Month: May 2021

  • Hard Rocks

    first_imgNick Faldo made a curious remark last weekend at Congressional.  “It’s too much,” he said during the CBS broadcast as he watched the tournament leader’s score drift closer and closer to even par. Too much? The final-round scoring average at the Quicken Loans National was 73.720, nearly 1 ½ strokes higher than during the other three rounds, but players faced a triple whammy of toughness on Sunday: a sun-baked, dried-out course; thick, gnarly rough; and a major-championship venue. Of course scores were going to be higher. Justin Rose finished at 4-under 280 and won in a playoff. It was the highest winning score in relation to par on the PGA Tour since Patrick Reed – coincidentally, the 54-hole leader at Congressional – won at Doral with a 4-under total. So far, seven regular-season tournaments (nine, if you include both majors) have featured a winner who was single digits under par. Not surprisingly, many of those events were played on some of the Tour’s best courses – places like Torrey Pines and PGA National, Doral and Innisbrook, Colonial and Congressional. You know, tracks that present championship tests, where players arrive expecting nothing less. On the other hand, 15 tournaments this season have had a winning score of at least 15 under par. Five of those were more than 20 under. Track meets. Tough conditions often don’t translate to compelling television – save for those who enjoy schadenfreude – and that may, in fact, have been Faldo’s main gripe.  But too much? No way. These occasional grind-fests are a nice change of pace to the week-in, week-out birdie binges that so often come down to which player is putting the best. Congressional demanded strong play throughout the entire bag, especially with the long clubs. Sorry, Sir Nick, but major-caliber tests needn’t be reserved solely for majors.  Now, the holiday edition of the #AskLav mailbag: World Rankings and Reed’s comment aside, who are your current top 5 players in the world? #AskLav— Denis (@gc_denis) June 30, 2014 This man’s top 5: 1. Adam Scott 2. Henrik Stenson 3. Rory McIlroy 4. Martin Kaymer 5. Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar Look, it’s hard to find fault in what the OWGR has produced at the top of the world order. Scott has won four times since the 2013 Masters and Stenson has six top-7 finishes in his last seven starts. Despite his maddening inconsistency, Rory still belongs at the No. 3 spot. Before his MC at the Irish Open, he hadn’t finished outside the top 25 in a worldwide event since October (!). Kaymer has to be on everyone’s top-5 list based on what he’s done in the past two months, while, for me, it’s a coin flip between Bubba and Kooch for the No. 5 spot. Not listed: Patrick Reed, though it’s undeniable that he can play like a top-5 player, occasionally.  @RyanLavnerGC What is the most $ won in one LPGA season? Will Stacy Lewis pass it this season?— Jentry Jones (@jkjones21) June 30, 2014 The record is held by Lorena Ochoa, who earned more than $4.36 million in 2007 – incredibly, that was over $2.5 million more than No. 2 Suzann Pettersen. Don’t remember 2007? That was the year Ochoa won eight times, including the season-ending ADT Championship, a prize worth $1 million. Stacy Lewis has already won three times this season, and she has $1.881 million in earnings with three more majors to play. More than that, though, this is the first year of the Race to the CME Globe, which will award $1 million to the season-long champion. The CME Group Tour Championship will also have a $500,000 first-place prize. Not even halfway to Lorena’s record total, however, Stacy will need to be even more dominant in the second half of the season. Don’t put it past her.  @RyanLavnerGC @GolfChannel how do you do so well at fantasy golf?— Scott (@golfer17059) July 2, 2014 Well, believe it or not, it does require some research – recent performances, trends, track records, horses for courses, calculated risks for Groups 3 and 4, etc. Other times, it’s one or two hunches per year that really pay off. (After all, how else could Gary Williams justify taking Shawn Stefani last week in Group 4, after he had finished inside the top 40 only once in his last seven events?) After finishing second among Golf Channel experts a year ago, I’m not taking my $1.1 million lead lightly, though. There is a lot of golf left to be played. @RyanLavnerGC #AskLev how crucial is it for players to play links courses in the weeks leading up to The Open?— lemon (@lemondrop156) July 2, 2014 It’s worth noting that each of the past four Open champions have played the week before at the Scottish Open, though each with varying degrees of success. Phil Mickelson went back-to-back, of course, but before him Ernie Els finished 32nd, Darren Clarke finished 66th and Louis Oosthuizen missed the cut. Those players would probably tell you that it’s crucial to play there, not just to get in some last-minute reps but also to get used to the time change, the conditions, the weather, the style of golf, everything. To be sure, playing the Scottish Open – this year it’s at Royal Aberdeen – is a far more productive way to spend the week before than playing, say, the John Deere. In recent years, at least, it’s been a winning formula. @RyanLavnerGC whose your sleeper pick @The_Open??— Dan Jones (@djbjones07) June 30, 2014 Earlier this week on Twitter, I threw out that my pick for the Open was Henrik Stenson. The dude has six top-7s in his last seven starts, and few guys strike it as purely. After sending that tweet, Golf Channel colleague Ryan Burr replied that he was going further “outside the box” … and instead took the No. 10 player in the world, Jordan Spieth. Some sleeper!  Anyway, here are a few of my guys to keep an eye on: Memorial winner Hideki Matsuyama will be dangerous, because, uh, he just does everything well; Brandt Snedeker has finished T-11 and T-3 in his last two Opens, and he’s finally back to playing the type of golf that we expect (21st or better in each of his last three starts); and, finally, going even deeper thanks to @MajorAlsPicks: Mikko Ilonen, who recently won the Irish Open, captured the British Amateur at Hoylake in 2000 and also finished 16th when the Open was last held there in ’06.   @RyanLavnerGC On a scale of 1-10, how bold would it be to predict that Jordan Spieth will win a major or The Players in 2015? #asklav— Aaron Paulk (@Nemo0694) July 2, 2014 On a boldness scale? About a 2. The kid – he turns 21 this month – is the 10th-ranked player in the world. Nothing he does surprises me anymore. Whether it will actually happen is another matter entirely. The competition is so much deeper now, and you’re talking about only a five-event window. That said, what excites me about Spieth and the upcoming Open is that he’s always been a terrific links player and a guy who thrives in the wind. He can rely on his creativity and his smarts at a major that doesn’t demand perfection on and around the greens. I’d look for him to force his way into contention at Hoylake, which is good, because he probably needs another in-the-hunt major experience before he’s ready to actually take one home. @RyanLavnerGC @GolfChannel do you think Tom Watson has one last special week in him at the British Open? #AskLav— Andrew Ebner (@Tha_Govna) July 2, 2014 As cool as it would be … um … no. His close call in 2009 not only crushed our major spirit but his as well. His final Open next year at St. Andrews will be yet another can’t-miss moment in an arena that has given us so many.last_img read more

  • Arnie: Sharing personal stories of Palmer

    first_imgGolf Channel interviewed more than 100 people in making the “Arnie” documentary. Here are several interviewees who know Palmer in various capacities, sharing their favorite personal stories.  David Marr, son of Dave Marr, on Palmer as U.S. Presidents Cup captain: “One day, he felt like the team needed a little more bonding than had been going on. … This is GOLFPASS Member Exclusive Content Join GOLFPASS and enjoy 4,000+ tips from top coaches, monthly tee time credit, coaching programs, training aids, and more. Terms and conditions apply. Free trial not applicable on GOLFPASS+. Get Your Free 7 Day Trial Already a GOLFPASS member? Click here to sign inlast_img read more

  • Stenson builds three-shot lead over Spieth in Atlanta

    first_imgATLANTA – Two years after Henrik Stenson sailed to victory at the Tour Championship, he has another comfortable lead after 36 holes at East Lake and Jordan Spieth is chasing him. Back then, Spieth was a 20-year-old rookie. Now he’s the Masters and U.S. Open champion, and he found a spark in a steady drizzle Friday. Stenson overcame a few mistakes off the tee and was solid on the back nine for a 2-under 68, stretching his lead to three shots over Spieth going into the weekend and moving closer to his first win of the year – and a $10 million bonus for claiming the FedEx Cup. ”I didn’t feel like it was my best day, but I managed to keep it together and 2 under around here is never bad,” Stenson said. He doesn’t know anything different. This was his sixth straight round under par at East Lake, a course where the Swede has led after every round he has played. Stenson, who went wire-to-wire in the Tour Championship in 2013, was at 9-under 131. Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos Spieth has made only one bogey over two rounds, and a pair of par saves on consecutive holes on the front nine felt just as valuable as his four birdies in a round of 66. The average score was 71.6 on a wet day that yielded only four rounds under par. Spieth went from the right rough to the left rough on No. 5 and still had 60 yards left and a tree in front of him. He took a risk going through the tree to 6 feet for par, and then rolled in a 20-foot par putt for a bunker save on the par-3 sixth. ”It was huge,” Spieth said about the par saves. ”I thought I may have to re-tee, and I was just kind of all over the place at that time. And that third shot I hit on 5, I mean, one of 10, maybe. There was no other option, but it wasn’t necessarily smart. And I had to have the wind blowing this branch back and forth, I had to hit it when it blew it this way or else it would have gone up into it.” He closed with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th to get into the final group. Paul Casey made bogey from the bunker on the 18th for a 70 and was four shots behind, while Open champion Zach Johnson birdied three of his last four holes to overcome a double bogey on the par-5 ninth. He had a 70 and was at 4-under 136. Jason Day, in his first event as No. 1 in the world, finally looked human. He felt flat, wasn’t sharp off the tee or into the greens, and shot a 71. It was his third round over par in his last 10 tournaments, and it left him nine shots behind. Stenson was four shots clear of Adam Scott after 36 holes when he won the Tour Championship two years ago, with Spieth another shot behind. Spieth made a late run on Sunday and tied for second, capping off a remarkable rookie season. He is looked at differently now – the Masters and U.S. Open champion and looking more certain to be voted PGA Tour player of the year. ”He’s one of the best players in the world as we know, and had a fantastic year behind him,” Stenson said. ”So he’s going to be a very tough contender throughout these last two days. He was good already back then, but he’s certainly not any less good now. We know that much. Once again, I’ve got to focus on my game and bring my game and keep my head down and foot down and press on if I want to leave the guys behind me.” The biggest challenge figures to be East Lake, especially with more wet conditions in the forecast. The Bermuda rough can be tricky when it’s dry because it can be difficult to judge how far the ball flies out of it. Wet rough is difficult in a different manner. It makes the course longer off the tee, and longer coming out of the thick grass. Day hit a 3-wood from 195 yards in the rough on No. 5. Had it been dry conditions like Thursday, Day figures he would have hit 8-iron. Stenson hit a 4-wood and a gap wedge to a front pin on No. 4 in the opening round. On Friday, he hit 3-wood off the tee and still had 6-iron to a back pin. ”That’s a two-club difference when the air is heavy and you’re not getting as much roll,” he said. With a tougher golf course, Stenson said there will be a premium on making fewer mistakes. Spieth is happy to be on a course of this nature, especially after three weeks of watching players – mostly Day – pour in one birdie after another in low-scoring affairs. It was demoralizing at times, especially when Day started 61-63 last week at Conway Farms. ”I wasn’t going to catch him last week,” Spieth said. ”I say that now. You tell me that at the time and I’ll get mad at you. I don’t accept that, and that’s my personality. This week is a bit different because there isn’t a 22 under out there.” But there’s still Stenson, and that could prove just as daunting.last_img read more

  • While some panic, Tiger patient amid early struggles

    first_imgDUBAI, United Arab Emirates – When it comes to Tiger Woods, patience is in short supply. Fans want to see the guy who won 14 majors in 11 seasons and reigned as the world No. 1 for a staggering 683 weeks over the course of his career. The media pines for the once-in-a-generation player who transcends sport. And certainly those who pay his appearance fees, which according to various sources easily exceeded seven figures for this week’s stop in Dubai, anxiously await the man who made red and black on Sundays a staple. The collective wants it all, be it the 2000 or ’05 versions of TW, and they want it now. It speaks volumes that it sometimes seems the only person with any patience when it comes to Woods’ current comeback is Tiger himself. Woods has admitted in the past to being antsy, particularly off the course, and he has a history of ignoring doctor’s orders when it comes to his competitive fortunes. But this time has been different. Following multiple back procedures after the 2015 season, Woods watched all of the official ’16 season from his couch. Even when it appeared he was poised for a comeback he slow played his return, withdrawing from the Safeway Open last fall. And on Thursday at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong, Woods remained a singular voice of reason – patience, even. Omega Dubai Desert Classic: Articles, photos and videos “I’m fighting my ass off to try and shoot a score,” he said after an opening 5-over 77 left him a dozen strokes off the lead. “I’m trying to get back to even par, and once I get back to even par, try and get 1 or 2 under. Just try and creep my way back.” After two early bogeys at Nos. 10 and 12 – he started his day on the outward loop – Woods remained upbeat, telling caddie Joe LaCava that even par at the turn was the goal. He figured he could make up ground on his second nine and close the gap on the leaders. “It just never materialized. I never did it,” he shrugged. Woods turned in 40 strokes after finding a water hazard, which is easier than you’d think to do in this desert, short of the 18th green. Of the 66 players in the early wave, Woods was beating just two of them, and things didn’t get any better after that. He failed to birdie the par-5 third after a poor chip shot. In fact, he played Emirates Golf Club’s four par 5s in 2 over par. Woods missed one of his best birdie chances of the day when his 20-footer at the fourth slipped by on the high side, and three-putted the fifth hole for bogey. There was some solace for Woods in that he hit 10 of 14 fairways on an increasingly windy day, which was a vast improvement over his 4-of-14 performance on Day 1 last week at Torrey Pines. But he struggled with the pace of the greens on his way to 33 putts. “I just could not hit the putts hard enough. I left every putt short,” Woods said. “What I thought was down grain, downwind, would be quick, downhill, and I still came up short. Into the wind, uphill putts into the grain, I put a little more hinge on it going back to try to get a little more hit to it and it still didn’t work.” It’s not as though Woods was thrilled with his worst round in eight starts in Dubai, as evidenced by his body language on the 18th hole – his ninth – after hitting a 100-yard wedge shot 98 yards and into a water hazard, or when officials told Woods’ group to pick up the pace on the sixth hole. But all things considered, Woods remained focused on the bigger picture – which includes refining his game in time for the Masters and staying clear of the disabled list if not the trainer’s table. “I wasn’t in pain at all. I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a very good job,” Woods said. “At the end I finally hit some good ones but the damage had already been done.” The only damage on Day 1 seemed to be to his confidence following another over-par round to begin a tournament – he opened with a 76 at the Farmers Insurance Open. That he’s scheduled to tee off Friday afternoon with a shamal forecast to bring winds of 30 mph likely won’t help that outlook. But of all the things that are in short supply for Woods these days, a reliable driver and consistent touch on the greens topping the list, it’s an abundance of patience that might be his greatest asset. Instagram nation understandably wants the guy who for so long was virtually unbeatable, but on this the only real authority is Woods, who seems content with the notion that this come back will likely take some time.last_img read more

  • Nervous? Park? Coulda fooled us

    first_imgNAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee. She says she always gets nervous starting a round. You don’t believe it, though. She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . . Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . . Or disarming ticking bombs . . . “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists. Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship. Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors. Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65. At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith. She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot. She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng. And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings. CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking. Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf. It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going. Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend. Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events. “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.” About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it. Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box. “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.” David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August. “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.” Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274. Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . .  “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said. Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much. “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?” Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities. “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday. Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.last_img read more

  • Monday Scramble: Thrill to surreal

    first_imgPatton Kizzire survives a marathon playoff, the Sony Open features a bit of everything, Rory McIlroy scares his fans, Thomas Bjorn gets a sneak preview and more in this week’s edition of Monday Scramble: A British survey recently found that golf was the most boring sport to watch on TV. Uh, not last week. The never-ending playoff at the Sony Open wasn’t must-see action, but it was a fitting end to a week that was sad and surreal, wild and absurd. Here’s guessing that at year’s end, most won’t remember that Kizzire prevailed at Waialae. But they will recall Jim “Bones” Mackay dusting off his caddie bib, and Kevin Kisner donning an Alabama jersey to pay off a bet, and a false-alarm missile threat, and a caddie who hit his head and now remains in critical condition, and a televised final round with a skeleton crew. All in a span of four days. 1. Kizzire became the first multiple winner on Tour this season after defeating James Hahn on the sixth playoff hole. It was the longest overtime period on Tour in more than five years. After needing 61 starts to earn his first victory last fall at Mayakoba, Kizzire now has two wins in his last four starts. Kizzire is No. 1 in the FedExCup. With 1,213 points, he’s the equivalent of No. 38 in last season’s standings, making him a virtual lock for the season finale.  2. Both playoff participants were kicking themselves for missed opportunities. Kizzire missed an 18-footer in regulation that would have won the title outright. Hahn, whose previous two Tour titles came in playoffs, had a 6-footer for birdie on the fifth playoff hole. It never had a chance, sliding by on the right side. He also missed putts inside 20 feet on the 72nd hole, first, third and sixth playoff holes. Hahn began the final round seven shots off the lead but shot 62. “I played good enough to win,” he said, “but I didn’t.”  3. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that there were only two guys in the playoff. Tom Hoge had the overnight lead and appeared in command for much of the final round, but he made a mess of the 16th hole. In between clubs, he yanked his approach shot into the bunker, then couldn’t find the green with his third. He chipped to 12 feet and missed the putt, the double bogey putting him one shot behind. He failed to make his 7-foot birdie on the last to join the playoff. Hoge hasn’t been able to keep his card his previous three seasons on Tour. “This sets me up a lot better for the rest of the year,” he said, after a career-best third-place showing.   4. You may have noticed that the final-round broadcast of the Sony was a little different, with a crew in Orlando, not Honolulu, handling the commentary with limited cameras. That’s because the audio and video workers walked out over a labor dispute. Everyone loses in this unfortunate scenario – especially the fans – but we couldn’t help but chuckle at all of the wannabe TV critics on social media. Golf is, by far, the most difficult sport to cover on television. Being able to piece together limited coverage of the event with a skeleton crew – and only after help from on-course reporter Jerry Foltz, who manned a camera in the 16th tower – was remarkable.  5. It was another frustrating week on the greens for Jordan Spieth, who preached patience after tying for 18th at the Sony Open. Spieth, who has been working tirelessly to replicate his setup, posture and freedom from his best putting seasons in 2015-16, said that “it’s just going to take some rounds.” He never took fewer than 30 putts each round and ranked 58th out of 76 players in strokes gained-putting. He also lost strokes to the field a week ago, ranking 30th out of 34 players.  His T-18 ended a streak of seven consecutive top-10s, dating to the PGA.  6. Justin Thomas didn’t defend his Sony title, but he felt as though he could have. In tying for 14th, JT said his distance control was “atrocious.” And that he hit too many poor wedge shots and putts. Still … “I easily, easily could have won this golf tournament by a pretty good amount of strokes.” 7. That would have been an impressive feat with a temporary caddie. Thomas teamed up with Mackay for the week at Waialae. Mackay, who spent 25 years on the bag with left-hander Phil Mickelson, joked that his biggest issues were cleaning the correct side of the clubs and standing on the right side of his boss. It should only be a one-off, with Thomas set to work with putting coach Matt Killen at his next start at the Phoenix Open. He’s hoping that his regular looper, Jimmy Johnson, who is out for at least a month because of a foot injury, should be healthy enough to return after that.   8. After four months away, Rory McIlroy announced his return to professional golf with a stunning bit of news: He revealed to the Daily Telegraph that he has a heart irregularity, which was caused by a thickening of his left ventricle following a viral infection 18 months ago. Not to fear, he later clarified: He will need a cardiogram every six months and an MRI each year. “It’s really not that big of a deal and nothing to worry about,” he said. 9. An even bigger takeaway was this quote: “I needed the reset that I’ve just had. Let’s just say that between now and when I signed off last year, I feel way more optimistic, focused, motivated, purposely. I know exactly what I can do.” That should be encouraging news, but the time for talk is over. He needs to perform. If McIlroy doesn’t have a big year, it’s fair to wonder what more it will take.  10. The captain of last week’s EurAsia Cup, Thomas Bjorn got a preview of what at least part of his European Ryder Cup team will look like come September. Is he more nervous now? The heavily favored Europeans trailed after team play before a dominant performance in Sunday singles – they won eight of the first nine matches – to pull out the victory. Despite a massive talent advantage – Europe had six of the top 20, while Asia had just one of the top 40 – the Europeans trailed by a point after fourballs and foursomes play. Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton – who are likely to make their Ryder Cup debuts later this year in Paris – went undefeated in this event, while Paul Casey earned two points. This is the message that everyone in Hawaii received at about 8 a.m. local time Saturday: Terrifying, right? It wasn’t reported that the alert was a false alarm for about 10 more minutes, leaving residents and those in Honolulu for the Sony Open to wonder whether they were in imminent danger. The threat wasn’t real, but sadly the feeling of terror was. Now, more than ever, it feels like something like this actually COULD happen. Scary. This week’s award winners …  Stud of the Week: Brooke Henderson. She finished seventh in the Diamond Resorts Invitational, but she did so while playing the same tees as the men (6,626 yards, in cold, windy, wet conditions) and beating them 22 of them. Love watching her compete.  Best Wishes: Cory Gilmer. Blayne Barber’s caddie is in critical condition after falling and hitting his head Friday night in Hawaii.  All In Good Fun: Justin Thomas and Kevin Kisner. It was a heartbreaking loss for my Dawgs, but Kisner and Thomas did the right thing by taking their bet to the next level. The PGA champion signed the jersey and will auction off the item for Kisner’s foundation. Perhaps not coincidentally, Kisner bogeyed that hole …  Refreshing Perspective:John Peterson. The free spirit, playing this season on a major medical extension, isn’t sweating the small stuff. If he doesn’t earn the $375,165 he needs to keep his card, he’ll likely leave pro golf and get into the real-estate business. “Right now, I’d like to keep playing golf. But if I don’t, it’s great. I’ve got a little farm. I’ve got a little boy. I’m in a good spot.”  When PDA Is Acceptable: Chris Paisley. A final-round 66 earned the 31-year-old Englishman his first European Tour title. Even better, he had his wife, Keri, on the bag for the first time.  Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Marc Leishman. He shared the halfway lead at Kapalua and was heading to an entirely different track at Waialae, where he’s been solid, with made cuts in all eight appearances. Well, he made the cut again last week, but he failed to get anything going, finishing in a tie for 47th. Sigh.last_img read more

  • Glover (64) leads Tour Championship

    first_imgATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover shot his second consecutive 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead at the Tour Championship. The 38-year-old Glover, who won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, can still regain his PGA Tour card through a medical extension if he fails to earn enough money in the four-tournament Tour Finals. But a high finish this weekend at Atlantic Beach Country Club would take care of everything. ”I’ve got a lot to fall back on regardless of this week, but any time I tee it up, I want to play well,” Glover said. ”Tomorrow won’t be any different. Sunday won’t be any different.” Glover had arthroscopic knee surgery in June and will have eight starts to earn 53 FedEx Cup points and keep his card. He earned $17,212 in the first three Tour Finals events. The top 25 money winners in the series earn PGA Tour cards, and the final card went for $40,625 last year. Glover was at 14-under 128. Denny McCarthy, who has already earned enough money to secure a return to the PGA Tour, was one shot back. McCarthy, a former Virginia player, has a shot at winning the Finals money list, which would guarantee him fully exempt status and entry into The Players Championship. Full-field scores from the Tour Championship ”There’s no secret about it. I’ll come out and tell you I’m here to win this tournament and get that No. 1 spot,” McCarthy said. ”I’ve been hungry for a while. I have a pretty hungry attitude and I’m going to stay hungry.” Tour veteran Cameron Tringale, who has earned just $2,660 after missing two of the first three cuts, was 12 under after a 67. Last year, Tringale entered the Tour Championship at 63rd on the Finals money list and finished tied for fifth to get back onto the PGA Tour. He struggled again this season, though, missing 19 cuts in 26 starts. ”Yeah, I was hoping last year was my last time here, but I do have a comfort at this golf course and I’m excited to keep pressing,” Tringale said. The four-tournament series features the top 75 players from the regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings, and non-members with enough money to have placed in the top 200. The top 25 finishers on the regular-season money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. Sepp Straka and Ben Silverman were three shots back. Each would likely need a top-5 finish to earn his card. Peter Malnati, who regained his card with a second-place finish in the opening finals event, followed his opening-round 74 with a 9-under 62, shooting an 8-under 27 on his second nine. Four-time PGA Tour winner Aaron Baddeley was among those who missed the cut. He was 22nd on the finals money list going in and likely will fall short of earning his card.last_img read more

  • A (New) Argument for Abortion

    first_img Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis TagsabortionAlabamaEvangelicalfetushuman exceptionalismhuman lifepersonhoodWillie Brownzygote,Trending Recommended “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Michael EgnorSenior Fellow, Center for Natural & Artificial IntelligenceMichael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.Follow MichaelProfile Share Life Sciences Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Billions of Missing Links: Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain Culture & Ethics Medicine A (New) Argument for AbortionMichael EgnorMay 12, 2017, 11:28 AM There’s an argument making the rounds in the pro-abortion movement that’s important, both for the inanity of its logic and its implications for the state of the debate about human exceptionalism and the protection of innocent life.Dr. Willie Parker is an abortionist in Alabama, and in his new book, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice, he defends abortion from his Christian perspective (he’s an Evangelical). Parker’s argument is this: there is no question that a baby in the womb is alive (he calls it “the pregnancy”); but it is not life that warrants protection, but persons. And the mother is a person, whereas, according to Parker, the baby is not. So the mother’s suffering with an unwanted pregnancy takes precedence over the life of “the pregnancy” (the baby), because the baby is not a person, has no rights, and cannot suffer.From an interview with Parker, with my commentary:Here’s the thing: Life is a process, not an event. If I thought I was killing a person, I wouldn’t do abortions. A fetus is not a person; it’s a human entity. In the moral scheme of things, I don’t hold fetal life and the life of a woman equally. I value them both, but in the precedence of things, when a woman comes to me, I find myself unable to demote her aspirations because of the aspirations that someone else has for the fetus that she’s carrying.Life is not a “process,” in Parker’s sense of the word. Parker means that, in his view, human life has no sharp beginning, but gradually develops from gametes to being a human being. He is mistaken about the science.Life is an activity, a state, of an individual organism. It entails processes, of course (growth, metabolism, sensation, perception, etc.), but there is not a seamless continuum between inanimate matter, parts of human beings, and a human being.A human life begins at fertilization of the egg by the sperm. I am alive. A fetus in the womb is alive, as is an embryo, as is a zygote. A cell in my body is alive in the sense that it is part of me, but a somatic cell is not a human life itself. A sperm cell is not a human life. Nor is an egg cell.A zygote is a human life, because it is, from a biological perspective, a human being. Human life begins at fertilization: the new human being at this stage has its genetic complement and will, if nourished and unimpeded, mature to an embryo, a fetus, a baby, a child, and an adult.Human life begins at fertilization, and ends at death. Individual parts of human beings — cells and tissues and organs — are not lives in themselves, but are parts of a human being.There is no scientific debate about the fact that human life begins at fertilization and ends at death. This is a simple biological fact, known since the 19th century when the science of human reproduction was established.Whether a human being at the stage of an embryo or a fetus is a “person” is another matter. A person is (in this context) a human being who is worthy of moral respect and legal protection. It is on the question of personhood of the child in the womb that the abortion debate hinges, not on the question of whether the child, from zygote to embryo to fetus, is a human being.A fetus isn’t a “human entity.” He or she is a human being. Human life begins at fertilization. That is a fact of biology, and has been settled by science for two centuries, and it’s regrettable that Dr. Parker, an abortionist, misrepresents the science to defend his trade.The real question in the abortion debate is this: Are all human beings persons, or does personhood depend on certain characteristics of human beings? One hopes that African-Americans especially will reject Dr. Parker’s argument that a certain class of human beings, because of their condition of vulnerability, aren’t persons and aren’t entitled to respect and legal protection. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharelast_img read more

  • The Story of Mark van Dongen

    first_imgCulture & Ethics Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Recommended Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Tagsacidassaultassisted suicideattackbatteryBelgiumcrimeculture of deathdespairhomicideMark van DongenmedicinemurderpsychiatryThe Guardian,Trendingcenter_img Medicine The Story of Mark van DongenWesley J. SmithNovember 12, 2017, 3:31 PM Wesley J. SmithChair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human ExceptionalismWesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.Follow WesleyProfileTwitterFacebook Share This is an awful story but it shows how the assisted suicide movement greatly harms the culture and despairing individuals at their times of greatest vulnerability.Mark van Dongen was paralyzed by his former girlfriend with acid — a horrific crime. He survived the assault but was in so much pain — and despairing over his disability and disfigurement — he asked to be euthanized in Belgium. From the Guardian story:An engineer who was left paralysed and disfigured after an acid attack allegedly carried out by his jealous ex-girlfriend died in a euthanasia clinic 15 months later having decided he could not face a life of pain, her murder trial has been told…Van Dongen, who had begun to see another woman, suffered 25% burns, lost a leg, his left eye and most of the sight in his right eye and was left paralysed.He applied for euthanasia in Belgium, which was approved after three consultants examined him. It was decided his was a case of “unbearable physical and psychological suffering” and he died in January this year aged 29…He was kept in an isolated ward in intensive care for six months before being moved to a burns ward, spending a total of 14 months at Southmead.Vaitlingam said: “Sometimes he said he wanted to live, at other times that he wanted to die.”His father hired an ambulance to take him to Belgium, where doctors there confirmed he would be paralysed for life and need maximum doses of pain relief. He successfully applied for euthanasia.Here’s the thing: The attack was not fatal. The person who actually killed van Dongen was the doctor.That added further harm to the existing tragedy. Over time, with help from a loving community and engaged medical/psychiatric team, van Dongen might have regained the will to live. It has happened before.So, can a person who makes a person want to die from an attack be charged with his murder because he had himself killed?The lawyer in me says no. She did not kill van Dongen. I don’t think making someone want to die is the same thing.So, throw the book at the woman with the maximum for the monstrous thing she actually did, which was attempted murder and an egregious assault and battery.Frankly, I wish the doctor could be charged with murder. He’s the one who actually committed homicide. In the name of compassion, he’s the one who ended all hope.Photo credit: Bev, via Pixabay.Cross-posted at The Corner. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more

  • A Tendentious Appeal for Methodological Naturalism

    first_img TagsatheismChurch LadyCrustaceadark finger reef crabdivine agencyEtisus dentatusGeologyGreeksGregory W. DaweshistoriographyhistoryJames DanaManual of Geologymaterialismmethodological naturalismnaturalismpaleontologyPaul NelsonphilosophyreligionSaturday Night LivescienceT.H. HuxleytheismTiddy SmithYale University,Trending Faith & Science A Tendentious Appeal for Methodological NaturalismPaul NelsonJuly 20, 2018, 1:11 PM Recommended “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Paul NelsonSenior Fellow, Center for Science and CulturePaul A. Nelson is currently a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute and Adjunct Professor in the Master of Arts Program in Science & Religion at Biola University. He is a philosopher of biology who has been involved in the intelligent design debate internationally for three decades. His grandfather, Byron C. Nelson (1893-1972), a theologian and author, was an influential mid-20th century dissenter from Darwinian evolution. After Paul received his B.A. in philosophy with a minor in evolutionary biology from the University of Pittsburgh, he entered the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. (1998) in the philosophy of biology and evolutionary theory.Follow PaulProfile Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All From “The naturalism of the sciences,” by Gregory W. Dawes and Tiddy Smith, writing in the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:The sciences are characterized by what is sometimes called a “methodological naturalism,” which disregards talk of divine agency. In response to those who argue that this reflects a dogmatic materialism, a number of philosophers have offered a pragmatic defense. The naturalism of the sciences, they argue, is provisional and defeasible: it is justified by the fact that unsuccessful theistic explanations have been superseded by successful natural ones. But this defense is inconsistent with the history of the sciences. The sciences have always exhibited what we call a domain naturalism. They have never invoked divine agency, but have always focused on the causal structure of the natural world. It is not the case, therefore, that the sciences once employed theistic explanations and then abandoned them. The naturalism of the sciences is as old as science itself.From a quick scan, this is an interesting article — but their historiography looks more than a tad tendentious. Dawes and Smith say they’re simply describing (as a “matter of fact”) the history of science. But they’ve also carefully built escape or exception clauses into their history, so that any counterexample does not count against their thesis. As they write on page 28, opening the gate so that the exceptions can wander away, leaving only the obedient sheep in the pen: The naturalism of the sciences is a norm of scientific inquiry and norms represent both how a community regularly behaves and how its members think one ought to behave (Pettit, 1990, p. 728). So the existence of a norm is consistent with its occasional violation. [Emphasis added.]Well — how convenient, as the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live used to say.I grabbed a 19th-century science textbook from my office shelves: James Dana’s Manual of Geology (1871). Dana was professor of geology at Yale and by any dispassionate description fully a “scientist.” Here is how Dana ends his discussion of the topic “The Progress of Life” (paleontological trends — a summary of the signal from the fossil record):Geology appears to bring us directly before the Creator; and while opening to us the methods through which the forces of nature have accomplished His purpose, — while proving that there has been a plan glorious in its scheme and perfect in its system, progressing through unmeasured ages and looking ever towards Man and a spiritual end, — it leads to no other solution of the great problem of creation, whether of kinds of matter or of species of life, than this: — DEUS FECIT.  (p. 602)Deus fecit — Latin for “God created.”This was a widely used geology textbook: “science” by any description. But this counterexample (one of hundreds possible) won’t count, because it’s “an occasional violation” of an otherwise universal norm.  Universal generalizations sleep undisturbed when the contrary evidence isn’t allowed anywhere near the doorbell.Moreover, the relentless late 19th-century campaign by T.H. Huxley and others against scientific explanation by divine action and for fully naturalistic or materialistic explanation should not have been necessary, if Dawes and Smith are correct in their history.But — check the article, it’s open access — Dawes and Smith tip their hand in their concluding paragraph. Any flexing of the methodological naturalism (MN) rule will fracture science along religious lines, they say, and that’s bad. So the provisional atheism of science should continue, because that’s what science since the Greeks has always done……Except when it hasn’t — but we’re not counting the many exceptions.Editor’s note: For more on MN, see Paul Nelson’s comments here, “Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys.”Image: Dark finger reef crab (Etisus dentatus), an illustration from James Dana’s book Crustacea (1855), via Wikimedia Commons. Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharelast_img read more