TUESDAY  | JULY 31, 2018
by Gary Van Sickle

Tiger Woods has won eight times at Firestone Country Club. Can he make it nine this week when the Bridgestone Invitational returns to Akron, Ohio? I don’t know about that, although his recent showing in the British Open at Carnoustie makes the possibility seem reasonable.

I know this: He’s never going to get a 10th PGA Tour victory at Firestone. This week is the end of the Bridgestone Invitational. The Tour will say farewell to Firestone.

 



by Dan O’Neill

Is a third time really a charm? The 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis next week is putting the idiom to the test.

As things stand now, Tiger Woods is in the field. Fingers crossed, planets aligned, gods willing – and nothing untoward happens this week at Firestone – he will put a ball in the air come Aug. 9. And if he does, what a long strange trip it will have been. 

 


Memories of ‘Leaky’ that won’t fade
While watching Saturday's broadcast of the Canadian Open from across a crowded 19th hole at Ridgemont Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., I suddenly gazed on video images that I remembered well but had not seen since 1978. As I watched them, my heart sank almost immediately, just as the chip shot from “Leaky” disappeared for eagle on the 18th hole at Glen Abbey in the third round of the Canadian Open nearly 40 years ago to the day. I knew in my gut that the announcers were about to report that Bruce Lietzke had died (“Lietzke, 67, loved off-season, not practice,” July 30).

You see, I never saw that shot live because I was standing on the 17th green, 500 yards away, in the final pairing with John Schroeder and Pat McGowan. The moment when Lietzke holed his shot, the roar from the crowd was so huge that it probably was heard in downtown Toronto.

 


Secured: By Americans Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed, spots on the 2018 Ryder Cup team, according to the PGA of America. Only two events – this week’s WGC Bridgestone Invitational and next week’s PGA Championship – remain for players to earn points and qualify for the team. Koepka, Johnson and Reed rank Nos. 1-3, respectively, on the Ryder Cup points list. The top eight automatically qualify for the biennial matches against Europe, set for Sept. 28-30 at Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France. Captain Jim Furyk is expected to announce his four at-large selections to complete the 12-man team after the BMW Championship ends Sept. 9.

 


10-1

Odds for American Dustin Johnson, the favorite, to win next week’s PGA Championship, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Johnson, who won the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday for his third victory of the season, is No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The co-No. 2 picks for the PGA, which will be played Aug. 9-12 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, are Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and American Jordan Spieth, at 12-1. American Tiger Woods, seeking his first major championship since 2008, was the next choice, at 16-1, with countrymen Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, the defending champion (odds).

 




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Casa de Campo, home to the Pete Dye-designed Teeth of the Dog course, offers a variety of lodging options for a fall golf getaway to the Caribbean resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Villas start at $249 per person, per night, double occupancy, with the rentals ranging from three to 11 bedrooms. The resort features 63 holes of golf, all designed by Dye.

 

When renovations at the Garden Course at Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore are completed in early 2020, multiple playing loops will be a design feature. Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects will oversee the construction, which is scheduled to begin in January.

 

Audubon Country Club in Naples, Fla., welcomed Richard H. Nielsen Jr. as its executive chef. Nielsen will oversee all culinary operations at the club.

 

Sportswear manufacturer Cutter & Buck debuted New Available Now, a program that immediately delivers newly launched products to wholesale accounts. The company expects faster delivery of new products to customers and more flexibility for retailers.

 

Nippon Shaft reports that its products were used by the winner of the recent Senior British Open. The champion used Nippon’s N.S. Pro Modus Tour 105 steel shafts in his irons and wedges.

 


CALENDAR
July 30 - August 2
Junior boys: Canadian Junior Boys Championship

Medicine Hat (Alberta) G&CC

July 31 - August 3
Junior girls: Canadian Junior Girls Championship

Beach Grove GC, Tsawwassen, British Columbia

Junior boys: Boys Junior PGA Championship

Valhalla GC, Louisville, Ky.

July 31 - August 4
Men’s amateur: Western Amateur

Sunset Ridge CC, Northfield, Ill.

August 2-5
European Tour: Fiji International

Natadola Bay GC, Natadola, Fiji

LPGA: Ricoh Women’s British Open

Royal Lytham and St. Annes, Lytham, England

PGA Tour: Barracuda Championship

Montreux GC, Reno, Nev.

PGA Tour: WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Firestone CC (South), Akron, Ohio

Web.com Tour: KC Golf Classic

Nicklaus GC at LionsGate, Overland Park, Kan.

August 3-5
Champions: 3M Championship

TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minn.


      
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