From the Rough

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Archive for September 2009

The 2010 FedEx Cup should be interesting…and not in a good way

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Well I thought I’d heard all the negative stories regarding the FedEx Cup. That is until I read Steve Elling’s ‘Up and Down‘ article this morning. If you thought the three straight weeks of golf, the Tour Championship being played just two weeks prior to the Presidents Cup, plus the new points system was bad … well you obviously haven’t taken a peek at the 2010 FedEx Cup schedule:

As though the docket isn’t crowded enough at this time of year, Woods noted Sunday night that the Ryder Cup in Wales is set for the week after the Tour Championship next year. In other words, the team will leave for Europe immediately after finishing at East Lake. “Enough time to shower and get on the plane,” he said. Woods just finished playing a draining seven times in nine weeks, and 2010 looks like it might be even busier?

I’d love to see Tim Finchem explain this one to Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and the rest of the Ryder Cup team. Did the tour just pick the dates of the event without consulting with the R&A and the PGA of America? It appears that would be the case. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Jonathan Wall

09/29/2009 at 3:25 pm

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods save the Tour Championship

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Let’s face it: the FedEx Cup is never going to be a hit with everyone. Like college football’s BCS formula, golf’s great hope for television ratings and fan appeal turned into a five week event (including the week off between the BMW and the Tour Championship) that was criticized more times than it was complimented.

When the final putt dropped on Sunday, tour officials could be heard breathing a huge sigh of relief. Tiger Woods’ FedEx Cup victory, coupled with Phil Mickelson’s Tour Championship route, allowed the PGA Tour to get out of the media jungle unscathed for another season.

It’s hard to criticize an event when the two best players in the world come out on top in the final week of season. Truth be told, very few players were heard criticizing the event at the end of the week. Instead, most were just noncommittal when asked point-blank what they thought about the event.

Sure, it was a better setup than last year’s hose-job that allowed Vijay Singh to win by just showing up and not getting himself DQ’d. But was the new setup really that much better? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

09/28/2009 at 9:22 pm

Tiger Woods is always willing to lend a helping hand

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Sometimes it pays to have friends in high places. We all know Tiger Woods is fairly friendly with most of the guys on tour; but there’s a small group of guys who seem to be on the inside of the ropes when it comes to being buddies with Woods.

Case in point: Sean O’Hair getting lessons from Woods prior to yesterday’s first round of the Tour Championship. Not only did Tiger give O’Hair a tip; he gave him one that could potentially lead to O’Hair hoisting the FedEx Cup trophy at the end of the week and walking away with the $10 million bonus for winning the event.

While playing together in a practice round earlier in the week, Woods noticed O’Hair wasn’t giving his flat stick the proper takeaway, which was leading to a delofted putter. So instead of keeping the problem to himself, Woods did what any friend would do: he gave his buddy a tip.

“It’s very simple; you always help your friends,” Woods said after yesterday’s first round. “Sean is a friend of mine, and like all my friends, you always try to make their life better somehow. That’s the whole idea of having friends in your life. Sean has been struggling a little bit on the greens this year, and I thought I could offer a little bit of help and insight to how he could change that.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

09/25/2009 at 2:18 pm

Turning back the clock: Zach Johnson flirts with 59 at East Lake

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It’s hard to believe we’re in the midst of a one week lull in the tour’s schedule. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably wondering what you should do with all this free time on your hands. No golf on the tube means more time to get in a quick 18, spend some time on your fantasy football team, and maybe, just maybe, spending some extra time with your wife…if you’re into that sorta thing.

But for those us who write and rely on golf for our livelihood, well we’ve got to find a way to fill the blank space this week until next week gets here. To fill that space today, we bring you the first of what could be two or three reviews on previous Tour Championship moments. Today’s moment: Zach Johnson’s round of 60 at the 2007 Tour Championship. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

09/16/2009 at 8:43 pm

Cog Hill’s fairways could be paved in Olympic gold

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It may be a case of putting the cart before the horse, but at this present time it appears Ty Votaw has a pretty good idea of which course would host an Olympic golf event if 1) Chicago gets the nod on November as the host city for the 2016 games, and 2) golf is included in the games. That course, for all intents and purposes, would be Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, the very same venue that hosted the BMW Championship last week.

Golf Digest Digital Writer-at-Large, Thomas Bonk, found most of the field in good spirits are the event. The good vibes not only mean Rees Jones’ May 2009 redesign was a complete success – it now also appears to mean the course could be in for an even bigger stage if all the pieces fell into place. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

09/15/2009 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Cog Hill, Olympics, PGA Tour

Greg Norman’s Presidents Cup selection leaves many scratching their heads

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Let’s get one things straight: there are bold picks in the Presidents Cup (selecting 17-year-old sensation to be part of your team), and then there bold picks, like picking a guy working through swing changes who recently shot in the 80’s in two rounds this year. And did we mention he was going to have surgery for a cyst on his right knee?

That’s right, Greg Norman put his neck out on the line and picked Adam Scott for his Presidents Cup squad. If you hear a collective groan across much of the world, it’s the sound of golf fans everywhere lamenting the Shark’s decision.

Fred Couple went with two solid picks in Lucas Glover (the U.S. Open champion) and Hunter Mahan, a cool customer who made some very clutch putts at the Ryder Cup last year. Both of those picks were no-brainers. But to choose a guy whose been struggling for your squad? Well it just doesn’t make sense.

Norman is known as a go-for-broke kind of player. But if you’ve seen highlights of him in years’ past, you’ll notice his style doesn’t always come out the way he expected in the end. I have a feeling he’ll be playing the “what if” game at the end of the event.
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Written by Jonathan Wall

09/09/2009 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Presidents Cup

Dan Woltman gets the Walker Cup shaft

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From time to time on this blog I tend to deviate from the standard tour talk to discuss other golf issues that mean something to me. While most of you would never know it, I’ve been a huge fan of collegiate golf for a very long time. There’s something about watching these guys grow up from the time they were playing on the AJGA circuit that makes me excited to see how they progress from the first day they step on campus.

With that in mind, I figured it’d be worth noting that the Walker Cup is coming up in less than two weeks at famed Merion Golf Course in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Like many of you, I love watching these deserving amateur players battle it out on a fantastic course against an always tough Great Britain and Ireland team.

To make the team you need to be at the top of your game, and if you are, there’s a good chance your play will get you a coveted spot on the Walker Cup team. But this year it appears they’re not going strictly by the numbers. It looks like team chemistry is playing a big part.
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Written by Jonathan Wall

09/01/2009 at 9:02 pm