March 23, 2007
Volume VI, Issue 4
Hey, who are the suits in the sun glasses with earphones
Golfers at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., recently shared the course with a surprise visitor, former President Clinton, who joined Vijay Singh as part of a corporate outing. Clinton was greeted by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem before the round. Singh and Clinton played several holes with corporate executives but were rained out after nine holes. However, the twosome went back out in the rain to play the island-green 17th hole as well as the 18th. No scores were reported. Too bad, might have posted low 70s.
California freeways must be tougher than I thought
Phil Mickelson chose a unique way to commute to the Nissan Open: by plane. Apparently not wanting to fight Los Angeles traffic – and maybe wanting to be able to sleep in his own bed – Mickelson decided to use a private plane to fly from near his home in San Diego to the tournament each day. Before one of the rounds, Mickelson was filmed warming up at the Callaway testing facility in Carlsbad, Calif., before boarding the plane to go to the tournament. He flew to an airport that was just six miles from Riviera Country Club, then returned home each night. Mickelson lost the tournament in a playoff to Charles Howell.
Another reason to spend more time at the computer
The Masters Tournament has always been the stingiest of the major championships with television coverage, believing in the less-is-more approach. But in recent times, more golf has been shown, and the Masters is embracing the Internet. Last year www.masters.org
showed every group play Amen Corner – holes No. 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National. And this year it will add coverage of the entire tournament, with an extra hour preceding cable and network coverage. The times are 3-4 p.m. on April 5-6, 2:30-3:30 on April 7 and 1:30-2:30 on April 8.
Yeah, but good luck getting out of changing diapers
The impending birth of Tiger Woods’ first child this summer has evoked plenty of reaction. Chris Riley, who has known Woods since their junior days in Southern California and has two kids of his own, had this observation about Woods and traveling with a child: “I don’t think he’s going to be standing in the TSA lines (at the airport) like I do with carriages and bags.’’ Being rich means never having to take your shoes off. Private plane, of course.
Bet them Fresno boys are starting to feel the pressure
The PGA Tour has a tournament scheduled for Oct. 25-28 at a Jack Nicklaus-designed Fresno, California, course Running Horse. One problem: the course is nowhere near being completed. According to Golf World, only two holes on the course are completed, with the rest roughly laid out. There are no trees, bunkers, grass, clubhouse or parking lot. The PGA Tour is said to be looking into alternative sites for what is now called the Running Horse Golf Championship.
Rules and more rules...
In a recent match at the local course, Larry was having a particularly bad day. Why a grown man who needs 235 yards to clear the water hazard would try it 3 more times after his first ball goes in the water is beyond me. Yes, I too watched Tin Cup. But I digress. More to the point, Larry embarrassingly runs out of balls on the 15th hole. Poor planning, weird shots, you get the picture. Now the question: can he borrow some balls from another player to finish the match, or should he just kind of drift off on his own back to the clubhouse?
Click here for the ruling.
- He’s out of there. Go take a shower and head home.
- No problem, go ahead and borrow some balls, no violation.
- Big problem if Larry can’t borrow the same kind of ball he has been using. If it isn’t the same brand / type, he can’t use them.
- Nope, borrow any ball you can, no problem.
This aint the NBA, we play by the rules, literally...
The golf purists love this kind of story, and with good reason. They once again have someone to wrap their arms around, someone who adds more validity to the reasoning that golf is the most honorable of games.
Mark Wilson needed a two-stroke penalty at the Honda Classic like he needed another trip to Q-School. He’s been to the most dreaded of tournaments 10 times, and probably thought he was headed back after incurring one of those penalties that makes one wonder if he should be in another line of work.
Of course, the most amazing thing about it is that Wilson, 32, called the penalty on himself, even though his transgression did nothing to help him. In fact, it wasn’t Wilson who erred, but his caddie – Chris Jones – who was soon looking for the nearest bridge. Jones had inadvertently given one of his playing partners advice by announcing what club his player had used. It was a harmless infraction, one that could easily have been overlooked.
But Wilson knew something was wrong. He called over a rules official, was informed it was a violation, and he added to strokes, turning what would have been a 64 into a 66. That he later seemed destined to miss a playoff by a stroke was just another punch in the gut. But Wilson got into a sudden-death playoff when Boo Weekley missed a 3-foot putt. Wilson prevailed in a 4 way playoff and won the tournament the next morning.
”I don’t think I would be here if I had not called it on myself, because I would be thinking about it and if I had not called it on myself, every time I look at the trophy, it would be tarnished,’’ Wilson said.
The funny thing about the rule regarding advice is you can’t verbally tell another player what club you hit, but it’s okay for him to look in your bag – as long as he doesn’t move anything, such as a towel, to get a peak. It’s sort of like being allowed to steal an answer on a math exam by looking at another student’s paper, but getting expelled for asking for the same info.
Wilson was able to put it behind. After a few tense holes with Jones, they realized they had to forge on. “And I ended up playing some of the best golf of my life.’’
A few days later, he was rewarded with his first victory, but he’ll be remembered for much more than the victory. He’s my sports hero of the month.
An incredible streak by any measure...
People wanted to quibble about the PGA Tour winning streak Tiger Woods amassed, belittling it because he failed to win in four non-PGA Tour events that came during the stretch which dated to last year’s British Open. All of that was missing the point. Woods won seven in a row on the PGA Tour. No more. No less. Was it the same as Byron Nelson’s streak of 11 in a row in 1945, when he missed just one tournament in that stretch? No. Still, it was mighty impressive. Consider that Phil Mickelson’s victory total over the past three years is seven. Or that last year’s U.S. Ryder Cup captain, Tom Lehman, didn’t win seven times in his career. Woods’ streak ended when he lost to unheralded Nick O’Hern at the Match Play Championship. Too bad. It would have been fun to see it play out. Woods tried to start another streak at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week. Alas, we need to recognize that in any given tournament there are 100 or so of the best golfers in the world trying to beat Tiger. And sometimes you don’t show up with you’re A game. Showing up with his A- or B+ plus game is usually good enough for Tiger to earn a win. Unfortunately, he showed up with his C game this Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and carded a 6 over 76. Ouch! This is his worst PGA Tour score in 4 years. Tiger ended up with +3 232. 18 players finished with a 231 or less. The Masters is just around the corner. Let the records continue.
King of the mountain...
He finally conquered the Hill. Vijay Singh won the 2007 Arnold Palmer Invitational with an 8 under 272 at Bay Hill. Singh has been playing Bay Hill for 15 years, posting three second place finishes. This win gets the Bay Hill monkey off his back and marks Vijay’s second PGA Tour victory this year. Come to think of it, he is the first multiple Tour winner of the season. With rounds of 70-68-67-67 for a 272 -8 total, Singh looked like he was on his A game. Congratulations!
|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 ||Charles Howell III |
|WGC-Accenture Match Play ||Feb 21-25 ||Henrik Stenson |
|The Honda Classic ||Mar 1-4 ||Mark Wilson |
|Tampa Bay Championship ||Mar 8-11 ||Mark Calcavecchia |
|Arnold Palmer Invitational ||Mar 15-18 ||Vijay Singh |
|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 |