NAIRN, Scotland – Holly Clyburn will walk away from the Curtis Cup with this distinction: She’ll be the only GB&I player to see action in all five sessions.
Early week, it appeared the GB&I bench would be an equal opportunity one. Captain Tegwen Matthews sat each player for one match before Saturday afternoon’s final fourball session. Charley Hull, the highest ranked player on the GB&I team at No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, got a second sit while Clyburn got to suit up. Sending Clyburn out seems a good decision from Matthews. So far this week, she’s been the most vocal of the GB&I players.
“My job now is to make sure we get the right pairings this afternoon,” Matthews said after her team took just one point out of morning foursomes. “We’ve been working hard on getting them right and I think we have.”
Clyburn and fourball partner Kelly Tidy produced the first GB&I point Friday afternoon. It came not a minute too soon – the team needed a rebound after losing all three morning foursome matches.
After a morning rout at the hands of the Americans, the GB&I ...
NAIRN, Scotland –- Despite frozen cheeks from an early-morning practice round at Nairn Golf Club, three assembled members of the U.S. Curtis Cup team paused at the question, "Has Coach Cornett told you much about her playing days?"
Glances are traded before answers follow.
“The next two days,” Amy Anderson said. “I feel like she’s going to talk about the first tee with us.”
In other words, Pat Cornett is a coach who won’t speak much about her own accolades, of which there are many. She has more than 50 starts in U.S. Golf Association championships, and eight of those were in the U.S. Women’s Open. She was runner-up at the 1987 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, and won the 1990 Women’s Western Amateur.
“Their accomplishments probably far exceed what I was ever able to accomplish,” Cornett said, in what could be described as a question dodged out of modesty. “But I think the thing that I tried to bring to them is, the conditions out here can change dramatically,”
Cornett, 56, has seen this competition before, too – from the other side. She was a member of the 1978 and ’88 U.S. Curtis ...
Want a radical solution to grow the game? Let children play for free.
It’s time to own up to an unpleasant truth – golf is not growing in the western world. It’s shrinking. That’s why we should set the kids free.
There’s never been a better time to join a golf club in the British Isles. There was a time, say, 15 years ago when clubs in my area to the north of London had long waiting lists. No more. Those same clubs are openly advertising for membership. Many have dispensed with joining fees. Yet many are struggling to attract new members.
Some clubs are even going to the wall. Lamerwood in Hertfordshire was a lovely course when it opened in 1996. I had the pleasure of playing there with Retief Goosen. Those were heady days, when clubs like Lamerwood had marketing money to spend on a future U.S. Open champion.
Drive past Lamerwood now and sheep graze on what used to be fairways. Only the discerning eye can pick out what were formerly tees, greens and bunkers. Lamerwood was one of many courses in this part of Hertfordshire looking for business that has long since ...
Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn will try to join the long line of talented teens who have made their mark at the Kraft Nabisco Championship as amateurs.
Ariya, 16, finished 25th last year in the LPGA's first major championship of the season. Moriya, 17, will be making her debut at the Rancho Mirage, Calif., event. They’ve accepted sponsor exemptions to play as amateurs along with Austin Ernst, Jaye Marie Green and Charley Hull at Mission Hills Country Club on March 29-April 1.
Moriya and Ariya are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Women’s Player Rankings as well as the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, though Ariya leads the way in the latter.
Ernst, a sophomore at LSU, is the reigning NCAA champion. She advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur and will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Curtis Cup. The 20-year-old from Seneca, S.C., will be making her Kraft debut.
Jaye Marie Green, 18, of Boca Raton, Fla., spent a brief time as Golfweek’s No. 1-ranked amateur thanks to her victory at the 2011 South Atlantic Amateur. She helped lead the U.S. team to ...
Full marks to England’s Lauren Taylor for the way she’s handled the news that she has been kicked out of this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, but the USGA goes to the bottom of the class for a colossal screw-up.
Officials at the governing body should be deeply ashamed of themselves.
The U.S. Golf Association told Taylor at the beginning of this month that she was in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open after winning the Ladies’ British Amateur Championship last year. Taylor made history when she won the championship at Royal Portrush. At 16, she was the youngest winner in championship history.
The USGA even put out a press release stating the English player was in the field. Then the governing body realized its error. Seems the USGA meant the exemption for this year’s Ladies British Amateur champion, not last year’s. They’ve now withdrawn Taylor’s exemption.
"This unfortunate case is simply the result of a miscommunication of the exemption category as it was originally intended," said Joe Goode, the USGA's managing director of communications. "Certainly we discussed a number of solutions to this situation, including making good ...
In the middle of Patrick Cantlay’s summer run that hoisted him into the headlines, a Twitter account popped up, purporting to belong to the amateur star. It seemed an uncharacteristic move by the quiet Cantlay. It was. The account was a fraud, and soon removed from the social-media site at the family’s request.
Cantlay, unlike many college kids, has no interest in social media. “I just like doing my own thing,” the UCLA sophomore said. “I’m fine if no one knows what I’m thinking or no one knows what I’m doing on Friday afternoon at 1:57.”
There are plenty of people interested in Cantlay’s inner-most thoughts, though. There’s one question above all the rest that they’d love to have answered: When are you turning pro?
“I’m just worrying about this week and trying to play as best I can this week,” said Cantlay, who is playing the Northern Trust Open on a sponsor exemption. “I’m an amateur this week.”
Cantlay said his father, Steve, and instructor, Jamie Mulligan, have been handling the research required before a potential leap to the pro game.
When asked how the PGA Tour’s ...
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Erica Popson was not on my Curtis Cup radar. Why? Because she hasn’t played in a USGA event since the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
“I thought there was no way I was going to get picked because of that,” Popson said.
Luckily for Popson, the USGA’s International Selection Committee didn’t hold that against her. She became the first player from the University of Tennessee to be named to a Curtis Cup team on the strength of an outstanding college resume. She won four times last season, including the SEC Championship and NCAA West Regional titles. She’s currently No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. The trip to Scotland in June will be her first time outside the country.
So why the slim summer schedule?
Popson injured the thumb on her left hand two and a half years ago and realized quickly that she needed the time off in the summer to give it some rest. Doctors thought it was tendonitis or a joint problem that she’d have to learn to live with. Last fall, however, the pain grew worse and she found it difficult to perform basic daily functions like put on deodorant ...
The Clyburn family’s annual winter golf holiday to the U.S. took a bizarre turn last week at the Dixie Amateur.
According to a Coral Springs, Fla., police report, a fight broke out Dec. 30 between family members of two players during the first round of the women’s tournament at Heron Bay Golf Club. No charges were filed, but reportedly fists flew and a driver was wielded as a weapon after a slow-play penalty led to a player’s disqualification.
Tournament officials would not comment when contacted by Golfweek, and witnesses have been reluctant to speak. But based on the police report and interviews with the Clyburn family, here is the sequence of events:
India Clyburn, 15, was making her debut on the Florida Orange Blossom Circuit. Her older sister, Holly, 20, a Curtis Cup veteran and one of the United Kingdom’s top players, also was entered in the Dixie.
India was paired with Lucia Polo of Guatemala and Vivian Gallin of Germany, and the younger Clyburn sister had her mother, Allison, on the bag.
According to India’s father, Paul, the group was warned about slow play at the turn. By the time the threesome reached ...
Making a call on a possible violation always has been at the heart of Pete Blaisdell’s passion for being a top-echelon rules official.
Fielding a call about a violation is a different story.
“It shook me up. I wasn’t sure how to react,” Blaisdell said from his home in New Hampshire as he related an eerie telephone call he got, though it’s one that might speak volumes to how sacred some see the Rules of Golf.
Listening to a woman who called his house Tuesday evening, Blaisdell was told that she was calling on behalf of her husband. The man wanted to speak to Blaisdell, but she warned that he was sick and heavily medicated. The man then got on the phone and said that he used to play in U.S. Golf Association qualifiers more than 10 years ago and he had an incident during a Public Links qualifier that required Blaisdell being called into a dispute on a putting green at Gardner (Mass.) Municipal Golf Course.
It seems a playing competitor had insisted that this man’s golf ball had moved after the man had addressed it. The accused denied the ball had moved. One ...
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Q-School doesn’t care about your amateur resume. It’s all about numbers, not name recognition. Brian Harman learned that lesson the hard way.
Harman was the 2003 U.S. Junior champ and represented the United States at the 2005 and 2009 Walker Cups. He failed to advance out of Q-School’s first stage in his first two attempts. Last year, he double-bogeyed his 70th hole to miss by a shot.
“That hurt pretty bad,” he said. “It made me work a lot harder. I’ve been working my butt off, man, just trying to get better and better.”
Harman made it to Q-School finals this year, and is in good position halfway through the week. He’s tied for ninth at 9-under 207. A final-nine 29 Friday shot him up the leaderboard.
Harman added to his list of bad Q-School memories on his ninth hole Friday, hitting his approach into the water. He dropped his club in frustration, then watched it sink between two rocks lining the 18th fairway at PGA West’s TPC Stadium Course (Harman teed off on No. 10).
“I have no business letting go of a golf club out there,” Harman said ...
When the U.S. Amateur Championship moved its playing dates up one week beginning in 2012, some wondered whether this might have a domino effect on other tournaments normally played around that time.
The answer is, yes – at least in one case.
The Scratch Players Championship, usually held about a week earlier and at a site near the U.S. Amateur, is, well, scratched.
Considered by many as one of the world’s leading amateur tournaments, the SPC will no longer be staged.
“With the U.S. Amateur henceforth moving up one week permanently, this squeezed the SPC out,” said Fred Solomon, founder and head of the Scratch Players Group, which started, runs and operates the Scratch Players Championship. “If held, it would conflict with the Canadian Am, Cardinal Am and European Am annually.
“It would also follow the Porter Cup, then the Western Am, then the SPC right before the U.S. Am,” Solomon said. “I just don’t believe a top amateur is going to play four weeks straight, and the first event to skip among those four would be the SPC. I’m simply not interested in investing the enormous time to run a world-class event and ...
Most people, myself certainly included, don’t remember the Southern States Four-Ball Championship. Simply put, it was before our time.
Still, there was a time when it was one of the country’s premier amateur competitions.
And, it has some pretty impressive names in the world of golf to prove it. Charlie Yates, Harvie Ward, Fred Haas Jr. and Gardner Dickinson Jr., were among the winners and contenders when the event was played from 1939 through 1948 (with a break for World War II).
The heavy involvement from the great Bobby Jones hardly did anything but make it a “must play” for the country’s top amateurs at the time.
Jones typically presented the winning trophy when the tournament took place six times at his home club of East Lake in Atlanta. It was also played once each at Birmingham (Ala.) Country Club and General Oglethorpe Golf Club in Savannah, Ga.
The unique trophy was a large plaque dedicated to Jones, with small replicas of the four trophies he won in his “grand slam” series in 1930.
Now, after more than a half century of dormancy, the Southern Golf Association is reviving the Southern States Four-Ball Championship. The ninth edition ...
At a news conference shortly after Great Britain & Ireland scored a 14-12 victory over the U.S. at this year’s Walker Cup match at Royal Aberdeen (Scotland) Golf Club, American captain Jim Holtgrieve was asked to look to the future.
The question presented: Now that he’s gone through his first Walker Cup, and presuming he again would be the captain at the 2013 matches, what has he learned and what might he do differently the next time around?
“I can’t really comment on that until I get the official captaincy,” he said at the time, referring to a decision would be up to the U.S. Golf Association. “It’s been the history the last few years that both captains have got it here as well as over there (U.S.). I just hope I’ll get the opportunity again, and then I’ll start judging from there.”
Holtgrieve will, in fact, have that opportunity. The USGA again named him captain of the American side, and again he will face off with GB&I captain Nigel Edwards when the 44th Walker Cup is staged Sept. 7-8 at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y.
Hideki Matsuyama, the two-time Asian Amateur champion who impressed at this year’s Masters, won the Japan Tour’s Taiheiyo Masters on Sunday, becoming the third amateur to win on the Japan Tour.
Matsuyama, 19, eagled the par-5 18th to win by two shots over Toru Taniguchi, the 72nd-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking. Matsuyama finished at 13-under 203 (71-64-68).
“I didn’t expect to win this tournament,” Matsuyama told The Japan Times. “At the 18th hole, (final-group playing competitor Toru) Taniguchi-san set up an eagle chance, so I just tried to follow him with a shot of my own.”
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Sang-Moon Bae, No. 27 in the OWGR, were among the players tied for third at 10-under par. Ryo Ishikawa, who’ll join Schwartzel at this week’s Presidents Cup in Australia, finished eighth. Another member of the International Presidents Cup team, Kyung-Tae Kim, finished 15th.
Matsuyama birdied Nos. 14 and 15 before eagling the final hole at Taiheiyo Club’s Gotemba Course. The victory moved him to No. 196 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He entered the event ranked sixth in the R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. The World Amateur ...
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