THURSDAY  | JUNE 21, 2018
by Jeff Babineau

Jordan Spieth sometimes looks down at his golf ball on short putts, and sometimes he looks at the hole. These days, he’s spending a lot of his time looking in the mirror. 

It’s summer, the thick of major-championship season, and whither Jordan? He is struggling. Mightily. His putting has been poor, and just as he thinks he has some positive momentum there, his usually dependable ball-striking took a couple of weeks off. Spieth lacks confidence right now, which is troubling. After all, it was Spieth’s robust confidence and tremendous early success – two majors at 21 – that fueled so many other young players – Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele and others – as they climbed to new heights. 

 



by Adam Schupak

U.S. Amateur finalist Doug Ghim was in the Augusta National locker room at the Masters in April when he couldn't resist stopping Jason Day to tell him a story about the time when Ghim watched Day play at the Nationwide Tour's 2007 LaSalle Open. 

"It was the final round, and he hit this driver off the deck to like 15 feet and made 3," said Ghim, as if it happened yesterday, of the incident at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill. "He threw the ball over to me. Nobody knew who he was at the time. He was 19 and from Australia, and the whole crowd was following the guy who won the tournament [John Riegger], and I found him on the putting green and got him to sign the ball. When I told him that story, he said, 'That's crazy. That's the kind of stuff that makes me love what I do.' He was so gracious and gave me advice on how to play the Masters."

 


by Jeff Babineau

Much has been written about the manner in which champion Brooks Koepka handled the pressure of a U.S. Open on the back nine Sunday at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. He performed with equanimity. “Pressure,” though, can be a relative term.

Forty-one years earlier, in 1977, Hubert Green won the U.S. Open at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., where the torrid June heat dialed up significantly once Green stepped off the 14th green in the final round. It had little to do with the temperature.

 


A sure thing for the Barnyard Open

It's sad that the lack of integrity in society has permeated down to the great game of golf (“Mickelson, USGA disgrace U.S. Open,” June 17). Who does Phil Mickelson think he is? He says he wants to be like Arnold Palmer. Palmer just rolled over in his grave.

What do you think this is, Mickelson, the Barnyard Open? This is the U.S. Open. Conduct yourself appropriately. Is this what the PGA Tour and the other ruling bodies of golf want to project – the USGA is complicit in this case – with top players having total disregard for the game and its rules?

 


Died: Peter Thomson, an Australian and five-time British Open champion, at his home Wednesday in Melbourne, according to Golf Australia. He was 88 and had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for more than four years. Thomson won the Claret Jug in three consecutive years, from 1954 to ’56, before becoming “the champion golfer of the year” two more times, in 1958 and 1965. Only four other golfers – Harry Vardon (six) and J.H. Taylor, James Braid and Tom Watson (five each) – have won as many British Opens. Among his other victories, Thomson won the national championships of 10 countries, including nine New Zealand Opens. Thomson won 34 Australasian Tour titles and 26 times on the European Tour. He played a limited number of events on the PGA Tour, winning the 1956 Texas International, forerunner to today’s AT&T Byron Nelson. He won 11 times on the Champions Tour, including nine times in 1985. After his competitive days in golf, Thomson served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years and was instrumental in the establishment of the Asian Tour. He is survived by his wife, Mary, four children, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

 


24

Number of the top 30 players in the Rolex Rankings who will be playing in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, which begins today at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark. The field includes South Koreans Inbee Park, who has been ranked No. 1 for five weeks, and No. 5 So Yeon Ryu, the defending champion and winner of last week’s Meijer LPGA Classic (tee times).

 




FROM THE INDUSTRY

The Golf Club at Mansion Ridge in Monroe, N.Y., celebrates its 20th-anniversary season this year. To commemorate the occasion, the club, which features a daily-fee Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course, outfitted 76 of its carts with the Shark Experience golf technology.

 

Provision Events has been commissioned by presenting sponsor KPMG to improve the fan experience at the Special Olympics USA Games. About 3,500 athletes from every state are expected to participate, and an estimated 50,000 spectators are anticipated to attend.

 

Boot Ranch, a private-club community in Fredericksburg, Texas, has promoted Emil Hale to general manager. Hale, 54, has served as director of golf since the club opened in 2005.

 

North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks, Calif., has completed its restoration project on the golf course. Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects oversaw the work on the 1954 William P. Bell design. The official unveiling is scheduled for Sunday.

 


CALENDAR
June 17-23
Men’s amateur: British Amateur

Royal Aberdeen GC, Aberdeen, Scotland

June 18-21
Boys junior: Western Junior

Evanston GC, Skokie, Ill.

June 20-23
Men’s amateur: Northeast Amateur

Wannamoisett CC, Rumford, R.I.

Men’s amateur: Rice Planters Amateur

Snee Farm CC, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

June 21-24
European Tour: BMW International Open

Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, Pulheim, Germany

Web.com Tour: Air Capital Classic

Crestview CC, Wichita, Kan.

PGA Tour: Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Conn.

June 22-24
LPGA: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Pinnacle Country Club, Rogers, Ark.

Symetra Tour: Island Resort Championship

Sweetgrass GC, Harris, Mich.

Champions: American Family Insurance Championship

University Ridge GC, Madison, Wis.


      
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