BY JOHN ROHDE
Golf Oklahoma Magazine Contributor
June 22, 2017
After hiding himself underneath the familiar Amana “bucket” hat that became his signature, Mark Hayes no longer can avoid the acknowledgement he richly deserves.
One of the greatest junior players in state history, who went on to notable collegiate, amateur, and the PGA Tour accomplishments, Hayes will become a member of the 2017 Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame during the Oct. 1 induction ceremony at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club.
Hayes came from an athletic lineage. His father, Larry Sr., was a gifted athlete and played for Hall of Fame basketball coach Henry P. Iba at Oklahoma A&M (1945-46; 1947-49). Larry was a member of the 1946 NCAA championship team and the national runner-up team in 1949, which is the same year Mark was born.
Larry taught all four of his sons – Larry Jr., Mark, Jim and Dan – how to play golf. Mark and Larry Jr. started at age 6 and 7, respectively. Hayes’ parents were both educators who received their doctorates from OSU so the family moved between Stillwater and Oklahoma City. In Stillwater, Mark started competing in tournaments against older kids at age 10. He remained unbeaten until age 12 when he finally experienced defeat, though only occasionally.
For the better part of a decade, Hayes essentially served as the measuring stick for other in-state junior golfers.
It was about age 12 when Hayes came under the tutelage of Oklahoma State golf coach and 2016 HOF inductee Labron Harris Sr. Around this same time, Hayes convinced another 12-year-old from Stillwater to take up golf. That kid was Doug Tewell, a fellow 2017 Oklahoma Golf HOF inductee who was born just 47 days after Hayes arrived on July 12, 1949. Hayes and Tewell quickly became lifelong friends/rivals.
Tewell said he measured himself as a golfer by how well he fared against Hayes. “I think playing against Mark meant everything for my career,” Tewell said with sincerity. “We all need somebody like that who we chase, so to speak. It’s kind of like two quarterbacks – the starter and the guy who wants to start. Mark set the bar. He was so much better than the rest of us. I wanted to beat him worse than anybody, yet we were friends. I’m not sure we really knew we were rivals.”Continue reading...
BY JOHN ROHDE
Golf Oklahoma Magazine Contributor
June 21, 2017
Doug Tewell freely admits “golf just wasn’t on my radar” when he was 12 years old. He was far too busy playing football, baseball and basketball in his hometown of Stillwater in those days.
Tewell played center in football, was a first baseman in baseball and a “benchwarmer” in basketball. “I thought my future might be in baseball,” Tewell said. “I could hit.”
However, Tewell’s athletic journey took an entirely new path when he suffered a concussion at age 12 while playing football on Lewis Field. “My parents said, ‘That’s it for you. No more football,’ ” Tewell said. “Dad said, ‘You ought to start playing golf with me.’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll try it and see.’ It was hard to quit all those other sports because in those days there was a lot of peer pressure to play football, basketball and baseball. Here I was joining the minor sports brigade.”
Tewell wasn’t a complete stranger to golf, having already served as his father’s caddie. Turns out Tewell also could swing the clubs rather than just carry them. He played the game well, and it didn’t take long to discover this. “I got pretty good at it quickly because on my 13th birthday I went and played my first ever golf tournament in Okmulgee,” Tewell recalled. “I tied for second with a guy named Mark Hayes. I won the playoff.”
Born in Baton Rouge, La., Tewell moved to Stillwater at age 11. While Tewell dove head-first into mainstream sports, Hayes began playing golf at age 6 and had become somewhat of a prodigy by the time he was 12, frequently beating older players.
A fellow member of the 2017 Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame class, Hayes was born roughly seven weeks before Tewell in the summer of 1949. They were in the same class while attending school, and they’ll be in the same class as HOF inductees on Oct. 1 at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club.Continue reading...
BY KEVIN CASEY
June 1, 2017
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – For Brad Dalke, this was a really long time coming.
Dalke made national headlines seven years ago when he committed to Oklahoma at 12 years old. The news was a lightning bolt for criticism: How could parents pressure a kid like this?
Local sports talk radio had a field day on the commitment.
“Wonder if his coach knows about it!”
“I’m going to declare my unborn son is going to go to Notre Dame!”
Even the compliments could be off-putting. Kay Dalke, Brad’s mother and a teacher at the time, had students going into Division I athletics. They praised her for her apparent pragmatism.
“They said, ‘Hey, that’s great strategy on your part, Mrs. Dalke. Now he can hold out for a better offer,’ ” Kay Dalke said.
That was never the plan – the early decision was Brad’s idea and he saw it as a true commitment – and the peanut gallery had its say. How’d that go?
Seven years later, that 12-year-old commit closed out a national title for the Sooners. Dalke’s 2-and-1 win over Oregon’s Sulman Raza earned Oklahoma its third point of its NCAA Championship final match against Oregon, giving the Sooners their first national title since 1989.
Take that, haters.
“We proved them wrong this week,” Dalke said.Continue reading...
OU Athletics Communications
May 30, 2017
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. -- The Oklahoma men's golf team will face defending champion Oregon on Wednesday afternoon in the NCAA men's golf championship match at Rich Harvest Farms Final.
OU advanced by winning two matches on Tuesday, rolling past host Illinois 3-1-1 in the semifinal match after posting a 3-2 comeback victory over Baylor in the morning quarterfinals.
The final matches will begin at 2:10 p.m. CT. The Golf Channel will televise the NCAA championship match live from 3-7 p.m. CT and live scoring also will be available on GolfStat.com.
NCAA FINAL MATCH PAIRINGS
1. Blaine Hale (OU) vs. Norman Xiong (ORE) - 2:10 p.m. CT
2. Max McGreevy (OU) vs. Edwin Yi (ORE) - 2:20 p.m. CT
3. Rylee Reinertson (OU) vs. Wyndham Clark (ORE) - 2:30 p.m. CT
4. Grant Hirschman (OU) vs. Ryan Gronlund (ORE) - 2:40 p.m. CT
5. Brad Dalke (OU) vs. Sulman Raza (ORE) - 2:50 p.m. CT
This marks the first time in school history the Sooners will play for the national title in the match-play format, which made its debut in 2009. OU is looking to win its second NCAA title in program history, having previously won the 1989 championship at Oak Tree Country Club under the stroke-play format.
"What a great day for Oklahoma golf," eighth-year head coach Ryan Hybl said after Tuesday's sweep. "I can't put into words what this opportunity means for us, and our guys have earned it all this week. We have one more to knock down tomorrow, and our guys will be ready."
The Sooners qualified as the No. 2 seed overall for match play after placing second in the 72-hole stroke-play qualifier. Oregon is the No. 5 seed and advanced to the championship match with a 3-2 semifinal victory over No. 1-seeded Vanderbilt, which won the stroke-play qualifier by 12 shots. Oregon began match play by beating No. 4-seeded Oklahoma State 3-2 in the quarterfinals.
Sophomore Blaine Hale got OU on the board first in the semifinal with a 4 and 3 win over Illinois' Edoardo Lipparelli. Hale struck early with a win on hole No. 1, and although the golfers went back and forth on the front nine, Hale never trailed in the match. Wins on hole Nos. 10 and No. 14 put Hale 4-up and he halved the 15th hole to claim the victory.
Senior Max McGreevy posted the Sooners' next win, defeating Giovanni Tadiott 2 and 1. McGreevy also won the first hole and maintained the lead over Tadiotto throughout the round. The senior clinched a win on the challenging 17th hole.
Junior Rylee Reinertson's 3 and 1 victory over Michael Feagles clinched the OU win over the Fighting Illini.
Junior Grant Hirschman halved his match with Illinois' Nick Hardy. The duo was all-square when the match was suspended after Reinertson's win. Sophomore Brad Dalke was 1-down to Dylan Meyer.
In the quarterfinal match, OU rallied on the back nine to defeat Baylor.
Down 2-0 with three matches left on the course, Reinertson and Hirschman came through with a pair of 1-up victories to tie the match. Dalke sealed the comeback win by defeating Baylor's Matthew Perrine 1-up in 19 holes.
At the one point during the quarterfinals, OU trailed in all five matches. Reinertson worked his way back from 3-down through eight holes; Reinertson grabbed the lead with a birdie on No. 17; Hirschman, who was 3-down at the turn, sunk an eagle putt on No. 18 to win 1-up and tie the team match at 2.
Dalke battled back and forth with Perrine, who forced a playoff after chipping in from the fringe on No. 18. Dalke won the first playoff hole by burying a 6-foot putt.
BY KEN MACLEOD
Golf Oklahoma Magazine
May 30, 2017
The announcement that the PGA of America will bring both the 2021 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and the PGA Championship between 2025 and 2030 to Southern Hills Country Club is obviously terrific news for the club, the City of Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma.
The announcement reflects years of work and lobbying by Southern Hills General Manager Nick Sidorakis with the support of the Southern Hills Board of Directors. It will be the fifth PGA Championship held at the historic club and the eighth major championship overall.
While the 2017 Senior PGA Championship concluded Sunday with Bernhard Langer prevailing, there is no guarantee that the 2021 event will be held in May. That is just one of the looming questions over both events that PGA officials were unable to answer Tuesday with any clarity due to the proposed restructuring of the golf calendar currently being discussed by the PGA Tour, PGA of America and the R&A.
The proposal still under discussion calls for the Players Championship to return to March, the Fed-Ex Cup playoffs to be shortened by one event and conclude in August and the PGA Championship to move to a May date. If that occurs, most expect the PGA of America would then swap the dates with the PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship, meaning the PGA Championship would be at Southern Hills in May and the Senior PGA Championship in August or perhaps July.
As for when specifically the PGA Championship will be held, it was a bit murky as to why a specific date was not announced Tuesday. Kerry Haigh, the chief championships officer of the PGA of America, said it was to give Southern Hills ample time between events. Southern Hills officials were hopeful and somewhat confident that the date announced will be closer to 2025 than 2030.
Sidorakis, 58 and a 22-year veteran of the club, said he would obviously prefer the date be sooner than later and pointed out that though the members sacrifice in giving up the course for a period every time a major event is held, that Southern Hills did host the 1994 PGA Championship and 1995 and 1996 Tour Championships in successive years. There were six years between the 2001 U.S. Open and the 2007 PGA Championship, and then two years from that event to the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship.
“I don’t know what the ideal interval is,” Sidorakis said. “You’ve got to give the city time to sell tickets, us to sell corporate hospitality, etc. But we’ve done it on short notice before.”
Major championships have grown in the interim in terms of space needed for corporate hospitality and communications and hosting the PGA Championship will be a much bigger financial and space commitment than it was even in 2007, when Tiger Woods prevailed at Southern Hills.
Tuesday’s announcement also reflects the end for the time being of the club’s long pursuit of a fourth U.S. Open Championship. After the 2007 PGA Championship, the club had numerous talks with the USGA and believed that a successful hosting of the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship would lead sooner rather than later to a U.S. Open commitment. As the USGA continued to add new sites such as Chambers Bay, Erin Hills and Los Angeles Country Club to its rotation of tried and true classics, it became apparent that the wait was going to be interminable and Sidorakis asked his board to begin pursuit of a fifth PGA Championship in earnest.
“I’m very pleased,” Sidorakis said. “It’s a reflection of years of networking with the PGA. There were talks with the USGA, but the PGA came to us with an interest and the rest is history.”
As for if the PGA of America will agree to move its championship to May, Haigh said it is under scrutiny.
“There’s an awful lot of issues involved,” he said. “Certainly we’re in the process of analyzing all the pros and cons. We’re certainly very happy where we are in August. Certainly we know the Olympics will be having golf in August every four years. Historically we’ve played the PGA Championship in seven different months, so even though it has been in August the last 20 or 30 years, it wouldn’t be a historic change. We’re analyzing everything and no decision has been made.”
Haigh said he had looked carefully at the course in recent days and saw no reason why it couldn’t host a PGA Championship in late May.
Southern Hills had architect Gil Hanse perform a master plan several years back and the club is currently considering internally a series of renovations and improvements that, if approved, would be done long before either championship. Those include several new tee boxes, a bunker renovation and a greens renovation, among other facility improvements.
BY ROB BOLTON
May 9, 2017
Not only does THE PLAYERS feature the deepest field in the game but it lands in Segment 3 of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO. With little if any concern about needing more than three starts on any golfer, there's no reason not to select everyone you want. And because of the depth, go ahead and consider one or even two options driven by your heart.
That seemingly careless approach is mitigated by the promise that straight chalk is likely going to yield disappointment on some level no matter the stakes. This is the rub of TPC Sawgrass. So, you might as well go halfway and take some of that pressure off.
My roster for the THE PLAYERS (in alphabetical order):
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Jason Day; Jason Dufner; Adam Hadwin; Brian Harman; Dustin Johnson; Brooks Koepka; Justin Rose; Adam Scott; Jordan Spieth; Jimmy Walker
Driving: Paul Casey; Graham DeLaet; Jason Dufner; Dustin Johnson; Zach Johnson; Francesco Molinari; Louis Oosthuizen; Jon Rahm; Adam Scott; Kyle Stanley
Approach: Paul Casey; Jason Dufner; Dustin Johnson; Zach Johnson; Kevin Kisner; Kevin Na; Jon Rahm; Jordan Spieth; Kyle Stanley
Short: Graham DeLaet; Jason Dufner; Adam Hadwin; Brian Harman; Dustin Johnson; Zach Johnson; Brooks Koepka; Marc Leishman; Graeme McDowell; Jon Rahm; Jordan Spieth
Power Ranking Wild Card
Branden Grace … Fourth appearance. Hasn't missed a cut but hasn't cracked a top 40. Like fellow South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, gamers can usually turn to Grace in the deepest fields of the season not only for their consistency but also to spell notables who don't present as appealing. Grace's statistics won't wow anyone, but that's the same reason why too many won't be on board.
BY RYAN BALLENGEE
Yahoo Sports contributor
May 8, 2017
John Daly did all the right things on Sunday at the Insperity Invitational near Houston. He wore American flag pants. He kissed a large, painted Arnold Palmer umbrella logo walking up the final fairway. And, for the first time in more than 13 years, he won on American soil.
Daly won the 54-hole tournament at The Woodlands Country Club by a shot over Kenny Perry and Tommy Armour III, picking up his first win on PGA Tour Champions, the 50-plus circuit.
Coming to the final hole, Daly led by two shots after he found the green with his approach to the lengthy par-4 finisher. However, the two-time major champion was 60 feet away. He would go first, but if Perry made his birdie putt from the fringe, a potential second putt could mean the difference between winning and a playoff. Daly coaxed his first putt to 6 feet. When Perry missed his birdie bid, Daly had two putts for the win, which he took.
Daly was greeted by his wife and showered by his peers with champagne in a perfect scene.
“For me it’s like, you know, some guys come out here and win right off the bat, get the monkey off their back,” Daly said. “But now I can say I’m a champion on the Champions Tour, which is really cool and hopefully I can keep this confidence going.”
This is the first win in the United States for Daly since winning the PGA Tour’s 2004 Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines near San Diego. He has won around the world since then, including a mini-tour PGA of Europe event in 2014. But winning on home soil and on PGA Tour Champions, which he was expected to do well before his one-year anniversary of his debut, is a much bigger deal.
And how will Daly celebrate?
“I just want a Miller Lite,” Daly said. “That’s all I want.”Continue reading...
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 9, 2017
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He couldn't catch a break. Sergio Garcia said that so often at majors like the Masters you were sure it would be etched into his tombstone someday.
He always had an alibi ready. Bunkers that weren't raked until after he played out of them. Putts that curled around the hole only to spin away. Tee times that put him on the course in the teeth of a storm while rivals like Tiger Woods always drew blue skies and sunshine.
Garcia seemed so certain that fate had it in for him that like Pigpen from the cartoon strip ''Peanuts,'' he didn't dare look up. There was always going to be a cloud of dirt and dust following him around.
On a picture-perfect Sunday, on what would have been the 60th birthday of his countryman and idol, Seve Ballesteros, the 37-year-old Spaniard made a birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff to beat Justin Rose.
''Obviously this is something I wanted to do for a long time but, you know, it never felt like a horror movie,'' Garcia said afterward. ''It felt like a little bit of a drama maybe, but obviously with a happy ending.''Continue reading...
BY GOLF DIGEST
March 31, 2017
Ahhh, the everlasting best-golfer-never-to-have-won-a-major debate.
The 2016 season produced four first-time major champs in Danny Willett, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Jimmy Walker.
As we approach the 2017 Masters, Golf Digest put a new formula to work to determine who are the best current players who haven't hoisted a trophy at one of golf's four biggest events.
Golf Digest only used results from the past two years, so heartbreak veterans like Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood took a hit. Not that they should mind. If you're on his list for too long, the last thing you want is to be reminded about it.Continue reading...
March 6, 2017
Every Sunday night, GOLF.com conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and GOLF Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.
1. Well, that was fun. The World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship had quite the debut, with a star-studded leaderboard young and old, ridiculous hole-outs and a worthy champion in world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. What was your biggest takeaway from the week?
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): That I can't wait to get back to Mexico City. This was the liveliest Tour event I can remember in a long time. The fans brought a great energy and Chapultepec was a very intriguing venue. Not to mention that another week in CDMX solidified it as one of my favorite cities on the planet.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: That's great to hear, Alan. Having been there, what was the vibe you got from the players? How did the Americans feel about being south of the border? Were they talking about Trump? I followed it, as people used to say, in the papers, and was stunned by the lengths the players were hitting their shots, in the thin air.
Jeff Ritter, digital development editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): The excitement Alan experienced in person translated beautifully on TV. Big crowds, crazy shots, stellar leaderboard. The single biggest takeaway is probably that DJ solidified what could turn into a long run atop the World Ranking. But this tournament was a home run all the way around.Continue reading...
BY JOHN STREGE
Feb. 13, 2017
Jordan Spieth was not necessarily a forgotten man in recent months, but on a tour with a profusion of young winners the prevailing question they all face is this: What have you done lately?
What Spieth has done lately is to demonstrate that his slide from No. 1 to No. 6 in the World Ranking was largely illusory, an inaccurate reading of his standing in the game’s hierarchy.
What have you done lately? Spieth has finished first (in the Australian Open), third, third, ninth and first in his last five international starts, including a four-stroke victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday.
It was easy to forget, in judging Spieth at 23 to an ostensibly unrealistic standard set by Spieth at 21 and 22, that even before his win at Pebble Beach he was still comparing favorably to a man who had set an even higher standard.Continue reading...
BY KEVIN CASEY
Feb. 6, 2017
Tiger Woods recently flamed out badly in Dubai, opening the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in birdie-free 77 and then withdrawing due to a back spasm. Just two weeks into his comeback to (official) competitive golf, some are already theorizing that the end is rapidly nearing.
Woods has dealt with some major injury issues in recent years – two back surgeries precipitated a 16-month layoff – and some psychological hurdles, specifically a case of the chipping yips that emerged in late 2014/early 2015. And yes, not playing competitive golf for over a year means it’ll take a little time for the performance to come back.
But this may be the most talented player of all time. What is really plaguing the 41-year-old?Continue reading...
By: Kevin Casey
January 15, 2017 10:17 pm
Here is a recap of Sunday’s final round of the 2017 Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii:
WINNER: Justin Thomas won. Shocker. What an absolutely dominant week from Thomas. Wire-to-wire win, but honestly that’s maybe the least exciting statistic we could list off. Thomas started the week by shooting 59, followed with 64 to break the PGA Tour’s 36-hole scoring record with 123, continued with a 65 to tie the Tour’s all-time 54-hole mark (188) and finished by beating the Tour’s historic previous low 72-hole total of 254 by doing one better.Continue reading...
The Associated Press
January 13, 2017
HONOLULU—Fresh of his victory on Maui, Justin Thomas became the seventh player to join the “59 Club” on the PGA Tour when he made a 15-foot eagle putt on his last hole Thursday at the Sony Open for an 11-under 59.
Thomas thought his hopes at a 59 were over when his drive on the par-5 ninth hole at Waialae Country Club was a foot from clearing a fairway bunker on the left and rolled back into the sand. He figured he couldn’t reach the green until realizing Daniel Berger hit 4-iron from the bunker onto the green.
Thomas figured “this wasn’t a time to lay up.”Continue reading...