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Hittin’ the Links

Volume Three Hundred Ninety-Three

Jun. 30, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksTiger returns to golf and misses the cut by four. But the back feels good, he says.

Michelle Wie takes NYC and golf world by storm, twerks, and nearly doubles up in Arkansas.

Biggest international suspense… five-man playoff on EuroTour or World Cup?

Oh, and the Champions Tour held a major. Did you notice?

Let's hit the links, Twitter style.

Volume Three Hundred Ninety-Two

Jun. 23, 2014     By     Comments (1)

Hittin' the LinksIt's difficult to contemplate. This weekend, Michelle Wie was playing in her 11th U.S. Women's Open. Born Oct. 11, 1989, she qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at the age of 10 (at the time she was the youngest person to qualify for a USGA amateur championship). She won it in 2003. She was the youngest to make the cut at the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship that same year. In 2006, Wie was the first female medalist at a men's U.S. Open local qualifier (she failed to advance from the final stage qualifier).

Soon after Wie turned pro, a week before her 16th birthday, the trouble started. Her level of play deteriorated. She found herself the focus of several controversies, from questionable withdrawals and suspicious injuries to accusations that her parents were among the worst of sports parents. (Some of these accusations were probably true.) She finally won an LPGA event in 2009, but in most events during this time she was a side note. Even when she got into contention, she failed to close.

But 2014 appears to the year of a major Wiesy resurgence. She's a few years removed from controversy and her play is improving at a rapidd pace. Her new putting style, odd as it is, has taken her from average at best to one of the best putters on the LPGA. She's always been long, but now she's playing a smarter game with more control. She already won at the LPGA Lotte Championship in April this year, and now... well, let's hit the links.

Volume Three Hundred Ninety-One

Jun. 16, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksWell, the U.S. Open was a bit anti-climactic. Martin Kaymer beat the field into submission with two near-perfect opening rounds of 65. Dare we call it blitzkrieg?

In the end, the big stories going in got answered:

  • Would Phil Mickelson complete the career grand slam? Not with that balky putter.
  • Could Lee Westwood finally win a major? No.
  • Would Rory McIlroy win his second U.S. Open? No (He'd finish T23).
  • Is Kenny Perry too old to compete in a major? Maybe, but then again T28 isn't too shabby.
  • Would Tiger Woods show up or live tweet the event? Seriously?
  • Can a two-time heart transplant recipient rise to the top level of his sport? Oh yes.

Let's hit the links.

Volume Three Hundred Ninety

Jun. 9, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksWe're one week away from what should be a very interesting U.S. Open. We have a refurbished Donald Ross course that has proven up to the test of the world's best in the past. It now will do so without the Bermuda rough that served it well in '99 and '05.

Rest assured, it has new defenses. Though the fairways are wide, misplayed balls will wind up in waste areas, pine needles, wire grass, and other nasty places. And then there are those wonderful greens. We can't wait.

So in the interest of getting to next weekend quicker, let's hit the links.

Volume Three Hundred Eighty-Nine

Jun. 4, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksThe final round of the Memorial might have been the wildest one so far this year: Bubba hooked one into a backyard, Na hit a spectator and left a ball imprint on her knee, Matsu broke his driver, and Scott never got it going.

Also this week, on the IR, Tiger fell to #4 in the world as Bubba Watson slid by him into #3. And just what did Phil know and when did he know it (and who told him)? It was a very interesting week in golf. Let's hit the links.

Volume Three Hundred Eighty-Eight

May. 27, 2014     By     Comments (2)

Hittin' the LinksWe hope those of you in the U.S. enjoyed the long Memorial Day weekend and took a moment to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. And for those of you in parts of the world that don't observe the holiday this weekend, we hope you enjoyed it and got out to play a little golf.

There was a lot of great golf on TV this weekend, too. While many of us were outside grilling or enjoying the (finally) warm weather, the tours were putting on a show. The Euro Tour's best event featured a hard Sunday charge from an unlikely (of late) player. The Crowne Plaza Championship gave us two of the game's top players catching the leaders from deep in the field and then dueling it out in a playoff. There was even a David Toms sighting in Dallas, as the former PGA Championship winner put up a top 5 performance.

And what can we say about the Sr. PGA Championship? Well, let's see as we hit the links…

Volume Three Hundred Eighty-Seven

May. 20, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksA lot of us thought that Tiger's back injury this year could be the one from which he doesn't come back. Turns out, he was thinking the same thing. That's a startling admission from Woods who has long kept injuries hidden from the competition and the media. Time will tell if he will indeed be able to return to the TOUR and take up pursuit of major #15, but he is sounding optimistic about his health and his future.

More on that soon, but first let's hit the links.

Volume Three Hundred Eighty-Six

May. 12, 2014     By     Comments (1)

Hittin' the LinksWhen a participant in a Tour event dies during the tournament -- that is, actually on the tournament course during competition - don't you think that the tournament should at least be put on hold for the day to allow players and caddies to recover, not to mention out of respect for the deceased?

In better news, the Players Championship took place this weekend. On the front nine, it was shaping up to be the tournament of the year, with Kaymer, Spieth, Furyk, Garcia, Hearn, Molinari, Rose, Westwood, Walker, and McIlroy all looking like potential winners at one point or another. But Martin Kaymer ran away from the field on the back nine, at least until the rain delay. In case you missed it, we'll tell you what happened.

Let's hit the links.

Volume Three Hundred Eighty-Five

May. 5, 2014     By     Comments (0)

Hittin' the LinksIf you live in the Northeast or Midwest of the U.S., your courses are probably just starting to perk back up following one of the harshest winters in recent memory. Here in central Ohio, putts are finally starting to roll without hopping left and right off unhealed aeration holes. But the courses are hurting in more ways than just being behind in maintenance. Between rain and cool weather in April, rounds are down at both public and private courses. On a 60 degree weekend day, one popular private club reportedly had a "wide open" tee sheet. Normally in April or May, you would need to make a tee time a week in advance.

Every day, lost rounds mean thousands of dollars of revenue lost from greens fees and food and beverage sales at each course, revenue that is unlikely to be made up since the season will only last so long. That's not good for golf or golfers. So do your part and go play some golf.

But first, let's hit the links.

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