Oops! Why the Senior British Open is closed to former champ Marco Dawson this week

"In 30 years of playing professional golf, I have never made that mistake. It was an oversight and I accept responsibility.”

Oops! Why the Senior British Open is closed to former champ Marco Dawson this week

Always make sure you have a receipt confirmation – that’s the moral of this story.

Just ask Marco Dawson, winner of the 2015 Senior British Open, who won’t be playing in this year’s edition at the course where he claimed the biggest victory of his career, because he forgot to enter.

“There’s a first time for everything and it’s painful but I know I won’t do that again,” Dawson said in a phone interview.

Dawson had this event circled on his calendar since it was announced and had to wait an extra year due to COVID-19. He had watched the DVD of the final round and has it stored on his laptop, though every shot already is tattooed into his memory bank. In preparation, he had re-gripped his clubs in his garage last week and arranged a practice round with Shane Bertsch. He had his bags packed, his passport ready, flights booked, a hotel room and rental car reserved and had gone through the mandatory COVID-19 test (even though he’s already vaccinated).

All that was missing was his letter of accreditation, which hadn’t arrived yet via email. So, Dawson contacted PGA Tour Champions player representative Jimmy Gabrielson to find out if there was a delay, and on Friday, 36 hours before his flight across the pond, he was informed of his user error. In disbelief, he scoured his computer files for a receipt, but none was to be found.

“I was convinced I filled it out. I usually fill out my forms as soon as I get them,” he said. “In April, I began checking the website daily and as soon as it was available I filled out the form confirming I’d be there. The only thing I can think of was I got distracted. I had to add in my direct deposit info. I must have gotten sidetracked and never finished it. In 30 years of playing professional golf, I have never made that mistake. It was an oversight and I accept responsibility.”

But it did leave him wondering if someone at the R&A shouldn’t double-check with exempt players that had failed to register to confirm they intended  to skip the championship. He said the PGA Tour staff had bailed players out doing just that on more than one occasion over the years.

“Don’t they want the best field possible?” said Dawson, noting that Fred Funk and other exempt players also made the same mistake. “I’m not blaming them but the more I think about it the more I’m pissed they didn’t help out, especially since I won the last one there.”

Ah, that would be in 2015, the last time the Senior Open was held at Sunningdale (Old) in Berkshire, England. Dawson had the week of his life, beating Hall of Famers Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie with a final-round 64 that included two eagles and a 22-foot birdie putt on the final hole. He drank champagne from the winner’s Claret Jug and still showcases the replica trophy in the entranceway to his home.

“I took down two Hall of Famers that were Nos. 1 and 2 on the money list at the time,” he said. “That was the most rewarding thing for me.”

As painful as it may be, he said he plans to watch the tournament on TV and he already thinking about next year – just not at Sunningdale but rather at Gleneagles in Scotland.

“Trust me,” he said, “I won’t screw this up again.”

Source : Golf Week More   

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Rickie Fowler on the status of his game heading into 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities: 'I know I'm close'

“It feels like it's obviously always heading the right way in where we've been going. But I know I'm close, it's just not all coming (...)

Rickie Fowler on the status of his game heading into 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities: 'I know I'm close'

BLAINE, Minn. – Rickie Fowler knows he’s going to get to where he wants to be.

“It feels like it’s obviously always heading the right way in where we’ve been going. But I know I’m close, it’s just not all coming together just yet,” Fowler said Wednesday about his continued efforts to polish his swing after a major overhaul. “If you talk to other players or anyone that’s kind of been through some sort of ups and downs, it’s how golf goes, it’s how life goes.

“Sometimes it’s one putt, one swing. It’s been nice over the last few months to finally at least see some more consistency or at least heading in the right direction. So, I’m happy about where we are, but we still have a little way to go to be where we want to be.”

This week, Fowler is making his debut in the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities. His latest confirmation that the swing changes will work out came last Sunday in the final round of the British Open at Royal St. George’s, where he carded a 65. Despite finishing in a tie for 53rd, Fowler said his final momentum from the two days in Sandwich, England, can carry over across the pond.

“Definitely. Got some work in both days. I drove it poorly Friday and Saturday, hit it nice, a very simple round of golf on Sunday,” he said. “I missed one green and it could have been lower, but 5 under is a solid score around there. Feeling good going into this week. Cleaned a few things up; taking a lot from how I played on Sunday and try to go out here and just try and wear out as many fairways and greens as we can.”

Fowler’s struggles certainly wore on him, but he never flinched and abandoned the pursuit. He has gone 50 starts since winning his fifth PGA Tour title in the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open. In one stretch, he went 29 starts without a top 10, missed 13 cuts and fell to 128th in the official world rankings, his worst standing since early 2010.

He was encouraged when he tied for eighth in the PGA Championship and then tied for 11th in the Memorial in his next start. But he’s missed the cut in the Travelers, tied for 32nd in the Rocket Mortgage Classic and tied for 53rd in the Open since the Memorial.

Still, he’s no longer thinking swing when he’s between the gallery ropes. Instead, he’s just playing golf.

“Right now, I feel like iron play’s been better. I feel like that’s been heading the right direction,” he said. “Putting as of the last few months has definitely been heading the right way. That was a big part of why I played well at Kiawah (in the PGA) and played decent at Memorial. I think driving the ball can always get better; that sets up everything from hitting fairways and getting yourself opportunities to be aggressive versus playing from the rough, which I did a lot of that on Friday and Saturday at St. George’s.”

This will be Fowler’s third start in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. He lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Richie Ramsay in the 2006 U.S. Amateur at Hazeltine and played very well as the U.S. thumped Europe in the 2016 Ryder Cup, also at Hazeltine.

As for TPC Twin Cities, Fowler played 18 on Tuesday and 9 on Wednesday. Course conditions are supreme and with the hot weather rolling in – temps in the 90s the final three days – the golf ball will fly, and scores will be low.

“Got to make some birdies this week,” he said. “It is gas pedal is on the right, just go out and make birdies.”

Source : Golf Week More   

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