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  • The Walker Cup Team Is All Set Now

    31 Aug 2009

    By Ryan Ballengee

    After Byeoung-Han An's 7 & 5 crushing defeat of Ben Martin to become the youngest US Amateur winner ever at age 17, the USGA had some relatively easy decisions on their hands for the final two spots for the Walker Cup team.  They chose Cameron Tringale and Peter Uihlein to round out the team.

    Ben Martin would have made the team had he won the title.  Instead, he's now the second alternate.  50 year old medalist Tim Jackson is the first alternate.

    Buddy Marucci's squad is basically a bunch of college boys, plus a fifty year old man on guard in case one of them pulls a hammy or something.

    The amateur ranks have essentially turned into a third mini-tour.  As mentioned by Tom Dunne in another post on the US Am, college kids are dominating the amateur world as a proving ground for turning pro either during college or immediately thereafter.  Though Danny Lee and An were both high school aged winners of the amateur, the trend of young men winning this championship has carried on well before them.  Think about Nick Flanagan, Ryan Moore - all the way back to Tiger Woods.  The thing is, though, that the Amateur is so much more apparently dominated by youth.  It's the money available in going pro that makes these competitions so youth-driven now.  The caliber of the field shows that a lot of these guys will be on the Nationwide, European, and PGA Tours awfully soon.

    Buddy Marucci and Tim Jackson will probably be the last bastion of amateur golfer that is happy to remain with an (a) next to his name on a leaderboard.  Allen Doyle long gave up on that.

  • Christina Kim Doesn't Have a Bag Sponsor

    29 Aug 2009

    By Peter Kessler

    But I bet she will before the month is over. She is too feisty, too colorful a character not to blast a sponsor's name successfully across her bag.

    There were fake swans in the lakes last week at the Solheim Cup.

    Five time Open champion Peter Thomson said Tiger should smile more. If he had won the PGA last week....

    Tiger is playing in all four Fed Ex Cup events. Do you think he has something to prove to himself?

    Tiger was asked what he thought of Liberty National, site of the first playoff round. He said it was "interesting." "In a good way," he was asked. "It's interesting." he said.

    No eye contact between Tiger and Yang when they walked past each other several times this week.

    Michael Bradley won the Puerto Rican Open and didn't qualify for the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs. Time to tweak the format.

    Nicklaus said course design work in the U.S. is way down but that he expects it to pick up again soon. Really? Soon? Courses are closing, not opening right now.

    I still don't understand golf in the Olympics. If you don't play golf, how can you fall in love with it by watching on television? It's slow, you can't follow the ball and you can't see the contours in the greens properly. Olympic stuff is usually measured in seconds, not hours.

    I think Tom Watson would be a perfect pick as a member of the President's Cup team.

    Two shining stars have presented themselves this year as the future of golf: Rory Mcilroy and Michelle Wie.

  • Winner Profiles - johnh41461 & DRWR: What's in their Bags?

    27 Aug 2009

    Congratulations to johnh41461 and DRWR, Pro and Master tier winners of the July Wolf Creek Challenge! What’s in their bags?

    johnh41461 (Pro):

    • WGT Starter 3 Fairway Wood
    • WGT Tour Starter 3 Fairway Wood
    • WGT Starter 3 Hybrid 19° (Steel)
    • WGT Tour Starter Irons (Steel)
    • TaylorMade Z Satin TP 54° Wedge
    • TaylorMade Z Satin TP 60 Wedge
    • WGT Starter Putter

    DRWR (Master):

    • TaylorMade R9 TP 9.5° Driver
    • Ping Rapture V2 3 Fairway Wood
    • Ping Rapture V2 3 Hybrid 21° (Graphite)
    • Ping Rapture V2 Iron Set (Graphite)
    • Snake Eyes 685BX 56° Wedge
    • Snake Eyes 685BX 60° Wedge
    • TaylorMade Spider Putter
    • WGT B-ES Balls
  • In Defense of Christina Kim's Rebel Rousing

    25 Aug 2009

    By Ryan Ballengee


    Photo: Rob Hayashida

    In case you haven't noticed, there has been quite a bit of reaction in the press and in the blogosphere about the kind of celebrating and showboating that the Americans did during the Solheim Cup. While some it centered around the incessant Hustle butt bumping (Is this the 70s?!  Do the Mackarena for crying out loud!), a lot of it was focused on Christina Kim's celebrating.

    Check out the thoughts from John Huggan, Mark Reason, Fanhouse (on a separate note: please, Greg Couch, just stop), Golf Digest's Local Knowledge, Stephanie Wei, the SI Golf Group, and the banter at Geoff Shackelford's joint for a taste of what others are saying.

    Here's my thought on it. Not to rip off of Rich Lerner, but golf needs more people like Christina Kim. She is like the female Tommy Bolt for this generation. Kim is engaging, has a potty mouth, and tells some awesome stories. My round caddying for her in a pro-am in like '03 was one of the best experiences that I have ever had playing golf.  It is difficult not to like someone that charismatic as a playing partner or watching.

    It's not like she or any other American pulled a Terrell Owens after each holed putt. No Sharpie ball signings. No signing of the television cameras. No snow angels on the green after dropping a bomb for birdie.

    Kim didn't ride her driver down the fairway like Boo Weekley did at last year's Ryder Cup--a tribute to Happy Gilmore that I loved. She did a lot of fist pumps, shouted to the crowd to get them going, and danced a lot. Isn't that the kind of thing that critics say is missing from the game?

    So many modern professional golfers are stiffs on the course, resigned to show as little outward emotion as possible because they think it may miff their mojo. Mojo is psychological. Crowd pleasing is part of entertainment. And in case you haven't been reading the headlines about the LPGA Tour on your local business page, the LPGA Tour is in need of some serious entertainers that can both play golf and play up a crowd. Christina Kim can do that.

    I am fairly certain that Kim's style brought out some of the best of Michelle Wie. For as much as the angle about Wie's parents being banned from clubhouses and team meetings is overblown, Christina Kim's influence on Michelle is clearly positive. It helped her become more expressive and appreciative of the nationalistic adulation going on around her. If this event turns out to be the springboard for Wie's personal career--as I suggest great caution about predicting that--then no one will remember the kind of influence that Kim and Wie's other compatriots had on her lifting an enormous burden off of her shoulders. 3-0-1. And some of that came because of the positive emotion coming out of her friend.

    Should any player be jacked up when 6 down in a match? Probably not, but a comeback has to start somewhere. Tiger jumped around several US Amateur venues when he made his match play comebacks during his six year run in the US Junior and US Amateur events. Fist pumps, shouting, cheering to pump himself up.  And we laud him as such a competitor even if the fist pumps are seemingly equally balanced out with f-bombs. If it is ok for him to do it, it's ok for Christina Kim to do it.

    Kim reminds me a lot of JJ Redick. In my time at Maryland, I booed that guy more than anyone I have ever booed. 17,000 of my fellow Maryland students and I chanted "F*%$ you, JJ!" at him several times when he made the trip to College Park. We hated that guy. Why? Because he was so smug and he knew he was good. But, even worse, we hate (and still hate) him because he was damn good. Christina is damn good. She went 3-1-0. It's not like she didn't back up the celebrations by losing. She won.

    And to the victor goes the spoils.

  • Monday Morning Quarterback

    24 Aug 2009

    By Peter Kessler

    If Michelle Wie was the best player on the planet what would that mean for women's golf?

    Michelle has had a good yet winless year. She has made all 13 cuts with some strong finishes. With her career changing performance in the Solheim Cup she will win this year, five times next year including a major and be the Player of the Year.

    Michelle learned how to close, how to handle momentum shifts and make five footers down the stretch.

    I submit that there have never been consecutive shots that left eagle putts of two and four feet as the ones hit by Helen Alfedsson and Michelle in the singles of the Solheim Cup.

    Really nice not to see Michelle's overbearing parents at the Solheim. She seemed happy and carefree as opposed to stressed and unhappy.

    Michelle's last two shots to the par five final hole were spectacular. A 355 yard drive and a 200 yard five iron to seal the win were Tigeresque.

    Michelle hasn't won anything, and I mean anything since 2003!!

    Christina Kim was perfectly appropriate in her handling of the Solheim circus. It's a festival and she provided the much needed personality and fireworks.

    Cross Ryan Moore off the list of best player to never win on the PGA TOUR.

    Sergio is oh for 44 in the majors, lost 2 Fed Ex playoff tourneys last year,hasn't won in 15 months and he still can't putt. And he looks like an old 29.

  • How Can You Not Love Ryan Moore?

    23 Aug 2009

    By Shane Bacon


    Photo: Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

    It didn't happen because Ryan Moore took it upon himself to win the Wyndham Championship on Sunday. Nope, that wasn't the reasoning. This was something that some people have, and some people don't. It's being cool. It's being chill. It's being one of those guys people would enjoy having around.

    Ryan Moore has that. Sure, the guy is one of the most decorated amateur golfers we've ever seen, but his success on the PGA Tour hasn't been what he wanted it to be. It took him five years to card a victory, that happened on Sunday when he birdied the third playoff hole to take down Kevin Stadler. It's just, Moore is the kind of guy you'd invite over for a beer, or a steak or text a funny joke because he'd probably reply with something equally entertaining.

    Moore had sponsor deals with companies, but felt that didn't suit him very well, so he dropped them. Millions of bucks he left on the table to be more like himself and less like everyone else. He buys his own clothes. He uses a bag that looks like it came directly from the set of "Caddyshack." He has a little bit of a gut that looks more weekend golfer than PGA Tour winner. He doesn't care.

    He is just a guy, and a guy that is damn good at golf. His win just cemented exactly what he told me earlier this year when I talked to him about his sponsor issues -- "Good golf takes cares of itself."

    Moore played some fantastic golf on Sunday, and is now in the elite PGA Tour winner's circle. Expect many more to come, and each one will be just as cool as the first.

  • ADT Million Dollar Challenge

    22 Aug 2009

    From today through September 30, play the ADT Million Dollar Challenge for your chance to win a trip to the Breakers Resort in Florida to compete in the 2009 ADT Golf Skills Challenge, where you will have one chance to hit a 120-yard short iron shot for $1 million if the shot results in a hole-in-one! Anyone can play the game, but only residents of the continental U.S. who are 21 and over are eligible for the sweepstakes drawing.

    Check out our TV ad spot running on NBC this weekend!

  • What the Solheim Cup Means for the US and Michelle Wie

    21 Aug 2009

    By Stephanie Wei


    Photo: Wei Under Par

    There are great expectations for Team USA at the Solheim Cup this week. And there are even greater ones for Michelle Wie. Once again, she’s in the spotlight. But for the first time, her personality and her game are being showcased positively.

    Over the years, it was all about the hype — a girl who had phenomenal golf abilities and wanted to play with the big boys. Then, when she didn’t live up to them, backlash ensued and she was scrutinized for the special treatment she received, the withdrawals and disqualifications, and the behavior of her parents. Unfortunately, much of the criticism was misplaced. After all, she was —and still is — only a kid.

    That’s in the past, so let’s keep it there.

    Now, she’s earned her way on the Tour and even as a captain’s pick on the Solheim Cup team. Her teammates have had the opportunity to get to know the real Michelle — the one who is funny, talented, sweet and quirky. They’ve been singing her praises.

    In yesterday’s press conference Cristie Kerr said:

    [Michelle’s] an amazing golfer, but what people don’t realize is she’s still just a teenager, you know, and we’re getting to know her as a person. And you know, what people don’t know about her is that she’s got quite the fashion edge. She makes her own clothing. You know, she designs clothing. She does a lot of interesting things.

    It sounds like she’s also embraced the camaraderie that goes along with being a team member. And, she has continually voiced her appreciation to Captain Beth Daniel for choosing her. So you see, Michelle isn’t the “spoiled and ungrateful” individual that many painted her to be. She’s just a normal teenager who happens to be an incredibly talented golfer.

    Michelle is in a wonderful position to make her mark. She’s enjoying the experience of being part of a team — something that’s greater than what her career so far has seemingly represented (or how it’s, in my opinion, unfairly been perceived by the public). Could this week be the beginning of her insurgence as the stronghold of the LPGA?

    The Solheim Cup couldn’t have come at a better time — the US ladies and Michelle have their chance to play their way to positive headlines. Without a doubt, it would be a huge win for the team and women’s golf. Here’s to new beginnings.

    USA, USA, USA!

  • The Last Heartbreak Major

    20 Aug 2009

    By Peter Kessler

    Over the last 49 holes Yang was 13 under and Tiger was 1 under.
    Yang's best previous major finish wad 30th in the 2007 Masters.
    Tiger beat Yang in the previous 21 events in which they both played with Tiger winning nine of those,
    Yang has played in fewer majors than Tiger has won.
    Tiger made more bogeys in the final round than all three previous rounds combined.
    On Sunday's back nine Tiger shot 37 and Yang 34.
    This was Tiger's first come from ahead loss.
    Tiger lost to YE Yang.
    Think about that.

  • Tier Adjustments & Career Earnings Fix

    19 Aug 2009

    Hi everyone, we performed a routine system maintenance last night, and along with that we made the following changes:

    Tier Adjustments

    Based on your feedback, we tuned the tier score range parameters to make it more challenging to move up tiers. This change does not apply retroactively, so you will not move down a tier even if your score range does not fall within the new parameters.

    Bug Fix

    If you received 100 credits for being in the pro tier during last week's product update, your career earnings stat should no longer display an extra $100. It should display an extra $1 ($1 = 100 credits).



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