Friday, October 20

Golf on TV: CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, Dominion Energy Charity Classic, Andalucia Valderrama Masters, Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The PGA TOUR stages its first-ever event in Korea at the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, as Justin Thomas and Jason Day lead the field. The PGA TOUR Champions kick off the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs this week, as 72 players are eligible to take part in the first of three events, led by points-leader Bernhard Langer. 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia will host the European Tour’s Andalucia Valderrama Masters, with fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm also in the field. The LPGA Tour continues its Asia stretch of the schedule as Ha Na Jang defends at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship.


CJ Cup at Nine Bridges
Dates: Oct. 19-22
Venue: The Club at Nine Bridges, Jeju Island, South Korea

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Wednesday     10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 2-6 a.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday         10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 2-6 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 4-7 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 2-7:30 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Inaugural event: The inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges marks the first official PGA TOUR event to be staged in South Korea, and will feature a 78-man field with no cut.
Headlining the field: Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Paul Casey, Xander Schauffele, Pat Perez, Tony Finau, Adam Scott, Patrick Reed and Si Woo Kim.


Dominion Energy Charity Classic
Dates: Oct. 20-22
Venue: The Country Club of Virginia (James River Course), Richmond, Va.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              2:30-5 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          2:30-5 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            2:30-5 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-2 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast notes:
First leg of Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs: The Dominion Energy Charity Classic this week marks the first of three legs of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, with 72 players eligible to tee it up this week, and 54 advancing at week’s end based on the points list.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Scott McCarron, Kenny Perry, Kevin Sutherland, Jerry Kelly, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Colin Montgomerie, Brandt Jobe, Stephen Ames and Vijay Singh.


Andalucia Valderrama Masters
Date: Oct. 19-22
Venue: Valderrama Golf Club, Sotogrande, Spain

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Saturday          8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            7:30 a.m.-Noon (Live)

Broadcast notes:
Garcia hosts: Sergio Garcia won the event the last time it was contested in 2011, and will host the third edition of the event in his home country this week. 
Headlining the field: Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm, Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington, Andrew Johnston, Danny Willett, Andy Sullivan, Jose Maria Olazabal and Austin Connelly.


Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship
Dates: Oct. 19-22
Venue: Miramar Golf & Country Club, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Saturday          12:30-2:30 p.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday            Noon-2:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 10 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Broadcast notes:
Jang defends: Ha Na Jang finished one shot ahead of Shanshan Feng to claim her third LPGA Tour victory.
Headlining the field: Shanshan Feng, Brooke Henderson, Ha Na Jang, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Lydia Ko, Danielle Kang, Brittany Lincicome, So Yeon Ryu and Michelle Wie.

Wednesday, October 18

Looping, Part 5: New Generation of Bag Rats

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Caddie Joe Grillo advises Steve Elkington during the final round of the 2005 PGA Championship at Riviera Country Club.

Following is another installment in John Coyne's caddie series. Read Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

Shortly after the Professional Tour Caddies Association (PTCA) was formed, the Nabisco Corporation sponsored a $5.5 million tour program, including money prizes for yearlong events, team charity completion and the Nabisco Championship held in October at Hilton Head Island.

One of the groups that it supported on the tour was the PTCA. While Nabisco's contribution to the association was only a small percent of its total investment in golf, just $125,000, it was vital for the caddies.

Nearly $100,000 went directly to the caddies as a payback for wearing Nabisco's white visor. The remaining $25,000 plus contributions from tournament events paid for the association’s van, as well as Joe "Gypsy" Grillo's salary.

Gypsy in turn ran a diner out of the caddies association-owned van, which was usually parked by the practice areas or behind the press tent. Here caddies could avoid the pricey vendor food on the course, and had a place to relax by themselves. The caddie van was their home-away-from home, a place to watch TV and get messages, as well as a decent meal.

The day I was interviewing Gypsy in his van at the 1989 Westchester Classic, Sergio Garcia was also in the van having lunch with his caddie and two other "bag rats." It gave Sergio, and other pros, a chance to have a good meal and a little time away from autograph seekers. While caddies still weren't allowed in the clubhouse, pros like Sergio were welcomed by loopers in their home-away-from home van.

Some caddies, not signed up by Nabisco, had gone out and gotten their own individual sponsorship. Steve Kay, for example, who caddied for Bobby Clampett and Keith Clearwater, had an arrangement with American Airlines. FootJoy provided sneakers for most of the professional caddies, and Nike gave 10 others three sets of new sneakers each year.

Although their players might be making $100,000 to flash a trademark while playing a round, caddies were willing to settle for a few thousand. As a result, they, like all professional players, were fast becoming walking billboards and camera hogs. When it’s "TV time," the caddies were known to quickly glide into camera range to make their presence, as well as their sponsors, known.

Away from the 18th green and the brief attention from television, I watched a number of caddies come and go from Gypsy's van. Rain had halted play and the caddies were finding whatever shelter they could, the club house being, of course, out of bounds.

Watching this new generation of bag rats, I asked Gypsy why he thought they came out on tour to grab a player's bag, since the majority of these caddies with their college degrees, could have found other careers.

Gypsy, who is a Dutch uncle to many of them, said simply, "They love the game and they have the same dream we all have. They want to bring home a winner."


John Coyne is a bestselling author who has written several books about golf. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Monday, October 16

Pat Perez Is Smiling

PAT PEREZ WON HIS THIRD PGA TOUR title and second in a year after going through shoulder surgery at age 40. Perez shot 24-under par for a four-shot victory over Keegan Bradley at the CIMB Classic.

Perez seems like a new, happier man, one that is maturing "late" (his word). He has spent much of his career looking angry, frustrated and impatient on the golf course.

Now Perez appears to be extremely grateful, not only for the wins, but for the people around him.

Thursday, October 12

Golf on TV: CIMB Classic, SAS Championship, Italian Open, LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Thomas – recently named 2017 PGA TOUR Player of the Year – headlines the field at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, looking to win the event for the third consecutive year. The PGA TOUR Champions are in North Carolina for the final regular season event at the SAS Championship before the Tour begins the first of three Charles Schwab Cup Playoff events next week featuring the leading 72 players on the regular season money list at week’s end. On the European Tour, Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm headline the field at the Italian Open, a Rolex Series event. The LPGA Tour’s Asia swing gets underway this week as Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson and Michelle Wie lead the field at the KEB Hana Bank Championship in South Korea.


CIMB Classic
Dates: Oct. 12-15
Venue: TPC Kuala Lumpur (West Course), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         10:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Live) / 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 6-10 p.m. (Sunday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Limited field event: The 78-man field features five of the top-20 players in the world in Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Paul Casey, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Louis Oosthuizen. The 72-hole event also features no cut.
Thomas defends: Justin Thomas defended his 2015 title last year, earning his first of his five wins in the 2016-17 season. Thomas will looks to earn a third straight victory at the event this week.
Headlining the field: Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Paul Casey, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Adam Hadwin, Xander Schauffele and Si Woo Kim.


SAS Championship
Dates: Oct. 12-15
Venue: Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, N.C.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              2:30-5 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          2:30-5 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            2:30-5 p.m. (Live) / Midnight-2 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast notes:
Garwood defends: Doug Garwood finished four shots ahead of Bernhard Langer to claim his first career PGA TOUR Champions victory.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Scott McCarron, Colin Montgomerie, Vijay Singh, Kenny Perry, Kevin Sutherland, Paul Goydos, Jerry Kelly, David Toms and John Daly.


Italian Open
Date: Oct. 12-15
Venue: Golf Club Milano, Parco Reale di Monzo, Italy

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         4 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Friday              4 a.m.-Noon (Live)
Saturday          6:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            6:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast notes:
Molinari defends: Francesco Molinari looks to defend in his home country of Italy. He became the first Italian to win his national open twice since the event’s inception in 1972.
Headlining the field: Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Danny Willett.


LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
Dates: Oct. 12-15
Venue: Sky 72 Golf Club (Ocean Course), Incheon, South Korea

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         Noon-4 p.m. (Tape delay) / 8:30-10 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              Noon-2:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 8:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 8:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 10 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Broadcast notes:
Ciganda defends: Carlota Ciganda outlasted Alison Lee on the first playoff hole to earn her first LPGA Tour win.
Headlining the field: So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park, Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Anna Nordqvist, Brittany Lincicome and Cristie Kerr.

Wednesday, October 11

A 40-Second Shot Clock Coming to European Tour

PLAY WILL SPEED UP IN 2018. Well, at least at one event on the European Tour.

As reported by, the European Tour will implement a 40-second shot clock on every hole at the Austrian Open in June 2018.

How will it work?

There will be a walking, timer-carrying referee with every group. The first bad time will produce a warning. Each subsequent infraction will incur a one-stroke penalty. One unnamed official estimated that the shot clock could save 45 minutes a round. Imagine that!

The experiment drew support from European Tour players at last week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, including Ryder Cup members Lee Westwood and Andy Sullivan.

"It underlines how long 40 seconds is to play a shot," Sullivan said, "and how ridiculous it is that rounds take so long. The sooner it's introduced on tour, the better."

Hear! Hear!

Monday, October 9

VIDEO: Phil Mickelson's Warmup Routine at Safeway Open

PHIL MICKELSON IS FEELING GOOD about his golf game after tying for third at the Safeway Open, his best finish of the year.

"The game has just come back and my focus is much better," said Mickelson, who will head to China in two weeks for the HSBC Champions.

Meanwhile, Brendan Steele successfully defended his title with a 15-under performance. The 34-year-old tour pro has three PGA Tour victories: two Safeway Opens and a Valero Texas Open.

Wildfires forced an evacuation of the Silverado Resort and Spa not long after the tournament ended. CNN tweeted a photo of grandstands on the North Course burning to the ground.

Friday, October 6

VIDEO: How Far Can Tommy Armour III Hit Ancient Golf Clubs?

HERE'S PGA TOUR WINNER TOMMY ARMOUR III, age 57, pounding balls with old golf clubs from the bargain bin.

How far will they go?

Thursday, October 5

Golf on TV: Safeway Open and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

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From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla.  – Two weeks removed from the TOUR Championship, the PGA TOUR 2017-18 wraparound season kicks off this week in Napa, California for the Safeway Open, where Phil Mickelson headlines the field. Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Branden Grace lead the field at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at a historic rotation of three Scottish courses – St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns – over the first three rounds. St. Andrews will host the final round of playSunday.


Safeway Open
Dates: Oct. 5-8
Venue: Silverado Resort & Spa (North Course), Napa, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5:30-8:30 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Friday              5:30-8:30 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Saturday          5:30-8:30 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Sunday            5:30-8:30 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
2017-18 PGA TOUR season kicks off: This week marks the first of 48 official events during the 2017-18 PGA TOUR season, with eight of those events being played in 2017.
Steele defends: Brendan Steele won by one shot over Patton Kizzire to earn his second TOUR event, and first since 2011.
Headlining the field: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Adam Hadwin, Tony Finau, John Daly, Bryson DeChambeau, Keegan Bradley, Emiliano Grillo and Bill Haas.


Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Dates: Oct. 5-8
Venue: Old Course at St. Andrews; Carnoustie Golf Links; Kingsbarns Golf Links, Scotland, United Kingdom

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         8 a.m.-Noon (Live) / 1-4:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              8 a.m.-Noon (Live) / 1-5 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          8 a.m.-Noon (Live) / 1-5 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-5:00 p.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Event format: 168 professionals and 168 amateurs pair up as two-man teams, playing one round each at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. A 54-hole cut will take place with the low 60 professionals (and ties) and the low 20 teams advancing to compete in a final round at St. Andrews.
Hatton defends: Tyrrell Hatton won by four strokes over Ross Fisher to claim his first European Tour victory.
Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Branden Grace, Ernie Els, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Graeme McDowell.

Wednesday, October 4

Looping, Part 4: Birth of the Professional Tour Caddies Association

Embed from Getty Images
ABOVE: Mike Carrick looping for Mark Hensby at the Masters.

Following is another installment in John Coyne's caddie series. Read Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

INCREASINGLY, ON THE PGA TOUR, the pro-to-pro relationship between two intelligent, educated, business-wise individuals was taking place. By the early 1980s over 25 percent of caddies had college degrees, and about half were married.

There were exceptions. Ian Wright, a 40-year-old Englishman, caddied for the world's premier player, Seve Ballesteros, when a mutual friend recommended him to Ballesteros because he knew Wright was a fine amateur golfer. Now the new caddie tended to come from the same background as the PGA pros. Typical examples were Dan Hyland, who caddied for D.A. Weibring, and Tommy Lamb, who caddied for Jay Haas.

Hyland graduated from the University of Dayton with a business degree.  He met Weibring at the Columbia (Ohio) Country Club, where he caddied as a teenager. When he graduated from college he sent Weibring his resume. Hyland hoped to use his tour experience as a way to get himself known to players' representatives, since he wanted to become a player's agent himself.

Tommy Lamb quit John Carroll University to pick up Haas' bag when he was a junior in college, but planned to return to school for his degree, then  study law. Another caddie, Mark Huber, who worked for both Tom Purtzer and Doug Tewell, graduated from Illinois State. He also wanted to get into golf management, using the contacts he'd make on the tour.

The better life of these caddies in the early '80s was being made possible by the efforts of "Gypsy" Grillo and Mike Carrick. They realized in 1981 that the life of the professional caddie had to improve, and the only way to make it happen was to form their own association—the Professional Tour Caddies Association.

"The PGA has never given us anything," Gypsy stated in 1989 when I interviewed him at Westchester Country Club, "not before the association or after it.

"We deal directly with the tournament site and the people putting on the event. We give out our own I.D. badges, and we are responsible for our members. No caddie is allowed in the association unless he has caddied in 25 tour events. Today we have 140 members, each paying an annual fee of $50."

Being in an association has made it easier for the caddies to get corporate sponsorship. If it wasn't for such corporation help, the association wouldn't be much more than a name. But the group gave the caddies for the first time, an opportunity to speak with one voice.


John Coyne is a bestselling author who has written several books about golf. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Tuesday, October 3

The Only Real Fix for the Presidents Cup

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MANY YEARS AGO I RECALL SOMEONE in basketball saying that a holiday hoops tournament is when you invite three teams you can beat and call it a "Classic."

I thought about that as the United States chalked up another victory in the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club over the weekend.

"Honestly, it was really weird being out there today, knowing there was no chance of losing," said Dustin Johnson, who won all five of his matches.

As a concept, the Presidents Cup is a great idea: Have a team competition in the Ryder Cup off years.

The trouble is, it hasn't been much of a competition, has it? The Americans, after a 19-11 rout at Liberty National, are now 10-1-1 since it all began in 1994, including seven straight wins.

That's not much of a "Cup." It's more of an embarrassment. Unless this whole deal is more or less an exhibition, as someone sort of suggested.

"As we are prone to do with post-Cup assessments," wrote Geoff Shackelford, "the suggestions for change and forming of task forces lose sight of the role these events play as exhibitions. The Internationals may have been routed last week, but they were still a part of a valuable experience that will help their games and exposed them to the media capital of the world. The Presidents Cup was beamed all over the world and viewers saw moments of great passion along with historic visits from Presidents past and present."

The only real fix for the Presidents Cup is for the Internationals to win every once in a while, like at least one in three. But that's obviously not working. Not yet at least.

Which means most of the golf world is not very excited about late September 2019 in Melbourne.

Thursday, September 28

2017 Presidents Cup TV Schedule and Event Information

THE PRESIDENTS CUP IS UNDER WAY. The TV schedule and event information follow courtesy of Golf Channel.

The Presidents Cup
Dates: September 28-Oct. 1
Venue: Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, N.J.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         1-6 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          8 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            8 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          8 a.m.-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            Noon-6 p.m. (Live)

The biennial match play event will feature five foursomes matches contested on Day 1; five four-ball matches on Day 2; four morning foursomes and four afternoon four-ball matches on Day 3; and 12 singles matches on the Final Day. The winning team must earn 15 ½ points to win the Presidents Cup, and each player will be required to compete in at least two of the four sessions prior to the singles matches on Sunday.

Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Rickie Fowler, Charley Hoffman, Dustin Johnson, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and (captain) Steve Stricker.

Jason Day (Australia), Branden Grace (South Africa), Emiliano Grillo (Argentina), Adam Hadwin (Canada), Si Woo Kim (South Korea), Anirban Lahiri (India), Marc Leishman (Australia), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), Adam Scott (Australia), Charl Schwartzel (South Africa), Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela) and (captain) Nick Price.

NBC Sports Broadcast Team:
Play by Play:   Dan Hicks / Mike Tirico
Analyst:           Johnny Miller / Frank Nobilo / Justin Leonard
Tower:             Gary Koch / Peter Jacobsen / Tom Abbott / Curt Byrum
On-Course:      Roger Maltbie / David Feherty / Mark Rolfing / Jim "Bones" Mackay / Jerry Foltz
Interviews:      Steve Sands / Jimmy Roberts
Essays:            Jimmy Roberts

Wednesday, September 27

How a Former Polluted Dump Is Hosting the Presidents Cup

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ADAM SCHUPAK WROTE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES how Liberty National Golf Club, with its one-of-a-kind views and skyline, came to be:
When [Tom] Kite visited the raw, 160-acre site for the first time a month later, his jaw dropped at the iconic views in the distance. But behind him stood a string of grimy refineries belonging to oil companies interested in exiting their polluted grounds. For a time during World War II, the land was used as an ammunition dump. One storage warehouse had been property of the Gambino crime family. 
"It was the most despicable piece of property you’ve ever seen," Kite said. "Bob later said that every travesty known to man took place on that site."
It is here where the architects built Liberty National Golf Club, an engineering marvel and one of the most expensive golf courses ever built. The property that once oozed with chemical sludge and toxic waste this week will host to the Presidents Cup, the biennial competition between 12-man teams from the United States and the rest of the world outside of Europe.
Read more.

Tuesday, September 26

2017 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Davis Love III, Meg Mallon, Ian Woosnam, Lorena Ochoa, Henry Longhurst

THE WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME 2017 Induction Ceremony will be held today (Tuesday, September 26) at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. The inductees are Davis Love III, Meg Mallon, Lorena Ochoa, Ian Woosnam and Henry Longhurst.

You can watch the ceremony on Golf Channel at 6:30 p.m. ET.

WGHOF 2017 Induction Class Includes Davis Love III

Friday, September 22

2017 Tour Championship: Kyle Stanley Leads With 64; TV Schedule for Friday and Weekend

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KYLE STANLEY CARDED A 6-UNDER 64 in the opening round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake for a two-shot lead over Webb Simpson, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka and Paul Casey. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas are three back after 67s.

"I loved the course and I enjoyed the day," Stanley said.

From Golf Channel:

ORLANDO, Fla. – The PGA TOUR season culminates at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta this week, with each of the top-5 players in the current FedExCup standings (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm) guaranteed to claim the FedExCup and accompanying $10 million bonus with a victory. NBC Sports Group will provide more than 20 hours of live tournament coverage from East Lake Golf Club. The Tour Finals continue this week with the  DAP Championship in Ohio, the third leg of the four-event series. The PGA TOUR Champions field will tee it up at famed Pebble Beach alongside First Tee participants from across the country in a team event at the PURE Insurance Championship. On the European Tour, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington will defend his 2016 title at the Portugal Masters.


TOUR Championship
Dates: Sept. 21-24
Venue: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              1-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            1:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Top-5 in FedExCup Standings have clear path to winning FedExCup: As points reset ahead of the TOUR Championship, every player in the field technically will have a mathematical chance of winning the FedExCup. However, the top-5 in the standings are only players guaranteed to win the FedExCup and $10 million first place bonus with a victory this week. The top-5 in the standings include: Jordan Spieth (1), Justin Thomas (2), Dustin Johnson (3), Marc Leishman (4) and Jon Rahm (5).
Nines reversed once again at East Lake: Last year, the PGA TOUR made the decision to flip the nines at East Lake Golf Club in hopes of creating a more dramatic finish down the closing stretch. This week, the new routing of the tournament will continue for the second consecutive year.
TOUR Championship field: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey, Pat Perez, Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman, Daniel Berger, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Jhonattan Vegas, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell, Brian Harman, Adam Hadwin, Kyle Stanley, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Sergio Garcia, Xander Schauffele, Russell Henley, Gary Woodland, Patrick Cantlay and Jason Dufner.

Wednesday, September 20

Looping, Part 3: The 1980s

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Following is another installment in John Coyne's caddie series. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

LIFE FOR A PROFESSIONAL CADDIE in the 1980s wasn't an easy gig.

As Mike Carrick explained to me, "You have to figure on paying at least $600 a week in expenses. Now if your player doesn't do well, then there is no way you can make back those expenses even if you're sleeping five or six in a motel room. It was a tough life on tour, unless your player was a winner."

Still, there were always 30 or 40 too many caddies going from tournament to tournament, hoping to grab a permanent bag.

Carrick had a winner and he worked hard for Tom Kite, who played 35 weeks of the 50-week PGA Tour. These, however, were long weeks, and required more skill than just being able to carry a golf bag.

While the pros took Monday off, or played in an exhibition match, their caddies were driving their cars or vans, filled with extra clothes and golf equipment, to the next event. Once there, the first job of all caddies was to walk the course with "The Book," which consisted of a diagram of each hole, marking the hazards, yardage from each sprinkler head, and location of bunkers, trees, and greenside traps.

In the early 80s The Book cost $10 and was designed by George Lucas of Florida, a former caddie who called himself, "Gorgeous George." While most caddies kept their Book from year to year, Lucas sold at least 150 new Books at the major tournaments that changed sites every year. Also, he updated his Book, and bought back old ones for $5.

On Tuesday the players arrived for a practice round as well as several hours of hitting balls and practicing putting. Carrick arrived on the course at eight o’clock in the morning, since Kite always played early on Tuesdays, and he didn't leave until eight o’clock that night. Wednesdays were Pro-Am events, and more hours spent practicing.

On tournament days there were always more hours of practice and Carrick was also available for Kite to run any necessary errands for his pro.

But the lives of professional caddies was about to get better. 


John Coyne is a bestselling author who has written several books about golf. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Tuesday, September 19

Playing Golf in the School Cafeteria and Gym

By Fusion Media Strategies

AS SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY welcome the return of students, TGA Premier Golf (670,000 participants to date) will be front and center with over 55,000 youngsters (ages 5-12) registering this fall for its school based golf enrichment programs. Among those registering, 65-70 percent of them and their millennial parents have never played the game before.

“TGA (Teach Grow Achieve) Premier Golf fills a void in the industry by delivering introductory programs and bringing the sport directly onto school campuses while solving junior golf’s primary barriers to entry: accessibility, cost, time, transportation and fun,” CEO Joshua Jacobs said.

The fastest growing junior golf program in the industry is bucking the mainstream trend of how to grow participation. By vesting local stakeholders to grow golf through a unique youth sports franchise model, TGA is growing faster than industry programs such as PGA Junior League (33,000), Youth on Course (18,000), and Drive, Chip, Putt, and at the same time becoming a significant feeder program into each of them.

Friday, September 15

VIDEO: Jason Day Explains Caddie Switch in Locker Room at BMW Championship

JASON DAY HAS REPLACED LONGTIME CADDIE Colin Swatton, a shock to Swatton and much of the golf world after more than a decade of toil on the fairways.

Well, guess what. Day is the current leader at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms. He fired a 64 in the opening round and followed with a 65 on Friday, for a total of 13 under.

Friend Luke Reardon is on Day's bag.

Wednesday, September 13

Golf on TV: Evian Championship (LPGA's Fifth Major) on Golf Channel

Embed from Getty Images

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The world’s top female professional golfers are converging upon Evian-les-Bains, France this week for the LPGA Tour’s fifth and final major of 2017, The Evian Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 14-17. Golf Channel and NBC will combine for nearly 25 hours of tournament coverage, the most ever for the major championship.

The Evian Championship will feature the preeminent players in women’s professional golf, with nine of the top-10 in the Rolex Women’s Rankings scheduled to compete, headlined by No. 1 So Yeon Ryu, No. 2 Lexi Thompson and defending champion In Gee Chun.

BROADCAST TEAM: Terry Gannon and Tom Abbott will rotate play-by-play duties the first two days. Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin will join Gannon in the broadcast booth, and major champion Karen Stupples will join Abbott. Richard Kaufman will report from an on-course tower, and Jerry Foltz and Sandy Mackenzie will walk inside the ropes as course reporters.

DIGITAL COVERAGE: All four rounds of The Evian Championship will be streamed live on Golf Channel Digital. NBC’s coverage from Noon-1:30 p.m. ET also will be streamed on and the NBC Sports app.

NBC Sports Group (Golf Channel) Evian Championship Airtimes (all times Eastern)

Thursday, Sept. 14
First Round
5-8 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 15
Second Round
5-8 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16
Third Round
6:30-11:30 a.m.

Sunday, Sept. 17
Final Round (Golf Channel)
5:30-11 a.m.
Final Round Special (NBC)
Noon-1:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, September 12

Looping, Part 2: Angelo Argea, 'Rabbit' Dyer, 'Killer' Foy, 'Gypsy' Grillo and Other Caddie Characters

Embed from Getty Images

Following is another installment in John Coyne's caddie series. Read Part 1.

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

ONE OF THE FIRST CADDIE "characters" to emerge was Angelo Argea, the silver-maned Greek and former Las Vegas casino hanger-on, who began to caddie for Jack Nicklaus in 1963, Nicklaus' second year on tour.

Argea had gone from Las Vegas to California to caddie for one of the Desert Inn owners at the Bob Hope Pro-Am, but when there was a shortage of caddies the following day for the tournament itself he was asked to sign up for one of the touring professionals. Argea chose Nicklaus, having heard the pro was suffering from a hip injury and might not show so he could be on his way back to Las Vegas.

But Nicklaus did play, and won, and Angelo Argea found a new career and life away from the gambling tables of Las Vegas.

I ran into Argea when the 1976 PGA Championship was held at the Congressional Country Club near Washington, D.C. As a former caddie writing an article for the Washingtonian magazine that was published in 1976 and entitled, "Caddy Calls Gary Player a Donkey!", I naturally gravitated to where the caddies were gathered when I arrived at the club. They were sitting out in the sun near the putting green, watching their players practice.

Argea was entertaining everyone within hearing distance, talking to strangers, chatting up pros, kibitzing with all the caddies. He had by then developed a friendlier reputation than Nicklaus, who was always accused by golfing aficionados of not smiling enough, and also, of beating Arnold Palmer too many times.

There were other "characters" at Congressional that day. One was Hale Irwin's longtime caddie, Sammy "Killer" Foy, a retired fighter who once boxed at the middleweight level and claimed to have knocked out Sugar Ray Robinson. Killer was famous for his hats and he varied them, depending on the tournament. That day, though, he was out-flashed by Gary Player's caddie, Alfred "Rabbit" Dyer, who was known for his sweeping panamas.

As I talked with Bruce Edwards about how Watson was playing, Rabbit, a tall, slim, good-looking African-American, was discussing in detail the outfit he planned to wear at the next day's practice round, the only time that caddies could deck themselves out. Once a tournament started, they'd all be wearing official uniform bibs for the event, stenciled with the name of their player on the back.

If I had been 14 back in 1976, it is possible I might still have had a career
as a "Bag Rat," what caddies called themselves in those years.

Today, professional tournament caddies are mostly college graduates with families and careers. But it was not always that way. Joe "Gypsy" Grillo, who I met in 1988 at the PGA event at Westchester Country Club, started caddying in the mid-sixties, and remembered being considered a third-class citizen.

"We had no identification system," he explained, "could not even get on the course without our players signing for us, and never could get anywhere near the clubhouse or locker room."

Grillo at first bounced from bag to bag, caddying for whatever pro wanted him. Then he got lucky and teamed up with Jim Simon, who during the late seventies and early eighties finished in the top 30 on the tour several years in a row, earning over $100,000 in 1981.

Also coming on tour about that time was Mike Carrick. Unlike Gypsy, who had been a full-time chef before going on tour, Carrick had graduated from college in Canada and taught physical education before he joined the tour in 1971.

Carrick picked up whatever bag he could until 1980 when he got together with Tom Kite. Carrick would go on to become one of the best-paid caddies, thanks to Kite's winnings of nearly five million dollars over the next decade. Carrick, in 1989, took home somewhere in the range of $80,000 based on a percentage of Kite's winnings that year and his base salary.

Unlike the former "hoboes" on tour, professional caddies like Edwards, Grillo, Dyer, and Carrick brought to their players reliability and steadying influence during the tournament, as well as a knowledge of the golf course and their player's abilities. In the middle of the fairway, framed by a densely packed gallery, the player has only his caddie to turn to. A yardage mistake by a caddie can mean the loss of a championship and thousands of dollars.

Bruce Edwards told me the story of how he knew he was in tune with Tom Watson during their first weeks together. They were playing the No. 2 course at Pinehurst in North Carolina and Watson had just birdied the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes. On the second shot into the final green, Tom asked Bruce if it was a 1-iron or a 2-iron to the pin. Knowing how pumped up Tom was, Bruce was afraid he'd overshoot with the 1-iron; he told Tom to go with the 2-iron and Watson drilled the ball within 15 feet of the hole, then made his putt for a brilliant score of 62.

"I knew then," Edwards said, "that I was part of his team. He had taken my advice and I had been right."


John Coyne is a bestselling author who has written several books about golf. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Monday, September 11

VIDEO: The Presidents Cup 2017 Journey to Liberty National

THE TEAMS ARE SET AND THE 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, starts in less than three weeks. The above video covers a brief history of the event.

Liberty National will be just the fourth golf course in the United States to host The Presidents Cup, joining Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Va., (1994, 1996, 2000, 2005), TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California, (2009) and Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio (2013).