Late in his first round at the Senior PGA Championship, Henninger arrived on the seventh hole (he played the back nine first at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Indiana) at one under par and in a share of the lead on a difficult day for scoring. And then. . . he did. . . (gulp). . . this:
Henninger settled himself to make a double bogey, but the two-time PGA Tour winner added a bogey on the ninth hole to shoot a two-over-par 74. There are plenty of holes to go in the tournament, but that could sting -- especially in the hands -- for a bit.
Unfortunately, it was too good.
Morrison's ball clanged off the flagstick and rolled off the front of the green. "So, so unlucky," an announcer said. But "sometimes lady luck pays you back," another commenter said moments later. Yep.
Morrison, a winner last week at the Open de Espana, took the bad break in stride and then chipped in for birdie. Check out the clip:
Karma. http://t.co/uSdrNdu6RZ— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 21, 2015
Of course, it helps to be a world-class golfer like Morrison, but let's try to keep this quick reversal of fortune in mind the next time we play. You know, instead of spending 15 minutes complaining each time you get a bad bounce.
A former USGA president, Tatum was the architect of the Massacre at Winged Foot, as the 1974 U.S. Open came to be called, so he understands what USGA executive director Mike Davis is experiencing in the run-up to the Open.
The 13th green at Chambers Bay (Getty Images)
“Players were taking members of the media out onto the golf course and dropping balls into the rough and saying, ‘try hitting that,’” Tatum said of the setup at Winged Foot. “There was a terrible amount of tension about the Open, and the tension emanated from the players, that what the USGA was trying to do was humiliate them. The tension built and built and built until it got pretty pyrotechnic. Criticism was very, very heavy. The average score on the first day was 77.”
Defending champion Johnny Miller called it “ridiculous.” Jack Nicklaus was asked about the finishing holes at Winged Foot. “The last 18 of them are very difficult,” he said.
That was then. This is now: “The reports back are it’s a complete farce,” Ian Poulter said on what he was hearing about Chambers Bay.
Tatum, who will turn 95 in July, does not know Chambers Bay, but he does know Mike Davis, and gives both him and the course his stamp of approval.
“Mike Davis was the originator of that decision [to take the Open to Chambers Bay] and he made it with a great deal of enthusiasm,” Tatum said. “That was impressive for me. I’ve not seen it. I do understand there are some criticisms of it. But knowing Mike, I was much impressed with Chambers Bay, on the basis of somebody who has as much knowledge as he has, to be as enthusiastic as he is.”
He sees in Davis a kindred spirit. Tatum said he “never had the slightest doubt” in his mind that Winged Foot was set up properly. “I never looked back. And Mike Davis will never look back. He’s accomplished in all the respects that matter. I’m confident it will turn out fine.”
The players who don’t grouse about it will have an advantage, he said. “Particularly playing at that level and playing an Open golf course, the central feature is that you have to be very focused. If your mind is wandering around, being critical about the course, you are going to have problems.”
One of the strongest players mentally, Hale Irwin, won the ‘74 Open. “That answered all the questions,” Tatum said, suggesting that the winner at Chambers Bay likely will do the same.
Make a hole in one ✓ Do a dance ✓ Chest bump ✓ Win a BMW ✓ http://t.co/3Ocmk3Y1nJ— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 21, 2015
Well done, Andrew. We haven't seen a running chest bump that good since the New York Knicks were NBA contenders in the 1990s.
Johnston -- sorry, "Beef" -- was obviously excited by the shot, but also by the sweet-looking BMW sports car it won him. Unfortunately for Beef, not a lot else went right for him in the opening round. He shot 77 with the ace being his lone hole under par on his scorecard.
Meanwhile, Jimenez is actually one of the early leaders after posting a 68. Factor in the shot, the celebration and the car, though, and Beef definitely beat the Mechanic on this day.
It turns out Woods gives a similar glare when he's playing poker, which can prove to be extremely effective in a game where participants are constantly trying to read their opponents. Here's Woods on Friday night at "Tiger Jam" in Las Vegas looking pretty serious sitting next to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban:
And here he is staying focused when doing an interview with Lynn Gilmartin, who works for the World Poker Tour on Fox:
Poker Tiger does not mess around, and apparently, Cuban found out about Woods' nasty streak at the tables the hard way. Here he is talking about Woods showing no mercy in knocking him out of the tournament:
Unfortunately, the video cuts off, but Cuban is saying something about Woods being a sore winner at poker. Sorry, Mark, it's tough to feel bad for a billionaire losing a few bucks.
Jordan Spieth: There's not much to find fault with here. Oddsmakers have Spieth as an overwhelming favorite (5 to 1), he finally rested after a busy stretch of golf, and he's finished in the top 15 in both prior trips to Colonial. We've seen what Rory McIlroy did in response to Spieth winning the Masters. This is a great opportunity for Spieth to reply in his own way. And check out this gray sweater vest he wore recently:
Ben Hogan would approve.
Adam Scott: The defending champ has fallen out of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but he still makes our list of the game's top-10 ball-strikers. Scott led the field in proximity to the hole by more than six feet during his win last year. Whether he's converting birdie putts or not, that sort of iron play should provide plenty of points.
Zach Johnson: No one has played Colonial better in recent years than ZJ, who had a remarkable four-year run from 2010-2013 in which he won twice and added a third and a fourth. Johnson benefits from this being one of the shorter courses on tour and his accuracy off the tee makes him extra valuable this week.
Ryan Palmer: While ZJ has played the Crowne Plaza Invitational the best in recent years, there's probably no golfer who has played Colonial more than Ryan Palmer during that time. The Texas native is a member at the Fort Worth club and that familiarity with the course has paid off the past three years with three top-15 finishes, including a pair of T-5s.
Bench: Boo Weekley and Kevin Kisner.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Palmer, Spieth, Senden, Weekley.
Bench/backups: Scott, Kisner, Poulter, Na.
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Zach Johnson.
Lauren Stephenson is a decorated junior golfer, ranking fifth nationally in the Polo Golf Junior Ranking after winning six AJGA titles in her career. Bound for Clemson in the fall, the 17-year-old uniquely added to her impressive resume on Tuesday when she earned all-state honors in South Carolina in boys golf.
Stephenson finished fifth for the Lexington High boys team in the Class 4A Boys Championship, shooting 73-74 at Furman University G.C. She had already led the girls team to three straight 4A state titles and been a five-time all-state girls selection.
"I wanted to make [boys] all-state; that was the goal that I set," Stephenson told The State. It's definitely an exiting way to finish my high school golf."
Officials told The State that no girl had previously earned all-state honors in boys golf. "Our top girls could definitely play on the boys' teams," said Dru Nix, the S.C. High School League associate commissioner, "but to make all-state [in the girls and boys tournament] is taking it to a whole new level."
Stephenson could play on the boys team under state rules because the school's girls team has a season with eight or fewer matches. She joined the Lexington High boys team in 2014 and finished 20th at last year's State Championship.
Photo courtesy of AJGA
This is getting to the point of an official bromance. Rory McIlroy had One Direction star Niall Horan caddie for him at this year's Masters Par 3 Contest, which surely upped Augusta National's following by the "teenie bopper" generation for the week.
Now Rory and Niall are teeing it up at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, one of the biggest events on the European Tour schedule. Augusta and Wentworth -- that's a pretty good one-two for this duo.
Joining these two Irish buddies on Wednesday at Wentworth were former Manchester United soccer stars Paul Scholes and Phil Neville.
Rory's the defending champ this week at the BMW PGA, but that's not stopping him from having a few laughs with his celebrity pro-am partners.
After their round, the European Tour had Rory ask Niall a bunch of questions from social media for a solid #AskNiall segment. Niall said he'd choose Frank Sinatra as the singer he'd most like to play golf with (great choice!), he's shot a 79 before (solid), and had some intelligent thoughts on why people think golf is boring (you have to play it!). Watch the full segment below.
Rory let Niall hit a tee shot on one of the par 3s at Augusta's Par 3 course. And it didn't go too well. Niall was shaking as much as one of his fans would've been if they got to take a selfie with him. But it looks like Rory tried to help the young singer on the greens a bit on Wednesday.Related: Niall Horan says Rory will sing at an upcoming One Direction concert
We could imagine soccer legend Paul Scholes and Horan laughing to each other, saying: "I wonder if people realize how famous we are out here at the golf course."
This tandem was obviously the hot interview on Wednesday at Wentworth.
What do you think Rory's saying to Niall's caddie? "Not another skulled chip shot. Man, he's really cramping my style. I'm not gonna be able to keep watching this.
Who wore their Nike stuff better? Love the flat-brim look for Niall. But you can't argue he looks better than Rory. Unless you're a One Direction fan. Then we're sure it's no contest.
This pro-am, of course, pales in comparison to the type of fun it looks like Niall had at the Billboard Music Awards after-party with Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris and Ed Sheeran. Jet-setting to tear it up on both continents. That's a world-famous musician move. Well done, Niall.
Of course, we're not promoting such shenanigans, but this wasn't your normal cart hijacking that usually takes place in the middle of the night and ends a few minutes later when people get bored driving around a course. No, these guys took the cart some time after the tournament ended and then drove it FIVE miles to get to their final destination.
As TFM points out, this required traveling on some major roads in the Charlotte area:
People on the scene said the guys parked the cart on the patio at Selwyn Pub, had a few drinks and left. Someone from Quail Hollow came to claim the vehicle the next morning and put it on a trailer instead of driving it back. Good idea.