U.S. Might Change Process of Selecting Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks

CHASKA, MN – OCTOBER 02: Ryan Moore of the United States hits off the third tee during singles matches of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on October 2, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott Halleran/PGA of America via Getty Images)   Ryan Moore was the final captain’s pick for the Americans at Hazeltine.

The U.S. Ryder Cup committee was scheduled to meet Tuesday by telephone, the first step toward picking a new captain. Attention has focused on Jim Furyk, mainly because he answered a hypothetical question at Sea Island that he would take the job if offered. He said he was not lobbying to be captain.

At some point after a captain is selected, the next decision will be how to pick a team.

Davis Love III, the winning captain and part of the committee, hinted that the entire U.S. team will be set before the Tour Championship. This year, Ryan Moore was the 12th and final player selected for the team after his playoff loss at East Lake.

The 2018 Ryder Cup is Sept. 28-30 in France.

“One thing we’ve got to really work on is picking this team, make sure we have a week to get everyone ready,” Love said. “Rushing off to Paris at the last minute when a guy has just made the team, throw him on a plane and we’re going to Paris, we’re wondering if that’s the smartest thing to do. That’s one of the discussion points.”

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods also are on the committee. The PGA of America is represented on the committee by Pete Bevacqua (CEO), Paul Levy (president) and Suzy Whaley (vice president).

AP News

Harold Varner III Wins Australian PGA, Adam Scott Finishes Third

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 04:  Harold Varner III of the USA celebrates after winning the Joe Kirkwood trophy on day four of the 2016 Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort on December 4, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 04: Harold Varner III of the USA celebrates after winning the Joe Kirkwood trophy on day four of the 2016 Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort on December 4, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Harold Varner III didn’t really know the protocol, so he filled the Australian PGA Championship trophy with champagne, took a sip and then shared it around.

The 26-year-old American won a title for the first time outside the U.S. mini tours when he fired nine birdies in a closing 65 on Sunday to finish at 19 under, two clear of Australian journeyman Andrew Dodt and four ahead of 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott.

He finished runner-up after a playoff here last year, then had four top-10 finishes in his rookie season on the PGA Tour.

“After last year, it feels good to come back and finish it off,” he said. “This is my first win since the mini tours, so this is my first win, I guess, as part of an organization such as the PGA Tour, the European Tour. It’s just a step in the right direction and I’m just super excited.”

Varner had a hectic week at the event that is co-sanctioned by the Australasian and European tours. After lightning and rain stopped his first round after 14 holes, he had to set the alarm for 2:45 a.m. Friday to get up in time for an early courtesy car ride to his 5:30 a.m. tee off.

He finished his first round in a share of the lead at 7 under, then went out and finished his second round before lunch on day two. His spare time has included black jack at the Casino where he’s staying, and where he was headed Sunday night. This being his first win abroad, Varner admitted he wasn’t fully across the routine for a champion that included extra interviews, news conferences and photos opportunities.

“I’m ready to get to the casino but no one told me about the other stuff that goes along with winning – which I’m totally cool with – I just didn’t know there was so much stuff. There might have been 1,000 pictures out there,” he told the news conference where he filled the trophy with champagne and shared it around. “Winning is cool.”

Varner started the last round two shots behind Dodt. He surged into the lead with a run of four birdies at the start of an entertaining span of nine holes that contained seven birdies and two bogeys. He took a two-shot lead into the last hole and tapped in for par.

Dodt held a two-shot lead before the final round but couldn’t match it with Varner’s nine birdies and closed with a 69. Scott closed with a 67, his best round of the tournament to finish in outright third at 15 under.

Ashley Hall dropped from second to fourth at 14 under after a final round of 70. His fellow Australian Brett Rumford finished at 10 under, two shots ahead of a group of three that included Dutch golfer Darius van Driel, amateur Brett Coletta and John Senden. New Zealander Ryan Fox was ninth at 7 under.

was wayward off the tee. He kept in touch with three birdies in four holes from the eighth and added an eagle at the par-5 15th.

“It was my best round of the week and it wasn’t good enough unfortunately,” he said.

The former No. 1-ranked Scott said he planned to put the clubs away for a while and catch up on family time, surfing, and watching some cricket and tennis.

The clubs “will be away for a couple of weeks and if they’re not too rusty by Christmas I might bring them back out and shake some of the rust off,” he said. “I’ll just play around for fun and then I’ll get serious once the new year starts.”

Varner, who is the only player other than Tiger Woods with black heritage on the PGA Tour, is hoping this win is the launching pad for a better 2017.

He was the first American to win the Australian PGA title since Hale Irwin in 1978 at Royal Melbourne, and the first non-Australian to claim the title since 1999.

“Winning is just … different,” he said. “Three years, I haven’t won, so this is special.”

AP News

Tiger Woods Will Not Win This Week, But He’s On Track to Emerge a Winner Anyway

tiger-woods-third-round-hero-ritter-960.Now it gets interesting.

Actually, scratch that — Tiger Woods’s return this week at the Hero World Challenge was already fascinating. What credible golf fan hasn’t at least glanced at the headlines flowing out of the Bahamas? No, we have already sailed past the point of novelty. Now it gets serious. On a breezy, overcast Saturday afternoon, Woods rang up seven birdies against three bogeys and one double for a 2-under-par 70. His final score could’ve been better if not for some scratchy play over the closing holes that knocked him out of contention to win.

But Woods has already exceeded most reasonable expectations for his return after a 15-month layoff. That layoff, it should be reminded, followed two back surgeries, missed cuts at the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA, several alarmingly high scores — including an 85 at the Memorial — and a litany of flubbed shots and on-course gaffes that made you wonder if the 14-time major champion would ever again play golf competently, let alone competitively.

It’s all still a little dizzying, but here is where Woods stands: 8 under par, 10th place, 11 shots behind the leader, Hideki Matsuyama. Woods is not going to win this golf tournament, but he’s on track to emerge a winner anyway.

“Probably the biggest surprise for me as a player who has taken time off in the past has been finding the flow early in my rounds. For three straight days I’ve gotten off to great starts,” Woods said afterward during an appearance in the NBC broadcast booth. “Overall, I’m so happy to be back out here and competing against these guys. It’s been a tough road to get to this point. I’ve missed it.”

While galleries in the Bahamas have been predictably thin, there is an undeniable buzz surrounding Woods’s return, especially on social media. Even President-elect Donald Trump fired a supportive tweet at Woods Saturday morning.

Woods teed off alongside Rickie Fowler at 12:26 ET in an all-gray ensemble that matched the sky, and he started sublimely, stuffing iron shots on 1 and 2, and feathering a pitch shot on 3 to kick-in range for a third straight birdie. After dropping a six-foot par-saver on 4, he fanned his tee shot on the par-3 5th into a front bunker, but jarred the ensuing sand shot for his most spectacular highlight of the day.

Woods blew a five-footer on 6 for his first bogey in 24 holes but bounced back with another birdie and turned in 32. Yet another birdie putt on 11 pushed him to 11 under, and into the top five.

But then Woods lost the feel with his driver, missing four straight fairways while making bogeys on 13 and 14. He canned one more long birdie putt on 17, but drove into a waste area on 18 and hooked his approach into a pond — the second time he splashed one on the 18th in three rounds — before closing with a double bogey.

It’s still very early in this comeback, but we can begin to take stock. Here are a few things these 54 holes are not:

They are not part of a major championship, or even a mid-level Tour event. Albany has been completely devoid of big crowds. It is not a particularly arduous golf course. This week hardly resembles the pressure caldron that awaits Woods back on the mainland in 2017.

But here are few things these 54 holes most certainly are: They are part of a PGA Tour-sanctioned event, one comprised of 18 of the world’s greatest golfers. (After Woods at 898, Zach Johnson entered with the second-worst World Ranking, at 38) They count towards World Ranking points, and a $1 million check will be handed to Sunday’s winner. Each golfer in the field would very much like to win one million dollars. And Woods, to this point, is beating seven of them, including the reigning PGA Championship winner (Jimmy Walker) a two-time Masters champion (Bubba Watson) and America’s Ryder Cup hero (Patrick Reed).

While it isn’t Augusta, the pressure and attention have been squarely on Woods this week. All things considered he has responded well.

“One thing I’ve been good at over the years is eliminating the noise,” Woods said. “Coming back for this one in particular, there was a lot. I had to stay focused on what I had to do. I had to get these guys happy, and host an event. But my mind was able to switch over to competitor-mode again, and that felt great.”

Three rounds into his latest comeback, Woods has also answered several questions that were unknown Thursday morning: Can he play a tournament round without re-injury? He has now played three. Did he craft a swing that allows him to compete? He’s made 19 birdies. Has he squelched the short-game jitters that plagued him in 2015? For now, it seems so.

“I wouldn’t be here doing this if I didn’t feel like I can play at the highest level,” Woods said. “I have too much pride, and if I can’t prepare to play at this level anymore, then I won’t do it. But I know that I can.”

From here, Woods will face more questions, including one of the most significant of all:

How will he perform on a Sunday?

That one will be waiting for him on the first tee.

by Jeff Ritter (golf.com)

Denmark seals maiden World Cup triumph in Melbourne

aaknbswSoren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen kept their nerve and shot a six-under-par 66 in the final round fourballs to give Denmark a first World Cup of Golf triumph by four strokes at Kingston Heath on Sunday.

The Danes started the day with a four-shot cushion and seven birdies, including one at the last when Olesen curled in a 20-foot putt, combined with a single bogey were enough to hand them victory on 20-under in the 58th edition of the tournament.

“It’s difficult to describe my feelings,” said Kjeldsen, before lifting the Hopkins Trophy.

“We both came in this week in good form and we just gelled so well. A friendship has been built as well, and I think that’s the whole point of the World Cup of Golf.”

French duo Victor Dubuisson and Romain Langasque led the chasing pack with a sparkling nine-birdie 63 to share second place on 16-under with China’s Wu Anshun and Li Haotong (65) as well as American pairing Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker (66).

On another day of low scores, the Swedish pairing of Alex Noren and David Lingmerth tore up the sandbelt course with a flawless 62 but that was only good enough for fifth place on 15-under, a shot ahead of Italy (64) and Japan (65).

Hosts Australia, who were defending the title won by Adam Scott and Jason Day at Royal Melbourne in 2013, finished in a share of ninth on 11-under after Scott and Marc Leishman combined for a final round 65.

It was a brilliant second round 60 featuring two eagles and eight birdies that gave the Danes a three-shot lead and they never looked like relinquishing over the final two rounds.

They parred the first five holes on Sunday before Kjeldsen’s tee shot to within three feet of the sixth hole gave them a first birdie and they reached the turn even for the day after a bogey on the par-five eighth.

If there were any nerves, they did not show them and after 26-year-old Olesen hit his approach shot to within inches of the hole at the 10th, his partner drained a much longer birdie putt in any case.

Four more birdies followed in the next five holes to kill off any hopes their playing partners, world number 12 Fowler and U.S. PGA Championship title holder Walker, had of overhauling them.

Second place was a best ever finish for China in the event and Wu thought they had been in with a chance of giving their nation a maiden victory when they hit the turn at three-under with Denmark still on their run of pars.

“I think we played very well this week and played well again today,” Wu said.

“After two early birdies the lead was only two shots so we almost touched the trophy.”

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Greg Stutchbury/John O’Brien)

7 Things to Know About the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf

Jason Day of Australia poses with the trophy after winning the individual event of the Golf World Cup tournament played at the Royal Melbourne course in Melbourne, on November 24, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/William WEST    IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE        (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Jason Day of Australia poses with the trophy after winning the individual event of the Golf World Cup tournament played at the Royal Melbourne course in Melbourne, on November 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO/William WEST IMAGE

The PGA Tour is finished for 2016, but there’s still one truly worldwide golf event left before the calendar year is out. The World Cup of Golf kicks off Thursday Down Under, featuring some of the best players from every corner of the globe. Here’s what you need to know about the four-day tourney.

1. The Basics

What: The World Cup of Golf
Where: Kingston Heath Golf Club, Melbourne, Australia
When: Thursday-Sunday
Watch on Golf Channel:
Wednesday – 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST
Thursday – 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. EST, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST
Friday – 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EST, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST
Saturday – 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EST, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. EST
Sunday – 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EST

2. History

In 1953, American industrialist John Jay Hopkins founded the Canada Cup to promote international goodwill through golf. There were just seven countries represented in the Montreal-based event. Hopkins is widely considered the founding father of international golf, the tournament growing year after year to include more players from more countries and conducted at prestigious courses around the world. The tournament became the World Cup of Golf in 1967 and has been biennially contested 57 times. The 2016 edition will be the 58th. Previous champions include Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Peter Thomson, Ernie Els, Jason Day and the late Arnold Palmer.

3. Format

The World Cup of Golf boasts a 56-player field representing 28 countries.

In 1953, the format was the aggregate score of a two-man team over 36 holes of stroke play. From 1954-99, it changed slightly to the aggregate score of a two-man team over 72 holes of stroke play.

In 1953, the format was the aggregate score of a two-man team over 36 holes of stroke play. From 1954-99, it changed slightly to the aggregate score of a two-man team over 72 holes of stroke play.

From 2000-11, the format changed again to two-man teams alternating stroke play rounds of four-ball and foursomes.

The 2013 format reverted slightly to the aggregate score of a two-man team over 72 holes of stroke play, plus individuals competing for the $7 million prize, and the top three teams splitting the remaining $1 million.

This year, the format returns to 72 holes of two-man team stroke play. On Thursday and Saturday, teams will compete in foursomes. On Friday and Sunday, teams will compete in four-balls. The winning team will split the $2.56 million prize of the total $8 million purse.

4. Did You Know…

The World Cup of Golf used to be a part of the World Golf Championship series from 2000 to 2006. Though it’s no longer a WGC event, it’s still sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours.

Scott Host the 2016 Contest

Jason Day won the individual prize of $7 million for finishing with the lowest aggregate score to par, 10 under. Adam Scott’s seven-under-par performance pushed the Australian team to victory at 17-under, 10 shots clear of second-place finishers Matt Kuchar and Kevin Streelman of the United States. Scott looks to defend his title at home with partner Marc Leishman, as Day is sitting this event out.

6. The Field

There are three top-10 players in the field (Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott and Alex Noren) and 14 others in the top 50. Combined, they have won 29 events in 2016.

Australia: Adam Scott (7), Marc Leishman (53)

Austria: Bernd Wiesberger (46), Martin Wiegele (1315)

Belgium: Thomas Pieters (44), Nicolas Colsaerts (136)

Canada: David Hearn (142), Adam Hadwin (181)

China: Haotong Li (131), Wu Ashun (171)

Chinese Taipei: Chan Shih-chang (189), C.T. Pan (215)

Denmark: Soren Kjeldsen (50), Thorbjorn Olesen (70)

England: Chris Wood (37), Andy Sullivan (40)

France: Victor Dubuisson (93), Romain Langasque (188)

Germany: Alex Cejka (139), Stephan Jaeger (466)

India: SSP Chawrasia (220), Chikkarangappa S (321)

Ireland: Shane Lowry (42), Graeme McDowell (81)

Italy: Francesco Molinari (36), Matteo Manassero (344)

Japan: Hideki Matsuyama (6), Ryo Ishikawa (99)

Korea: Byeong Hun An (43), K.T. Kim (56)

Malaysia: Danny Chia (286), Nicholas Fung (320)

Netherlands: Joost Luiten (60), Darius van Driel (380)

New Zealand: Danny Lee (62), Ryan Fox (158)

Philippines: Miguel Tabuena (153), Angelo Que (453)

Portugal: Ricardo Gouveia (121), José-Filipe Lima (282)

Scotland: Russell Knox (18), Duncan Stewart (315)

South Africa: Jaco Van Zyl (94), George Coetzee (139)

Spain: Rafa Cabrera Bello (30), Jon Rahm (125)

Sweden: Alex Noren (9), David Lingmerth (65)

United States: Rickie Fowler (12), Jimmy Walker (19)

Thailand: Thongchai Jaidee (49), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (75)

Venezuela: Jhonattan Vegas (74), Julio Vegas (1872)

Wales: Bradley Dredge (89), Stuart Manley (873)

7. Who to Watch

Adam Scott has cited Kingston Heath as one of his favorite courses to play. Playing at home with Marc Leishman makes them the team to beat, as long as their games live up to expectations.

Swede Alex Noren has won four times on the European tour this year. His partner, David Lingmerth, has struggled at times this year. His best finish this year on the European tour was a T9 at the Australian PGA Championship.

Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler (the only team with both players ranked in the top 20) will look to add to the Americans’ success (recent wins in the Solheim Cup, Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup)

by Marika Washchyshyn

Pro Golfers React to Donald Trump Winning Presidential Race

In a stunning upset, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton on Election Day and will take office as the 45th president on Jan. 20, 2017.

The real-estate-mogul-turned-Republican-president-elect owns some of the top golf courses in the world. His Trump National Bedminster will the host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2022 PGA Championship.

Many Tour pros are fans of Trump — others, not so much — and several of them took to social media to voice their opinion on their new president. Check out the mixed reaction below.

John Daly ? @PGA_JohnDaly

Congrats my grt friend & President of the US! @realDonaldTrump bc I know u will! Thk u 4 putting Americans 1st ??

Jack Nicklaus ? @jacknicklaus

Congratulations to the 45th President of the United States, @realdonaldtrump! All of us in the Nicklaus family are… https://twitpl.us/fNwK

David Feherty ? @Fehertwit

Congratulations to the Donald!

Dani Holmqvist @DHolmqvist

So much hate and derogatory comments this am. Instead, no matter what your views may be. Appreciate that you have the luxury of democracy.

see more http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/donald-trump-pro-golfers-react-trump-winning-presidential-race

Love: ‘Tiger Was Just Amazing’ as Ryder Cup Vice Captain

CHASKA, MN - SEPTEMBER 30:  Vice-captain Tiger Woods and captain Davis Love III of the United States talk during morning foursome matches of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on September 30, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHASKA, MN – SEPTEMBER 30: Vice-captain Tiger Woods and captain Davis Love III of the United States talk during morning foursome matches of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club on September 30, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Davis Love III delivered high praise of Tiger Woods ahead of the RSM Classic Wednesday, showering the 14-time major winner with compliments for his role as a vice captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.

“Tiger was just amazing,” Love said during Wednesday’s press conference. “He had a great system. It really helped us on Sunday. We had already talked about Sunday pairings so many times that when the crunch time came, we knew what we were doing.”

Woods was announced as one of Love’s vice captains at the 2015 RSM Classic, and was brought on as the team’s ‘tactician.’ But Woods’ communication with the team seems to have been what made the differenc; Love credits Woods with inspiring Patrick Reed to victory over Rory McIlroy in one of the event’s most epic matches, as well as checking in with team members months ahead of the competition for long chats.

“We were a team,” Woods said following the Americans’ first Ryder Cup win in eight years. “Whether I was playing or not I was a part of a team. Our team won… My role was to help the team however possible, and I hope I’ve done that.”

courtesy of Golf Wire

 

Play, Stay, Do: The Best Golf Courses Near Cancun, Mexico

Hole No. 12 at Riviera Cancun Golf Club in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Hole No. 12 at Riviera Cancun Golf Club in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

For golf, surf and Mayan jungle ruins, three trophy tracks await on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Puerto Cancun

Play
One of Mexico’s most variety-filled layouts ($100-$190) ribbons through mangroves on the front and opens up on the breezy back. Paspalum fairways, beefy par 3s and the island-green 18th are highlights. puertocancun.com

Stay
Located on a peninsula that juts into the Caribbean, the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva serves up such memorable features as swim-up suites, a microbrewery and a 17-mile stretch of beach. cancun.ziva.hyatt.com

Do
Herpetological-minded golfers will flock to the famed sea turtle farm on Isla Mujeres, a tranquil island eight miles off the mainland. The ports for the ferry ride are just a 10-minute drive from Puerto Cancun.

Puerto Cancun's back nine offers plenty of water hazards for players who love risk-reward holes.

Puerto Cancun’s back nine offers plenty of water hazards for players who love risk-reward holes.

Riviera Cancun

Play
The 2008 Jack Nicklaus Signature Design ($170-$220) is a pure golf experience—no homes, no distractions. Sea views, lush landscaping and topsy-turvy greens stand out. Equally impressive is the mammoth, luxurious clubhouse.

Stay
With a central location 15 minutes from the course, the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is idyllic. There’s superb service, an infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean, and a spa that’s simply superior. marriott.com

Do
Everybody in the water! The dazzling turquoise sea invites jet skiing and world-class snorkeling and scuba diving. And you can explore underwater caverns as well as cenotes, sinkholes created by eroding limestone bedrock.

Players looking for a long test will try the El Tinto course from the black tees.

Players looking for a long test will try the El Tinto course from the black tees.

Cancun Country Club

Play
The El Tinto course ($70-$180) stretches a Tour-worthy 7,435 yards from the Black tees and features enormous bunkers and Florida-style water hazards. A lack of rough makes the tough track more playable. cancuncountryclub.com

Stay
The Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun is a beachfront resort seven miles from Cancun Country Club. Its restaurants and bars serve up delicious cocktails and fresh seafood. fiestaamericanaresorts.com

Do
Take a jungle hike through Mayan ruins dating back more than a thousand years. Chichen Itza, the most famous site and once one of the largest Mayan cities, is a little more than two hours inland from Cancún.

courtesy of golf.com

 

 

The Secret to Soft Bunker Shots: Hit Them One-Handed

low-handTo hit a pillowy-soft greenside bunker shot, you don’t need to swing harder to generate more spin. In fact, it’s just the opposite: You want to swing a bit slower to make the ball come out “dead,” as though you had tossed a horseshoe onto the green.

Set up as you normally would (i.e., weight slightly left, ball forward in stance, clubface a bit open) and make your usual bunker swing.

But as the clubhead makes contact with the sand, let go of the club with your right hand. This one-handed technique will kill the ball’s speed, allowing it to come out softly and stop quickly.

But even though you’re only using one hand, make sure to finish your swing. You want the clubhead to slow down as it reaches impact, not to stop or decelerate quickly—that’s how you leave the ball in the bunker.

The next time you find yourself short-sided and in a greenside trap, try the one-handed approach to blast it close.

courtesy of Golf Wire

Trump National Golf Club Fairway Vandalized

Trump National Golf Club, Washington, D.C. Potomac Falls, VA CREDIT: Brian Morgan Rights owned my Trump Organization

Trump National Golf Club, Washington, D.C.
Potomac Falls, VA
CREDIT: Brian Morgan
Rights owned my Trump Organization

A fairway at Trump National Golf Club in Washington D.C. was vandalized not long before Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton on Election Day.

According to the Loudoun County Sheriff Office, the course suffered undisclosed damage sometime between 5 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday. No other details regarding the incident were available.

Trump National is located in Sterling, Va., and is one of several world-famous courses owned by Trump.

The vandalism at the golf course was not an isolated incident. More than two dozen cities held protests after Trump prevailed to become the 45th president of the U.S. Several of them ended in arrests.

by GOLF WIRE

 

Jordan Spieth Tabs Texas Barbecue for Masters Champions Dinner

SpiethmastersbubbaWhen Jordan Spieth parred the 71st hole of the 2015 Masters to maintain a four-shot lead, CBS commentator Ian Baker-Finch said, “I think they’ll be serving Texas barbecue at the champions dinner next year.”

As it turns out, Finch was right.

According to a GolfNewsNet article which cites Reuters, Spieth spoke Tuesday from the Bahamas ahead of the Hero World Challenge about his desire to serve Texas barbecue at the 2016 champions dinner.

“I’ve still got a bit of time before I have to advise the officials at Augusta National but I am leaning towards a Texas-like barbecue,” said Spieth, who is defending his title this week at the Hero World Challenge. “So it will be a choice of Texan meats as my meal choice.”

This would be a major step up from this year’s champions dinner, where Bubba Watson served mac and cheese, but it’s not the first time the state’s famous brisket delighted golfers in green; Ben Crenshaw, a fellow Texan and former Longhorn, served Texas barbecue at the 1996 Masters champions dinner.

How does Spieth’s choice stack up against other first-time winners’ menus? Well, Tiger Woods served cheeseburgers in 1998 but upgraded to steak and sushi after victories in 2001 and 2002. Phil Mickelson served lobster ravioli and caesar salad in 2005, then chose seafood paella and machango-topped filet mignon in 2011.

Will Spieth win another Masters? More importantly, what will he serve if he does?

courtesy of  Brendan Mohler (golf.com)

Nick Faldo: Team USA Could Be 2016 Ryder Cup Favorites

SOUTHPORT, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 14:  Nick Faldo of England pictured at a press conference prior to the 137th Open Championship on July 14, 2008 at Royal Birkdale Golf Course, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

SOUTHPORT, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 14: Nick Faldo of England pictured at a press conference prior to the 137th Open Championship on July 14, 2008 at Royal Birkdale Golf Course, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Nick Faldo thinks that Team USA might have a leg up when the Ryder Cup comes to Hazeltine in Minnesota next year.

Sir Nick told Reuters that the possibility of a fresh-faced European Team could put the defending champions at a bit of a disadvantage against the Americans.

“There is going to be a changing of the guard, a few of our guys are getting a little older,” Faldo said. “I think America could be the favorites this time because the backbone of their team will be similar to the last one. Europe’s backbone could be very different. We could easily have six rookies , easily.”The six-time major winner pointed to up-and-comers like Danny Willett and Andy Sullivan, both of whom have climbed within the top 40 in the world ranking this year and are strong contenders to make the European squad.

The Europeans have bested Team USA in seven of the last nine Ryder Cup matches. If the Americans want to reverse the tide, Faldo thinks they need to work on their pairings.

“The Americans have struggled with that recently,” Faldo said. “Their strongest pair has been Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. Even that one gets broken up at the wrong time. They have got to find a couple of good pairings but the bottom line is they must find a way to win.”

courtesy of Marika Washchyshyn (golf.com)

 

Famed Partridge Inn, in Augusta, Ga., Completes Renovations in Time for 2016 Masters

Partridge-Inn3On the list of Augusta’s grandest traditions, the Partridge Inn belongs right up there alongside Amen Corner, green jackets and pimento cheese sandwiches.

The city’s most venerable hotel is a beehive of activity during Masters week, when it seamlessly melds Southern charm, gracious hospitality and the frenzied buzzing of all things golf. And now, in the wake of a multi-million dollar renovation, the Partridge has emerged better than ever.

The most in-demand hotel near the world’s most in-demand tournament has welcomed guests such as golfers Curtis Strange, Paul Azinger and Gary Player, as well as entertainers Reba McIntyre, James Brown and Bob Dylan. And we’re going to assume that Reba and friends would approve of the Partridge’s new look, which hasn’t diminished any of its old charm.

Partridge2First the new: the 144 guest rooms have been refurbished and feature such modern touches as enhanced Internet connectivity, 42-inch TVs with more than 100 hi-def channels and luxury linens. The lobby now sports a market and community counter and the revitalized P.I. Bar and Grill. Bathrooms, balconies and guest-room hallways have also benefitted from the makeover, highlighted by modern furniture and light fixtures.

As for the “old,” the hotel’s iconic verandah, one of the best Masters gatherings spots outside of the clubhouse oak tree, has been spiffed up, while historic architectural features, including the original woodwork and ceiling tiles, have been preserved.

Partridge1If you book the Partridge during Masters week (try for 2017; next year already is sold out), you’ll receive complimentary shuttle to Augusta National, breakfast, welcoming gifts and access to restaurant, verandah and private event spaces. Or simply pop by for a visit. You can schmooze in the hotel’s Cigar Bar and restaurants, or enjoy live viewing of the Masters on the P.I. Bar and Grill’s big-screen TVs.

For more information, visit partridgeinn.com

courtesy of Joe Passov (golf.com)

Rickie Fowler Appears on ESPN’s College GameDay, Has Close Call With Shotgun

Rickie Fowler Appears on ESPN's College GameDay, Has Close Call With Shotgun

Rickie Fowler Appears on ESPN’s College GameDay, Has Close Call With Shotgun

Rickie Fowler has been a superstar in the golf world from day one, long before he captured the 2015 Players Championship and started routinely contending in major championships.

And if you’re a Fowler fan, or even a casual observer of golf, surely you’ve heard him talk passionately about his alma mater, Oklahoma State, and its football team. Even his trademark all-orange Sunday outfit is a nod to the Cowboys.

On Saturday, Fowler joined the GameDay crew prior to the start of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State rivalry game. It goes without saying whom Fowler picked to win, but the real excitement came from analyst Lee Corso. When Corso also picked the Cowboys, he celebrated by firing off a few rounds from a shotgun into the sky, the second of which was a little too close for comfort for Rickie.

Watch the Vine of the incident below:

https://mtc.cdn.vine.co/r/videos/0F3277FD611282436102904741888_4108bf88cc9.4.0.3726167779697225716.mp4?versionId=UzjwlvKZnUs_F9WBk4QJeKqnasLgcEYH

courtesy of Extra Spin Staff (golf.com)

 

 

Golf Canada Rejects USGA Handicap Rule on Rounds Played Alone

usgaThe USGA’s recent decision to no longer count scores shot while playing alone towards an official handicap has met with intense criticism from golfers everywhere, but golfers in Canada are taking action.

The organization governing golf played in Canada announced Tuesday that it had voted against adopting the USGA’s rule change. Their decision represents a substantial challenge to the USGA’s authority and could lead to further divides in how golf is played around the world.

The new rule require golfers to play with at least one other person if they intend to count the score for handicap purposes, and according to the USGA, “this change underscores the importance of providing full and accurate information regarding a player’s potential scoring ability, and the ability of other players to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a posted score.”

The USGA announced a clarification to this rule change Tuesday, which states that a player does not need to play alongside another golfer, but that he or she simply needs a witness. That witness must be present for seven holes of a nine-hole score, or 13 holes of an 18-hole score.

courtesy of Brendan Mohler (golf.com)

USGA, R&A Announce New 2016 Rules

usgaThe USGA announced Monday six major changes to the handicapping system, in tandem with the 2016 release of the Rules of Golf, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Of note is the inadmissibility of posting solo scores for the purpose of determining a handicap. As of the new year, golfers will not be allowed to count rounds played alone toward their handicap. According to the USGA under Section 5-1: Acceptability of Scores, “this change underscores the importance of providing full and accurate information regarding a player’s potential scoring ability, and the ability of other players to form a reasonable basis for supporting or disputing a posted score.”

Further changes include adjustments to the definition of a tournament score, adjusting a hole score, posting scores of a disqualified player, anchoring and posting, and responsibilities of Handicap Committees.

The changes are said to impact more than 10 million golfers who hold a Handicap Index from the USGA.

A more detailed explanation of the changes will be available at the end of the year, and the complete USGA Handicap System Manual will be posted and available for purchase after Jan. 1, 2016.

courtesy of Marika Washchyshyn (golf.com)

Jordan Spieth Says Rio Olympics Is Next Year’s ‘Fifth Major’

Jordan Spieth celebrates after sinking his final putt to win a three-hole playoff in the fourth round of the 2015 Valspar Championship

Jordan Spieth celebrates after sinking his final putt to win a three-hole playoff in the fourth round of the 2015 Valspar Championship

Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott, the two headliners at this week’s Australian Open, have distinctly different excitement levels over next year’s Rio Olympics golf tournament.

While both agree a team competition would have been nice, Scott says he’ll go if he can fit it into his schedule, and isn’t very enthused. On Tuesday, however, Spieth said count him in unless he’s injured or, by some miracle, the world’s top-ranked golfer fails to qualify.

Spieth says he considers golf’s return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 like a major and plans to be among the four-man American team in the 60-man field.

Last week at the Australian Masters, Scott, who is in line for Olympic selection alongside Jason Day in the Australian men’s team, showed little interest in packing his bags for Brazil.

“I’ve been pretty open and outspoken that it’s not really a priority of my scheduling next year, which is based around the majors. And if the Olympics fits in then it does,” Scott said Wednesday. “There is a gap in the schedule there … some time off looks quite good actually.”

He also said he felt Olympic organizers should have been “a little more creative than a little 72-hole stroke-play event.”

On Tuesday at The Australian Golf Club, where Spieth shot a final-round, course-record 63 last year to win the Australian Open, he said he’s enthused over being part of an American team.

“Just competing in the Olympics, just walking the opening ceremony, staying in the village and doing whatever it is, meeting these incredible athletes from around the world, hopefully that’s something I’ll be able to experience next August,” said Spieth, who moved on from his Australian victory last year to win consecutive majors at the Masters and U.S. Open.

Spieth likes to compare those majors with a potential victory at Rio.

“Winning a gold medal has got to be up there now in my mind with winning a major championship,” he said. “I’ve been asked the question: a green jacket or a gold medal, or a Wanamaker (Trophy, for winning the PGA Championship) or an Open Championship or a gold medal?

“That’s not fair. I think this year we’re going to approach it as a fifth major and we’re going to prepare like it is and I’m going to go down there and try and take care of business.”

He does share Scott’s disappointment with the fact that no team event will be contested, although it’s possible it could be added for Tokyo in 2020.

“It’s not a team event in golf, I think unfortunately,” Spieth said. “But it’s going to be very difficult. You’ve got some great Aussies that will be down there, you’ve got Englishmen, you’ve got your own countrymen that you’re trying to beat.”

AP News

Rory McIlroy Wins DP World Tour Championship, Race to Dubai

rory5Rory McIlroy survived a late scare and finished his frustrating season on a high, winning both the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai crown on Sunday.

McIlroy got the better of overnight leader Andy Sullivan over the back nine to clinch the European Tour’s season-ending tournament.

The third-ranked Northern Irishman shot 6-under 66 with eight birdies to finish on 21-under 267, one stroke ahead of Sullivan (68).

England’s Danny Willett, who started the tournament 1,613 points behind McIlroy in the Race to Dubai and needed to beat him to become the European No. 1 for the first time in his career, finished tied for fourth on 13-under 275 after shooting 70.

South Africa’s Branden Grace shot 5-under 67 in the final round to finish third on 273.

McIlroy had an anxious moment late in the day when his tee shot on the par-3 17th found the water and threatened to nullify his advantage at that stage.

But the 26-year-old McIlroy made a brilliant 40-feet putt to limit the damage to a bogey, which gave him a one-shot lead going to the 18th where he and Sullivan made par.

”In hindsight, I probably should have gone with a different club and a different shot,” McIlroy said of his problems at the 17th. ”It’s definitely probably the longest putt I’ve ever made for a bogey. I don’t think there’s been one that’s come at a better time. So, yeah, definitely the best bogey of my career.”

McIlroy also won the Race to Dubai title as the European Tour’s No. 1 player for the year, the third time he has secured the honor after winning in 2012 and 2014. It also gave him a bonus of $1.25 million.

”To be European No. 1 for the third time in four years, that was a goal of mine at the start of the year. It was a goal of mine in the middle of the year and it was definitely a goal coming into these last few weeks,” he said.

McIlroy’s closest rival for the Race to Dubai was Willett, who made early birdies to climb to third place on the leaderboard, but both McIlroy and Sullivan had enough birdies of their own to stay comfortably clear. Willett needed to finish ahead of McIlroy in the tournament.

Sullivan had two birdies in the first two holes, and four in the first six. McIlroy bogeyed the fourth and trailed Sullivan by three shots at one stage, despite birdies on Nos. 5, 6 and 7.

But the birdies stopped for Sullivan as he started spraying his tee shots, and McIlroy edged ahead with two crucial birdies on the 14th and 15th holes.

courtesy of AP News (golf.com)

Peter Senior Wins Third Australian Masters; Adam Scott 4 Back

peter seniorPeter Senior claimed his third Australian Masters title on Sunday and set another age record in his home country as the 56-year-old shot a final-round 3-under 68 for a two-stroke victory.

The Champions Tour regular became the oldest player to win the Masters, three years after becoming the oldest to capture the Australian Open. He also won the Australian PGA, the third major Down Under, when he was 51.

Senior finished with an 8-under 276 at Huntingdale.

American amateur Bryson DeChambeau (67), who won this year’s U.S. Amateur and collegiate NCAA title, finished tied for second with Australians John Senden (70) and Andrew Evans (71).

Adam Scott, who led after the first two rounds, shot 69 and finished at 4-under, four strokes behind and in fifth place.

Senior’s last win at the Australian Masters came in 1995, also at Huntingdale, when his 21-year-old son, Mitch, who has caddied for him for the past five years, was only an infant.

One of Senior’s best shots of the day came as he made the turn. He hit a hybrid from 220 yards to 18 inches on the difficult par-4, 476-yard 10th that has played as a par-5 in previous tournaments.

”It’s always a tough hole, normally a par-5 for me,” said Senior. ”The young guys can do it. But to hit it that close sort of push-started me for the back nine.

”I’m getting a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still amazing. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. You don’t expect to win these events anymore.

”Nearly every hole on the back nine, everyone was cheering me, even my poor shots. It was just great. I have not had that sort of following for a very, very long time. It sort of encouraged me.”

One of those poor shots came on the 17th when Senior’s drive went into mulga trees and he had to chip out sideways, causing him to bogey the hole and drop him into a tie for the lead with Evans.

Evans bogeyed 17 but a playoff seemed likely when Senior put his approach shot on 18 into a bunker. However, the veteran chipped out to within seven feet and made the par putt. The final margin went out to two strokes when Evans bogeyed the 18th.

DeChambeau was happy to be so close to a win in only his fifth professional tournament.

”Anytime you get to be up near the leaderboard and have an opportunity coming into the last nine, it’s special,” DeChambeau said. ”But unfortunately I missed a couple of putts.

”I call myself an intern, an amateur intern. I’m trying to get my feet into the professional ranks and feel what it’s like to be in that situation.”

Scott’s 77 on Saturday left him five behind third-round leader Matthew Millar, who shot 75 in his final round to finish five strokes behind Senior.

”It was tough to fire on all cylinders after having such a shocker yesterday,” Scott said. ”I’ve shot some good scores the past few weeks. The good stuff is there, but it’s not consistent enough.”

Scott will have a chance to redeem himself next week when he joins defending champion Jordan Spieth at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney for the Australian Open.

Spieth was at nearby Royal Melbourne on Sunday and was photographed on the practice range and signing autographs for junior golfers. He said last week he hoped to play both Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath ahead of his trip to Sydney.

Rory McIlroy Surprised That Tiger Woods Was Named Ryder Cup Vice Captain

Tiger Woods was announced as a Ryder Cup vice captain on Wednesday in a surprising move by Team USA captain Davis Love III.

The first and most obvious question: Does that mean we’ve seen Tiger’s last appearance as a player in the event? Is he accepting – even embracing – his transition to elder statesman of the Tour? Golf fans weren’t the only ones to raise an eyebrow at the news. When Rory McIlroy found out about the announcement after his first round at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, he was “visibly surprised,” according to a Belfast Telegraph report.

“I don’t know what to think about that, I really don’t,” McIlroy said. “It’s great that he wants to help the U.S. team in any way that he can, and if that’s not in a playing capacity, then as a vice captain. Just sort of makes me think what really his health is like and how he feels like he’s going to come back from that.”

This was lost in the flag-waving at Wednesday’s press conference with Love III saying how badly Woods wanted to be a player and a captain in 2016. But Woods turns 40 in December, has had multiple back surgeries and does not know when he will back to swinging a golf club – he had a follow-up back procedure a few weeks ago – much less when he’ll be able to compete in tournaments again. Even if Woods wants to qualify and make the team on merit, how realistic is that goal? Is Tiger worth more in the team room than on the course?

Photo: Getty Images Rory McIlroy of Europe (L) and Tiger Woods of the USA greet each other on the 18th green after Europe defeated the USA 14.5 to 13.5 to retain the Ryder Cup during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in

Rory McIlroy of Europe (L) and Tiger Woods of the USA greet each other on the 18th green after Europe defeated the USA 14.5 to 13.5 to retain the Ryder Cup during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in

“I think Jordan (Spieth) and Tiger have become quite close and if you look at the likes of Justin Thomas or Daniel Berger, some of the guys that are similar age to me or a little bit younger that grew up idolizing Tiger, to have someone like him to be a part of the team will be great for them,” McIlroy said.

Fellow European Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter agrees. Woods’ main asset is his years of competing in the drama-packed event. But Woods’ experience is not going to magically tip the scales toward the United States.

“He’s bringing a lot of experience, and guys would respect what he’s done in the game of golf,” Poulter told the Telegraph. “Tiger’s Tiger. He creates a buzz whether he’s playing or not playing, so just his presence there would be a good thing for the team.”

And we know the United States squad needs all the help it can get. After losing eight of the last 10 events, they formed a widely-mocked Ryder Cup Task Force in order to grab momentum back from the Europeans. Even if Woods doesn’t compete, having a 14-time major champ in your team room isn’t a bad thing.

“I’d rather see him on the course at Hazeltine but if not, at least he’ll be there and it will be a good addition for them,” McIlroy said.

courtesy of Coleman McDowell (golf.com)