Friday, September 30

Europe Rallies to Win Afternoon Fourballs 3-1; USA Leads 5-3

THERE WAS NO PANIC by Team Europe after receiving a 4-0 thrashing in the Morning Foursomes on Day 1 of the 41st Ryder Cup. The reigning Ryder Cup champs won three of four afternoon fourball matches to close the gap against the inspired Americans.

"Historically Europe probably have been stronger in the foursomes and America have always been stronger in the fourballs," European Captain Darren Clarke said.

"And that was completely turned on its head. The guys were disappointed with the way they played this morning, the way they performed. But they showed tremendous bravery and heart and desire to go out and play the way they've done this afternoon. As a captain I'm certainly proud of them."

Friday Afternoon Fourball Results

Henrik Stenson/Justin Rose (EUR) defeated Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (USA) 5 & 4

Sergio Garcia/Rafa Cabrera Bello (EUR) defeated J.B. Holmes/Ryan Moore (USA) 3 & 2

Brandt Snedeker/Brooks Koepka (USA) defeated Martin Kaymer/Danny Willett (EUR) 5 & 4

Rory McIlroy/Thomas Pieters (EUR) defeated Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar (USA) 3 & 2

Session total: Europe 3, USA 1
Overall score: USA 5, Europe 3

Saturday Morning Foursomes Matches

USA Sweeps Morning Foursomes to Lead 4-0

WITH JORDAN SPIETH AND PATRICK REED leading the way in the first match, the U.S. Ryder Cup team swept the morning foursomes session for the first time since 1975. That was when none other than Arnold Palmer was captain of the U.S. squad at Laurel Valley near Pittsburgh.

"They have come together over the last couple of weeks," U.S. Captain Davis Love III told Golf Channel's Steve Sands.

"It has been an emotional trip for this team, with the way the picks went down, and with Arnold's passing was a shock for both teams this week. Just little things that have made this team bond together really well, from top to bottom. It's a good start, but there is a long way to go and a lot more points out there. Everybody just needs to keep doing the same thing over and over."

Friday Morning Foursomes Results

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (USA) defeated Henrik Stenson/Justin Rose (EUR) 3 & 2

Phil Mickelson/Rickie Fowler (USA) defeated Rory McIlroy/Andy Sullivan (EUR) 1 up

Jimmy Walker/Zach Johnson (USA) defeated Sergio Garcia/Martin Kaymer (EUR) 4 & 2

Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar (USA) defeated Lee Westwood/Thomas Pieters (EUR) 5 & 4

Session total: USA 4, Europe 0
Overall score: USA 4, Europe 0

Friday Afternoon Fourball Matches

Thursday, September 29

2016 Ryder Cup: Friday Morning Foursomes Pairings

HERE WE GO. THE AMERICANS have a dismal record in foursomes. They need to turn that around at Hazeltine, beginning on Friday morning.

Skratch TV Presents Chaska, the Small Minnesota Town Hosting the Ryder Cup

2016 Ryder Cup Broadcast Schedule

TV SCHEDULE (All times ET)

Following are the TV airtimes for the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

Thursday, Sept. 29: Opening Ceremony 5-6 p.m. | Golf Channel

Friday, Sept. 30: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. | Golf Channel | TSN Network

Saturday, Oct. 1: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. | NBC | TSN 4

Sunday, Oct. 2: 12 noon-6 p.m. | NBC | TSN Network


Here's the live stream schedule for and Ryder Cup mobile apps.

Thursday, Sept. 29:
Captain's match from 1 to 4 p.m.
Opening ceremonies from 5 to 6 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 30:
Ryder Cup Live featured matches from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
1st Tee Experience Show live from 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Saturday, Oct 1:
Ryder Cup Live featured matches from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
1st Tee Experience Show live from 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 2:
Ryder Cup Live Singles matches coverage from 12 noon.
1st Tee Experience Show live from 11:30 a.m.
Trophy Presentation: approximately 30 minutes after conclusion of play.

Also watch live streaming coverage on NBC Sports Live.

Ryder Cup Interview on Newstalk 1340 WSOY

MORE RYDER CUP BUILDUP this morning with host Brian Byers on Newstalk 1340 WSOY. We chat about the 2016 Ryder Cup, golf's place in sports and culture, Arnold Palmer and more. LISTEN

Wednesday, September 28

2016 Ryder Cup: Hazeltine Drone Video and Radio and Podcast Previews

HERE IS A GRAB BAG of Ryder Cup stuff.

1. Above is a Hazeltine hole-by-hole video.

2. On Tuesday I talked about Arnold Palmer and the Ryder Cup with host Steven Bortstein on Fox Sports New Mexico (below).

3. I had the good fortune to be on the "That Golf Kid" podcast (below) on Saturday. Host Matthew Clark hails from Nova Scotia, where he played high school golf. He is looking ahead to college as a journalism major.

Tuesday, September 27

2016 Ryder Cup Odds: United States Is Heavy Favorite

2016 RYDER CUP ODDS courtesy of Bovada.

Odds to win the 2016 Ryder Cup
2016 Ryder Cup Odds
USA                 -190     (10/19)
Europe             +150     (3/2)

Margin of Victory Props
Overall Correct Points Score
USA to Win 14.5 - 13.5                          10/1
USA to Win 15 - 13                                9/1
USA to Win 15.5 - 12.5                          9/1
USA to Win 16 - 12                                10/1
USA to Win 16.5 - 11.5                          12/1
USA to Win 17 - 11                                14/1
USA to Win 17.5 - 10.5                          22/1
USA to Win 18 - 10                                20/1
USA to Win 18.5 - 9.5                            35/1
USA to Win 19 - 9                                  35/1
USA to Win 19.5 - 8.5                            66/1
USA to Win 20 - 8                                  50/1
USA to Win 20.5 - 7.5                            100/1
USA to Win 21 - 7                                  80/1
USA to Win 21.5 - 6.5                            175/1
USA to Win 22 - 6 or Better                    25/1
Tie 14 -14                                              10/1
Europe to Win 14.5 - 13.5                      10/1
Europe to Win 15 - 13                            11/1
Europe to Win 15 - 12.5                         18/1
Europe to Win 16 - 12                            20/1
Europe to Win 16.5 - 11.5                      28/1
Europe to Win 17 - 11                            33/1
Europe to Win 17.5 - 10.5                      55/1
Europe to Win 18 - 10                            50/1
Europe to Win 18.5 - 9.5                        100/1
Europe to Win 19 - 9                              80/1
Europe to Win 19.5 - 8.5                        160/1
Europe to Win 20 – 8                             200/1
Europe to Win 20.5 - 7.5                        300/1
Europe to Win 21 - 7                             275/1
Europe to Win 21.5 - 6.5                        400/1
Europe to Win 22 - 6 or Better                400/1

Margin of Victory
USA by 1-3 points                     11/4
USA by 4-6 points                     7/2
USA by 7+ points                      4/1
Europe by 1-3 points                 7/2
Europe by 4-6 points                 11/1
Europe by 7+ points                  14/1
Tie                                            11/1

Sports Illustrated Puts Arnold Palmer on Cover for 12th Time

By SI Communications

THIS WEEK'S NATIONAL COVER OF Sports Illustrated features the late Arnold Palmer, with the cover line, "KING OF KINGS." This marks the 12th time that the iconic professional golfer has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.

[See all 12 of Arnold Palmer's SI covers here:]

SI senior writer Michael Bamberger writes an ode to "The King" and his legendary career, during which he won 62 times on the PGA Tour, 10 times on the senior tour and put the sport of golf on the map. Palmer passed away last Sunday at the age of 87.

Monday, September 26

Rory McIlroy Roars at East Lake

RORY MCILROY DEFEATED RYAN MOORE on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the 2016 Tour Championship. And it was dramatic. The Northern Irishman holed out his second shot on the par-4 16th hole for an eagle, climbing the leaderboard and crashing the playoff.

"It was incredible," McIlroy told Golf Channel's Steve Sands. "As I said at the start of the day, all I wanted to do was concentrate on winning the Tour Championship. I couldn't control what anyone else did. I just needed to come out here and play a really good round of golf. I somehow was able to tie it up in regulation."

Firing a final-round 64, McIlroy also won the 2016 FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus.

"I just wanted to go out here and play the way I've been playing," Rory added. "I've played really well this week and feel like my game is coming together at the right time. Two wins in the last three feels pretty nice."

Kevin Chappell, who tied McIlroy and Moore at 12-under par, was eliminated on the first playoff hole.

Meanwhile, the strong play of Ryan Moore at the Tour Championship and of late earned the Washington native a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Although U.S. Captain Davis Love III was looking at others, he couldn't pass up Moore, making him the final pick to round out the American squad.

"Ryan fits so well with what we have in place," Love said.

Sunday, September 25

Arnold Palmer Transcended the Game of Golf


Arnold Palmer, aka "The King."
"Arnold Palmer will always be a champion, in every sense of the word," the United States Golf Association said in a statement. "He inspired generations to love golf by sharing his competitive spirit, displaying sportsmanship, caring for golfers and golf fans, and serving as a lifelong ambassador for the sport. Our stories of him not only fill the pages of golf’s history books and the walls of the museum, but also our own personal golf memories. The game is indeed better because of him, and in so many ways, will never be the same."

"Arnold transcended the game of golf," Jack Nicklaus said. "He was more than a golfer or even great golfer. He was an icon. He was a legend. Arnold was someone who was a pioneer in his sport. He took the game from one level to a higher level, virtually by himself. Along the way, he had millions of adoring fans—Barbara and I among them. We were great competitors, who loved competing against each other, but we were always great friends along the way. Arnold always had my back, and I had his. We were always there for each other. That never changed.

"He was the king of our sport and always will be."

When I interviewed Arnold in 2010, I asked him about his stirring, come-from-behind victory at the 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills. He made up seven shots in the final round to claim his first and only national title. 

"Do you think you were a little bit more focused and a better player when you played from behind?" I asked.

"Let's just say I never ruled out the possibility of winning," Arnold said. "Until it was figuratively impossible, I always thought I had a shot."

That was always Arnold's style, and it took him a long way in golf and life and won him legions of fans.

Palmer won seven major championships: four Masters, one U.S. Open and two British Opens. He collected 62 PGA Tour titles and made seven Ryder Cup appearances. He also won five senior majors. "The King" is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2004) and the Congressional Gold Medal (2009).

Friday, September 23

Oops! ARMCHAIR GOLF Misquotes Ernest Shackleton

We had seen golf in all its splendors, heard the text that nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.
– (not said by) Sir Ernest Shackleton

Biographical note: 
Ernest Shackleton was an Irish explorer who, along with his crew, survived a famous ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic.

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

Thursday, September 22

2016 TOUR Championship TV Schedule and Broadcast Notes

By Golf Channel Communications

The PGA TOUR season will culminate at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta, with each of the top-5 players in the current FedEx Cup standings guaranteed to claim the FedEx Cup and accompanying $10 million bonus with a victory this week. NBC Sports Group will provide more than 20 hours of live tournament coverage from East Lake Golf Club, and once the final pairing makes the turn to the back nine on Sunday, NBC will present the duration of its final round coverage free of national advertisements.


TOUR Championship
Dates: Sept. 22-25
Venue: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.

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

Broadcast Notes

Reversal of nines at East Lake: For the first time, the traditional nines at East Lake will be reversed and, instead of the final hole being played as a par-3 as it has in the past, the 18th hole will be a par-5 (previously played as the 9th hole.)

Top-5 in FedEx Cup Standings have clear path to winning FedEx Cup: With points reset ahead of the TOUR Championship, every player in the field has a mathematical chance of winning the FedExCup. However, the top-5 in the standings are guaranteed to win the FedEx Cup and $10 million first place bonus with a victory this week. The top-5 in the standings include: Dustin Johnson (1), Patrick Reed (2), Adam Scott (3), Jason Day (4) and Paul Casey (5).

Final U.S. Ryder Cup team captain's pick to be announcedFollowing the conclusion of the TOUR Championship on Sunday, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III will announce his final captain's pick during halftime of NBC’s Sunday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys.

Spieth defends: Jordan Spieth finished four shots clear of the field in 2015 to win his fifth event of the season, along with the FedEx Cup.

TOUR Championship field: Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Russell Knox, Emiliano Grillo, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Ryan Moore, Kevin Chappell, Matt Kuchar, Hideki Matsuyama, Si Woo Kim, Kevin Kisner, Gary Woodland, Roberto Castro, Kevin Na, William McGirt, Bubba Watson, Sean O’Hair, Daniel Berger, Jason Dufner, J.B. Holmes, Jhonattan Vegas and Charl Schwartzel.
Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:
Play by Play: Terry Gannon (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)
Analyst: Frank Nobilo (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)
Tower: Gary Koch / Peter Jacobsen
On-Course: Roger Maltbie / Notah Begay / Billy Ray Brown
Interviews: Steve Sands
Essays: Jimmy Roberts

Wednesday, September 21

Playing Clinic: Harry Cooper

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

While interviewing golf legends for my book Playing with the Pros: Golf Lessons from the Senior Tour (1990), I arranged some of their answers into a separate chapter I called "Playing Clinic." Following are words of wisdom from some of the best players.

Next up is Harry Cooper (August 4, 1904 - October 17, 2000). Nicknamed "Lighthorse Harry," Cooper won 30 PGA Tour titles and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992. He also was awarded the inaugural Vardon Trophy in 1937, a year in which he won seven times on tour.

Q: Do you ever master the game of golf?

COOPER: No. I don't think so. I'm 85 years old and have been a professional since I was 18, and I'm still trying to get it right.

Q: Is there more than one good golf swing?

COOPER: Of course. Just look at the likes of Lee Trevino, Walter Hagen, or Jack Nicklaus. There is no perfect swing. All that matters is the grip and the address. Make your own swing as simple a physical movement as you can. Then go practice that swing.

Q: How much time should I spend practicing?

COOPER: Go to the practice tee to develop a swing you can trust. Go to the golf course to develop the confidence you need to play. If you are a good player already, spend more time on the golf course than on the practice tee. However, always loosen up before you play.

Q: How can an average golfer improve his game?

COOPER: Take some lessons from a PGA professional. He'll get your score down.

Q: How far away from the ball should I stand?

COOPER: Make sure your arms are extended but you're not stretching for the ball.

Q:  What's the most important part of any golf swing?

COOPER: The first 10 inches. The greatest player in the world is Jack Nicklaus, and he establishes his tremendous swing in the first foot. It all happens there: the club head speed, timing, and tempo.


More Playing Clinic:
Bruce Crampton

John Coyne is a bestselling author of three golf novels and more than 20 other books. Pay him a visit at John Coyne Books.

Tuesday, September 20

How 1969 Changed a Boy's Life and the Ryder Cup

This originally published at this blog on September 1, 2014, and also on The History Reader by St. Martin's Press. During the run-up to the 2016 Ryder Cup, you might hear about the 1969 Ryder Cup and Jack Nicklaus's famous act of sportsmanship. I wrote the book on it.

By Neil Sagebiel

1969 was a big year in my life and the life of my family. Natives of Indiana, we moved from the Hoosier state to "The Golden State."

California, here we come!

A cross-country move is a significant life event for anyone, and especially for a boy of 11. I said goodbye to my friends and traveled 2,000 miles to a strange new world in the back seat of our blue 1965 Plymouth Belvedere, my older brother alongside.

The changes were extreme: from the Ohio River Valley to the Mojave Desert, from a brick house with a walk-out basement to a one-level home made of stucco painted yellow, from neighborhood buddies to the new kid on the block who, I later found out, was supposed to get beat up not long after arriving in Palmdale. I somehow dodged that fight.

My few memories of the summer of '69 are blurred. They include a trip to Disneyland in Anaheim. The third week of July also stands out. That was when Neil Armstrong became the first man to step onto the surface of the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. My family watched the historic moment in black and white on our Zenith television.

Armstrong famously said, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." The "a" wasn't audible, but an audio analysis nearly four decades later confirmed that he did, in fact, say the "a."

The astronaut with whom I shared a first name also was quoted as saying, "It's good country for golf up could drive a ball 2,000 feet."

I don't recall any of Armstrong's words from that long-ago summer.


That was a game my dad sometimes played on his day off. My sports were basketball and baseball. But within two years of moving to California, I was playing golf with my dad and brother. And now, 45 years later, I've written a golf story that took place during the summer of '69 and involved Hall of Fame players such as Jack Nicklaus, Tony Jacklin, Lee Trevino, Peter Alliss, Raymond Floyd, Neil Coles and Billy Casper.

That would have seemed far-fetched to the 11-year-old boy, but so did a moon walk until that other Neil visited the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.

Eight days before Armstrong walked on the moon, Tony Jacklin, a 25-year-old from the industrial town of Scunthorpe in northern England, became the first British golfer to win the British Open since Max Faulkner in 1951.

It changed his life and it changed golf, for Jacklin would go on to lead his British teammates that September against the mighty Americans in the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.  

Great Britain had lost 14 of 17 Ryder Cups dating back to the official beginning in 1927 when English seeds tycoon Samuel Ryder donated the gold trophy. In September 1969, few people, British included, held out much hope for the 12 men playing for Great Britain, even though they were the home team playing a familiar style of golf on a seaside links course.

Just like America was first to the moon, it was also first in golf. In fact, at the time, the United States was seemingly first in everything.

This time, however, led by new Open champion Jacklin and fiery Captain Eric Brown, the British players didn't bow to American supremacy. What followed, according to many who witnessed it, was the most controversial and compelling Ryder Cup ever played.

Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin on September 20, 1969.
(Bob Thomas/Bob Thomas Sports Photography/Getty Images)
All tied up after three days and 31 matches, the 1969 Ryder Cup came down to the last two men in the last match putting out on the last green. The matter would be decided by Jacklin and Nicklaus. That's when one of the most famous moments in golf occurred, a rare act of sportsmanship that sealed the first tie in the 42-year history of the Ryder Cup.

Great Britain rejoiced, for a draw was nearly as sweet as a victory. The United States was far from enthusiastic about the stunning outcome. Yet, in the ensuing years and decades, most would agree the 1969 Ryder Cup had a perfect ending.

Eight players from those two 1969 teams went on to become Ryder Cup captains, including Jacklin (four times) and Nicklaus (twice).

The summer of '69 that changed one boy's life also forever changed the Ryder Cup.

The epic battle at Royal Birkdale breathed life into the matches during a period when they were struggling to survive. It also helped make the Ryder Cup what it is today--the biggest event in golf and a biennial sports event that attracts worldwide attention.

Neil Sagebiel is the author of DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World. It includes a foreword by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. Sagebiel is also the founder and editor of Armchair Golf Blog.

Monday, September 19

Francesco Molinari Claims Historic Victory at Italian Open

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.

FRANCESCO MOLINARI HELD HIS NERVE in a titanic final day duel with Danny Willett to claim a historic victory at the Italian Open. He recorded a closing 65 to get to 22 under and beat Willett by one shot, so becoming the first Italian to win his national Open twice since the event became part of the European Tour in 1972.

The 2006 champion also became the first Italian to win any European Tour event twice, as he claimed his fourth win and his first since the 2012 Open de EspaƱa.

Followed by an enormous gallery, he turned in 31 and held a four-shot lead with six holes to play; but Masters Tournament winner Willett is nothing if not resilient, following up a birdie on the 13th hole with an eagle on the next to cut the gap to one shot.

There were nervy moments from both players in the closing stretch, and Molinari was forced to produce a miraculous recovery shot from the trees after pushing his drive right from the 18th tee. 

When Willett holed for par from 12 feet on the 18th green to sign for a round of 66, Molinari needed to follow him in from three feet and duly did so to become the second home player to win his national Open in as many weeks, following Joost Luiten's victory at the KLM Open.

Spaniard Nacho Elvira and England's Chris Paisley both secured their European Tour cards after finishing in a tie for third place on 18 under par, courtesy of respective rounds of 65 and 68.

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, September 16

Happy 90th Birthday, GCSAA!

A GOLF TRADE ORGANIZATION MIGHT NOT strike you as very exciting. But if you play golf on real golf courses, then these guys deserve our loud thanks, praise and birthday wishes.

The old days. (GCSAA)
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) turned 90 years old. Here's a little perspective from the GCSAA's First Cut newsletter and blog:
GCSAA, which was formed in 1926 by Englishman John Morley to further greenkeeping ideas among middle America golf courses, is celebrating 90 years as one of the most important organizations in the game. 
Morley, who was a vegetable grower and greenkeeper at Youngstown (Ohio) Country Club, would hardly recognize the organization he formed. First known as the National Association of Greenkeepers of America, the group started with 60 greenkeepers coming together on Sept. 13, 1926, at Sylvania Country Club in Toledo, Ohio, to share ideas. 
Today, GCSAA has 17,500 members from 72 countries, and its members are science-based college graduates who manage all aspects of golf course management, from agronomics to environmental sciences.
Next time you're on the golf course take a moment to thank the grounds crew, who are some of the unsung heroes of this great game.

Thursday, September 15

2016 Evian Championship TV Schedule and Broadcast Notes

By Golf Channel Communications

The LPGA Tour this week stages the final major championship of 2016, where World No. 1 Lydia Ko is set to defend at the Evian Championship. 

The Evian Championship
Dates: Sept. 15-18
Venue: Evian Resort Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, France

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5-8 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              5-8 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          6:30-11:30 a.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            8 a.m.-Noon (Tape delay) / 5:30-11:30 a.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):                                                              
Sunday           12:30-2 p.m. (Tape delay) / Streaming on Golf Live Extra and the NBC Sports App

Broadcast Notes

Ko defends: World No. 1 Lydia Ko finished six strokes clear of the field to earn her first major championship.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, In Gee Chun, Stacy Lewis, Amy Yang, Anna Nordqvist, So Yeon Ryu and Gerina Piller.
Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:
Studio Host: Mike Ritz
Play by Play: Terry Gannon / Tom Abbott
Analyst: Judy Rankin / Karen Stupples
Tower: Richard Kaufman
On-Course: Jerry Foltz / Sandy Mackenzie

Wednesday, September 14

Playing Clinic: Bruce Crampton

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

While interviewing golf legends for my book Playing with the Pros: Golf Lessons from the Senior Tour (1990), I arranged some of their answers into a separate chapter I called "Playing Clinic." Following are words of wisdom from some of the best players.

First up is Bruce Crampton. An Australian, Crampton won 14 PGA Tour titles and 20 times on the Senior (Champions) Tour. He also won the Vardon Trophy (for lowest stroke average on the PGA Tour) in 1973 and 1975.

Bruce Crampton at
Greensboro in 1972.
Q: Why is golf such a great game?

CRAMPTON: Because it is like life itself. It picks you up or lets you down, depending on whether you've made the shot or not. Or had a good round. You can't look into the future and know what's going to happen on the golf course, nor can you do that in life. Golf is played one shot at a time. Life is played one day at a time.

Q: How fast should I swing the club?

CRAMPTON: Never rush a shot. The club speed builds up gradually through the swing and reaches its maximum at impact. The key is accelerating through the shot. Don't slow your backswing down or be slow at the top because then the tendency is to jump at the ball. Gradually build up swing speed throughout the shot.

Q: How can I gain control over a particular shot?

CRAMPTON: Practice. I've learned that muscles dont have memory, but the brain learns to fire the muscles in the correct order. You can create the feeling of what is right. You will learn the correct hitting positon and where your hands should be at all times on a particular shot.

Q: How far should I take the driver back in my swing?

CRAMPTON: The parallel position at the top of the swing is far enough. You tend to lose your grip if you go back any farther than that.

Q: How hard should I hit the ball?

CRAMPTON: Hit the shot from within yourself. Never stretch your abilities or your strength.


John Coyne is a bestselling author of three golf novels and more than 20 other books. Pay him a visit at John Coyne Books.

Tuesday, September 13

VIDEO: UC Davis Golfer Finishes by Light of Cell Phones

SOMETIMES YOU RUN OUT OF LIGHT trying to finish a round.

That was the case on Saturday for Ben Corfee of UC Davis. Corfee and his teammates were playing in the Rod Myers Invitational at Duke University. By the time he reached the 18th green, it was pretty dark.

The two other players in the group decided to come back on Sunday. Not Corfee, who got some help from a small gallery that shined their cell phone lights on the green.

"It was a combination of teammates, volunteers, fellow competitors, etc., all spontaneous," said UC Davis golf coach Cy Williams.

The UC Davis golfer looked over the 10-footer, took his stance and rapped it home.

The putt was for a 77. Not Corfee's best score, but certainly memorable.

Monday, September 12

Captain Love Picks Fowler, Holmes and Kuchar

U.S. RYDER CUP CAPTAIN DAVIS LOVE announced three of his four picks at a media conference today. They are Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes and Matt Kuchar. All have Ryder Cup experience.

Love will announce his final pick to complete the 12-man U.S. squad on September 25.

The 2016 Ryder Cup will be played September 30 to October 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

DJ: 'I've Got a Lot of Confidence in Every Part of My Game'

DUSTIN JOHNSON VAULTED TO THE TOP of the FedEx Cup Standings with his victory at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Indiana. Johnson, who won the U.S. Open in June, is having a breakout season.

"I've got a lot of confidence in every part of my game," he told Golf Channel's Steve Sands. "Especially all of the work I've put in on my wedges, it's really paid off this year. And this week the putter really worked."

Johnson shot a 67 in the final round to finish at 23 under par, three shots better than runner-up Paul Casey.

The FedEx Cup Playoffs conclude in two weeks with the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The field is limited to the top 30 in the points race. The top five are Johnson, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Paul Casey.

Friday, September 9

Skratch TV Presents 'Golf Outta Compton'

THIS IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. This is Adventures in Golf (Season 1) from Skratch TV.

Documentary filmmaker Erik Anders Lang takes viewers on a tour around the globe searching for the craziest, most intriguing stories in golf.

I hope you enjoy the next episode, "Golf Outta Compton."


24 Hours in Dubai
Slum Golf in Mumbai

Thursday, September 8

VIDEO: Lee Westwood Wins Hickory Golf Challenge

Only on the European Tour.

In celebration of 70 years of the European Masters, a 2-hole, stroke-play exhibition took place in Crans-Montana, with a twist: hickory golf clubs!

The competition featured three European Tour stars: Lee Westwood, a nine-time Ryder Cup player; Danny Willett, 2016 Masters champion; and Miguel Angel Jimenez, 21 wins on the European Tour.

They played against each other as well as Paolo Quirici, the 2013 Hickory World Golf Champion.

(H/T Geoff Shackelford)

Wednesday, September 7

Tiger Woods Appears at School Career Day

WHEN I SAW THE ABOVE TWEET about Tiger Woods coming to Mrs. Todd's 3rd grade class for career day, one of my initial thoughts was that some unlucky dad (or mom) might have had to follow him. Which would be brutal, right?

Even if the kids don't know him (and understand he's one of the few people to dominate a ridiculously hard game), he looks pretty cool, for a dad.

Thankfully, it has been many years since I went to career day at Floyd Elementary School. All I could think at the time was please, please, please don't make me follow the police officer, who, of course, was dressed in full uniform. He had a gun strapped to his hip.

I'm a writer and I work at home. I had a pen in my pocket. It's hard to explain my work, even to adults, and definitely not cool. But I went.

And so did Tiger. Good for him. Take away the sticks and he's just a dad, like the rest of us. With a lot better Nike gear.

* * *

In other Tiger Woods news, Tiger said at his website that he hopes to play in the Safeway Open, an October event in Napa, California.

"My rehabilitation is to the point where I'm comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do," Tiger said. "Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go."

Tuesday, September 6

A Quick Turnaround for Rory McIlroy

HALFWAY THROUGH THE FEDEX CUP PLAYOFFS and with the Ryder Cup approaching, it was an opportune time for Rory McIlroy to find his game -- all of his game, especially his putting.

McIlroy collected his 12th PGA Tour title yesterday at the Deutche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. He started slow and finished fast.

"I think those last 15 holes on Friday were definitely a turning point," Rory told Golf Channel's Steve Sands, "not just in this tournament, but maybe in my season, to play the last 15 holes in 4-under par to get it back to even par for the day.

"Then I tweaked my putting grip on Saturday morning. Holed some putts on Saturday and went with it and got some momentum. Here we are, 69 holes later and 19-under par later, and I end up with the trophy. It is amazing to think how I started this tournament and what was going through my mind after three holes, and then all of a sudden standing here with a trophy four days later. It is pretty cool."

McIlroy certainly needed something, a turnaround of some kind, after a victory drought of more than a year on the PGA Tour and a few months since his win at the Irish Open.

"I came off the back of a rough couple of weeks," he said. "Missed the cut at Baltusrol. Feeling like my game was close at Barclays, but I didn't hole anything. I was thinking, 'Here we go again,' and that it was going to be a little bit of a grind and a bit of a struggle. As I said, things can turn around quickly in this game and they did for me this week."

Rory will take that momentum to Indianapolis this week for the BMW Championship. He rose 34 spots to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings.

"[H]opefully I can keep it going for the next couple of tournaments, and ultimately into the Ryder Cup."

Friday, September 2

The Club Twirls of Tiger Woods

THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT of Tiger Woods memories this week marking Tiger's 20-year anniversary as a PGA Tour professional. As for me, I'll just offer his trademark club twirls*, courtesy of Skratch TV. The club twirl suited Tiger because, you know, he hit so many good shots. So happy anniversary, Tiger.

And for the rest of us, here's hoping our holiday weekend is worthy of a club twirl or two.

*There are also his trademark fist pumps, but that's another video.

Thursday, September 1

Golf on TV: Deutsche Bank Championship, Manulife LPGA Classic, Omega European Masters, Shaw Charity Classic

By Golf Channel Communications


The PGA TOUR stages the second leg of the FedExCup Playoffs this week, where the top-100 in the current standings are eligible to compete at the Deutsche Bank Championship outside of Boston. Due to the holiday weekend, the event will begin on Friday and is scheduled to conclude on Monday, airing exclusively on Golf Channel and NBC. Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy headline the field.

Deutsche Bank Championship
Dates: Sept. 2-5
Venue: TPC Boston, Norton, Mass.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Monday           11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

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

Fowler defends: Rickie Fowler finished one stroke ahead of Henrik Stenson to earn his third career PGA TOUR victory.

Headlining the field: Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson.

* * *


The LPGA Tour is in Ontario, Canada for the Manulife LPGA Classic, where the top-three ranked players in the world headline the field: Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn and Canada’s Brooke Henderson. 

Manulife LPGA Classic
Dates: Sept. 1-4
Venue: Whistle Bear Golf Club, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         3-6 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              Noon-2 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          9-11 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4-6 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live) / 4-6 a.m. (Monday replay)

Pettersen defends: Suzann Pettersen outlasted Brittany Lang by a shot to earn her 15th career LPGA Tour win, and her first since 2013.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson, Sei Young Kim, In Gee Chun, Stacy Lewis, Ha Na Jang, So Yeon Ryu, Minjee Lee, Suzann Pettersen and Brittany Lang.

* * *


The European Tour is in Switzerland for the Omega European Masters, where European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke will be joined by five members of his team: Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett and Chris Wood.

Omega European Masters
Dates: Sept. 1-4
Venue: Crans-sur-Sierre GC (Severiano Ballesteros Course), Crans-Montana, Switzerland

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) / Noon-2 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            6-11 a.m. (Live)

Willett defends: Danny Willett finished one shot ahead of Matthew Fitzpatrick for his third career European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Danny Willett, Andrew Johnston, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Bryson DeChambeau, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Chris Wood.

* * *


Shaw Charity Classic
Dates: Sept. 2-4
Venue: Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              7-9 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday          7-9 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday            6:30-9 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4-6:30 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Maggert defends: Jeff Maggert finished four shots ahead of the field to capture his fourth career PGA TOUR Champions victory.

Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie, Rocco Mediate, Jeff Maggert, Mark O’Meara, John Daly, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Gene Sauers and Woody Austin.