Two years have passed since anchored putting was banned, but the USGA’s wording of the rule is still causing some consternation on the PGA Tour Champions. The two most dominant players in 2017—Bernhard Langer (below) and Scott McCarron—finished 1st and 2nd in Putting Average. Both use a long putter and a controversial method, that rules officials have declared legal. I wrote about the issue for Golfweek. You can read it here.
When you’ve had a season like that of Justin Thomas, it can be difficult to determine the most important metric amid such heady success. Unless you’re his dad.
Mike Thomas can recite chapter and verse on the accomplishments that are expected to earn his son the PGA Tour Player of the Year award: the five wins, the first major victory at the PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup title, record-setting rounds (59 at the Sony Open, 63 at the U.S. Open), the Arnold Palmer Award for topping the money list, the 3½-1½ record in his first U.S. team appearance at the Presidents Cup.
The 2017 season has brought an avalanche of accolades for the 24-year-old, but none of those tops his old man’s list of what matters.
Continue reading “No Doubting Thomas is Player of Year”
If Donald Trump appears as expected Sunday at the Presidents Cup, he might find more spectators on the course than he did votes in Hudson County, N.J., where Liberty National Golf Club sits.
Looking east across New York harbor wouldn’t offer much succor either, since he lost his home county in Manhattan by a 9-to-1 margin. No, to find his base, the president would have to peer south to the only county around here that he carried, Staten Island, long known as the only borough welcoming of New York City’s garbage at its infamous, now-closed landfill.
Alternatively, he could just gaze around the locker room.
Continue reading “Why Trump Sees Golf As His Safe Harbor.”
A man gets accustomed to hearing that things are out of his reach when he stands just 5-feet, 4½ inches or when he’s the blue-collar son of a Welsh dairy farmer with dreams of making it in a black-tie world.
Ian Woosnam is both of those things, but Tuesday night — four decades after he took to the road chasing the European Tour in a beat-up VW camper van stocked with a frugal diet of baked beans — he arrives at a berth in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Continue reading “Little Big Man: Woosie Enters the Hall”
There’s an endearing distinctiveness to Conor McGregor’s swagger. It’s not his strut—chest puffed out, arms half-raised as though anticipating a TSA patdown on his way to the ring. Nor is it his sartorial style—the outsized shades and flashy three-piece suits that call to mind an upwardly mobile loan shark.
No. It’s the lower face: the constant, contemptuous gum chewing. The jutting jaw, as solid and tested as a blacksmith’s anvil. The lips that don’t so much smile as offer an affable warning of lurking menace.
Yes, Conor McGregor is all mouth.
Continue reading “Punch Drunk: What I Saw at the Mayweather-McGregor Circus”
For the third consecutive major, I joined John Swantek on his Monday-after PGA Tour podcast to autopsy the Open Championship. You can listen to our chat right here.
I joined Andy Johnson from The Fried Egg, and SB Nation writers Brendan Porath and Richard Johnson for two fun shows after the first and second rounds of the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale. Very few Tour pros were hurt in the making of these shows!
You can the Thursday (Round One) show on Facebook here.
The Friday (Round Two) wrap can be found here.