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James Achenbach

Stories by James

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Achenbach: Caddie, Li make quick bond

Achenbach: Caddie, Lucy Li make quick bond at Pinehurst

11-year-old phenom Lucy Li and Pinehurst local caddie Bryan Bush make instant connection over Donald Ross, love for the game.

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Inkster set to make her final USWO appearance

Juli Inkster set to make her 35th, and final, U.S. Women's Open appearance

Juli Inkster, 53, remembers her first U.S. Women's Open – at the age of 18 – like it was yesterday. This week at Pinehurst No. 2, she makes her final start in a tournament that she has won twice.

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Stadler spotted putting left-handed at Travelers

Kevin Stadler spotted putting left-handed at Travelers

Kevin Stadler appears to have his own unique answer to the looming anchoring ban. At this week's Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour, Stadler was seen putting left-handed with a Rife General on the practice green.

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Due to injury, Pettersen's prep for Pinehurst altered

Slowed by injury, Suzann Pettersen feeling better on eve of U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2

Suzann Pettersen is known for her fitness, helping transform how many players prep for the rigors of a full season on the LPGA tour. Now nursing a back injury, Pettersen had to scale back as she prepared for Pinehurst No. 2.

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Pinehurst quiets as women gear up

Pinehurst quiets as stars gear up for U.S. Women's Open

The Women's U.S. Open starts Thursday on the same No. 2 course played by the men, and practice rounds are underway. Yet only a handful of diehard fans have showed up for this prelude to history.

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Look ahead to Chambers Bay and beyond

U.S. Open quiz: How many future U.S. Open venues can you name?

Seven future U.S. Open sites (2015 through 2021) have been selected. How many of the seven courses can you name? As a bonus, match each course with its appropriate year. How much of a golf nut are you?

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Pinehurst wipes smile off Kuchar's face

Tough U.S. Open setup at Pinehurst wipes trademark smile off Matt Kuchar's face

Bang! The nicest guy in golf, Matt Kuchar, opened his mouth and the sharp-edged criticism came tumbling out after a 1-over 71 as he launched a rock-em, sock-em attack on the USGA for its Saturday setup.

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Moore: They'll be putting 'em off greens today

Moore: They'll be putting 'em off Pinehurst's greens today at U.S. Open

Ryan Moore will tell you what's different about U.S. Open conditions at Pinehurst for Saturday's third round: "They're starting to firm up. They're getting bouncier. There's going to be at least 10 people putting off the greens today."

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Kaymer carrying two 3-irons at Pinehurst No. 2

Martin Kaymer carrying two 3-irons at Pinehurst No. 2

Martin Kaymer opened the U.S. with back-to-back 65s. He also carried back-to-back 3-irons, with one being bent to more of a 2-iron.

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By the numbers: Kaymer strong in several stats

By the numbers: Martin Kaymer strong in several stats at Pinehurst in 2014 U.S. Open

A look at the numbers finds Martin Kaymer performing well at the U.S. Open in several statistics, understandable given his six-shot lead, plus Pinehurst's strengths and (relative) vulnerabilities.

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U.S. Open: The equipment counts at Pinehurst

U.S. Open: The equipment counts at Pinehurst

The closest equipment counts at the U.S. Open were in irons, where Titleist edged TaylorMade 35-31, and putters, where Odyssey nosed Titleist 50-47.

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Glover debuts graphite-shafted Bridgestone putter

Lucas Glover debuts graphite-shafted Bridgestone putter

Lucas Glover used a new graphite-shafted, Bridgestone True Balance TD-03 putter at the U.S. Open.

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Even at eight back, Dustin Johnson has plan

Even at eight back, Dustin Johnson has plan for U.S. Open at Pinehurst

Dustin Johnson is among those looking for a fight with Martin Kaymer at the 2014 U.S. Open, although Kaymer is threatening to run away from the field. "My approach won't change at all," insisted Johnson.

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Achie's Awards: Players' honesty at Pinehurst

Achie's Awards: Players' honesty on Pinehurst conditions and their U.S. Open games

Major championship competition brings out the honesty in most participants. Their U.S. Open thoughts Thursday at Pinehurst, amid invariably difficult golf, tended to lack any false confidence.

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Firsts prove fun for Berger at U.S. Open

Firsts prove fun for Daniel Berger in U.S. Open at Pinehurst

Meet Daniel Berger, a former FSU golfer participating in his first U.S. Open. Berger hit 14 greens in regulation and shot 72 at Pinehurst No. 2 in the championship's first round, although such statistics stand in the way of history.

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Achie's Awards: Appreciating opinions at Pinehurst

Achie's Awards: Appreciation of opinions at Pinehurst on eve of U.S. Open

Players and officials took the time Wednesday at Pinehurst to talk about the upcoming U.S. Open challenge. Here's a salute and a handful of Major Jim awards to honor their perspectives heading into the year's second major.

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Achie's Awards: Words of wisdom run gamut

Achie's Awards: Words of wisdom run gamut at Pinehurst before U.S. Open

Another major championship is about to start. For those who will not win the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, there is always a Major Jim Award to recognize significant words of wisdom.

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Pinehurst has players tweaking wedges, long irons

Pinehurst has players tweaking wedges, long irons for 2014 U.S. Open

Wedges and long irons are the two areas in which U.S. Open competitors are furiously making equipment changes at Pinehurst before the start of the year's second major championship.

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From tertiary tours, Blair, Rask qualify for U.S. Open

From tertiary tours, Zac Blair and Clayton Rask qualify in Calif. for U.S. Open at Pinehurst

Zac Blair, medalist in the U.S. Open sectional qualifier Monday at Emerald Valley Golf Club, outdistanced Clayton Rask by four shots as the two earned the spots that will take them from Oregon to Pinehurst.

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Knowing rule on divot leads to pair of birdies

Knowing rule on divot leads to pair of birdies in U.S. Open sectional qualifier

On Emerald Valley's third hole, two players launched drives that ended up in the fairway just two inches apart during U.S. Open sectional qualifying -- when one marked, the other created a divot affecting his position.

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Skarbo leads early at sectional qualifier in Oregon

Joel Skarbo leads early at U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Oregon

At Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Ore., professional Joel Skarbo of Seattle leads three other pros: Jarred Bossio of Olympia, Wash., Zac Blair of St. George, Utah, and Clayton Rask of Otsego, Minn.

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Winner's Bag: Rory McIlroy, BMW PGA Championship

Winner's Bag: Rory McIlroy, BMW PGA Championship

Check out our exclusive interview with Rory McIlroy, who talks about his winning gear at the BMW PGA Championship.

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Nippon N.S. Pro Zelos 7

Nippon N.S. Pro Zelos 7

Nippon's new shaft is called N.S. Pro Zelos 7, and it is a lightweight steel shaft that may address the desires of many amateur golfers.

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Golf balls in colors no longer just quick splash

Golf balls in colors no longer just quick splash

Many golfers have a love-hate relationship with colored golf balls. Three ball manufacturers have been particularly aggressive with colored balls in the U.S.: Bridgestone, Srixon and Volvik.

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Volvik Vista iV golf ball

Volvik Vista iV golf ball emerges as player’s ball with optimal distance

The four-piece Volvik Vista iV has emerged as a player’s ball with optimal distance. Used by a handful of male touring pros, including Craig Stadler, the golf ball also is popular with female touring pros on the Volvik staff.

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Volvik White Color S3

Volvik White Color S3 golf ball targets soft feel

The four-piece Volvik White Color S3 is new for 2014 -- and is Volvik’s first golf ball utilizing soft and durable urethane in the cover.

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Volvik Pro Bismuth golf ball

Volvik Pro Bismuth golf ball aims at high swing speeds

Volvik's Pro Bismuth golf ball is a versatile three-piece ball aimed at golfers with higher swing speeds.

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Volvik Vista iS golf ball

Volvik Vista iS golf ball seeks soft feel

Volvik's Vista iS golf ball is designed to offer more greenside spin while feeling softer than its Vista counterpart.

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Volvik Crystal golf ball

Volvik Crystal golf ball for slower swing speeds

The Volvik Crystal, a three-piece ball intended for golfers with slow to medium swing speeds (60 to 95 mph with a driver, according to Volvik), is the company's most famous offering.

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Volvik Lady 350 golf ball

Volvik Lady 350 golf ball

Because low trajectory is an obstacle faced by many women, the design and placement of the dimples in the Volvik Lady 350 golf ball should help most women hit the ball higher.

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Volvik DS77 golf ball

Volvik DS77 golf ball targets medium swing speeds

The concept of the Volvik DS77 golf ball is to focus on extra distance for golfers with medium swing speeds.

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TaylorMade SLDR irons

TaylorMade SLDR irons join already popular lineup of drivers, woods, hybrids

TaylorMade predicts its new SLDR iron will appeal to a wide spectrum of golfers, from touring pros to average amateurs, joining a successful line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids.

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TaylorMade SLDR S woods

TaylorMade SLDR S drivers, fairway woods and hybrids

TaylorMade has a new version of its SLDR woods on the way to market, called the SLDR S and available in drivers, fairway woods and rescue hybrids.

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Cobra BiO Cell Pro Driver

Cobra BiO Cell Pro Driver

With the May 1 release of its new BIO CELL Pro driver, Cobra expands the BIO Cell family to three clubs. Each is intended for a specific level of play.

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Mark King leaves big shoes to fill at TaylorMade

Achenbach: Mark King leaves big shoes to fill at TaylorMade

Mark King became president of TaylorMade in 1999 and quickly launched a series of decisions and mandates that raised TaylorMade's visibility and profitability.

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Watson's growth transcends his rise as a golfer

Achenbach: Watson's growth transcends his rise as a golfer

Our James Achenbach on Bubba Watson: At 35, Watson has reached a point in his life where he can clearly and thoroughly explain his feelings and emotions. He can talk about his principles and beliefs. He has joined hands with a world far beyond golf.

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Achie's Awards: Mayor, fan club and more

Achie's Awards: Mayor, fan club and more at Masters

The Masters championship edition of Achie's Awards, closing out a dramatic week at Augusta National, include a mayoral honor, a fan-club fete and a newcomer's notation.

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Achie's Awards: From Mr. Elastic to Mr. Polite

Achie's Awards: From Mr. Elastic to Mr. Polite

Our James Achenbach gives a tip of the cap to Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker, Thomas Bjorn and Matt Kuchar – most for reasons you would never know by simply watching this tournament on television.

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Winner's bag: Bubba Watson at 2014 Masters

Winner's bag: Bubba Watson during 2014 Masters at Augusta National

Going into the 2014 season, Bubba Watson made the most extensive changes of his professional career -- switching to Ping S55 irons, leaving behind a model he had used for almost 10 years. This week he won his second Masters.

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Achie's Awards: From a magic caddie to the losing spirit

Achie's Awards: From a magic caddie to the losing spirit

Brian Tam caddied for amateur Tianlang Guan and led him to making the cut in 2013. What does he do for an encore? He leads another amateur, Oliver Goss, to the weekend as well.

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Achie's Awards: From a 'moron' to brutal honesty

Achie's Awards: From a 'moron' to brutal honesty

Our James Achenbach reflects on the day that was on Thursday at Augusta National, handing out awards to the likes of Mike Davis, Fred Couples, Craig Stadler and Jonas Blixt.

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Amateur McCoy, 51, posts 78, still hopes to make cut

Amateur Mike McCoy, 51, shoots 78, but still hopes to make Masters cut

Mike McCoy isn't just satisfied to be at Augusta National. He set a goal of making the cut and knows he'll need to be more aggressive on Friday if he hopes to accomplish that after a first-round 6-over 78.

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Big Three offer big thrills to open 2014 Masters

Big Three offer big thrills to open 2014 Masters

The Masters honors golf's greats, as well as tradition, by having Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus kick off the start of competitive action at Augusta National.

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Achie's Awards: Metalwoods to milkshakes

Achie's Awards: Metalwoods to milkshakes at Masters

Jim Achenbach's award winners for Wednesday at Augusta National include Gary Player, Jose Maria Olazabal, Billy Payne and more -- dig in for the best in the eyes of a 44-time Masters-week journalist.

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Achie's Awards: 16th hole is spectator heaven

Achie's Awards: Augusta's 16th hole is spectator heaven

In Tuesday's rendition of James Achenbach's daily awards, the 44-year vet of the tournament reveals his love of the spectacle that has become the 16th hole on Masters Tuesday.

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Achie's Awards: Day to Stricker, a look at Monday's best

Achie's Awards: From Day to Stricker, a look at Monday's best

James Achenbach is in the midst of covering his 44th Masters and took a few moments to offer up his Monday awards, strictly restricted to the handful of press conferences since play was washed out at Augusta National.

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TaylorMade SLDR MiniDriver spotted at Augusta

TaylorMade SLDR MiniDriver spotted again at Augusta National before Masters

TaylorMade’s SLDR MiniDriver already has gotten a workout on Tour, and it might find its way into several bags this week at Augusta National. The small-headed wood becomes available to consumers May 2.

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Adidas Adicross Gripmore

Adidas Adicross Gripmore golf shoe focuses on traction

Adidas' Adicross Gripmore uses rubber-like cleats that flex and bend to focus on traction.

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TaylorMade 14-degree SLDR driver

TaylorMade 14-degree SLDR driver

The introduction of the 14-degree SLDR driver has presented one of TaylorMade's biggest challenges, because most golfers identify 14 degrees with a strong 3-wood, not a driver.

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Boccieri Secret Grip Midsize

Boccieri Secret Grip Midsize

The Secret Grip's new Midsize version, weighing 92 grams, comes in three new colors, that counterbalances the swing weight of any club.