Devil Ball Golf

  • Nicklaus: Winning isn't the point of the Ryder Cup

    Jack Nicklaus thinks the United States is going to win the Ryder Cup in a few weeks in Minnesota, but the 18-time major winner doesn’t believe that’s the point of the biennial competition

    “To me the competition is incidental,” Nicklaus said Thursday at the Creighton Farms Invitational in Aldie, Va., according to USA Today.

    “Who wins bragging rights — and I know everyone wants to win — but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is the game of golf and people having good relations and goodwill.”

    Nicklaus has an outstanding Ryder Cup record, going 17-8-3 overall in six appearances, including a 4-0 effort in 1981. He was also the winning captain in 1983.

    However, the U.S. has struggled in the last two decades, losing eight of the last 10 matches to the European side, including the last three in a row. Dating back to 1995, the U.S. has only won in 1999 at Brookline (Mass.) Country Club and in 2008 at the Nicklaus-designed Valhalla Golf

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  • Report: Bubba Watson invited to Ryder Cup team practice at Hazeltine

    Bubba Watson is hoping to represent the U.S. in the Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)
    Bubba Watson is hoping to represent the U.S. in the Ryder Cup. (Getty Images)

    Bubba Watson isn’t part of the U.S. Ryder Cup team yet, but he will be practicing this week alongside members of the team at host venue Hazeltine National.

    Golf Channel reports Watson will join a half-dozen American team members at an informal practice over the weekend.

    On Monday, U.S. captain Davis Love III announced J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar were three of his four wild-card picks for the 12-player team. They finished Nos. 10-12 in automatic qualifying, with Love skipping over Watson, who finished ninth and first man out of an automatic spot.

    While a reading of the tea leaves and Love’s remarks on Monday suggested Watson may not earn the final pick made on Sept. 25 during halftime of NBC’s Sunday Night Football game (they also broadcast the Ryder Cup), this could be a sign that Watson still has a good chance to get that final nod.

    “I told Bubba after the Olympics, remember, there’s a pick

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  • The University of Virginia won the 2016 ACC women's golf championship.
    The University of Virginia won the 2016 ACC women’s golf championship.

    Days after the NCAA announced it would remove seven of its championships from the state of North Carolina in response to the state’s so-dubbed “Bathroom Bill,” the Atlantic Coast Conference followed suit in removing all neutral-site championship games from the state for the season.

    This includes the men’s and women’s golf championships for the 2016-17 season.

    The bill, officially known as the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, was passed in March in a special session of the North Carolina legislature. The law bans municipalities from enacting and enforcing anti-discriminatory laws on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, and it also requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.

    “As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and

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  • Steph Curry is more than a NBA most valuable player; he’s also an accomplished golfer, carrying a 2 handicap (meaning you could expect him to hang around par in an 18-hole round when he plays well).

    However, Curry has taken on President Barack Obama twice on the golf course, and both times Curry has lost based on the strokes he had to give the Commander-in-Chief because Obama isn’t as good of a player.

    Steph Curry is a very good golfer. (Charlotte Observer)
    Steph Curry is a very good golfer. (Charlotte Observer)

    Curry talked about his golf adventures with Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime TV show, along with special guest host Michelle Obama. The Warriors shooting guard said the President was good at getting under his skin with his brand of trash talk. The First Lady had some advice for Curry to turn the tables a little.

    “Talk about his ears,” said Mrs. Obama, drawing laughter from the studio audience. “As you’re putting, you should say, ‘The shadow from your ears is really messing up my putt.'”

    Curry joked that he has to be a little careful

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  • Collegiate golf has become bigger in recent years. (Getty Images)
    Collegiate golf has become bigger in recent years. (Getty Images)

    Collegiate golf is affected by the NCAA’s decision to move seven championships in the 2016-17 academic year from North Carolina in reaction to the state’s House Bill 2.

    The law, called the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act and dubbed the “Bathroom Bill,” prohibits municipalities from enacting anti-discrimination statutes protecting rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people, akin to the one passed in the city of Charlotte. The bill also requires people to use bathrooms in public facilities that align with the sex listed on their birth certificate. Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill into law in March.

    The women’s golf regional tournament, one of four feeder events into the national championship, was slated to be played in Greensboro from May 8-10. It will be moved, but the NCAA has not yet indicated a new host.

    The NCAA’s decision is the latest by a sports organization to take events out of North Carolina,

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  • Why isn't Bubba Watson on the U.S. Ryder Cup roster yet?

    NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 02: Bubba Watson waits to play his shot on the 12th green during the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 2, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)
    NORTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 02: Bubba Watson waits to play his shot on the 12th green during the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 2, 2016 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)

    Bubba Watson is a two-time major winner, an Olympian and the No. 7 player in the world. He finished ninth in U.S. Ryder Cup qualifying, the first man out of the points race for an automatic spot on Davis Love III’s Hazeltine National-bound team.

    And after Love announced three of his four captain’s picks on Monday, Watson is still not a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

    In being asked the uncomfortable question of why he didn’t select Watson, at least so far, Love seemed to suggest this was a matter of team chemistry.

    “I’ve been saying all along, we’re a sports team and we have to draft the right player for the right position,” Love said. “There’s going to be a lot of stats and a lot of things to look at, but making our pairings, fitting in with the team, doing

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  • Love adds Fowler, Kuchar, Holmes with three Ryder Cup wild-card picks

    If you were hoping the new Ryder Cup selection process would lead to some unpredictability and fireworks with the wild-card picks added to the team, then you were probably somewhat disappointed by the three players U.S. captain Davis Love III named to his team on Monday.

    At Ryder Cup site Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn., Love added J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar to the eight players who automatically qualified for the team at the end of The Barclays. Those players were No. 10-12, in order, at the end of the qualifying process.

    Fowler has never won a Ryder Cup match in two prior appearances, going 0-3-5. Holmes is on the U.S. team for the second time, being a part of the last American side to win the biennial matches against Europe in 2008. Kuchar is making his fourth consecutive Ryder Cup team, going 4-5-2 in his prior three appearances.

    Davis Love III is rounding out his team. (Getty Images)
    Davis Love III is rounding out his team. (Getty Images)

    Notably left off the team — at least so

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  • Dustin Johnson wins BMW Championship for 3rd title of the year

    Dustin Johnson may well have wrapped up PGA Tour Player of the Year honors on Sunday, winning the BMW Championship by three shots over Paul Casey for his third win of the season.

    Johnson shot a final round of 5-under 67 at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., to finish at 23-under 265. Locked in a battle with Casey in the final pairing, Johnson likely secured his title when he was able to make an 18-foot eagle putt on top of Casey’s 25-foot eagle at the par-5 15th hole. From there, Johnson made pars into the house for the win.

    This victory follows Johnson’s breakthrough major at the U.S. Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, tying him with Jason Day for the most wins on the PGA Tour this season.

    This was Johnson’s 12th PGA Tour win, and he’s quickly developing a closer’s mentality with a chance to hoist a trophy.

    “The more I practice, the more I’m in the situation, the more I know what to do and what to expect in the situations and kind of know what shots that I can hit and not to hit

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  • Phil Mickelson says U.S. Ryder Cup captain's picks already decided

    There will be some drama on Monday when Davis Love III names three of his four wild-card picks to round out the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

    However, Phil Mickelson suggested on Sunday that Love has already done his work and made his picks.

    After finishing the BMW Championship, Mickelson, who goes into the Tour Championship ranked 13th in the standings, said that the Americans have a “real game plan” and are already set with their pairings for the foursomes and fourball matches at Hazeltine.

    “We know who is going to be playing with who, when they’re going to be playing, what matches,” Mickelson said.

    Well, OK then.

    Mickelson credited vice-captain Tiger Woods for a lot of that game planning.

    “I am so happy to see how well he has thought this through,” Mickelson said. “I can’t believe our conversations just this week, how detailed he is and the pairings, the possibilities, the players. Not just what matches they’re going to play, but where on the list. He has got us really a good, solid game

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  • Jason Day withdraws from BMW Championship with back injury

    Jason Day is dealing with a back problem. (Getty Images)
    Jason Day is dealing with a back problem. (Getty Images)

    Jason Day has withdrawn from the final round of the BMW Championship on Sunday, citing a back injury.

    Day entered the final round at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., at 5 under par, 13 shots back of 54-hole leader Dustin Johnson. He played nine holes before pulling out of the tournament.

    The world No. 1 will have a week to rest his injury, as the Tour Championship, the last of the four FedEx Cup playoff events, does not start until Sept. 22 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

    Day suffered a back injury earlier in the season, en route to victory at the WGC-Dell Match Play in March.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.


    LISTEN TO OUR WEEKLY GOLF PODCAST! This week: Assessing the 2016 Ryder Cup teams

    Read More »from Jason Day withdraws from BMW Championship with back injury
  • U.S. Ryder Cup wild-card hopefuls pressing to make final impression

    J.B. Holmes is powering his way around Crooked Stick. (Getty Images)
    J.B. Holmes is powering his way around Crooked Stick. (Getty Images)

    U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has the task of selecting three of his four wild-card picks on Sunday after the BMW Championship.

    Conventional wisdom would suggest the captain’s microscope would be fixed on the players who came up just short of finishing in the top eight in points, shy of the players that automatically made the Hazeltine-bound team. Those guys would be Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar. So far, in the final event to make an impression before Sunday, three of those four players are thriving.

    J.B. Holmes leads the pack of hopefuls at Crooked Stick, flexing his power on Friday to shoot a 7-under 65 that has him at 10 under par and four back of co-leaders Roberto Castro and Dustin Johnson.

    Holmes has tried to take his mind off what’s at stake, both in trying to get to the Tour Championship and represent the U.S.

    “I think that I was focusing on it too much, because the last few

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  • Dustin Johnson shares BMW lead with Castro, looking to win again

    Dustin Johnson had fallen off his remarkably consistent pace, and part of the reason was he wasn’t able to get putts started on his intended line. So, before the BMW Championship, Johnson made a switch in his TaylorMade putter, to a model similar to that of world No. 1 Jason Day.

    Suddenly, Johnson can’t seem to miss.

    On Friday, Johnson’s strong putting carried over from the opening round and catapulted him to a course record 9-under 63 at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., and into a share of the lead with Roberto Castro at 14-under 130.

    “I feel like I always read the greens very well, I always have good speed, I’m just hitting a lot more putts on my line and they’re going in,” Johnson said.

    Dustin Johnson is surging again. (Getty Images)
    Dustin Johnson is surging again. (Getty Images)

    It helped that rains have softened the Pete Dye design, making it susceptible to good shotmaking, which Johnson has certainly done. When someone of his length is playing a complete game, it can be easier to get out of Johnson’s way rather than stand in his

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  • Jason Day: Winning won't be easy for a returning Tiger Woods

    Jason Day offered a bit of a reality check for the fervor surrounding Tiger Woods’ announced plans to come back to competitive golf in October at the Safeway Open.

    Namely, that, as Woods did in 2015, he’s going to have a hard time navigating his way to the winner’s circle — and that it doesn’t have anything to do with him.

    “The game is so tight with how competitive it is and how hard it is to win,” Day said Wednesday at the BMW Championship. “I don’t think winning is going to come as easily as it was for him back in the past.”

    While Woods has 79 PGA Tour wins, he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour in three years, since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

    Woods has proven to be a mentor of sorts for Day, texting back and forth with him to offer some semblance of advice and counsel for the Aussie as he tries to become a more prolific winner week-to-week, as well in the major championships. The Woods obsession with winning seems to have rubbed off on Day, who has spoken repeatedly and at

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  • Phil Mickelson pining to play with Tiger in Safeway Open comeback

    Phil Mickelson will be at the Safeway Open. (Getty Images)
    Phil Mickelson will be at the Safeway Open. (Getty Images)

    Until Wednesday, the biggest name committed to the Safeway Open in October was five-time major winner Phil Mickelson. Then Tiger Woods decided to announce his intention to play in the PGA Tour season opener two weeks after the Ryder Cup.

    Now, Mickelson is hoping to join Woods in what will be the marquee grouping for the first two days at Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif.

    “I think it’s great; I don’t know the state of his health. I haven’t seen him,” Mickelson said Wednesday after the BMW Championship pro-am, according to ESPN. “I’m looking forward to spending time with him at the Ryder Cup. I think that’ll be great motivation for him. Plus, he’ll have a week off.

    “I’m hoping we can get paired together (at the Safeway Open.) That would be really fun. I would love it. It’s great to have him back, and hopefully he’s physically able to practice the way he needs.”

    Mickelson, who will be on the U.S. Ryder Cup team alongside

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  • Tiger Woods announces plans for three-event comeback in fall

    Tiger Woods is ready to play golf again.

    The 14-time major champion announced Wednesday that he plans to play in three events this fall: the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif. from Oct 13-16; the European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open in Turkey from Nov. 3-6; and the Hero World Challenge, which he hosts and his foundation runs, in the Bahamas from Dec. 1-4.

    “My rehabilitation is to the point where I’m comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do,” Woods said on his website. “Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.”

    Tiger Woods intends to come back in October. (Getty Images)
    Tiger Woods intends to come back in October. (Getty Images)

    Woods has been out of action since August 2015, when he finished tied for 10th place at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina. That week, Woods complained of hip pain. However, the source of that pain turned out to be the same part of his back where a microdiscectomy was performed in March 2014. In September 2015, a second microdiscectomy was

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  • Golf club spark caused 20-acre fire in California

    A picture of the brush fire. (NBC Los Angeles)
    A picture of the brush fire. (NBC Los Angeles)

    You have to watch where you swing your golf clubs, particularly when it’s dry outside. Unfortunately, one odd swing created a 20-acre fire in California.

    A brush fire started at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Course in Orange County on Tuesday after a golfer’s swing struck a rock and created a spark that ignited the blaze, according to KNBC-TV. Fire crews came to the scene of the fire, which did its damage in a 90-minute stretch. A total of 140 firefighters and three helicopters combined to control the fire.

    Orange County fire officials said the fire spread, in part, because of the sloping topography of the golf course.

    Fortunately, no one was injured and no structure was damaged in the fire.


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.


    LISTEN TO OUR WEEKLY GOLF PODCAST! This week: Assessing the 2016 Ryder Cup teams

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  • Tiger Woods showed up to his daughter's school for career day

    Tiger Woods is still on the sidelines of the PGA Tour. (Getty Images)
    Tiger Woods is still on the sidelines of the PGA Tour. (Getty Images)

    Tiger Woods hasn’t played competitive golf in 13 months, so he’s had some more time on his hands to spend time with his two kids. That included, on Tuesday, showing up to his daughter Sam’s third-grade class for Career Day.

    Woods, who announced Wednesday that he will play three events in a Fall comeback, went to Limestone Creek Elementary school to talk about his career as a professional golfer (and restaurateur?) in Mrs. Todd’s class. The school’s principal shared some tweets with pictures of Woods, in very casual apparel, in action in the classroom, including answering questions from students.

     


    Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.


    LISTEN TO OUR WEEKLY GOLF

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  • Power rankings: BMW Championship

    The FedEx Cup playoffs roll on this week, with the top 70 players in the standings qualifying (and all playing but Henrik Stenson) moving on to the BMW Championship. This year, the third leg of the playoffs heads to Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., which last held the event in 2012 when — guess who? — Rory McIlroy won.

    Here are our top five players for the third leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs:

    1. Jason Day — Day struggled with his driver at the Deutsche Bank, so that’s something to keep in mind for the BMW, but he’s still been very consistent through the season.

    2. Dustin Johnson — Crooked Stick seems like a course that tends to reward power. That would be up D.J.’s alley. Two finishes outside the top 10 since the start of June.

    3. Rory McIlroy — If Rory McIlroy is going to putt like he did at TPC Boston (or even close to it), then he can be a threat. He’s streaky, but he’s returning to a place where he won in 2012.

    4. Patrick Reed — Reed is remarkably consistent this year, and he’s been

    Read More »from Power rankings: BMW Championship
  • Jim Furyk is out of the FedEx Cup playoffs. (Getty Images)
    Jim Furyk is out of the FedEx Cup playoffs. (Getty Images)

    Jim Furyk’s truncated PGA Tour season ended on Monday, with the 2003 U.S. Open champion failing to finish high enough in the Deutsche Bank Championship to advance to the next stage of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

    With Furyk outside the top 70 in points, he won’t get another opportunity to impress U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III that he’s deserving of one of Love’s four wild-card picks, three of which he’ll announce after the BMW Championship.

    In his two playoff starts, Furyk may have been trying too hard to stand out.

    “My game is not far off, but at the moment it’s not where I’d want it to be,” said Furyk, who finished T-41 at The Barclays and T-57 at the Deutsche Bank Championship. “It’s been tough the last couple of weeks not to press a little bit.”

    However, not all is lost. Furyk finished the PGA Tour regular season with a pair of top-10 finishes, and he also finished tied for runner-up at the U.S. Open. Despite missing the

    Read More »from Jim Furyk's FedEx Cup playoff run is over, left to wait for Ryder Cup pick
  • Rory McIlroy storms from behind to win Deutsche Bank Championship

    Rory McIlroy wins the Deutsche Bank Championship. (Getty Images)
    Rory McIlroy wins the Deutsche Bank Championship. (Getty Images)

    Rory McIlroy knew he was struggling with his putting, so he made some changes after the PGA Championship.

    He hired Phil Kenyon, who works with Henrik Stenson among others, as his putting coach. When Nike announced it would stop making golf clubs and balls, McIlroy picked up a Scotty Cameron putter and put it in his bag.

    The changes didn’t look to working at Bethpage Black at last weekend’s Barclays, with McIlroy missing litany short putts.

    What a difference a week can make.

    Entering the final round six shots behind Paul Casey, McIlroy shot 6-under 65 early in the action at TPC Boston. Turns out, it stood up. McIlroy won the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday by two shots over Casey, taking his first PGA Tour title of the season at 15-under 269.

    “I found something in my putting,” said McIlroy after the win, sounding more like Phil Mickelson. “Obviously my putting’s been the Achilles heel of my game this year. I tweaked

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