Tour Notebook: Harto proposal, Tiger and Presidential glitchAugust, 2015
How the 16th hole in Denmark is already an iconic spot on Tour
Harto to Harto in Denmark
The Himmerland Hill, which sits behind the 16th green at the Europea Tour’s Made In Denmark, has space for 3,500 spectators and provides the perfect amphitheatre setting for the 128-yard par 3.
Home favourite Soren Kjeldsen was greeted by ‘500’ banners to celebrate his reaching that number in European Tour appearances (it was actually his 501st).
“I’ve never been as emotional on a golf course as that,” said Kjeldsen who made a birdie from two feet and went on to tie for second. “It was incredible to feel the warmth from the people who all wanted me to do well. You can’t really describe it.
“I didn’t realise they were going to do anything like that, but they made it the best day I’ve ever had on a golf course.”
Then Andreas Harto stole the show on Friday, with another birdie… and a marriage proposal.
The Dane sunk a five-footer and then invited his girlfriend, Louise, onto the green. He reached into his pocket, went down on one knee and popped the question.
Thankfully she said yes. Or presumably ja.
“I’m a lucky man,. The crowd was going crazy and we loved it. I don’t know how I hit that tee shot or made that putt. I was crying and she was crying.I know she might think I’m a bit silly but it’s going to be a great memory for us as we grow older.”
Not surprisingly he bogeyed the next hole, and missed the cut by five.
Five players – Davis Love III, Jason Gore, Jonas Blixt, Camilo Villegas and Ryo Ishikawa – came from outside the top 125 after their efforts at the Wyndham Championship.
Those outside the important places were;
130 Jamie Donaldson
134 Seung-Yul Noh
154 Geoff Ogilvy
160 Graeme McDowell
161 Andres Romero
173 Ernie Els
178 Tiger Woods
Tiger: Opening rounds in 2015
Unique set-up for Amateur champ
New US Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau likes to do things a bit differently, in particular his irons which are all the same length.
The idea is based on the notion of a more simplified swing with all his irons around 7-iron length.
“I truly believe that the worse the golfer you are you will benefit more from a club that is altering your swing to help you hit the sweet spot more often,” he said. “And length of shaft is a way to do that.”
DeChambeau had his clubs custom made, they feature non-standard head weights through the set and the shafts change throughout as well. The lofts are also tweaked from standard to provide distinct distance gaps.
‘Glitch’ in Presidents Cup standings
There was bad news for Robert Streb and his Presidents Cup hopes as the American fell from 11th to 16th place without anyone hitting a shot.
Streb has been one of the success stories of 2015 but his season took a backward step when a ‘computer glitch’ saw him drop down the standings.
A number of players were told that the Cup standings had been wrongly calculated with two points being awarded for every FedEx Cup point they earned starting with last autumn’s tournaments – they should have earned only one point. It then switches in January to two points.
Streb won last fall’s McGladrey Classic and had two other top-10 finishes before January, hence the drop.
The top 10 were unchanged, Streb was the biggest victim, Ryan Moore also dropped from 17th to 21st while Charley Hoffman fell three places to 15th, but there was good news for Brandt Snedeker who moved up two places to 14th.
Billy Horschel, who was also elevated two places to 12th.
The team will be decided after the Deutsche Bank on September 8.
GMac happy to decompress
Graeme McDowell will not feature in the FedEx Cup play-offs for the first time since playing a full schedule on the PGA Tour in 2011.
The Northern Irishman, who was in 156th place with the top 125 making it, chose not to play at the Wyndham this week after missing the cut in four of his last six Tour starts.
“I didn’t fancy playing with a gun to my head for the play-offs. I’m trying too hard as it is at the minute. I need to decompress.”
He began the year in 15th spot and is now down to 63rd.
Palmer’s father dies in accident
World No 37 Ryan Palmer’s father was killed in a road accident in Texas when his vehicle left the road.
Butch Palmer died on Tuesday when he overcorrected and then lost control of his SUV which then rolled several times. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car.
Spieth the main Major man (obviously)
Only 18 men played in all 16 rounds of this year’s Majors: Spieth -54 Day -35 Rose -34 D Johnson -29
Oosthuizen -29 Koepka -20 Matsuyama -19 Mickelson -16 Garcia -13 Kuchar -12 Reed -11 Stenson -9 Casey -7 Schwartzel -5 Simpson Els +2 Westwood +5 Dufner +8
“I didn’t fancy playing with a gun to my head for the play-offs. I’m trying too hard as it is at the minute" – Graeme McDowell
Hurley back in action on after father’s suicide
Billy Hurley did choose to play at Greensboro, a little over a week since his dad took his own life.
Bill Hurley Jr died of a self-inflicted gunshot three weeks after disappearing. He was found following his son’s progress from a library in Texas but never returned home.
Hurley arrived at the Wyndham 131st in the FedEx standings and gave it a go to try and secure his playing privileges for 2016. He missed the cut after rounds of 69-70.
“Obviously I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t 131 in the FedExCup and needed to play decent to keep my card,” Hurley said. “If I was 100th, I wouldn’t be here. So I mean, it’s just part of life. Life goes on. The job goes on.
“Maybe thankfully Tiger’s here so not too many people will care about anybody else. When I saw that, I was actually kind of happy, relieved.”
He had his dad’s old Navy headcover with him last week, a bit like his own.
“Everyone kind of gives me a hard time for how old mine is and scrawny and beat up,” Hurley added. “So I’m going to put that one on my 3-wood.”
Els recognised for charity efforts
Every year the Payne Stewart Award is handed to a player who ‘best exemplifies Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship.’
Ernie Els is this year’s recipient. The four-time Major winner opened The Els Center of Excellence this week to help local and national autism communities. Els has put more than $6 million of his own money into the $30 million facility, which took eight years to build. Previously he established the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009, shortly after his son Ben, now 12, was diagnosed with autism. He, along with 115 students, will now attend the
school in Florida.
As part of the award Els will receive $300,000 which he can donate to the charity of his choice.
Top of the world for Maguire
Ireland’s Leona Maguire has won the Mark H McCormack Medal as the leading woman in the world amateur rankings.
The 20-year-old, who is studying at Duke has won three times and nearly won the LET’s flagship event, the Ladies European Masters, at The Bucks where she finished one behind Beth Allen. She was also undefeated in a losing GB&I side at the Vagliano Trophy at Malone.
Minjee Lee won the award in 2014, Lydia Ko the previous three years.
Henderson a member of the LPGA Tour
Remember the name: Brooke Henderson. Last year the Canadian petitioned to attend the LPGA Q School but was turned down because of her age.
The Tour’s policy states that golfers between 15 and 18 have to be granted special permission to apply for membership, at the time Henderson was only 16, and commissioner Mike Whan said no.
Earlier this season she finished fifth in two Majors, the PGA Championship and the US Women’s Open. Now 17, Henderson won last week by eight shots on Tour and has now been granted full membership. She was just the second player to come through Monday qualifying having used up all of her six sponsors’ exemptions.