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Aug 18, 2015 | 08:34 AM

The Kids Have Arrived

If ever there was a changing-of-the-guard moment in the world of competitive golf, it came last Sunday. At Whistling Straits, as Tiger Woods missed the cut (again) and the likes of 40-somethings Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, and Ernie Els never contended, the average age of the top five finishers was 29. The three highest-ranked players in the world now are Jordan Spieth (22), Rory McIlroy (26), and Jason Day (27). And as if that were not enough, while we all focused on the PGA Championship, three other major events were won by a trio of—are you ready for this—17 year-olds. Canadian sensation Brook Henderson became the third youngest winner on the LPGA Tour when she ran away with the Cambia Portland Classic by an incredible eight strokes while nearby at the Portland Golf Club, Scottsdale’s Hannah Sullivan won the biggest event in women’s amateur golf, the U.S. Women’s Amateur, taking the final match by 3 and 2 over Florida’s Sierra Brooks, yet another 17-year-old. Finally, overseas, Dominic Foos of Germany won the Challenge Tour event in Finland,  becoming the youngest ever champion on Europe’s developmental circuit. 

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Aug 17, 2015 | 10:21 AM

To Fight Another Day?

As exciting as this year’s major championships were, there was a certain monotony to them. To wit: At the Masters, Jordan Spieth was in the final group, while Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen were paired together seven groups back. At the U.S. Open, Day was in the final group with Dustin Johnson (who was four groups back at Augusta), Spieth was with Branden Grace one group back, and Oosthuizen was two back. At the Open Championship, Oosthuizen with in the last group with Day and Spieth one back. And yesterday at the PGA, Day and Spieth were in the last group with Grace one back. If that wasn't enough, we're probably going to see these great players together again, since they’ll all be competing in The Presidents Cup in seven weeks’ time, with other top names including Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, and Rickie Fowler for the U.S. team, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, and Danny Lee for the International team. Also, since Presidents Cup captains use an alternate-draw format when creating matches, don’t be surprised to see Spieth and Day walking up the fairway side-by-side again in the final match.

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Aug 14, 2015 | 11:28 AM

What Whistling Straits Was

As you’re watching the PGA Championship, you are no doubt marveling at the beautiful, rolling landscape that is Whistling Straits. But according to Herb Kohler, who had the idea of creating the golf course along Lake Michigan, that wasn’t at all what it looked like when he bought the land. “On the northern half [of the property] was a military airport,” he told us while being interviewed for HotLinks, the digital magazine from LINKS. “It was flat as a pancake, but it also had 43 waste dumps, two of which were toxic. On the southern half, still flat as a pancake, it nevertheless was considered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources a wetlands although it had no visible water. But it had aquatic plants. The underlying land was clay and it created a very shallow base that collected water that grew these plants. Also, the coastline was eroding into Lake Michigan. The Army Corps of Engineers convinced the Natural Resources people that if they didn’t let us build a golf course and preserve the embankment, their wetland was going to drain into the lake in about 15 years. We were the first people in Wisconsin with permission to touch a wetland.”

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Aug 13, 2015 | 12:50 PM

Dump Trump?

Despite taking away this year's Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National LA from Donald Trump because of the controversial comments he made about illegal Mexican immigrants, the PGA of America still plans to hold the 2022 PGA Championship on the Old Course at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey (pictured, as well as the 2017 Senior PGA at Trump National Washington D.C. The issue arose when media members noticed the 2022 banner missing among those hanging in the press tent this week at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits trumping, you might say, future sites. But PGA chief executive officer Pete Bevacqua said the media shouldn't read anything into it (we would never do that!). “We are scheduled to go to Trump Bedminster for our PGA Championship in 2022," he said. "It's a wonderful facility. It’s two great golf courses. Obviously, everybody in this room's aware of the situation. And presidential politics, that is something we don't want to get involved in. We're not here to talk about presidential politics. We're certainly here to focus on this year's PGA Championship."

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