Thursday, July 29

Rory McIlroy Comments on Simone Biles and Mental Health

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THERE'S A LOT HAPPENING AT THE OLYMPICS, including a 72-hole golf tournament that will culminate in gold, silver and bronze medals. But it seems as if all the talk has been about U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, who has left the competition (for now) due to mental issues.

Here's what Rory McIlroy had to say about Biles and tennis star Naomi Osaka (quotes via Rex Hoggard story).

"You have to put yourself in the best position physically and mentally and to be at your best, and if you don't feel like you're at that or you're in that position then you're going to have to make those decisions," Rory McIlroy said. "I'm certainly very impressed with, especially those two women [Naomi Osaka and Biles], to do what they did and put themselves first.

"There's been a few athletes that have really spoken up: Michael Phelps, Kevin Love, Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles. I mean the conversation, it's not taboo anymore, people can talk about it just as somebody has a knee or elbow injury, if you don't feel right 100 percent mentally that's an injury, too.

"I think in sports there's still this notion of just like powering through it and digging in and you're not a competitor unless you get through these things. So I think that's probably part of it. But then when you hear the most decorated Olympian ever talk about his struggles and then probably the greatest gymnast ever talk about her struggles, then it encourages more people that have felt that way to come out and share how they felt."

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VIDEO: David Feherty Talks Olympic Golf and Other Olympic Sports in "Game Time" Segment With Rich Eisen



Rich Eisen invites NBC golf announcer David Feherty to play "Game Time" and discuss upcoming Olympic golf competition.

Sepp Straka of Austria leads the men after a first round of 63.

WATCH OLYMPIC GOLF ON GOLF CHANNEL:

Thursday, 7/29
7-9 a.m. ET, 2-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel Round 1 Re-air)
6:30 p.m.-3 a.m. ET (Golf Channel Round 2)

Friday, 7/30
7-9 a.m. ET, 2-5 p.m. ET (Golf Channel Round 2 Re-air)
6:30 p.m.-3 a.m. ET (Golf Channel Round 3)

Saturday, 7/31
7-9:30 a.m. ET (Golf Channel Round 3 Re-air)
6:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. ET (Golf Channel Round 4)

Sunday, 8/1
8 a.m.-1 p.m. ET
5-8 p.m. ET (Golf Channel Round 4 Re-air)

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Wednesday, July 21

USGA: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort to Host 13 USGA Championships

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The USGA will kick off a long-term relationship with Bandon Dunes with the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship

By USGA

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The USGA and Bandon Dunes Golf Resort today announced an agreement that will bring 13 USGA amateur championships to the resort over 23 years. The relationship will begin with the 74th U.S. Junior Amateur in 2022 and run through the 2045 U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships, with eight different championships being played at the resort, including the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Amateur, the Walker Cup Match and the Curtis Cup Match.
The 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur will be conducted from July 25-30, with Bandon Dunes serving as the host course for both stroke play and match play, and Bandon Trails serving as the second stroke-play course. Dates and courses for the other championships will be announced in the future.

The resort will host both the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Amateur in 2032 and again in 2041, marking the first time those two original USGA championships will be contested on the same site in the same calendar year. The resort will also host the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior in 2045, which will mark the fourth time those championships will be conducted at the same facility in the same year. The agreement also includes the 2029 Walker Cup Match and the 2038 Curtis Cup Match.

“With five championship-caliber courses and incredible support from the resort’s ownership, Bandon Dunes is the perfect location for these USGA championships,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships. “Mike Keiser has been an incredible advocate for amateur golf and his ongoing support for the USGA and our mission served as the vision for this partnership. We are excited to work together for years to come.”

The 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship will be the first U.S. Junior Amateur and eighth USGA championship hosted by the resort, making Bandon Dunes the first site to host eight different USGA championships. It will be the 39th USGA championship held in Oregon.

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort previously hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup Match (Pacific Dunes), the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur (Bandon Dunes), the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links (Old Macdonald and Bandon Trails), the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball (Pacific Dunes), 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (Old Macdonald and Pacific Dunes), and the 2020 U.S. Amateur (Bandon Dunes and Bandon Trails).

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Monday, July 19

Collin Morikawa Wins Claret Jug in Open Debut 'After a Flawless Round of 66'



The Open on YouTube:

Collin Morikawa is The Champion Golfer of the Year after he produced a stunning final-day charge to win The 149th Open at Royal St George's. 

The American beat Jordan Spieth by two shots in the Sandwich sunshine after a flawless round of 66 to take home the Claret Jug on his Open debut.

My thoughts:

I hardly missed a shot of the final round. The operative word in the above summary is "flawless." OK, Morikawa did mishit a few shots, but he recovered and holed every important putt. He made everything. It reminded me of Tiger Woods.

Morikawa went something like 30 holes of major-championship golf without a bogey. That's unheard of. The young man, only 24, didn't flinch. Rather, he thrived, even played better, under Open pressure.

It's hard not to like Morikawa, a gritty competitor with a wide smile and gracious words.

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Saturday, July 17

THE OPEN: Will Louis Oosthuizen Finish the Job at Royal St. George's?

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LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN WILL TAKE A ONE-SHOT lead into the final round of the Open Championship at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, England.

Oosthuizen shot a 69 in the third round and is 12 under for the tournament. 2020 PGA champion Collin Morikawa is one back after a 68. (This is Morikawa's first Open.) On Sunday he and Oosthuizen will again play in the final pairing.

Jordan Spieth is three off the pace after a 69 on Saturday. The 2017 Open champion had a disappointing bogey-bogey finish.

The 2010 Open champion (St. Andrews), Oosthuizen has six seconds in majors. Can the 54-hole leader stay at the top of the leaderboard and see his name engraved on the Claret Jug a second time?

In an article at GolfDigest.com, Joel Beall offered a reason why Louis has struggled to close out majors: driving.

As part of the case, Beall cited driving statistics in the late stages of the two most recent majors, the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, where Oosthuizen faded after leading.

Beall wrote:

The crazy thing is, the driver is normally not Oosthuizen’s problem, as Louis annually ranked inside the top 40 in SG/off-the-tee for most of the previous decade. Moreover, as NBC Sports on-course reporter Notah Bogey III mentioned on Friday’s broadcast, Oosthuizen is driving the ball beautifully at Royal St George’s, hitting more than 80 percent of his fairways through two days.

Of course, one thing we can’t quantify is what type of collateral damage comes from Torrey Pines, Kiawah and beyond.

Driving will certainly be crucial for all contenders on Sunday. The wind will blow. The pressure will build. And someone with nothing to lose might get red hot.

But this is the time for 38-year-old Louis Oosthuizen. If not now, when?

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Thursday, July 15

How to Watch The Open Championship: TV and Streaming Details and Schedule

THE 149TH EDITION OF THE OPEN Championship is underway at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, England. GOLF Channel, NBC and Peacock have comprehensive coverage.

Thursday, July 15
1:30 AM - 4:00 AM ET on Peacock Premium
4:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET on GOLF & Peacock Premium
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET on Peacock Premium

Friday, July 16
1:30 AM - 4:00 AM ET on Peacock Premium
4:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET on GOLF & Peacock Premium
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET on Peacock Premium

Saturday, July 17
5:00 AM - 7:00 AM ET on GOLF & Peacock Premium
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET on NBC & Peacock Premium

Sunday, July 18
4:00 AM - 7:00 AM ET on GOLF & Peacock Premium
7:00 AM - 2:00 PM ET on NBC & Peacock Premium

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Tuesday, July 13

SELECT COMPANY: Jim Furyk Is Eighth Player to Win Both the U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open; 73-Year-Old Mike 'Fluff' Cowan Carries the Bag of the Mild-Mannered Champion

Congratulations to Jim Furyk, 51, for winning the U.S. Senior Open in his first attempt. And major kudos to his longtime caddie Mike "Fluff" Cowan who is still carrying for Furyk at the spry age of 73!

For those ruminating about Jim Furyk's Hall of Fame credentials,
I say yes, let him in.

By USGA

After making bogey-double bogey on his second and third holes to lose most of the four-stroke lead he began the day with in the 41st U.S. Senior Open, Jim Furyk got back to what has made him one of the best players of his era and the 2003 U.S. Open champion: consistency.

Furyk, 51, settled down and played 2-under-par golf over the next 11 holes to restore his advantage and went on to capture the championship in his debut.

The Jacksonville, Fla., resident who grew up in West Chester, Pa., completed a final round of 1-over-par 71 for a total of 7-under 273, good for a three-stroke victory over two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir.

“I’m not sure I ever felt comfortable out there,” Furyk said. 

The victory made Furyk the eighth man to win both the U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open titles, joining a list that includes Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino.

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Sunday, July 11

NOTEWORTHY: No Lefty Has Won the U.S. Open or U.S. Senior Open (But That Could Change Today)

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PHIL MICKELSON IS UNDOUBTEDLY THE BEST LEFTY in golf history. But the six-time major winner has not won the U.S. Open. No one has come closer without winning. Phil has finished runner-up six times, in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2013.

Southpaw Phil is not alone, as the USGA wrote in its third-round recap of the U.S. Senior Open:

No left-handed golfer has ever won the U.S. Open or U.S. Senior Open. Steve Flesch (4th) and Mike Weir (T-5) will try to make history tomorrow. Flesch's best finish to date in a senior major is a tie for fifth in the 2017 Senior Players Championship. Weir, of Canada, who had a double bogey in each of the first two rounds, had only one bogey on Saturday in his round of 68.

Weir might be the first lefty to do it.

As I write this, Weir is two shots behind leader Jim Furyk in the final round of the U.S. Senior Open at the Omaha Country Club. Retief Goosen is one stroke behind.

Whether today or some other day, this historical oddity is bound to end. I admit I was surprised when I read this note.

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Thursday, July 8

The Nicklaus-Jacklin Award Presented by Aon to Debut at 2021 Ryder Cup


ABOVE: Watch highlights of the final minutes of the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale, where the matches ended in the first tie in the history of the event. The pivotal moment was the famous concession made by Jack Nicklaus on the 18th green in his singles match with Tony Jacklin. I wrote the book on the 1969 Ryder Cup and Jack's concession, including all that led up to it in a contentious atmosphere and highly spirited matches. I hope you'll read DRAW IN THE DUNES (St. Martin's Press, 2014) if you haven't already. Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin contributed the foreword.

News Release (edited)

The PGA of America, Ryder Cup Europe and Aon plc (NYSE: AON) ― a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions ― today jointly announced the creation of “The Nicklaus – Jacklin Award presented by Aon,” which will debut during the 43rd Ryder Cup, Sept. 24-26, 2021 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

The first-of-its-kind award will be given to two players ― one each from the U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams ― who best embody the spirit of the event: seeing the bigger picture and making decisions critical to sportsmanship, teamwork and performance at the Ryder Cup.

The recipients of the inaugural award will be selected by a committee consisting of Jack Nicklaus, Tony Jacklin, other past European and U.S. Ryder Cup Captains, PGA of America President Jim Richerson, PGA of Great Britain and Ireland Chairman Alan White, representatives from Sky and NBC Sports and Carlo Clavarino, Executive Chairman, International Business, Aon.

The Ryder Cup has a history of rivalry, excitement and passion, but is also the essence of true sportsmanship. Named after the famous 1969 concession by Jack Nicklaus, which saw him give Tony Jacklin a 2-foot putt for a halved match that resulted in the first tie in Ryder Cup history, this new award commemorates sportsmanship, teamwork and the type of sound, strategic decision-making that attracts people to the game.

“Since its inception, the Ryder Cup was imagined as a spirited but friendly competition amongst allies. At its core, this remarkable tradition is based on the fundamental pillars of sportsmanship, teamwork and performance,” said Seth Waugh, PGA of America, CEO. “We want to recognize and celebrate that key foundational tenet and so in collaboration with Aon, created an award to honor Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin’s historic act from 1969 that exemplified those honorable traits and set the stage for the future of the Ryder Cup.”

“The excitement and energy surrounding the Ryder Cup always tests your poise, composure and decision-making, and when it matters most,” said Jack Nicklaus, record 18-time major champion, 2-time U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain and 6-time U.S. Ryder Cup Team Member. “The challenge is that every decision is magnified to its fullest because we’re not playing for just ourselves, but we’re playing for our country, teammates, captains, and fans. I’m glad to see that everyone involved in the Ryder Cup is identifying the importance of the choices these players make in the heat of competition and on one of golf’s biggest stages, and that they are recognizing and celebrating individuals who approach this competition with the proper spirit and who put an emphasis on good will and camaraderie.”

“There’s always a decision that defines you in the Ryder Cup and to have an award that also highlights that decision is innovative for the game of golf and the Ryder Cup,” said Tony Jacklin, Major Champion four-time European Ryder Cup Team Captain and seven-time European Ryder Cup Team Member. “When I look back on my career, to be a part of Ryder Cups, the team atmosphere, and the importance of the decisions that followed - to giving players the opportunity to win an award based on that decision carries a lot of weight and will be a key accomplishment in their career.”

To support the award and create momentum leading up to the event, the Ryder Cup and Aon will launch two digital content series, one focused on providing key course insights that will inform players’ decision-making at Whistling Straits, and another that will showcase the most unforgettable, defining decisions of the Ryder Cup to date.

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Monday, July 5

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Aussie Cam Davis Wins First PGA Tour Title on Fifth Playoff Hole at the Rocket Mortgage Classic


THERE WERE PLENTY OF FIREWORKS in Detroit this past week. And I'm talking about golf.

In the second consecutive sudden-death playoff on the PGA Tour, Cam Davis outlasted Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic. (Last week it was eight extra holes at the Travelers Championship.) Sunday's playoff resulted in the maiden victory for the long-hitting Aussie. Davis, 26, moved to No. 34 in the FedEx Cup rankings.

Just getting into the playoff was quite the adventure. Davis had an eagle-birdie finish that included a holeout from a bunker on the 17th.

He said, "It's still so surreal for me. I've been in some good positions before, but to play the golf that I played coming down the stretch was just awesome."

The PGA Tour was back in Detroit for the third edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club. In 2020 Bryson DeChambeau won by three shots over Matthew Wolff. This time DeChambeau parted with his caddie, played poorly and refused to talk to the media.

Phil Mickelson was also out of sorts with the media after a gambling related story surfaced in the Detroit News. Making his tournament debut, Lefty threatened to never return to Detroit. He finished in a tie for 74th.

Meanwhile, Davis was just trying to grind out his first win on the world's best pro golf tour.

"I hit some good putts," he commented, "I hit some not-so-great putts. But I had a lot of opportunities and I guess that was eventually what got it over the line for me, good solid quality shots in important situations. I'm really proud of that and that's a testament to some of the hard work we've put in."

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Friday, July 2

Golf Digest: 'The Most Expensive Green Fee in Golf' Is Not Pebble Beach

MOVE OVER, PEBBLE.

Golf Digest's Stephen Hennessey wrote
that Shadow Creek in North Las Vegas has the highest green fee in golf. And soon it's going higher.

Now, Shadow Creek has likely solidified itself as the highest green fee for years to come. Golf Digest has learned that Shadow Creek will increase its green fees to $1,000 during its peak season (March to May; plus October and November) and $750 during off-peak. That’s far and above Pebble Beach’s green fees, which are currently $575.

I admit I don't know much about Shadow Creek, but I'll take Pebble.

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