Among the many strides that Jordan Spieth made in winning the British Open Sunday, including advancing his career narrative and etching his name in golf history, was that he jumped into the lead of the FedEx Cup points race. PGA Tour officials announced that Spieth has committed to play in the first event of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury.
Spieth will add luster to the field August 24-27, especially if he were to achieve the career grand slam by winning the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina the week after next. The Tour pointed out that Spieth jumped from fourth to first in the standings with his third major title.
He earned it in stunning fashion, saving bogey after having taken a penalty stroke and drop on the driving range on No. 13. Recreational golfers can learn from Spieth’s victory, local pros said. That takes in things they should and should not do.
“I think there are two sides to the coin,” said Andy Carracino, head pro at Timber Point, a public course in Great River. “Obviously, he showed a lot of intestinal fortitude. He even mentioned that once he got behind, he was playing with a different mindset. But the other thing is that he is going to have to sort out how much time he takes. He steps away from an awful lot of shots.”
Of the delay of more than 20 minutes while Spieth was talking to officials and deciding where to drop, the Long Island pro said, “I know it wasn’t his fault entirely. And I know he kind of bumped hands with Kuchar on the green, but, man, if I’m Matt Kuchar, inside I’m probably burning up. I think Spieth is great for the game. But I think everyone has to move their game along.”
Cycling for charity
Spectators will be invited to cycle for charity at Glen Oaks during the Northern Trust, the tournament announced this week. SoulCycle will supply 56 stationary bikes and will hold a class, with fans allowed to rent them on Tuesday of tournament week. Proceeds will go to The First Tee. Each participant will receive a gift bag and will be invited to a post-ride party. Information is available at facebook.com/TheNTgolf.
LI pros qualify for national tourney
Rob Gick, head pro at Sands Point Golf Club, was at or near the top of the leader board throughout the Met PGA Professionals Championship this past week at Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. If ever there were a week to be at or near the top, this was it. Anyone in the top 14 qualified for the national club pros championship next June at Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Club on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
Whatever disappointment he experienced in losing a second-round lead and finishing second by a shot to Danny Balin of Westchester Country Club was offset by the accomplishment of making the national field for the first time. “I put myself in good position in the first two rounds and I held my own. It felt good. I learned a lot about myself,” he said, having shot 6 under for 54 holes. Now it is a matter of learning whatever he can online about Bayonet & Black Horse.
Kyle Higgins of Inwood, Josh Rackley of Tam O’Shanter and Paul Dickinson of Atlantic also qualified. Matt Dobyns of Fresh Meadow, who already was exempt, tied for sixth. The top finishers at the national club pro get to play in the PGA Championship.
Babe Ruth’s ace
The Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend always has a strong golf component, what with the honorees playing an annual tournament in Cooperstown. Inside the museum, the permanent Babe Ruth display includes the ball with which he hit a hole-in-one at St. Albans Golf Course in Queens on April 11, 1940.