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)

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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

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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.