TUESDAY  | JANUARY 2, 2018
by Mike Purkey

More than anything, it looks remarkably like the professional game has entered a new era, a time of its own that doesn’t depend on the blurry past or uncertain future. All of the pieces are in place to focus on a group of players who no longer are cursed with unlimited potential but now are the game’s established stars, even though many are only in their 20s.

What we have to look forward to in 2018 is competition the likes of which we haven’t seen since before most of these players were born. In the 1980s, Jack Nicklaus won three majors and was one of golf’s stars, with Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Raymond Floyd, Nick Faldo and the late Seve Ballesteros.

 



One ‘curmudgeon,’ many opinions

I am an avid reader of Morning Read. I greatly enjoy the writers’ commentaries on various topics. One of my favorite sections is the “Inbox.” With this in mind, and given that I fancy myself a card-carrying curmudgeon, I have decided to weigh in briefly on a number of topics myself.

Anchored putters: It doesn’t matter a hoot whether or not they’re legal. If “Joe Six-Pack” wants to use one during a round with friends, or even while golfing solo (which many of us real folks do), he will continue to do so. Harping on the legality/fairness of such implements and their use is like telling “Joe” to stop taking mulligans, or stop improving his lie by nudging the ball with the clubhead onto a tuft of grass. Rules to the contrary, people will continue to do what they do and enjoy themselves.

 


REVEALED: By Michael Campbell in an interview with bunkered.co.uk, that he intends to play an undisclosed number of European Tour events this season in preparation for senior golf in 2019, when he will turn 50. Campbell, who outdueled Tiger Woods to win the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort, has not competed since he walked away from the game in early 2015. Campbell, a New Zealander who now resides in Spain, had endured years of missed cuts, assorted injuries and a breakup of his marriage.

 


6

Number of strokes by which Mason Overstreet won the Patriot All-America Invitational on Dec. 31 at The Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Overstreet, an Arkansas sophomore from Kingfisher, Okla., shot a final-round 6-under 64 for an 11-under 199 total. With the victory, Overstreet earns an exemption into the Web.com Tour’s Air Capital Classic on June 21-24 in Wichita, Kan. The Patriot featured All-Americans from the NCAAs three divisions, plus the NAIA and NJCAA, the U.S. military academies and foreign universities. Each competitor carried a golf bag bearing the name of a military member killed or wounded in action.

 



CALENDAR
January 3-6
Women’s amateur: Harder Hall Women’s Invitational
Harder Hall GC, Sebring, Fla.
January 4-7
PGA Tour: Sentry Tournament of Champions
Kapalua Resort (Plantation), Kapalua, Hawaii
Men’s amateur: New Year’s Invitational
St. Petersburg (Fla.) CC
January 10-13
Women’s amateur: South Atlantic Amateur
Oceanside CC, Ormond Beach, Fla.
January 11-14
PGA Tour: Sony Open in Hawaii
Waialae CC, Honolulu
European Tour: BMW SA Open
Glendower GC, Ekurhuleni, South Africa
January 12-14
European Tour: EurAsia Cup
Glenmarie GC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      
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