RBC Heritage. Troy Merritt Has The Advantage.

White Dragon Golf RBC Heritage

Troy Merritt has the advantage at the half-way point in the RBC Heritage, leading the tournament by a comfortable four shots at Hilton Head.

RBC Heritage

Troy Merritt / A/P

Troy set a terrific pace, starting on the back nine,  going out in -7 under par 28 on his way to tying the Harbour Town Golf Links course record of -10 under par 61. He leads the RBC Heritage by four shots at -12 under par.

Troy has a strange quirk, in that he tries not to take a ball out of play after making a birdie with it, on this occasion his ball got beat up at the 12th hole, but he stuck with it, and made six birdies in the remainder of his round;

“It’s all about tempo for me, and the tempo was really solid today,  it was fun to roll the putts in and hear the crowd cheer.”

“As long as I can break 61 on the front nine, I’ll be happy, I just want to enjoy the moment, not think too much about the shots and add them up at the end of the day.”

“Anytime that you match shot for shot with the Masters champ, with the way he’s playing, it’s a pretty good feeling.”

The Masters Champ he was referring to was Jordan Spieth, who shot -9 under par 62 today to recover from yesterdays mini slump of +2 over par 74, leaving him at -6 under par for the tournament T7. Jordan explained what had happened;

“That’s just better golf, I told you guys yesterday, no excuses, I just played poorly.”

“I went back to posture, ball position, hand position and tempo, and I struck that ball quite a bit better.”

“I don’t want to go home early.”

Troy’s two-round total of 130 also got to within one shot of the 36-hole tournament record, which is shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, he said it would not stop him talking about it;

“It is pretty cool, but I’ll go ahead and say it was the second lowest through 36 holes, behind Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, they won’t mention that I shot 130, which is fine.”

“I didn’t know that the course record was 61, had I known that, I might’ve started to hit some shanks or trying to hole some shots. It was just a lot of fun out there, fun to play in front of the fans.”

Tied in second place at -8 under par are Matt Kuchar and John Merrick, Matt with a -5 under par 66 and John with one better -6 under 65.

Defending Champion Matt played alongside Jordan, but stuck to his guns;

“The conditions were easier today than yesterday, so I think we all got out there thinking this is a good opportunity to take advantage of some tamer conditions, and I got off to a good start.”

“It’s got to be more than a coincidence when you have two guys in a group who fire great rounds. There’s certainly got to be some momentum that pulls the other ones along. It seems to happen a lot.”

The Memorial Tournament, Hass Has the Lead. Play Suspended.

Bill Haas has a three shot lead at the suspension of play in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Course. The second round was briefly suspended for 22 minutes early during the second round, due to the threat of a thunderstorm, and then again later, delayed for nearly an hour and a half for rain before the horn sounded for a third time to halt play for good. Not even the great Jack Nicklaus can control the weather.

Having a blast

Bill Haas, makes light work of the sand trap/ PGA Tour

Bill shot a second round of -5 under par 67 to top the leader board on -9 under par at the suspension of play on the second day. Many think that the inspiration has come from his new-born son Bill Jnr. Plus because he is away from home he is getting a good nights sleep;

” She certainly is toughing it out through the nights by herself, if anything else, it makes me that much more excited to get home. I had a great two weeks off, I had a son, I’ve been having great fun with that at home with my wife. And I think I’m just in a better frame of mind than I was three weeks ago after missing my second cut in a row. I don’t know if I give that credit or just the break was nice. And I love being under the radar, that’s fine with me. Let your clubs do the talking and hopefully at the end of the week I’m happy to surprise anyone. Even though I’ve never really had great success here personally, I love coming back, look forward to it every year, and part of it might be I’ve always known how much my dad liked it and how well he did here. Hopefully I can continue on the weekend and get a better taste in my mouth on how to play it as opposed to just liking it. It’s hard to imagine, golf obviously runs in our family and he’ll definitely be around it, no matter what. But I certainly won’t push him into it. I hope I’m playing long enough that he can caddy for me.”

Bill caddied for his father Jay, at the Memorial. He was in college at the time, and he doesn’t remember where Jay finished, other than that he had a nice week. So did Bill, who earned some extra spending money by wearing a Memorial cap with his caddy bib.

 

 

No Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2014

   ryder_cup_logo

Gleneagles Golf Course

Created  by Jack Nicklaus, the PGA Centenary Course is the Host Venue for The 2014 Ryder Cup, and a decision by Ryder Cup director Richard Hills, has revealed the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will not feature on the European Tour in 2014. Richard announced;

 “We are very grateful to the management of both Diageo, the owners of Johnnie Walker, and The Gleneagles Hotel for agreeing to postpone the Johnnie Walker Championship so that preparations for the Ryder Cup can begin as planned in July 2014. The magnitude of the Ryder Cup is such that trying to host the Johnnie Walker Championship in the same season would have compromised both events.”

The  chief operating officer and director of international policy for the European Tour, Keith Walters revealed that a lot of thought had gone into making the decision;

” We looked at rescheduling the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to an earlier week on the 2014 schedule but a suitable date could not be found. But we are delighted all parties have agreed to reschedule the Championship for 2015.”

This is a sad but unavoidable conclusion, we look forward to the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2015.

 

 

PGA Tour Parts Company with Mickey and Minnie, and The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic.

 

It was a sad day Monday when the PGA Tour released a portion of its 2013-14 schedule, with one glaring omission. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic is not part of the new lineup. Tournament spokesperson Tony Morreale announced;

 “It was a mutual decision between us and the Tour.”

The Disney event has  been a permanent fixture on the Tour since 1971, when Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural Walt Disney World Open Invitational, and in recent years it has enjoyed being the final event on the circuit’s schedule. For sometime now speculation had been building  that with the Tour’s transition to a split-calendar schedule beginning next season, and the loss of its title sponsor, November’s event, which was last won by Charlie Beljan, would be the end of the Miracles for the Children.

Ryan Palmer the 2004 Disney champion, said;

” I honestly think it would have gotten a better field as part of the FedEx Cup. It will be sad to see an event like this go away. Disappointed to see it leave.”

The Frys.com Open will start the 2013-14 schedule beginning Oct. 20-13 followed by the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (Oct. 17-20) in Las Vegas. Then following two events in Asia, CIMB Classic (Oct. 24-27) and World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions (Oct. 31-3) – the circuit returns to North America for The McGladrey Classic in Georgia and the OHL Classic at Mayakoba (Mexico) in November. After November there will be a break of one and a half months before the Tour resumes it’s season with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions Friday Jan 4 – Monday Jan 7, 2013, at the Plantation Course at Kapalua · Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.

Jim Flick has Died

      

Jim Flick/ golfwrx.com                                Jim and Tom Lehman/jimflickgolf.com

Jim Flick, golf instructor to some of the great golfing stars, has died of pancreatic cancer at age 82, his family has announced.

Jim had been a golf instructor for more than fifty years, his last piece of advice was given to Tom Lehman on Sunday morning when he advised Tom to ” Be Tom Lehman.”  Tom then went out and won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Desert Mountain, on the Cochise Course. Jim was director of instruction at Desert Mountain, in Scottsdale for 20 years, and also wrote five books, his most recent publication was Jack Nicklaus, Simply the Best.

Jack Nicklaus consulted with Jim and they co-founded the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools, the association lasted from 1991 until 2003. Jim was awarded PGA Teacher of the Year, in 1988 and was also inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame. Golf World magazine selected Jim as one of the top ten teachers of the 20th Century.

Jim had recently said in an interview, with Golfweek magazine, that he was concerned that too many of the worlds golfers were trying to perfect the perfect swing, and stating that a mechanical or robotic swing is the worst thing you can do;

 ”We’ve let the game be taken over by science, golf is an art form. The golf swing is an athletic movement. Becoming mechanical and robotic is the worst thing you can do.”

Jim’s funeral arrangements have yet to be announced, I send my condolences to Jim’s wife, and his five children.

Dear Colleagues, Students and Friends:

After teaching the game of golf for more than 50 years, the time has come for me to step away from the lesson tee.

My life as an instructor has given me more than I ever dared imagine when I took my first swing at a golf ball as a boy in Bedford, Indiana. Golf has taken me all over the world and introduced me to so many wonderful and remarkable people. I’ve been privileged to work and associate with some of the game’s greatest players, though I’ve gotten as much satisfaction helping an amateur straighten his or her slice.

Yet for as much as I’ve learned about golf during my decades teaching, it’s taught me even more. Because of that, I urge you to always be open to the life lessons the game has to offer. I guarantee that they’ll make you a smarter, more successful and more contented person.

One more thing: Although golf is a game of infinite subtlety and possibility, always remember that the door that leads to its inner secrets and rewards is marked fun.

Kindest regards,
Jim

Rory Beats Tiger in the Duel at Jinsha Lake

The Worlds number one ranked golfer beats the worlds number two ranked player in the Duel at Jinsha Lake, that means Rory beat Tiger in the first one-on-one exhibition match between golf’s two biggest names.

 

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have a light moment when they wait to receive their trophies. Photo / AP

Tiger & Rory/ Photo / AP

Rory engineered  a 5-under 67 round to beat Tiger by one stroke in an 18-hole match between these two top-ranked golfers at the Jinsha Lake Golf Club in central China overnight, where the total money prize was a reported $US two million.

Tiger may have lost this match, but he said it was fun;

” This is certainly not like most Mondays, to have this many people come out and watch us play golf in an exhibition was something special. This doesn’t happen, as far as doing something like this down the road, it would be fun.”

This event is the first time the two golfers had played head-to-head without other competitors, and it probably won’t be the last given the spectator interest and support for this match-up. It could become similar to the rivalry between Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray that have made men’s tennis so exciting in recent years.

Tiger thinks it could only be good for the game of golf;

“If you look at the history of the game, it’s not like other sports where the guys play against each other all the time. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer didn’t go at it that often. But you know what, if we can do this for the next 10, 15 years, then certainly we can have that type of rivalry. I think having matches like this to promote the game of golf is what it’s all about. We’re trying to promote the game of golf in this region and it’s come a long way since my first time here 11 years ago.”

Rory’s win was some consolation for not winning his last tournament, when he was in position to do so;

“It’s been a nice distraction to not dwell on what happened yesterday. I let a great chance to win a golf tournament slip through my fingers. Coming to do something like this today has definitely made it a little easier to deal with.”

The game of golf is certainly taking off in China, and sponsor ship events like this will only help towards spreading the news and attracting youngsters to the game. Apart from the golf on offer, there were stunt planes buzzing overhead. A fleet of Rolls Royce’s elegantly whisked the players to the course, cruising past helicopters for sale and Aston Martins and Maserati’s, all with showgirls draped over them. After the two struck a gong to open the event, fireworks exploded behind them and confetti cannons rained gold flakes over the jostling crowd. Not sure what that was all about, but the crowd seemed to enjoy all the razzmatazz.

Presidents Cup, Freddie asks Big Jack for Help

Jack Nicklaus   

Jack Nicklaus                                                                            Freddie Couples

Presidential Cup Captain for the U.S. team Fred Couples had  asked the mighty Jack Nicklaus  the 18-time Major championship winner, to be an assistant captain on the American side for the Presidents Cup on Oct. 4-6, 2013.

Big Jack had to decline the offer, due entirely to his responsibilities as Host of the tournament at Muirfield. Jack just wants to be a cordial, not involved and unhurried host for the event at the course he designed.

“Freddie paid me a nice complement by his suggestion, it was very thoughtful of him. I would love to, but I simply can’t. I have duties as host, so that would not be the right thing to do.”

Jack Nicklaus is a four-time U.S. captain in the Presidents Cup, and  didn’t take Freddie  seriously when he first proposed the idea. But Freddie  was very serious.

“I wasn’t joking about it, when we were here at Muirfield Village last night, I said; Could I pick him? A couple of guys from the Tour said, ‘Yeah, he would love that.’ And then a couple other guys; maybe one pretty high up there said, He’s hosting the thing, he can’t do that. Then Jack winked at me and said, But I can be in your team room all you want.”

International captain Nick Price and Freddie Couples are friends, Nick joked about Freddie’s laid-back appearance;

“One thing you’ve got to be careful with Fred with his laid-backness, he wants to win as much as anybody. Even though he looks like he’s about to fall asleep on the golf course. I’m trying to figure out how we as the International Presidents Cup team can get that same buzz that the Europeans got on Sunday at The Ryder Cup.”

The Presidents Cup has taken on an enormity of it’s own, now that the Americans have lost the Ryder Cup, could they lose both tournaments in the same year ? Given the American dominance in this tournament it is unlikely, but; on Sunday the Americans were 200-1 on, to win the Ryder Cup, could lightning strike twice?