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James Achenbach

Stories by James

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Funk stands tall despite Senior Open miscues

Perhaps the golf gods have something in mind here at Omaha Country Club for the 2013 U.S. Senior Open: Despite his miscues, Fred Funk remains among a group of contenders in the city where his statue stands 12 feet tall.

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Dehydration pulls Jacobsen out of Senior Open

Three holes into Thursday's opening round at the U.S. Senior Open, Peter Jacobsen began monitoring dehydration; at the turn, paramedics advised him to withdraw.

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Achenbach: Utley able to talk the talk, and walk the walk

Longtime coach Stan Utley fired a 70 on Thursday at the U.S. Senior Open, putting him in a unique class that showcases teachers that can talk a good game, but also back it up on the course.

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Senior Open gives unknowns chance to compete

Why is Jim Achenbach so fond of the U.S. Senior Open? It's because of the opportunity the championship gives individuals from small clubs like Arrowhead Golf Club in Molalla, Ore.

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Omaha CC is demanding test for U.S. Senior Open

The incorrect rumor of the week: Omaha is flat. The 2013 U.S. Senior Open is taking place at Omaha Country Club this week where the course is extremely hilly and the temperatures are supposed to be high into the 90s.

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Mediate inflicts some self-hazing at Senior Open

Rocco Mediate inflicts some self-hazing at his first U.S. Senior Open at Omaha (Neb.) Country Club. He's just 50-years-old, but already won on the Champions Tour.

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Midwest puts heartbeat in U.S. Senior Open

The U.S. Senior Open has been resurrected - if not saved - by the common folks of America’s heartland, from Ohio to Nebraska. They love their country, and they love their golf, by God.

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Companies look to push colored golf balls in U.S.

Several golf ball companies are showing increased interest in colored golf balls. Volvik is betting that greater exposure on the LPGA can ignite consumer demand.

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Callaway FT Optiforce drivers

Callaway Golf officials have high hopes for the new FT Optiforce drivers, but a more important strategy story is emerging at company headquarters.

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Bridgestone to launch Lady Precept

The Precept MC Lady was a commercial hit, appealing to women and men alike. A new version of the ball is coming to market soon – this time under the Bridgestone banner.

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Toy Box: Rose uses Spider Blade for Open win

Justin Rose became the first English golfer to win a U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin won at Hazeltine National in 1970.

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Award-worthy moments from U.S. Open Sunday

The U.S. Open is concluded, but there are final awards to be presented – with players more honest and candid Sunday than they had been all week.

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Donald sees 'solid' round despite twin mishaps

Englishman Luke Donald seems determined to fight back at the U.S. Open. It could, of course, be fascinating to see how he handles 17 and 18 in the final round.

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Award-winning talking points at Open's third day

Even the golfers who didn’t play well in the U.S. Open's third round seemed to be talkative. That brings the latest installment of major championship awards:

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Putt for dough? Not Colsaerts, who contends anyway

The worst putter on the PGA Tour, Nicolas Colsaerts somehow remains a contender here in the U.S. Open, 1 over through 36 holes at Merion Golf Club.

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U.S. Open's first two days have been eventful

It’s time to take a look at some award-worthy performances during the first and second rounds of the 113th U.S. Open: Wicker to water, pain to preparation, and more.

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Short form: Mickelson takes on Merion without driver

USGA officials regard the U.S. Open as a stern examination of all the clubs in the bag – but Phil Mickelson didn't use the big stick en route to an early 67 at Merion.

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Merion weaves its wicker baskets into golf history

Wicker baskets have been used by a handful of other golf clubs in the U.S., but noplace have they provided a more noticeable twist than at Merion Golf Club's East Course.

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Masters champ changes colors for U.S. Open

For the U.S. Open, Adam Scott officially replaced his Masters putter cover with another designed by Scotty Cameron for this week's championship at Merion.

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Achenbach: Lob wedge a key at Merion

At rain-soaked Merion, the lob wedge appears destined to play a pivotal role, says our James Achenbach.

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Trip down memory lane reveals Open's true colors

Our James Achenbach spent many years attempting to qualify for the "National Open." Although he never made it out of local qualifying, he still continues to be fulfilled by the process.

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Sectionals reward more than just the qualifiers

Watching any of the recent 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifiers offered a treat for fans. It’s an up-close-and-personal experience.

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Toy Box: Kuchar mixes it up for Memorial

Matt Kuchar’s winning bag at the Memorial was full of surprises. Following his victory earlier in the year at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Kuchar has changed three clubs: 3-wood, hybrid and putter.

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Collins qualifies with help from seasoned mentor

No, the winner of the U.S. Open sectional qualifier at the Tumble Creek Club was not a college player. The winner was 34-year-old Wil Collins of Albuquerque, N.M., who was shadowed during every step of the 36-hole competition by his 72-year-old teacher, Dave Walters.

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Among regional hosts, Tumble Creek stands out

How tough is Tumble Creek? It is a par-71 layout that plays to about 7,200 yards from the back tees. The greens are diabolical. Picture Augusta National in the mountains.

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Nike unveils VR Forged wedges

Nike's new VR Forged wedges expand the VR family of clubs and offer three distinct sole grinds designed to accommodate various course conditions and shot-making demands.

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Toy Box: Weekley wields graphite iron shafts

Graphite iron shafts received a boost at the Crowne Plaza Invitational as Boo Weekley won with Aldila RIP Tour prototype graphite shafts in his Cleveland irons.

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Boccieri to unveil anchoring alternative, EL Series

Boccieri's new EL Series putters, each with a 175-gram counterweight along with a 17-inch grip, are designed to mimic the steadiness and repeatability of belly putters – without anchoring.

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Notes: Bae's new-ball win, Day's custom 1-iron

Sang-Moon Bae won the HP Byron Nelson Championship with Callaway’s new Hex Chrome+ golf ball, TaylorMade customizes a one-off RocketBladez 1-iron for Jason Day; more.

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Achenbach: This anchor drops quietly

As it turned out, there were no changes to the rules proposal to ban an anchored stroke, first presented on Nov. 28, 2012. Tuesday’s tranquil gathering wasn't lengthy, ending after a few predictable questions from journalists.

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Word of advice on anchoring rule: Be very careful

Rule 14-1B bans the anchored-swing method but does not ban long or belly putters. Enforcement and interpreting the rule often will boil down to intent.

Golf Pride Tour Tradition putter grip

Paddle-front putter grips such as the Golf Pride Tour Tradition have been used for decades by many of the world’s best players.

Odyssey Vegas putter grip

The Odyssey Vegas putter grip has playing cards pictured on it and weighs in at 61 grams.

Palmbird putter grip

One of the heaviest grips in golf, the 169-gram Palmbird, as the name suggests, is ideal for golfers who want to place their palms in facing positions on both sides.

SuperStroke Slim 3.0 putter grip

The SuperStroke Slim 3.0 is used by Jason Dufner and other touring pros.

Prescription Golf Midsize Tapered putter grip

The Prescription Golf Midsized Tapered is a grooved putter grip designed by Dr. Lanny Johnson, a pioneer in arthroscopic surgery.

Winn JumboLite putter grip

The Winn JumboLite putter grip weighs 60 grams, which is a popular weight among touring pros.

Ping Man Black Out putter grip

The 59-gram Ping Man Black Out grip was made famous by Tiger Woods, who as an amateur used a black marker to cover the white paint fill on the grip.

Lamkin Crossline Paddle putter grip

The Crossline is Lamkin’s best-known design, and the Crossline Paddle putter grip has the same distinctive look and feel as the grips for full-swing clubs.

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Cobra eyes wedge market with Tour Trusty

Building off its Trusty Rusty wedge heritage, Cobra Golf aims to become a bigger player in the category with an extensive line of Tour Trusty clubs.

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Toy Box: Woods changes driver shaft

Tiger Woods didn’t need his driver much at The Players, but to better tackle a tight TPC Sawgrass course, he switched to a heavier driver shaft for greater accuracy.

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Toy Box: Rookie Ernst wins with Ping

Derek Ernst, the rookie winner of the Wells Fargo Championship, had 14 Ping clubs in his bag. He followed fellow Ping staff player Billy Horschel, who won a week earlier in New Orleans.

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MPC to re-launch Loomis graphite shaft

Meyer Performance Composites is preparing to re-launch the Loomis graphite iron shaft, which enjoyed its hey-day in the mid-1990s when it boasted Greg Norman and Davis Love III among its users.

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Cobra to produce limited-edition U.S. Open driver

A limited-edition Cobra AMP Cell Pro driver will be made to commemorate the U.S. Open. Cobra plans to sell 600 beginning June 1.

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Titleist to offer Scott's TVD-K as custom option

Adam Scott won the Masters using a 60-degree Titleist wedge with 10 degrees of bounce. Titleist will now offer that model through custom offerings at Vokey WedgeWorks.

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Adams, Tour Edge irons blend performance, price

The Adams Super S and Tour Edge Exotics XCG6 irons may never be used by touring pros, but they're designed to deliver high performance for amateurs. And they're affordable.

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Tour Edge Exotics XCG6 irons

The Tour Edge Exotics XCG6 irons might never be used by touring pros, but they're designed to deliver high performance for amateurs. And they're affordable.

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Toy Box: Horschel wields Pings for first Tour victory

After earning three consecutive top-10 finishes leading to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Billy Horschel finally broke through and won his first PGA Tour event.

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Rife re-emerges with new products

Since acquiring Rife in 2012, new owner and president Ben Zylstra has been busy developing products and a brand identity: He wants the company to be known as a manufacturer of putters that look like pieces of art.

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Toy Box: Scott proves clutch with Cameron prototype

Adam Scott delivered two pressure-packed putts on Sunday – one that earned him a spot in a playoff, the other a Masters title – courtesy of a new Scotty Cameron putter.