New R&A Captain Drives Himself In

Sep 23, 2016 | 08:31 am

New R&A Captain Drives Himself In

Following a centuries-old tradition, at precisely 8 a.m. today Keith Macintosh struck a ceremonial tee shot from the first tee of the Old Course and thus became the 235th Captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. Roughly 200 club members and friends gathered on a picture-perfect morning to watch the Scotsman, a lawyer from Ayrshire and former Scottish Amateur Champion, strike a powerful drive, timed to the explosion of a cannon. Also following tradition, a dozen or so caddies scrambled to retrieve the ball, the lucky winner returning it to the new Captain in exchange for a gold sovereign. Captain Macintosh begins his formal duties this evening with a speech at the club's Annual Dinner, a black-tie affair attended by over 500 members from around the world.’

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Sep 22, 2016 | 08:37 am

Big Weekend Ahead: Who Would You Pick?

This is an exciting moment for the PGA Tour and PGA of America, which, if you don’t know, are two separate organizations that confusingly have similar names, both run tournaments, and were actually the same entity until the late 1960s when the pros on TV every weekend spun off from the pros at clubs who give lessons, sell shirts, and organize the member-guest.

But be that as it may, both associations are smack in their element right now.

For the PGA Tour, this weekend is their season-ending event, the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, where someone is going to win $1 million-plus for taking the tournament while someone else, or perhaps the same guy, takes home $10 million for claiming the FedExCup. There are only 30 players teeing it up this week, but a bunch of favorites, led by Dustin Johnson, who is having his career year. Others who the experts pick to do well include Jason Day, Paul Casey, and Rory McIlroy.

For real excitement, the nod goes to the PGA of America, which runs the Ryder Cup when it’s played in the U.S. every four years. And unless you’ve been living under a rock you know it’s this year. The European Team for the matches—Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club outside Minneapolis—has already been announced, as have 11 of the 12 players on Team USA. Captain Davis Love III gets this last weekend of play to determine who will be the 12th man on his U.S. squad: He will announce his pick during halftime of this week’s Sunday night NFL game, and what could be more “USA, USA,USA” than that?

The favorite would appear to be Bubba Watson (above), who is number 7 in the World Golf Rankings but was 9th in Ryder Cup points, meaning he was one spot away from automatically qualifying for the team. However, he hasn’t done much in the last six months after going 1st and 2nd in consecutive weeks at LA and Doral. Since then, his best finish was T8 at the Olympics.

Also being mentioned are Daniel Berger, Justin Thomas, and Jim Furyk, all of whom were invited to play practice rounds at Hazeltine last weekend, as was Watson.

So who would you pick? We want to hear your selections, and we’ll give you three chances:

1)    Who will win the TOUR Championship?

2)    Who will win the FedExCup?

3)    Who will be added to the U.S. Ryder Cup team?

Predict one, two, or all three in the “comments” section below.

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Sep 21, 2016 | 08:20 am

Oh, Atlanta!

There are a lot of good story lines heading into the Tour Championship, the final PGA Tour event of the 2015-16 season starting tomorrow at East Lake Golf Club outside Atlanta. The first is the switching of the nines, which should make the finish more dramatic with the island-green par-three 15th and reachable par five 18th. Another good story line is whether defending champ Jordan Spieth can kind of salvage his year. Yeah, he's won twice, but neither was a major. Same goes for Rory McIlroy. This is also the first time "The Billy Horschel Rule" will be in effect for the final captain's pick for the Ryder Cup. After tearing through the FedEx Cup playoffs two years ago to win it all, Horschel was left off the team because the final picks were made after the second playoff event. How will the tournament affect Davis Love's final pick Sunday night, or does he have his mind made up already? Finally, five players can win the $10 million bonus if they win this week—Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Jason Day, and Paul Casey (not to mention the $1.53 million winner's purse). But it's a great field that should produce some memorable golf and perhaps a surprise or two with nice, sunny weather forecast. TV times:

Thursday and Friday
PGA TOUR Live -- 10:30am-6:00pm
NBC Golf -- 1:00-6:00pm

PGA TOUR Live -- 9:00am-3:30pm
Golf Channel -- 10:00am-12:00pm
NBC -- 12:00pm-3:30pm

PGA TOUR Live -- 11:30am-6:00pm
Golf Channel -- 12:00-1:30pm
NBC -- 1:30-6:00pm

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Sep 19, 2016 | 06:39 am

Tiger To Redesign Chicago Munis?

As if Tiger Woods doesn’t have enough to do right now, what with preparing to return to the PGA Tour in a few weeks, the internet is jumping with rumors about projects he might be involved in. For example, we read on one site that Tiger may be part of a group bidding to buy TaylorMade Golf from its current parent company, Adidas. It’s true that TaylorMade is for sale, and with Nike getting out of the golf equipment business Tiger is looking for another set of clubs to play, so that rumor doesn’t seem totally ridiculous. More logical is the report, which we’ve seen all over the web, that Tiger is “on board” with a plan first floated a few years ago by Bandon Dunes creator Mike Keiser to combine and redesign two Chicago public courses into a single course. The two munis—Jackson Park (shown above) and South Shore—both sit along Lake Michigan a few miles south of downtown Chicago, but also are about two miles from each other, meaning they’d have to be joined in some way. Word is that since the new course would be the home of the First Tee of Greater Chicago, Tiger would do the design for free; furthermore, the course would be tough enough to possibly host a PGA Tour event. As we said, it’s just a rumor, but supposedly Tiger was in Chicago a few weeks ago to check out the properties.

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