Posted on: June 2, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:06 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- This time, Jack Nicklaus says he wasn't trying to replicate, pay homage, or tip a cap to a certain venue located in North Georgia.
It just turned out that some see a resemblance between his redesigned 16th hole at Muirfield Village and the par-3 of the same number at Augusta National.
Purely by accident, he said.
"That wasn't the intent, but I can see how people might see some similarities," he said Thursday.
The 16th at Muirfield measures about 200 yards, with a green located along the left side of the green and bunkers on the right. People probably noted the similarity because the 12th at Muirfield very closely resembles the famed 12th at Augusta, which was by design, pardon the pun.
"As a designer, you have to take what the land gives you," Nicklaus said. "That's where it [the pond at the 16th] fit."
Nicklaus noted that the 16th at Muirfield will probably produce more crooked numbers than the 16th at Augusta.
"Honestly, I think the water is a lot more in play here [at Muirfield]," he said.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 11:42 am
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Golf has its first power poll.
Sure, there's been an official world ranking for 25 years, but it's been a controversial lightning rod because it's based on computers and weights assigned to events worldwide over two years. The Sagarin ratings are based on head-to-head play over 12 months.
Even CBSSports.com has a subjective world ranking posted in the first week of each month.
But like college footall and basketball, Yahoo Sports has cobbled together a list of writers, TV analysts, former players and golf insiders to produce the game's first actuall global poll of who the best players are at the moment, and it will be posted weekly, the website said when it debuted the new list on Tuesday.
Polls are different from rankings, of course, in that subjectivity and emotiona are often deciding factors. Still, 30-odd voters logged in and named Luke Donald as the runaway No. 1 pick, matching the official world ranking of the moment.
Here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/6zzzrov
Note the wide array of voters on the list, including author John Feinstein, designer Rees Jones, major winners Jerry Pate and David Graham, and CBSSports.com Pond Scrum protagonists John Huggan and Steve Elling.
The idea is to make the poll more reflective of the top 10 right here and now, versue based on 24- or 12-month intervals, and to throw the political issues that have dogged the computer-driven rankings out the window.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 11:10 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 11:11 am
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Maybe in the case of Josh Teater, bio is short for biohazard.
Each player on the PGA Tour has a page in the media guide, wherein personal facts and figured are detailed and career highlights are laid out in chronological order for easy reference. Teater, who is leading the Memorial Tournament midway through the morning wave at an impressive 5 under, might wanna can an editor at tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
His bio is a bit brutal.
Among the notes for his 2008 season is the fact that he was 19-under in the final round of the Q-school finals and set to earn a spot on the PGA Tour, but then played the final four holes with a triple-bogey, double-bogey, par and double-bogey and was shot down in flames.
Relegated to the Nationwide Tour instead, he earned a promotion to the big leagues after one season by finishing in the top 25 in earnings in 2009 and retained his card as a rookie on the PGA Tour last year, finishing a solid 89th on the final money list.
Off to a schorching start, the Kentucky native played the first seven holes of his opening nine, te back nine at Muirfield Village, in 5 under, including an eagle on his second hole.
Interestingly, in terms of physical appearance, the 32-year-old is sometimes mistaken for Sergio Garcia, who isn't here this week.
Teater shot 73-80 to miss the Memorial cut last year.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 10:41 am
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Let the record show that the first player victimized by the freshly overhauled 16th hole at storied Muirfield Village was none other than the player who has more PGA Tour wins this season than any other player.
Feeling that the par-3 hole was too vanilla, tournament host Jack Nicklaus blew up the 16th and rebuilt it as a 206-yard hole where tee shots must clear a water hazard that runs diagonally to the green. It's been noted that it resembles the last par-3 at Augusta National, also the 16th hole, and in fact, TV analyst Nick Faldo tweeted a photo of the revamped Muirfield hole Thursday morning suggesting as much.
Not that Nicklaus is above a little homage to the Augusta shrine. The par-3 12th hole at Muirfield closely resembles the 12th at Augusta, too.
Anyway, Bubba Watson, a two-time winner this season, was the first player to rinse a ball in the new greenside pond, though he saved a bogey from the drop zone, situated 128 yards away.
It will be interesting to see how difficult the hole plays this week, since the new green is far firmer than the rest of the established putting surfaces and players will have to allow for a big bounce whan the ball first lands and releases. The PGA Tour rules officials said they will adjust the tees accordingly to allow players to attack the hole with more lofted clubs.
"We're aware of it," rules official Steve Rintoul said.
The first seven threesomes to play the hole on Thursday morning managed one birdie, by Brett Quigley, who must have been less than thrilled, given that he was en route to shooting a 6-over 42 on the front nine and was dead last among those in the morning wave.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 10:07 am
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus is considered a veritable deity in most golf circles, so it stands to reason that he might have earned some pull with the atmospheric gods upstairs.
The weather forecast for the first round of the Memorial Tournament could best be described as idyllic, to say the least.
Thursday's prediction calls for warm temperatures in the mid-70s into the late afternoon, with only a 25 percent chance of showers at worst during the latter stages of the day.
Weather has often been an issue at the Memorial, but the four-day forecast is calling for increasingly warm temperatures. After weeks of record-breaking rain in the region, the course has dried out, the rough is thick and Nicklaus, the host this week, has the venue dialed in just like he wants it.