From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Archive for May 2010

Crowne Plaza’s return could be a game-changer for tour sponsors

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It’s been a nerve-wracking couple of months for the tournament committee at Colonial Country Club; and those nerves had nothing to do with getting the course in shape for this week’s tournament that boasts the best field in the past 15 years of the event.

Like a couple of other high-profile tournaments on the tour schedule, Colonial was forced to sweat out the possibility of not having their current sponsor, Crowne Plaza, back in the fold for next year. But unlike the Heritage Classic (one of longest-running events on tour without a sponsor) and tournaments before it, Colonial won’t have to worry about finding a title sponsor for at least another year.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram received word from Crowne Plaza that they’d be back in 2011 as the title sponsor at Colonial: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

05/28/2010 at 11:23 am

Second-tier PGA Tour events could be in line for a big boost

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The PGA Tour’s top players could be in for a pushing match with tour’s Player Advisory Council, or so it seems after reading an article discussing the possibility of forcing players like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods to play second-tier tour events in the coming years, all in the hopes of boosting interest before Tim Finchem and crew have to deal with a big issue in 2012.

The issue I’m talking about is the tour’s television contract with NBC and CBS, which is up for renewal in 2012. That, coupled with lack of sponsorship interest in second-tier events (read: all nine events on the schedule currently without sponsors for 2011) has forced the PAC to consider an idea that will be a touchy issue for a group of glorified independent contractors.

Golfweek’s Sean Martin has the info on the June 1 meeting that’s supposed to take place the week of the Memorial. After reading the takes from various players, it’s easy to see how this meeting could get a little heated. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

05/27/2010 at 5:27 pm

Posted in Media, PGA Tour

Mark Chaney is the qualifier kiss of death

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Considering the idea of qualifying for a major championship in the near future? If so, you probably don’t want Mark Chaney on your bag. Chaney, who happens to be Bo Van Pelt’s caddie, is what many in the golf industry would call ‘the kiss of death.’

Given how superstitious golfers can be, the thought of having a cursed caddie on the bag is not something you want in the back of your mind when you’re teeing it up for the chance to play in a major championship at, say, Pebble Beach or St. Andrew.

The major championships are where relative no-names like Ben Crane and Shaun Micheel made their mark. For a guy like Van Pelt, there’s always a chance he could be the next guy to breakout. That’s the main reason why you just can’t take a chance with a caddie like Chaney at the end of the day.

Thankfully, his bad luck only extends to major championship qualifiers. Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski has the story on the looper’s troubles: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

05/27/2010 at 1:27 pm

Tiger Woods expected to play Memorial

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A little over two months ago, Tiger Woods decided to change things up a bit by announcing he’d be in the field for the Players and the AT&T National. Woods, who usually waits until the week of the tournament deadline to make his intentions known, decided to give tournament sponsors an early heads-up, something he’s rarely done in the past.

As I mentioned in a post just after the announcement, Woods’ decision to play the Players and AT&T National wasn’t even the biggest story. Rather, it was the glaring hole he left between the Players and AT&T, a hole that was usually filled by the Memorial.

On Monday evening Golfchannel.com reported that Woods would be committing to Jack’s event, putting an end to the speculation that he may bypass it all together. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

05/25/2010 at 2:25 pm

Jordan Spieth saves the Byron Nelson Championship

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No matter how hard Tom Pernice Jr. tried, he wasn’t going to change the minds of the media members in attendance for his post-round interview on Saturday.

Speaking in defense of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, Pernice tried to make his case that the tournament was just fine with Spieth as the lead story for the week: “What he’s brought to the tournament this week is exciting. It proves to me and to the people here at the Salesmanship Club and the people at HP that you don’t always need the biggest and the best names to have an exciting and a great week.”

While that’s all well and good, nobody ever expected Spieth to make the cut at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, let alone contend for the tournament well into Sunday afternoon. Spieth’s performance was supposed to be a bonus for a tournament with as much history as the Nelson.

But that wasn’t the case when Sunday’s final round came to a close. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

05/24/2010 at 4:53 pm

The stars “align” for Cameron Beckman; 61 ties course record

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Ever try to fix your swing by yourself after a bad round? Yeah, I’m pretty certain those practice sessions never go as expected. Sometimes you need a second set of eyes watching your swing to get to the heart of the big issue plaguing your game.

Even the pro’s on the PGA Tour know this. Most, if not all, have a swing coach at their disposal every week of the year. It just goes to show you that while this game is an individual sport, there are certain times where a team effort really makes a difference.

Cameron Beckman is a prime example. He won at Mayakoba earlier in the year, only to fail to make the cut in six of the next seven events he entered. Sometimes this game can be your lover; other times you’d rather kick her to the curb and find another one. It’s just the way things go.

Beckman spent the last three weeks trying to resurrect the swing he had only a couple months earlier. He and his swing coach, Joe Caruso, were able to figure out the problem plaguing his swing: his alignment. It’s funny how the simplest things can make such a big difference.

Written by Jonathan Wall

05/22/2010 at 1:14 pm

Corey Pavin has his eye on Rickie Fowler for upcoming Ryder Cup

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Rickie Fowler may just be a rookie on tour, but that apparently doesn’t matter to Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin. Whether he sees a little of his bulldog mentality in Fowler or just the making of a up-and-coming golf star, he’s really giving Fowler a close look.

In the field at this week’s Byron Nelson, Pavin appears to be using the trip to Irving to get updates from a couple of Ryder Cup hopefuls. He also had the chance to chat with Stewart Cink earlier this week.

“I’m watching Rickie Fowler really closely,” Pavin said. “He’s expressed great interest in playing and I think he’s the type of player that can handle playing in the Ryder Cup. He wants to play well and show me how he’s playing. But he’s the type of player I think that’s very mature and could handle that type of situation. There hasn’t been an influx of young players recently that have fit that mold.”

Written by Jonathan Wall

05/20/2010 at 10:59 am