Friday, May 19

Skratch TV Presents 'For Officers Only'



THIS IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. This is Adventures in Golf (Season 1) from Skratch TV.

Documentary filmmaker Erik Anders Lang takes viewers on a tour around the globe searching for the craziest, most intriguing stories in golf.

I hope you enjoy this episode called "For Officers Only."

Related:
Prison Golf
Golf Cart vs. GolfBoard
Urban Golf Landia in Portland
St. Andrews and the Legend of Tom Morris
Golf Outta Compton
24 Hours in Dubai
Slum Golf in Mumbai

Thursday, May 18

Golf on TV: AT&T Byron Nelson, Regions Tradition, Kingsmill Championship, Rocco Forte Open



From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 17, 2017) – The PGA TOUR Champions will stage its first major of 2017, as Bernhard Langer is set to defend at the Regions Tradition in Alabama. The PGA TOUR shifts to Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson, where Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and defending champion Sergio Garcia headline the field. Ariya Jutanugarn – No. 3 in the current Rolex Women’s World Rankings – will defend her 2016 title at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia, while world No. 1 Lydia Ko also is in the field. The European Tour is in Sicily for the Rocco Forte Open, being contested for the first time since 2012.

PGA TOUR

AT&T Byron Nelson
Dates: May 18-21                                                                       
Venue: TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, Irving, Texas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         4-7 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              4-7 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on CBS (Eastern):
Saturday          3-6 p.m.
Sunday            3-6 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
Garcia defends: Sergios Garcia defeated Brooks Koepka with a par on the first playoff hole to claim his ninth PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the field: Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Charl Schwartzel and Ernie Els.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Regions Tradition
Dates: May 18-21
Venue: Greystone Golf & Country Club (Founders Course), Birmingham, Ala.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         12:30-3:30 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              12:30-3:30 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          3-5 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-4:30 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            3-5 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-4:30 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Langer defends: Bernhard Langer distanced himself from the field, winning by six strokes over Olin Browne to claim his sixth major title on the PGA TOUR Champions.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Colin Montgomerie, John Daly, Steve Stricker, David Toms, Tom Lehman and Mark O’Meara.

LPGA TOUR

Kingsmill Championship
Dates: May 18-21                                                                       
Venue: Kingsmill Resort (River Course), Williamsburg, Va.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         9-11 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Friday              9-11 p.m. (Tape delay) / 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Saturday          5-7 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            5-7 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Jutanugarn defends: Ariya Jutanugarn finished one shot ahead of Su Oh to earn her second career LPGA Tour win.
Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, So Yeon Ryu, Ariya Jutanugarn, In Gee Chun, Lexi Thompson, Shanshan Feng, Sei Young Kim, Amy Yang, Anna Nordqvist, Cristie Kerr, Brooke Henderson and Mariah Stackhouse.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Rocco Forte Open
Dates: May 18-21
Venue: Verdura Resort (Championship Course), Sciacca, Sicily

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5:30-7:30 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday              5:30-7:30 a.m. / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            5-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Headlining the field: Thomas Bjorn, Trevor Immelman, Matteo Manassero, Edoardi Molinari and Mike Weir.

Wednesday, May 17

Byron Nelson and Golf's Greatest Streak

The AT&T Byron Nelson begins tomorrow in Irving, Texas. The following piece is from the archives.

ON MARCH 11, 1945, BYRON NELSON won the Miami International Four-Ball with Harold "Jug" McSpaden as his partner. It was the beginning of an extraordinary win streak that has never been matched on the PGA Tour and is one of the greatest individual streaks in the history of sports.

Byron Nelson's 11 Tournament Win Streak
Miami International Four-Ball
Charlotte Open
Greensboro Open
Durham Open
Atlanta Open
Montreal Open
Philadelphia Inquirer Invitational
Chicago Victory National Open
PGA Championship
Tam O’Shanter Open
Canadian Open

Nelson earned just under $35,000 during the streak. "I was almost in a trance," he told Golf Digest in 1970. That year, he won 18 of the 30 tournaments he entered, including the PGA Championship, a match-play event until 1958. He finished second seven times.

A month after Nelson's death in 2006, President George W. Bush approved a resolution to honor the golf great with the Congressional Gold Medal for his numerous contributions to the game.

How Nelson Ranks: Sports' Greatest Individual Streaks
(From the Page 2 editors of ESPN.com)
1. Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak (1941) 
2. Glenn Hall's 502 consecutive games played by a goaltender (from 1955 to 1962) 
3. Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,632 consecutive games played (May 30, 1982 to Sept. 20, 1998) 
4. Byron Nelson's 11 straight PGA victories in 1945
5. Wilt Chamberlain's seven straight games of 50 or more points (Dec. 16-29, 1961) 
6. Johnny Unitas' 47 straight games with a TD pass (1956-60) 
7. Wayne Gretzky's 51-game points streak (1983-84) 
8. Edwin Moses' 122-win streak in the 400-meter hurdles (1977-87) 
9. Tiger Woods' four straight major pro golf titles 
10. Harry Broadbent's 16-game goal streak (1921-22)

Tuesday, May 16

VIDEO: Ian Poulter's Shank and Recovery


I MISSED THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP. That is, I didn't see any of the final round. It was Mother's Day and I had to drive to the Shenandoah Valley. Enough said.

I'm still trying to catch up on golf after a short intense stretch of family life that included an engagement, a prom, a college graduation, Mother's Day and probably something else.

Of course, 21-year-old Si Woo Kim won The Players thanks to a sparkling short game and great composure for an untested player.

Ian Poulter (featured in the video) tied for second with Louis Oosthuizen but had to hang on after shanking his approach shot on the 18th. We've all done it, right? It was a potentially disastrous finish by the Englishman. (Some observers were critical of Poulter's conservative approach coming down the stretch, suggesting that he wasn't playing to win.)

One thing all can agree on: Poulter's recovery shot after the shank was sublime. He made his par and collected a big fat T2 check.

If only I could recover like that. I'm still trying to recover from shanks I hit in my youth.

Wednesday, May 10

VIDEO: Golf Channel's Sports Emmy for Ryan Korengel Story



GOLF CHANNEL WON ITS FIRST SPORTS EMMY for "Don't Cry for Me -- The Ryan Korengel Story." The category was Outstanding Short Feature.

If you haven't seen this inspirational story, I urge you to take a look. I'm almost certain you won't want the nine minutes back.

(H/T Geoff Shackelford)

Tuesday, May 9

VIDEO: Hale Irwin on His College Football and Pro Golf Careers



HALE IRWIN IS IN THE WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME. Irwin won 20 times on the PGA Tour, including three U.S. Opens (1974, 1979, 1990). In addition, he won 45 events on the Champions Tour, including seven majors. Irwin is a winner and competitor who is known for his grit.

That toughness also came from the gridiron. Irwin was that rare tour pro who played major college football. He was awarded a scholarship to University of Colorado, where he played quarterback and cornerback, and earned all-conference honors.

In the above Feherty clip, Irwin talks about his approach to football and golf -- what they have in common and what's completely different about the two sports.

Friday, May 5

Golf Assessor's Ultimate List of Best Golf Books

Image via Golf Assessor












I'M HONORED TO BE LISTED in Golf Assessor's 50 best golf books, here. The site ranks the golf books from 1 to 50. THE LONGEST SHOT squeezed into the top 10. Here's what Golf Assessor said:
Perhaps one of the greatest sporting upsets of all time. NBC-TV claimed that Ben Hogan had won the 1955 US Open after he tapped in on the final hole. But little-known Jack Fleck, still out on the course, clawed his way back from nowhere, and made the clutchest of putts to force a playoff with his idol. It was one he went on to win, and subsequently etched his place in history. A brilliant tale of an impossible journey, against impossible odds, where the human spirit triumphed.

Wednesday, May 3

VIDEO: World No. 1 Dustin Johnson Is Back in Action at Wells Fargo Championship



DUSTIN JOHNSON IS IN WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA, for the Wells Fargo Championship, his first event since missing the Masters with an injured back. The top-ranked golfer said he is "feeling good, healthy." The back pain is gone after he fell down steps in Augusta last month.

On Tuesday Johnson hit balls, putted and played nine holes. Today he will play a full 18 in the pro-am. Despite virtually no practice, DJ said he is hitting it pretty good and is looking forward to the run-up to the U.S. Open.

Tuesday, May 2

PGA.com: The Man Who Shot 123 on the PGA Tour

AT THE 1974 TALLAHASSEE OPEN, journeyman Mike Reasor made the cut after shooting a 71. And then something strange happened. Reasor shot what are believed to be the two highest scores recorded on the PGA Tour.

Mike Reasor
On Saturday, he shot a 123. On Sunday, a 114.

You can read the full story at PGA.com. But I'll share a bit here.

After that second round of 71, Reasor and a friend rode horses. You can imagine what happened next. The PGA Tour pro was tossed out of the saddle when his horse named "Bandy" took off unexpectedly in a full gallop.

Reasor suffered a separated left shoulder, strained knee ligaments and two cracked ribs. Today, that would result in a withdrawal from the tournament. But not 43 years ago. If Reasor could finish the Tallahassee Open, he would be exempt into the next event he played.

So that's what Reasor did; he finished.

Reasor played using his one good arm, his right, swinging a 5-iron. He hit it about 120 yards. He also used a wedge and putter.

In addition, he had to keep up with his playing partners. And he did that, too.

"On the last three holes on Saturday," Reasor later told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "word had gotten around the course what this crazy fool was doing. We had more people watching us than the leaders."

Reasor finished with a total of 381, which was 93-over par and 107 shots behind winner Allen Miller.

For his PGA Tour career from 1969 to 1978, Reasor played in 241 events, made 102 cuts and had 10 top-10 finishes.

Monday, May 1

LPGA Playoff Winner Haru Nomura: 'I Want to Have a Steak'



IT WAS A TOURNAMENT WEEK of playoffs, two of which finished on Monday.

At the revamped Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the first two-man team event on the PGA Tour since Ronald Reagan was president, Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt beat Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown on the fourth playoff hole.

Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour, veteran Cristie Kerr and Haru Nomura slogged through six extra holes at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout. That is, the pair played the 18th hole six times before Nomura finally prevailed. According to many observers, it was an onerous playoff mainly because of Kerr's slow play.

Asked how she would celebrate her third victory, Nomura said, "... I'm here in Texas; I want to have a steak."

On the European Tour, Alexander Levy won the Volvo China Open in a one-hole playoff with Dylan Fritttelli. Levy made up seven shots in the final round, firing a 67 to Frittelli's 74.

"At the start of the round I was thinking maybe top three would be a good result," Levy said, "but when I was on the 15th green and saw I was just one shot behind… that's when I began to believe I could win the tournament."

Levy, 26, has four European Tour titles. His first one was the 2014 Volvo China Open.

"I enjoy playing in China," he said.