.

McIlroy ruptures ligament in ankle

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy/Instagram
Rory McIlroy posted a photo to Instagram of himself with crutches and a boot on his left ankle.

LONDON (AP) -- Rory McIlroy injured his left ankle while playing soccer, leaving the world's No. 1 player in doubt of defending his British Open title next week at St. Andrews.

In a shocking start to the week, McIlroy posted a photo on Instagram showing him on crutches with a walking boot on his left ankle. He said it was a "total rupture" of an ankle ligament and the joint capsule from kicking around a soccer ball with friends in Northern Ireland.

"Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day," McIlroy said on the post. "Rehab already started.... Working hard to get back as soon as I can."

RORY VS. JORDAN: Who's No. 1?

His spokeman, Sean O'Flaherty, said he was definitely out of the Scottish Open, which starts Thursday at Gullane. O'Flaherty said they would not know until the end of the week the prospects of McIlroy teeing it up at St. Andrews on July 16.

McIlroy was the joint favorite at St. Andrews with Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old Texan who has won the Masters and U.S. Open and goes to the British Open as only the fourth player with a shot at the modern Grand Slam.

McIlroy referred to his ATFL, which is the anterior talofibular ligament and the one most commonly sprained. The left ankle is crucial in a golf swing as weight shifts to that side while generating power.

"That's a big blow to the Open if he misses it," former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance said from Wimbledon.

FULL SCHEDULE: Rory McIlroy planned a busy summer of golf

McIlroy won the Open last year at Royal Liverpool by going wire-to-wire and taking a six-shot lead into the final round. He also won the PGA Championship, joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones as the only players in the last century with four majors at age 25 or younger.

Still to be determined is whether McIlroy can do the same as Woods, who played through a stress fracture and torn knee ligaments when he won the 2008 U.S. Open in a playoff that lasted 19 holes.

Woods was determined to play in that major because it was at Torrey Pines, one of his favorite courses on tour.

McIlroy already has a reasonable connection with the Old Course, where he secured his European Tour card in 2007 as an 18-year-old at the Dunhill Links with a third-place finish. He also tied the major championship record of 63 when the British Open was held at St. Andrews in 2010, though McIlroy followed with an 80 in the wind. He tied for third at St. Andrews five years ago.

 

 

 


Series: European Tour

Published: Monday, July 06, 2015 | 6:54 a.m.

LONDON (AP) -- Rory McIlroy injured his left ankle while playing soccer, leaving the world's No. 1 player in doubt of defending his British Open title next week at St. Andrews.

In a shocking start to the week, McIlroy posted a photo on Instagram showing him on crutches with a walking boot on his left ankle. He said it was a "total rupture" of an ankle ligament and the joint capsule from kicking around a soccer ball with friends in Northern Ireland.

"Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day," McIlroy said on the post. "Rehab already started.... Working hard to get back as soon as I can."

RORY VS. JORDAN: Who's No. 1?

His spokeman, Sean O'Flaherty, said he was definitely out of the Scottish Open, which starts Thursday at Gullane. O'Flaherty said they would not know until the end of the week the prospects of McIlroy teeing it up at St. Andrews on July 16.

McIlroy was the joint favorite at St. Andrews with Jordan Spieth, the 21-year-old Texan who has won the Masters and U.S. Open and goes to the British Open as only the fourth player with a shot at the modern Grand Slam.

McIlroy referred to his ATFL, which is the anterior talofibular ligament and the one most commonly sprained. The left ankle is crucial in a golf swing as weight shifts to that side while generating power.

"That's a big blow to the Open if he misses it," former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance said from Wimbledon.

FULL SCHEDULE: Rory McIlroy planned a busy summer of golf

McIlroy won the Open last year at Royal Liverpool by going wire-to-wire and taking a six-shot lead into the final round. He also won the PGA Championship, joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones as the only players in the last century with four majors at age 25 or younger.

Still to be determined is whether McIlroy can do the same as Woods, who played through a stress fracture and torn knee ligaments when he won the 2008 U.S. Open in a playoff that lasted 19 holes.

Woods was determined to play in that major because it was at Torrey Pines, one of his favorite courses on tour.

McIlroy already has a reasonable connection with the Old Course, where he secured his European Tour card in 2007 as an 18-year-old at the Dunhill Links with a third-place finish. He also tied the major championship record of 63 when the British Open was held at St. Andrews in 2010, though McIlroy followed with an 80 in the wind. He tied for third at St. Andrews five years ago.

 

 

 


Web.com: Ancer wins Nova Scotia Open

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — Abraham Ancer won the Nova Scotia Open on Sunday for his first Web.com Tour title, beating Bronson Burgoon with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

The 24-year-old Ancer became the tour's fifth Mexican winner, following Keoke Cotner, Esteban Toledo, Alex Aragon and Carlos Ortiz. Ancer was born in Texas and has dual citizenship.

Ancer and Burgoon each birdied the par-4 18th in regulation to finish at 13-under 271 on Ashburn's New Course.

Ancer earned $117,000 to jump from 39th to fourth on the money list with $192,945. The former University of Oklahoma player tied for second in the Brazil Champions in March.

Burgoon is winless on the tour. The 28-year-old former Texas A&M player made $$70,200 to go from 43rd to 17th with $142,575.

Jason Allred, Travis Bertoni and D.H. Lee tied for third at 12 under. Allred shot a 64, Bertoni had a 68, and Lee a 69.

Stuart Appleby closed with a 68 to tie for 36th at 6 under in his first start since surgery to repair a herniated disk. The nine-time PGA Tour winner made his first appearance on the second-tier tour since 1995.


Series: Web.com Tour

Published: Sunday, July 05, 2015 | 11:59 p.m.

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — Abraham Ancer won the Nova Scotia Open on Sunday for his first Web.com Tour title, beating Bronson Burgoon with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

The 24-year-old Ancer became the tour's fifth Mexican winner, following Keoke Cotner, Esteban Toledo, Alex Aragon and Carlos Ortiz. Ancer was born in Texas and has dual citizenship.

Ancer and Burgoon each birdied the par-4 18th in regulation to finish at 13-under 271 on Ashburn's New Course.

Ancer earned $117,000 to jump from 39th to fourth on the money list with $192,945. The former University of Oklahoma player tied for second in the Brazil Champions in March.

Burgoon is winless on the tour. The 28-year-old former Texas A&M player made $$70,200 to go from 43rd to 17th with $142,575.

Jason Allred, Travis Bertoni and D.H. Lee tied for third at 12 under. Allred shot a 64, Bertoni had a 68, and Lee a 69.

Stuart Appleby closed with a 68 to tie for 36th at 6 under in his first start since surgery to repair a herniated disk. The nine-time PGA Tour winner made his first appearance on the second-tier tour since 1995.


Danny Lee wins Greenbrier playoff

Danny Lee
USA TODAY Sports Images
Danny Lee won the Greenbrier Classic with a par on the second playoff hole.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) -- Danny Lee parred the second hole of a four-man playoff to win The Greenbrier Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory.

The South Korean-born New Zealander earned $1.2 million and became the ninth first-time winner on the tour this season.

Lee, David Hearn, Kevin Kisner and Robert Streb were tied at 13 under after four rounds on the Old White TPC course in West Virginia.

GREENBRIER CLASSIC: Results | Photos

Streb shot a 5-under 65 in the final round by making five birdie putts on the back nine with a 56-degree wedge after breaking his putter on the ninth hole. The putter broke when Streb tossed it at his bag next to the green.

He was allowed a replacement putter for the playoff, but he never got to use it after missing the green at the par-3 No. 18. Lee and Hearn made birdie putts on the first playoff hole, also eliminating Kisner.

Hearn then drove behind a tree on the par-5 17th and made bogey. Lee reached the green in three shots and two-putted from across the green for par.

It marked the third playoff in the tournament's six-year history. A week ago, Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship in a playoff.

SAND SAVE: Streb uses sand wedge as putter to make playoff

Tiger Woods started the day seven shots behind the leaders, shot a bogey-free 67 and said he made some "nice strides" heading into next week's British Open.

Woods broke a streak of 55 consecutive rounds with at least one bogey. It was his first time under par in a final round since the 2013 Tour Championship.

Lee, Hearn, James Hahn and Greg Owen earned spots at St. Andrews. There also were four spots handed out a week ago at the Travelers and one more is available this week at the John Deere Classic.

EAGLE LOCATOR: Bubba Watson's hole-out from 121 yards

Kisner shot a 6-under 64 to get to the clubhouse at 13 under. But he had to sweat it out with eight golfers within two shots of the lead still on the course.

Kisner lost in a playoff for the third time this season. The others were at the RBC Heritage and the Players Championship.

Kisner birdied the 18th three times in the first four rounds, but he went over the green in the playoff and left his approach shot in the rough.

Hearn (67) and Lee (67) birdied No. 17 to join the playoff. Both had chances to take the lead on the final hole in regulation, but Lee missed an 18-footer for birdie and Hearn left a 12-footer just short of the cup.

DRIVER GIVEAWAY: Danny Lee hands club to fan at Travelers

Russell Henley shot 63 and finished fifth at 12 under. Seven others were at 11 under, including Chad Collins (69), who was tied for the lead before bogeying the final two holes.

Jason Bohn, Sean O'Hair, Sun Joon Park and Bryce Molder shared the third-round lead at 11 under, but couldn't keep the momentum going Sunday. Molder shot 70 and the others had over-par rounds.

By
John Raby

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Sunday, July 05, 2015 | 6:40 p.m.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) -- Danny Lee parred the second hole of a four-man playoff to win The Greenbrier Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory.

The South Korean-born New Zealander earned $1.2 million and became the ninth first-time winner on the tour this season.

Lee, David Hearn, Kevin Kisner and Robert Streb were tied at 13 under after four rounds on the Old White TPC course in West Virginia.

GREENBRIER CLASSIC: Results | Photos

Streb shot a 5-under 65 in the final round by making five birdie putts on the back nine with a 56-degree wedge after breaking his putter on the ninth hole. The putter broke when Streb tossed it at his bag next to the green.

He was allowed a replacement putter for the playoff, but he never got to use it after missing the green at the par-3 No. 18. Lee and Hearn made birdie putts on the first playoff hole, also eliminating Kisner.

Hearn then drove behind a tree on the par-5 17th and made bogey. Lee reached the green in three shots and two-putted from across the green for par.

It marked the third playoff in the tournament's six-year history. A week ago, Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship in a playoff.

SAND SAVE: Streb uses sand wedge as putter to make playoff

Tiger Woods started the day seven shots behind the leaders, shot a bogey-free 67 and said he made some "nice strides" heading into next week's British Open.

Woods broke a streak of 55 consecutive rounds with at least one bogey. It was his first time under par in a final round since the 2013 Tour Championship.

Lee, Hearn, James Hahn and Greg Owen earned spots at St. Andrews. There also were four spots handed out a week ago at the Travelers and one more is available this week at the John Deere Classic.

EAGLE LOCATOR: Bubba Watson's hole-out from 121 yards

Kisner shot a 6-under 64 to get to the clubhouse at 13 under. But he had to sweat it out with eight golfers within two shots of the lead still on the course.

Kisner lost in a playoff for the third time this season. The others were at the RBC Heritage and the Players Championship.

Kisner birdied the 18th three times in the first four rounds, but he went over the green in the playoff and left his approach shot in the rough.

Hearn (67) and Lee (67) birdied No. 17 to join the playoff. Both had chances to take the lead on the final hole in regulation, but Lee missed an 18-footer for birdie and Hearn left a 12-footer just short of the cup.

DRIVER GIVEAWAY: Danny Lee hands club to fan at Travelers

Russell Henley shot 63 and finished fifth at 12 under. Seven others were at 11 under, including Chad Collins (69), who was tied for the lead before bogeying the final two holes.

Jason Bohn, Sean O'Hair, Sun Joon Park and Bryce Molder shared the third-round lead at 11 under, but couldn't keep the momentum going Sunday. Molder shot 70 and the others had over-par rounds.


Wiesberger rallies to win French Open

PARIS (AP) -- Bernd Wiesberger of Austria came from three shots back to win the French Open on Sunday, making five birdies on the front nine to take command as overnight leader Jaco Van Zyl faltered.

Wiesberger finished with a 6-under 65 to win by three shots ahead of James Morrison of England, who shot a 67. Van Zyl only managed a 73 to finish five shots behind Wiesberger's total of 13-under 271.

Wiesberger found himself in the lead after four straight birdies from the fourth hole, and picked up another shot on the ninth. After eight straight pars, he finished with another birdie on the 18th.

Martin Kaymer, the 2009 champion, finished fourth after a 70.

It was Wiesberger's third European Tour title.


Series: European Tour

Published: Sunday, July 05, 2015 | 4:20 p.m.

PARIS (AP) -- Bernd Wiesberger of Austria came from three shots back to win the French Open on Sunday, making five birdies on the front nine to take command as overnight leader Jaco Van Zyl faltered.

Wiesberger finished with a 6-under 65 to win by three shots ahead of James Morrison of England, who shot a 67. Van Zyl only managed a 73 to finish five shots behind Wiesberger's total of 13-under 271.

Wiesberger found himself in the lead after four straight birdies from the fourth hole, and picked up another shot on the ninth. After eight straight pars, he finished with another birdie on the 18th.

Martin Kaymer, the 2009 champion, finished fourth after a 70.

It was Wiesberger's third European Tour title.


Bubba Watson holes out for eagle at Greenbrier Classic

Bubba Watson
PGA Tour | Twitter
Bubba Watson got his first eagle of the week on No. 16.
By Andrew Prezioso
PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Sunday, July 05, 2015 | 3:40 p.m.

Andrew Prezioso is a contributor for PGA.com. Have a good golf story? Send him an email at andrew.prezioso@turner.com.


Drone's view of the Old Course

St. Andrews
Open Championship/Twitter
A bird's eye view of St. Andrews, courtesy of the Open Championship and a remote-controlled drone.
By Mark Aumann
PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Sunday, July 05, 2015 | 2:52 p.m.

French Open: Van Zyl cards 64, leads by 2

PARIS (AP) — Jaco Van Zyl will take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the French Open and a shot at a maiden European Tour title after carding a 7-under-par 64 on Saturday.

Van Zyl has won 13 times on the Sunshine Tour, and has 17 top-10 finishes on the European Tour, including two this season while playing on a medical exemption with a brace on his leg.

His bogey-free round included a tap-in seventh and final birdie on his last hole.

"Today was really a phenomenal round," he said after reaching a 10-under total of 203.

Maximilian Kieffer of Germany, also chasing his first European Tour title, was two back after shooting a bogey-free 65 and rising seven places.

Bernd Wiesberger of Austria was alone in third at 7 under thanks to a 66.

In a three-way tie for fourth were 2009 champion Martin Kaymer (69), home favorite Victor Dubuisson (69), and Spanish Open champ James Morrison of England (68).


Series: European Tour

Published: Saturday, July 04, 2015 | 6:31 p.m.

PARIS (AP) — Jaco Van Zyl will take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the French Open and a shot at a maiden European Tour title after carding a 7-under-par 64 on Saturday.

Van Zyl has won 13 times on the Sunshine Tour, and has 17 top-10 finishes on the European Tour, including two this season while playing on a medical exemption with a brace on his leg.

His bogey-free round included a tap-in seventh and final birdie on his last hole.

"Today was really a phenomenal round," he said after reaching a 10-under total of 203.

Maximilian Kieffer of Germany, also chasing his first European Tour title, was two back after shooting a bogey-free 65 and rising seven places.

Bernd Wiesberger of Austria was alone in third at 7 under thanks to a 66.

In a three-way tie for fourth were 2009 champion Martin Kaymer (69), home favorite Victor Dubuisson (69), and Spanish Open champ James Morrison of England (68).


Four tied at 11-under at Greenbrier

Jason Bohn
USA Today Sports Images
Jason Bohn shot a blistering 61 Saturday morning and still held a share of the lead at the end of the third round.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) -- Jason Bohn's main goal after barely making the cut at The Greenbrier Classic was to get some extra rest before the final round.

Sweet dreams. And try not to think about being the co-leader heading into Sunday.

Bohn shot a 9-under 61 Saturday and was at 11-under 199, tied with Sean O'Hair, Sung Joon Park and Bryce Molder on the Old White TPC course. O'Hair and Park both shot 66. Molder had a 67.

GREENBRIER CLASSIC: Leaderboard | Photos

Bohn started strong with six birdies on the first 10 holes. After a bogey at No. 11, he regrouped with four more birdies over the final five holes

It's setting up to be another close finish at the tournament, which debuted in 2010. Two were decided in playoffs and the largest margin was two shots twice.

A crowded leaderboard has 27 players within four shots of the lead. Tiger Woods wasn't among them.

Woods struggled on the back nine, shot 71 and was seven strokes back.

Bohn's round was his best on the PGA Tour and included 14 one-putt greens. He shot 58 in a 2001 Canadian Tour event, the Bayer Championship.

A two-time winner on the PGA Tour, Bohn has two runner-up finishes this season. On Saturday, he was just hoping to play well enough to avoid an early tee time in the final round.

"I just wanted to sleep in to be honest, so now I don't have to get up early in the morning," Bohn said.

Bohn had birdied the final hole in the second round Friday to make the cut on the number at 2 under. He said he'll need a similar round on Sunday to have a chance at winning.

"You've just got to play very aggressive and play smart when you're out of position -- and aggressive when you're in position," Bohn said.

O'Hair lost to Jordan Spieth in a playoff at the Valspar Championship in March, but had missed cuts in four of his last five events.

Seeking his fifth PGA Tour win and first since 2011, O'Hair had four back-nine birdies Saturday.

"I don't feel any pressure," O'Hair said. "I actually feel like a weight's been lifted off a little bit. I'm just happy to be in this situation again. This definitely beats struggling, I can promise you."

Molder reached 11 under with a birdie at No. 9 before stringing together nine straight pars.

"Somewhere midway through the back nine I just kind of lost rhythm," Molder said. "But my short game hung in there and kept me in it."

Molder's lone tour win came in a playoff at the 2011 Frys.com Open.

Park scattered four birdies in his bogey-free round. The South Korean has a runner-up finish at the Humana Challenge in his rookie season.

He doesn't expect to be nervous Sunday as he seeks his first tour victory.

"I've been in this situation before," Park said. "It's going to be the same -- another round for me."

Justin Thomas (66), David Hearn (68), Danny Lee (68) and Chad Collins (68) were at 10 under.

Woods hasn't been the same since shooting 66 in the first round, his lowest score of the season and matching his best in relation to par.

Woods was within four shots of the lead at the start of Saturday's round and kept pace with two front-nine birdies.

Then all parts of his game came unraveled. He surpassed 30 putts for the second straight day.

Woods drove out-of-bounds on the par-4 11th and made double bogey. He three-putted the par-4 13th from 30 feet for bogey.

On the par-5 17th, where he had driven into water to the right in the first two rounds, his drive went 190 yards far to the left of the fairway and he made another bogey.

"I started pressing at the end trying to make some birdies and really got aggressive," Woods said. "I hit a lot of shots close. I just need to convert on those and get some kind of string going in a positive way."

Third round co-leaders Jhonattan Vegas (76) and Scott Langley (74) both shot 2 over on the front nine and were far back in the field.

This article was written by John Raby from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
John Raby

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Saturday, July 04, 2015 | 6:13 p.m.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) -- Jason Bohn's main goal after barely making the cut at The Greenbrier Classic was to get some extra rest before the final round.

Sweet dreams. And try not to think about being the co-leader heading into Sunday.

Bohn shot a 9-under 61 Saturday and was at 11-under 199, tied with Sean O'Hair, Sung Joon Park and Bryce Molder on the Old White TPC course. O'Hair and Park both shot 66. Molder had a 67.

GREENBRIER CLASSIC: Leaderboard | Photos

Bohn started strong with six birdies on the first 10 holes. After a bogey at No. 11, he regrouped with four more birdies over the final five holes

It's setting up to be another close finish at the tournament, which debuted in 2010. Two were decided in playoffs and the largest margin was two shots twice.

A crowded leaderboard has 27 players within four shots of the lead. Tiger Woods wasn't among them.

Woods struggled on the back nine, shot 71 and was seven strokes back.

Bohn's round was his best on the PGA Tour and included 14 one-putt greens. He shot 58 in a 2001 Canadian Tour event, the Bayer Championship.

A two-time winner on the PGA Tour, Bohn has two runner-up finishes this season. On Saturday, he was just hoping to play well enough to avoid an early tee time in the final round.

"I just wanted to sleep in to be honest, so now I don't have to get up early in the morning," Bohn said.

Bohn had birdied the final hole in the second round Friday to make the cut on the number at 2 under. He said he'll need a similar round on Sunday to have a chance at winning.

"You've just got to play very aggressive and play smart when you're out of position -- and aggressive when you're in position," Bohn said.

O'Hair lost to Jordan Spieth in a playoff at the Valspar Championship in March, but had missed cuts in four of his last five events.

Seeking his fifth PGA Tour win and first since 2011, O'Hair had four back-nine birdies Saturday.

"I don't feel any pressure," O'Hair said. "I actually feel like a weight's been lifted off a little bit. I'm just happy to be in this situation again. This definitely beats struggling, I can promise you."

Molder reached 11 under with a birdie at No. 9 before stringing together nine straight pars.

"Somewhere midway through the back nine I just kind of lost rhythm," Molder said. "But my short game hung in there and kept me in it."

Molder's lone tour win came in a playoff at the 2011 Frys.com Open.

Park scattered four birdies in his bogey-free round. The South Korean has a runner-up finish at the Humana Challenge in his rookie season.

He doesn't expect to be nervous Sunday as he seeks his first tour victory.

"I've been in this situation before," Park said. "It's going to be the same -- another round for me."

Justin Thomas (66), David Hearn (68), Danny Lee (68) and Chad Collins (68) were at 10 under.

Woods hasn't been the same since shooting 66 in the first round, his lowest score of the season and matching his best in relation to par.

Woods was within four shots of the lead at the start of Saturday's round and kept pace with two front-nine birdies.

Then all parts of his game came unraveled. He surpassed 30 putts for the second straight day.

Woods drove out-of-bounds on the par-4 11th and made double bogey. He three-putted the par-4 13th from 30 feet for bogey.

On the par-5 17th, where he had driven into water to the right in the first two rounds, his drive went 190 yards far to the left of the fairway and he made another bogey.

"I started pressing at the end trying to make some birdies and really got aggressive," Woods said. "I hit a lot of shots close. I just need to convert on those and get some kind of string going in a positive way."

Third round co-leaders Jhonattan Vegas (76) and Scott Langley (74) both shot 2 over on the front nine and were far back in the field.

This article was written by John Raby from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Putter buying tips

Putting Green
USA Today Sports Images
Typically, the average golfer will putt 32 different times during a round of golf, making the putter one of the most important clubs in the game.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Hayden Matthew piddled with some putters inside Golf Headquarters on Tuesday.

She doesn't need a new putter.

But almost every golfer can use an upgrade with the flat stick. After all, it's the most used club in a golfer's bag.

"I'll have guys ask for a $500 driver, then ask me for whatever putter we have on sale," said sales manager Chris Harris. "That doesn't make sense to me. A good amateur golfer is going to putt 32 times per round but hit driver half that many times."

Putter sales could be on the rise for the final six months of 2015. Technology always is adapting, and the anchoring ban will go into effect for USGA competitions once the calendar flips to 2016. Golfers playing in major competitions -- from Chattanooga District Golf Association events all the way to PGA Tour events -- no longer will be able to anchor putters during their strokes.

With a myriad of options available from dozens of major companies as well as smaller companies, Harris provided a quick checklist for purchasing a new putter between now and New Year's.

But remember, "If there's a number that's infinity beyond infinity, that's how many putters are out there," Harris said.

His checklist is rather simple and focuses on comfort and look instead of what measurements a computer system will spit out -- like getting fit for a driver or irons.

The first suggestion is knowing what type of putting stroke the golfers uses, whatever is natural. It can be straight back and straight through; it can have a small arc like Dave Stockton teaches or a much wider arc like Ben Crenshaw used.

"A vast majority of golfers have a small arc," Harris said. "That's the case even if the golfer thinks they're going straight back and straight through. The club face opens a little at the take-away."

[wide_search_equipment]

Harris' next piece of advice certainly can't be measured by lasers. And it goes a little against the grain, but he has years of experience selling clubs. His second piece of advice for picking a putter is rather simple.

Choose something that looks good to the player. As Jerry Rice, possibly the greatest football player of all time, once said in a roundabout way, "You have to look good to play good."

Choose something that fits the eye, whether it's a blade, a mallet or something that looks like a spaceship prop in a 1980s movie. Look good, feel good, putt good.

The length, weight and balance point of a putter are up for personal preference. It makes sense for a taller player to like a longer putter, but that's not always the case. Phil Mickelson is 6-foot-3 and typically uses a 31-inch putter. That's on the short end of the putter spectrum.

Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley have decisions to make between now and Christmas. What do they do with their long putters?

Harris said that most amateurs who have been using anchored putters in recent years -- or their entire careers -- have opted for a counter-balance putter. It's longer than most and contains weights inside the tip of the handle as well at the base of the club.

Such weight distribution mimics the feeling in the hands of an anchored club without it actually touching the body.

Scott, Simpson and Bradley are still trying to find the perfect putter. They're doing the same as golfers across the country, the Southeast and Chattanooga -- they're testing on feel.

This article was written by David Uchiyama from Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
David Uchiyama

Series: News Feature

Published: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 | 9:13 a.m.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Hayden Matthew piddled with some putters inside Golf Headquarters on Tuesday.

She doesn't need a new putter.

But almost every golfer can use an upgrade with the flat stick. After all, it's the most used club in a golfer's bag.

"I'll have guys ask for a $500 driver, then ask me for whatever putter we have on sale," said sales manager Chris Harris. "That doesn't make sense to me. A good amateur golfer is going to putt 32 times per round but hit driver half that many times."

Putter sales could be on the rise for the final six months of 2015. Technology always is adapting, and the anchoring ban will go into effect for USGA competitions once the calendar flips to 2016. Golfers playing in major competitions -- from Chattanooga District Golf Association events all the way to PGA Tour events -- no longer will be able to anchor putters during their strokes.

With a myriad of options available from dozens of major companies as well as smaller companies, Harris provided a quick checklist for purchasing a new putter between now and New Year's.

But remember, "If there's a number that's infinity beyond infinity, that's how many putters are out there," Harris said.

His checklist is rather simple and focuses on comfort and look instead of what measurements a computer system will spit out -- like getting fit for a driver or irons.

The first suggestion is knowing what type of putting stroke the golfers uses, whatever is natural. It can be straight back and straight through; it can have a small arc like Dave Stockton teaches or a much wider arc like Ben Crenshaw used.

"A vast majority of golfers have a small arc," Harris said. "That's the case even if the golfer thinks they're going straight back and straight through. The club face opens a little at the take-away."

Harris' next piece of advice certainly can't be measured by lasers. And it goes a little against the grain, but he has years of experience selling clubs. His second piece of advice for picking a putter is rather simple.

Choose something that looks good to the player. As Jerry Rice, possibly the greatest football player of all time, once said in a roundabout way, "You have to look good to play good."

Choose something that fits the eye, whether it's a blade, a mallet or something that looks like a spaceship prop in a 1980s movie. Look good, feel good, putt good.

The length, weight and balance point of a putter are up for personal preference. It makes sense for a taller player to like a longer putter, but that's not always the case. Phil Mickelson is 6-foot-3 and typically uses a 31-inch putter. That's on the short end of the putter spectrum.

Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley have decisions to make between now and Christmas. What do they do with their long putters?

Harris said that most amateurs who have been using anchored putters in recent years -- or their entire careers -- have opted for a counter-balance putter. It's longer than most and contains weights inside the tip of the handle as well at the base of the club.

Such weight distribution mimics the feeling in the hands of an anchored club without it actually touching the body.

Scott, Simpson and Bradley are still trying to find the perfect putter. They're doing the same as golfers across the country, the Southeast and Chattanooga -- they're testing on feel.

This article was written by David Uchiyama from Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Memories of milkshakes, Slammin' Sammy

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Brenda Quick used to serve Sam Snead milkshakes.

"'I want a chocolate milkshake with double chocolate, extra thin, filled to the brim,'" Quick remembers Snead saying the first time she waited on him at the White Sulphur Springs Tastee Freez. "I'll never forget that."

Quick, then a high schooler working a summer job in the 1960s, would watch for "Slammin' Sammy" to pull up in a black limo, park on the side of the road and walk up to her window to order. She'd have the shake waiting on him.

The famous golfer would give her a little smile, tip his signature short-brimmed straw cap and tip Quick with a $10 or $20 dollar bill. The shake was $1.

"I knew him from the black-and-white TV days," Quick said Tuesday, as she sat in the West Virginia Department of Tourism's -- her employer -- air-conditioned box. The elevated building connected to a section of stadium seats that overlooked the green on Hole No. 17. Near the hole, spectators walked around the cart path, and PGA Tour pros hit their approach shots. Quick could name most of them.

An avid golf fan and Lewisburg resident, Quick has worked The Greenbrier Classic every year except one. The self-described "country girl" has roots in the area and at The Greenbrier. She's been an ambassador for West Virginia to tourists who enter the state, and, during tournament week, she's an ambassador for the game of golf. But despite her love of the game and association with Snead, Quick's always been more of a spectator than a ball striker.

GREENBRIER: Tee Times | Oosthuizen ready for return 

Groups of people casually walked the grounds of the Old White Course on Tuesday as the pros played practice rounds and, later, chaperoned kids around the links. It was "Youth Day" at The Greenbrier, and around 1:30 p.m., PGA Tour players mentored young golfers as part of the First Tee program.

You can tell who the kids' favorite players are, Quick said, by the outfits they wear. She'd seen a kid in a bright orange shirt and flat-brimmed hat in the morning, she said, and knew right away he was a Rickie Fowler fan.

"And who doesn't love Rickie Fowler?" she said. "And I just love Jordan Spieth."

Quick and her husband watched Spieth win this year's U.S. Open, and they watched Dustin Johnson lose it. Even though she's a Spieth fan, she was pulling for Johnson. Really, she pulls for everybody, she said. That's the thing about golf: it's a game of respect and camaraderie.

Most days you can find Quick working at the West Virginia I-64 West Welcome Center, where she's worked for 20 years. She estimates she's met about 8 million people over the years. It's a job where you make new friends, she said, like you do when you work The Greenbrier Classic.

The tournament keeps getting better and better, Quick said. She compared it to West Virginia: Outsiders don't know what they're missing until they come to the state, kind of like PGA Tour pros enjoy The Greenbrier Classic once they've discovered it.

Quick's father caddied at The Greenbrier back in the 1960s for almost a decade. He caddied for Snead, who served as The Greenbrier's pro. And he'd sometimes help Snead on his Hot Springs, Virginia, farm. The two maintained a relationship over the years, Quick said, and sometimes Snead was a surprise guest at her birthday parties.

[wide_pga_shop]

"I don't know why I never took a lesson from him," Quick said of Snead.

Quick managed the pro shop at the Lewisburg Elks Country Club before starting her gig with the Department of Tourism. But the avid golf fan who anticipates the announcement of each year's Greenbrier Classic player field and who, according to coworker Robin Clower, celebrates her off-weekends -- because she can watch golf -- has only played two rounds in her entire life.

She always worked two or three jobs, and she put her energy into raising her son. Playing golf couldn't be a priority.

One of the times Quick played -- at Valley View Country Club, because an acquaintance begged her to -- she did "OK." She beat her acquaintance -- who'd taken golf lessons for two years -- by seven strokes. She wasn't invited back.

"I like the sidelines," Quick said.

You can get involved with the players, she said, get absorbed in the game. And you can root for everybody.

This article was written by Wade Livingston from The Charleston Gazette, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Wade Livingston

Series: News Feature

Published: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 | 1:17 a.m.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Brenda Quick used to serve Sam Snead milkshakes.

"'I want a chocolate milkshake with double chocolate, extra thin, filled to the brim,'" Quick remembers Snead saying the first time she waited on him at the White Sulphur Springs Tastee Freez. "I'll never forget that."

Quick, then a high schooler working a summer job in the 1960s, would watch for "Slammin' Sammy" to pull up in a black limo, park on the side of the road and walk up to her window to order. She'd have the shake waiting on him.

The famous golfer would give her a little smile, tip his signature short-brimmed straw cap and tip Quick with a $10 or $20 dollar bill. The shake was $1.

"I knew him from the black-and-white TV days," Quick said Tuesday, as she sat in the West Virginia Department of Tourism's -- her employer -- air-conditioned box. The elevated building connected to a section of stadium seats that overlooked the green on Hole No. 17. Near the hole, spectators walked around the cart path, and PGA Tour pros hit their approach shots. Quick could name most of them.

An avid golf fan and Lewisburg resident, Quick has worked The Greenbrier Classic every year except one. The self-described "country girl" has roots in the area and at The Greenbrier. She's been an ambassador for West Virginia to tourists who enter the state, and, during tournament week, she's an ambassador for the game of golf. But despite her love of the game and association with Snead, Quick's always been more of a spectator than a ball striker.

GREENBRIER: Tee Times | Oosthuizen ready for return 

Groups of people casually walked the grounds of the Old White Course on Tuesday as the pros played practice rounds and, later, chaperoned kids around the links. It was "Youth Day" at The Greenbrier, and around 1:30 p.m., PGA Tour players mentored young golfers as part of the First Tee program.

You can tell who the kids' favorite players are, Quick said, by the outfits they wear. She'd seen a kid in a bright orange shirt and flat-brimmed hat in the morning, she said, and knew right away he was a Rickie Fowler fan.

"And who doesn't love Rickie Fowler?" she said. "And I just love Jordan Spieth."

Quick and her husband watched Spieth win this year's U.S. Open, and they watched Dustin Johnson lose it. Even though she's a Spieth fan, she was pulling for Johnson. Really, she pulls for everybody, she said. That's the thing about golf: it's a game of respect and camaraderie.

Most days you can find Quick working at the West Virginia I-64 West Welcome Center, where she's worked for 20 years. She estimates she's met about 8 million people over the years. It's a job where you make new friends, she said, like you do when you work The Greenbrier Classic.

The tournament keeps getting better and better, Quick said. She compared it to West Virginia: Outsiders don't know what they're missing until they come to the state, kind of like PGA Tour pros enjoy The Greenbrier Classic once they've discovered it.

Quick's father caddied at The Greenbrier back in the 1960s for almost a decade. He caddied for Snead, who served as The Greenbrier's pro. And he'd sometimes help Snead on his Hot Springs, Virginia, farm. The two maintained a relationship over the years, Quick said, and sometimes Snead was a surprise guest at her birthday parties.

"I don't know why I never took a lesson from him," Quick said of Snead.

Quick managed the pro shop at the Lewisburg Elks Country Club before starting her gig with the Department of Tourism. But the avid golf fan who anticipates the announcement of each year's Greenbrier Classic player field and who, according to coworker Robin Clower, celebrates her off-weekends -- because she can watch golf -- has only played two rounds in her entire life.

She always worked two or three jobs, and she put her energy into raising her son. Playing golf couldn't be a priority.

One of the times Quick played -- at Valley View Country Club, because an acquaintance begged her to -- she did "OK." She beat her acquaintance -- who'd taken golf lessons for two years -- by seven strokes. She wasn't invited back.

"I like the sidelines," Quick said.

You can get involved with the players, she said, get absorbed in the game. And you can root for everybody.

This article was written by Wade Livingston from The Charleston Gazette, W.Va. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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