Sport Golf

Sunday 17 December 2017

Short chips

Karl MacGinty

Ignorance no defence for 10-shot brigade

THE decision to eliminate the 10-shot rule at this year's US Open raised quite a few eyebrows this week ... even in the locker room!

The rule, which used to allow those within 10 shots of the leader to play on the weekend at the US Open, was rescinded last winter by the USGA.

Yet it seems they neglected to tell the players, as revealed by journalist Doug Ferguson.

USGA executive director Mike Davis said it was on the US Open entry form, adding: "And I think it was in the player memo".

However, it's not on the information sheet posted in the locker room.

Carl Petterssen found out about the change just this week-- from the caddies.

Phil Mickelson said he hadn't received any notice of it, adding "Honestly, I haven't looked. If there might be a note or something, I don't know."

Padraig Harrington also was out of the loop, grinning: "But that's not what I'm thinking about when I turn up at a Major."

It means a great deal on Friday afternoon, though.

No player who made it through on the 10-shot rule has ever won the US Open.

Logo a go-go at fifth

Olympic instalment

TALK about hieroglyphics! At each Major, TaylorMade designs a new, symbol-filled logo to put on its staff players' bags, hats and accessories ... and they went to town this week.

The words 'Off The Air', a microphone, along with the 'JF' and '55' at the top all refer to Jack Fleck's upset of Ben Hogan at the 1955 US Open at Olympic.

Assuming Hogan had won, NBC signed off their TV coverage with the four-time champion, in the clubhouse. Yet Fleck birdied the final hole and won the play-off.

The medal in the middle pays homage to Olympic's status as the oldest athletic club in the US. It was founded in 1861.

In the background are the cables and beams of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, while 'Daly City' references the club's location. The four stars represent the four previous US Opens here -- 1955, 1966, 1987 and 1998.

Finally, the '5' in pinstripes is for former club member Joe DiMaggio, born in nearby Martinez.

Zhang embracing the

American dream

REPRESENTING the People's Republic of China ... Andy Zhang! That's how the youngest player ever at the US Open is announced at Olympic this week.

Yet the past four years living in Florida, where he attends the David Leadbetter Academy, have made this cheery 14-year-old almost as American as Mom's Apple Pie -- even down to the incredibly involved handshake ritual he does in sync with his caddie after putting out on the final hole.

"I don't know what that means but that was cool, is what it was," said Golf Channel pundit Brandel Chamblee. Thank heavens, the kid's English is better than Chamblee's.

Stanford gets time to

work on his long game

ALLEN STANFORD has been sentenced to 110 years without parole by a court in Houston for the $7bn Ponzi scheme that cost several professional players, including Sweden's Ryder Cup ace Henrik Stenson, a good deal of their savings.

Stanford also sponsored the St Jude Championship in Memphis, while Vijay Singh used wear the company logo on his hat.

Irish Independent

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