Tour Notebook: Tiger and Dufner play practice roundJuly, 2015
The Tour stories that you might have missed
Woods and Dufner play practice round
Tiger Woods might be ranked 226th in the world but he still generates some of the best stories going into a Major, particularly at a venue where he has an Open by eight and five shots.
Here’s a snapshot of his weekend:
– He played a practice round with Jason Dufner. Of less interest was the fact that they missed out the 1st and skipped straight to the 2nd tee. Of some interest the pair have apparently joked for weeks about the rumours of Dufner’s ex-wife.
– Tiger was stunned by the appearance of the Old Course –“I was shocked. I had seen photos of it a month ago. It was bone dry. It looked like it was going to be one of those dust bowls again; hard, fast, like the years I’ve played St Andrews. It’s changed. They got big rain and a lot of sun. It’s totally changed. We made ball marks on the greens. I don’t ever remember making ball marks around this place.”
– Woods was sent a photo from Rory McIlroy of his injured ankle on the day he did the injury. “We talked about it for a little bit. He said, ‘You’ve been through a lot of injuries over the years.’ So he picked my brain a little bit. We had a good talk.”
Paperwork lets Ramsay into Open
Richie Ramsay has made it into the Open Championship after Tim Clark had to withdraw due to visa issues. The Scot moved up to first reserve when Sweden’s Alex Noren had to pull out through injury which meant Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata was off to St Andrews.
Kevin Streelman will also tee it up at the Home of Golf after Chris Kirk was forced to give up his place with a broken hand.
Raphael Jacquelin had the consolation of securing his place with his tie for second at Gullane after Rickie Fowler’s late heroics. Overnight leader Daniel Brooks and Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg claimed the other two spots.
American Shawn Stefani is now the first reserve.
‘Just keep on trekking’ Jordan
These were the words of wisdom from Jordan Spieth’s caddy Michael Greller when the wonder kid realised he had a putt for his best round on the PGA Tour at the John Deere Classic.
The 21-year-old shot a 71 on Thursday, followed it up with a 64 and then came to the last needing the 20-footer to set his personal best.
“Walking up after the second shot, I said ‘Mike, I just saw the board and I think this is for my lowest round on the PGA Tour,” Spieth said.
“He said, ‘It doesn’t matter. Just keep on trekking’. I said, ‘Yeah, but I appreciate this and I really want to make this thing’.”
He made it. And then won the tournament.
Stallings: I called a penalty on myself
Scott Stallings has won three times in the last four years on the PGA Tour but he will always now be known as the third player (that we know of) on the history of the Tour to be suspended for violating their anti-doping policy.
The shame of it all until we learn all the facts.
The American never failed a drugs test but he did take DHEA, an anabolic agent advised by his doctor to help with fatigue.
At Torrey Pines in February the Tour outlined their policy and that was when Stallings realised he might have messed up.
“I’d been feeling like crap for two months, I have a 2-year-old son and I was sleeping as much as he was,” Stallings said.
“Whether I intended to or not, I took something that wasn’t allowed. I called a penalty on myself, that’s the best way to look at it. I did it immediately, so much so it took [the Tour official] by surprise.”
"I play golf. I don’t stand on stage and people make a fuss of me. I hate it" – Laura Davies
What a difference a day makes for Olesen
The headlines on Friday morning went along the lines of ‘Olesen back to his best’ after young Thorbjorn shot 63 to lead at the Scottish Open. There were most likely other offering like ‘Great Dane blah blah’ and ‘Olesen ready to bring home the bacon’.
The two-time winner had surgery in February due to tendon problem in his left hand. He was second in his first event back in Mauritius but has since only made one of five missed cuts.
On Thursday he missed only one green and recorded seven birdies, the following day he finished 14 shots worse and bogeyed the last to miss the cut on the number.
Costly error for Edberg
You might not be over familiar with Sweden’s Pelle Edberg other than he used to wear a thick bandana.
He’s also quite amusing and could see the funny side of flying to Aberdeen, where the 2014 tournament was held, rather than Edinburgh for the Scottish Open.
He then had to drive 156 miles, a journey that might be even more costly when he gets home.
“I was really pleased when I managed to get a flight early on Tuesday and thought I was going to be at Gullane for 9.30am.
“When I get home in a few weeks I guess I will have a few speeding tickets so it has probably cost me a fortune.”
His next drive should have been more straightforward. Edberg came through Final Qualifying at Hillside so is part of the 144th Open Championship this week.
10-4, over and out
Wales’ Oliver Farr was already propping up the field at Gullane after an 80 on day one. He then started with a 10 on the uphill opener.
Then, to his credit, from a dismal 16 over he birdied four of the next six holes before signing for a 74.
The problem of slow play: solved
Send the players out in oneballs. Jimmy Walker played himself out of contention with a 78 on Saturday, starting double-treble-par-double and opened up with another six on Sunday.
He then mixed up five birdies and three bogeys and was back in the scorer’s hut one hour and 57 minutes late, signing for a level par 70.
Laura Davies ‘dreading’ Hall of Fame induction
On Monday (today probably, hopefully) Laura Davies will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame at St Andrews along with Mark O’Meara, David Graham and designer AW Tillinghast.
But the 51-year-old isn’t overly looking forward to joining the greats of the game as she explained in her typical matter-of-fact style.
“I play golf. I don’t stand on stage and people make a fuss of me. I hate it. I’m absolutely dreading the whole thing, to be honest with you. I’m really proud that I’m getting it, but I hate the thought of it. It keeps me up at night.”
Davies has won 45 times on the LET and 20 on the LPGA Tour but she has been on the verge of making into the Hall of Fame since her last LPGA victory in 2001.
Their points system is accumulated mainly through Majors of LPGA wins and Davies, needing to reach 27, has been stuck on 25.