James Back isn’t satisfied. The returning sophomore from the USF men’s golf team isn’t satisfied simply being named West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year last season, and he isn’t satisfied with just qualifying for the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship, which begins Monday in Wisconsin. He wants to win it.
The 20-year-old said, “It’s really not as easy as people think,” and said he’ll be happy at least making it into match play. That’s still a lofty feat on its own, as only the top 64 players — out of a pool of 312 — will advance into match play. Read More
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Nobody ever doubted Tiger Woods’ intelligence. He didn’t get into Stanford simply because he could break par. A confrontation with Tiger in an interview room is as likely to end with the same result as one on the course. He wins.
Woods was primed and ready Wednesday for what turned out to be a less-than-revelatory session with the media before today’s start of the 93rd PGA Championship. Read More
A little of this ...
Counting Sunday’s unlikely British Open victory by Darren Clarke — whose first major comes at the age of 42 — the winners of the past 11 major golf championships since the start of the 2009 season are: Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Y.E. Yang, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy and Clarke. Read More
The questions are repetitive. And irritating. What’s wrong with United States golfers, or tennis players? Why are the best in the world from England or Serbia or Northern Ireland?
Maybe a better question is, does it matter? When did the U.S. Open or Wimbledon become like the Giants-Dodgers rivalry or Stanford vs. Cal? Would a U.S. golf fan rather see Rory McIlroy than Boo Weekley? Or Weekley because he’s from America, even if he’s not a major champion?
Do we care about talent or nationality? Are we respectful or merely provincial? Read More
Nick Watney wouldn’t use the term “Sweet Torture” to describe his win a few days ago on the PGA Tour, in the AT&T National. But if it’s good enough for the Giants, very much his team, he’ll be accepting.
With a round and a half to go last weekend, Watney was seven shots behind and shot 27 on the back nine Saturday, second lowest ever, and 62 total. He followed that with a 66.
With no holes to go, he was two shots ahead.
Sort of like the Giants. Until Sunday. Read More
This Open is closed, shut tight, impenetrably by the new genius of a golfer, Rory McIlroy. Record numbers, remarkable play. And now the focus shifts to the West, to San Francisco, to the Olympic Club, where America’s golfing championship will be on display next year.
We thought what Tiger Woods did at Pebble Beach in the 2000 U.S. Open was unapproachable — 12-under par and a 15-shot margin. But this weekend, McIlroy not only approached, he obliterated.
In 111 years, there’s never been an Open so bewilderingly fantastic as this one in the suburbs of the Nation’s Capital. Read More
What do you think Tiger Woods was doing Thursday? Possibly watching the U.S. Open as many others were, knowing he should have been playing, and would have been playing, were it not for that knee injury?
Was he sprawled on the couch, grabbing a potato chip or a Gatorade when he might have been grabbing a wedge?
Or was he a avoiding the telecast from Congressional Country Club in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., trying to escape another reminder of his situation? Read More
In the mind’s eye, there’s Payne Stewart standing in disbelief on the severely sloped 18th green at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, his 8-foot birdie putt attempt rolling 25 feet below the hole. Ah yes, the U.S. Open, agony and very little ecstasy.
That was then — and might be again next year when the Open returns to Olympic — but this is now, the 2011 Open at Congressional Country Club in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. The bewilderment and suffering are much the same. Read More
After finishing in a seven-way tie for eighth place at the Northern California Boys’ Golf Championships, St. Ignatius’ Nick Noya survived a playoff to claim one of the individual automatic qualifying spots to the State Championships at Poppy Hills Golf Club on June 8.
Noya and teammate Nick Satterfield both fired 1-over-par 71s at Butte Creek Country Club in Chico on Monday, but only Noya was able to make it through the playoff. Read More
Johnny Miller was back in his city a few days ago, back in San Francisco, where he grew up and learned the type of golf that would carry him to two major championships and a place with NBC as the game’s most candid television commentator.
Miller played Olympic Club while he was here, as he did while a junior member nearly a half-century ago, and as he did in the 1966 U.S. Open at age 19. He gained another perspective of what the old O.C. will be like when the U.S. Open returns in 2012. Read More