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February 13, 2007
Volume VI, Issue 3
Fringe Clippings
Maybe he could have borrowed Nancy Pelosi’s jet…
Brendon de Jonge had a unique debut on the PGA Tour at the Sony Open in Hawaii. An alternate, de Jonge stayed in Charlotte, N.C. and only found out he had gotten into the field the day before the tournament was to begin. Problem was, he had an 8 a.m. tee time and had some 4,700 miles to travel. De Jone decided to try. Despite a three-hour delay making a connection in Los Angeles, he arrived in Honolulu at 4 a.m., hardly time to find his hotel, get a shower, have breakfast, find the course, hit balls and tee off. He ended up missing the cut by a stroke.
Let’s see, if I sustain my 19 handicap I can shoot my age in 41 years…
Gary Player celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with wife Vivienne at the MasterCard Championship in Hawaii, then went out and bettered his age – twice. Player, 71, twice shot 69 in the season-opening Champions Tour event before finishing with a 73. He shot better than his age four times last year when he was 70.
Bet they thought he was Santa Claus, a.k.a., St. Nicklaus…
After a major redesign by famous neighbor Jack Nicklaus, North Palm Beach Country Club celebrated its Grand Opening recently. Before the project began, Nicklaus had never played the course near his home of 35 years and was asked almost as an after-thought about his views on giving it an upgrade. “It’s a fantastic piece of property,’’ Nicklaus said. “I charged them $1 for the design fee.’’ Nicklaus also gave the same bargain price to Lost Tree Village (where he lives) and Ohio State University (where he went to school).
They keep earning and earning and…
What’s more surprising: Tiger Woods increasing his worldwide income to nearly $99-million in 2006 or Michelle Wie jumping to sixth on Golf Digest’s list of the top golf earners with more than $20-million? Or how about Arnold Palmer, 77, still pulling in more than $27-million? Those are just a few of the tidbits in Golf Digest’s List of the Top 50 ranking $$$$ earners. Visit www.golfdigest.com.
2007 PGA Merchandise Show…
The annual PGA Merchandise Show (Jan. 25-27) was slimmed back from 4 days to 3 days for 2007. The show may have been shorter, but judging from the crowd size and number of displays there was no shortage of innovation and enthusiasm.

All manner of gizmos were displayed. Heck, if you can count 16 different unique tees being sold, you know there is no shortage of creativity in the industry. My vote for the best gizmo of the show was the “Golf Slip Saver”. This handy invention attached to the bottom of any shoe and turned it into a golf shoe with golf cleats. It looked like a great travel item.

After last year's rulings that essentially legalized distance measuring devices on golf courses, this year's PGA show featured a plethora of rangefinders and GPS systems. Look for them to be showing up in your pro shop.

Hybrid clubs and square-head woods will also be in abundant supply. Look for all the big name brands to introduce new models for 2007. Yes, improvement continues in club design!

Enthusiasm was in big supply at the IZOD booth, where they showcased their 2007 line of exciting yet practical golf apparel. IZOD also hosted a high-energy Huey Lewis concert at the Universal Studios Hard Rock Cafe for 3000 plus IZOD retailers who got the message loud and clear. IZOD is a hot ticket brand in touch with the market.
Paralysis by Analysis
Rules and more rules...
In a recent match, Larry put tape on the top of his putter-head during the round to reduce glare. His opponent told him that this was a violation of the rules. He further said the penalty was disqualification, and that meant that Larry lost the match and needed to pony up the $50 they had riding on the game. Was Larry at fault? Was his opponent correct?
  1. Incorrect, No penalty
  2. Incorrect, penalty of one stroke per hole on which the modified club was used.
  3. Correct. Larry altered the club during play. He should be disqualified, and perhaps tarred and feathered.
Click here for the ruling.

Yes, Larry would be disqualified. According to USGA decision 4-2/1, adding tape during the course of play, including tape to reduce glare, would change the playing characteristics of the club. Interestingly, the non-glare strip would have been ok had it been applied prior to starting the round. Just don't make any changes during a round that alter the playing characteristics of a club, such as adding lead tape to the back. Violate Rule 4-2a, and you're disqualified.
Reading the Line
Chasing more history...
In his own mind, it is not really a streak, although you’d have difficulty finding anyone else who would quibble. Yes, there were a couple of instances overseas in recent months when Tiger Woods stood by as someone else held up the trophy. Those are mere details. We are talking about the PGA Tour, where Woods has won seven straight tournaments going back to last October. Think of the number of players who would love to win seven tournaments over the course of a career. Think of some who haven’t.

We’re talking about the PGA Tour, where Woods has now won seven straight after another victory at the Buick Invitational. The quest for No. 8 waited, as Woods had a date in Dubai (Feb 1-4) on the European Tour. He finished tied for 3rd , 2 strokes behind winner Henrik Stenson and 1 back of second place finisher Ernie Els.

Byron Nelson’s record of 11 in a row set in 1945 is still in site, and absurd as that sounds, are you willing to bet against him?

Since July 2006, except for last week's Dubai Desert Classic where he finished 3rd, Woods has failed to finish worse than second in any stroke play event. He won the British Open and the PGA Championship in that stretch. He won two World Golf Championship events. Yes, he finished second at tournaments in China and Japan, lost in the first round of the World Match Play, but he also won two off-season events that don’t count.

It is a remarkable accomplishment, probably not as impressive as winning four straight majors, but perhaps on a level of making 142 straight cuts on the PGA Tour.

Many guessed that he’d resume his quest at the Nissan Open. If he had won there and then captured the Match Play Championship the following week, he’d be up to nine. From there, it would have been off to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with the chance to tie the record at the CA Championship at Doral. Had all that happened, Woods would have been in a position of trying to break Nelson’s record . . . at the Masters.

Alas, Tiger walks to the beat of his own drum. Rather than provide us a possible too-good-to-be-true scenario, he will skip next week’s Nissan Open at Riviera. This places on hold his seven-tournament winning streak on the PGA Tour until the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Riviera is considered Tiger’s hometown tournament because he grew up about 30 miles away in Cypress, California.

But it has not been a kind tournament for the world's No. 1 player. Tiger has never won Riviera in a Tour match.
Look who’s back...
Wow, after missing the cut at the FBR Open, Phil Mickelson re-bonds with a 20 under 1st place win at Pebble Beach this past weekend, winning by 5 strokes over second place finisher Kevin Sutherland. This was Mickelson’s first win after a sizzling start in 2006 winning The Bell South Classic and Masters only to suffer a collapse at Wing Foot from which he never recovered. He played the last months of the 2006 season as if winged demons were constantly on his mind. It’s good to see him back. The 2007 season will be better with Phil back in the competitive mix.
Golf’s Holy Grail...
We were reminded again just how hard it is to break the 60 barrier in golf when Brandt Snedeker went 10 under through 10 holes during the first round of the Buick Invitational. With three more birdies, he would have shot 59, but alas, Snedeker had to “settle’’ for a 61.

Despite advances in technology which allow players to hit the ball farther and straighter, nobody has broken 60 on the PGA Tour in this decade. Only Al Geiberger (1977 Memphis Open), Chip Beck (1991 Las Vegas Invitational) and David Duval (1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic) have achieved the feat.

Annika Sorenstam is the only player to shoot 59 in LPGA Tour history, doing so in 2001. It has never happened on the European Tour and just three times on the Nationwide Tour.

Of course, there are many of us who shoot 59 – and then walk off after 12 holes.
2007 PGA Tour Schedule   Winner
Mercedes Benz Championship Jan 4-7 Vijay Singh
Sony Open in Hawaii Jan 11-14 Paul Goydos
Bob Hope Classic Jan 18-21 Charley Hoffman
Buick Invitational Jan 25-28 Tiger Woods
FBR Open Feb 1-4 Aaron Braddeley
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro AM Feb 8-11 Phil Mickelson
Nissan Open Feb 15-18
WGC-Accenture Match Play Feb 21-25
The Honda Classic Mar 1-4
Tampa Bay Championship Mar 8-11
Arnold Palmer Invitational Mar 15-18
WGC-CA Championship Mar 22-25
Shell Houston Open Mar 29-1
The Masters Apr 5-8
Verizon Heritage Apr 12-15
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Apr 19-22
EDS Byron Nelson Championship Apr 26-29
Wachovia Championship May 3-6
The Players Championship May 10-13
AT&T Classic May 17-20
Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial May 24-26
The Memorial Tournament May 31-3
Stanford St.Jude Championship Jun 7-10
U.S. Open Championship Jun 14-17
Travelers Championship Jun 21-24
Buick Open Jun 28-1
The International July 5-8
John Deere Classic July 12-15
U.S. Bank Championship July 19-22
British Open July 19-22
Canadian Open July 26-29
Reno-Tahoe Open Aug 2-5
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Aug 2-5
PGA Championship Aug 9-12
Wyndham Championship Aug 16-19
The Barclays Aug 23-26
Deutsche Bank Championship Aug 31-3
BMW Championship Sep 6-9
The Tour Championship Sep 13-16
Turning Stone Resort Championship Sep 20-23
Viking Classic Sep 27-30
The Presidents Cup Sep 27-30
Valero Texas Open Oct 4-7
Frys.com Open in Las Vegas Oct 11-14
Fry.s Electronics Open Oct 18-21
Running Horse Golf Championship Oct 25-28
Walt Disney World Resort Classic Nov 1-4

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