Friday, August 29

Golf on TV: Deutsche Bank Championship, Portland Classic, Shaw Charity Classic, Italian Open

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

NBC Sports Group will provide tournament coverage of nearly 25 hours of the Deutsche Bank Championship from TPC Boston, which will contribute to the network’s more than 100 hours of live tournament and news programming of the final three FedExCup Playoffs events. Golf Channel will air early round Friday-Saturday coverage in addition to lead-in coverage on Sunday-Monday, while NBC will broadcast third and final round coverage on Sunday and Monday.

The LPGA Tour’s Portland Classic airs in primetime on Golf Channel, with Suzann Pettersen defending her 2013 title. Bernhard Langer headlines the field at the Shaw Charity Classic, the first of two consecutive events held in Canada on the Champions Tour. On the European Tour, the Italian Open will serve as the final opportunity for players to secure an automatic bid to compete on captain Paul McGinley’s European Ryder Cup team, with nine players earning a place on the team at week’s end.

DEUTSCHE BANK CHAMPIONSHIP
(PGA Tour)
Dates: Aug. 29-Sept. 1
Venue: TPC Boston, Norton, Mass.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday 2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 3-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-3 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m (Replay)
Monday 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes On NBC (Eastern):
Sunday 3-6 p.m. (Live)
Monday 1:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Golf Channel Spotlight Coverage (Eastern):
Sunday 3-5 p.m. (Live)
Monday 1:30-5 p.m. (Live)

Event Notes

Friday start: Due to the holiday weekend with Labor Day falling on Monday, September 1, the Deutsche Bank Championship will begin on Friday, and conclude on Monday.

Stenson defends: Henrik Stenson finished two shots ahead of Steve Stricker for his third career PGA Tour victory in last year’s event, before eventually going on to win the 2013 FexExCup title and the $10 million prize.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jim Furyk, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.

* * *

PORTLAND CLASSIC
(LPGA Tour)
Dates: August 28-31
Venue: Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, Ore.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 6:30-9:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday 7-9:30 p.m. (Live)
Saturday 7-9:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 7-9 p.m. (Live)

Event Notes

Pettersen defends: Suzann Pettersen won by two shots over Stacy Lewis for her 12th career LPGA Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Suzann Pettersen, Na Yeon Choi, Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist, So Yeon Ryu, Ai Miyazato, Charley Hull, Mo Martin, Sandra Gal, Morgan Pressel and Marissa Steen.

* * *

SHAW CHARITY CLASSIC
(Champions Tour)
Dates: August 29-31
Venue: Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club, Calgary, Canada

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday 9:30-11:30 p.m. (Tape Delay) / (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday 9:30-11:30 p.m. (Tape Delay) / (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday 9-11 p.m. (Tape Delay) / (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Event Notes

Mediate defends: Rocco Mediate finished seven shots clear of the field for his second career Champions Tour win in last year’s event.

Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Rocco Mediate, John Cook, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin, Brad Faxon and Woody Austin.

* * *

ITALIAN OPEN
(European Tour)
Dates: August 28-31
Venue: Circolo Golf, Torino, Italy

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 5:30-7:30 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday 5:30-7:30 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Saturday 7-11 a.m. (Live) Sunday 7-11:30 a.m. (Live)

Event Notes

Last chance to qualify for European Ryder Cup team: This week marks the final opportunity for players to automatically qualify for the European Ryder Cup team. Nine players will earn an automatic place on the team at the conclusion of play on Sunday and captain Paul McGinley will select the final three members of his 12-man team on Tuesday, September 2, airing live on Golf Channel during Morning Drive, the network’s daily news and lifestyle program.

Quesne defends: Julien Quesne won by one shot over David Higgins and Steve Webster for his second career European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Darren Clarke, George Coetzee, Nicolas Colsaerts, Stephen Gallacher, Padraig Harrington, Joost Luiten, Matteo Manassero and Edoardo Molinari.

Thursday, August 28

Sean Foley, Tiger and Today's Golf Coaches

MOST OF US DON'T KNOW SEAN FOLEY, but I suppose it's easy to have opinions about him because he worked with Tiger Woods. And we've all had our fill of Tiger since the mid 1990s. There are a lot of Tiger experts.

I still don't understand why Tiger did such an extensive swing overhaul with Foley. I figure it had a lot to do with building something that would protect the knee. Tiger's line about getting better was, and is, tiresome. You don't get better at his age, especially after what he achieved from 2000 to 2008. No one has had a run like that.

Still, I don't think Foley is the bad guy, or to blame, for Tiger's decline. There have been many factors. As others have pointed out, Foley has some other thoroughbreds in the coaching stable. To name two, The Barclays winner Hunter Mahan and 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose. Those fellas have fine golf swings.

I like this snippet from Foley in a 2011 Golf Digest "My Shot."
THE IDEA that any teacher is so great, his method so perfect, that a player is suddenly going to never miss a shot, is crazy. I don't even think a terrific swing is the main goal. The great coaches--Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, Phil Jackson--are not remembered for how they drew up Xs and Os. Their players never talk about those things. What they remember are the good values they instilled, the strong work ethic and the productive approaches to life. My role to my guys, first and foremost, is to be part of their support system, to act out the things I believe in, and be there for them. That's every bit as important as what I do for their golf swings.
I think Foley is right on.

So, it makes me wonder about all the swing talk, the mechanics and such. It often seems to me that Tiger and other players get so focused on technical issues that they forget they're playing a game, swinging a club, walking a course. At a younger age, they just hit it, found it, hit it again. They swung the club with feel and athleticism. They played golf, not golf swing.

These golf and swing coaches ... aren't many of them enabling this nonsense? Foley included?

That's the way it often looks to me.

Wednesday, August 27

Stephen Ames Inducted Into Canadian Hall of Fame

Stephen Ames
STEPHEN AMES, A FOUR-TIME WINNER on the PGA Tour, was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame on Tuesday, reported the Champions Tour. Ames is the 74th member.

"It's hitting home a little bit now for me. It is a real honor," Ames said at the Shaw Charity Classic, an event Ames helped start.

"It's the highlight of my career right now, an added trophy to the career that I've had, which is wonderful. At this stage right now, it's something to relish."

Ames is a citizen of Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, where he was born. He still has family there. Ames's grandmother was a golf champion of the twin island country.

"The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame seeks to recognize excellence as golfers, contributors and supporters of the game," said Ian Clarke of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame Selection Committee. "Stephen Ames has excelled on the biggest stage in our sport and it is fitting that he will be recognized for his respective accomplishments."

Ames turned 50 in April but has continued to play events on the PGA Tour, without much recent success. His four tour titles included the 2006 Players Championship, an impressive six-shot victory over runner-up Retief Goosen.

Tuesday, August 26

Dufner Is Done

JASON DUFNER IS OUT FOR THE REST of the FedEx Cup Playoffs after his withdrawal from the Deutsche Bank Championship, reported PGATour.com on Monday. Don't expect to see Dufner on the U.S. Ryder Cup team either. Tom Watson will announce his three captain's picks on September 2.

Jason Dufner is hurting. (Allison)
The 2013 PGA champion has been hampered by bulging disks in his neck. He received an epidural in order to play at Valhalla in the PGA Championship, but only completed 10 holes. The Auburn product was No. 74 in the FedEx Cup rankings.

"I'll play golf again when I'm healthy," Dufner said after withdrawing from the PGA Championship.

"That could be at The Barclays, that could be next year, that could be 2016. I refuse to be out here and not be healthy and not give myself a chance to be competitive."

It's looking like next year at the earliest.

Paul Casey and Graeme McDowell also dropped out of the second leg of the playoffs. McDowell became a father. "Happiest moment of my life hands down," he tweeted.

There are currently 94 players in the Deutsche Bank field. Seventy will advance to the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills in Englewood, Colorado, a Denver suburb.

Monday, August 25

Full Statement on Tiger Woods-Sean Foley Split

A coaching change for Tiger Woods. (Keith Allison)

















TIGER WOODS ANNOUNCED TODAY AT TIGERWOODS.COM that he and swing coach Sean Foley have ended their professional relationship that began in 2010.

"I'd like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship," Woods said.

"Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him. With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando, this is the right time to end our professional relationship."

"My time spent with Tiger is one of the highlights of my career so far, and I am appreciative of the many experiences we shared together," Foley said.

"It was a lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all time in our sport. I am both grateful for the things we had the opportunity to learn from one another, as well as the enduring friendship we have built. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him."

"Presently, I do not have a coach, and there is no timetable for hiring one," Woods said.

Friday, August 22

Jimmy Walker: 'The Sun Will Kill You'

THE FEDEX CUP PLAYOFFS, WHICH BEGAN on Thursday with The Barclays in Paramus, New Jersey, are critical for PGA Tour players looking to solidify their playing status, collect sizable checks, or be considered for one of Tom Watson's captain's picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. But as Jimmy Walker knows, their importance can be suddenly diminished with a recurrence of skin cancer.

Walker, 35, is ranked second in the standings behind Rory McIlroy. He recently spent time at home recovering from minor surgery rather than getting ready for the playoffs.

The New York Times' Zach Schonbrun wrote about Walker's other on-course challenge:
Walker has a new mission, though. It is about protection and awareness, and for a fair-skinned Oklahoman with a family history of skin cancer, those elements are essential. 
“I watched what Aron Price went through, and he had melanoma, and that was bad, really, really, scary bad,” Walker said after his even-par round. “He had that removed and he’s doing great, but we’ve all got to be diligent about what we wear. The sun will kill you.” 
Price, an Australian golfer, developed the disease in different spots on his shoulder in 2011. Likewise, Walker said, he had a spot on his lip removed in 2004. That served as a reality check, and he said he thought he had been conscientious about wearing skin protection since then. 
Apparently it was not enough. During the Bridgestone Invitational this month, a biopsy on a nodule just below his left eye returned positive for basal cell carcinoma, requiring minor surgery Aug. 11.
Walker said it's a genetics thing.

His sunscreen mantra? Reapply, reapply, reapply.

Thursday, August 21

A Fun Email From Amazon

Dear Readers,

The below email from Amazon landed in my inbox a week ago.

I'm really looking forward to the Ryder Cup. I'm also really looking forward to telling you more about my new Ryder Cup book that focuses on 1969, Jack Nicklaus, Tony Jacklin and more.

Stay tuned.

All the best,
Neil

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to see this recommendation 
Coming Soon from Neil Sagebiel for YouAmazon.com
 
Draw in the Dunes: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World

Improve your recommendations
Draw in the Dunes: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World 
Neil Sagebiel 
Release date: September 9, 2014
  
Kindle Edition$11.04 

Hardcover$19.88  

 Learn more 
You've bought books from this author before, and you won't want to miss this new release.

Wednesday, August 20

Enter PGA's 'MyCaptainsPicks' Contest for Chance to Win Ryder Cup Trip



By PGA of America

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – To bring fans closer to the action in anticipation of the 40th playing of the Ryder Cup, the PGA of America is hosting a live event (Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m.) where United States Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson will reveal his Captain’s Picks for the final three members of the 12-man team.

This decision will be the subject of great discussion over the next three weeks, and fans can join in the fun by entering the interactive “MyCaptainsPicks” contest with Captain Watson.

A first-of-its-kind social media engagement program, #mycaptainspicks simply asks sports fans to choose the three players they think Watson will pick to complete his 12-player team. Fans 18 and over can make their predictions on MyCaptainsPicks.com through Sept. 2. Visit RyderCup.com to also see picks from celebrities, as they share their passion for golf.

Fan entries with all three picks exactly matching Watson’s selections will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize of a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland including:

  • Two 2014 Ryder Cup tickets for the climate-controlled Harris Pavilion (Sept. 23-28) 
  • Complimentary roundtrip airfare for two to Scotland
  • Five nights of accommodations at the Hilton Glasgow
  • A limited-edition United States Ryder Cup Team shirt
  • A round of golf at a premier golf course in Scotland
  • A new set of golf clubs from Adams Golf
  • A $50 per-person, per-day Ryder Cup food and beverage credit

Nine automatic berths on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team were secured following the conclusion of the 96th PGA Championship.

The Americans clinching a spot on the team that will compete against Europe in the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland are: Five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson, 2003 U.S. Open Champion Jim Furyk, 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson, and PGA Tour stars Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed.

“I'm delighted with the nine players who have made the team,” said Watson.

“I believe that each player has the ability to play great golf and compete at the highest level in the Ryder Cup. The selection of the three Captain’s picks for the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland is my focus the next few weeks. MyCaptainsPicks is a fun opportunity for fans to engage with the Ryder Cup in a style that’s unprecedented. I hope the winners have a great trip to the Ryder Cup!”

Fans may vote multiple times through Sept. 2 at 12 a.m. ET, but only their last entry will count towards the sweepstakes. The winner will be selected in a random drawing on Sept. 3.

The 40th Ryder Cup between the United States and Europe will be held at Gleneagles on the Jack Nicklaus designed-Centenary Course in Perthshire, Scotland, Sept. 26-28, 2014. NBC and Golf Channel will combine to broadcast the event live in its entirety in the United States for the first time ever from European soil.