texas Open
Dates: April 13-16
Venue: TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course), San Antonio, Texas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         3:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              3:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Saturday          1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on CBS (Eastern):
Saturday          3-6 p.m.
Sunday            3-6 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
Hoffman defends: Charley Hoffman finished one shot ahead of Patrick Reed to claim his fourth PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the field: Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Chappell, Ryan Moore, Charley Hoffman and Ian Poulter.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Shenzhen International
Dates: April 20-23                                                                      
Venue: Genzon Golf Club (A Course), Shenzhen, China

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Live, Wednesday overnight) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday              10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Live, Thursday overnight) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          6-10 a.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday            6-10 a.m. (Tape delay)

Broadcast Notes:
Lee defends: Soomin Lee finished two shots ahead of Joost Luiten and Brandon Stone to earn his first European Tour win.
Headlining the field: Bubba Watson, Tommy Fleetwood, Ross Fisher, Thorbjorn Olesen, Bernd Wiesberger, Y.E. Yang, Edoardo Molinari, Haotong Li and Soomin Lee.

Wednesday, April 19

The Caddie Blues of Lydia Ko

LPGA PHENOM LYDIA KO HAS GONE through nine caddies in her career. Ko is 19. (She will be 20 in less than a week.) Look, I'm just an "armchair golfer" who writes about the game. I don't know what it's like between the ropes or to be an elite golfer.

But nine caddies at 19? There's something wrong here, right?

Ko's latest caddie, Gary Matthews, was canned after nine events. Ko finished runner-up to Cristie Kerr at the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii this past weekend, but that didn't help her bag man.

"What was so strange for me," Matthews told Tim Rosaforte, "we worked unbelievably well in Hawaii, the communication and everything was just phenomenal."

Added Matthews: "I wish her the best, but she's gone through so many caddies, she needs to wake up on caddie-player relationships. Otherwise she’ll just keep doing it."

Monday, April 17

Wesley Bryan Wears Tartan and Eats Taco Bell



WESLEY BRYAN WON THE RBC HERITAGE by a shot on Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Bryan, 27, played college golf for University of South Carolina. It was his first title on the PGA Tour.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't really change anything other than I now have one PGA Tour victory," Bryan said in USA TODAY. "There are a lot of guys that have just one PGA Tour victory. My one goal is to get number two at this point."

Four shots back as Sunday began, Bryan charged to the top with a 4-under 67 to edge Luke Donald. The newest PGA Tour winner celebrated with his wife at Taco Bell and then answered questions on Facebook Live, wearing the Tartan jacket.

(H/T Geoff Shackelford)

Friday, April 14

Teddy Leinbach on the Problem in Golf

Following is one more message from Teddy Leinbach and his golf film project, "50 OVER." (I mentioned Teddy earlier in the week here.) Why again? I was about to delete his original email to me (below) and realized it made his case about golf so well. I want to share it with you. Plus I'm enthusiastic about millennials, especially millennials who are passionate about golf. (The bold text treatment is by me.)

By Teddy Leinbach

My name is Teddy Leinbach. I am a recent college graduate with a film degree and, more importantly, a 6 handicap.

To get straight to the point, there is a problem in golf right now. Golf is coming off the high of the Tiger [Woods] era and interest continues to decline every year. Even with exciting young golfers taking over the game at the pro level, the amateur level continues to be dominated by an older, wealthier demographic, and fails to draw much interest from anyone else.

As someone who found a passion for the game away from a country club, I believe this is not a fundamental problem with golf, but rather a problem with the way it is marketed, especially in the United States.

I am in the pre-production phase of a film I am directing called "50 OVER." It is a journey film about four friends who travel across America, stopping in all 50 states in 50 days, playing a round of golf in each state.

By using second-hand clubs, playing at inexpensive courses, discussing our ideas with like-minded people, camping along the way, dressing in non-traditional golfing attire, and embodying an attitude that is drastically different from the stereotypical golfer, my team and I hope to provide a glimpse into a different, less elite, more fun view of golf.  

Here is a link to our Facebook page and website to learn more:

https://www.facebook.com/FiftyOverFilm/

https://www.fiftyoverfilm.com/

I hope that you agree with the message we are trying to send and [that] you think this is important for the game.

Thursday, April 13

Golf on TV: RBC Heritage, LOTTE Championship, Mitsubishi Electric Championship, Trophee Hassan II


From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 12, 2017) – The PGA TOUR is on Hilton Head Island this week for the RBC Heritage, where 33 of the 93 players in last week's Masters field are competing, including the past three champions at this event – Matt Kuchar (2014), Jim Furyk (2015) and Branden Grace (2016). The LPGA Tour is in Hawaii for the LOTTE Championship, airing in primetime on Golf Channel from Wednesday-Saturday. Four of the top-five in the Rolex Rankings, headlined by No. 1 Lydia Ko, all five past champions at this event, including 2014 champion Michelle Wie, are competing. The PGA TOUR Champions are in Georgia for the Mitsubishi Electric Classic, with six Masters champions in the field: Larry Mize, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Mark O’Meara, Jose Maria Olazabal and Ian Woosnam.

PGA TOUR

RBC Heritage
Dates: April 13-16
Venue: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         3-6 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              3-6 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-11:30 p.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on CBS (Eastern):
Saturday          3-6 p.m.
Sunday            3-6 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
Grace defends: Branden Grace defeated Luke Donald and Russell Knox for his first career PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the field: Keegan Bradley, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Bryson DeChambeau, Ernie Els, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Jim Furyk, Branden Grace, Bill Haas, Charley Hoffman, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, William McGirt, Sam Saunders, Vijay Singh, Brandt Snedeker and Danny Willett.

LPGA TOUR

LOTTE Championship
Dates: April 12-15                                                                      
Venue: Ko Olina Golf Club, Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     7-11 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Thursday         7-11 p.m. (Live) / 5-6:30 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              7-11 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          7-11 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Lee defends: Minjee Lee defeated In Gee Chun and Katie Burnett by one stroke to earn her second career LPGA Tour win.     
Headlining the field: Aditi Ashok, In Gee Chun, Carlota Ciganda, Paula Creamer, Brooke Henderson, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Lydia Ko, Alison Lee, Minjee Lee, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Inbee Park, Michelle Wie, Cheyenne Woods and Amy Yang.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Mitsubishi Electric Classic
Dates: April 14-16                                                                      
Venue: TPC Sugarloaf, Duluth, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          3-6 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Austin defends: Woody Austin won on the second playoff hole in 2016 for his second career PGA TOUR Champions win.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, John Daly, Woody Austin, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Mark O’Meara, Jose Maria Olazabal, Kenny Perry, David Toms, Tom Watson and Ian Woosnam.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Trophee Hassan II
Dates: April 13-16                                                                      
Venue: Royal Golf Dar Es Salam (Red Course) – Rabat, Morocco

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

Broadcast Notes:
Wang defends: Jeunghun Wang defeated Nacho Elvira with a birdie on the second playoff hole for his first career European Tour win.
Headlining the field: Thomas Bjorn, Nicolas Colsaerts, Erik Compton, Joost Luiten, Matteo Manassero, Brandon Stone, Jeunghun Wang, Mike Weir, Y.E. Yang.

Wednesday, April 12

A Sports Illustrated Cover for Sergio Garcia


SERGIO GARCIA, THE 2017 MASTERS CHAMPION and redeemed man, graces the cover of the new issue of Sports Illustrated. Look at it. It's a great cover that says a lot, especially if you know the history and context behind the images. The pure emotion is, dare I say, perfect.

In SI's national cover story, Alan Shipnuck wrote, "By the time GarcĂ­a arrived at Augusta last week he was largely a forgotten figure, despite a lopsided win two months earlier against a good field in Dubai. But he had a secret weapon: He was in love again, this time with Angela Akins, 31, a former Golf Channel talent who now wears an engagement ring the size of a satellite dish."

Sergio also putted well. And that 8-iron at No. 15 that led to an eagle? That was a Masters moment and one of the greatest shots of the Spaniard's life.

Said Martin Kaymer: "Poor Sergio… It wasn't fair to be made into Tiger's rival—who could live up to that? I think it damaged him a little bit."

We also know that Sergio was his own rival, a talented and tormented golfer who was often in contention at majors and fizzled nearly every time.

Now Garcia is the ultimate insider, a man with a Green Jacket and a prized locker where legends are eternal.

This issue will be on newsstands tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 11

VIDEO: '50 OVER': A Golf Journey Throughout America



A RECENT GRADUATE OF VCU'S ACCLAIMED art school, Teddy Leinbach is a documentary filmmaker. He is also a golfer. Put the two together and you have "5O OVER," a golf journey to 50 states in 50 days that will include -- you guessed it -- 50 rounds.

"This summer, my team and I will travel to all 50 states in 50 days to play a round of golf in each state in order to show the world that golf is more than collared shirts and country clubs," Teddy writes.

"Golf is a sport beyond the country club. Popular among the wealthy, golf has earned a narrow reputation in the United States. But drop the price and pretension, and golf is, dare I say, cool?"

(I want to go.)

Help Teddy with his quest and also support golf. 

In addition, watch the below video. There's a reason golf is seen as old, rich and elitist. Because it is. But is that all it can be?

50 OVER PROMO from teddy leinbach on Vimeo.