U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin will talk with Tiger Woods the week of the Aug. 12-15 PGA Championship to learn whether Woods wants to be on his team at Celtic Manor in Wales in October.
My first thought is, Talk about what?
Is a talk really necessary?
If anything, Pavin should have a talk to tell Woods, arguably the best player of all time, that he wants him on his team.
And Woods – whose PR this year hasn’t been all that good, if you haven’t noticed – is hardly in a position to say he doesn’t want to compete for his country. Yeah, that’s what he needs, another black eye, this one for being unpatriotic.
• Curiously, Oneida Nation CEO Ray Halbritter will play in the Aug. 5-8 Turning Stone Resort Championship on a sponsor exemption, giving a new twist to “sponsor” exemptions.
“I had a discussion with the people in charge – myself,” cracked the 59-year-old Halbritter, who has passed the PGA Playing Ability Test.
And all along, I thought the Tour had pro-ams so CEOs could play in them.
Sponsor exemptions were created decades ago so tournaments could invite someone who might favorably impact attendance. Halbritter might do that, to a degree.
That said, the Tour is serious business to its playing members. I can’t help but think he’s taking a spot from a pro trying to make a living and attempting to get into the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs.
• I’ve long liked the phrase, “It’s not what happens to you that matters most; it’s how you choose to react to what happens to you.”
Connecting the dots, it would seem reasonable if the Duramed Futures Tour does a so-called “make good” with Sarah Brown, the 18-year-old who was wrongly disqualified Sunday in a ruling over her wedge grooves.
Pay her something in trying to right a wrong. Perhaps prize money for whatever place she was in at the time of the DQ. As for damages, give her a spot in an LPGA event. Something.
Time to think outside the box and not just shrug and sweep this one under the rug. It would be honorable for the Futures Tour to be responsible for the consequences of its own actions.
• Alexis Thompson, 15, tied for second Sunday at the Evian Masters, one shot off the lead in her bid to become the youngest winner of an LPGA event.
If Thompson keeps up that kind of play, it would seem reasonable for the LPGA to change its rule that one must be 18 years old to become a member. Or at least grant her a rare waiver.
Times change. Why limit a phenom? Imagine if the many musical geniuses were held back by an age restriction.
• As something of a trial, spectators will be allowed to bring cell phones on the course at next month’s Wyndham Championship, as long as they are kept in silent mode and used for calling only in designated areas.
It will be interesting to see if any problems arise. I like the idea because it has become normal for people to take their cell phones wherever they go, in case of emergency and the need to make contact. The move seems to be one that gets in touch with the times.
That said, a ring or two at the wrong time could kill the idea moving forward. In everyone’s best interests, it would behoove Wyndham fans to be careful.
• RBC Canadian Open winner Carl Pettersson says he drank seven beers on Friday night waiting in the clubhouse to see if he would make the cut. He did qualify for the weekend by one stroke and the next day shot 60 en route to winning.
Drinking seven beers one night, shooting 60 the next morning. Male fantasy stuff, no?
Glasses up for a man who knows how to properly calibrate his intake. A man must know his libations.
• Trivia question: Who leads the 2010 PGA Tour in top-10 finishes? (Hint: Two are tied at the top, and you might be surprised.) Answer below.
• Pettersson’s feat underscores the “never give up” credo. That said, it’s not every day someone wins a Tour event after making the cut on the number.
Before Pettersson and Rory McIlroy this year, the last three to accomplish the feat were Chris Couch (2006 Zurich Classic of New Orleans), Brad Faxon (2005 Buick Championship) and Jose Maria Olazabal (2002 Buick Invitational).
• Let’s see: Pettersson shot 60. Paul Goydos shot 59 and Steve Stricker 60 at the John Deere Classic earlier this month. Trevor Murphy shot 56 in the pro-am of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational last week. Ryo Ishikawa closed with a 58 in May to win in Japan.
And to top it all off, Bobby Wyatt shot 57 today in the Alabama Boys Junior.
How many holes are these guys playing, anyway?
The USGA supposedly made the game harder by changing the rule on grooves this year. Apparently it didn’t go far enough.
• Trivia answer: Retief Goosen and Matt Kuchar are tied for the lead in top 10s, with seven apiece – Goosen in 13 starts, Kuchar in 18. After posting 10 top 10s in his first 149 professional starts, Kuchar has 17 in his past 64 starts thanks to a successful swing overhaul.
• Kuchar’s flat swing makes me recall something Ben Hogan told Canadian pro George Knudson decades ago at Seminole: “You can’t swing the club too flat. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different.”
Jeff Rude’s “Hate To Be Rude” column appears on Golfweek.com on Wednesday, the same day as his video show of the same name.