Hate to be Rude: Breaking 80 in 39 minutes

Irishman Rob Hogan shot 77 at Old Macdonald at Bandon Dunes Resort to win the Speedgolf World Championships.

This story sounds like fiction, as if there are typographical errors in the numbers. But it’s documented, so here are the amazing facts: Irishman Rob Hogan shot 77 at Old Macdonald in only 39 minutes, 31 seconds Saturday. The next day he shot 79 in 41:24 at Bandon Dunes.

And so he won something called the Speedgolf World Championships at Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon. In a competition that adds strokes to time for final score, Hogan had the fastest time each day. He finished at 236.55, or 5.79 better than the runner-up.

Hogan won an event that featured two 72s and two Olympic medal winners in middle-distance races. Only one of the 25 professionals failed to break 100. Twenty-six amateurs, ranging in age from 20s to 50s, also competed. Players carried a handful of clubs and ran down fairways holding the handle of their small bags.

Playing 18 holes in less than 40 minutes, and without a cart, doesn’t sound like much fun. Hogan, after all, averaged about 2 minutes, 12 seconds per hole.

But I suppose blur golf does have advantages. Hogan doesn’t have to wait until the weekend to play 36 holes; he can do it during his lunch break.

• The Brandel Chamblee-Tiger Woods controversy is unfortunate. Chamblee, a strong analyst with a fastball, made a mistake in a Golf.com column and wisely apologized. Woods, the game’s most dominant player, responded by, curiously, saying Chamblee “didn’t really apologize” and implying that Golf Channel should take action against Chamblee – even though the column was on Golf.com.

Time to move on and let both talented men do what they do best.

• Yes, the LPGA made the right decision in granting two-time winner Lydia Ko membership. Never mind that she is 16 and the organization’s age minimum is supposedly 18. She is ranked fifth in the world. And anyone fifth-best in her field should not be denied an opportunity to earn a living.

Had the LPGA denied her request, I am fairly certain that even the law firm of Baldry, Rude & Romine could have won her court appeal.

• Woods and EA Sports have parted ways after more than a decade partnering in a Woods golf video game. The problem here is I have no idea what I’ll do with all the new free time.

• As you can read about elsewhere on this website, the R&A has improved the Open Championship qualifying system. Speaking of R&A changes, we now have 793 days in which to anchor our putters without officially being outlaws.

• If you want to score better, improve your short game. The latest of infinite examples is bomber Gary Woodland. Having improved his short game through the teaching of Pat Goss since spring, Woodland has a victory and two seconds on the PGA Tour in the last three months, the latest being a playoff loss Sunday at the CIMB Classic.

That’s the long and short of someone becoming a different player.

• Inbee Park won three majors in a row this year. She has six victories, two more than next best. She leads in earnings. And yet she somehow has not locked up the LPGA Player of the Year award, based on a points system.

How many majors do you need to win in a season to win that award? The view from this word processor is this: The points system needs tweaking, and Park should dress up for Halloween as Player of the Year.

• Olympic downhill ski champion Lindsey Vonn, Woods’ girlfriend, recently said on David Letterman’s late-night TV show that she made a hole-in-one in her first 18-hole round of golf.

Seems her golf performance can go only downhill from there.

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