It’s Greensboro, it’s the week after the last major championship of the year, it’s a bottom-heavy field and, oh yeah, it’s the last chance to qualify for the FedEx Cup series (where everyone who can play dead gets in anyway, so no suspense there). So what else would be a hot topic of conversation but the chance to see yet another 59 this week at the Wyndham Championship?
Chip Alexander lights up his “5” key and gets right to the point for the Charlotte Observer:
Fifty-nine has long been the gold
standard score on the PGA Tour, with just three 59s carded since Jimmy
Carter was president. Until this year, that is.
Goydos and Stuart Appleby each notched 59s this summer. Carl
Pettersson, Steve Stricker and J.B. Holmes have shot 60s, and
Pettersson burned the lip of the cup on a 30-foot birdie putt at the
18th hole during the RBC Canadian Open. What in the name of Al Geiberger is going on here?
The feeling is that little Sedgefield Country Club, a quaint par 70 course, is a lot like the Greenbrier, where Appleby finished off his 59. Sedgefield has bermuda greens. They’re slow at the moment and they’re being heavily watered to survive the dog days of summer. And that just might spell 59 … or better? Alexander asked players in this week’s field and the consensus was, maybe.
just kind of a perfect storm sometimes,” said Ryan Moore, the Wyndham’s
defending champion. “You get the right courses and right conditions and
right wind, and if that’s the case these guys out here are amazing
golfers and there are going to be great golf scores.”
In May, Ryo Ishikawa, the 18-year-old Japanese
sensation, put up a 58 on the Japan Tour. Recently, teenager Bobby
Wyatt had a 57 in the Alabama Junior Boys Championship in Mobile, on a
6,600-yard course, lipping out a birdie putt at the 18th. Trevor
Murphy, a former UNC Charlotte golfer, shot 56 last month in a
Nationwide Tour pro-am at Ohio State’s Gray Course in Columbus, Ohio –
albeit on a 5,800-yard, par-70 course. The score is unofficial, coming
in a pro-am, but 56 is 56.
are working so hard on and off the course trying to improve their
games,” Trevor Immelman said. “I guess time will tell, you know, if that trend
continues. It definitely has been out of the norm, but it’s
exciting stuff and probably great for our sport. It gets us in the news
more and more and makes people take notice.”
The case for 59 this week may be stronger than you think. Bob Stevens of PGATour.com thinks it just might happen and backs it up with facts and figures:
Sedgefield is a wonderful Donald Ross
layout with severely sloping green complexes. If the past is any
indication, these guys will go low again. Just ten Tour courses played
easier in 2009, and just eight played easier in ’08. No par-70 course
on Tour gave up more eagles or birdies last year than Sedgefield.
those course conditions? Scattered thunderstorms through the early part
of the week with only nominal winds should make the layout soft, with
birdies raining down. In a tour season that’s been so unpredicable, why
not another 59, or two, with a trip to the Playoffs on the line?
I’ve seen two 59s this year. I can’t wait to see the next one. And that wait might not be long.
Ryder Cup Conundrum A more pressing issue may be the Ryder Cup team, and two relevant players in the Wyndham field are Anthony Kim and Fred Couples. Kim is just back from thumb surgery. He got bumped out of the top eight on the Ryder Cup points list and now will have to be a wild-card selection to make the team. Given his past team performances, he’s a no-brainer as a pick … if he can get his game back.
Joedy McCreary of the Associated Press checked in with Kim, who could use a good week to strengthen his case for being on the Ryder Cup squad.
“It’s just time for me to get the ball in the hole the next month and prove
to him (Corey Pavin) that I’m playing well enough to make that team,” said Kim. “I wouldn’t say added pressure—I really didn’t have anything to lose
since I came back. I haven’t put the ball in the hole,
and I knew that when I came back, I was going to be rusty. I wish I had
practiced a little bit more before I played, but I just wasn’t able to do it. I
didn’t put too much pressure on myself, but at the same time, I was hoping for
the best. It didn’t turn out that way, and I just got bumped out.”
Kim is a lock for the FedEx Cup boat race. He’s 14th on that list. A bunch of other players are scrambling to improve their position, however.
Among those looking for a last-minute points boost is Trevor Immelman. He’s at No.
154—113 points behind No. 125 Michael Letzig —and is chasing his first top-10
finish since 2008. He’s made the cut in only eight of the 14 tournaments he’s played this year,
and playing his fourth tournament since the British Open, needs quite a push
just to make it to the next one, next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New
“Obviously, I want to be there. There’s no doubt about it,” Immelman said.
“It’s something that every player on the PGA Tour is trying to make sure he’s a
part of, plain and simple.
“But I’m in such an interesting phase of my career where the last couple
years has sort of been a stop-start. … (I’ve) really struggled to get any
momentum,” he added. “It’s been years since I’ve (played this many events).
… For me right now, everything is to make sure by the time Jan. 1 comes, I’m
able to play a full schedule next year and play the way I know I can.”
He certainly isn’t alone. No. 164 Fred Couples needs to finish third to
qualify for The Barclays, while any player ranked 153rd or better who finishes
in the top five this week will rack up enough points to reach the first
tournament of the playoffs.
A good showing by Couples might improve his chances of being a wild-card selection for the Ryder Cup squad. Google With Care You have no idea what I just risked to get you this next item. Googling can be bad for your health–your computer’s health. But I put it all on the line to find out just which celebrity names are the riskiest to Google and yes, Tiger Woods made the list. (That’s right, Tiger–you’ve still got it.)
Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts and Jessica Biel were also on the list of most dangerous celebrities to search for online, according to research by computer-security software maker McAfee Inc., reports the Associated Press.
It’s far from an Oscar, but landing atop
McAfee’s annual list carries a distinction all its own: It means that
criminals believe those celebs are the perfect lures to sucker people
into visiting malicious websites. Clicking onto strange sites is sketchy to begin
with. But many people do, and their computers get infected. Once a
computer is infected, criminals can steal victims’ online banking
passwords, e-mail passwords, and do other kinds of nasty deeds.
Attaching famous people’s names to malicious
sites is a well-worn ruse, to fool people looking at search results
into thinking they’re heading to a legitimate site.
The other most-dangerous celebrities to look for online, according to McAfee, are Gisele Bundchen, Brad Pitt, Adriana Lima, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Heidi Klum, Penelope Cruz and Anna Paquin.
McAfee performed its tests in July using the
company’s technology for identifying dangerous websites. The rankings
measure the likelihood that someone looking for things such as photos
and videos of those celebrities would land on a malicious site.
In the sports world, the list includes Maria Sharapova (13th); Andy Roddick (14th); David Beckham (29th) and Tiger Woods (33rd).