Friday, May 31

SI Polls PGA Tour Players on Anchoring Ban and More

Players: Fred Couples is Hall worthy.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED POLLED 70 PGA TOUR players on a range of issues and topics, including the USGA and R&A anchoring ban, how many majors Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will win, whether Fred Couples belongs in the Hall of Fame, if Tom Watson was a good choice for U.S. Ryder Cup captain and more.

Here are some of the questions and partial results:

Should anchored putting be banned on the PGA Tour? Yes: 59%

Tiger Woods has won 14 majors. How many will he finish with? More than 18: 55%

How many majors will Rory McIlroy win? 8 to 12: 63%

Do you think Tiger really likes Rory? Yes: 76%

Do you tweet? Yes: 63%

Were state income taxes a factor in where you chose to live? Yes: 64%

Was Tom Watson a good choice for U.S. Ryder Cup captain? Yes: 95%

Does Fred Couples belong in the Hall of Fame? Yes: 87%

Click here for entire poll results

Thursday, May 30

2013 Memorial Tournament TV Schedule and Notes



THE 2013 MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT IS UNDERWAY at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Charl Schwartzel is the clubhouse leader after a 65. The first round is still in progress.

Purse: $6.2 million
Winner’s share: $1.16 million
Defending champion: Tiger Woods

2013 Memorial Tournament Leaderboard

The field
Tee times
The course
Tournament overview
Tour report
The Memorial Tournament website

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 Memorial Tournament is on Golf Channel and CBS.
All times ET.

Thu, May 30
2:30-6:30p GOLF

Fri, May 31
2:30-6:30p GOLF

Sat, Jun 1
12:30-2:30p GOLF
3:00-6:00p CBS

Sun, Jun 2
12:00-2:00p GOLF
2:30-6:00p CBS

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Wednesday, May 29

Golf's 'Longest Shot' for Father's Day

Yours truly with Jack Fleck, the oldest-living U.S. Open champion.
















WITH FATHER'S DAY COMING SOON, please consider ordering my book, THE LONGEST SHOT: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open. It's available in hardcover, Kindle and Nook editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other places books are sold (see links in right-hand sidebar).

THE LONGEST SHOT was selected as one of the Top 10 Sports Books of 2012 by Booklist, the book-review magazine of the American Library Association. It was the only golf book to make the prestigious list.

(Click to view Top 10 Sports Books 2012 at Booklist Online)

"The story of unheralded Jack Fleck's triumph over the great Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open golf championship is one of sports' greatest upset stories," said Booklist, "and Sagebiel tells it superbly, wringing every ounce of poignancy and drama out of the action."

Signed copies available. Email me for details.

Review copies. If you're a media outlet and would like a review copy, email me at armchairgolfer@gmail.com or contact my publisher.

I'm also available for interviews, book groups, book talks and more.

Tuesday, May 28

Is Anchoring Ban Really 'for the Good of the Game'?

By Matthew Wurzburger

Clinging to past?
CBS GOLF ANALYST NICK FALDO USED a lull in the action during Saturday’s coverage of the Crowne Plaza Invitational to offer his opinion of Rule 14-1b, the controversial new rule that prohibits anchoring the golf club. As was to be expected, Faldo wholeheartedly supports the recent R&A and USGA decision to nix the anchored putting stroke; he believes the rule will help golf to be played as intended by the game’s founders.

But do any of us play golf in the way it was intended to be played on the links of Scotland over five centuries ago?

Long ago golfers traded in primitive golf clubs featuring wooden heads and hickory and metal shafts for drivers and irons composed of lightweight, space-age materials. The changes do not stop with the composition of the clubs. Today’s golfers also use an entirely new and unique club: the hybrid. I certainly am not advocating for a return to old-fashioned clubs, but it certainly is interesting to imagine Old Tom Morris' reaction to being presented a Rocketballz driver.

The other question to consider is whether the governing bodies of golf need to cling so tightly to the past.

All Big Four sports leagues in North America—National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Basketball Association (NBA)—have altered their games and sports. For example, the introduction of, at first, the shot clock and much later the three-point arc greatly increased the offensive excitement of basketball, and has made the NBA one of the most popular sports in the world.

Proponents of the anchored putting stroke claim it allows for more people to play and, more importantly, enjoy the game of golf. If that is true, why not allow the hackers and double-bogey golfers of the world to anchor if outlawing the technique will push them away from the game?

I believe the founders of golf could forgive the R&A and USGA for going against the founders' original intentions if it is for the betterment of the game.

Matthew Wurzburger is a University of Virginia student who covers sports for The Cavalier Daily.

Monday, May 27

'Happiest Man' Manassero Bags Historic Victory at BMW PGA Championship

Matteo Manassero
"I AM THE HAPPIEST MAN IN the world right now," said Italy's Matteo Manassero after outlasting Scotland's Marc Warren and England's Simon Khan in a four-hole sudden-death playoff to win the BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event of the European Tour.

The happiest man is also a very young man, the youngest, in fact, to win the prestigious event. At 20 years and 37 days old, Manassero surpassed Bernard Gallacher, who claimed the same title in 1969 at the precocious age of 20 years and 97 days.

Manassero was ecstatic.

"I feel unbelievable, really emotional," he said. "It's been an amazing week. I have always felt something really special about this place and this tournament. Everything has come together this week. I managed to play well and managed to stay in contention after a tough day on Friday and pulled it off with this playoff."

Manassero (69), Khan (66) and Warren (69) finished at 10 under at the par-72 Wentworth Club in Surrey, England. Third-round leader Alejandro Cañizares (72) and veteran Miguel Angel Jiménez (67), making his 600th European Tour appearance, narrowly missed the playoff party, finishing one stroke back. Lee Westwood held the lead early in the final round after three consecutive birdies on the outward nine, but fell off the pace with a disappointing 40 on the inward nine.

The three-man playoff took place on the 539-yard par-5 18th hole. Warren exited the overtime on the first hole after driving into the trees. Manassero and Khan each carded 4-5-4 on three trips down the 18th. The fourth time was decisive. Khan dunked his second shot into the water that fronts the 18th green and made a bogey 6. Manassero reached the putting surface in two shots and two-putted to make tournament history.

"I hit four good tee shots in the playoff, and on the 18th that is the most important thing," Manassero said.

The 20-year-old phenom earned €791,660 for his fourth win on the European Tour. With the victory, Manassero jumped 29 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking to land at No. 28, earning a spot in next month's U.S. Open.

Friday, May 24

Strange Scores at Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

HEATHER BOWIE YOUNG LEADS THE INAUGURAL Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic after firing a 39. That's right, 39, which is 6-under par. There are also a pair of 40s and a handful of 41s. The first round is still in progress on Paradise Island.

Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic Leaderboard

Why the strange scores? Because the 144 ladies are playing 12-hole rounds.

Heavy rains drenched the Ocean Club and only 12 holes are playable. It's the worst flooding in 20 years. Talk about bad timing. Tour officials hope all 18 holes will be playable for Sunday's final round. If not, it might be a 36-hole event.

"At the end of the day, we'll all play the same holes, the same course and be scored the same way," said Stacy Lewis, ranked No. 2 in the world. "That's a golf tournament."

Thursday, May 23

74th Senior PGA Championship Tees Off in St. Louis

Robert Chapman
THE 74TH SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP IS UNDERWAY at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. Bellerive is only the third course to host a U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, the PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship. The other two courses sharing that distinction are Oak Hill Country Club and Canterbury Golf Club.

Robert Chapman is the defending champion. The Englishman also won the 2012 U.S. Senior Open. The pair of majors were the journeyman's first professional titles in a dozen years.

"It has been a remarkable feeling to say that I have won the Senior PGA Championship," Chapman said at PGA.com.

"It was the best feeling in the world. I was also glad that I was able to go on and prove that I was not a one-off thing, and win a second major."

The Senior PGA Championship field includes Hall of Famers and Ryder Cup captains Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Tom Kite, Curtis Strange and Lanny Wadkins; Ryder Cup captains Hal Sutton, Mark James and Ian Woosnam; and major champions Mark Brooks, Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Elkington, Larry Mize, Andy North, Mark O’Meara, Jerry Pate, Scott Simpson, Jeff Sluman and Bob Tway.

Golf Channel and NBC will air 12 hours of live coverage of the Senior PGA Championship.

Golf Channel and NBC Airtimes
Thursday: Noon-3 p.m. ET (Live) / 12:30-3:30 a.m. (Replay) – Golf Channel
Friday: Noon-3 p.m. ET (Live) / 12:30-3:30 a.m. (Replay) – Golf Channel
Saturday: 3-6 p.m. ET (Live) – NBC
Sunday: 3-6 p.m. ET (Live) – NBC

Wednesday, May 22

VIDEO: Sergio Apologizes to Tiger for 'Fried Chicken' Remark



THE VERY PUBLIC SPAT BETWEEN SERGIO GARCIA and Tiger Woods took an ugly and stupid turn on Tuesday night at a European Tour awards dinner.

When asked if he would have Tiger as a dinner guest during next month's U.S. Open, Sergio said, "We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken."

Today, the outrage, the apology, the "is Sergio a racist?" commentary and much more.

"As soon as I left the dinner, I started getting a sick feeling in my body," Garcia said in a press conference on Wednesday.

"I wasn't able to sleep at all last night. I felt like my heart was going to come out of my body. Today it was difficult to hit a shot without thinking about it. Unfortunately, I said it. I wish I didn't do it but the only thing I can say is sorry."

I think Sergio should take a page from Vijay Singh's media relations handbook. The next time he's asked a question about Tiger Woods, use this: "No comment."

Tuesday, May 21

USGA and R&A Preserve 'Traditional Form of Golf Stroke'

THE USGA AND THE R&A TODAY ANNOUNCED the adoption of Rule 14-1b of the Rules of Golf that prohibits anchoring the club in making a stroke. The new rule will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

To explain their decision, the governing bodies issued a 40-page report. Section 2, titled "The Underlying Rationale for Rule 14-1b and Its Benefits to the Game," gets to the crux of the issue. Namely, what constitutes a golf stroke?

A key excerpt:
In adopting Rule 14-1b, the USGA and The R&A have concluded that freely swinging the entire club is integral to maintaining the traditions of the game and preserving golf as an enjoyable game of skill and challenge. The essence of the traditional method of golf stroke involves the player swinging the club with both the club and the gripping hands being held away from the body. The player’s challenge is to direct and control the movement of the entire club in making the stroke.

This traditional form of golf stroke has prevailed throughout the centuries since the game began. It is true to say that one can find isolated or episodic examples of anchored methods of stroke dating back into the early 1900s, just as one can find early examples of almost any method of stroke that creative players might invent or try, such as putting in a croquet style (seen as early as the 1900s or before). But it is only recently that a non-trivial and recurring use of anchoring methods emerged, first with the long putter in the 1980s and then with the belly putter at the turn of the 21st century—an extremely short time in the history of this 600-year old game and not reflective of any established tradition.

The concept of intentionally immobilizing one end of the golf club against the body, in a manner equivalent to creating a physical attachment point to use as a fixed fulcrum or pivot point around which the club can be swung, is a substantial departure from that traditional understanding of the golf swing. Reduced to its most basic elements, golf involves a player swinging a club at a ball to move it toward and ultimately into a hole. The player’s most basic challenge is to direct and control the movement of the entire club in making that swing.

Anchoring the club while making a stroke also involves a challenge, but it is a different one, in which the player uses the immobilization and stability of one end of the club as an essential component of the method of stroke. It is not the same as freely swinging the club.
If you agree with the governing bodies' view of what constitutes a golf stroke, then you probably agree with the adoption of Rule 14-1b. If you don't agree, then you are probably an unhappy anchorer.

I agree with their view.

They waited way too long, yes, which has caused a lot of problems (and perhaps more to come in the form of lawsuits, disputes and implementation issues), but I ultimately agree with their rationale and decision. The anchored stroke is not golf.

Read the full report:
EXPLANATION OF DECISION TO ADOPT RULE 14-1B OF THE RULES OF GOLF

Monday, May 20

G-Mac the Knife Wins Volvo Match Play

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.

Graeme McDowell at Medinah. (Camflan)
A RUTHLESS GRAEME MCDOWELL CAME UP trumps where Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley failed when he overcame Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee 2 and 1 in the final of the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria.

The Portrush native became the first Irishman to etch his name on the trophy alongside some game’s legends and made amends for those painful defeats for Harrington and McGinley against Ian Woosnam and Michael Campbell at Wentworth in 2001 and 2005 respectively.

McDowell, who defeated Branden Grace 3 and 2 in his morning semi-final at the stunning Thracian Cliffs Beach and Golf Resort, was delighted to win for the second time in the space of just four weeks following his victory in last month’s RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour last month.

Those two successes have propelled McDowell to seventh on the Official World Golf Ranking, while his €800,000 first prize took him to the very top of The European Tour’s Race to Dubai.

Reading the names of the past champions of the 50 year old tournament that was first staged in 1964, McDowell said: “Els, Montgomerie, Westwood, Ballesteros, Norman, Lyle, Faldo, Player, Palmerit’s just crazy stuff really.

“These guys are legends of The European Tour and legends of golf so to have your name on a trophy this cool is pretty special.”

VOLVO WORLD MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP

Semi-finals
Thongchai Jaidee defeated Thomas Aiken 3 and 2
Graeme McDowell defeated Branden Grace 3 and 2

Final
Graeme McDowell defeated Thongchai Jaidee 2 and 1

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, May 17

Scott's Masters Win Boosts Rounds Down Under

Adam Scott (Flickr)
THAT GREEN JACKET FOR ADAM SCOTT is sending positive ripples through Australia and its golf industry.

John Holmes of PGA.com reports:
The latest report from the Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC), issued earlier today, indicated that April delivered the highest number of competition rounds played in any month over the entire financial year to date (July through June), while total rounds growth over the April 2012 period was just less than 1 percent.
"April proved to be a positive month with the largest number of competition rounds recorded for a month in the year to date," said Golf Australia CEO and AGIC Chairman Stephen Pitt.

"There is absolutely no doubt that Adam's win will have a significant impact on the Australian golf industry. His achievement and the people it inspires cuts through on all levels of golf."

Thursday, May 16

2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship TV Schedule and Tournament Notes



THE 2013 HP BYRON NELSON CHAMPIONSHIP is underway at TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas. Keegan Bradley is the clubhouse leader after firing a 60. The first round is still in progress.

Purse: $6.7 million
Winner’s share: $1.17 million
Defending champion: Jason Dufner

2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship Leaderboard

The field
Tee times
The course
Tournament overview
Tour report
HP Byron Nelson Championship website

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship is on Golf Channel and CBS.
All times ET.

Thu, May 16
3:00-6:00p GOLF

Fri, May 17
3:00-6:00p GOLF

Sat, May 18
1:00-2:30p GOLF
3:00-6:00p CBS

Sun, May 19
1:00-2:30p GOLF
3:00-6:00p CBS

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Wednesday, May 15

Rocco to Tiger: Please Sign My Pin Sheet



ROCCO MEDIATE RECENTLY APPEARED ON 'FEHERTY.'

In the above clip, the six-time PGA Tour winner shares an anecdote about an autograph request to Tiger Woods after the two battled in an 18-hole playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open, which Woods famously won even though he was hopping around Torrey Pines on a broken leg.

Golf Channel's Will Gray detailed Mediate's request at GolfTalkCentral:
According to Mediate, at the 2009 Players Championship he placed in Woods' locker a picture of the two of them from the playoff, in addition to his copy of the pin sheet from the fifth day of competition at Torrey Pines. 
Mediate added a note, asking Woods to autograph them with a personalized inscription so that they could be added to his home collection. 
"Look, sign these for me, write something on there, personalize it and then sign the pin sheet," Mediate recalled of his request of Woods. "Because I'm going to put them on my wall somewhere."
So, what happened?

I guess you'll have to watch the clip.

Tuesday, May 14

Rhonda Glenn: 'Giving Voice to Women's Game'

Rhonda Glenn (USGA)
LONGTIME JOURNALIST RHONDA GLENN has left the USGA, but she'll continue to write about women in golf.

Glenn's so-called retirement will include working on her ninth book, an autobiography of LPGA great Nancy Lopez. Lisa Mickey profiled Glenn in "Giving Voice to Women's Game" in the New York Times:
Glenn, 67, retired last week after nearly 50 years as a journalist and an employee of the United States Golf Association. Her desire to document the strokes, triumphs and challenges of players often far from public view shaped her career as a writer-historian. 
Glenn literally wrote the book on women's golf, the landmark work "The Illustrated History of Women’s Golf," published in 1991.
" ... I'd see these women chasing their dreams, and there was a certain nobility to that," Glenn told Mickey. "That's when I decided to become a journalist, because I didn't want their stories to be lost."

Glenn got started as a teen, working as a radio announcer and sports director in Florida. She interviewed Louise Suggs, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, all future Hall of Famers.

"I wasn't afraid," she said. "What was important was the interview."

Glenn moved on to a newspaper in Texas and then into television in Virginia, eventually landing a job as a golf commentator for ABC. She became the first female sportscaster for ESPN in 1981.

Glenn's work at the USGA included the establishment of a Mickey Wright Room alongside the Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer rooms at the USGA Museum. Wright is appreciative of Glenn's dedication to the women's game.

"That room in the museum is not just a tribute to me," Wright said in the article. "It's a tribute to all the women before me."

Glenn may have retired from the USGA -- because of the extensive travel, she said -- but she hasn't retired from telling stories.

Monday, May 13

Happy Mother's Day Win for Tiger Woods

I'M COVERING THE MOTHER'S DAY angle of Tiger Woods's victory at The Players Championship. It might be the only angle left.

Moderated by Laura Neal of the PGA Tour, Tiger talked to the media after he wrapped up his second win at TPC Sawgrass and 78th career title on the PGA Tour.

"Tiger," Neal said, "you said you might have caused your mom (Kultida) a heart attack out there. Give us some reaction to the hard‑fought day you had out there."

"Yeah, she's probably not too happy with me," Woods said, "especially after the tee shot at 14. But it was a tough battle. I mean, the golf course played tricky today. It was fast and difficult, and I hit it so good today, it was fun. I hit it high, low, left to right, right to left, whatever I wanted, except for that tee shot at 14. I didn't really miss a whole lot of shots. I pured a lot of putts, too. Could have been something pretty low today, just had a bunch of lip‑outs. But they were all good putts, and we were joking on the front nine, through nine, Joey [LaCava] said, you might want to hit a bad putt, maybe it might go in. So I hit one on 14 (laughing)."

A member of the press later posed this question to Woods: "You've obviously won a couple big tournaments when your dad was still with you. Can you talk about how it feels to win a big tournament on Mother's Day?"

"It's fantastic," Tiger replied. "I haven't got a chance to talk to her yet. I will after the round. I talked to her this morning. I'm sure that she'll give me a ration of grief for the shot on 14 and what I did with her blood pressure, but I'm sure it's all good now, though.

Yep, all good.

Other stuff happened, stuff that people talked a lot about on TV, and also wrote a lot about, for that matter.

But, in the end, Tiger probably fears his mom way more than anyone or anything on a golf course. Which probably has something to do with why he's such a relentless closer on Sundays.

So while yesterday looked like Tiger's day, Tiger knew it was actually her day.

Happy Mother's Day, Kultida. Er, belated.

Friday, May 10

Tiger the Goat Impresses at Top-Ranked Kauri Cliffs

Tiger the Goat is a valuable member of the staff at Kauri Cliffs Golf Club. (Mandarin Media)


By Mandarin Media

KERIKERI, NZ -- IN A LAND BETTER KNOWN for its sheep, on a golf course better known for its lofty world ranking and 5-star accommodations, Tiger the Goat has impressed staff and guests of Kauri Cliffs Golf Club with her outgoing personality, cart-driving prowess and social media skills.

"It's important that we don't overlook Tiger's grazing abilities. That's her bread and butter, and it comes in handy on those steep sections of the course that need trimming," said Ryan Brandeburg, director of golf at Kauri Cliffs GC.

"Of course, Tiger has the run of this entire place. She's welcome in the pro shop and goes out on the course with our staff. I suppose there might be a golf club somewhere that has adopted a goat as mascot. But does that goat have it's own Facebook page? I doubt it."

Tiger has indeed plunged headlong into the social media movement. Brandeburg hastened to point out that Tiger isn't out there, online, for any reasons untoward; her basic Facebook information is most clear -- "In a relationship". Be sure to "like" Tiger and her friends at Kauri Cliffs, as Brandeburg revealed the staff is mulling whether to equip Tiger with a wireless GoatCam this spring.

Maintenance Solution

Tiger enjoys her golf habitat. (Mandarin Media)
Tiger arrived at the prestigious Kauri Cliffs GC (Golf Digest ranks it 19th among all courses located outside the U.S.) in 2011, with no such online ambitions. Brandeburg and his staff were looking to solve a maintenance issue.

"The right side of our range is very difficult to maintain; it's just too steep to mow traditionally," he explained. "There's a natural wetland at the bottom, and with the wind coming off the ocean -- combined with the fact that most golfers slice -- we lose thousands of golf balls over there. We keep penned cattle over there but they tend to break out and wander off. So we acquired Tiger to nibble away at that steep hillside.

"She's done a great job but we've realized we would honestly need 30 goats to tackle that job. We've also learned how expensive it is to keep a goat, even one as hard working and genial as Tiger. She drinks only clean water; we must hand-feed her these pellets to supplement her diet; we have to clean her goat house daily... I don't think we could afford 30 more goats."

Kauri Cliffs GC and its adjoining, award-winning lodge (#16 on Travel+Leisure's Top 100 Hotels list for 2012) both reside on a massive, 2630-hectare property that features all manner of wildlife, including rare birds and herds of sheep and cattle that graze the outlying areas, on course and off. Tiger fits right into this milieu, proving useful to and extraordinarily at ease among the humans.

"She's a frequent guest at our Tuesday evening putting contests and she goes out on the course with the boys, no leash necessary. She never leaves their side," Brandeburg said.

"Goats have a bad reputation for eating anything and everything. But Tiger has never chomped on any turfgrass. If she had, she would never have so endeared herself to our maintenance staff."

Kauri Cliffs and its sister course on NZ's North Island, Cape Kidnappers GC in Hawkes Bay, have both developed worldwide reputations for environmental stewardship -- adoption of a pet goat would seem the latest development and the next logical step in this long eco-narrative.

Cape was the first golf course in New Zealand to gain certification with Audubon International as a designated Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, and Kauri soon followed suit.

Why 'Tiger'?

The goat got her name from Robertson, the American investor whose most successful and prolific venture was The Tiger Fund.

While Tiger is neither an endangered species nor indigenous to the Kauri Cliffs property, she is fully ingenious. One picture on the Facebook page shows Tiger behind the wheel of a golf cart.

"I can neither confirm nor deny the fact that Tiger has developed any driving skills," Brandeburg said. "But I will say this: She's a quick study."

Thursday, May 9

2013 Players Championship TV Schedule and Tournament Notes



THE 2013 PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP is underway at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Roberto Castro is the clubhouse leader after a 63. Other scores: Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson posted 66s. The first round is still in progress.

Purse: $9.5 million
Winner’s share: $1.71 million
Defending champion: Matt Kuchar

2013 Players Championship Leaderboard

The field
Tee times
The course
Tournament overview
Tour report
Interviews

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 Players Championship is on Golf Channel and NBC.
All times ET.

Thu, May 9
1:00-7:00p GOLF

Fri, May 10
1:00-7:00p GOLF

Sat, May 11
2:00-7:00p NBC

Sun, May 12
2:00-7:00p NBC

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Wednesday, May 8

Book Excerpt: 'King of Clubs' By Jim Ducibella

Reprinted from King of Clubs: The Great Golf Marathon of 1938 by Jim Ducibella. Used with permission. Copyright © 2012 Jim Ducibella.

* * *

Available at Amazon / Barnes & Noble
J. Smith Ferebee was born and raised in what today is an affluent section of Virginia Beach, Va., known as Broad Bay. While living in Chicago, he gained a reputation for doing anything on a dare—including once swimming for 30 minutes with his hands and feet tied behind his back.

In 1937, he and Chicago friend Fred Tuerk bought 296 acres of land adjacent to what had been the family home in Virginia. An offer soon came to purchase the land, which sent Ferebee and Tuerk into a disagreement that threatened their friendship. When a business trip to Milwaukee fell through, Ferebee invited Tuerk to Olympia Fields Country Club in an attempt to repair the rift. While there, Ferebee played 90 holes from dawn to mid-afternoon, leading Tuerk to propose a wager he thought would end their impasse.

Instead, it turned out to be a prelude to the most extraordinary bet in golf history—a story that captivated America for the rest of the summer of '38.


As some of the crowd around Ferebee’s locker at Olympia Fields moved off, Tuerk inched closer and heard Ferebee talking about that day’s scores. As usual, they’d been in the mid-80s. Ferebee joked that he’d never be club champion, unless the winner was the guy who played the most holes. Tuerk rolled his eyes.

“I’ve thought about this for a while,” Ferebee began, slowly pulling on his trousers in what Tuerk interpreted as an obvious effort at building suspense.

“One of these days I’m going to play all four courses here twice in the same day. Hell, I would have done it today if some of the slowpokes around here had gotten out of my way.”

That clinched it for Tuerk. It was time to call Ferebee’s bluff. No one, he reasoned, could play 144 holes in one day. Tuerk reinforced that conviction loudly by offering Ferebee a one hundred dollar bet.

“One hundred bucks? I guess you’re not doing as well as you let on,” Ferebee needled. “Put up some real money and we’ll talk.”

Tuerk was pretty sure he knew where Ferebee was steering the conversation—to their property in Virginia—and he happily went along. This disagreement between them could be broken in his favor, but only by outwitting Ferebee. Tuerk negotiated firmly.

“Before I put up another dime, we’ll need some rules.”

“Let’s hear them.”

Ferebee would walk every step of the 144 holes, and every step between holes. He would tee the ball himself at the start of every hole. Any 18-hole score higher than 95 and the match belonged to Tuerk. Once he started, Ferebee had to finish all 144 holes by midnight. There would be no rainchecks.

Ferebee consented.

“Then we’ll play for the land,” Tuerk proclaimed. “Winner takes all.”

“You’re on, Fred.”

Witnesses had no idea what they were talking about, but that didn’t stop them from jumping into the fray. By the time Ferebee finished combing his hair and straightening his tie, he had taken on another $2,500 in bets.

Tuerk wanted the matter settled the next day. Ferebee suddenly froze: he had never told his wife of his change in plans. For all Angeline knew, he was in Milwaukee on business.

Even after nine years of marriage during which he had collected on a slew of crazy bets—“hooey angles,” as his wife, Angeline, called them—Ferebee knew she would be adamantly opposed to risking the precious Virginia property over a triviality like golf.

No, he implored Tuerk, this must be handled discreetly. Angeline was starting a vacation in Virginia on August 4.

He would see Tuerk at Olympia Fields on August 5.

* * *

King of Clubs won 2012 book of the year from the International Network of Golf.

Tuesday, May 7

Yes or No: Is the Players the Fifth Major?



IS THE PLAYERS THE FIFTH MAJOR?

No, not to me. Yes, I'm middle-aged. Yes, I tend to be a golf traditionalist. But no, The Players Championship is not the fifth major. It just doesn't have that major feel, those special major qualities.

Others see it differently.

Listen to the anecdote Sports Illustrated's Michael Bamberger tells in the above video. And surprise, surprise, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee is on the fifth-major bandwagon.

While discussing the famous par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass with Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo and Tommy Roy during today's media conference call, here's what Chamblee said:
BRANDEL CHAMBLEE: I really do think this tournament should be a major. I absolutely think this tournament should be a major. I think one of the things that keeps it from really getting its due is the 17th hole. If you look at the way Augusta National or the Masters become a major, it grew into a major organically. There was a reverence there, an awe there, and over a period of time, people looked at it and went, this is a major. You can't deny the quality of the people and the quality of this golf course. But there's a contrived part of that 17th hole that makes it great TV; that makes it great drama; that I think just makes the feel of the golf course quirky. The rest of the golf course is fabulous. But, like Johnny, I love watching it as an analyst.
Interesting. What do you think?

Monday, May 6

Mexican Esteban Toledo Snags Win on Cinco de Mayo

WHAT COULD BE MORE FITTING THAN a Mexican-born Champions Tour rookie winning on Cinco de Mayo?

Via Esteban Toledo on Twitter
That's what happened on Sunday at the Insperity Championship in The Woodlands, Texas, when 50-year-old Esteban Toledo won in his ninth start on the Champions Tour. Toledo fired a 67 in the final round, and then beat Mike Goodes on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Toledo is the first Mexican to win on the Champions Tour. That he broke through on Cinco de Mayo, which marks the Mexican victory in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, is even better.

"It's a special day for me," Toledo said.

"It's a holiday and it's just winning on that day is the most incredible thing I've ever done, because winning on the Champions Tour, it's hard. I have dreams and goals in my life that I was going to win on the Champions Tour, and I think I'm going to keep winning."

Toledo was seven shots behind leader Sauers starting the final round. He eagled the first hole, setting the tone for a charge that saw him catch the 54-hole leader. Sauers, with a 74, also made it into the playoff, but exited on the second hole after making a double bogey.

Born in Mexicali, Toledo began his golf career in 1986 at the Mexican Open and has represented the country in five world championships since then. Recently, he competed with hundreds of golfers to qualify for a spot on the Champions Tour. Toledo’s first event was in mid March at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, California.

Toledo is the golf ambassador for Los Cabos, Mexico.

Friday, May 3

PGA Tour Life Special to Air on CBS Sports



From PGATour.com:
PGA TOUR 2013: Seven Days presented by Mercedes-Benz, a one-hour CBS Sports Special airing on Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. ET, chronicles seven different PGA TOUR stars on seven different days of the week. With access both at home and PGA TOUR venues, the program will show fans the unique personalities of some of the game's biggest stars.
Here's the lineup:

Day 1 – Graeme McDowell

Day 2 – Russell Henley

Day 3 - Martin Kaymer

Day 4 - Rickie Fowler

Day 5 – Scott Langley

Day 6 – Justin Rose

Day 7- The RBC Heritage

Thursday, May 2

2013 Wells Fargo Championship TV Schedule and Tournament Notes



THE 2013 WELLS FARGO CHAMPIONSHIP is underway at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Purse: $6.7 million
Winner’s share: $1.17 million
Defending champion: Rickie Fowler

2013 Wells Fargo Championship Leaderboard

The field
Tee times
The course
Tournament overview
Tour report
Wells Fargo Championship website

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship is on Golf Channel and CBS. All times ET.

Thu, May 2
3:00-7:00p GOLF

Fri, May 3
3:00-7:00p GOLF

Sat, May 4
1:00-2:30p GOLF
3:00-6:00p CBS

Sun, May 5
1:00-2:30p GOLF
3:00-6:00p CBS

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Wednesday, May 1

Point/Counterpoint: Mediate and Trevino Dish on Long Putter

Rocco Mediate (Allison)
I SAW THESE RECENT COMMENTS on the long putter/belly putter from Champions Tour rookie Rocco Mediate and Hall of Famer Lee Trevino.

First, Rocco.

"Here's what I think—and sums it up. If it was the answer, if it makes it easier to putt, why isn’t everybody using one?

"I don’t think it's an advantage," Mediate added. "You still have to make the putter move. The USGA can make rules. I will always abide by them … I don't know if it's warranted."

Believe it or not, Mediate is actually using a conventional-length putter at the moment. He starting using the long putter nearly 20 years ago due to chronic back issues. "It was all about (the back) for me, not the yips," he said. "I became quite efficient with it but it takes a long time."

After struggling on the greens at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf, Trevino put a belly putter (TaylorMade Ghost model) in play for the first time ever. Here were his comments, before and after.

"I had the yips so badly with that little putter yesterday that I thought I had bleeding ulcers," Trevino said. "My belly was burning up so much that I thought I had eaten some jalapeno peppers.

"Now I see why they want to make this one illegal. It's like cheating. I swear to God. This is the easiest thing I've ever seen to putt with, is that belly putter."