A bogey-free round from Tiger Woods, fine play from nearly all the American invitees and an albatross from the home favourite: ’twas a fine day at The Lakes. (continue reading…)
Tag: Stuart Appleby
Bubba Watson dominated the Friday afternoon news cycle — and not necessarily for the right reasons. Apparently Bubba was very homesick after his poor showing (and attitude) at the French Open. Several of his fellow Tour pros, along with LPGA player Christina Kim, took to Twitter to add their two cents.
It’s become a Masters lure for players to try and skip balls across the pond on the par-3 16th and onto the green during the Monday and Tuesday practice rounds at Augusta National. “It’s turned into a tradition, you can’t get away with not skipping it,” said Justin Rose at Bay Hill. “The crowd boos you if you don’t.”
During the last few weeks of the Florida swing, I asked around ten players to reveal how close they’ve knocked it to the pin — if they even made it across the water, of course. It’s harder than you may think! (continue reading…)
Shigeki Maruyama? Stuart Appleby? What year is it? 2001? Playing the morning wave at Waialae Country Club, Maruyama shot another five-under 65 to take the clubhouse lead early in the second round of the Sony Open. With blustery conditions developing in the afternoon, Appleby posted an impressive four-under 66 to tie him at 10-under at the event’s halfway mark.
Friday at the Tournament of Champions(!) has turned out to be something of a birdie-fest. Ernie Els– reasonably fresh off a win at the South African Open, let’s not forget– has made it to the sixteenth tee with eight birdies and no dropped shots to his name. He’s nine-under for the tournament and currently sitting in second place alongside Dustin Johnson, who’s making predictable mincemeat of Kapalua’s generous landing areas. (continue reading…)
Before the first round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Stuart Appleby and his caddie Scott Sajtinac discovered the putter was missing. Luckily, Appleby isn’t neurotic about his equipment. As a three-time champion of the event at Kapalua’s Plantation Course, he also feels comfortable on the greens.
It’s unclear why the PGA Tour asks players to vote for one of its peers as Comeback Player of the Year. I mean, it sounds flattering, but isn’t it sort of a backhanded compliment? It’s like reminding a guy that he had a crappy year, but he’s not the greatest player in the world — he’s just the best that recovered from slumping in recent years. Or, you can see it as having the tenacity to fight back!
Despite that it’s golf’s so-called silly season, there’s still millions of bucks being played for around the world in November. Here’s a recap on what you missed. Hint: Not a bad Sunday in November.
Stuart Appleby’s only slip-up on Sunday may have been almost missing the trophy presentation, according to the AP. Only when he heard his name announced did Appleby dart from the grandstands and onto the 18th green to accept the Australian Masters trophy and gold jacket. This was Appleby’s first win in his native soil since 2001, his 12th victory worldwide and his second of the season.
The PGA of America passed out copies of the local rules sheet — the same one that the players are given — in the media center after Dustin Johnson was penalized two strokes for grounding his club in one of the 967 bunkers at Whistling Straits, many of which are outside the ropes and stomped on by spectators. It was also posted in the locker room. Here’s what it says…well, I’m only going to retype that part that applies to the case of the bunkers.
SUPPLEMENTARY RULES OF PlAY
Play is governed by the 2010/11 USGA Rules of Golf and its Decisions, the PGA of America Rules of Play Card, the Local Rule for this Championship regarding Pace of Play (available at the starting tees) and the following Supplementary Rules of Play which apply to this golf course.
1: Bunkers: All areas of the course that were designed and built as sand bunkers will be played as bunkers whether or not they have been raked. This will mean that many bunkers positioned outside of the ropes and some inside the ropes, close to the rope line, will likely include numerous footprints, have tire tracks during the play of the Championship. Such irregularities of surface are a part of the game.
Note 1: The sand area in front, left and behind #5 green in the lateral water hazard is NOT a bunker (do not move stones).
Note 2: Where necessary, blue dots define the margin of a bunker.
I certainly didn’t see any blue dots near Dustin’s bunker. With so many bunkers, how can they mark all of them? Especially when order wasn’t maintained properly and people were stomping all over the bunkers..
The bold part below is what makes the bunker rule even more confusing. There were tons of areas on the course that had been trampled and looked similar to the “bunker” where Johnson’s ball rested. I’d sit on patches of dirt on the sides of hills that were perfect seats.
4. Integral Parts of the Course:
a) Railroad tie supports (except where adjacent to cart paths) such as those found on holes #11 and #17
b) Natural sand or dirt pathways
c) Pathways surfaced with mulch/wood chips (individual pieces of mulch/wood are loose impediments).
d) Erosion-control mesh netting when covering or supporting rocks in or around water hazards.
How can you distinguish between what’s “natural sand” and the hundreds of pointless bunkers splattered across the course in the strangest of places, like next to a tee box?
Also, there was some question as to whether Johnson should have received even more penalty strokes because he grounded the club once in his practice swing and again when he addressed he ball. There’s a cell phone video floating around the interwebs of Johnson’s caddie, Bobby Brown, setting Johnson’s golf bag in the hazard.
While I’m still awaiting confirmation, I’m pretty sure you can only be assessed the penalty once on each shot. So if DJ grounded his club once, he might as well have grounded it five more times. As for the bag, there’s no penalty for setting a bag down in a bunker (hazard).
When the PGA Championship was last played at Whistling Straits in ’04, Stuart Appleby, who was in contention in the final round, received a four-stroke penalty for also mistaking a bunker outside the ropes as a waste area. He removed a few twigs (loose impediments) from the bunker to draw a two-stroke penalty. Then he grounded his club for another two-stroke penalty.
After what happened to Appleby, you’d think the PGA would have made adjustments to the rule the first time around. Perhaps with the loud outcry that Johnson’s fiasco has created, when the PGA Championship returns to Whistling Straits in 2015, they’ll change the local rule, so that the bunkers outside the ropes are called what they actually are — waste areas.
[Photo by Kyle Auclair/Insidetheropes.com]
Joe Posnanski recently wrote about Alex Rodriguez’s impending arrival to baseball’s 600 Home Run Club. I love one particular line, summing up how there is zero buzz about reaching the once insanely difficult milestone that Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa have all passed. (I already forgot about Griffey and Sosa.)
It is like someone struggling to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, reaching the peak and finding that people had already built a McDonald’s, a Home Depot and a Best Buy up there.
I feel the same way about what used to be golf’s magic number: 59. I’m not suggesting Paul Goydos and Stuart Appleby are juicing, but 59 doesn’t have the same reverence anymore.