Articles By Rob Doster

All taxonomy terms: Louis Oosthuizen, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-22-louis-oosthuizen
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the ’s .

 

No. 22 Louis Oosthuizen

Born: Oct. 19, 1982, Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa | Career PGA Tour Wins: 1 (7 on European Tour) | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $3,251,174 (22nd) | World Ranking: 18

 

Gary Williams' TakeThis is a man who could have three majors on his résumé and be on his way to the Hall of Fame, but playoff losses at the 2012 Masters and 2015 Open Championship and a remarkable tie for second at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay (where he shot 199 in the final three rounds after opening with 77), make him a hard read. It’s hard to believe he has never won a golf tournament in the United States after dominating the field and winning the Open Championship in 2010 at St. Andrews. He’s blessed with effortless power, flawless mechanics and an even temper, so you would think that he should win more often on the PGA Tour. Granted, he is a true global player who supports the European Tour and also is loyal to many events in South Africa throughout the year, but his close calls and his pedigree leave you wanting and expecting more victories. If another healthy season goes by without a win in the states, Oosthuizen will become a mystery or just a quirky trivia question. Fact is, he should be among the favorites at every major championship venue in 2016.
Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 29
Wins: 1
2015 Performance:
    Masters – T19
    U.S. Open – T2
    British Open – T2
    PGA Championship – T30
Best Career Finishes
    Masters – 2 (2012)
    U.S. Open – T2 (2015)
    British Open - 1 (2010)
    PGA Championship – T15 (2014)
Top-10 Finishes: 5
Top-25 Finishes: 10
Missed Cuts: 14

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. .

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 10:51
All taxonomy terms: Phil Mickelson, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-23-phil-mickelson
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the ’s .

 

No. 23 Phil Mickelson

Born: June 16, 1970, San Diego, Calif. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 42 | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $2,154,200 | World Ranking: 17

 

Gary Williams' Take: A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and the second-greatest player of this generation with 42 PGA Tour wins, Mickelson is not done, and 2016 could be an especially fulfilling year for him. He has not won since the 2013 Open Championship despite being so close at the PGA at Valhalla in 2014 and finishing second at the Masters in 2015. Mickelson is supremely motivated by many things as he approaches the age of 46 in June. Winning a fourth Masters to tie Tiger Woods, winning a U.S. Open to complete the career Grand Slam, making the U.S. Olympic team and helping another Ryder Cup team to stop the European dominance in an event he has been a part of since 1995 top his wish list for 2016.

 

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 93
Wins: 5
2015 Performance:
    Masters – T2
    U.S. Open – T64
    British Open – T20
    PGA Championship – T18
Best Career Finishes
    Masters - 1 (2004, ’06, ’10)
    U.S. Open - 2/T2 (1999, 2002, ’04, ’06, ’09, ’13)
    British Open - 1 (2013)
    PGA Championship - 1 (2005)
Top-10 Finishes: 37
Top-25 Finishes: 52
Missed Cuts: 9

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. .

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 10:22
All taxonomy terms: Danny Willett, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-24-danny-willett
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the ’s .

 

No. 24: Danny Willett

Born: Oct. 3, 1987, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England | Career PGA Tour Wins: 0 (4 on the European Tour) | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $408,435 | World Ranking: 11

 

Gary Williams’ Take: The American golf fan got a very good look at a likely 2016 European Ryder Cup rookie at the 2015 WGC Match Play, where he finished third. He also finished third in the final World Golf Championship of the calendar year, the HSBC, which helped him move inside the top 20 in the world rankings to close 2015. Willett rose to No. 1 in the official amateur rankings and attended Jacksonville State for several years, so the interesting question to be answered is where he will choose to play the majority of his golf going forward. The best Europeans, with few exceptions, all choose to join the PGA Tour. Willett will play in the States quite a bit in 2016 with the majors and WGC events — he just posted a tie for third at the Cadillac — but his best path to an automatic spot on the European Ryder Cup team may be through the European points list and not the world points list, which would mean more starts on the European Tour. But either way, Willett has proven with his results, including his sixth-place finish at the 2015 Open Championship, that he is on a different level, which will bring with it different expectations.

Major Championship Résumé

Starts: 11
Wins: 0
2015 Performance:
    Masters – T38
    U.S. Open – Cut
    British Open – T6
    PGA Championship – T54
Best Career Finishes
    Masters – T38 (2015)
    U.S. Open – T45 (2014)
    British Open – T6 (2015)
    PGA Championship – T30 (2014)
Top-10 Finishes: 1
Top-25 Finishes: 2
Missed Cuts: 4

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. .

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 7, 2016 - 10:47
All taxonomy terms: Kevin Na, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-25-kevin-na
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the ’s .


No. 25: Kevin Na

Born: Sept. 15, 1983, Seoul, South Korea | Career PGA Tour Wins: 1 | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $2,820,766 (26th) | World Ranking: 25

 

Gary Williams' Take: Na jumpstarted his new season with two seconds and a third in the wraparound portion of the ’15-16 season. However, he received no Ryder Cup points for those finishes, because the Ryder Cup task force decided not to award points in Tour events, other than the HSBC Champions event, until the calendar turned. Na is easily one of the most fascinating players on Tour to watch. His reputation of being slow is quite deserved, but his ability to overcome a seemingly nervous condition and quietly become one of the most consistent players on Tour is a testament to his talent and determination. His ball striking stats are average, but he was first on Tour in sand save percentage and ranks consistently among the best putters on Tour. Despite being ranked 159th in driving distance in 2015, he was 17th in scoring average, and he plays a lot of events, starting 27 times last season. Any player who gets to the Tour Championship is performing at a very high level. His presence on the USA Ryder Cup team would be must-watch TV, because he’s a high wire act on a regular Thursday afternoon on Tour, and I could only imagine his emotions in that environment.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts
: 22
Wins: 0
2015 Performance:
    Masters – T12
    U.S. Open – T46
    British Open – T58
    PGA Championship – Cut
Best Career Finishes
    Masters – T12 (2012, '15)
    U.S. Open - T12 (2014)
    British Open – T27 (2010)
    PGA Championship - T10 (2011)
Top-10 Finishes: 1
Top-25 Finishes: 4
Missed Cuts: 10

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. .

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 4, 2016 - 15:10
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-26-martin-kaymer
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the ’s .

 

 

No. 26: Martin Kaymer

 

Born: Dec. 28, 1984, Dusseldorf, West Germany | Career PGA Tour Wins: 3 (11 on the European Tour) | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 0 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $886,378 (114th) | World Ranking: 38

 

Gary Williams' Take: Considering that Kaymer entered 2015 as the defending champion at the Players Championship and the U.S. Open, he had one of the oddest years imaginable. It started with a blown 10-shot lead in the final round in Abu Dhabi and ended with him not fulfilling his requisite number of starts on the PGA Tour and losing his membership for one season despite being a two-time major winner and Players champion. Kaymer assumed he’d advance in the FedExCup playoffs and fulfill his starts, but he didn’t even make it to the playoffs after not recording a single top 10 on the PGA Tour in 2015. Kaymer is quite comfortable in Europe, and he’ll be eligible for plenty of starts in the States with WGCs and majors, but he has seen some dips in his career, including in 2012, when he was close to not making the Ryder Cup team but wound up sinking the clinching putt. An immensely thoughtful young man, he will find the right perspective about his schedule in 2016, but his play in 2015 was simply substandard for a player of his stature.

 

Major Championship Résumé

Starts: 32
Wins: 2
2015 Performance:
    Masters – Cut
    U.S. Open – Cut
    British Open – T12
    PGA Championship – T12
Best Career Finishes
    Masters – T31 (2014)
    U.S. Open - 1 (2014)
    British Open – T7 (2010)
    PGA Championship - 1 (2010)
Top-10 Finishes: 5
Top-25 Finishes: 9
Missed Cuts: 12

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. .

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 4, 2016 - 10:46
All taxonomy terms: Brandt Snedeker, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-27-brandt-snedeker
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the ’s .

 

No. 27: Brandt Snedeker

 

Born: Dec. 8, 1980, Nashville, Tenn. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 8 | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $3,698,056 (17th) | World Ranking: 16

 

Gary Williams’ Take: After working with Butch Harmon on the position of his club at the top of his swing, Snedeker tied for third at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and then lost in a playoff the following week at the Sony Open to kick off 2016. Then, his final-round 69 in brutal conditions at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines — Snedeker said it was “like playing a British Open on a U.S. Open setup” — gave him his eighth career win on the PGA Tour. Clearly, the former top-5 player in the world is rounding into form and can be a threat on any major venue. Snedeker will never be a top-10 ball striker, but his putting stats annually are in the top 10 on Tour. This is a huge year for Brandt, who is trying to play his way back onto the US Ryder Cup team. At 35 years of age, Snedeker knows there are only a few more opportunities to represent his country, and to play for Davis Love III at Hazeltine is a major priority. 

 

Major Championship Résumé

Starts: 33
Wins: 0
2015 Performance:
Masters – Cut
U.S. Open – 8
British Open – Cut
PGA Championship – T12
Best Career Finishes:
Masters – T3 (2008)
U.S. Open – 8/T8 (2010, ’15)
British Open – T3 (2012)
PGA Championship – T12 (2015)
Top-10 Finishes: 7
Top-25 Finishes: 5
Missed Cuts: 10

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. .

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 16:15
All taxonomy terms: Bill Haas, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-28-bill-haas
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the  .

 

No. 28: Bill Haas

 

Born: May 24, 1982, Charlotte, N.C. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 6 | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $3,064,024 (24th) | World Ranking: 42

 

Gary Williams' Take: For someone so consistently good and productive, it is perplexing that Haas has never contended in a major. In 25 major championship starts, Haas has yet to record a top 10 with his best results being ties for 12th at the 2015 Masters and the 2011 PGA. The FedExCup champion in 2011 has six career victories and won the clinching point for his dad Jay Haas’ Presidents Cup team last fall after hitting a brilliant second shot to the closing hole in his singles match. Haas struggles with his putter and ranked 149th in strokes gained, putting on Tour in 2015, and his final round scoring average was 161st. Still, there are few who would disagree that he is a top-20 talent in the game and true gentleman. He just needs to be kinder to himself; as his former instructor Billy Harmon told me, “It’s OK to get mad, just don’t beat yourself up.” I expect Haas to have his best year and make his first Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine.


Major Championship Résumé

Starts: 25
Wins: 0


2015 Performance:
Masters – T12
U.S. Open – Cut
British Open – Cut
PGA Championship – T65


Best Career Finishes:
Masters – T12 (2015)
U.S. Open – T23 (2011)
British Open – T19 (2012)
PGA Championship – T12 (2011)


Top-10 Finishes: 0
Top-25 Finishes: 7
Missed Cuts: 8

 

— Gary Williams is a co-host of Morning Drive on the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @garywilliamsGC on Twitter. 

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 10:26
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-29-patrick-rodgers
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the  .

 

No. 29: Patrick Rodgers

 

Born: June 30, 1992, Avon, Ind. | Career PGA Tour Wins: 0 | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $1,038,291 (97th) | World Ranking: 121


Gary Williams' Take: A member of the high school graduating class of 2011 that included Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Emiliano Grillo, Rodgers was the most prolific winner of the group in college while attending Stanford. He accelerated his way onto the PGA Tour with a second-place finish in Charlotte, amassing enough FedExCup points for special temporary membership on Tour by early June. Rodgers started 2016 just inside the top 100 in the world rankings, but I expect him to be inside the top 25 by the end of 2016. He already recorded two top 10s in the wraparound portion of 2015-16 and yet he says he feels behind his peer group, led by Spieth. Rodgers is a highly intelligent young man with immense power and a track record of winning big at every level in the game. I expect him to win early in the season and help build the résumé of the “class of 11” into a historic collection of Tour players.

 

Major Championship Résumé

No major championship starts in his career


— Gary Williams is a co-host of Morning Drive on the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @garywilliamsGC on Twitter. 

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 13:41
All taxonomy terms: Graeme McDowell, Golf
Path: /golf/top-30-golfers-2016-majors-no-30-graeme-mcdowell
Body:

They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Channel’s .

 

No. 30: Graeme McDowell

 

Born: July 30, 1979, Portrush, County Antrium, Northern Ireland | Career PGA Tour Wins: 3 (10 on European Tour) | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 1 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $686,438 (134th) | World Ranking: 55

 

Gary Williams' Take
McDowell openly admitted more than halfway through the 2015 season that motivation was a problem created by the very good things in his life. A happy marriage with a new baby daughter made it hard to leave the house, and McDowell found himself out of the FedExCup playoffs and staring at a final year of exempt status on the PGA Tour in 2016. Well, being the fighter that he is, McDowell dug it out of the dirt late in 2015 to win the OHL Classic and also record a third-place finish at the RSM Classic at Sea Island. McDowell’s 2016 now looks a whole lot different with a schedule that he can set up anyway he chooses. He also has restored his belief system and launched himself right back into the European Ryder Cup discussion. Nobody loves the fight as much as Graeme does, and not being a part of it in 2015 was not fun. But he knew the reasons, identified them and got right back in the ring. Expect him to land a few punches in 2016.


Major Championship Résumé

Starts: 41
Wins: 1
2015 Performance:
Masters - T52
U.S. Open - Cut
British Open - T49
PGA Championship - Cut
Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T12 (2012)
U.S. Open - 1 (2010)
British Open - T5 (2012)
PGA Championship - T10 (2009)
Top-10 Finishes: 5
Top-25 Finishes: 15
Missed Cuts: 15

 

— Gary Williams is a co-host of Morning Drive on the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @garywilliamsGC on Twitter. 

 

Athlon's 2016 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 11:15
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/david-feherty-interview
Body:

The following interview appears in the 2016 edition of Athlon Sports' Golf Annual, available now.

 

With his trademark wit, David Feherty has supplied much of the soundtrack to the Tiger Woods era in golf. And as the game continues its transition into a post-Tiger phase, the sport’s resident raconteur is making a transition of his own in 2016. Feherty has taken his unique talents from CBS to NBC, exchanging The Masters and PGA Championship for the British Open, the Olympics and the Ryder Cup. The move has Feherty nervous and energized — a combination that could yield some memorable broadcast moments in 2016 from a guy whose filter has been known to malfunction in refreshingly honest fashion.

 

Born in Bangor, Northern Ireland, on the Irish Sea, Feherty had a solid playing career in Europe, winning five European Tour events between 1986 and 1992 and earning a spot on the 1991 Ryder Cup team. But a nagging awareness that he would never be an elite player led him to look for a career where he could truly excel. By his own description, he was “the right drunk in the right bar at the right time” when CBS came calling, and the result has been an unlikely but wildly successful second act.

Athlon’s Rob Doster sat down with the game’s most popular on-course analyst and its most endearing ambassador. We quickly learned that his shameless, self-deprecating sense of humor couldn’t mask his profound passion for the game, his love for his adopted homeland and his sense of anticipation over another new chapter in a rock-star career.

 

Now that you’re working with Johnny Miller and the other members of the NBC team, are you adjusting your approach at all? Do you think they were ready for David Feherty?

(Laughs) You’ll have to ask them. I’ve known them all for a long time, I’ve been in this country 23 years. I don’t think it’s a question of adjusting to the people; it’s the process that’s slightly different at NBC. I won’t be calling any taped shots, which is the big difference between NBC and CBS. And I’ll be spending a little more time in towers as well. They’re friends of mine — Roger Maltbie, Peter Jacobsen, Gary Koch, Johnny and Dan [Hicks]. It’s not a question of getting to know anyone.

 

What will you miss most about your work at CBS?

I’ll miss the people more than the places. It’s such a different challenge, having entirely new golf courses, entirely new venues in entirely different weeks compared to what I’ve done for the last 19 years. I obviously really enjoyed having my voice on an event like The Masters and the PGA Championship. That meant a great deal to me to be able to call those events.

 

But being able to do the Open Championship and the Ryder Cup, having played on a [European] Ryder Cup team and now being an American citizen, will be fantastic for me. It’s a unique position.

 

Then, of course, there’s the Olympics, which is an entirely different event. For many people, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To be a part of the crew, with Bob Costas and Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth and other people. I’ve gotten to work with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms and James Brown and John McEnroe and a bunch of great people on the CBS side, and now to have a chance to do it with another group of people of that caliber is amazing.  

 

You could even say that in exchanging The Masters and PGA and your other CBS duties for the Open Championship, the Ryder Cup and the Olympics, you came out ahead.

Yeah, which is pretty good, considering what I had.

 

The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine could be the most eagerly anticipated Cup in history. Where does the Ryder Cup rank in the hierarchy of golf’s biggest events?

I’ve always loved the Open Championship, it’s the greatest stroke play event in the world, and I don’t think there’s any question that the Ryder Cup is the greatest match play event in golf. There’s nothing like Ryder Cup pressure. It’s more than any major championship, because it’s not just you and your ball, it’s 11 other guys that you least want to let down. It’s your country, or in Europe’s case, your continent. Any time you can play under your flag is really special.

 

You experienced it firsthand at the 1991 Ryder Cup, the famed “War on the Shore” at Kiawah’s Ocean Course. What do you remember about that week?

It was the high point of my [playing] career, being on a losing Ryder Cup side. I always think of it as high as I got. It was such an electric experience. I never felt anything like it before, and I’ve never felt anything like it since. Standing on that first tee and teeing the ball up and being part of that event.

 

That year, the European team flew in on the Concorde and landed in Charleston. I was sitting beside my best friend Sam Torrance [former European Ryder Cup player and captain who sank the winning putt for Europe in 1985], played with him for 20 years. At the airport, the fences were lined with people. It looked like people were trying to climb over the fence. And I thought, this event is huge, it’s amazing. And Sam said, “No, they’re here to see the airplane, you f---ing idiot.” That’s one of my favorite memories. The Concorde apparently doesn’t land too often at Charleston.

 

What about your singles win over Payne Stewart?

Payne was a great friend of mine. In our match, I was 4-up with four to play. I was playing probably the best round of golf I ever played in my life. But I lost two holes in a row, 15 and 16, and I was in a complete full DEFCON 1 panic mode going to the 17th tee.

 

Crowd control had broken down, and we were trying to make our way to the tee. This large lady marshal poked her “Quiet Please” sign into my chest and said, “Where do you think you’re going?” like I was a heavily disguised spectator. I was about to go bats--t postal when Payne put his arm around my neck and put his face right against mine, and I could smell the Red Man [chewing tobacco] from the plug he had in his mouth, and he’s grinning that stupid schoolboy grin, and he said, “Ma’am, I’d love you to keep this son of a bitch right here, but he’s playing against me.” That’s who he was. Being 2-down with two to play, you’d love to see your opponent losing his pieces before you get on the hardest hole in the Western Hemisphere [the par-3 17th at Kiawah], but that’s just who he was. I managed to make 3 there and finish the match. He was very special to me, and the fact that I got to play him in that series of matches meant a great deal to me.

 

Will Tiger and Phil make good Ryder Cup captains someday, or do their iconic personalities make them more individuals than team leaders?

I think that’s a good question. I haven’t thought much about that. I think they will be Ryder Cup captains; I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be. I think the role of the captain is sometimes overplayed. The bottom line is, if the guys on your team don’t play particularly well, everyone wants to blame the captain, but there’s only so much he can do. I mean, you can choose who’s going to play with each other and that kind of thing. At Gleneagles [in 2014], everyone wanted to give Tom Watson a hard time about who he put together, but I put them together [on paper] after the fact — in order of height, in order of weight, shoe size — and they still got their asses handed to them.

 

It’s a very difficult event to deal with from a logistical point of view. You have the gala dinners, the speaking, the signing of God only knows how much merchandise and memorabilia, all the press conferences and bulls--t that goes on around it. You get there early in the week and all you want to do is play golf, and all you’ve got is not that, until the bell rings.

 

You’ve got a lot to look forward to, but what’s the greatest moment you’ve called to this point in your career?

Wow. You know, Tiger in 1997 was my first Masters, and Jordan [Spieth] last year was my last, so that’s two pretty good bookends right there. Two 21-year-olds.

 

Tiger Woods and Bob May at the 2002 PGA Championship at Valhalla was one of the great Sunday afternoons in the history of sports, with Bob May hanging onto his leg like Alonzo Mourning dragging Jeff Van Gundy around the f---ing court. It was amazing to watch and amazing to be a part of. So many of those moments with Tiger — the chip-in at 16 [at The Masters in 2005], his PGA Championship wins were just extraordinary, the finishes that he came up with.

 

In many ways, the PGA Championship was the greatest major of all for me during my time at CBS, because of the finishes, whether it was Mickelson and David Toms at the Atlanta Athletic Club, or Rich Beem at Hazeltine, for God’s sake — what are the odds of that? Even before I got into broadcasting, John Daly at Crooked Stick in 1991. The PGA Championship just turns out amazing finishes. [Last] year at Whistling Straits — holy s--t, what were they smoking?

 

I know you can’t wait to get to Royal Troon. What does the Open Championship mean to you?

I grew up within sight of Turnberry across the Irish Sea only 20 miles away. You could see the lighthouse at Turnberry from the house I was born in. The first Open I played in was in 1979, the last in 1996. For me, it was always the biggest golf tournament in the world. As a European, we only have one [stroke play] major. Our other major is the Ryder Cup. The Open Championship — it’s the biggest golf tournament in the world, and it feels like it.  Players from all over the world come to the same nine venues. You feel like you’re getting closer to the heartbeat of golf when you play in the Open Championship.

 

You had top-10 finishes at the Open twice (in 1989 and ’94), and also tied for seventh in the 1991 PGA Championship. What do you remember about those tournaments?

In each of those championships, on Sunday afternoon, I had a putt that if I would have made it, it would have given me a realistic chance of actually winning a major championship. I missed it every time. Looking back at it, I don’t know if it was deliberate, but I didn’t want the responsibility that came with winning an event like that. I didn’t think of myself in those terms. Any successful person in any business has to want to be in a place where they know they’re going to be uncomfortable. That’s what makes people successful in any walk of life. And I didn’t want to be in that place. I didn’t know it at the time, and I wasn’t going to “Van de Velde” myself, I wasn’t going to wait until the 18th, but I would miss the putt and finish fourth, or seventh or sixth.

 

Those experiences tell you how small the difference is between winning and losing a major.

It prevented me from having that realistic chance. I knew I could finish high and come close and sort of limp heroically to the finish. But I knew I couldn’t be in that top echelon of players. When I quit playing and was lucky enough to get into this business, I felt differently. In this business, I do feel like I want to be in a place where I know I’m going to be uncomfortable. And that starts again in 2016, because I’m nervous about it. I’m uncomfortable, and that’s where I want to be.

 

You’ll get to call Olympic golf in Rio. What are you most looking forward to: the golf, or going to Rio and enjoying the whole Olympic experience?

I’ll be honest with you — just going to Rio and being part of that Olympic experience. It’s the chance of a lifetime, it really is. To have your voice on the telecast — any Olympic telecast. Hell, I’ll take marbles.

I don’t know what to expect. I’ve never been part of anything this gigantic. But I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Is golf a good fit for the Olympics? It comes at an awkward time on the calendar, for one thing.

It does, but it’s only every four years. A lot of it will depend on this first experience. It’s hard to know what to expect. But it’s like any event — it’s how invested the players are in it that will determine the success of it, I would imagine. How much would an Olympic gold medal mean to these guys? Hopefully, it’ll mean a great deal.

 

Have the Augusta National people ever objected to anything you’ve said in a Masters broadcast?

I get asked that a lot. To be honest, in 19 Masters, I don’t remember anybody asking me to say anything different or telling me that I said something incorrectly.

 

The players treat The Masters differently than any other major. There’s a tremendous amount of respect for it. And the other thing is, it was easier to do The Masters than it was to do any other event, because it just requires less commentary. It goes back to the same place every year, people are familiar with it, they know the topography, they know what players are liable to do in any given situation, so really I always felt like I was just providing punctuation and allowing the pictures to tell the story.

 

David FehertyHave you ever said anything on the air you wish you could take back?

I farted once, and Tiger got blamed for it. At the [2009] Buick Open in Flint [Mich.]. I probably would have liked to have taken that back.

 

I’ve always been on the hairy edge with things like that. Sometimes people have been offended, but they haven’t been able to tell me quite why they were offended. In that sense, I guess I’ve been lucky.

 

I’ve always been lucky. I was the right drunk in the right bar at the right time when CBS was looking for somebody to put on the air. Tiger Woods turned pro about 10 minutes after I became a broadcaster. Talk about lucky. It’s been amazing. And fortunately, golfers and people in general, if I’m giving somebody a hard time, whether it’s Ernie Els or Tiger Woods, I like to think that I’m offering them the opportunity to show who they are by their reaction. It offers them dignity. You can choose to be offended, or you can choose to give me a little s--t back. That’s the intellectual exchange that I enjoy.

 

You’ve been very upfront about battling your personal demons (Feherty went public in 2006 with his struggles with addiction and bipolar disorder). Has it been therapeutic for you to do that in a public forum?

Yes. When I first started to get clean, I was very open about it, because I felt that given the F-list celebrity that I had, I could paint or write myself into a corner, where if enough people knew that I had the problem, I’d be less likely to transgress. You can’t sit in a bar in an airport and order a drink if there’s a bunch of people sitting there who know you shouldn’t be doing it.

 

As I progressed with it, people would talk to me and say, “My sister, or my brother, or I have this problem.” It became apparent that by being open about it, it was tremendously helpful to a lot of people. That, in its way, was very helpful to me, the thought that I might be able to help others. It’s really been very beneficial for me.

 

Let’s talk about your self-titled TV show on Golf Channel. Who’s your favorite interview subject of all time? Least favorite?

I’ve enjoyed all of them. I’ve only ever watched one of my shows — the first show, with Lee Trevino. That was very important to me. One of my earliest golf memories is Lee Trevino winning the 1968 U.S. Open, and I just fell in love with him then. To have him on my first show, and to have Lee Trevino as a friend, has been the most amazing thing. He was my hero, and he still is. So I did watch that show. I’m so freaking neurotic, I can’t watch myself on television. It gives me the creeps so badly I need therapy.

The only person who has been difficult? Larry David, for me, was like interviewing a mirror, because he’s equally paranoid. He actually offered me $50,000 not to air the interview right after we were finished because he thought it sucked so bad.

 

My favorite interviews are people like Bill Russell. I think about him all the time, especially in these times we’re in with the trouble we’ve got with race. He was extraordinary. When I shook hands with him, I felt greatness, an aura I’ve only felt with a few people — President Clinton, Arnold Palmer, Nelson Mandela. They’re just people that exude this electric kind of aura. There’s a warmth in their handshake and their general being. I felt Bill Russell was one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. Growing up in that era of segregation, and not actually having a problem with it. His attitude was, hey, one day they’ll wish that they’d seen me play. Boy, was he ever right. The man is just greatness.

 

Tom Watson, who helped save my life [Watson recognized the signs of Feherty’s alcoholism and helped him into recovery], is another favorite of mine. The interviews where I can show people perhaps a side of someone that I know that the viewer’s not aware of, like a Jim Furyk or a David Duval. I’ve had such a great time with all of them, to be honest.

 

Describe your experience interviewing Donald Trump (Trump was a guest on Feherty’s show in 2012). 

I had a great time with Donald. The first thing he said, I walked into his office, and he said, “You need a suit.” ’Cause I looked like a homeless person who had just robbed Nordstrom’s. He actually had a suit made for me during the interview.

 

I think he is good for the game. He’s larger than life, a tremendous character. He’s kind of polarizing, obviously — either you like him or you don’t — but he is who he is, that’s for sure. I enjoyed being with him.

 

You’ve taken your act on the road with your one-man show, “David Feherty Off Tour.” What’s it like connecting with a live audience?

It’s been amazing. The live shows that I’ve done on the Golf Channel, I’ve done a couple of them a year, they’re kind of a laxative. You can’t screw it up, and if you do, you’ve got to make it look deliberate.

 

Being on stage with a microphone and a spotlight and a chicken for some reason [a stuffed chicken named Frank is essentially his only prop] — that’s an entirely different experience. It was something I wanted to see if I could do, and it’s been amazing. You get addicted to the adrenaline rush. It’s not like I’m going to make a career out of it, but I’ve been amazed at the amount of people that will show up to listen to me tell other people’s stories.

 

What prompted you to create your Troops First Foundation? (Feherty’s Troops First Foundation works to provide assistance to military personnel who have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

I grew up in an urban warfare situation in Northern Ireland of the ’50s and ’60s. When I moved to the United States, I fell in love with the place fairly quickly, and when 9/11 happened, and when we went into Iraq, I couldn’t bear the thought of anything like that happening here. I went to Iraq in 2007 to see why our military was being portrayed so negatively in the media, and I came back needing to be a U.S. citizen. I started the process [of gaining citizenship] immediately. I couldn’t believe what wasn’t being reported: the restraint that they showed, the compassion that they have, the love for each other, the teamwork. I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan, and it’s fine to be able to do something for them while they’re there, but being able to do something for them when they come home, especially when they come home broken. … It’s like alcoholism and drug addiction for me — being public about it is very therapeutic for me. Being able to do something for them is even more valuable. I almost feel selfish doing it. It’s the biggest thrill in my life to be around these people. These are real-life action heroes. To be able to number them as friends is a huge thrill for me. If I can do something decent for them, that’s a bonus.

 

Let’s talk about the state of the PGA Tour today. Do you subscribe to the concept of a Big Four — Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler? Does the game need a hierarchy like that to sustain interest in the post-Tiger era?

I think the game’s in tremendous shape, and a lot of it has to do with Tiger. All four of the kids you just named were sort of between 8 and 12 when Tiger started this amazing run between 1997 and 2009. He set the bar, and these kids believed that maybe they could get there.

 

It’s a whole lot more difficult to have a Big Three or Big Four now than it was back in the ’60s and ’70s because of the strength and depth there is out there. It’s not just those four kids. There’s dozens of them behind them now that are able to step up and win not just regular PGA Tour events but majors. I think golf is in a fantastic place because of it. Tiger Woods dragged it there.

 

Because of that depth, there’s probably no one out there, as good as they are, who can threaten Jack’s or Tiger’s career totals. Would you agree?

It’s unlikely. As good as these kids are, that’s actually the problem they have as well. To win eight, 10, 12, 14 majors — my God, it just seems impossible, just the thought of it.

 

Who’s the Next Great Player? Someone you have your eye on who we might be overlooking?

That’s a tough question. There are so many. In the early part of the wraparound season, we had new winners every week, shooting incredibly low scores. Nobody chokes anymore. Have you noticed that?  That pisses me off. The kids have got no fear, and just tremendous talent.

 

Do you think Tiger Woods is finished as a force on the PGA Tour?

I don’t. He’s too stubborn, he’s too proud and he’s too talented. And he loves the game. You know he loves the game now because of what he’s gone through in the last two or three years. He still shows up. He entered at Greensboro [in 2015] at the last minute because he wants to be there.

Having seen him at the peak of his extraordinary ability, my children won’t see golf like that, their children won’t see golf like that. Having seen him do what he’s been able to do, I cannot imagine the frustration that he feels at the moment. I don’t think he’s done yet. I really don’t.  He’ll defy logic, and he’ll defy us [pundits]. “No, I’m not done.”

 

Do you think Phil Mickelson has another major in him, specifically the one that’s eluded him thus far?

It wouldn’t surprise me. It wouldn’t surprise me at all. He’s been one of the most entertaining players that ever played. You just never know what you’re going to get with Phil. He has that mercurial brilliance, and then the ability to f--k up like you or I might do, and everything in between.

 

What’s the biggest problem facing the game today? Slow play sure gets a lot of attention.

I think slow play is a huge issue. And the game continues to be much too exclusive. I think we need to make the game more accessible. It’s a very wealthy demographic, which is one of the reasons the networks like it so much: Its demographic is very affluent, so it appeals to sponsors. But we have to make sure it becomes more accessible to kids, to women, to people that don’t make a s--tload of money.

 

You’ve built this multifaceted career in golf — player, then analyst, interviewer, storyteller, writer. Which part is your favorite? 

"I'm an outside pet. If you don't let me out every couple of hours, somebody's going to get s--t on."

I love what I do, especially the fact that I get paid for it, which always seems like a complete ruse to me. I turned pro at 17 and have never had a job. I’ve been a professional golfer for 40 years. People say, you’re an ex-professional. No, I’m not. It’s like being a Marine, but less dangerous. Unless you want to be an amateur again and revoke your status, I’m always going to be a professional golfer, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been able to stay in the game for as long as I have. I love it. Even though I can’t play anymore — I haven’t played golf at all for 10 years, my left arm is pretty much crippled, and I can’t close my left hand; I got run over by a truck 10 years ago riding my bike. Not that I was playing much or wanted to play that much, it just made sure that I couldn’t. But I enjoy the game so much.

 

I’m an outside pet. I’m going to spend some time on towers, but I’m an outside pet. If you don’t let me out every couple of hours, somebody’s going to get s--t on.

 

Being there with the leaders, I still feel like a professional golfer. I don’t really feel like an announcer. I’m with the leaders, I never miss a cut, and I get to watch the greatest players in the world play unbelievable golf, and I get paid for it. It’s fantastic.

 

Favorite course in the U.S.? Favorite outside the U.S.?

My favorite outside the U.S. would be St. Andrews. You’re walking into the heart of the game when you walk into that town. Up on that last green, it feels like you’re playing in a cemetery. It’s amazing, just an extraordinary place. I love it so much.

 

As for the United States: The very first thing a great golf course should be is a great walk. A beautiful walk. If you have to drive around it, then it doesn’t work for me. So places like Cypress Point, where you’re walking out into the Pacific, or in among the deer and the trees. I love Harbour Town, which is a golf course that hardly ever gets mentioned. Sleepy Hollow, which is on the Hudson, might be the most beautiful walk in American golf. I just love it. Bill Murray is a member up there.

I love these little golf courses. Little and old and short. If I had to pick an American golf course, I would pick a short, flat one with a Ritz-Carlton. But I don’t play anymore.

 

Speaking of the classic shorter courses, does it bother you that equipment is making them a little obsolete? Although, it seems like when they put a major at a shorter course like Merion, the course rises to the occasion.

I think our ruling bodies are worried about the wrong set of golfers. Whether Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods or Jordan Spieth or whoever makes Merion look short, that’s the wrong set of golfers. The people who drive the industry, who pay for the 30-second spots, the average person at home who loves the game, the game hasn’t got any easier for them.

 

Still, equipment has made the game more accessible, it’s made it more enjoyable, and we should let manufacturers make whatever the hell they want — except for the golf ball. They lost control of it. I believe the fix is very simple: You make the ball bigger. Instead of 1.68 [inch diameter], make it 1.72 or 1.71. The bigger surface area, it won’t go as far, it’s harder to hit straight, but it sits up a little better around the green, so it’s easier for the amateur to chip. There’s no downside to it. It’s too simple, I guess.

 

Are there plans for you with NBC outside of golf?

I don’t think so. It’s not something I would say no to, but my first priority is to be informative about golf, it’s what I know about, and second, to be entertaining about golf. If something else crops up, I’m game.

 

Picking winners of golf tournaments a few months out is a fool’s errand, but since we’re a major championship preview, I’ll ask: Who will win the four majors and the Ryder Cup in 2016, and why?

I think the United States wins the Ryder Cup, finally. As for the four majors: I recently interviewed Jordan Spieth for my show, and he is still pissed off, and I mean genuinely heartbroken, that he didn’t win the Open Championship. He is beside himself that he didn’t get that done. He was two shots away from the modern Grand Slam. That’s unthinkable. I’ll pick Jordan to win two of them.

 

I think Rory McIlroy will win one. And for the fourth, I think we’ll have a dark horse. One of these youngsters will pop up.

I see Rory winning a few more, and I certainly see Jordan in there as well, with the desire and talent he has combined with that wisdom and youthful spirit — that combination, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it.

 

The Feherty File

Born Aug. 13, 1958, Bangor, Northern Ireland

Wife Anita, 5 children

Winner of 5 European Tour events and 5 other events worldwide

Member of 1991 European Ryder Cup Team

On-course reporter for CBS golf telecasts from 1997-2015

Creator and host of self-titled interview series on Golf Channel since 2011

Founder of Feherty’s Troops First Foundation, which works to provide assistance to military personnel who have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan

 

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 11:29
All taxonomy terms: Tiger Woods, Golf
Path: /golf/experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical
Body:

After a career-worst 85 on Saturday at the Memorial, followed by the spectacle of a solo round as the last-place player in an odd-numbered field, it's clearer than ever that all is not well at Team Tiger. The game's formerly transcendent superstar doesn't look ready for a Saturday scramble at the local muni, much less the U.S. Open in a couple weeks. So what's at the bottom of Tiger's seemingly bottomless well of problems?

 

Athlon polled a number of golf insiders earlier this year on this very question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental?

 

Participants

Jay Coffin, Editorial Director, Golf Channel, @JayCoffinGC

Jason Deegan, Senior Staff Writer and Golf Advisor with The Golf Channel online, @WorldGolfer

Steve DiMeglio, USA Today, @Steve_DiMeglio

Bob Harig, ESPN, @BobHarig

Dan Jenkins, Author, Golf Digest Contributor, @danjenkinsgd

Garrett Johnston, Golf journalist, @JohnstonGarrett

Dave Kindred, Golf Digest, Sports on Earth Contributor, @DaveKindred

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer, Golfweek, @alexmiceli

Dan O’Neill, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dave Shedloski, Golf World, @DaveShedloski

Art Spander, Global Golf Post, @artspander

 

Are Tiger's problems mental or physical?
Mental       4
Physical    1
Both          6

 

Comments
• Started mental as the scandals ended his aura of invincibility and led to a loss of confidence in every aspect of his life, even the swing.

 

• He's worn out between the ears after nearly two decades of carrying the game on his shoulders.

 

• Mental. Everybody but him seems to know it.

 

• It's 90 percent in his head and 50 percent physical. Yeah, the math doesn't add up, but that's how I see it.

 

• He will never be 100% healthy physically, but his mental game pulled him through. Now with his mental game in flux his game in general is substandard.

 

• He’s in a vicious circle right now. He needs to play a lot of golf to get out of his funk, but his body isn't healthy enough to do that.  

 

• Based on his play this year, he obviously has some confidence issues. He admits to being less focused than he was in the past and his physical problems hinder his ability to practice, much less play frequently. Not a good combination.

Both, I believe. If you have back or knee troubles, in golf or baseball (or tennis), well, they are games of swinging. And once doubts creep into the mind, you have what you had in Phoenix, the former greatest golfer in the world  chili-dipping and blasting long. That's a man untrusting of his game at the current time.

 

• Both. His back problems might be better, but he was still away from the game for long period of time and he needs to practice. In the meantime, he changed coaches, altered his swing and saw those problems creep into his short game. For one of the best ever around the greens, it is surely more than physical. There are issues of confidence and doubt that have come along with all the other changes.

 

• Tiger's struggles are more physical than mental. His inability to perform physically is hurting the mental part, however.

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, June 8, 2015 - 10:13
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/golf-experts-poll-whats-your-golf-bucket-list-item
Body:
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf

We all have items we'd love to check off our personal to-do lists before we check out, and golf scribes are no different. Naturally, their bucket lists sound pretty similar to ours in a lot of cases. 

 

Participants

Jay Coffin, Editorial Director, Golf Channel, @JayCoffinGC

Jason Deegan, Senior Staff Writer and Golf Advisor with The Golf Channel online, @WorldGolfer

Steve DiMeglio, USA Today, @Steve_DiMeglio

Bob Harig, ESPN, @BobHarig

Dan Jenkins, Author, Golf Digest Contributor, @danjenkinsgd

Garrett Johnston, Golf journalist, @JohnstonGarrett

Dave Kindred, Golf Digest, Sports on Earth Contributor, @DaveKindred

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer, Golfweek, @alexmiceli

Dan O’Neill, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dave Shedloski, Golf World, @DaveShedloski

Art Spander, Global Golf Post, @artspander

 

What is your golf bucket list item?

Jay Coffin: I’ve played Augusta National and Cypress Point and I’ve been lucky enough to play many of the best courses all over the world but Pine Valley is the only one left unchecked on my ultimate list. Somehow, some way, I’d love to find a way to make it happen.

 

Jason Deegan: Become a near-scratch player.  

 

Steve DiMeglio: Augusta National membership.

 

Bob Harig: Play Cypress Point.

 

Dan Jenkins: I've already outlived my bucket list. What more could I ask?

 

Garrett Johnston: Play Augusta National.

 

Dave Kindred: A two-putt par at Augusta National's 12th.

 

Alex Miceli: Play golf with Jack Nicklaus.

 

Dan O’Neill: Cypress Point.

 

Dave Shedloski: I'm already living it as a golf writer.

 

Art Spander: Nothing really (covered 47 Masters, 155 majors, played virtually everywhere), but at my age I'd like to able to drive 200 as I did once upon a time — with a wooden-headed driver.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/golf-experts-poll-who-best-announcer-golf
Body:
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf

This one was pretty one-sided and not terribly surprising. The frank, outspoken stands out in the sometimes safe and vanilla world of golf broadcasting, and he has yet to wear out his welcome with our panel members, who appreciate his candor.  

 

Participants

Jay Coffin, Editorial Director, Golf Channel, @JayCoffinGC

Jason Deegan, Senior Staff Writer and Golf Advisor with The Golf Channel online, @WorldGolfer

Steve DiMeglio, USA Today, @Steve_DiMeglio

Bob Harig, ESPN, @BobHarig

Dan Jenkins, Author, Golf Digest Contributor, @danjenkinsgd

Garrett Johnston, Golf journalist, @JohnstonGarrett

Dave Kindred, Golf Digest, Sports on Earth Contributor, @DaveKindred

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer, Golfweek, @alexmiceli

Dan O’Neill, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dave Shedloski, Golf World, @DaveShedloski

Art Spander, Global Golf Post, @artspander

 

Who is the best announcer in golf?

 Votes
Johnny Miller6
David Feherty2
Jim Nantz1
Frank Nobilo/Jerry Foltz1
No answer1

 

 

Comments from our panel

• "Johnny Miller. He's not bashful about telling it like it is."

 

• "Jerry Foltz on the ground, Frank Nobilo in the tower."

 

• "Johnny Miller. Still."

 

• "Johnny Miller says it the way he sees it.  Can’t get much better than that, even if you don’t agree."

 

• "Love Johnny Miller. The only man with a mic who is not afraid to say exactly how he feels."

 

• "David Feherty is the best when he's not trying to be 'David Feherty.'"

 

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 14:55
Path: /10-greatest-masters-champions-all-time-2015
Body:

The Masters is the world's greatest golf tournament, so it's not surprising that it has produced an elite list of champions. We've identified the 10 greatest, who collectively possess 32 Green Jackets and have provided countless classic moments.

 

1. Jack Nicklaus

Wins - 6
Runner-ups - 4
Top 5 - 15
Top 10 - 22
Notes:
Nobody owns Augusta like Jack. His six wins spanned 23 years of stunning brilliance. In the decade of the 1970s, he never finished lower than 8th. As if to put an exclamation point on his unparalleled career amid the Georgia pines, Jack made one final run in 1998 at age 58, finishing sixth and beating the defending champion, 22-year-old Tiger Woods. Here's a record that may never be broken: Nicklaus made an astounding 37 cuts at Augusta; for reference, Woods has been alive only 37 years.

 

2. Arnold Palmer

Wins - 4
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 9
Top 10 - 12
Notes:
Arnie came along at the perfect time, the dawn of golf's TV age, and he galvanized an army of fans with his domination at Augusta. Between 1957 and 1967, Palmer won four times and finished in the top 10 every year. He eclipses the No. 3 player on this list only because he made The Masters what it is today.

 

3. Tiger Woods

Wins - 4
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 10
Top 10 - 12
Notes:
Woods' 12-shot demolition of the field at the 1997 Masters was one of golf's signature moments and ushered in the Tiger era in golf. His epic chip-in in 2005 was another classic moment, although that remains his last green jacket to date. Tiger is the all-time scoring average leader at The Masters for players with 50 or more career rounds.

 

4. Phil Mickelson

Wins - 3
Runner-ups - 0
Top 5 - 10
Top 10 - 14
Notes:
Lefty's record at Augusta rivals Tiger's. His 2004 breakthrough was perhaps the most eagerly awaited major championship win in history. Phil still has a shot to move up this list given that he's finished out of the top 5 only five times since 2001 and always seems rejuvenated by the trip up Magnolia Lane.

 

5. Gary Player

Wins - 3
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 8
Top 10 - 15
Notes:
Player made his Masters bones in the 1960s as part of golf's Big Three with Nicklaus and Palmer, but he had some of his greatest Augusta moments in the 1970s, winning in 1974 and charging from seven strokes back in the final round in 1978, shooting 64 to win at age 42.

 

6. Sam Snead

Wins - 3
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 9
Top 10 - 15
Notes:
Slammin' Sammy enjoyed some of his greatest successes at Augusta, winning three Masters in a six-year span, including a playoff win over rival and defending champion Ben Hogan in 1954.

 

7. Ben Hogan

Wins - 2
Runner-ups - 4
Top 5 - 9
Top 10 - 17
Notes:
The great Hogan set a Masters record during his Triple Crown season of 1953 with a 14-under total (it would be broken by Jack Nicklaus in 1965), part of an unparalleled run of golf in which he won six majors in eight appearances. In 1967, at age 56, he shot a 66 and finished 10th. His 17 Masters top 10s are second only to Nicklaus' 22.

 

8. Tom Watson

Wins - 2
Runner-ups - 3
Top 5 - 9
Top 10 - 15
Notes:
Watson's Augusta exploits are overshadowed by his dominance at the British Open, but between 1975 and 1988, no one was better at The Masters — two wins, three runner-ups and 12 top-10 finishes.

 

9. Jimmy Demaret

Wins - 3
Runner-ups - 0
Top 5 - 6
Top 10 - 8
Notes:
One of golf's most colorful showmen, Demaret was the first three-time Masters winner and parlayed his quick wit and flamboyant wardrobe into an appearance on "I Love Lucy."

 

10. Byron Nelson

Wins - 2
Runner-ups - 2
Top 5 - 7
Top 10 - 14
Notes:
Lord Byron's love for The Masters was epitomized by the fact that he kept playing at Augusta even after retiring from competitive golf to run his ranch. He probably would have won one or two more Green Jackets had the tournament been held during World War II.

 

Honorable Mention


• Nick Faldo - A three-time Masters winner, Faldo gets penalized for benefiting from three meltdowns in his three Masters wins — Scott Hoch, who missed a two-foot putt in their playoff in 1989; Ray Floyd, who made a late bogey to fall into a playoff with Faldo and then hit into the water at 11 in Sudden Death; and most notoriously, Greg Norman, who squandered a six-shot lead over Faldo with a final-round 78. Plus, Faldo's three wins were his only Masters top 10s.

 

• Seve Ballesteros - The late, great Ballesteros won twice and finished second twice. He also had the decency to step aside and allow Nicklaus to charge to his sixth Green Jacket in 1986.

 

• Horton Smith - The event's first two-time winner, Smith won Green Jackets in 1934 (the tournament's first year) and 1936.

 

• Ben Crenshaw - Crenshaw's Masters win in 1994, shortly after the death of longtime mentor Harvey Penick, provided one of the most emotional moments in golf history. Crenshaw, a two-time winner, finished in the top 10 11 times. He's announced that the 2015 Masters will be his last.

 

• Jose Maria Olazabal - Less heralded than his countryman Seve Ballesteros, Olazabal was every bit Seve's equal at Augusta, winning in 1994 and 1999 and finishing the top 10 six other times.

 

• Bernhard Langer - Langer had his greatest major success at The Masters, winning twice and posting eight top 10s.

 

• Fred Couples - Couples made 23 consecutive Masters cuts between 1983 and 2008, although he didn't play in 1987 or 1994. He's the only Masters competitor not to miss a cut at Augusta in the 20th Century. He won the tournament in 1992.

 

• Gene Sarazen - His "Shot Heard Round the World" — a double eagle at 15 during the 1935 Masters — put the tournament on the map and helped establish its major bona fides. It also allowed Sarazen to claim a modern career Grand Slam, the first in history.

 

• Raymond Floyd - Floyd won the 1976 Masters by a dominating eight strokes, matching Nicklaus' record 17-under total (which would be broken by Woods in 1997). Floyd finished second at Augusta three times, including a crushingly disappointing playoff loss to Nick Faldo in 1990, and had 11 top-10 finishes.

 

• Bubba Watson - Bubba has won two of the last three Masters. Add another Green Jacket to his closet this year, and Bubba works his way into the Top 10.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:15
Path: /7-greatest-shots-masters-history-0
Body:

We don’t have footage of Gene Sarazen’s famous double eagle from 1935, but on Masters Sunday 2012, we saw something just as good and just as rare — Louis Oosthuizen's double eagle, the first at the par-5 second hole in Masters history. Later, Bubba Watson joined our countdown with his stunning recovery shot from the pine straw in the playoff. Here are our choices for the seven greatest shots in Masters history.

 

7. Louis Oosthuizen, 2012

Before Sunday, there had been 19,809 rounds at The Masters, but this was a first: a double eagle at No. 2. Had Oostie gone on to win, his shot would rank No. 1; as it is, he'll have to settle for second in The Masters and seventh on our list.

 

6. Sandy Lyle, 1988

Lyle had a front-row seat for Jack Nicklaus' charge to the 1986 Masters title. Two years later, he made history of his own with an incredible bunker shot on the 72nd hole, using the slope of the green to set up a clinching birdie. This is great execution for a Tuesday practice round; under Masters pressure, it's one of history's greatest shots.

 

5. Bubba Watson, 2012

After a day that included a double eagle and two holes in one, Bubba's shot at 10 will be the one they'll still be talking about at the 2050 Champions Dinner.

 

4. Jack Nicklaus, 1986

Jack’s near hole-in-one on 16 during his final-round 65 was only one of many magic moments that day — but it was pretty epic. As a bonus, this video includes his birdie putt on 17 (the putt that ultimately clinched his win) and his tap-in on 18, as well as commentary from the man himself.


 

3. Phil Mickelson, 2010

Mickelson’s 6-iron second shot to four feet on the par-5 13th was the kind of hero shot that only he and Tiger Woods would even attempt.



2. Larry Mize, 1987

Playing a few miles from his home, the quiet, unassuming Mize hit the shot of his life, or anyone else’s for that matter, holing an impossible 140-foot pitch shot on the second playoff hole to deny Greg Norman a green jacket.



1. Tiger Woods, 2005

It's a scenario apparently drawn up in the Nike marketing offices — the ball hanging tantalizingly on the edge of the cup, the Nike logo momentarily freeze-framed on our television screens before the ball tumbles into the cup, unleashing an awkward golfer high-five between Tiger and caddie Steve Williams that detracts only slightly from the moment. To answer your question, Verne Lundquist — no, in our lives, we’ve never seen anything like it.

Teaser:
<p> 7 Epic Moments from Golf's Greatest Tournament</p>
Post date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Masters, Overtime, Golf, Overtime, News
Path: /weirdest-food-masters-champions-dinner
Body:

It's one of the great traditions of Masters week: the Tuesday night Champions Dinner, where the defending champ gets to pick the cuisine for everyone — although not everyone has to eat it, as diners are free to order from the menu. Defending champion Bubba Watson seems like a grilled steak and potatoes kind of guy, although several of his predecessors obviously aren't. Giving golfers this much latitude can apparently result in some stomach-churning choices. Here's the proof.

 


Menu: Haggis, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips
Sandy Lyle, 1989

You know what they say about haggis — it looks the same coming out as it does going in. For the uninitiated, this Scottish dish is basically stuff fished out of the trash at the butcher shop: sheep's heart, liver and lungs cooked in the stomach, with a few bits of actual food (onions, oatmeal, spices) thrown in to confuse you. 
 


Menu: Elk, wild boar, Arctic char, Canadian beer
Mike Weir, 2004

Apparently they were fresh out of grizzly bear, so this had to do. Well, at least there was a little liquid bread to wash down all the animal flesh. Hey Mike, how about a salad?

 


Menu: Cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, milkshakes
, 1998

At first glance, this sounds fine. But when you have access to great chefs and an unlimited budget, do you really want to reproduce the drive-thru of the Augusta McDonald's?

 


Menu: Seafood tom kah, chicken panang curry, baked sea scallops with garlic sauce, rack of lamb with yellow kari sauce, baked filet Chilean sea bass with three flavor chili sauce, lychee sorbet
Vijay Singh, 2001

Surely this overly pretentious selection was part of some elaborate practical joke perpetrated by Vijay. We’re pretty sure Tiger and Phil hit the Augusta McDonald's drive-thru afterwards.


 
Menu: An Argentine asado, a multicourse barbecue featuring chorizo, blood sausage, short ribs, beef filets and mollejas (sweetbreads)
Angel Cabrera, 2010

Sampling another culture's cuisine can be a mixed bag. This menu is evidence. Short ribs and beef filets sound good, but anything with blood in the title doesn't. And sweetbreads? That's just a tasty-sounding name for the thymus gland of some animal. No. Just, no.
 


Menu: Bobotie (a spiced minced meat pie with an egg topping), sosaties (type of chicken skewer), spinach salad, milk tart and South African wines
, 2009

Rule of thumb: If I can't pronounce it, I ain't eating it. The wine sounds good, though.  

Teaser:
<p> Winning golfers select haggis, wild boar and some foods we can't pronounce.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 11:50
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/10-amazing-masters-records-may-last-forever
Body:

Consider this the appetizer before the main course. We scoured The Masters record book and found these amazing numbers:

 

10

The record for consecutive under-par rounds at The Masters belongs to Tiger Woods, who shot 10 consecutive rounds under par from the third round in 2000 through the final round in 2002. Not surprisingly, he won the green jacket in 2001 and 2002, after finishing fifth in 2000. Tiger's scoring average for those 10 rounds was 68.5.

 

25 

Phil Mickelson holds the record for most birdies in a single Masters, with 25 in 2001. Lefty finished 13-under that year, three shots behind winner Tiger Woods, who was able to muster only 23 birdies for the week.

 

37 

Among many Masters records held by Jack Nicklaus is his astounding 37 cuts made at Augusta. That's especially remarkable when you consider that Tiger Woods has only been alive 39 years. Between 1960 and 2000, Jack played in 40 Masters, missing the cut twice (in 1967 and 1994) and withdrawing in 1983. Among Nicklaus' other Masters records: He won a record six Masters, was runner-up a record four times, and he finished in the top 5 a record 15 times, in the top 10 22 times, and in the top 25 29 times.

 

23 

Gary Player and Fred Couples share the record with 23 consecutive made cuts at The Masters. Player didn't miss a cut between 1959 and 1982 (he didn't compete in 1973 due to illness). During that span, he won three times and finished in the top 10 15 times. Couples' streak ran from 1983 to 2008, although he didn't play in 1987 or 1994.

 

50 

Arnold Palmer holds a record that will likely never be equaled, playing in 50 consecutive Masters from 1955 to 2004. Thankfully, the King is still a fixture in April at Augusta, hitting a ceremonial tee shot along with fellow legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

 

66 

That's the record score for a "Senior" player (age 50 or above). Fred Couples shot a 66 at age 50 in 2010's first round; and Ben Hogan, long past his prime at age 54, shot a 66 in the third round in 1967, going on to finish tied for 10th in his final Masters appearace.

 

66 

The lowest score by an amateur was a 66 by Ken Venturi, in 1956's first round. Venturi actually held a four-shot lead entering the final round and was in prime position to become the only amateur winner in the event's history, until a windswept final-round 80 left him one shot behind Jack Burke.

 

-12 

The lowest total by a first-time Masters competitor was a 12-under 276 in 2011 by Jason Day, who finished tied for second, two shots behind Charl Schwartzel.

 

The largest lead lost after three rounds is Greg Norman's 1996 collapse from a six-stroke lead to a five-stroke loss to Nick Faldo following a final-round 78. Coming off the eighth green on that Masters Sunday, Norman was only 1-over par for the day and still held a three-shot lead over Faldo. But three bogeys and two double-bogeys down the stretch doomed Norman to the most painful failure of his star-crossed career.

 

Fred Couples won the 1992 Masters, but here's an interesting distinction for Boom-Boom: He's the only player to have never missed a Masters cut in the 20th Century. Couples first played in the tournament in 1983 and didn't miss a Masters weekend until 2008.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 10:15
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/golf-experts-poll-will-tiger-woods-ever-win-another-major
Body:
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf
Athlon polled a number of golf insiders on a variety of topics, but we start with this question: Are Tiger's problems primarily physical or mental? - See more at: http://athlonsports.com/golf/golf-experts-poll-are-tigers-problems-mental-or-physical#sthash.ovLdgVAh.dpuf

Tiger Woods changed the complexion of this year's Masters with a single tweet: "I’m playing in the Masters. Thanks for all the support,” he wrote on Friday. It seems unlikely that Woods will be a factor this week, but his decision begs the question: Will Tiger ever win another major? Athlon polled a number of golf insiders to get their opinion.

 

Participants

Jay Coffin, Editorial Director, Golf Channel, @JayCoffinGC

Jason Deegan, Senior Staff Writer and Golf Advisor with The Golf Channel online, @WorldGolfer

Steve DiMeglio, USA Today, @Steve_DiMeglio

Bob Harig, ESPN, @BobHarig

Dan Jenkins, Author, Golf Digest Contributor, @danjenkinsgd

Garrett Johnston, Golf journalist, @JohnstonGarrett

Dave Kindred, Golf Digest, Sports on Earth Contributor, @DaveKindred

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer, Golfweek, @alexmiceli

Dan O’Neill, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dave Shedloski, Golf World, @DaveShedloski

Art Spander, Global Golf Post, @artspander

 

Will Tiger Woods ever win another major?
Yes    5
No     6

 

Comments

• There are too many issues with his mind and his body. His legacy as the world's second-best player is intact, and he's not catching Jack, so his legacy is already firm no matter what he does from here on out.

 

• He’s just too good to fade away so quickly.

 

• He still has time to back into one.

 

• There are too many question marks to overcome. When he won the U.S. Open in 2008, I’d have bet everything I own that he’d pass Jack Nicklaus’ record. Now, No. 15 seems improbable.

 

• Hate to be absolute; don't think he will, but ask me that question in a year.

 

• At this point, it's hard to predict Woods will break par again. But he still has special talent in there somewhere and I believe he will find it at a major at least one more time.

 

• Very difficult to answer given Tiger's current plight, but the guess here is that he will get things figured out eventually. And once he does, he's got plenty of time and ability to win another major.

 

• Tiger will win at least one more.

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, April 6, 2015 - 10:18
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-30-2015
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 30:

 

. Not that he's unique in that; he's just in position to do something about it. 

 

.

 

• How good is this Final Four? Coaches aside, .

 

. The No. 1 song at the time? The Macarena. 

 

.

 

, but I guess we'll see.

 

• Hoops insider .

 

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• Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and golfer Keegan Bradley got together for some star-studded pickup hoops.

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 30, 2015 - 12:01
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-26-2015
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 26:

 

, including lobbying the state of New York to legalize MMA.

 

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. But if you do, I'm not sure I want to know you. 

 

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• The only thing the Hernandez trial was lacking was a bomb threat. .

 

. Glad he was able to clear that up.

 

• Jeff Van Gundy came up with a new SAT-style analogy: .

 

.

 

• DeMar DeRozan threw a nifty pass to Joakim Noah. On the Bulls bench.

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 13:20
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-25-2015
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 25:

 

.

 

• ICYMI: . Carroll said later he was checking for a ponytail.

 

• This is cool: .

 

. I'm getting an Apollo Creed in Rocky I vibe from that revelation.

 

 

. I've always been partial to Musberger and Fouts in "The Waterboy." In other bracket alternatives, .

 

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, but only if you're a masochist or it's for Lent.

 

• When the real world intrudes: .

 

.

 

.

 

• Watch Ronda Rousey armbar Jimmy Fallon into submission.

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 14:10
All taxonomy terms: Billy Horschel, Golf
Path: /golf/billy-horschel-golf-tip-long-and-straight
Body:

Reigning FedExCup champion Billy Horschel has worked his way onto the short list of players to watch in the 2015 major championships. He’s also a viable candidate to do something no one else has done — successfully defend the FedExCup. In the pages of , Horschel shares the tee-to-green points of emphasis that he and respected instructor Todd Anderson have focused on during his ascension to the top 15 in the World Golf Ranking.

 

Long and Straight

by Billy Horschel

 

With a lot of amateurs, even when they have good width in their backswing, they lose it by having the right arm come in too close to the body. They lose all the stored power they have. When you maintain the width on your downswing that you had on your backswing, it allows you to create that same power (above). When your hands come closer to your body, you lose that width in your right arm (below), and it becomes a handsy golf swing.

However far away your hands are on the backswing, maintain that same distance with the hands. That way, the right arm stays long, and you create that stored power to unleash on the golf ball.

 

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 13:29
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-24-2015
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 24: 

 

.

 

provides an excuse to use the classic photo you see above.

 

. That's a productive 15 minutes.

 

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• This is an amazing story: . Only in America.

 

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• Watch Bubba Watson get a pie in the face from January Jones on Fallon. That's a random assortment of people.

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 11:34
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-23-2015
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 23:

 

.

 

. For my money, . That's the face that captures what this tournament is all about for 67 of 68 teams.

 

.

 

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• SEC West schools are realizing that basketball is a sport too. , who led UCLA to three straight Final Fours a few years ago, and . Call it the Bruce Pearl effect.

 

. Too bad for him they'll probably never get together again, at least until they go broke.

 

• This is just plain bizarre: .

 

 

• Just when cops needed some good PR, .

 

• Paul Pierce shoved Omri Casspi into a little girl sitting courtside.

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, March 23, 2015 - 13:14
All taxonomy terms: Essential 11, Overtime
Path: /overtime/athlons-essential-11-links-day-march-20-2015
Body:

This is your daily links roundup of our favorite sports and entertainment posts on the web for March 20:

 

.

 

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. I have a feeling they'll still be showing this footage in 2115.

 

• Even on a great day of basketball, .

 

• Need a reason to root against Kentucky?

 

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. Next time just draw a chalk outline. 

 

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• LSU's collapse culminated with a clumsy buzzer beater by NC State. Just how Mark Gottfried drew it up.

 

-- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, March 20, 2015 - 11:24

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