Devil Ball Golf
A pair of shoes Arnold Palmer wore in winning the 1958 Masters has sold at auction for $66,000, with the winning bid settled on Saturday in the auction conducted by Texas-based firm Heritage Auctions.
Palmer wore a pair of FootJoy wingtips for that win, the first of four consecutive Masters wins in even-numbered years, and eventually gave the shoes to one of his pilots. Palmer signed the shoes in 2004.
The original estimate placed the value of the shoes at $15,000, so the $66,000 sales price is somewhat shocking, despite the value of Palmer memorabilia increasing substantially after his death last September at the age of 87.
Another Palmer item sold for dramatically more than expected. An original 1974 LeRoy Neiman painting of Palmer by sold for $144,000 in the auction, $44,000 more than the estimated price.
It doesn’t seem like anyone, including Tiger Woods, is really clear on what his future is in golf for this year or beyond. What the public knows right now is that Woods is on the shelf until further notice.
Jack Nicklaus is just as befuddled as the many of you. When talking about Woods on Sunday in the NBC broadcast booth during the final round of The Honda Classic, the 18-time major winner seemed confused about where Woods is physically and mentally.
“And now, I don’t know about Tiger,” Nicklaus said. “That is the biggest puzzle to me that I know. I just don’t know where he is and where his mind is. I don’t know.”
Woods started the 2017 year with an ambitious schedule of four events in a five-week span. After missing the cut with 76-72 at Torrey Pines, he flew to Dubai to shoot a birdie-free 77 in Round 1 of the Dubai Desert Classic before withdrawing prior to Round 2, citing “lower back spasms” for the fourth consecutive time he has pulled out of a tournament. Woods then didn’t conduct a news conference with the media while hosting the Genesis Open at Riviera, with Woods’ agent saying his medical staff suggested Woods remain “horizontal.”
The World Golf Championships kick off for 2017 in a new location, with a new tournament. The WGC-Mexico Championship starts Thursday from Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City, with a 77-player field taking on a free payday in the no-cut event.
Played at an elevation of nearly 7,800 feet, the ball will go far this week as players take on a classic, tree-lined layout.
Here are our top five players for this week:
1. Dustin Johnson – He’s the best player in the world, and this place could be a pitch and putt for him.
2. Jordan Spieth – Spieth has been brilliant all year, and the course isn’t long enough to give him any kind of trouble.
3. Rickie Fowler – Fowler finished off a big lead at Honda, and he’s been strong throughout the season. Keep it going.
4. Hideki Matsuyama – Matsuyama is now fourth in the world, and he should thrive this week at a place that demands great tee-to-green ballstriking.
5. Rory McIlroy – McIlroy would be ranked higher, but there has to be a smidge of doubt about his form coming back from injury.
Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 1 day ago
It wasn’t particularly pretty on Sunday, but Rickie Fowler picked up his fourth PGA Tour win at The Honda Classic.
For the first time in four tries in his PGA Tour career, Fowler converted a 54-hole lead, maintaining the four-shot edge he had to start the final round at PGA National’s Champion Course. In the end, Fowler bogeyed the final hole to shoot 1-over 71 at cap off the win at 12-under 268.
The final round didn’t get off to a great start for Fowler, who, after a birdie on the par-5 third then dropped a shot at the following hole. Two holes later, Fowler’s tee shot found the water hazard left and led to a double bogey. However, Fowler steadied the ship, managing to not drop another shot on the front side. A par at the 10th hole kept his edge at two.
Back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes were the sealing circles on the card, scored with a 39-foot putt followed by a 24-footer.
From there, Fowler simply had to finish dry. He did that, albeit with a bogey, ending a winless drought that went back to the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship.
The victor credited his work over the first three rounds and his putter for getting him through a tough round in windy conditions.
Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 1 day ago
Jason Day has withdrawn from the WGC-Mexico Championship, pulling out on Sunday in citing dual ear infections and the flu.
“I’m truly disappointed to announce that I won’t be able to play in next week’s World Golf Championship-Mexico Championship,” Day said in a release through his agent, Bud Martin. “I have a double ear infection and the flu, which precludes me from preparing for and playing in the tournament. I have heard great things about the Mexico Championship and the golf course. I want to thank the Salinas family for their support of the event. I look forward to teeing it up there next year.”
Not only do the dual ear infections make the prospect of flying sound pretty miserable, but Day also has a history of vertigo, which is a function of the inner ear. Add in the flu, and there’s not much incentive for Day to travel to Mexico City to take on the first WGC-Mexico Championship.
The WGC-Mexico Championship essentially replaces the former WGC-Cadillac Championship, which had previously been held at Trump Doral, outside of Miami.
Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 2 days ago
Bryson DeChambeau ended 2016 looking for answers with his putting. He came up with the sidesaddle approach and stroke, believing it would be easier for him to make more putts.
After debuting the stroke and a self-fashioned putter at the Franklin Templeton Shootout in December, the transition has not been a fruitful one. Before this week, DeChambeau had missed three consecutive cuts, then suddenly withdrew from the Genesis Open, into which he was invited on a sponsor’s exemption, after just 28 holes and citing a hand injury. Fellow Web.com Tour graduate Grayson Murray called out DeChambeau for backing out at Riviera.
This week, DeChambeau came to PGA National putting conventionally. It didn’t work either, with DeChambeau missing the cut by four shots. DeChambeau, clearly frustrated, pointed the blame for his decision to abandon the sidesaddle style at the USGA, which had deemed one of the putters he submitted for approval with the intent of using it for sidesaddle putting as non-conforming, meaning he couldn’t use it.
On Sunday, DeChambeau walked back his comments on Twitter.
Ryan Ballengee at Devil Ball Golf 2 days ago
Rickie Fowler will carry at least a share of the 54-hole lead into a PGA Tour final round for the fourth time in his career on Sunday at The Honda Classic. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that Fowler has never converted a 54-hole lead into a win.
Back on the good column, Fowler carries a four-shot edge into the Sunday finale at PGA National after a third-round, 5-under 65 brought him to 13-under 197. After the round, Fowler copped to his recent issues in finishing off the Saturday night lead on the PGA Tour, but he also didn’t seem discouraged by those defeats so much as resolved to give himself that opportunity more frequently.
“I definitely need to put myself in this position more often, which is just going to lead to me winning more often,” he said. “I’m not going to be able to take a 36- or 54-hole lead every time and win, but the more times you put yourself there, the more trophies I get to hold on Sunday.”
Rapidly rising Englishman Tyrrell Hatton is alone in second place and will play with Fowler in the final pairing.
Fowler, seeking his first PGA Tour win since the 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship, isn’t looking in the rear-view mirror.
In an effort to avoid making nothing at The Honda Classic, Shawn Stefani stripped down to almost nothing.
Stefani’s drive on the sixth hole at PGA National found a water hazard, but the water was shallow enough for him to try to hit the ball and escape by avoiding a penalty stroke and subsequent drop. Stefani got down to his underwear, got in the ankle deep water and took a cut. He advanced the ball 45 yards out of the hazard, leaving a mid-iron up-and-down to make par.
This was a choice rooted in the odds.
“I was just trying to make the cut,” Stefani said. “If I had taken a drop, I would have had to do it in the rough, 20 or 30 yards back. I would have been hitting a long iron into a green where you can’t stop the ball.
“All I was trying to do was make the best decision, and I think it was the best play. I fought hard until the end. It’s a tough golf course, but I never quit. I never gave up.”
While he found the green with his third shot, he didn’t make the save from 10 feet. He finished at 2 over par, two shots outside the cut.
“Hopefully, my wife wasn’t disappointed,” Stefani said. “But I was out there fighting for my family. I was fighting to make the cut.”
Rory McIlroy took to Twitter on Friday to defend his decision to play golf with President Donald Trump on the prior Sunday.
McIlroy, who has been out of action since injuring a rib at the South African Open in January, got the invitation to play with President Trump at Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Fla., late Saturday. The four-time major winner accepted the invitation to play with Trump and two others in an 18-hole round that White House staff originally billed as Trump playing just a few holes. Unbeknownst to McIlroy, in revealing his round with Trump to No Laying Up, he forced the Trump White House to revise their story.
However, McIlroy could well have known the backlash that was coming from those who do not support Trump, his policies or rhetoric. And, he got it in spades. After five days of hearing criticism that got personal and, in McIlroy’s view, went too far, he felt it important to explain his decision — and perhaps humanize it.
On this episode of “The 19th Hole Golf Show,” we dig into Pat Perez’s comments about Tiger Woods, why he was shouted down for having an opinion and the comparison in reaction to him voicing his views as opposed to the reaction to Steven Bowditch’s DUI arrest.