A year ago, during the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf, Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops and owner of Big Cedar Lodge, drove me around the site of Gary Player's 13-hole Mountaintop Course. Meanwhile, PGA Tour Champions players were competing on the nine-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed Top of the Rock and the 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed Buffalo Ridge Springs. Just east of the Springs, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were hard at work on The Ozarks, a fourth course, scheduled to open in 2018. Morris boasted that the land under construction would be "our best chance to host a really major championship someday."
You mean, like, the U.S. Open?
Thomas Bjorn, who will captain the European team against the U.S. in the 2018 Ryder Cup matches in France, was interviewed Tuesday on Facebook Live from European Tour headquarters at Wentworth Club in Virginia Water, England. Here are excerpts from the discussion with Bjorn, a 46-year-old Dane who is a 15-time winner on the European Tour and veteran of three Ryder Cups, all victorious for Europe:
What was it like being at Augusta for the Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose finish down the stretch?
It was amazing. It's a very special place, and even when you go there as a non?competitor, it's a bit different, but then to watch those two go at it on Sundaywas remarkable. It's difficult not to feel for Justin for the way he played and the way he handled himself. You wanted to hand out two green jackets on the day, but that wasn't going to happen. To see Sergio win his first Masters, his first major, was very special. There's probably not anybody in the game that deserves it more than he does. Now finally he got one and probably won’t surprise anyone if he went on to win a couple more.
Criticism of Dufner was out of bounds
Your article about the Jason Dufner "putter drop" was totally inappropriate and came across as kicking someone while he is down (“When it comes to sportsmanship, Dufner is a slouch,” April 17, bit.ly/2nWXI9T).
There was no justification for bringing up Dufner's divorce and personal issues. How is it that letting the putter fall to the ground is deserving of that kind of personal attack, but when players such as Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Emiliano Grillo, etc., throw their clubs it doesn't generate that type of reaction? Or how about the frequent F-bombs from Tiger Woods?
Elevated: To the PGA Tour for the 2017-18 season, the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, from the developmental Web.comTour. The event, to be played March 22-25 at Puntacana Resort’s Corales Golf Club along the Caribbean in the Dominican Republic, will be held opposite the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play and carry a purse of at least $3 million, the PGA Tour announced. There was no word on the fate of the Puerto Rico Open, which was played this year opposite the Match Play.
Upheld: By Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, a trial-court decision that granted a painting contractor more than $315,000 in a dispute with Trump National Doral Miami, the resort owned by one of President Donald Trump’s companies. The Paint Spot, a Miami-area paint-store chain, was awarded $32,535 for work at the resort, the former site of a long-running PGA Tour event, plus attorneys’ fees of $282,950. Trump National Doral Miami had claimed that The Paint Spot had improperly billed for its services.
Minimal amount, in dollars, that Ian Poulter must earn this week in the Valero Texas Open to remain exempt for the rest of the PGA Tour season. Poulter, who began the season on a major medical extension after rehabilitating an arthritic joint in his right foot, had 10 events to earn $347,634 or 218 FedEx Cup points. A two-way tie for 36th would earn Poulter the required money. He also could retain a spot on Tour with 63.775 FedEx Cup points, which would be solo 12th place or better.
An item in the “Keeping score” department in the April 14 issue of Morning Read misstated the golf-industry data that Pellucid Corp. tracks. The 20-percent decline in March was reported in available rounds (due to golf playable hours).
Greg Brandriet, the superintendent at Elkhorn Golf Course in Spearfish, S.D., will make his first trip to the nation’s capital to participate in National Golf Day on April 26. Brandriet, 41, will be among more than 50 golf course superintendents taking part in the activities, which will include aeration and beautification on 40 acres of the National Mall.
More than 40 PGA Tour professionals have worn the foot-suspension system made by Aline Systems, the company announced. Among the touring pros to use the replacements for shoe insoles are Ken Duke, Adam Hadwin, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na and D.A. Points.
The seventh annual Annika Invitational at Mission Hills Resort will be held April 26-28 in Dongguan, China, the Annika Foundation announced. Nearly 100 girls ages 9-17 are expected to compete, with the low three scorers exempted into the 2018 Annika Invitational USA, one of the AJGA’s top events.
Junior: Sage Valley Junior Invitational
Sage Valley Golf Club, Graniteville, S.C.
European Tour: Shenzhen International
Genzon GC, Shenzhen, China
Web.com Tour: United Leasing and Finance Championship
Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Ind.
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course)
Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge
Top of the Rock, Ridgedale, Mo.
Symetra Tour: Sara Bay Classic
Sara Bay CC, Sarasota, Fla.
National Golf Day
Web.com Tour: El Bosque Mexico Championship
El Bosque CC, Leon, Mexico
LPGA: Volunteers of America Texas Shootout
Las Colinas CC, Irving, Texas
PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New Orleans
TPC Louisiana, Avondale, La.
European Tour: Volvo China Open
Topwin Golf and CC, Beijing
Symetra Tour: Symetra Classic
Atlanta National GC, Milton, Ga.
Industry: Haggin Oaks Golf Expo
Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, Sacramento, Calif.
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