Davis Love III has found himself in the mix through two rounds of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. The soon-to-be Hall of Famer is currently tied for fourth place at five-under.
Oh, it’s that time again, which happens to be one of my favorite days in the golf season — the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, held at Scioto Country Club and Brookside Golf & Country Club, with the latter being the host course this year.
It always falls a week before the championship week beings, which is also the Monday after the Memorial Tournament, so it’s essentially a PGA Tour event, except players are allowed to wear shorts, showing off their *super* sexy white legs, otherwise known as “O.B. stakes” — a la Robert Garrigus in the above picture — and if you don’t have a smart phone, the only leaderboard available is the one written in calligraphy by the scoring area.
As I said earlier today, I hoped the Internationals would turn the momentum to their favor after the weather delay, and indeed, that’s exactly what happened. At the much-needed timeout for the International team, they were down to the seemingly indomitable Americans in five matches and all square in one of them. It wasn’t looking good.
In fact, it seemed fathomable that the Presidents Cup would be clinched by the U.S. before Sunday Singles rolled around. Not so fast! I watched the first two matches finish on 18, and boy, the atmosphere was electric and you could feel the energy of the International team, which, no doubt, has a ton of heart.
The PGA Championship is all about social media and
user fan interaction this year, so they’ve introduced fun gimmicks, like, “Pick the 15th hole location!” and releasing the two featured groups for the first and second rounds throughout the day before the full list of pairings at 4pm ET.
Well, the first threesome announced included Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley and Davis Love III, who will tee off the 10th at 8:35am ET Thursday and the 1st at 1:45pm Friday.
The next featured pairing will be released at 3pm. STAY TUNED. (*See update below)
Welcome to the “Golf’s Longest Day” — as it is marketed on Golf Channel — where nearly 1,000 players spread across 11 qualifying sites in the country are vying for coveted spots in next week’s U.S. Open at Merion. I’ll be bringing you updates from the 36-hole sectional qualifier in Columbus, which is held at Brookside CC and The Lakes G&CC (the “host” venue).
As longtime readers know, this is one of my favorite events to cover. I love watching PGA Tour pros biting their nails as they gather around the scoreboard at the end of the second round (which will be at The Lakes this year) and nervously watch the calligrapher handwrite the numbers. It’s a tense atmosphere, but the emotion is raw and real. It’s one of the few events left that have the old-school feeling to them, because realtime scoring is either nonexistent or delayed and big electronic leaderboards aren’t plastered around the course.
The PGA Tour Player Advisory Council (PAC) gathered for an official meeting on Tuesday at Muirfield Village Golf Club to discuss the USGA and R&A’s announcement of their final decision to ban anchored putting under Rule 14-1b. Players, Commissioner Tim Finchem and other officials participated in the 90-minute meeting in person and by phone.
Finchem discussed the series of events that had happened regarding the anchoring issue since their last meeting and then players and officials also weighed in with their opinions on the imminent decree set forth by golf’s governing bodies that will be put in effect on January 1, 2016.
“Yesterday’s (meeting) was just hearing guys on the PAC’s opinion,” said Aaron Baddeley, a member of the PAC, on Wednesday. “(The PAC meeting) was more just to see what Commissioner Finchem was thinking, and what Slugger White and a couple of the other rules guys were thinking.”
Golfweek’s Alex Miceli, currently in China for the WGC-HSBC Champions, has filed an interesting report on the growing resistance among exponents of anchored putting techniques to the idea of an equipment ban.
Some tour players, sensing their livelihoods at risk, are apparently willing to consider legal action in the event of a rules change.
Tommy Gainey started the final round of the McGladrey Classic trailing 54-hole leaders Jim Furyk and tournament host Davis Love III by seven strokes. In the spirit of 2012, the winner of the event didn’t come from the last pairing on Sunday. Gainey became the fourth player of the season to overcome a deficit of at least seven.
The 37-year-old journeyman, who is known as “Two Gloves” for wearing two black gloves from tee to green (yes, he even putts with them), fired a course record 10-under 60 at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga. He had a 15-footer on no. 18 to post The Magical Number (59). Strangely enough, Gainey, who usually gives his putts a good run, left this one short of the cup.
Could we have hoped for a better pairing in the final group on Sunday at the McGladrey Classic? Nope. Of course I’m talking about Ryder Cup captain and tournament host Davis Love III and Jim Furyk, who was one of Love’s four wildcard picks for the U.S. squad. Love and Furyk obviously have had to deal with the disappointing loss to Europe, and Furyk also faced unfortunate upsets at the U.S. Open and then at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Well, they’re tied for the 54-hole lead at 13-under. A win for either would probably feel like a bit of redemption, not to mention a sweet way to end the year and look forward to next season. Love and Furyk just teed off, so I’ve gotta head out to follow them, or another group, but please treat this as an open thread and share your comments below.
Wow, it doesn’t get much — actually, any better than the singles matches at the Ryder Cup and Team Europe’s unbelievable comeback. Well done. Kudos to the Europeans.
I’m sure you’re all itching to chime in on the epic loss and win. First, I’ll share the way Sunday unfolded from my viewpoint, and then I’ve posted the full transcripts of both teams press conferences. You may have heard about the legendary drunkenness of the European team. (Can anyone say best presser ever?!)