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July 7 - Mickelson hoping for better breaks to reverse Open fortune

With one notable exception of finishing third at Royal Troon in 2004, Phil Mickelson has never even sniffed winning the Open Championship. For that very reason, the seemingly developing custom of writing a hopeful column suggesting Phil could win another major will be skipped – likely in favor of a column fawning over Rory McIlroy.

Mickelson, though, has suggested he will change his approach to the slower, more obvious greens in the Open rota as a way of combating poor putting and results in the year’s third major.

The AP quotes Mickelson as saying he will “putt with less break and more aggressively and see if that doesn’t combat some of the issues that I’ve had here.”

He explained his putting woes, saying, “The grass is a little bit more coarse, a little thicker, has a little bit more effect, and you need to putt with less break and more aggression is what I’ve come to find.

“I’m going to try to do that this week and next week and see if that doesn’t combat some of the issues that I’ve had putting here.”

07/06/2011 8:31 pm Photography By Glenn

Feb 24 - Tiger Woods loses to Thomas Bjorn with 19th hole blunder

In the opening hole of his first round match with Tiger Woods at the WGC Accenture Match Play, his opponent Thomas Bjorn sent his ball well right. The Great Dane still managed to take the first hole from Woods, who made the first of several miscues in his match.

After a series of ups and downs for Woods – and Bjorn – the two returned to the opening hole for the 1st extra hole. This time, it was Woods who went well right. And again, he lost the hole and, in the process, the match in 19 holes.

The loss to Bjorn marks the second time in Woods’ career that he has been dropped from the field of 64 in the first round. Woods lost in the opening round in 2002. In that year, Peter O’Malley defeated Woods 2&1.

The match was a roller coaster for both players – lots of holes won or lost, with scattered play of brilliance and dumbfounding mediocrity.

Woods lost two of the first three holes, but won the second to be 1 Down. Bjorn and Woods alternated wins on 5 and 6, both winning in par.

02/23/2011 9:16 pm Photography By Glenn
Feb 19 - Tiger Woods spits on green, golf world splits in prissy fits

You know Tiger Woods hasn't been playing well of late. He had a chance at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic over the weekend before posting a godawful 75, and that was pretty much that. Now, though, word that Woods committed a far greater breach of golf etiquette during the tournament than just, you know, stinking: He spat on the 12th green! Steel your hearts for the horror ahead and take a look:

The audio's a little fuzzy there, but commentator Ewen Murray said that it was "Disgusting, what he has just done there ... there are some parts of him that are just arrogant and petulant. Somebody now has to come behind him and maybe putt over his spit. It does not get much lower than that."

I dunno, I think plenty of people would be just fine putting over Tiger's spit. (Also, "I Spit On Your Putt" would be a great golf/horror movie.) Sloppy? Sure. But this is going to be turned into another one of those "Tiger doesn't respect the game" rants by the anti-Tiger contingent, and that's unfortunate.

The European Tour, not particularly pleased at this breach of etiquette, announced Monday that it will be fining Woods an undisclosed sum. "Tournament director Mike Stewart has reviewed the incident and feels there has been a breach of the tour code of conduct and consequently Tiger Woods will be fined," the tour said in a statement.

Tiger soon after apologized via Twitter:

Still, let's be honest here. This is a guy who's seeing his entire world crash down around him; if spitting once in awhile is the worst thing he does, that's not the End Of Civility In The Modern Golf World, and Tiger is not The Root of All Evil, although that'll be the hack takeaway from this. Certainly, it's nowhere near as bad as Sergio Garcia actually spitting into the hole at Doral a few years back.

For his part, Woods has pledged to behave better on the course, showing a bit more respect for the game. This is a step back, yes, but really, a minor one. And he'll get so much grief for it that next time he'll just spit into his golf bag.

Anyway, fire away with your "cheetah" and "let he who is without sin" comments. Those never get old.
02/18/2011 10:48 pm ERIKA
Jan 7 - Did Camilo Villegas break the Rules of Golf at Kapalua?

Camilo Villegas was playing the 15th hole at Kapalua in the opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions when his approach shot to the par-5 landed short and right of the green. Villegas faced a chip shot up a rather steep, shaved bank to a front pin placement.

Villegas attempted to hit a fairly lofted chip shot, but it landed short of the target and rolled back toward the Colombian. On his second chip shot, Villegas tried to scoot the ball up onto the putting surface with a bump-and-run. That, too, failed to land on the green.

As the ball rolled back to Villegas, he watched it come back to him before noticing a loose piece of dirt that the ball could have hit on the way back down the hill. Using the club he chipped with, Villegas moved the dirt.

That could be construed as a violation of Rule 23-1 of the Rules of Golf, which states:

When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed.

If deemed to have broken the rule, it would result in a two stroke penalty. Villegas may have mistakenly signed for seven, the number of strokes he took to complete the hole. In that case, he would be disqualified for signing for an incorrect score.

01/07/2011 7:54 am Photography By Glenn
0Oh geez, could you imagine this happening to you?
01/16/2011 Cayseas.com

Geoff Ogilvy has 12 stitches in his finger. Zach Johnson cut a hole in his shoe to accommodate his bum toe.

Hawaii isn't paradise for everyone at the PGA Tour's season opener.

The 2011 season gets under way on the Plantation Course at Kapalua with a 34-man field of tour winners from last year. After a week of sunshine, Thursday began with low clouds and a light, steady rain.

Robert Garrigus was the last one to get in, winning at Disney in the final event of the year. Ogilvy was the first to qualify by winning the Tournament of Champions a year ago by one shot.

He has a chance to join Stuart Appleby as the only players to win three successive years at Kapalua, and Ogilvy appeared to be in fine form by winning the Australian Open and losing in a playoff at the Australian PGA Championship.

01/06/2011 10:29 pm Ariana
0Thats really cool I would love to play in Austrailia.
01/16/2011 Cayseas.com
Jan 7 - Augusta In - Tiger Out!

Woods’ image won’t appear on the cover of the newest version of his videogame. Instead, “Tiger Woods PGA Tour: The Masters” will feature an image of the Augusta National Golf Club. EA Sports, which publishes the game, says the decision doesn’t mean the publisher is “backing away” from Tiger.
01/06/2011 10:22 pm ERIKA
0Oh geez...Do you think he thought about what would happen after everything?
01/16/2011 Cayseas.com
Jan 7 - Finchem supports a strong European Tour

The European Tour is stronger than ever, and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem says he's glad to see it.

The new golf season begins Thursday with the balance of power shifting toward Europe, which has the new world No. 1 in Lee Westwood and seven players among the top 11 in the world.

Westwood, PGA champion Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy have decided not to take up membership in America, and the European Tour over the last two years has increased to 13 the number of events required of its players.

All three were eligible for the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, but chose not to attend. British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, meanwhile, has chosen to play at home in the Africa Open.

"This recent focus on three or four players, particularly as it relates to Europe, does not cause us concern," Finchem said. "We see the need for these players to support the tour in Europe. We feel like a strong European Tour is in everybody's interests - in our interests."

01/06/2011 8:07 pm Ariana
0Why would you choose not to attend an event like this?
01/16/2011 Cayseas.com
Jan 6 - Woods dropped from cover of game title bearing his name

The first thing you’ll notice about the cover of EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’12 is that Tiger Woods is not on it. His name is, sure, but where his image normally is plastered to entice buyers now sits a shot of iconic Augusta National Golf Club, included in a video game for the first time ever with this iteration.

EA says Woods will appear on the cover of the Collector’s Edition of the game for the PlayStation 3 console. That’ll run an extra $10 and have five additional courses.

EA Sports President Peter Moore told reporters in a conference call that the cover is not an indicator of intent to end their relationship with Woods.

“If the insinuation is it’s a reflection of EA Sports backing away from its relationship that goes back literally 13 years with Tiger, that’s not the case whatsoever,” said Moore. “You shouldn’t read anything into the fact that Tiger’s not featured on the box art of that particular edition…Tiger is right there on the PS3 version of the game with Move support, which was very good for us and Sony last year. We’ll continue that.”

Last year, EA Sports said it would continue to support Woods in the face of his troubles – provided his on-course performance was restored to some semblance of the dominance that make him a global sporting icon.

01/05/2011 8:58 pm Photography By Glenn
0You think he thought about the long term affect of things?
01/16/2011 Cayseas.com
Dec 15 - Pace on track for Dubai title

SOUTH Africa's Lee-Anne Pace is on track to lift the Ladies European Tour's order of merit title, even though she fired one-over-par in the opening round of the Dubai Ladies Masters golf tournament yesterday.

Pace bogeyed her opening hole, the par-five 10th on the Emirates Golf Club, but hit back with a birdie four on the 13th. However, she carded a double drop on the par-four 14th.

Consecutive birdie threes on 16 and 17 brought her back to par and she turned on 37.

Pace slipped back to one-over-par with a bogey on the par-four hole on the first hole of the next nine.

Pace's only rival for the money-list title, England's Laura Davies, had an even worse round.

Pace is leading the order of merit and Davies must finish in the top three to have any chance of overhauling her. Should Davies win in Dubai, Pace will have to finish second to take the order of merit title.

12/13/2010 8:10 am Melissa Ilievski
0Thats really awesome!!! Dubai would be awesome!
01/16/2011 Cayseas.com
Dec 13 - Tiger Will Never Be The Same, He Might Be Better

The end to the Chevron World Challenge — or Sherwood Country Club Outing, if you will — was oddly appropriate. These have been unprecedented times for Tiger Woods, a year of firsts and worsts and Sunday fit the model.

Pulling the plug on a life-altering season away from golf and a career-altering period in it, the once impenetrable Woods spent a four-shot lead and lost a playoff to U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell.

So, for everyone who still has pictures of 2008 and Torrey Pines as their screen saver, let's sum things up: Tiger Woods did not win a golf event in 2010, did not win a major championship, did not bank a four-shot lead on Sunday and did not survive in a playoff.

He did, however, start posting on Twitter, so he has that going for him, which is nice.

You can't live in the past. Woods can't and the golf world shouldn't. Those who suggest “El Tigre” will never be the same are correct; he will not be the same and his demeanor after Sunday's overtime defeat was corroborative.

12/12/2010 8:20 pm Photography By Glenn
0Lets hope he gets things back on track he was a great golfer.
01/17/2011 Cayseas.com
Dec 10 - Greg Norman Tournament Features Strong Field

For his 22nd Shark Shootout, Greg Norman is touting this as his best field ever. The tournament founder and host isn't the first involved with a golf event to do that.

But he may just be right.

Half of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, two from Europe, and two more who were assistant captains are playing at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort starting Friday.

"No question about it, it's the strongest ever," Norman said. "I don't think it's a field that I put together; I think it's a field that the guys wanted to come and play."

Now the longest continuos challenge season event on the tour, the 12 two-man teams play three different formats over three days - modified alternate shot in the first round, followed by better ball and a scramble in the final two.

Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Rickie Fowler, money champion Matt Kuchar, and Jeff Overton played for the Americans.

Graeme McDowell, coming off beating Tiger Woods in a playoff at Woods' tournament on Sunday, and Ian Poulter were part of Europe's winning team. McDowell, who won the U.S. Open earlier in the year, won the decisive match against American Hunter Mahan at the Ryder Cup. Darren Clarke was one of the vice captains for Europe, and Davis Love III was an assistant for the U.S. team.

12/09/2010 8:21 pm Photography By Glenn
Dec 10 - Daly Shoots 38 In Another Coolum Meltdown

Just when John Daly thought it was safe to return to Coolum, the scene of one of his most famous meltdowns, the course came back to get him again.

Daly shot a second-round 11-over-par 83 Friday at the Australian PGA after a first-round 71 Thursday to sit in 146th place and another missed cut. Last week, Daly also failed to qualify for the weekend at the Australian Open - by one stroke.

The American was destined to miss by a great deal more this week after nines of 43 and 40, including a triple bogey, three double bogeys, three bogeys and one birdie.

Daly refused to speak to media after his round and was driven from the course by the tournament promoter shortly after round.

In 2002, after taking a triple-bogey 7 on his last hole at the Hyatt Coolum course, Daly threw his putter and ball into a greenside pond and later failed to sign for a 78 on his scorecard, disqualifying himself from the tournament.

He was later fined $5,600 by the Australasian PGA Tour and was ordered to write a letter of apology to a tour official he verbally abused.

12/09/2010 8:17 pm Photography By Glenn
Dec 6 - McDowell Slips Past Tiger For Chevron Win

Tiger Wood delivered a vintage moment, dropping an 8-iron from the sky on the final hole Sunday inside 3 feet for what looked to be a sure victory.

Just not this year.

The clutch shots and happy endings belonged to U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell.

McDowell capped off his greatest season with the biggest comeback ever against Woods. He rallied from a four-shot deficit in the Chevron World Challenge, then upstaged Woods at his own tournament.

McDowell holed a 20-foot birdie putt to force a playoff, then beat Woods on the first extra hole with another birdie from a little bit longer.

"They're the kind of putts that you make them, and you can't really believe it afterwards," McDowell said. "They were the stuff of dreams — 2010 has been the stuff of dreams. It's been that kind of year."

12/05/2010 8:16 pm Photography By Glenn
Dec 3 - Griffen Takes 1st Round Lead At Australian Open

Matthew Griffin has shot a 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian Open at The Lakes.

Griffin, whose longtime caddie Peter Beck died suddenly about a month ago, had seven birdies Thursday on some forgiving greens after a large amount of rain on the course the previous day.

He had a one-stroke lead over John Senden and was two strokes clear of Alistair Presnell.

Australian Masters champion Stuart Appleby, Geoff Ogilvy, Peter Senior, Marc Leishman and Rod Pampling - all Australians - were among a group of nine players at 4 under.

American John Daly was in a share of 13th place after carding 69, while five-time champion Greg Norman opened with a 74.

Daly said the course, which had undergone a number of changes - trees removed for a more exposed front nine, and more undulations on the greens - played well.

"The course is in great shape," Daly said. "The fairways are perfect, it didn't even look like it rained. It's a tribute to how they re-did the irrigation here.

12/02/2010 8:59 pm Photography By Glenn
Dec 3 - Tiger Takes First Steps Ahead

Don’t get too excited, but Tiger Woods has the outright lead after a round of tournament golf for the first time all year. With a seven-under 65, Woods leads his own event in Thousand Oaks, California.

Woods’ first round at the Chevron World Challenge was not his most impressive round of the year, but it was very solid. It also is his second consecutive good score, following up on a closing round at the JB Were Masters in Australia to finish in a share of 4th place.

Before the tournament, Woods talked about the goal of being able to implement the swing changes he and Sean Foley have been working on all autumn. The goal was to execute the changes naturally for 18 holes. He has now done it for 36. The end game is to do for an entire tournament.

With a field as numerous as the holes on the course, Woods can feel simultaneously comfortable with an intimate field, but also assured he is competing against the best in the world – even if it is silly season. The combination could be a huge boost of confidence heading into 2011.

12/02/2010 8:56 pm Photography By Glenn

Nov 27 - Fla. Golf Course Worker Hit By Tee Shot, Dies

A maintenance worker at a central Florida country club is dead after being struck by a golfer's tee shot.

Police say Maurice Hayden was pulling weeds near a tree at the Mayfair Country Club in Sanford on Wednesday when he was struck in the temple about 30 yards away.

The 42-year-old man was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital. Police say he died Thursday after being removed from life support.

Police say the shot was an accident and that the golfer will not face charges.

11/26/2010 9:39 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 27 - One Year After Scandal, Tiger Tries To Move On

The dark sedan backed into a spot next to the clubhouse at the Australian Masters, trunk open, waiting to whisk Tiger Woods to the airport. Lingering behind the car was a friend who was still wrestling with divided loyalties - to Woods and his former wife.

They approached each other, awkwardly at first, then shared a quick embrace and quiet words.

Woods believes he finally is ready to move on after a self-destructive year that cost him his marriage, his mystique, millions in endorsements and, lastly, his No. 1 ranking.

What remains are relationships to repair, along with his golf game.

Still to come is Thanksgiving.

"I think it's going to be great," Woods said. "I'm going to be with my family. My mom is going to be there. We're going to have a great Thanksgiving. We've turned the corner, turned the page, and it's time to move forward."

11/26/2010 9:34 pm Photography By Glenn

Nov 25 - Rory Mcilory hoping For Consistency In 2011

For Rory McIlroy, 2011 will be all about consistency.

The 21-year-old from Northern Ireland, who even Tiger Woods has pegged as the future world No. 1, had some stellar performances this year — tying for third at both the British Open and the PGA Championship. But he also failed to win on the European Tour and saw his world ranking drop from No. 9 to No. 10.

McIlroy said he had given himself "a few chances" on the European Tour this year, but for the most part "hasn't played good enough." He noted that he finished third in Abu Dhabi, was in contention at the Dubai Desert Classic and just missed out in a playoff at the French Open.

"I think there's been, as I said, parts of the season have been very good. I've swung it really well. In the summer at the French Open, Akron and the PGA, I played some of my best golf and swung it really well," said McIlroy, who is playing at this week's Dubai World Championship.

11/24/2010 8:29 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 24 - Finalist For PGA'S Player Of The Year

Americans Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, along with South African Ernie Els, are in the running for the 2010 PGA Tour Player of the Year award, the Tour said Tuesday.

The elite quintet was nominated by the Tour's player advisory council and player directors, and the eventual winner, to be determined by Tour member voting, will be announced on Dec 4.

Furyk, a three-time champion on the U.S. circuit this season, has already been named the PGA of America's Player of the Year.

One of the steadiest players in the game despite an unorthodox swing, Furyk ended his 2010 campaign with a victory at the Tour Championship in September when he also landed FedExCup honors and the $10 million bonus.

Kuchar won the lucrative Barclays playoff event in August on the way to securing the Arnold Palmer Award for topping the Tour's money list with earnings of $4,910,477. He also landed the Byron Nelson Award after leading the Tour's scoring average charts with 69.61.

11/23/2010 8:33 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 24 - Martin Kaymer Declines 2011 PGA Tour Membership

By week’s end, there’s a good chance that the two best players in the world will not hold PGA Tour membership. 2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer has elected to decline PGA Tour membership for next season. He made his decision official on the eve of the Dubai World Championship.

“It really doesn’t fit for me playing both tours next year,” Kaymer said. “So I will stick to the European Tour. I will play probably two or three more events in America but I will play in Europe.

“I consider the European Tour my home. That is where I feel comfortable. I think you play against the best players in the world, with the number one in the world, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, you have all of the great players here.”

But, there is good news on two fronts! First, Kaymer has said he will play two or three more times in the US next year. Second, British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, fellow South African Charl Schwartzel, and US Open champion Graeme McDowell will take their tour cards.

11/23/2010 8:23 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 21 - Keeping It Green At Justin Timberlake Mirimichi

Over the summer, Justin Timberlake’s baby in Memphis was undergoing a little touch-up. It sounds like a sentence out of a tabloid, but Mirimichi, the Timberlake-owned course outside of his hometown was undergoing renovation.

Upon his purchase of the club in 2007, Timberlake vowed to turned everything around at the facility which boasts a championship course and a Timberlake-added 9 hole executive layout.

First, Timberlake changed the name from Big Creek Golf Club to its current moniker. Then, he immediately brought in Kentucky-based Talent Golf & Development Services to renovate the course and make it the first Audobon Society certified eco-friendly golf course in the United States. The product of his $16 million investment opened in July 2009. Just a year later, the course was undergoing further renovation around some bunkers and areas close to the putting surfaces.

Last month, I was in Memphis for a family wedding and made the 20 minute trek from downtown Memphis (a few minutes away from Beale St. is a good thing) to play the course.

11/20/2010 8:37 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 21 - Should Tiger Really Worry About His Image

The early reviews are in, and they're not terribly kind.

But what do you expect when Tiger Woods finally bares his soul and we find out he doesn't seem to have one?

The campaign to deliver the world a new, improved Tiger began this week just as all those nasty reminders of what happened a year ago in Florida were about to appear. His public rehabilitation is now officially under way, surely to be followed at some point by some cutesy Nike ads that will enlighten us even further.

Op-ed piece in Newsweek. Radio interview on ESPN. Even a couple of tweets.

And not a clue that Woods even begins to get it at all.

The most miserable year he could ever imagine is about over. He should be shouting in joy that he's survived, even if his golf career may be ruined forever.

Instead he's trying to sell himself to the world in the same calculating way he once sold Nike's golf equipment.

Except this time it won't work.

11/20/2010 8:25 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 20 - Clearwater Wins Champions Tour Q-School

Two-time PGA Tour winner Keith Clearwater won the Champions Tour's national qualifying tournament Friday, closing with an even-par 72 in windy conditions at TPC Eagle Trace for a three-stroke victory over Lee Rinker, Frankie Minoza and Phil Blackmar.

The 51-year-old Clearwater finished at 16-under 272 to earn the first of five fully exempt spot on the 2011 tour. He shot a 9-under 63 on Thursday.

"It feels good to finish something and get it done," Clearwater said. "It was difficult today playing in this wind and every shot was hard; maybe five to 10 shots harder than yesterday. It meant having to make good choices and make a lot of 3-, 4-, and 5-footers. It was a tough day, so I was very pleased to make the putts when I needed to and keep that distance I had most of the day. This allows me to make my schedule for next year and play every week, so I'm looking forward to that."

Minoza shot a 67, Blackmar had a 68, and Rinker closed with a 72.

John Morse earned the fifth and final fully exempt spot, beating Robert Thompson and Roger Chapman with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff. Morse missed a 4-foot par putt on the final hole of regulation to drop into a tie with Thompson and Chapman at 12 under.

11/19/2010 8:42 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 20 - Poulter Shoots 60, Surges To lead in Hong Kong

While the PGA Tour season is over, the guns on the European Tour are battling it out in the final weeks of the season which will conclude in Dubai just before Thanksgiving. Ian Poulter, battling internally over whether to remain a member of the PGA Tour or return home to Europe, may have made up his mind by shooting 60 in the second round of the UBS Hong Kong Open.

On the par 70 track, Poulter had symmetrical nines – playing both in five-under par. At one point in the round, from holes seven through eleven, Poulter made five consecutive birdies.

Prior to today, thirteen men had equaled Poulter’s 60. Darren Clarke is the only man in European Tour history to accomplish the feat twice. No player has ever shot 59 on the European Tour, though.

The round of 60, though not bested, was nearly equaled by Anthony Kang. Kang’s 61 positions him just a shot off of the halfway lead of Poulter. A couple of strokes back of Poulter is Rory McIlroy, whose two career bridesmaid finishes in this event signal his certain presence on the weekend. But don’t sleep on the Italian teenage phenom Matteo Manassero, who became the youngest winner in the tour’s history at last month’s Castello Masters.

11/19/2010 8:38 pm Photography By Glenn

Last November, everything I thought I knew about myself changed abruptly, and what others perceived about me shifted, too. I had been conducting my personal life in an artificial way—as if detached from the values my upbringing had taught, and that I should have embraced.

The physical pain from that car accident has long healed. But the pain in my soul is more complex and unsettling; it has been far more difficult to ease—and to understand. But this much is obvious now: my life was out of balance, and my priorities were out of order. I made terrible choices and repeated mistakes. I hurt the people whom I loved the most. And even beyond accepting the consequences and responsibility, there is the ongoing struggle to learn from my failings.

At first, I didn’t want to look inward. Frankly, I was scared of what I would find—what I had become. But I’m grateful that I did examine my life because it has made me more grounded than I’ve ever been; I hope that with reflection will come wisdom. Golf is a self-centered game, in ways good and bad. So much depends on one’s own abilities. But for me, that self-reliance made me think I could tackle the world by myself. It made me think that if I was successful in golf, then I was invincible. Now I know that, no matter how tough or strong we are, we all need to rely on others.

11/18/2010 8:47 pm Photography By Glenn

Nov 19 - Lee Westwood Remains At Top Of World Rankings

Lee Westwood has kept his place at the top of the world golf rankings for the third straight week despite not playing last week.

Former No. 1 Tiger Woods remained second after finishing fourth at the Australian Masters on Sunday.

The only change in the top 10 was Graeme McDowell's move to ninth from 10th, jumping ahead of Rory McIlroy.

Adam Scott moved from 41st to 20th after winning the Singapore Open on Monday.

11/18/2010 8:41 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 19 - Bettencourt Leads Pebble Beach Invitational

PGA Tour winner Matt Bettencourt shot an 8-under 64 at Del Monte on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead in the Pebble Beach Invitational, while Annika Sorenstam opened with a 69 at Del Monte in a rare competitive start since her retirement in 2008.

Bettencourt, the Reno-Tahoe Open winner in July who finished 114th on the 2010 money list, had two eagles, five birdies and a bogey in the Callaway Golf-sponsored tournament that features 76 male and female players.

"I started slow, but hit a great shot on No. 9 from about 250 yards to 12 feet and got the eagle," said Bettencourt, who tied for fourth in the tournament last year. "I didn't know I was in the lead, but I knew 64 or 65 was out here. Del Monte on a day like today is a pretty benign course."

Bettencourt birdied three of the final four holes, but missed a 15-inch birdie putt on the 14th.

"I was good round, although I left some putts out there," he said.

LPGA Tour player Morgan Pressel, PGA Tour veteran Bryce Molder and New York club pro Heath Wassen opened with 66s, also at Del Monte.

11/18/2010 8:37 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 18 - Sorensten Makes Rare Appearance At Pebble Beach

Annika Sorenstam will make a rare pro tournament appearance Thursday when she participates in the Pebble Beach Invitational.

The annual event held at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Del Monte Golf Course, is the only head-to-head, 72-hole competition among the men and women who compete on the four major professional tours.

Sorenstam retired from the LPGA Tour following the 2008 season, and she hasn't won since the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open on the Asian Pro Tour on Nov. 2, 2008. Six months earlier, Sorenstam won the last of her 72 LPGA titles at the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill in Virginia.

Since her retirement, Sorenstam has played sporadically in invitational and charity tournaments. She finished tied for 12th on Oct. 12 in the Mission Hills Star Trophy in China.

Defending champion Mark Brooks, a seven-time PGA Tour winner, and about a dozen players among the top 125 on the tour's money list are entered in the $300,000 tournament.

11/17/2010 8:23 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 18 - John Daly Hoping To Improve At Hong Kong Open

John Daly's dramatic weight loss may help him get around the world's golf courses a little bit easier, but it hasn't come without its problems.

After dropping more than 45 kilograms (100 pounds) since his title-winning days, the two-time major winner said ahead of the Hong Kong Open this week that he's still trying to get used to his new weight of 88 kilograms (195 pounds).

"The biggest problem has been my putting because I've got nowhere to put my elbows. I used to be able to put my elbows on my love handles and putt pretty good. Now they're all over the place," Daly said in Hong Kong, where he'll be playing in the penultime tournament of the European Tour starting Thursday at the US$2.5 million (1.8 million euros) Hong Kong Open.

"It's taken a while to get used to this, but I know it's for the better for me and hopefully the results will come pretty soon," he said.

Daly is hoping he can return to form here against a field that features reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, as well as Ryder Cup stars Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jiminez.

After an injury-plagued season, the 44-year-old American is confident his game has improved enough to allow him to challenge for the $405,000 (300,000 euros) first prize.

11/17/2010 8:15 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 17 - Australian Masters Eye Spots Before Presidents Cup

Tiger Woods returning to Australia for the third straight year is a fairly safe bet considering the Presidents Cup will be held in 2011 at Royal Melbourne.

The question is how many times he plays Down Under, and that depends largely on the schedule.

IMG runs the Australian Masters, which it has invigorated by strengthening the field and the sandbelt courses on which it is played. Organizers want the same date for next year, only they suddenly have competition.

With the Presidents Cup set for Nov. 17-20, whatever event is the week before might get several players from the U.S. and International teams.

"We would like this date. It's critical to us," said Mark Steinberg, head of IMG's global golf division. "We feel like we took on the risk by moving to this date a few years ago, going up against some big events, and we made it successful. We feel we deserve to keep the date, now that it's a coveted date for next year."

11/16/2010 8:50 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 17 - Adam Scott Wins Singapore Open For Third Time

Adam Scott shot a 3-under-par 68 to win his third Singapore Open by three strokes, completing his final 10 holes Monday after a lengthy thunderstorm suspension Sunday.

Scott, who won at the Sentosa Golf Club in 2005 and 2006, had a 72-hole total of 17-under-par 267.

Anders Hansen of Denmark shot 68 to finish second, and Sweden's Rikard Karlberg (67) and U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (70) were tied for third, four shots behind Scott.

U.S. Masters champion Phil Mickelson had a final-round 70 to finish on 3-under.

11/16/2010 8:46 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 16 - Davies Win Women's Indian Open For 77th Victory

English star Laura Davies won the Women's Indian Open on Sunday for her 77th worldwide victory, beating Thailand's Nontaya Srisawang, South Africa's Tandi Cuningham and Sweden's Louise Friberg with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

Davies eagled the par-5 18th for a 2-under 70 to match Nontaya (71), Cuningham (73) and Friberg (70) at 3-under 213 on the DLF Golf & Country Club course. In the playoff, Davies reached the green on the 18th in two and two-putted for the victory.

At 47, Davies broke her own record as the oldest winner in Ladies European Tour history. The four-time major champion has 44 LET victories, 20 LPGA Tour titles and 13 other tour victories.

She has five LET victories this year, also winning in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and Spain.

Davies opened with rounds of 65 and 78.

11/15/2010 7:56 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 16 - Woods Faces The Unthinkable, Finishing 2010 Without A Victory

The trophy case for Tiger Woods is collecting dust.

He finally gave the big crowds here at Victoria Golf Club something to cheer in the final hour of the Australian Masters by making two eagles in a four-hole stretch and closing with a 6-under 65 to get his name on the leaderboard for the first time all weekend.

At one point he was two shots behind, but Woods knew better. There was no point in sticking around. This tournament was going to be like so many others in a season that can't end soon enough. He stuffed his golf clubs into the trunk of a black sedan waiting to take him to the airport so he could head home.

For the first time in his career, Woods is no longer the defending champion of anything, anywhere in the world.

"I tried all week," he said. "Unfortunately, I didn't do it. I didn't play good enough. Didn't make enough putts. That's what happens."

11/15/2010 7:51 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 15 - Ishikawa Wins Taiheiyo Masters For Third Title

Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa won the Taiheiyo Masters on Sunday, shooting a 5-under 67 to hold off Australian Brendan Jones for his third title of the year on the Japanese tour.

The 19-year-old Ishikawa had seven birdies and two bogeys at the Taiheiyo Club's Gotemba Course to finish at 14-under 274.

Jones, who won this event in 2007, also closed with a 67, pulling within a stroke of Ishikawa when he made a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th. Ishikawa responded with a birdie on the last hole to secure the win.

11/14/2010 8:48 pm Photography By Glenn

Nov 15 - Tiger Closes Strong, Appleby Stronger Down Under

Stuart Appleby received hardly any fanfare at the Australian Masters until he slipped on the gold jacket that a year ago belonged to Tiger Woods.

He wasn't among the five faces on promotional posters around Melbourne, nor was he invited to the gala dinner. And even though none of the others had more wins this year — and none had ever shot a 59 to win a PGA Tour event — that was fine with him.

"I noticed it, but it was not even close to annoying me," Appleby said Sunday after closing with a 6-under 65 for a one-shot victory. "I have an ego, no doubt about it. But it wasn't like, 'Oh, they haven't got me up there?' It's the Tiger Woods show, and the others. You know what? It didn't play out that way."

The only entertainment value from Woods came in his final hour, when he made two eagles over the final four holes and shot 65 to match his best score of the year. He still ended a full year without winning, as he finished in fourth place as the defending champion.

11/14/2010 8:44 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 14 - Watson Helps PGA Team Rally For Win

Bubba Watson made an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to cap a comeback victory for the PGA Tour team in the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge on Tuesday.

Watson, Dustin Johnson and Boo Weekley finished a combined 14 under in the two-player, best-ball format that allowed each team to discard one score per hole. The group shot 11 under over the final eight holes to overtake the Champions Tour team of Nick Price, Bernhard Langer and Kenny Perry, which finished at 13 under at Rio Secco Golf Club.

The LPGA team of Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and Natalie Gulbis finished third at 11 under after winning the event last year.

With the PGA Tour team trailing by two heading to the par-5 17th hole, Johnson reached the green in two and made an 8-foot putt for eagle.

"I knew I needed to make something happen on 17," Johnson said.

Watson followed with a birdie at 17 as the PGA Tour group moved into a tie for the lead, erasing a four-shot Champions Tour lead after 11 holes.

Watson then put his 150-yard approach at the par-4 18th hole in good position on the right side of the hole. He converted the putt and celebrated with a huge fist pump.

11/13/2010 9:01 pm Photography By Glenn

Nov 14 - Tiger Drowns In The Rain Down Under

Adam Bland has played in only one major and two other PGA Tour events. He was 75th on the Nationwide Tour money list and is headed to California on Sunday night for the second stage of Q-school.

First up is a chance to win the Australian Masters, where he is 10 shots ahead of Tiger Woods.

Kieran Pratt is a 22-year-old from Melbourne who turned pro only eight days ago and could not have asked for a better start to his career. He received an exemption to the Australian Masters, saw Woods in person for the first time and wound up paired with the defending champion in the third round Saturday.

"I was in a bit of shock," Pratt said. "I saw him walking to the range on day one, and it's just unreal seeing him. I've seen him so much on TV, and there he was. He's got such an aura about him."

Pratt was in such awe that he shot a 70, topping Woods by one shot at Victoria Golf Club, although both are out of contention.

11/13/2010 8:55 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 13 - Roland Thatcher Takes 4-Shot Lead At Disney

All Roland Thatcher wanted to do this week was prepare for qualifying school. He even joked with his amateur partners that he was treating the PGA Tour finale as a practice round.

"Obviously," Thatcher said, "the goal has changed."

Thatcher eased through the toughest of the two courses in the second round of the Children's Miracle Network Classic on Friday, shooting a 9-under 63 to take a four-shot lead over Chris Stroud and Brian Gay.

Thatcher began the week 179th on the money list, and needs to finish alone in second place to vault into the top 125 — the cutoff for full status next year. Nos. 126-150 will get conditional status.

"Pun intended, I wouldn't mind being referred to as Cinderella for the week," he said.

Players swap between the Magnolia and Palm courses in the first two rounds. Only the Magnolia Course, about 500 yards longer with more undulating greens, is used on the weekend.

Thatcher got a head start.

11/12/2010 9:31 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 13 - Frustrated Tiger Blown Away Down Under

Tiger Woods is in the same spot Down Under as he's been everywhere else in the world - trying to catch up to the leaders and on the verge of becoming an also-ran.

Right when it looked as though Woods was poised to give himself a chance at winning for the first time all year, he struggled in blustery conditions Friday at the Australian Masters and wound up with a 1-over 72.

That put him nine shots behind Adam Bland, who is leaving Sunday night for the second stage of Q-school on the PGA Tour. Bland played in the same side of the draw as Woods, in 20 mph wind that blew sand out of the bunkers, and finished strong for a 4-under 67.

Bland was at 10-under 132 and had a two-shot lead over Andre Stolz, who also had a 67. No one else was within three shots of them, while Sergio Garcia had the best round of the day - also in a strong wind - and his best score of the year with a 65 to get within six shots.

The Australian Masters is the final title defense of the year for Woods, and he hasn't come close in any of the others. His best finish in a title defense was a tie for 15th at the BMW Championship in Chicago.

11/12/2010 9:23 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 12 - Mcilroy To Give Up U.S. Membership

Rory McIlroy has decided not to join the PGA Tour next year, which could mean as many as three of the top 10 players in the world ranking not belonging to golf's strongest tour.

McIlroy told British newspapers Monday evening that he found himself not wanting to be in America, especially during the FedEx Cup playoffs when the majors were over. In his rookie season on the PGA Tour, McIlroy closed with a 62 to win at Quail Hollow, and finished among the top three at the British Open and PGA Championship.

Lee Westwood, the new world No. 1, has not been a PGA Tour member for several years. PGA champion Martin Kaymer, who is No. 3 in the world, has indicated he will not join the U.S. tour next year.

McIlroy is No. 9 in the world. He says it's a great time for European golf.

11/11/2010 7:42 pm Photography By Glenn

Nov 12 - Garcia Rebounds Down Under

Sergio Garcia put himself into the mix Friday at the Australian Masters with his lowest score of the year, a 6-under 65 that left him in range of the leaders going into the weekend.

The smile returned to the Spaniard's face on a blustery day at Victoria Golf Club, the kind of conditions that show off his ball-striking skills. What made the difference for Garcia, as always, was making his share of putts.

He played bogey-free on a course that was averaging nearly three shots over par because of the wind, and one of the few greens he missed, he holed a 40-foot birdie putt from down the slope.

"I'm just trying to shoot the best score I can," Garcia said.

Daniel Gaunt, one of the three leaders after the opening round, shot 72 and was the clubhouse leader at 5-under 137. Garcia was one shot behind, and could be in the same spot at the end of the day.

Defending champion Tiger Woods, who opened with a 69, made birdie on the 257-yard first hole and was 3 under for the tournament after four holes.

11/11/2010 7:30 pm Photography By Glenn
Nov 11 - Rory McIlroy says Euro Tour More Fun

Imagine if LeBron James, instead of taking his talents to South Beach, decided to take those otherworldly basketball skills to Europe instead of the NBA, and brought Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant with him. That’s not too different from what’s happening in golf. Lee Westwood, the world’s No. 1 player, and Rory McIlroy, arguably the world's most promising player, have decided to play on the lower-profile, less lucrative European tour instead of the PGA Tour next year. Martin Kaymer, the game's hottest player, has yet to decide if he will play on the PGA Tour in 2011.

McIlroy, who was a member of the PGA Tour in 2010, announced his jump back to a Europe-based schedule to BBC Radio on Tuesday.

"There was camaraderie out there and I got to know the European guys better," he told BBC Radio 5 live. "If you're not playing well in the United States, then it can be lonely, but over here you have your mates."

He added: "I found myself thinking during the playoffs for FedEx Cup, not wanting to be there. I switched on the Golf Channel and watched the event in Switzerland and felt I wanted to be there.

"I'll still play 11 or 12 tournaments out there, but not as a member."

The PGA Tour requires members to play at least 15 Tour events, while the European tour requires 13 events. The majors and the three of the four World Golf Championships count toward eligibility on both tours. (The WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai does not count toward the PGA Tour's 15-event minimum.)

McIlroy said that one of the reasons he is dropping his PGA Tour membership is that he wants to reduce his schedule in 2011. The Northern Irishman also said he wants to stay closer to home.

Read more: http://blogs.golf.com/presstent/2010/11/rory-mcilroy-chooses-european-tour-over-pga-tour-and-us.html#ixzz14qCYJBmX

11/10/2010 9:37 pm Ariana
Nov 11 - Tiger In The Mix At Australian Masters

Tiger Woods hit the ball as well as he has all year, except on the greens.

In his final title defense of a forgettable year, Woods opened the Australian Masters with a 2-under 69 and was four shots behind the early leaders Thursday at Victoria Golf Club.

Woods missed only two greens in regulation, both times saving par from a bunker. But he took 19 putts on his outward nine, and had to hole a 7-foot par putt on the final hole to avoid his second three-putt bogey.

Alistair Presnell and Adam Bland each at a 6-under 65, one shot clear of a group that included PGA Tour winner Andre Stolz. Geoff Ogilvy, who was a member at Victoria as a teenager, opened with a 72.

"That was probably the highest score I could have shot," Woods said. "I gave myself a lot of looks early. I just didn't kept leaving them short. The only bogey I had was a three-putt."

11/10/2010 7:53 pm Photography By Glenn
11/11/2010 Nicole Gagne`
Nov 10 - Phil Mickelson to start 2011 in Abu Dhabi

Phil Mickelson plans to start the 2011 in the desert, as he has done so often in his career.

Just not the California desert.

Mickelson, who only recently began to expand his global horizons, said he is planning to make the Abu Dhabi Championship his first tournament of the new year. It will be held the same week as the Bob Hope Classic.

"I've wanted to go to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) for a while, and this is the perfect time," Mickelson said, adding his entire family and swing coach Butch Harmon will be going with him. "It should give me great weather to work on my game, and it gives me a chance to get to the UAE. The whole family is going, and they're pretty excited about it."

This figures to be the second straight year that the Bob Hope Classic gets more attention for who's not there.

A year ago, the PGA Tour granted nine conflicting releases to players to compete in Abu Dhabi. Tournament officials at the Hope were not thrilled, although they overlooked the fact that six of those players were European and all nine were European Tour members. What caused such consternation is one release went to Anthony Kim, who went to high school in the Palm Springs area.

Mickelson is a two-time champion at the Bob Hope Classic, although he has lost interest in recent years when the tournament started moving away from its traditional rotation of golf courses.

The four-time major champion is taking an interest in playing overseas, and making the most of it. He is immensely popular in China, where he is building golf courses and teaching academies. There also is appearance money to be made, part of the game for years.

"I feel like there's an obligation as a player to try to bring the game to different parts of the world," Mickelson said. "The UAE, especially Abu Dhabi, and China seem to be our greatest growth opportunities."

11/09/2010 6:08 pm Ariana
Nov 10 - Tiger Back in Australia minus some of the Buzz

The woman keeping score for Tiger Woods in the final round of the Australia Masters did well to contain her emotions. She looked down at the boy holding the sign with the scores and wanted to make sure he understood his good fortune.

"This," she whispered to him, "is the holy grail in golf."

Perhaps the broader question is will it ever be again?

Woods returned Down Under on Tuesday with a slightly subdued reception. There were still media at the airport, although Geoff Ogilvy did not recall the same kind of TV report he heard last year: "The plane has landed, but we haven't seen him walk out of the plane yet!"

There were no helicopters hovering over the fairways, because Woods did not bother coming out to Victoria Golf Club. And when he tees off Thursday, he most likely will be playing before fewer fans.

The tournament sold out last year six weeks in advance - as much as Aussies love sports, most buy tickets the day of an event. Now, tickets are still for sale. Tournament official David Rollo said 55,000 tickets have been sold for the four rounds, and he would be disappointed if sales didn't top 70,000. They topped 100,000 last year.

That's to be expected, and not because of the year Woods had off the golf course.

The world's No. 1 player had not been to Australia since the 1998 Presidents Cup. Since then, he had won 72 times around the world, 14 majors and was being debated as the greatest golfer of all time.

Now, he is No. 2 in the world and hasn't won in 51 weeks.

"It's easier to hype up someone who hasn't been here for 10 years," Ogilvy said. "He was here just last year. A lot has happened in Tiger's life in the last 12 months, but I think if there is any lack of hysteria, it's probably due to the fact that he was here last year rather than anything else. Don't you think? You guys want me to say that his aura is all gone and he's no good anymore. But I don't buy that."

It was Australia where the National Enquirer linked Woods to New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, and more allegations of infidelity came gushing out in the weeks following Woods' middle-of-the-night car accident Nov. 27 outside his Florida home.

11/09/2010 6:05 pm Ariana
Nov 1 - Ben Crane of US birdies 18

Once he became eligible to play a few Asian tournaments, Ben Crane wasn't immediately sure he wanted to go halfway around the world for golf. It's already paying off in a big way.

Crane drove the 292-yard 15th hole to within 8 feet for an eagle, then won the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic on Sunday with an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole to close with a 2-under 69 and beat Brian Davis of England by one shot.

"I had a great opportunity with that putt (on 18) which I'll always remember," Crane said. "I was so nervous and I was just praying. I just wanted to hit a good putt and to see it go into the hole. It felt so good."

Crane, who won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January, finished at 18-under 266. He earned $1 million, and heads to Shanghai for the HSBC Champions and its $7.5 million purse.

The PGA Tour and Asian Tour sanctioned the Asia Pacific Classic, although with only a 40-man field, it does not count as an official PGA Tour victory for Crane. He still earned world ranking points, and likely will move into the top 35.

10/31/2010 12:12 pm Ariana
Nov 1 - Na Yeon Choi Repeats at LPGA

South Korea's Na Yeon Choi successfully defended her title in the LPGA Hana Bank Championship, shooting a 3-under 69 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Vicky Hurst.

Choi finished at 10 under on Sky 72 Golf Club's Ocean Course for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and fourth in two years. She earned $270,000 to take the top spot on the money list with $1,742,028.

"I am really happy to defend my title," said Choi, a playoff winner in July in the Jamie Farr Classic. "There were a lot of expectations from the fans that I have to defend my title. In order to live up to those expectations, I had to let everything out on the course and concentrate on every shot. That paid off."

10/31/2010 12:12 pm Ariana
Nov 1 - Anthony Kim Says Las Vegas Party Was Exaggerated

Part of Anthony Kim's charm is that he doesn't quite understand the golf world's obsession with him. The PGA Tour's most gossiped-about player lives in his own little bubble, surrounded by old friends and largely oblivious to what is being said and written. "I never read the Internet," he told me Friday morning, calling from his bachelor pad in Dallas. "Why would I? There's so much ridiculous stuff on there. The only time I read something is when friends send me negative stories. I use those for motivation."

He should now have plenty of that. Earlier this week Kim created a minor media frenzy when reports of a wild night out in Las Vegas coincided with the news that he had withdrawn from Justin Timberlake's tournament. This was of a piece with Kim's longstanding reputation as golf's wild child, a rep he clearly earned early in his career but is now trying to outgrow. "I'm not going to deny my friends and I went out and had a great time in Vegas," says Kim, 25. "But that had absolutely nothing to do with me having to W/D. People may not want to believe that, but it's true."

10/31/2010 12:12 pm Ariana
Oct 30 - Kaymer's bid for top spot off to slow start

Martin Kaymer has work to do if he wants to claim golf's world number ranking at the Andalucia Masters in Spain.

The German needs to win or claim a share of second with no more than one other player to succeed Tiger Woods in the top spot.

Woods' 281-week reign will end on Monday with Lee Westwood, who is not playing the Andalucia Masters, set to be number one.

But Kaymer after a hat-trick of tournament wins, started by his first major triumph at the PGA Championship, can gatecrash Westwood's party.

A first round one-over par 72 on the testing Valderrama course at Sotogrande left him trailing, but by no means out of contention.

10/29/2010 12:09 pm Ariana
Oct 29 - Barnes leads the way as PGA Tour breaks new ground

Ricky Barnes shot a flawless eight-under-par 63 to lead the way after the first round of the CIMB Asia-Pacific Classic in Malaysia, the PGA Tour's inaugural event in south-east Asia.

The young American was deadly with his putter in carding eight birdies on Kuala Lumpur's Mines Resort and Golf Club. He leads by a stroke from compatriot Ryan Moore.

England's Brian Davis, South Korea's Charlie Wi and Sweden's Carl Pettersson are in a three-strong chasing group on 65.

The $6 million tournament has an elite 40-man field, consisting of the leading 25 players available from the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings, along with 10 players from the co-sanctioning Asia Tour, plus five sponsor invites.

10/28/2010 12:07 pm Ariana
Oct 29 - Byrd makes history with title-winning ace

Jonathan Byrd is coming to terms with being the first golfer to win a PGA Tour title with a hole-in-one.

In fading light in Las Vegas, the American aced the par-three 17th with the opening shot of the fourth hole of a three-man playoff to triumph at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

It was only his second hole-in-one during a tournament, but he managed the feat at the par-four 15th hole on the same TPC Summerlin course during a practice round earlier in his career.

The 32-year-old had survived a big scare at the previous hole, when his ball stopped just short of dropping into the water hazard and he recovered to save par.

10/28/2010 12:06 pm Ariana
Oct 29 - Teenager Manassero breaks Seve's European Tour record

Italian teenager Matteo Manassero broke a record held by the legendary Seve Ballesteros as he claimed a four-shot victory in the Castello Masters at Costa Azahar.

Manassero, at 17 years and 188 days, broke the record for youngest European Tour winner, set by New Zealand's Danny Lee, who was 18 years and 113 days od when he won the 2008 Johnnie Walker Classic.

It also means he becomes a full European Tour member, eclipsing the mark held by Ballesteros by 12 days.

Manassero, who first burst to prominence by finishing 13th in the 2009 British Open as an amateur to win the Silver Medal, carded a four-under 67 in Spain to finish on 16-under, four clear of home hope Ignacio Garrido.

10/28/2010 12:06 pm Ariana
Oct 25 - Rookies Boyd and Manassero seek first European Tour title

English golfer Gary Boyd takes a two-shot lead into the final round of the Castello Masters, with fellow rookie Matteo Manassero also in contention as the duo seek a maiden European Tour title.

Boyd equaled the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo course record on Saturday, shooting eight-under-par 63 in his third round after opening the Spanish tournament with successive 68s.

His friend John Parry, who won his first title at the Vivendi Cup last month, had earlier shot 63 to set the new best score.

Boyd leapt above the 17-year-old Manassero, who remained tied for second after a 67 put him on 12-under 201.

The 24-year-old, who graduated onto the main circuit from the Challenge Tour, has had three top-10 finishes in his last six events with the best being second place at the Czech Open.

He fired four birdies to card 32 for his front nine, then two more and an eagle two at 14 set him up for a possible momentous 59 -- but he could only finish with pars.

"At that point I was thinking 59. I was saying to my caddie, 'Four more birdie chances' but it wasn't to be," Boyd told the European Tour website.

"It suits me really well that hole, I knew I had enough power to get over the water."

10/24/2010 12:11 pm Ariana
Oct 23 - Garcia trails by seven shots on return to golf

Sergio Garcia shot a level-par 71 Thursday at his home tournament in Spain on his return to golf after a self-imposed two month break.

It left the world number two seven shots behind Scot Paul Lawrie and Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina, who lead the way after the first round of the Castello Masters with a seven-under 64s.

Garcia, hosting the tournament for the third straight year on the course where he learned the game from his father Victor, carded four birdies on his return.

But two bogeys and a double bogey five on the short 16th left him tied for 53rd.

Garcia told Sky Sports that his game was slightly "off" on his return.

"Hopefully I will get back in the groove as the week goes on," he added.

Garcia ruled himself out of the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor because of his poor mid-season form, but was one of the European vice-captains in the one-point victory over the United States.

Fellow Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal, who is hotly tipped to take over the Ryder Cup captaincy from Colin Montgomerie for the 2012 contest, also made his return to competitive golf.

Olazabal, who has played only once this year at the French Open where he missed the cut, has been plagued by rheumatism and tendonitis.

He has work to do to make the cut after a two-over 73.

Former British Open champion Lawrie, seeking his first win since 2002, carded seven birdies in nine holes, including four in a row from the seventh to the 10th, in a bogey in a bogey-free round.

Gonzalez pulled together two runs of three straight birdies to join him at the top of the leaderboard.

Lawrie is hoping to get into the top 60, he is currently 68th, for the Dubai World Championship next month.

"The greens this week are some of the best we've seen all year and when the greens are fast and they roll well I tend to hole puts so I did that today," he told the official European Tour website.

They lead England's David Horsey by a stroke with four players, English pair Simon Khan and Richard Finch, Scotland's Gary Orr and Jean-Baptiste Gonnet of France, in a tie for fourth at five-under.

10/22/2010 12:13 pm Ariana
Oct 23 - Els cashes in at PGA Grand Slam of Golf

Ernie Els took full advantage of his unexpected invitation to the PGA Grand of Golf by claiming a one-shot victory in Bermuda.

The South African, who was replacing Masters winner Phil Mickelson in a four-man tournament designed for the year's major champions, carded a hat-trick of birdies for a two-under 69 and five-under total of 137.

David Toms, himself an alternate for injured British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, had led by three shots with five holes to play, but had to settle for second place after carding a level-par 71 for 138.

U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and this year's PGA Champion Martin Kaymer of Germany finished eight shots behind Els on 145.

Kaymer, who was bidding for a fourth tournament win in a row, improved on his first round 74 with a level-par 71, while McDowell slipped back after a 73.

It was the second win for Els in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, his other title coming in 1997 when he qualified by right in claiming his second U.S. Open title.

10/22/2010 12:12 pm Ariana
Oct 23 - Harrington ends long wait for trophy

Irishman Padraig Harrington ended his two-year title drought after completing a comfortable victory in the Johor Open in Malaysia on Sunday.

Harrington carded a final round 69 to finish on 20-under-par after 72 holes, three shots clear of Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Noh Seung-Yul, who birdied his final three holes for a 65.

Taiwan's Lin Wen-tang posted a 68 to finish a further stroke adrift in third place.

The success ended a frustrating spell for three-time major winner Harrington, who had not won any tournament since his 2008 U.S. PGA triumph.

"It's always nice to win, even nicer when there has been a bit of a drought. Winning is a habit so it's nice to come out here and win and do it in style," Harrington told reporters.

Defending champion K.J. Choi of South Korea finished in joint eighth position on 11-under-par with Harrington's European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie completing his four rounds on 10-under.

10/22/2010 12:12 pm Ariana
Oct 20 - Cowboys' Romo passes on possible PGA event

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is throwing passes instead of putting.

Romo was on the field with the Cowboys as organized team activities began Monday.

The quarterback had a tee time Monday morning for a chance to earn a spot in the Byron Nelson Championship, the PGA Tour event this week just down the road from the team's Valley Ranch practice facility in Irving, Texas. But the tee time conflicted with the voluntary workout.

Romo is getting his first chance to throw passes to receiver Dez Bryant, the team's first-round draft pick last month.

Returning receivers Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd both were given permission to seek a trade after Bryant was drafted. Hurd was on the field Monday, Crayton wasn't.

10/18/2010 4:59 pm Ariana
Oct 17 - Cops probing Tiger mistresses

Two of Tiger Woods' ex-mistresses are reportedly embroiled in a bitter cat-fight — with one reporting the other to cops over an alleged death threat.

Joslyn James told officers from the Los Angeles Police Department that fellow porn star Devon James sent a hate-filled e-mail to her manager.

"Trust me I will swear to u kill over this. Oh yeah and wait to u c wat ur prize has comming! Joslyn should b scared," Devon allegedly wrote.

The feud apparently stems from when the two busty actresses appeared in a Tiger Woods porn spoof.

Devon James boasted in her e-mail about her performance in the steamy flick, saying her rival became jealous when she was complimented by the film crew.

"No wonder Tiger dummpppped her (expletive)," she allegedly signed off in the e-mail.

The LAPD is investigating the threat, the entertainment website added.

Devon James alleged in June that Woods, who was divorced by wife Elin Nordegren after admitting to a string of affairs, was the father of her 9-year-old son.

She filed a claim for the golf superstar to submit to a DNA test but the paternity case was thrown out by a Florida court in August.

10/16/2010 11:18 pm Susan M Murphy
Oct 13 - Montgomerie hails Europe's rise after Ryder win

Lee Westwood's imminent rise to the world No. 1 ranking will cap a year in which golf's balance of power has tipped from America back to Europe, Colin Montgomerie said on Tuesday.

Highlights included regaining the Ryder Cup, Graeme McDowell winning the U.S. Open and Martin Kaymer taking the PGA Championship. And though British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen was South African, he was also a European Tour member, Montgomerie noted at a charity golf event.

Westwood, a member of the winning Ryder Cup team, is expected to take over the top ranking from Tiger Woods on Nov. 1 - if he rests his right ankle injury for the rest of the month and if Woods follows his schedule of not playing before the HSBC Champions in Shanghai from Nov. 4-7.

With Kaymer poised to rise two spots to No. 4 after his third straight win on the European Tour at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last weekend, Montgomerie joked that Westwood should look over his shoulder.

However, Montgomerie predicted that losing the top ranking would fuel Woods' competitive drive. The 14-time major winner has held the top spot since 2005.

The Ryder Cup win was also key to maintaining international sponsor interest in the European Tour.

``Economically, we needed the win,'' he said. ``Sponsorship is more difficult now than it's ever been before in these economic times, especially in Europe. It's important for us as the European Tour to show to the world ... that we are a tour that is strong, very strong.''

Having fulfilled his mission as Ryder Cup captain, the 31-time winner on the European circuit said he wants to get his own game back into shape, noting that he has not enjoyed a top-10 finish in the past two years because his captaincy was so consuming. His world ranking has dropped to 417th.

Montgomerie joked about aspiring to become the oldest winner on the European Tour at 47.

``Every time I was on a golf course I was looking at the scoreboard looking for other players - where are they, what they're doing, who they are,'' he said. ``I just want to try and concentrate on my own game.''

10/13/2010 3:08 am Susan M Murphy

Oct 3 - Mickelson must stop being teacher and learn from American youth

If Phil Mickelson wants to be considered a true leader of the American Ryder Cup team, he can start by scoring points. So far in two matches at Celtic Manor, he has struck out completely with partner Dustin Johnson.

Heading into the matches, everyone anticipated that this pairing would not only compete together, but that they could be one of the most potent American teams. Primarily, the hype for the duo came from spillover fawning over Dustin Johnson's individual performances this season. With close calls in two majors and a pair of wins to boot, Johnson was quickly billed as a Euro killer in the Ryder Cup.

Phil Mickelson hand-picked Johnson to be his partner. Mickelson based his decision on practice sessions with Johnson throughout the PGA Tour season. He was impressed with Johnson's distance and astounding mechanics. Mickelson appealed to American captain Corey Pavin to bless the union, thinking that he and Johnson would make a great tandem.

The reasons were obvious. Mickelson saw a mirror image of himself in Johnson, just as he learned to play lefty from his right-handed father. Both he and Johnson are powerful and in the upper echelon of the PGA Tour food chain. What could go wrong with a team made of players with such similar talent?

10/02/2010 5:53 pm Photography By Glenn
Oct 3 - Ryder Cup Wardrobe Malfunction

The opening hours of the Ryder Cup brought embarrassment for the United States’ team, even though the first day’s fourballs matches were severely delayed by bad weather.

In a development that left U.S. captain Corey Pavin red-faced, the American team was forced to ditch its official waterproof clothing and replace it with new gear purchased from the clubhouse store at the Celtic Manor course.

“We are disappointed with the performance of them, so we fixed it,” Pavin said. “They weren’t doing what we wanted them to do so we went out and bought new waterproofs.”

A U.S. team source told Yahoo! Sports that the standard waterproofs, provided by Montana-based company Sun Mountain, were holding too much liquid and thus weighed down players and caddies alike. Captain Pavin had been alerted to the problem by the time the opening pair of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson had reached the second green, and an emergency plan was put into action.

The U.S. team waterproofs didn’t just bother the players; they attracted criticism for their look and design as well. Former Tiger Woods coach Butch Harmon, commentating on British television, described them as “not right” and insisted they looked more like a basketball practice uniform.

All members of both teams had no choice but to wear waterproof gear as rain drenched the course from the start of play at 7:45 a.m Welsh time. Mickelson opted to wear all-weather gloves — even while putting — and none of the Americans looked comfortable.
10/02/2010 7:46 am Photography By Glenn
Oct 2 - Surviving the storm: how the Americans gained their day one advantage

What looked like a potential slaughter is now an opportunity for the United States. By virtue of strong, inspired play across all four American pairings, the US Ryder Cup team has a chance to take a lead into the full docket of Saturday matches at Celtic Manor.

Heavy rains and wind strong enough to blow it sideways rendered the Twenty Ten Course unplayable. As Steve Stricker stood in the fourth fairway, surrounded by casual water, the morning fourball matches were mercifully stopped. The stoppage of play was like a raft from heaven for the beleaguered team.

Were this any other competition, play never would have begun in the first place. The Americans knew it. They played like it, trailing in three of four matches.

A road game in the Ryder Cup is not exactly easy on the mind. Donning rain suits that didn't fit and which made them look like the Washington Generals, the Americans were at a decided disadvantage in terms of comfort. The nagging apparel issues only worsened the situation. The result was spotty driving and a lack of touch around the greens that gave the Europeans an early edge.

10/01/2010 8:47 pm Photography By Glenn

Oct 2 - Europe leads early as heavy rains halt Ryder Cup

Workers scurried around the greens with squeegees, furiously pushing the water away before every putt. Players sloshed down soaked fairways, desperately searching for a spot to hit from that was somewhat dry. Finally, there was no way to go on.

The Ryder Cup was halted in the middle of the fourball matches Friday morning because of heavy rain that turned Celtic Manor into a water-logged mess.

``The first thing I need is to find a hair dryer,'' quipped PGA championship winner Martin Kaymer, who played the opening match for Europe with Lee Westwood.

The home team was off to a good start, leading three of the four best-ball matches when play was suspended for the first time since the 1997 Ryder Cup in Spain.

``It's a shame,'' U.S. assistant captain Jeff Sluman said. ``There's 10 years of planning that went into this, and we're held hostage by the weather.''

The forecast called for the rain to move out by early afternoon.

``We will see play again this afternoon,'' said Mike McClellan, the Ryder Cup meteorologist. ``I can't speak for the golf course, but weather-wise we should be fine.''

The Twenty Ten course, which was built especially for the Ryder Cup, has a complex drainage system that allows the water to flow off quickly. But first, it had to stop raining. Officials said they already had contingency plans to extend the event until Monday if necessary.

10/01/2010 5:05 am Susan M Murphy
Oct 1 - America's Pride On The Line At Ryder Cup

So what's on the line here? What are we really talking about: gift bags, cocktail parties, patriotic pomp? Or is there really something of substance on the line at Celtic Manor?

On at least one level, albeit somewhat undefinable, there is.

From late April until the start of the FedExCup Playoffs, non-Americans won 12 of 17 events on the PGA Tour, also known as the American tour. The season started with Phil Mickelson's feel-good story at Augusta National. It ended with foreign-good stories, as the next three majors were won by players not fully affiliated with the PGA Tour. Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell won the U.S. Open, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open and Germany's Martin Kaymer captured the PGA Championship.

Moreover, 10 of the top 17, 14 of the top 25 and 20 of the top 35 in the Official World Golf Rankings are non-Americans. If this keeps up, it will be the term “Americans” that requires a prefix. There seems to be a pattern, one certainly not discouraged in 2010 by the MacGruber-like implosion of the No. 1 ranked player in the world, American Tiger Woods.
09/29/2010 7:27 pm Photography By Glenn
0Quite a bit on the line.
10/01/2010 Stanman
Sept 29 - Tiger Fires Back At Mcilorys Ryder Cup Boast

The Ryder Cup is getting personal for Tiger Woods.

Interrupting an otherwise dull press conference Tuesday, Woods fired back at a comment Rory McIlroy made six weeks ago that "I would love to face" the world's No. 1 player in the Ryder Cup unless his game rapidly improved.

Asked for a reaction, Woods leaned into the microphone and said only, "Me, too."

The quote from McIlroy - the closest thing to bulletin board material at Celtic Manor - came the week after Woods' golf reached a low point in a dismal season. He had the highest score of his career and beat only one player in the 80-man field at Firestone.

McIlroy was not worried that he had given Woods or the U.S. team any more motivation.

"I'm fine. I'm all right," said the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland. "You've got to realize, I said those things the week after he had just shot 18 over at Akron, so he wasn't playing too well at the time."

Woods was aware of the comment before arriving in Wales.

He mentioned the quote two weeks ago at Cog Hill while talking about Stephen Ames, whom Woods had beaten 9 and 8 in the Match Play Championship after Ames was quoted making fun of Woods' accuracy.

09/28/2010 6:39 pm Photography By Glenn
Sept 27 - $11 Million Bunker Save For Furyk

One clutch shot gave Jim Furyk two big trophies Sunday.

He sat between them Sunday afternoon after his dramatic victory in the rain at East Lake, the crystal trophy for the Tour Championship on his left and the sterling silver FedEx Cup trophy on his right.

Which one meant more?

Furyk reached out his right hand and gently tapped the silver cup, which might be more valuable than the $10 million that comes with it.

Clinging to a one-shot lead, in a bunker so deep he could only see the top of the lip, Furyk hit a clean shot and watched it head for the flag. It landed inches from the cup and spun to a stop 2½ feet away for an easy par and a one-shot victory over Luke Donald.

He put his name on a trophy with Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. He finally won the Tour Championship, giving him three victories in a season for the first time in his career. He stated a strong case — three victories and FedEx Cup champion — as PGA Tour player of the year.

Maybe that explains why his stoic demeanor gave way to a celebration never before seen out of Furyk.

"It just hit me," said Furyk, who closed with an even-par 70. "I was excited and dropped the putter and ... I don't know. I guess at that moment, you're not really responsible for what happens next."

09/26/2010 6:12 pm Photography By Glenn
Sept 26 - Furyk, Donald tied for lead at East Lake

This should serve as a wake-up call for Jim Furyk: He's tied for the lead at the Tour Championship, and very much in the hunt for the $10 million FedEx Cup prize.

Furyk played bogey-free on the back nine at East Lake for a 5-under 65 on Friday, giving him a share of the 36-hole lead with Luke Donald heading into a weekend of dwindling possibilities.

A two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, Furyk began the playoffs at No. 3 in the standings. But in the opening event at The Barclays, he was disqualified for missing his pro-am when the alarm didn't go off. He slipped six spots, and didn't scare anyone the next two weeks to fall to No. 11.

But with the top players in the standings starting to fade, Furyk only has to win at East Lake to collect the biggest payoff in golf.

``It's a bunch of money,'' Furyk said. ``The only thing I can really control is to go out and play good on the weekend, try to win the golf tournament. And at that point, there's nothing else I can do about it.''

Furyk has a chance to join Tiger Woods as the only FedEx Cup champion to skip the first playoff event, although it wasn't by choice.

``I'd like to join him with about 16 majors, too,'' Furyk said. ``But that doesn't look like it's in the cards.''

Going into the weekend, the deck is stacked in his favor.

Donald did a great job scrambling whenever he struggled off the tee, and pieced together another 66 to join Furyk at 8-under 132. One shot behind was Geoff Ogilvy, who had seven birdies in his round of 67.
09/25/2010 3:22 am Susan M Murphy

Sept 24 - Casey Fires 66, Ties For Tour Championship Lead

Paul Casey won't be going to the Ryder Cup. He wouldn't mind a $10 million consolation.

Casey was the only player among the top five in the FedEx Cup standings to break par Thursday, running off three straight birdies around the turn at East Lake for a 4-under 66 and a share of the lead with Geoff Ogilvy and Luke Donald in the Tour Championship.

It was the seventh time Casey has shot in the 60s in the nine rounds since European captain Colin Montgomerie left him off the Ryder Cup team. Whether that's motivating him to play well, the Englishman isn't saying.

A different kind of cup does have his attention.

At stake in this playoff finale is a $10 million bonus to the FedEx Cup champion. The top five in the standings - Casey got to No. 5 with his runner-up finish two weeks ago at Cog Hill - can claim golf's biggest payoff by winning, no matter what anyone else does.

"I've got an opportunity to accomplish one of the goals which I set for myself at the beginning of the year," Casey said. "I'm just trying to put myself in that position to win and then tick off that goal, which would be a huge goal. I'm not getting wrapped up in any sort of extra motivation. I don't need extra motivation. I'm motivated enough."

09/23/2010 8:40 pm Photography By Glenn
Sept 24 - Ernie Els Voted Into The World Golf Hall Of Fame

Like most golfers, Ernie Els always wonders if he could have achieved more in his career. He was reminded Wednesday he has done plenty with the announcement that he has been elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Els was the only player to receive enough votes from the PGA Tour, the first year his name was on the ballot. The most global player of his era, the Big Easy has won 62 times around the world, including two U.S. Opens and a British Open.

"It makes you feel very good about what you've done," Els said.

Els will be among five players who are inducted May 9 in St. Augustine, Fla., the Monday of The Players Championship next year.

Els received 66 percent of the vote from a panel of journalists, golf dignataries and Hall of Fame members, 1 percent more than is required for election. He would have made it anyway through a clause that allows the player with the highest percentage to be elected, provided no one gets 65 percent and the player gets at least 50 percent.

09/23/2010 6:50 am Photography By Glenn
Sept 20 - Laura Davies Wins Spanish Open

English star Laura Davies won the Spanish Women's Open on Sunday for her 76th worldwide victory, closing with an even-par 71 for a two-stroke victory over American Christina Kim, England's Rebecca Hudson and Australia's Frances Bondad.

Davies, also a winner this year on the Ladies European Tour in New Zealand, Germany and Austria, finished at 11 under after opening with rounds of 65 and 66 on the Flamingos course. She overcame a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 13th, rallying with birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 to take a two-stroke lead.

At 46 years, 11 months, 14 days, the four-time major champion broke her own record as the oldest winner in Ladies European Tour history. She has 43 LET victories, 20 LPGA Tour titles and 13 other tour victories.
09/19/2010 3:43 pm Photography By Glenn
Sept 17 - Tiger Woods Eliminated From The FedEx Cup

For the first time in his career, Tiger Woods won't be playing a tournament because he's not invited.

Woods got off to a rugged start Sunday in the BMW Championship and shot 1-under 70, leaving too far back to get into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings and qualify for the playoff finale at the Tour Championship.

It will be the third time in five years that Woods has not played the Tour Championship. He missed in 2006 when he cut his season short, and in 2008 while recovering from knee surgery. This time, he's not going to East Lake because he's not eligible.

His next tournament will be the Ryder Cup.

Woods played with Phil Mickelson, who shot 67. It was their 26th time playing in the same group, and their head-to-head record is now even - 11-11-4.

09/16/2010 6:07 pm Photography By Glenn
Sept 17 - FedEx Cup all about big money, too many complaints

This is the week the PGA Tour goes dark, which comes at a great time.

If nothing else, it might give players a chance to take a deep breath of reality instead of complaining about all the problems that come with driving German-built luxury cars to golf tournaments where they compete for $35 million in bonus money.

Heck, it's just as easy to lose perspective driving rental cars and getting by on $35 per diems.

Really, is it that bad?

The year before the FedEx Cup began, this was the week of the 84 Lumber Classic.

Winning the FedEx Cup is not as meaningful as winning a major, nor was it ever meant to be. The majors ended a month ago at the PGA Championship, about the time most people are supposed to lose interest in golf. What followed were three tournaments that showcased the best players of the year on the PGA Tour.

If you don't understand the FedEx Cup - or choose not to learn - is any translation needed for Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Steve Stricker competing in the same tournament for three straight weeks? It's the only time it happens all year.

The FedEx Cup concludes next week with the Tour Championship, a 30-man field for those who played great during the regular season (Jeff Overton), those who played their best late in the year (Charley Hoffman) and for players who did a little of both.

At stake is a $10 million bonus for the winner. At the very least, if the last player who made the 30-man field finishes in last place at East Lake, he gets $120,000 from the tournament purse and $175,000 from the bonus pool.

That's $295,000, which is more than Arnold Palmer's career earnings at the Masters.

Instead, there was too much complaining about Cog Hill, site of the third playoff event at the BMW Championship. Stewart Cink referred to it as a wreck. Phil Mickelson disguised his criticism by raving about Butler National, where he played Wednesday instead of the pro-am. Lefty conveniently left out that Butler is a private club with a maintenance budget three times greater than public Cog Hill.

09/16/2010 5:58 pm Susan M Murphy

Sept 15 - Lee Westwood 'ahead of schedule' in recovery bid for Ryder Cup

Lee Westwood's hopes of playing for Europe in the coming Ryder Cup match will come under scrutiny this week when the Englishman plays his first round since a leg injury forced him to withdraw from a World Golf Championships event in Akron last month.

The world No3, acknowledged as one of the most influential members of Colin Montgomerie's team, has since been a doubt for Celtic Manor, although a spokesman for his management company, ISM, said tonight the player would "definitely" play against the United States.

"Lee's rehab is ahead of where it is scheduled to be. He has been chipping and putting for some time and is now working his way through all the clubs in his bag," the spokesman said, adding that the player would take part in a company golf day this week for one of his sponsors, albeit using a buggy. "Everything is going according to plan. He is in the gym every day. He's confident he will be ready – he was confident when he stopped playing last month that he would be."

Westwood will travel to Scotland next week, where he will walk 36 holes at Archerfield golf club, near Edinburgh, in an invitational event hosted by Ian Botham and Darren Clarke, who is one of three vice-captains on the European team. Westwood's absence from competitive golf since Akron has been a concern, as another European vice-captain, Paul McGinley, acknowledged in an interview with the Guardian today .

"We have been hurt by Lee Westwood's injury," the Irishman said. "There's no doubt about that. It's going to be an unknown factor until Lee turns up that week and we see how he feels, having not competed since the Open. He's our No1 player so I think it's going to be a very close Ryder Cup."

Even if Westwood does make it to the first tee in time at Celtic Manor on 1 October there must be strong doubts over his ability to play more than once a day. If he withdraws, Montgomerie will be required by Ryder Cup rules to make another captain's pick, with his selection likely to be between Paul Casey and Justin Rose, two players controversially left off the 12-man team.

With US hopes receiving a boost from Dustin Johnson's impressive victory at the BMW Championship in Chicago last weekend, along with signs of an improvement in Tiger Woods's game, the belief held by many that Europe would prove easy victors in Wales no longer appears to hold.

09/14/2010 3:09 pm Susan M Murphy
Sept 12 - Moore takes the lead at Cog Hill

With a 5-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead in the BMW Championship, he is in great shape to reach the Tour Championship for the first time. That would mean a shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus, and exemptions to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.

All he cares about is the trophy being handed out Sunday.

``Just like any golf tournament, I came here to win,'' Moore said. ``That's what I'm here for. I'm not here to try and qualify for the Tour Championship. I'm here to win the Western Open. All that other stuff takes care of itself. If you play good, you get in those things. I'm going to just focus on trying to stay patient, exactly how I have the last few days. Play hard and see what happens.''

Moore was at 8-under 205 and had a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson (68), Charlie Wi (70) and FedEx Cup leader Matt Kuchar (70).

The main attraction Sunday figures to be well down the leaderboard.

Tiger Woods had a 68, his first time under par at Cog Hill this week but not enough to help his cause of advancing in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He was eight shots back and will be paired for the first time this year with Phil Mickelson, who had a 70.

09/11/2010 7:33 pm Susan M Murphy
Sept 9 - New swing has Tiger back on track

His swing was a mess, and so was his marriage. Tiger Woods figured he could only deal with one problem at a time. In this case, golf had to wait its turn.

"Let's just say I've been through a lot lately, and I didn't want to have any more information," Woods said Wednesday at the BMW Championship. "I was trying to get adjusted to my new life and what that entailed, and it was enough as it was. I didn't have time to work on my game. I was dealing with a lot of other things."

In what turned out to be a lost summer in the majors, Woods tried to patch together what he could with his golf swing. His only teacher was a video camera and his memory, and that wasn't nearly enough to get him through four rounds at Pebble Beach and St. Andrews, or the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

The do-it-yourself approach gave way to working with Sean Foley, the Canadian-born swing coach who again was with Woods for an hour during his pro-am at Cog Hill for the BMW Championship.

09/08/2010 9:42 pm Photography By Glenn
0You knew it was only a matter of time
09/11/2010 Alex
Sept 4 - Tiger struggles to stay in FedEx Cup hunt

Zach Johnson and Jason Day beat up on the course and beat the weather at the Deutsche Bank Championship. For Tiger Woods, it was the other way around. Johnson strengthened his Ryder Cup case Friday by rolling in putts from everywhere in easy scoring conditions ahead of Hurricane Earl, giving him an 8-under 63 and a share of the lead with Day.

Woods had two bogeys in four holes when the first patch of rain arrived, and it didn't get much better. He had two more bogeys and was in last place until he fought back for a 72, leaving him three shots below the projected cut. If he doesn't make the cut Saturday, Woods will not advance to defend his title next week outside Chicago.

"I'm going to have to shoot something good tomorrow, hopefully move up a little bit," Woods said. "Obviously, get off to a better start than I did today." Scoring was so ideal that Johnson and Day had a 63 and still only had a one-shot lead — over eight players. That group included Ryder Cup hopeful Ryan Palmer, Rory McIlroy and Geoff Ogilvy, who had the best score of anyone in the afternoon.

09/03/2010 11:18 pm Photography By Glenn
0He'll be back.
09/11/2010 Alex
Sept 3 - Tiger takes out $54.5M mortgage

The housing market in the United States may still be in the tank, but that hasn't stopped Tiger Woods from taking out a hefty sum for his newest residence.

Just days after he finalized his divorce with ex-wife Elin Nordegren, Woods took out a $54.5 million mortgage for the mega-mansion he's building on Florida's exclusive Jupiter Island.

Tiger has agreed to pay the loan back by January 15, 2016.

Legal documents filed in Martin County indicate that Tiger's property will span across three parcels of land. The mansion will also include a tennis court, oxygen therapy room, multiple pools and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
09/02/2010 10:30 pm Susan M Murphy

054.5 million. OMG
09/11/2010 Alex
Sept 2 - Young Golfer Disqualifies Self

Zach Nash was shocked when he discovered he had one too many golf clubs in his bag a couple hours after winning a junior Wisconsin PGA tournament.

But rules are rules, and the 14-year-old from southern Wisconsin made a decision that might surprise some people: He disqualified himself and surrendered his medal.

"I knew right away I couldn't live with myself if I kept this medal, so it was pretty instantaneous," Nash said during a phone interview from his home in Waterford on Wednesday, his first day of high school.

Nash shot a 77 to win the boys 13-14 age division at the Milwaukee County Parks Tour Invitational, which is run by the Wisconsin PGA Section, on Aug. 11.

After his victory, Nash went to the Rivermoor Golf Club — where he played 36 holes nearly every day this summer — to practice more and talk to one of his mentors, Chris Wood, the club's head golf professional.

"I was showing everybody my medal and then Chris and I went and we were having a soda and he said 'Hey, whose club is this? And I said 'my friend's.' And he said 'This makes 15.' I was in shock after that," Nash said.

The penalty for breaking the rule, called rule 4-4, is two strokes for each hole played with more than 14 clubs, with a maximum of four penalty strokes. But since he didn't notice his extra club during the tournament, a penalty wasn't added. That meant he signed an incorrect scorecard, which he knew disqualified him.

Nash said golf prides itself on honesty and players calling penalties on themselves. While the decision was clear, he said he couldn't help but cry a bit in front of Wood. Wood had to call Nash's father, Bob, to pick him up.

Later that night, Nash called Andy Landenberger, junior tour director for the WPGA, to explain what happened. He sent back the medal, which Landenberger said he would present to runner-up Dane Reinhardt, who shot an 80.

Nash, who has been golfing for about three years, said a friend spent the night at his house before the tournament and left a 5-wood club, and he put it in his bag not realizing it made a total of 15.

Wood said Nash made him and the club proud.
09/02/2010 6:35 am Alex
Sept 1 - Errant golf swing sets course on fire

So you think that you're the world's worst golfer? With all due respect, your swing -- crappy as it may be -- has never set off a raging inferno like the one to the right. The golfer who did this has asked that his name be withheld, and with good reason. He'd never hear the end of it ("You're really on fire today, Larry!")

But we do know these facts: It happened at the Shady Canyon Golf Course in Irvine on Saturday, when the guy hit a ball into the rough. On his second swing, he hit a rock, causing a spark that lit the dry grass. Eventually, 150 firefighters were called to the scene.

The fire spread across two hillsides in dry-as-tinderbox conditions. "Usually, we're able to close out the fire season in the winters here," Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Greg McKeown said, "but we haven't been able to do that since 2006. That's just how dry it is out there."

Do you know how hard it is to start a fire without matches? And this guy does it with two swings of a golf club, and then can't put it out? I say alcohol was involved.

08/31/2010 10:07 pm Photography By Glenn
0The only thing I can think of as I read this is "Caddyshack" :)
09/01/2010 Michelle
Sept 1 - Golf Channel launches Nationwide Tour Fantasy Challenge

Golf Channel announced Monday the launch of the Nationwide Tour Fantasy Challenge, a “survivor” fantasy format which will allow players to choose a different Nationwide Tour professional each week from the top 25.

Players will earn the equivalent number of points based on the professional’s earnings for the week. The fantasy player who accumulates the highest number of points for the campaign will win a trip to Hawaii to attend the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, 2011.

The Nationwide Tour Fantasy Challenge champion will receive flight, hotel and passes for two to the Sony Open in Hawaii, along with $500 cash. The grand prize also will include credentials for the Oceanside Skybox hospitality venue on-course for all four rounds of the tournament, autograph memorabilia and a meet and greet session with Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour professionals, a Cleveland Golf Launcher DST Driver and other prizes. The top-25 finishers at the end of the campaign also will receive prizes courtesy of Cleveland Golf or Golf Channel.

The nine-week fantasy challenge starts Tuesday with the Mylan classic and will end Oct. 31 with the conclusion of the Nationwide Tour Championship. Weekly prizes also will be awarded throughout the promotion.

08/31/2010 4:10 am Susan M Murphy
0This is awesome for the golf fan.
09/01/2010 Michelle
Aug 31 - Tiger moves into downtown New York

He wants to be a part of it: New York, New York. Brand-new bachelor Tiger Woods moved into a new apartment in downtown Manhattan over the weekend, a source tells UsMagazine.com. A witness saw Woods, 34, "introducing himself as the new neighbor," the source adds. Last Monday, the multimillionaire golfer and Elin Nordegren finalized their divorce after nearly six years of marriage.

The couple, whose marriage fell apart last year after Woods confessed to multiple affairs, has two kids: daughter Sam, 3, and son Charlie, 18 months. The divorce settlement provides for shared parenting of the kids.

"While we are no longer married, we are the parents of two wonderful children and their happiness has been, and will always be, of paramount importance to both of us," the former spouses said in a statement. "The weeks and months ahead will not be easy for them as we adjust to a new family situation."

08/30/2010 10:23 pm Photography By Glenn
0He has a house here in Jupiter, Florida. Spans 3 land parcels.
09/01/2010 Michelle
0Time to move on i guess
08/31/2010 Sonia Michelle
Aug 30 - Kuchar wins Barclays on first playoff hole

Matt Kuchar stopped practicing for a playoff and walked over to the 18th green to watch with thousands of other spectators, planning to congratulate Martin Laird on the victory. A short time later, the celebration was for Kuchar.

His fortunes took quite a turn Sunday at The Barclays.

So did his golf ball.

Kuchar gave the FedEx Cup playoffs a memorable start with a 7-iron out of the rough that sent his ball toward the back of the green, where it caught enough of the slope to turn sharply to the left and roll to within 30 inches of the hole for a birdie.

``The shot came out beautifully,'' he said. ``I ran it up to that back right bank and saw the crowd just all of a sudden ... like a wave of people standing and cheering. I knew it was getting good. That was an exciting way to cap off this tournament.''

Five shots behind to start the final round, Kuchar closed with a 5-under 66 and got into a playoff when Laird three-putted for bogey from just inside 25 feet on the final hole.

The timing could not have been better for Kuchar.

He had nine top 10s this year to earn a spot on his first Ryder Cup team, but didn't have a trophy to show for his solid play. The victory put him atop the FedEx Cup standings, giving him a good shot at the $10 million prize. And the third victory of his career likely will move him to a career-best No. 10 in the world ranking.

08/29/2010 8:04 pm Susan M Murphy

Aug 28 - Tiger loses Barclays lead, struggles on 2nd day

Jason Day can't get a straight answer from doctors on the mysterious health issues sapping away at his energy. He at least knows exactly where he stands after two rounds of The Barclays.

A tournament that once looked as though it might belong to Tiger Woods shifted late Friday to the hands of the 22-year-old Australian, who showed some of his great promise with three late birdies for a 4-under 67 and a one-shot lead. Nine players had at least a share of the lead at some point during the second round until Day's late surge.

He was at 8-under 134, one shot clear of Kevin Streelman (63) and Vaughn Taylor (70) going into the weekend of the FedEx Cup's first playoff event. "I just tried to stay as patient as possible, and it just kind of fell in my lap, which was really good," he said. Woods didn't so much lose his patience as much as his putting stroke. Part of that was playing in the afternoon on greens that became bumpy under foot traffic and a day of blazing sun, as Woods expected.

08/27/2010 11:16 pm Photography By Glenn
Aug 26 - Tiger Woods: We're Trying to Get Our Kids Situated

Tiger Woods answered questions after he teed off at the Barclays Pro-Am competition, commenting on his recent divorce from Elin Nordegren.

In recent months the No.1 golfer has fallen short of his past performances, which he admitted is due to his personal problems.

"As far as my game and practicing, that's been secondary," he said. "We're trying to get our kids situated." He added that "at times it was difficult" to concentrate on the golf course. "It was a lot more difficult than I was letting on."

In the meantime, he says, "I've learned a lot about myself and how I can become a better person."

Asked if he has any regrets, he answered, "It's more sadness ... you don't ever go into a marriage looking to get divorced ... my actions certainly led us to these decisions ... I've made a lot of errors in my life and that's something I have to live with."

Although he did not say he has read his ex-wife's People magazine cover story, he says, "I certainly understand that she is sad, and I feel the same way."

When asked if he stilled loved Elin, Tiger responded, "I wish her the best."

08/25/2010 10:50 pm ERIKA
0Hope they get adjusted quick.
09/01/2010 Michelle
Aug 25 - Furyk oversleeps, is disqualified from Barclays

Jim Furyk picked a bad time to sleep in. Furyk overslept Wednesday after his cell phone alarm clock lost power overnight, causing him to be late for his pro-am tee time in The Barclays. That left PGA Tour officials no choice but to disqualify him from the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events. A two-time winner on tour this year, Furyk is No. 3 in the standings as the race for the $10 million prize gets under way at Ridgewood Country Club without him.

It is unlikely he will fall too far down the standings, although he eliminated any chance of improving. "I'm kicking myself," Furyk said. "I have a way of climbing into situations that are all my fault." Furyk sets his alarm on his cell phone, and he awoke at 7:23 a.m. to find out that his phone had lost power.

He threw on some clothes and shoes, bolted out of his hotel room and rushed to Ridgewood, arriving at 7:35 a.m. The pro-am was a shotgun start that began at 7:30 a.m. Furyk was to start on the 11th hole, and he realized when he arrived that he had no chance of getting there on time.

08/25/2010 1:46 pm Photography By Glenn
0Good post Glenn.!
08/31/2010 Sonia Michelle
0Even the pro have their alarms go out.
08/27/2010 Michelle

PGA pro Erica Blasberg's death was a ruled a suicide by suffocation, and police want to arrest the doctor who called 911. An arrest warrant was issued for Dr. Thomas Hess, a family practitioner in Las Vegas, on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly removing items from Blasberg's home before authorities arrived. Hess placed the initial call to police after discovering Blasberg non-responsive.

Blasberg was found deceased in her Henderson home with a plastic bag secured over her head and the Clark County, Nev., Coroner's Office , added that "toxic" levels of prescription medication were also found in her system.

Hess admitted to removing a note indicating Ms. Blasberg had taken her own life and hid it in his vehicle along with prescription medications taken from her house.

A police spokesman refused to elaborate on circumstances surrounding the death or Hess's relationship to the 25-year-old golf pro from just outside of Las Vegas. In his 911 call to report she was dead, Hess said he knew Blasberg from "the golf club."

A golf standout while attending the University of Arizona, Blasberg struggled at the professional level. Friends said she had been working hard to get her game back on the winning track, but didn't sense any sign of prescription dependency. Her luggage was packed and she was to play in a golf tournament in Alabama when she died.

When the 911 operator asked Hess if he was sure that Blasberg was beyond help, he said, "I am. I'm a doctor." He said he was at her house because "I just wanted to make sure she was doing okay."
08/24/2010 3:09 pm Sonia Michelle
0Wow! That's shocking and so out of the blue.
08/27/2010 Michelle
Aug 24 - Divorced Woods should focus on golf game

Less than six years after tying the knot and nine months after an early morning, single-car accident led to a nearly unprecedented wave of scandalous stories of infidelity, Tiger and Elin Woods officially divorced.

The two will share parenting responsibilities for their two children, a 3-year-old daughter and a 19-month-old son.

No terms were released. Elin likely will receive a nine-figure sum, although probably less than the eye-popping $750 million that some reports predicted. In exchange, she almost certainly has agreed to a non-disclosure clause that prohibits comments, interviews, books and any other detailing of Tiger’s personal life.

For Tiger, 34, maintaining some strength to his brand for future endorsement and business opportunities would be a premium worth paying. An Elin Woods’ tell-all book and subsequent media tour would be devastating to whatever is left of Tiger’s goodwill.

But don’t think Elin, 30, left quietly. She didn’t just ask for her maiden name – Elin Maria Pernill Nordegren – to be restored.

She employed six different attorneys from three different cities on two continents: McGuireWoods attorneys Richard Cullen and Dennis I. Belcher in Richmond, Va., Scott S. Cairns in Jacksonville, Fla., and Walter H. White Jr. and Josefin Lonnborg in London, who were assisted by Rebecca Palmer of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.

Tiger, meanwhile, hired two separate law firms – one in Florida, one in Connecticut.

That’s a lot of legal mouths in need of fees to feed.

Now, perhaps, with the trauma of attempted reconciliation and then the details of divorce finished, Tiger can return to championship form on the golf course and turn around his spiraling game. He hasn’t won a single tournament on the PGA Tour in 2010, the worst drought of his career. He went 0 for 4 in majors and hasn’t won one in eight attempts since he underwent knee surgery in the summer of 2008.

While the sensational details of his infidelities were fodder for the public, in the end Woods is a golfer. The sooner he is allowed to turn the focus onto his game, the better – at least if he begins winning again.

The couple filed for divorce in Bay County Circuit Court in Panama City, Fla., far from their Orlando area home that became famous after Tiger slammed his Cadillac into a fire hydrant only to have Elin smash both back windows with a golf club supposedly in an effort to free him.

Since then a parade of trashy affairs involving Tiger emerged, with girlfriends scattered from VIP rooms, cocktail lounges and pancake houses across the country. He twice went to in-patient therapy in an effort to save the nuptials. He staged an awkward, apologetic news conference, starred in a tacky, lecturing Nike commercial with the voice of his dead father and tried to shake off heckling airplane taunts and endless late-night comic fodder.

None of it was good enough to maintain the marriage that, to most outsiders, seemed impossible to fix.

“We are sad that our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future,” Tiger and Elin said in a joint statement. “While we are no longer married, we are the parents of two wonderful children and their happiness has been, and will always be, of paramount importance to both of us.

“Once we came to the decision that our marriage was at an end, the primary focus of our amicable discussions has been to ensure their future well-being. The weeks and months ahead will not be easy for them as we adjust to a new family situation, which is why our privacy must be a principal concern.”

Elin has not spoken since the accident – which came the day after the National Enquirer published a story detailing Tiger’s cheating ways.

Tiger has refused to discuss the specifics of the situation but has acknowledged the distractions have made concentrating on his sagging golf game a challenge. He’s looked uncomfortable and unconfident on the course.

“It’s been a long year,” Tiger kept repeating after finishing a career-worst 18-over par at a tournament in Akron, Ohio, earlier this month. The year has been so “long,” he said, the poor play didn’t even surprise him.

Whether the divorce changes anything remains to be seen. The pain and guilt may remain, and the challenge of joint parenting doesn’t immediately ease. The two signed the divorce agreement in early July, as Woods was failing to break par at the AT&T National in Pennsylvania.

His game hasn’t improved since then.

That said, from the perspective of his golf game, Tiger clearly needs to turn the page. His putting, once the strength of his game, has deteriorated badly – perhaps the sign of a lack of concentration and playing time. He’s been sporadic off the tee and has been prone to rough stretches of play.

Suddenly Woods’ chances of breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 major championships (Tiger has 14), once a sure-bet, have dimmed considerably. His ability to intimidate other golfers has dissipated too. Teenage star Rory McIlroy mockingly begged the U.S. Ryder Cup team to invite Tiger.

“I would love to face him,” McIlroy said. “Unless [Woods’] game rapidly improves in the next month or so, I think anyone in the European team would fancy his chances against him.”

No one said that a year ago. And perhaps no one will again. Either way, the next step for Tiger Woods is complete. His reputation is shot, his game has followed. At least now whatever energy and emotion he was spending on attempting to retroactively save his family won’t be needed.

The Woods’ marriage is over. What’s left of Tiger is anyone’s guess.
08/23/2010 10:20 pm ERIKA
0Bad bad game..and form sometimes
08/31/2010 Sonia Michelle
Aug 23 - Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

Elin Nordegren and Woods, who have been living apart, were both present at Bay County Circuit Court in Florida as their lawyers filed the paperwork dissolving their six-year marriage.

The terms of the divorce were not disclosed.

It had been an open secret in golf circles that the divorce was imminent in the wake of Woods’ adultery sex scandal, which came to light last Thanksgiving.

Much like any divorcing parents, the two have spent the past few months deciding how their children would be raised and the amount of money Nordegren would receive from the world’s No. 1-ranked golfer.

A source with some knowledge of the divorce wouldn’t discuss the financial settlement other than to dismiss reports that Woods would pay $750 million. More recent reports put the figure at between $100-150 million.

“We are sad that our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future,” Woods and Nordegren said in a joint statement released by their respective lawyers.

“While we are no longer married, we are the parents of two wonderful children and their happiness has been, and will always be, of paramount importance to both of us.

08/23/2010 1:16 pm Bob Anderson
0Hoping the kids do okay from now on.
08/27/2010 Michelle
Aug 23 - Atwal takes 1-shot Wyndham win

Arjun Atwal won the Wyndham Championship by one stroke Sunday, becoming the first Monday qualifier to win on the PGA Tour in 24 years.

Atwal, who led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds, shot a 67 in the final round. He finished at 20-under 260 and earned $918,000.

He's the first Indian-born player to win on tour and the first to win both the qualifier and the tournament that follows since Fred Wadsworth at the 1986 Southern Open.

Atwal made his move on the par-3 No. 16, plopping his tee shot 6 feet from the flagstick and sinking his birdie putt to move to 20 under. He followed that with consecutive pars, sinking a 7-foot putt on No. 18 before dropping his putter and extending his arms upward in jubilation after closing out his first tour victory.

The player perhaps best known for his practice rounds with Tiger Woods is ineligible for the playoffs and lost his tour card last month because he was too low on the money list when his minor medical exemption ran out. That came after he returned too soon following weightlifting injuries to both shoulders.

Three years ago, a driver trying to race him down an Orlando street died in a crash. Atwal was cleared of any wrongdoing, although the yearlong investigation took an emotional toll.

Atwal, who has won on the European, Asian and Nationwide tours, certainly has been through plenty during the past few years.

The Wyndham marked the last chance for players to pick up points for the playoffs that begin next week in New Jersey.
08/22/2010 3:55 pm Sonia Michelle
Aug 22 - Julie Inkster DQ'd From LPGA Safeway Classic

Juli Inkster was disqualified from the LPGA Safeway Classic for using a weighted training aid on her club while waiting on the No. 10 hole on the Ghost Creek Course.

After the 50-year-old Hall of Famer finished her round and was told of the disqualification, Inkster passed quickly by autograph seekers and reporters without comment. She quickly left in a course shuttle.

It was heartbreaking for Inkster, who shot a 67 and was 8 under after the first two rounds. She was in a group just three strokes behind leader Ai Miyazato.

Inkster, who had a 30 minute wait for the No. 10 hole, apparently used a "doughnut" weight on her 9-iron to stay loose.

LPGA Director of Tournament Competitions Sue Witters said a viewer noticed the device from the television broadcast of the event and contacted tournament officials.

Inkster was already on the 17th hole of the course at Pumpkin Ridge when officials determined she had indeed used the device. She was told when she came off the course after the final hole, Witters said.

Witters said Inkster was surprised and unaware she had broken the rule.

"The rules staff here made the decision on the rule and we took it one step further and called the USGA," Witters said. "We would have loved to have some wiggle room on that. But it's pretty cut and dried.

"Being the professional she is, there wasn't much to say once the decision was read."

Inkster issued a brief statement.

"I had a 30-minute wait and I needed to loosen up," she said. "It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is. I'm very disappointed."

08/21/2010 10:13 pm Sonia Michelle
0Aren't the rules stated up front?
08/27/2010 Michelle
Aug 19 - Peter McLachlin Has a New Daughter and is Taking Some Time Off

Parker McLachlin will be taking more time off work from the PGA Tour now that he and wife, Kristy, have welcomed their first child.

Makena Marie McLachlin was born last Wednesday. She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21 inches long.

McLachlin has been home with his wife since withdrawing from the Reno-Tahoe Open a month ago.

The Punahou graduate is not in this week's Wyndham Championship in North Carolina, but Castle graduate Dean Wilson is. Wilson stands 105th on the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup points list. The top 125 are eligible to play in The Barclays next week. It is the first stop in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. After Barclays, the top 100 can play in the Deutsche Bank Championship, the top 70 in the BMW Championship and the top 30 in The Tour Championship. McLachlin can start up again Sept. 30 in the PGA Tour Fall Series.
08/19/2010 11:32 am Jessica Nicole
0Time for family for a moment.
08/27/2010 Michelle
Aug 19 - Kevin Harvick Helps Raise Money on the Golf Course

Everything's coming up fine for Kevin Harvick. Just hours after winning in Michigan, he was on the golf course for his own pro-am at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. But as Harvick himself demonstrated, "driving" has very different connotations on the track and the golf course.

"I was more nervous than I've ever been in a race car in my whole entire life, I can promise you that," Harvick said after his round. "The only thing I care about was that first tee box, and that went well. The rest of the day went very bad. I was having a tough time; maybe I stayed up too late last night. It was definitely a little longer night than the nine o'clock departure that I'm used to to go to bed. It was a good night to celebrate, though, and a good day to be tired."

Like many NASCAR charities, a portion of the tournament's proceeds went to the Victory Junction Gang camp. Celebrities in attendance included Denny Hamlin, Scott Speed, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, and Carolina coach Roy Williams.

Harvick isn't particularly skilled at golf -- he's only been at it a few months -- but if you're looking to hang with him, he'll be following his pal Jason Gore, a PGA Tour player, at the Wyndham PGA event this week in Greensboro. Stop him and say hi.
08/18/2010 11:50 am Jessica Nicole
0Great for him to do that.
08/27/2010 Michelle

Tiger Woods still thinks he can help the U.S. Ryder Cup team. It might be the only thing that could salvage yet another year without a major. Woods matched the longest grand slam drought of his career when he failed to win the PGA Championship. He didn't even finish seventh or better, which he needed to have any shot of playing his way onto the Ryder Cup squad. U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin is to announce his four captain's picks Sept. 7. "I think I've got a chance of maybe helping out in singles," Woods said, drawing laughter.

"No, I feel like my game is a lot better than it was obviously last week. And given a little bit more time it's starting to head in the right direction now, which is good. Hopefully Corey will pick me on the team." Woods finished at 2-under 286 after a 73 Sunday, his worst round of the week.

The turmoil in Woods' personal life has spilled over onto the golf course, and he arrived at Whistling Straits following the worst performance of his career. He shot a whopping 18-over 298 and beat only one player in the 80-man field at Firestone — and that's a course where he's won seven times.

But Woods got in plenty of practice before the tournament began — Sean Foley, swing coach for Sean O'Hair and Hunter Mahan, was often at his side — and is optimistic he was making progress. He made a brief appearance on the leaderboard Thursday, and his 71 that day was the first time in eight rounds he'd broken par.

08/16/2010 8:15 am Photography By Glenn
0Yeah, he is just trying to mend his image.
08/27/2010 Michelle
0Of course he would say that.
08/16/2010 Alex
Aug 16 - Kaymer wins PGA in playoff; Johnson out on penalty

Martin Kaymer won his first major Sunday in a PGA Championship that will be remembered as much for the guy who tied for fifth.

The final stroke of this most bizarre major was Kaymer tapping in from 2 feet to win a three-hole playoff over Bubba Watson.

Equally significant was the 4-iron that Dustin Johnson gently placed in the sand behind his ball on the final hole of regulation at Whistling Straits, unaware that he was in one of more than 1,000 bunkers that litters this lunarlike landscape.

Johnson had a one-shot lead playing the 18th hole when he drove it well right into a tiny patch of sand where the gallery had been walking all week. He grounded his club, thinking it was grass that had been killed under a week's worth of foot traffic. Fans were packed so tight around him that he never gave it another thought.

"Walking up there, seeing the shot, it never once crossed my mind that I was in a sand trap," Johnson said. "It's very unfortunate. The only worse thing that could have happened was if I had made the putt on that last hole."

He missed the 7-foot par putt to seemingly slip into a three-man playoff with Kaymer and Watson. But the two-shot penalty turned his 71 into a 73, and instead of going to a playoff for redemption from his U.S. Open meltdown, Johnson tied for fifth and headed home.

As Johnson was leaving the course, Kaymer was coming up clutch again.

The 25-year-old German holed a 15-foot par putt on the 18th hole in regulation for a 2-under 70 to join Watson (68) at 11-under 277. One shot behind in the playoff, Kaymer made another 15-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 17th, then watched Watson implode.

Watson went from the right rough into the water, then over the green into a bunker. His bunker shot hit the flag, and he tapped in for double bogey. Kaymer chipped out after seeing Watson go in the water, and he hit 7-iron to 15 feet for a two-putt bogey.

"I don't realize what happened," Kaymer said. "I just won my first major. I've got goose bumps just talking about it."

Kaymer earned $1.35 million, went to third in the Ryder Cup standings for Europe and moved to a career-best No. 5 in the world.

It was the cruelest ending to a major since Roberto de Vicenzo signed for a higher score in the final round of the 1968 Masters that was won by Bob Goalby.

Watson was only disappointed for a few minutes until learning he had played his way onto the Ryder Cup team.

For Johnson, this might take far longer to recover from the U.S. Open, where he had a three-shot lead going into the final round, took triple bogey on the second hole and shot an 82.

The final major of the year proved to be the most thrilling over the final hour, even with Tiger Woods long gone before all the excitement began. Woods closed with a 73 and tied for 28th.

Six players had a share of the lead at some point Sunday, and six players were separated by one shot over the final 30 minutes.

That included Rory McIlroy, the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland who was trying to become the youngest major champion in 80 years. He had a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole to join the clubhouse leaders at 11 under, only for the putt to turn away.

Also one shot behind was former Masters champion Zach Johnson. Both of them needed a birdie on the 500-yard closing hole that only allowed one birdie in the final round.

For all the clutch putts by Kaymer, however, this PGA Championship came down to the bunkers.

08/15/2010 7:15 pm Susan M Murphy

0Wow official was not even on the course but called it in from watching on tv. Tough break. It cost him 1 million dollars.
08/16/2010 Alex

Phil Mickelson is being treated for arthritis that surfaced just before the U.S. Open and left him in so much pain he couldn't walk. Mickelson revealed Tuesday he has psoriatic arthritis, which causes his immune system to attack his joints and tendons. He noticed the first symptoms five days before the U.S. Open, and the pain eventually got so bad he made a visit to the Mayo Clinic.

Weekly shots have brought the disease under control, and Mickelson said there shouldn't be any negative impact on his long- or even short-term health.

"I'm surprised at how quickly it's gone away, and how quickly it's been able to be managed and controlled," he said. "I feel 100 percent, like I say. But when I (was) laying there on the couch and I (couldn't) move, yeah, I had some concerns. But I feel a lot better now." As if that bombshell wasn't enough for the day, Mickelson dropped another one: he's now a vegetarian. "I know, I know," he said as reporters laughed.

"As long as I believe that there's a possibility that it will help me overall, yeah, I'll continue to do that. If it will somehow keep this in remission or stop it from coming back, yeah, I'll be able to do it. But I haven't put it to the real test."

08/10/2010 8:54 pm Photography By Glenn
0That is just plain sad.
08/16/2010 Alex
Aug 9 - Tiger's Worst Performance of his Career

Tiger Woods remains the world No.1 player, a ranking he has held since June 12, 2005; he has spent 611 weeks of his professional career atop the pile. To put that into perspective, the rankings were introduced in 1986, and Woods is the only player to have spent more time atop the pile than Greg Norman; Norman spent 311 weeks of his career ranked No.1.

Woods has won 14 Major tournaments in his career; he has won 71 tournaments on the US PGA Tour, 38 tournaments on the PGA European Tour, twice on the Japan Tour, once on the Asian Tour, and once on the PGA Tour of Australasia. He has also won 15 other tournaments. That stellar record has seen him named PGA player of the year and PGA Tour player of the year 10 times.

But he is now as far from that dominant figure as he can possibly go, his latest effort at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is the nadir of his professional career. Could you ever have imagined Tiger finishing a tournament at 18-over-par - 30 shots from the winner?

The manner in which he stumbled around Firestone Country Club, where he has won seven times, the end of his slide is nowhere near complete. One wonders whether he can win another tournament, much less another Major.

"It's been a long year," Woods said after his awful 77 in the final round that saw him finish equal-78th, second-to-last, in the worst performance of his career.

08/09/2010 8:36 am Bob Anderson
Aug 9 - Tiger Woods in disarray ahead of PGA Championship

Tiger Woods will go into next week's PGA Championship with his game in total disarray and the emotional state of his mind highly questionable after a career-worst performance at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The American world number one struggled to a stunning seven-over-par 77 in Sunday's final round at Firestone Country Club, his highest final score as a professional, to lie joint second-last in the 80-strong field.

At a venue where he has previously reigned supreme with seven victories in 11 starts, Woods carded two double-bogeys in the last five holes to post an 18-over total of 298.

It was his highest 72-hole aggregate on the PGA Tour, his worst relative to par and the first time since the 2003 PGA Championship he had strung together four rounds over par.

"(I'm) just not playing well," a grim-faced Woods told reporters after completing his round nearly three hours before the leaders were scheduled to tee off.

"Shooting 18 over par is not fun. The only thing I can say all week is I was patient, and unfortunately that's not enough."

08/09/2010 4:42 am Susan M Murphy
Aug 8 - O'Hair, Palmer Lead a Crowded Leaderboard

Ryan Palmer is one of those players who can't walk by a leaderboard without looking. Even with his name at the top, he had to stare at the board a long time to get a feel for what was going on Saturday in the Bridgestone Invitational.

He was in good company. There was a lot of company.

Scoring was so good that seven players were tied for the lead with about three hours left in the 3rd round. When the round was over, not much had changed.

Palmer, who birdied three of his last 5 holes for a 7-under 63, shared the lead with Sean O'Hair, who had a 64. But with 21 players separated by f5 shots, all that meant was they would be the last to tee off Sunday.

"It doesn't matter if you're in the lead or one shot back, two shots back. It doesn't matter," ... "There's 18 holes of golf left, and in my opinion, there's no leaders. It's just a shootout."

That's about what it was Saturday.

08/07/2010 11:07 pm Ariana

Aug 8 - Tiger seems lost with no way out

The revelations that once seemed to come daily have now largely stopped. No more mistresses have stepped forward, and no more apologies are necessary. Nine months after the secret world of Tiger Woods was laid bare, even the tabloids and celebrity websites seem to have lost interest.

The only real questions left are how much his wife will get in a divorce and when she will get it. Indeed, these should almost be good times for Woods. The worst of his humiliations are just a memory, the trips to rehab are apparently over, and even the British tabloids couldn't beat him down at St. Andrews. Plus he's got millions of people who still think he's the greatest thing to ever grace a 2-iron.

All good, except for one thing. The greatest player of our time doesn't seem to have a clue on the golf course anymore. His latest attempt at preserving his name and finding his game came this week in Ohio, where the best players in the world gathered for a tournament Woods has owned in the past. There was once a day — just last year, for example — when Woods simply showed up at the Bridgestone Invitational, stuck a tee in the ground, and strolled his way to yet another win. That day now seems so far, far away.

08/07/2010 10:42 pm Photography By Glenn
Aug 7 - Mickelson's Poised To Take World Title From Tiger

Goosen shot a 4-under 66 in Friday’s second round to take a one-stroke lead over Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard midway through the rich, no-cut World Golf Championship event at Firestone Country Club.

“I’ve been playing quite consistent this year, which is quite nice,” said the South African, winner of the U.S. Open in 2001 and again in 2004. “I’ve just not been winning. Obviously, you want to win. I’ve had a lot of top 10s this year but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s that No. 1 that counts.”

Goosen, who stands at 7-under 133, was talking about being No. 1 in a tournament. Mickelson can be No. 1 in the world—and end Tiger Woods’ reign after more than five years—with a strong showing.

Mickelson has been chasing Woods all year but can overtake him if he finishes in the top four and Woods continues his woeful play. Woods followed a 74—his worst score at Firestone or in the tournament—with a 72 in the second round and now finds himself 13 shots behind Goosen but only eight shots out of last place in the field.

Lefty would love to be No. 1.

“Obviously, it would be cool,” he said after completing an adventurous 68. “I’m not going to say it wouldn’t. It would be something I would love to do. And I know I’ve got a great opportunity this week. I know that I’m playing well and this is my best opportunity. But I’m trying not to think about it.”
08/07/2010 7:33 am Photography By Glenn
Aug 6 - Tiger shoots worst-ever round at Bridgestone

Not even one of his favorite golf courses is much use to Tiger Woods these days. Facing the two easiest holes to start his round, he hit tee shots into the trees and made bogeys. On the course where he has won seven times in his last nine appearances, he posted a 4-over 74 for his highest score ever at Firestone. That put him 10 shots behind Bubba Watson, the largest first-round deficit Woods has faced since he returned at the Masters.

And it didn't get any better when he finished Thursday in the Bridgestone Invitational. As he took the 100-yard walk to the scoring trailer, one spectator called out to Woods, "You're washed up, Tiger. Give it up." Woods, sporting a goatee but rarely a smile, offered no excuses. "Only thing I did good today is I kept my patience out there," he said. It was another example of Woods at war with his game, even on golf courses where he once won with alarming regularity.

08/05/2010 10:47 pm Photography By Glenn
Aug 4 - Langer Wins Senior US Open

Fred Couples took the safe route. It likely cost him a chance at winning his first major on the Champions Tour before his adoring hometown fans.

Instead, Bernhard Langer tapped in on the 18th on Sunday to win the U.S. Senior Open by three shots at Sahalee Country Club, capitalizing on Couples' one lone mistake to crash the party a partisan crowd was ready to throw for Couples.

Playing in an atmosphere more suited for a Ryder Cup than the final round of a major, Langer was undeterred by the more than 30,000 rooting for Couples, shooting a bogey-free 3-under 67 to win his second Champions Tour major in consecutive weeks.

"There was definitely them against me and for Freddie, you could feel that and that's not the case in a normal golf tournament," Langer said. "Normally the people when you hit a bad shot they keep quiet and when you hit it good they applaud for everyone. ... If I play my hometown they want me to win, it's quite normal and I knew I was going to be up against that but when you pull through that and you win in difficult circumstances it just means that much more."

Langer became the first German to win any U.S. Golf Association championship and the first Champions Tour player to win back-to-back majors since Watson took the Senior British and JELD-WEN Tradition in 2003.

But Watson didn't travel eight time zones and win his titles on consecutive weekends like Langer, and with a massive audience rooting for his playing partner.

Langer's only moment of worry came at the 11th when he pulled his tee shot left. But instead of dropping into the deep rough or potentially ricocheting out of bounds, his ball deflected out into the middle of the fairway.
08/03/2010 4:34 pm Photography By Glenn

0Way 2 go Bernie
08/04/2010 Alex
Aug 1 - Couples surges to third-round tie with Langer

When Fred Couples was struggling to stay near par in the first round, the cheers he heard were mostly from friends and family out to exult the Seattle native. On Saturday, the hometown boy gave everyone at Sahalee Country Club a reason to roar. "Today I didn't hear many family because it was loud and so much fun," Couples said. Couples shot a bogey-free 5-under 65 on Saturday, surging into a share of the U.S. Senior Open lead with Bernhard Langer with a round left.

Feeding off the raucous hometown crowd, Couples made five birdies and posted the lowest score of the week. A week after winning the Senior British Open at Carnoustie, Langer shot 68 on Saturday, posting his third straight round in the 60s. Couples and Langer were five shots clear of Chien Soon Lu and Tom Kite, giving Sunday a match play feel with a little Ryder Cup thrown in. "I'm sure there are many, many people rooting for him but I've heard a few Germans out there and I might have my own 12 people cheering for me or whatever, who knows," Langer joked.

07/31/2010 10:57 pm Photography By Glenn
0I love Arnie
08/04/2010 Alex
Jul 30 - With a third heart, Compton shares lead

Erik Compton is a walking billboard for organ donation and sheer determination. He's also at the top of the Greenbrier Classic leaderboard. Playing on a late sponsor exemption, the 30-year-old double heart transplant recipient shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday to share the first-round lead with rookie Matt Every in the inaugural tournament.

Compton spent eight straight days doing yard work at home in Miami before he got the call Saturday to play in the tournament. He's making the most of his late invite, overcoming a slow start with nine birdies on the Old White course.

"You know, some guys miss six, seven cuts in a row and then win," Compton said. "I know I'm a good player, and I have a lot of the adversity in front of me with the game and health. But I always feel like if I stick in there and keep trying, something eventually good is going to happen." George McNeill, Pat Perez and Jeff Overton opened with 64s.

Nearly all of the field hadn't played the course before this week, but it wasn't a detriment — 24 players were at 4 under or better. While more than half of the field is in jeopardy of missing the FedExCup playoffs and others are trying to secure spots in next month's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Compton is taking it week by week, looking to solidify a future either on the PGA Tour or the Nationwide circuit.

07/29/2010 8:47 pm Photography By Glenn
0Wow what an inspiration. I know who I am gonna root for now
08/04/2010 Alex
Jul 30 - Block Of Ice Falls On Golf Course

A group playing the LPGA International Legends course in Daytona Beach watched a 30-pound chunk of ice fall from the sky.

The huge chunk just missed everybody, but caused quite a divot and quite a scare.

“Someone thought it was trash coming from the sky,” said Jay Laverty, LPGA International outside service manager. “We got out there. It was a 30-pound block of ice.”

The FAA is investigating.

A spokeswoman said the falling white ice could be from a plane with plumbing or mechanical problems.

It is checking flight paths and radar to see if the chunk came from a plane landing at nearby Daytona Beach International Airport.
07/29/2010 11:47 am Alex
0Ice Ice Baby (sorry)
08/04/2010 Alex
Jul 29 - Tiger to play at Bridgestone Invitational

Tiger Woods has entered the Bridgestone Invitational next week at Firestone, where he is the defending champion and a seven-time winner of the World Golf Championship.

Woods won last year by rallying to beat Padraig Harrington, becoming the first player to win a PGA Tour event seven times on the same course.

He has won every year at Firestone since 2005, except for when he missed the second half of the 2008 season following knee surgery.

Anthony Kim also has entered the tournament that begins Aug. 5. It will be Kim's first tournament since having thumb surgery in May.

The Bridgestone Invitational is a a week before the final major championship of the year, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

07/28/2010 10:41 pm Susan M Murphy
0Golf is such a mental game and his head is not right now.
08/04/2010 Alex
0I wonder if Tiger will ever be on top again?
07/29/2010 Bob Anderson
Jul 29 - Fred Couples Back Home In Washington State For Senior Open

Fred Couples walked off the 12th green Wednesday leaving caddie Joe LaCava holding a putter that wasn't to be used on this hole.

There was a gallery waiting and autographs to sign, a scenario that plays out during nearly every momentary break Couples gets at Sahalee Country Club.

Consider it the price of coming home.  "I've been signing more autographs than paying any attention to the golf course," he said.

Couples arrived at the U.S. Senior Open this week as a tournament favorite and a hometown hero. The Seattle native is trying for his first USGA title at any level, playing just 20 miles from the Seattle public course where he learned the game growing up.

He hasn't lived in Seattle for decades. Yet the region still considers Couples its own.

"To win here, it would rank right up there as any other tournaments probably besides Augusta," Couples said. "This is just like a U.S. Open; no one's going to tell me any differently. It's very tough out there. So to win here would be, you know, like winning a U.S. Open. And I'm from Seattle, so I would think it would be a great, great accomplishment. It would be very special for me."

His presence represents a perfect confluence of timing and luck. If the PGA Championship had returned to Sahalee this year as originally planned after the tournament's lone turn as PGA host a dozen years ago, Couples would be an outsider trying to wedge his way into playing in his hometown through a special exemption.

Instead, the PGA pulled out and the USGA moved in bringing the Senior Open, which begins Thursday. This will be Couples' first turn at a U.S. Senior Open. He turned 50 in October and became an active Champions Tour member this year.

And Couples is more than the hometown favorite. He just might be the tournament favorite, having won three times already this year on the 50-and-over circuit and finishing second twice.
07/28/2010 5:40 pm Bob Anderson

0I love Freddie
08/04/2010 Alex
Jul 26 - Langer wins Senior British Open

Bernhard Langer has won the Senior British Open after surviving a final-round chase by Corey Pavin of the United States.

The German shot a 1-over 72 Sunday to finish at 5-under 279 at Carnoustie - one stroke ahead of Pavin, who shot a 1-under 70.

Pavin, the American Ryder Cup captain, trailed by three shots at the start of the fourth round but cut the gap to two when he birdied his second hole of the day.

Langer survived three-putting both the 8th and 9th greens. After making birdie at 15, he parred his way to victory.

Pavin finished second, three strokes ahead of Americans Fred Funk, Jay Don Blake and Russ Cochran and Australian Peter Senior.

07/25/2010 7:33 pm Susan M Murphy
0Wow Langer is on a roll
08/04/2010 Alex
Jul 26 - Jiyai Shin wins Evian Masters by 1 stroke

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – Jiyai Shin of South Korea has birdied the 18th hole to win the Evian Masters, shooting a 5-under 67 to finish at 14 under and one stroke ahead of Morgan Pressel, Na Yeon Choi and Alexis Thompson.

Shin's fifth birdie in the final round took her one stroke clear of overnight leader Pressel, whose putt to force a playoff then rolled agonizingly close to the hole.

Pressel, who started the final round two strokes clear, walked over and hugged Shin after missing her putt.

07/25/2010 9:50 am Tracymarie
Jul 24 - Japan's Miyazato leads Evian Masters by 1 stroke

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – Mika Miyazato of Japan shot a 5-under 67 for the second-round lead at the Evian Masters on Friday.

Michelle Wie started the day tied for sixth at 4 under, but slipped down the leaderboard at 1 over after a sluggish round (77) that included a quintuple bogey on the 10th hole.

Defending champion Ai Miyazato of Japan managed a 72 to stay 3 under overall and six shots off the lead.

Miyazato was 9 under and had a one-stroke lead over Gwladys Nocera of France. Miyazato had six birdies. Nocera had an eagle and five birdies in her round.

The 20-year-old Miyazato played through two weather delays, a shorter one in the morning and a longer break midway through the afternoon.

"I was very, very focused today," she said. "In the beginning, the first nine, my driver wasn't as steady, but with the rain delay, I was able to refresh my mindset and have a good back nine."

Nocera has won 10 times on the Ladies European Tour since 2006, but has finished outside of the top 40 in her five previous appearances at Evian.

She has a more relaxed approach this year.

"I told my coach, my caddie, my mental coach, and myself, that I will leave (the 18th hole) every day with a smile," Nocera said. "That was the whole point, and I'm doing all right now and I need to keep on going. This is such a great event and I'm so lucky to be part of it."

07/23/2010 6:56 pm Tracymarie
Jul 22 - Michelle Wie Suffers From Heat Exhustion At Pro Am

Michelle Wie suffered heat exhaustion during the pro-am of the Evian Masters on Wednesday but is expected to play in the first round of the tournament.

Wie went to see a doctor after playing in 90-degree temperatures, a tournament official said.

"She didn't feel faint," press officer Olivia Payerne told The Associated Press. "This is nothing serious. She went to see a doctor and everything is fine. She will start (Thursday) as expected."

Top-ranked Ai Miyazato of Japan returns to defend the title she won in a playoff against Sophie Gustafson.

Wie tied for 23rd last year.

In 2006, Wie succumbed to heat exhaustion at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., and spent a few hours in a hospital.
07/21/2010 1:45 pm Tracymarie
Jul 19 - Jimenez tries amazing trick shot

Golf's a fairly easy game when you think about it. Hit the ball again and again until it goes in the little hole. But every so often, something happens that forces you to get a little creative, perhaps even a little insane.

The scene: the always-treacherous Road Hole, one of the toughest holes in all of golf. Many Open Championship hopes have died here, including those of Tom Watson in 1984. The player: Miguel Angel Jimenez, one of the coolest cats in golf, who was in the midst of an over-par meltdown and watching his major hopes blowing out to the North Sea. It was time to take drastic action.

On approach, Jimenez's ball had rolled up almost against the wall that runs along and behind the hole. He didn't have room to get his club in behind the ball, so he turned his back to the green, faced the wall, and ...

Beauty! If the British Open were being played under the rules of the ancient and legendary game H-O-R-S-E, Jimenez would have just hung an H on the rest of the field. Much like Phil Mickelson's backwards chip, people are going to be trying this stunt for years to come.

Sadly for Jimenez, he double-bogeyed the hole and sits 12 strokes behind leader Louis Oosthuizen. But he's just added an iconic golf shot to the game's history. How many people get to do that?
07/17/2010 4:09 pm Mariah

Jul 18 - Woods has 12 stroke deficit heading into final

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Tiger Woods can probably forget about winning a third straight British Open at St. Andrews.

The world's top-ranked player struggled to a 1-over 73 Saturday despite having four putts for eagle. None of them went in, and now he faces a daunting 12-stroke deficit heading to the final round. South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST'-hy-zen) maintained his lead at 14-under 201.

Woods opened the tournament with a 67, but hasn't been able to break par since then. He's still seeking his first win since coming back from a sex scandal, and St. Andrews is one of his favorite courses after dominating wins in 2000 and 2005.

No one has ever come back from more than 10 shots down on the final day of the British Open.
07/17/2010 2:17 pm Mariah
Jul 17 - 40 MPH Winds Halts Play At British Open

Around the loop at the far end of St. Andrews, shots at the mercy of a vicious wind were flying in every direction as Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and so many others struggled to survive in the British Open.

Just as daunting was one thing that didn't move — the name of Louis Oosthuizen atop the leaderboard.

It stayed there over the final 11 hours on a Friday when the mood of the Old Course turned foul. Oosthuizen finished his 5-under 67 just as the flags starting whipping and the grandstands creaked from gusts that topped 40 mph, forcing a round to be halted for the first time in 12 years at the British Open.

At least an exasperating day ended with a heartwarming moment. Watson, the 60-year-old who came within an 8-foot putt of winning last year at Turnberry, played his final Open round at St. Andrews, the only Scottish links where he didn't win the claret jug.

The five-time champion leaned over to kiss the Swilcan Bridge, then posed atop the stone arch just as Arnold Palmer did in 1995 and Jack Nicklaus did in 2000 and 2005.

And just like Nicklaus five years ago, Watson finished with a birdie. His wedge across the Valley of Sin stopped an inch from the hole.
07/16/2010 8:09 pm Mariah
Jul 16 - Daly off to rousing start at British Open

Trading his mullet for a wacky outfit, John Daly rekindled memories of his stunning win at the Old Course in 1995.

The trouble-plagued golfer took advantage of calm conditions at St. Andrews by shooting a 6-under 66 on Thursday, equaling the best round of his British Open career.

No one made a bolder fashion statement, either. Daly wore lavender paisley pants, a sky blue sleeveless sweater, a peach shirt and a turquoise cap. None of it matched. Not that it mattered.

Strolling the course puffing on a cigarette and carrying a diet soda, Daly posted his best score since a 66 at Royal St. George in 1993. It could have been a lot better, too - four putts lipped out or caught the edge of the cup, including one that spun 180 degrees around the back of the 12th hole to end a streak of four straight birdies.

Could it be '95 all over again?

That year, Daly managed to put aside the problems that have marred his career - everything from too much alcohol to too much money squandered - and captured his second major championship, beating Costantino Rocca in a playoff with a mop of blond hair that was much longer than it is now.

``It's a golf course, I don't know, I just love it. I don't know why,'' said Daly, who was tied for the clubhouse lead with Scotland's Andrew Coltart. ``It suits my game. Just a special, special place.''

07/16/2010 5:42 am Susan M Murphy

Jul 16 - Oosthuizen surges to 3-shot lead at British Open

Louis Oosthuizen has shot a 5-under 67 for a surprising three-stroke lead at the British Open.

The 27-year-old South African is at 12-under 132 midway through the tournament after showing no signs of being a major championship contender coming into St. Andrews. He missed the cut at both the Masters and the U.S. Open, and this will be the first time in four British Open appearances that he's played on the weekend.

First-round leader Rory McIlroy is set to tee off Friday afternoon. He opened with a 63 that tied the record for the lowest score in a major championship.

07/16/2010 5:35 am Susan M Murphy
Jul 14 - Tiger a picture of relief after media grilling

The joyless look in Tiger Woods' eyes said it all. It is one thing for the fallen hero to say he is trying to "become a better person" but convincing the media and public is another matter entirely. On Tuesday, the most eagerly anticipated news conference the Old Course has hosted in years was packed to the rafters as Woods addressed the world's media for the first time on British soil since last year's tawdry revelations about his private life.

From the moment the world No. 1 was ushered by his entourage into the press marquee via a side entrance — avoiding the gauntlet of the massed ranks of reporters, photographers and film crews — the game of cat and mouse had begun. Wearing a gray sweater, black slacks and blue shirt, the greatest golfer of this or arguably any other era nervously sipped at a bottle of water, all too aware of the polite grilling he was about to endure.

Then a gulf as big as the Atlantic emerged among the press corps; the American journalists quizzing him on golf, the Europeans on his private life. It is a measure of the spectacular, public unraveling of his life that the 14-time major winner is grilled not on his form or memories of St. Andrews, where he has twice won British Opens, but on the impact a string of sexual dalliances has had on his approach on and off the course.

07/14/2010 8:14 am Photography By Glenn
Jul 13 - Woods expects good reception from British fans

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Tiger Woods has won the British Open the last two times it was held at the birthplace of golf.

Still, he faced more grilling about his personal life than the state of his game Tuesday.

During a news conference looking ahead to the third major of the year, 18 of the 34 questions related to either Woods' marital woes or, to a lesser degree, his links to a Canadian doctor accused of distributing a performance-enhancing drug.

Woods reiterated that he's "just trying to become a better person," but refused to address reports that he's agreed to a divorce settlement with his wife, Elin. He also declined to go into any details about Dr. Anthony Galea, other than to confirm that he met with the FBI a couple of weeks ago.

"That's an ongoing case, so I can't comment," said Woods, who was treated by Galea after knee surgery but has repeatedly said he took no banned substances such as human-growth hormone.

The world's No. 1 golfer has been trying to rebuild his reputation after stunning reports that he cheated on his wife with numerous women. He entered rehab and took a five-month break from the PGA Tour before returning at the Masters.

Though he was in contention at both Augusta National and the U.S. Open, he has yet to win since the sex scandal broke last November. Now he's back at St. Andrews, where he won his first Open title a decade ago in an eight-shot runaway and followed up five years later with another dominating victory.

"I wouldn't say I have a specific advantage because there's a lot of guys who can hit the ball as far as I do," Woods said. "But this golf course requires placement. I mean, you really have to place the ball correctly."

His putting also was a major factor in those two wins. Woods has decided to go with a new putter at this Open, switching to a Nike in hopes that he'll improve some of the woes he's had on the green since his comeback.

"You're going to have some real long putts here no matter how you hit it, and you just have to get down in two," he said.

As for his personal life, Woods spoke mostly in generalities.

"I'm trying to become a better player and a better person," he said. "All that really matters is I have two beautiful kids, and I'm trying to be the best dad I can possibly be, and that's the most important thing of all."

Last week, Woods took a break from his Open preparations in Europe to return to the U.S. to spend time with his children, 3-year-old Sam and 1-year-old Charlie.

"That was an incredible experience, to hang out with my kids," he said. "Normally I don't come over here, play two days and then go back home. But the reason I did is obviously for my kids, and we had a great time."

As for persistent reports that he's agreed to a divorce from his wife, Woods was tightlipped.

"I'm not going to go into that," he said.

07/13/2010 8:53 am Savannah
Jul 13 - Justin Rose To Partner Tiger At St. Andrews

England's Justin Rose has been drawn with world number one Tiger Woods for the first two rounds of the Open at St Andrews, which starts on Thursday.

Rose, 29, recently won twice on the PGA Tour and will tee off at 0909 BST with Woods and Colombian Camilo Villegas.

Reigning Open champion Stewart Cink will start alongside England's Ian Poulter and former champion Ernie Els.

And Masters champion Phil Mickelson plays with Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and South Africa's Retief Goosen.

Elsewhere in the draw Northern Ireland's reigning US Open champion, Graeme McDowell, will tee off with two former US Open champions in American Jim Furyk and Australian Geoff Ogilvy.

Rose has risen to 16th in the world rankings on the back of some impressive recent displays in the United States where he won the Memorial Tournament in June and this month's AT&T National.

It was only the second of those victories on 4 July that earned the Englishman his spot at St Andrews and he will now play his first major of the season after missing out on the Masters in April and the US Open in June.

Rose will also have to contend with the extra fanfare that will accompany Woods on his first appearance on British soil since revelations about his extra-marital affairs at the end of 2009.

"I was not surprised to be honest - I kind of called it actually," Rose said of being paired with Woods. "I'm looking forward to the week and I'm looking forward to that.
07/12/2010 5:26 pm Savannah
Jul 11 - Creamer leads US Women's Open

OAKMONT, Pa. - One more day like this, and Paula Creamer will no longer be the best LPGA golfer who hasn’t won a major.

Creamer kept her game together as a dozen others were losing theirs on a grueling day at the U.S. Women’s Open on Saturday, taking a three-shot lead over Wendy Ward that she hopes will hold up in the final round.

Creamer, who has eight top-10 finishes in majors at age 23 but has yet to win one, is playing in only her fourth tournament since sitting out four months to surgically repair a hyperextended joint. The injury is so painful she limits her practice shots because she can’t stand the constant pounding of her golf club striking the ground.

I’ll probably sleep with an ice bag on,” Creamer said. “I’m afraid to take the tape off—my thumb is going to explode out of it. But the more I think about making pars, the less the thumb bothers me.”

Maybe that was the best way to prepare for the demanding Oakmont Country Club, whose stray shot-grabbing bunkers and tricky-to-read greens doomed the hopes of contender after contender on a day when play began at dawn and extended to sundown. Namely, stay off it as much as possible.

Creamer, who played 29 holes Saturday, is 1 under for the tournament with five holes remaining in a third round that will be completed Sunday morning. The 37-year-old Ward, a four-time LPGA Tour winner, has only No. 18 to play. Suzann Pettersen is four back with four holes to go, while 15-year-old Alexis Thompson, Amy Yang and Brittany Lang are five back. Only Thompson completed the third round.

“You know, this was a tough day,” Creamer said. “I got here at 5:30 this morning and it’s 9 now. That’s a lot of golf. On this course, I mean, 18 holes is enough.”

Creamer, sixth in the last two U.S. Women’s Opens, played all but two holes of her 1-under 70 in the morning—the only below-par score among those completing the second round on Saturday. She followed that by getting three birdies and two bogeys during the third round, with the second bogey coming on No. 13 just as the USGA sounded a horn halting play due to dwindling light.

“I played really consistent—I stuck to my game plan,” Creamer said. “If I hit a lot of greens, I know birdies will come. I know every par I won’t lose ground, so I keep going with that mindset. I was trying to stay at patient as I can.”

All this only a weekend after she missed the cut in the Jamie Farr Classic.
07/11/2010 3:10 am Mariah
Jul 6 - Tiger struggles to 79 in Irish celebrity pro-am

Tiger Woods looked just as out of form in a celebrity pro-am as he did on the PGA Tour. The world’s No. 1 golfer arrived Monday in Ireland just hours after his 46th-place finish at the AT&T National in Pennsylvania and shot a 7-over 79 in the first round of the J.P. McManus Invitational Pro-Am. The unranked event in County Limerick featuring Hollywood celebrities and Irish billionaires was his first overseas event since revelations of his extramarital affairs surfaced last year.

While more than 40,000 Irish golf fans offered him a friendly and forgiving welcome, Woods’ opening round at the 7,453-yard, par-72 Adare Manor Golf Resort was often dreadful. He bogeyed six holes, double-bogeyed the 7th, and managed a lone birdie on the 17th. He followed that up by gamely trying to reach the green on the 18th — a five-par 548-yard hole on the far side of the River Maigue — in two.

His risky second shot fell short into the riverside reeds for a final bogey, the third time he had found water in his round. Woods seemed to take his lackluster play in his stride, showing only mild frustration at off-target shots.

07/05/2010 8:17 pm Photography By Glenn
Jun 21 - Graeme McDowell holds on, wins US Open

McDowell seized control after a shocking collapse by Dustin Johnson, then failed to get flustered with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els lined up behind him. The 30-year-old from Northern Ireland wasn't perfect, but he was good enough.

He closed with a 3-over 74 to become the first European in 40 years to capture the U.S. Open, getting an embrace on the 18th green from his father.

Johnson took a triple bogey on the second hole to lose all of his three-shot lead, and a double bogey on the next hole ended his hopes. Three of the biggest stars of this generation were right there, ready to continue the lineage of great champions at Pebble Beach, only to play far below their expectations.

McDowell made only one birdie - an eight-foot birdie putt on the fifth hole - and his final round was the highest score by a U.S. Open champion since Andy North in 1985.

``I can't believe I'm standing with this right now,'' McDowell said, posing with silver trophy. ``It's a dream come true. I've been dreaming it all my life. Two putts to win the U.S. Open.

Woods couldn't believe it, either.

Poised to end six months of bad publicity over a shattered personal life, he bogeyed five of his first 10 holes and took himself out of contention with a 75.

Els and Mickelson hung around a little longer, and both had opportunities, but neither could capitalize.

Els had a brief share of the lead on the front nine but came undone along the coastal holes - including one stretch of bogey-double bogey-bogey - and never quite recovered. His hopes ended when he missed his target with a sand wedge on the par-5 14th and took bogey, then missed a four-foot birdie putt on the 15th.

He closed with a 73 to finish alone in third.

Mickelson, with another great chance to end a career of disappointment at the U.S. Open, holed a birdie putt from just off the green on the first hole, then didn't made another birdie the rest of the day. He also shot a 73 and tied for fourth with Woods, missing a chance to supplant Woods at No. 1 in the world.

Woods made only two birdies, but was more troubled by his mistakes.

06/21/2010 11:23 am Susan M Murphy

Jun 21 - Johnson blows up early, opens door for others

Dustin Johnson insisted he could handle the pressure. Three painful holes over one cringe-inducing hour at the U.S. Open on Sunday proved he couldn’t. Instead of backing up on his youthful confidence, Johnson added his name to a long, inglorious list of final-round collapses with one of golf’s biggest prizes on the line.

Johnson walked onto Pebble Beach with a three-shot lead, hoping to win his first major. Before he’d reached the fourth hole, he’d made triple-bogey, double-bogey and bogey, a disaster of a start that made him an afterthought while the other man in his twosome,

Graeme McDowell, walked away with the trophy. Johnson shot an 11-over 82 and finished tied for eighth place. “Playing so poorly, I still had fun today,” Johnson said. “I enjoyed playing today. You know, (I’ll) get it done next time.” Maybe so. But he’ll walk away knowing that all he had to do was shoot 76, and he could have been the Open champ. Instead, his day will be remembered alongside Gil Morgan’s Sunday collapse at Pebble 18 years ago, Retief Goosen’s 81 on the closing day at Pinehurst in 2005 and Aaron Baddeley’s 80 at Shinnecock in 2007.

06/21/2010 9:08 am Photography By Glenn
Jun 20 - Tiger rallies, Johnson zips ahead at U.S. Open

Tiger Woods poured in one birdie after another, more than he had ever made in one round of the U.S. Open, each of them followed by cheers.

Dustin Johnson didn’t realize they were for Woods. He played like he didn’t care.

Johnson turned in a prime-time performance of his own Saturday in the U.S. Open, overpowering Pebble Beach and closing with two birdies for a 5-under 66 to build a three-shot lead over Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland.

Johnson is the two-time defending champion at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and he looks just as tough when the conditions are fast and scary and a U.S. Open trophy is on the line.

Nine shots out of the lead after a pair of sloppy bogeys early in his round, Woods came to life by making the clutch putts and hitting the extraordinary shots that have been missing since he returned to competition two months ago.

Woods finally looked like the Woods of old, closing out his round with three straight birdies, none more Tiger-like than the par-5 18th. Blocked by a cypress tree from about 260 yards away with the ocean breeze in his face, Woods sent his 3-wood around the left side of the tree, out toward the Pacific and onto the green 15 feet from the pin for his eighth birdie of the round.

He shot a 66, his best score of the year, and his 31 on the back nine was eight shots better than the course average.

“It’s been a while,” Woods said. “I hadn’t played good enough for anyone to cheer anything. So it was nice to actually put it together on the back nine and put myself right back in the championship.”

Then along came Johnson, who made it more of a long shot for Woods with two final birdies that put him at 6-under 207, five shots clear of the world’s No. 1 player.
06/20/2010 3:31 am Susan M Murphy

Jun 20 - The 17th at Pebble Beach is where good rounds go to die

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson may have discovered the easiest way to make birdie on the par-3 17th hole at Pebble Beach — use the flagstick. It may also be the only way.

With a diabolical left-pin placement and a green so narrow you almost have to parachute your ball down from the sky to hold it, No. 17 once again showed its teeth in the opening round of the U.S. Open on Thursday. Of the 156 players in the field, only 32 (20.5 percent) hit the green. Twelve players, including first-round co-leader Brendon De Jonge, managed to make birdie, but 75 guys carded bogeys, the most on any one hole Thursday.

Of the nine players to finish under par on Day 1, five made bogey the 208-yard par 3, including Mike Weir, K.J. Choi and first-round co-leader Shaun Micheel. Weir was 3-under when he came to the 17th and finished bogey-bogey. John Rollins was tied for the lead at 2-under when he shanked his chip shot toward the 18th tee, dropped his third shot in the rough and wound up with a triple-bogey. He then double-bogeyed the 18th to shoot 74. Pre-U.S. Open favorite Phil Mickelson hit his tee shot off the rocks into the Pacific Ocean and scrambled to make bogey.

Not that any of this should come as a surprise. While the pretty seventh hole at Pebble gets all of the attention (at 109 yards it's the shortest hole in major championship golf), the 17th is the one that breaks hearts. In the four previous U.S. Opens held at Pebble Beach (1972, '82, '92 and 2000), it played as the most difficult hole relative to par, and it stayed that way on Thursday, playing to a stroke average of 3.5769.

On a course with two par 4s measuring more than 500 yards and a 580-yard par 5 (14th hole) which annually ranks among the most difficult on the PGA Tour, that's quite a feat for a par 3.

"The 17th hole is maybe the smallest par-3 green for the length that I've ever seen in my life," said Tom Watson in the recently released book, Play Golf the Pebble Way. "It takes every bit of your skill to get the ball on that green."

Earlier this week, Watson described the tee shot on No. 17 as the most critical shot on the course. What makes the tee shot so challenging is the hourglass shape to the green, extremely narrow in the center and not much wider on the ends. It's like a figure-8 on its side. The traditional U.S. Open pin placement is on the left side, very close to the ocean, and to hold a longer iron into a green no bigger than 15 yards deep is virtually impossible, even for the best players in the world.

"You're trying to hit a medium to long-iron into a very small target area, and if the hook wind is blowing, like it was yesterday, it's going to take a little spin off the ball," said Laird Small, Director of the Pebble Beach Golf Academy and a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. "The ball is coming in on a flatter trajectory, so it's going to run off the back of the green, leaving the players with a difficult downhill chip."

That's the danger with firing at the flagstick: Even if the player hits a perfect shot, chances are the ball is going to find the greenside rough, leaving him with a treacherous up-and-down. Some players, as Tiger Woods did in 2000, will purposely hit their tee shot into the front greenside bunker and try and make par from there. It's a similar strategy to what players employed at the infamous par-3 seventh at the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock. Finding it virtually impossible to hold the green, players chose to hit their second shots from the left greenside bunker, where they could apply some spin to the ball, rather than chip from behind the green and risk the ball rolling off once more.
06/19/2010 8:38 pm Rob Gallagher

0It's not going so well today!
06/20/2010 Susan M Murphy
Jun 18 - Pebble provides tough day for Woods and Mickelson

The beauty of Pebble Beach was in the eye of the scorecard holder.  After the first round of the U.S. Open, Paul Casey and Brendon de Jonge were gushing like everyday tourists finishing up a day at one of America's most spectacular golf courses.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson - they would have asked for their money back.

On a sunsplashed, breezy Thursday that will be recorded as an odd piece of golf history, Woods and Mickelson played a combined 36 holes and, for the first time ever in a tournament together, they couldn't make a birdie between them.

Casey, de Jonge and Shaun Micheel made birdies galore - some bogeys, too - and finished tied for the lead at 2-under par 69, three of only nine players in the 156-man field to break par on a course that got drier and bumpier as the day wore on.

They wouldn't dare complain.

Others did.

``I hit the ball well enough to shoot a good score, but these greens are just awful,'' Woods said after a 3-over 74 that included an ugly bogey on the par-5 18th.

Woods didn't help himself by laying up into a bunker on 18, then fluffing a shot out of the rough and tossing his club aside before the ball had even landed. He missed the 8-foot par putt and walked off steaming - his ability to contain his emotions under more scrutiny than ever after his much-documented winter of discontent.

``It is what it is,'' Woods said. ``There's no one making a lot of putts out there. No one is going low. You just can't.''

06/18/2010 4:08 am Susan M Murphy

Jun 10 - Woods to play in Ireland pro-am next month

Tiger Woods will play his first tournament outside of the United States this year at a charity pro-am in Ireland.

Tournament officials say Woods has agreed to play July 5-6 in the event organized by Irish businessman and racehorse owner J.P. McManus.

The 36-hole pro-am will be held at Adare Manor, a former Irish Open venue, the week before the British Open at St. Andrews.

Woods said in a statement released by organizers that because of his own foundation he understands ``the importance and necessity of raising funds to help deserving individuals.''

06/09/2010 9:34 pm Susan M Murphy
Jun 9 - Woods to defend title at Australian Masters

Tiger Woods will return Down Under to defend his title at the Australian Masters.  Woods announced on his website Tuesday that he will play the Australian Masters on Nov. 11-14. He won the event last year at Kingston Heath for his 82nd title worldwide. It also gave him a victory on every continent in which golf is played.

The Australian Masters will be played this year at Victoria Golf Club.

Woods closed with a 68 for a two-shot victory over Greg Chalmers before record crowds. It was the last tournament he played before his Nov. 27 car accident that led to revelations of his sexual affairs.

06/09/2010 3:23 am Susan M Murphy
Jun 7 - Fowler keeps his lead at the Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio – Rickie Fowler knew rain-softened Muirfield Village was giving up birdies, even if there was none on his card as he approached the turn Saturday with his lead dwindling.

He pounced with a shot that showed his age — 21 — isn't the only thing that sets him apart.

From a distance in the ninth fairway that typically called for a pitching wedge — 125 yards, slightly downhill to a front pin just beyond the water — Fowler opted for a punch 9-iron that would keep the ball from spinning too much and possibly going into the water.

"I wasn't going to throw a pitching wedge and have the ball spinning very much," Fowler said. "It was like a cut-off 9, start the ball left, try to hit it down and had a little cut in there."

It stopped 6 feet behind the hole for his first birdie, and he was on his way.

Unfazed by six hours of rain delays or the 62 that Ricky Barnes shot — playing with Tiger Woods, no less — Fowler completed another round without a bogey and shot 3-under 69 to build a three-shot lead over Barnes and Tim Petrovic.

Now, he is one round away from joining the recent youth movement on the PGA Tour.

"I'm hitting the ball well," Fowler said. "I kept it out of trouble, and I knew opportunities were coming around. It was a matter of waiting for them."

Fowler was at 16-under 200 and had the largest 54-hole lead at the Memorial since Woods led by six shots in 2000.

Patience doesn't seem to fit with the trend toward youth. Fowler will try Sunday to become the third PGA Tour winner in the last six week at age 22 or under, joining Rory McIlroy, who won Quail Hollow two days before his 21st birthday, and Jason Day, who was 22 when he won the Byron Nelson Championship.

Experience might not be a factor in this case. The five players separated by five shots going into the final round have combined for one PGA Tour victory, by Petrovic in New Orleans in five years ago.

"I want to win against the best," Fowler said. "That doesn't change the way I play."

The largest crowd at Muirfield Village followed Woods, and the cheers were loud and frequent. They just weren't for him.

06/06/2010 1:56 pm Tracymarie
Jun 5 - Fowler sets Memorial standard; Woods to make cut

DUBLIN, Ohio – Rickie Fowler, the new kid in golf, gave himself a chance Friday to be the next kid to win on the PGA Tour.

The 21-year-old Fowler ran off three straight birdies late in his round for a 6-under 66 to tie the 36-hole record at the Memorial Tournament and take a three-shot lead over Justin Rose into the weekend at soggy Muirfield Village.

Fowler was at 13-under 131. That tied the tournament record set by Scott Hoch in 1987.

Youth has been all the rage on the PGA Tour over the last month, with Rory McIlroy winning at Quail Hollow two days before his 21st birthday, and Jason Day winning the Byron Nelson Championship two weeks ago at age 22.

They both turned pro three years ago. Fowler didn't turn pro until last summer, yet he already has lost in a playoff last fall and finished one shot behind in the Phoenix Open in February.

"Just being in contention the few times I have over the last eight months, this is by far the best I've felt," Fowler said.

Defending champion Tiger Woods is starting to feel a little better, too.

Woods was just inside the projected cut line when he started, and with his lackluster play on a course that can penalize errant shots, there was some question whether he would be around for all four rounds in his final event before the U.S. Open.

Those questions didn't last long. He birdied three of the opening five holes, then ran off three straight birdies on his front nine to offset the few mistakes for a 69. He was at 3-under 141, 10 shots behind, but still playing.

"I hit more good shots today than I did yesterday, and really putted well," Woods said.

Phil Mickelson, who has another chance to become No. 1 with a victory, was headed in that direction with a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch on the front nine, only to give it back by missing one par putt after another on the back nine. He closed with two straight birdies for a wild round of 71 that put him at 6-under 138, still in the game but seven shots behind.

06/04/2010 7:14 pm Tracymarie
0I think Mickelson is going to do really well!
06/05/2010 Susan M Murphy
Jun 3 - Woods says neck is below par with U.S. Open looming

Tiger Woods is recovering nicely from a neck injury that forced him to pull out of a tournament last month but will probably not be 100 percent for the upcoming US Open, the world number one said Wednesday.

"My neck feels pretty good, still not where I want it to be, but the inflammation has calmed down a bit," he said on the eve of the Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village.

It will be his only competitive tune-up for the US Open at Pebble Beach in two weeks.

Woods's decision to quit during the final round of the Players Championship was surprising because only a couple of days earlier he had said his physical health was fine.

Asked why he had not been more forthcoming earlier, he quipped: "You don't need to know."

Woods said his neck first starting bothering him before the U.S. Masters in April.

"The symptoms were such that it could have been anything," he told reporters. "I had a hard time turning back (and) turning through and the headaches were just unreal at times.

06/02/2010 3:39 pm Susan M Murphy

0I think he's just too embarrassed not doing so well with his golf so he had to come up with some excuse!
06/04/2010 Susan M Murphy
Jun 1 - Golf Channel's Big Break Reality Series

Golf Channel's popular Big Break series will return for its 13th season in June, featuring an all-female cast competing on the championship course designed by Greg Norman at the Caribbean's newest luxury golf resort -- Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Big Break Sandals Resorts, scheduled to premiere June 21, will feature 11 women competing against each other in an attempt to make their lifelong dream of playing alongside the world’s top golfers a reality. In addition to other prizes, the winning contestant will earn a sponsor’s exemption to a 2010 LPGA Tour event and a Ladies European Tour event.

The Big Break show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness. During Big Break Sandals Resorts, one contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded her Big Break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in select professional tour events with some of the best players in the world.

"Big Break is a tremendously popular and successful franchise for the Golf Channel, and we couldn't be more excited about our partnership with Sandals Resort for the series' 13th season," said Tom Stathakes, Golf Channel senior vice president of programming, production and operations.

The 10-episode series will unfold on one of the most picturesque golf courses in the world, Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club at Sandals Emerald Bay. A Greg Norman design, Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club is a 7,200 yard, par 72 Oceanside golf course that features six signature holes hugging the perimeter of Emerald Bay’s scenic peninsula overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

05/31/2010 9:49 pm Susan M Murphy

0Thanks for the info, Kandy!
06/04/2010 Susan M Murphy
0BTW you can win a trip there here is the link. http://www.sandalsgolfgetaway.com/
05/31/2010 Susan M Murphy
May 24 - Day wins Nelson - Teenager Spieth shares 16th

Jason Day fought through a rocky final round for a 2-over 72 that was good enough to give the 22-year-old Australian the Byron Nelson Championship title for his first win of his PGA Tour career.

Already in the record books as the youngest winner on the Nationwide Tour— he was 19—Day had to wait until he was 22 for this breakthrough.

“It’s been a hard, tough road,” Day said. “I’ve had a lot of negative thoughts go through my head. … I would always think of what jobs I could do if I didn’t secure my card. … I’m glad I just stuck through it.”

For 16-year-old Jordan Spieth, his experience at the HP Byron Nelson Championship was priceless.

He got lots of great advice playing with veteran Tom Pernice on Saturday and Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin on Sunday. And he learned how to deal with the pressure of contending on Sunday.

But for finishing tied for 16th, Spieth earned nothing.

Had he been professional, the Jesuit junior would have pocketed $91,186.

"Guess he shouldn't have doubled 15," his father, Shawn, said with a smile. "No, all we thought about was if you win you get in the Masters."

Father and son say that turning pro early is not even under consideration. He has another year left at Jesuit and has committed to Texas.

Shawn said it's important for Jordan to know that the PGA Tour will still be there after he leaves college.

"Two or three years ago, we had that talk about turning pro, but that's it," Shawn said. "College is great, not only for maturing, but it will probably be the most fun and rewarding period of his life."

05/23/2010 11:43 pm Bob Anderson
0I have been rooting for this kid!
05/25/2010 Susan M Murphy
May 22 - High School junior Spieth makes cut at Byron Nelson

Jordan Spieth did something Tiger Woods couldn't do. And his pal Tony Romo showed up to watch.

Who the heck is this guy?

Spieth is a high school junior from Dallas who cut class this week to play in the Byron Nelson Championship, becoming the first prep to take on the pros in this event since Woods in 1993.

He's handled his nerves and the TPC Four Seasons course quite nicely, shooting a 3-under 137 through two rounds to become the sixth-youngest player to make the cut at a PGA Tour event.

``There's never going to be a golf course that's too much for him,'' said Romo, the star quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and a solid amateur golfer himself, having qualified for a U.S. Open sectional event on Thursday. He befriended Spieth while playing a tournament in South Carolina this year and have remained pals.

Spieth's debut on Thursday was delayed nearly four hours by threatening skies, and he got in only 11 holes at even par. He made a pair of birdies over seven holes for a 68, took about a half-hour break, then shot 69 in the second round. He is tied for 22nd entering the third round.

``I'm in shock right now,'' said Spieth, who already has accepted a sponsor's invitation to play the PGA event in Memphis, June 10-13.

As the day went on, temperatures rose - and so did the size of his gallery.

(Much to the chagrin of his school's teachers; ``They're not happy with me,'' he said.)

Spieth saw hundreds of classmates and thousands of fans around the 18th green, and told his caddie he wanted to really give them something to cheer about with his approach.

Sure enough, he went right at the pin, putting it 12 feet past the cup. He missed the birdie putt, then tapped in for a par that drew another raucous celebration. He tipped his cap, then flipped the ball toward some of his teenage pals. Several of them tumbled onto the green fighting for the souvenir.

``I didn't really expect the loudness of the cheers,'' said Spieth, who just last week won a state high school title, and last summer won the U.S. Junior Amateur title. ``It's a new experience for me. I could get used to it.''

Besides his youthful face - let's just say he probably wears out a golf glove quicker than he does a razor - Spieth's amateur status was obvious by his lack of sponsor branding. He uses his high school team's golf bag (``Jesuit Rangers'' it reads) and he wore a Texas Longhorns hat, even though he's more than a year away from college.
05/22/2010 6:52 am Susan M Murphy
May 18 - Woods adds British Open to 2010 schedule

Tiger Woods has added the July 15-18 British Open to his playing schedule for this year, though he is still sidelined with a lingering neck injury.

According to his website (http://web.tigerwoods.com), the American world number one will compete in the year's third major at St. Andrews in Scotland, having already committed to the June 17-20 U.S. Open and the July 1-4 AT&T National.

Woods, who withdrew from the final round of this month's Players Championship because of neck pain, has lifted the prized claret jug the last two times the British Open was held at St. Andrews -- in 2000 and 2005.

He had also been planning to defend his title at the June 3-6 Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio but that event is still up in the air while he continues to heal an inflamed facet joint.

While he gave no hint as to the timing of his return to the PGA Tour, Woods said last week he expected to make a full recovery.

"I now need to take care of this condition and will return to playing golf when I'm physically able," the 34-year-old said in a statement.

Woods added that the injury would be treated through physical therapy, soft-tissue massage, rest and anti-inflammatory medicine.

The 14-times major winner has played only three events since returning from a self-imposed exile of five months following revelations about his marital infidelities at the end of last year.

05/18/2010 4:00 am Susan M Murphy
May 17 - Scott makes Texas Open first tour win since '08

SAN ANTONIO – Deep in the heart of Texas, Adam Scott only saw Australia. Harsh scrubland off the fairways that reminded him of Brisbane and sandbelt greens that looked like home.

"I had a feeling Aussies would do well here this week," Scott said.

None better than him.

Rallying from four strokes back for his first PGA Tour victory in two years, Scott was 11 under in a 36-hole Sunday finale at the Texas Open, edging Frederik Jacobson by a stroke on the new Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio.

The course was designed by Scott's hero, fellow countrymen Greg Norman, who sent a congratulatory message after Scott's first win since the Australian Open in December.

Norman's note meant a lot to Scott. So did this victory.

"I questioned myself at times last year whether I was a great player or not," Scott said. "I still feel I am."

The 29-year-old Scott finished at 14-under 274 and earned $1,098,000 for his seventh tour victory and first since the 2008 Byron Nelson Classic. He overcame two early bogeys with an eagle on the par-4 17th in his third-round 66, then built his lead with six birdies en route to a closing 67.

Scott also survived a closing bogey — his only one in the final round — when Jacobson missed a 16-footer from the fringe on No. 18 that would've forced a playoff.

It was a long final day. More than 3 inches of rain had washed out Friday's round, setting up Sunday's 36-hole marathon.

05/17/2010 8:18 am Tracymarie
May 15 - Woods Receives Positive News On Neck

The results of an MRI show Woods could resume practicing as early as next week.  Tiger Woods said tests Wednesday showed an inflamed neck joint that causes pain and makes it hard to turn his head, an injury that will require little more than medicine, massages and rest.

Woods had an MRI that revealed inflammation in a facet joint of his neck. He said on his website that when facet joints are inflamed, it causes pain in the area along with headaches and difficulty rotating the head.

He withdrew from the final round of The Players Championship on Sunday after a week in which he was seen stretching and rolling his neck. Woods said his neck had been bothering him since before he returned from a five-month layoff at the Masters, and that it was not related to the Nov. 27 car accident when he ran into a tree, setting off revelations of infidelity.

"I now need to take care of this condition and will return to playing golf when I'm physically able," Woods said.

Woods said treatment will include physical therapy, such as soft-tissue massage, rest and anti-inflammatory medicine. He said the prognosis was for a full recovery, and while the layoff is not expected to be long, rehab can vary.

Woods said in a press conference this week that he hoped to be able to defend his title at the Memorial, which starts June 3 at Muirfield Village. His next tournament will be his first without swing coach Hank Haney, who stepped aside Monday.

05/14/2010 3:05 pm Daniel
May 14 - Tiger's neck ailment a common byproduct of whiplash

So as you may know, Tiger Woods announced on his blog on Wednesday that an MRI determined he has inflammation in the facet joint of his neck. He said that the injury was in no way related to the SUV vs. fire hydrant vs. tree smashup in which he was involved on Thanksgiving night, and that treatment will involve anti-inflammatory medicine and soft-tissue massage (uh oh). But more than one golf writer, and many doctors, presumably, are calling shenanigans on Tiger's self diagnosis. According to an article in today's Orlando Sentinel, medical journals state that "facet-joint pain is a common byproduct of whiplash."

And I've seen enough personal injury attorney TV ads to know that whiplash can appear at the strangest of times, often months after the initial accident, and usually just before the plaintiff appears in court. It is known that Woods complained of a busted lip and "a pretty sore neck" after his SUV-capade in front of his Windemere home on Nov. 27, which prompted a trip to the hospital.

05/13/2010 9:43 pm Photography By Glenn
May 12 - Woods thanks swing coach Hank Haney after split

ORLANDO, Fla. – Tiger Woods is thanking Hank Haney for his six years as swing coach. He is not saying, however, who his next coach might be.

Haney said in a statement on his website Monday night that he has resigned. Woods posted a short comment on his website Tuesday that they have agreed Haney will no longer work with him.

He calls Haney an outstanding teacher who has helped him and a great friend. He says their friendship will not change.

Woods missed the cut at Quail Hollow and withdrew in the final round of The Players Championship with a sore neck. It was the first time he played consecutive tournaments without earning official money

05/11/2010 12:45 pm Tracymarie
0Why is he resigning?
05/12/2010 Susan M Murphy
May 11 - Golfer DQ'd for False Scores

Annie Brophy, a senior golfer at Notre Dame playing in Saturday's NCAA Central Regional, busted out of the gate at the difficult Otter Creek Golf Course in Indiana with an astonishing 30 on the front nine, including five birdies and an eagle.

Well, at least it would have been amazing -- had it actually happened. Turns out that while Brophy was keeping an accurate score on her own card, she was flat-out making up scores for volunteers to post as she went along. You know, just like the rest of us do when we're playing with family.

Problem is, Brophy wasn't playing with family; she was in a multi-team tournament. And little did she know, her apparent low score was helping to keep the Irish alive in the tournament. NCAA rules officials caught up with Brophy on the 11th hole to keep an eye on her -- and what they saw confirmed their suspicions that something freaky was going on.

Brophy, meanwhile, sent the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction on the back nine, reporting scores of a quadruple bogey, a triple bogey and a bogey on holes 10 to 12. In other words, she apparently went from a pro-caliber player to a weekend duffer right after the turn.

After just a couple more holes, the NCAA had had enough. They caught her on the 14th hole and yanked her off the course, disqualifying her for unsportsmanlike conduct. Nancy Cross, chair of the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Committee, indicated that she believed Brophy simply was having a little fun, and had no idea of the effect her number-jumbling was having on the rest of the field.

But in fact, the impact was significant, given how tightly bunched the teams had been. Cross had asked three teams -- Florida State, Kent State and Oregon -- to remain at the course in case Notre Dame played well enough to force a playoff for the eighth spot. As it turned out, without Brophy's numbers magic, the Irish finished 17th.
05/10/2010 5:43 pm Susan M Murphy
May 9 - Westwood takes 1-shot lead at Players

One round away from one of the biggest wins of his career, Lee Westwood of England knows what to expect on the final day of The Players Championship.  Not only because of his 16 years and his 30 victories worldwide, or his 54-hole lead last month at the Masters.

Saturday on the TPC Sawgrass was enough of a reminder.

Westwood watched a two-shot lead turn into a two-shot deficit. Over the final hour, Robert Allenby picked up three shots on the last three holes, while Heath Slocum dropped four shots on the last six holes.

The day ended with Westwood hitting a daring shot with a 6-iron through a gap in the trees for a par on the 18th hole for a 2-under 70 to finish the third round with a one-shot lead, same as he started. He has more company now - Masters champion Phil Mickelson included - but the course is as significant as the names behind him on the leaderboard.

``There was no real scope for thinking about anything

05/08/2010 9:36 pm Susan M Murphy

0I enjoy watching Lee play!
05/12/2010 Susan M Murphy
May 6 - Woods needs more than just a Win

Questions have never lingered long for Tiger Woods. He has always dismissed them in the most eloquent way possible for a competitive athlete -- by winning. He needs just such an answer right about now. But what complicates things is that even taking the title this week at the Players Championship might not be enough to silence Woods' critics and eliminate his own self-doubt. And winning does not seem to be as much of an issue as merely contending.

Big things have been expected of Woods from the time he appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show" when he was about as tall as a putter. But from the beginning, he has not only lived up to the hype, he has exceeded it. Starting at the age of 15, Woods won USGA national championships an unprecedented six consecutive years. Remarkable.

Tiger WoodsWhen Woods turned pro at the age of 20 with tens of millions of dollars in endorsement money stuffed into his back pocket, there were those who asked why he deserved such wealth without having proven himself as a professional. He answered those critics by winning the fifth tournament after he turned professional and then, in his first major as a pro -- the 1997 Masters -- winning by a record 12 strokes. Questions, anyone? Bueller?

Photo: Tiger age 24 (2000) opened the year with a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, his 5th and 6th consecutive PGA Tour victories (the longest streak since Ben Hogan in 1948).  He was at the top of the world.

The occasional potholes on the road to greatness for Woods, caused by swing changes or injury, were paved over with wins. The first time Woods went 10 majors without a victory, from the '97 Masters to the '99 PGA, he came back to win seven of the next 11 majors. When Woods went 0-for-10 again from the '02 U.S. Open until the '05 Masters, he followed by wining six of his next 14 majors.

Woods not only has always bounced back, he has returned better than he was before. But he has never faced challenges such as those confronting him now. And this week at the Players, Woods tackles a TPC Sawgrass course he has not handled well during his career, with just one top-10 since winning here in '01. And he comes into Sawgrass off his worst performance as a pro -- missing the cut at Quail Hollow by eight strokes.

Woods needs a win in a bad way. But every indication exists that it is he who is in a bad way. In his pre-tournament session with the media at the Players, Woods continued a theme he opened up after missing the cut at Quail Hollow. While he won't give us any insight into what is happening in his personal life -- nor does he need to -- he has given us reason to believe it is taking its toll on him.

Photo: Woods was warded the Nobel Prize for "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperationin golf" in October 2009 but it was taken back two months later.
Asked how struggles with his game differ now from those in the past, Woods said: "This is more taxing certainly away from the golf course, with a lot of the things, paparazzi following me and all those kind of things." He made a similar reference after missing the cut at Quail Hollow.

When Woods returned after a six-week break in 2006 following the death of his father, he missed the cut at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Woods put that into context: "Well, it's certainly different. You know, certainly didn't have the distractions last time getting ready for events. You know, helicopters don't normally fly over you on the range and kind of hover and film you. That wasn't the case then, but that's the case now."

Woods is not dealing strictly with swing issues this time, although significant ones do exists. He is not merely coming back from an injury, although you have to wonder if that four-time surgically repaired left knee is contributing to his swing issues. And what is going on in his personal life will not be placed as easily in the rearview mirror as even the death of his father.

In an unusually candid glimpse into what he is feeling in his heart, when asked if he was surprised that one-in-four tour players in an anonymous poll said they thought he had used performance-enhancing drugs, Woods said: "After what's happened in my life?"

Then he said some words that seem to indicate he is not only not yet ready to win at yhe Players, but also not yet ready to even contend. "Yeah," he said, " It's just a matter of, for me, having the -- getting my mind where it needs to be. And certainly I've made a lot of adjustments in my life, and I've gone through a lot. A lot. And just trying to make sure I get everything organized so I can play."

Woods missed only four cuts in his first 231 PGA Tour events as a professional -- less than 2 percent. He has now missed two cuts in his last 10 starts -- 20 percent -- going back to the '09 British Open, when it would not be surprising if some of the conflict in his personal life began to be discussed behind closed doors at home.

If Woods misses another cut this week at the Players his life will grow even more complicated. The aura of invincibility, which has already taken a major hit, will dim even more. And think of that. We are asking not if Woods will win this week, but if he will make the cut. Remarkable.

Another missed cut and more questions will be asked, questions Woods has yet to answer the way he always has -- by dominating on the golf course. Twice before, Woods silenced his critics with bursts of remarkable golf. Is there another in him? Time will tell. What we do know is that Woods has never faced a challenge like this, something even he is now admitting

05/05/2010 11:12 pm Maddox
0Interesting...I didn't know he won a Nobel!
05/06/2010 Susan M Murphy
May 6 - Golfer falls off cliff while looking for ball

A New Zealander gave new meaning to the golfing term "hazard" when he fell from a cliff while searching for his ball at a course near Auckland.

The 66-year-old man sustained serious injuries but was in a stable condition in Auckland City Hospital after falling more than 100 feet onto seaside boulders, the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported Wednesday.

The man had been playing alone and the accident was not discovered until staff discovered his abandoned golf cart, then saw an arm protruding from bushes among the rocks at the cliff's base Tuesday afternoon.

A helicopter ambulance was called and was able to land on the shore near

05/05/2010 7:43 am Susan M Murphy
0I can't believe he lived!
05/06/2010 Susan M Murphy
0holy cow! That's crazy. He's really lucky they found him.
05/06/2010 Jessica Nicole
May 5 - Mickelson On Tiger's Tail

Phil Mickelson can overtake Tiger Woods in the world rankings at the Players Championship with a win and a non-top-five finish by Woods.  That 15-foot birdie putt Phil Mickelson made on the final hole at Quail Hollow meant more than an extra $130,000 for finishing in second place alone.

It put him in position to become No. 1 in the world.

Mickelson could reach the top spot in the world ranking for the first time in his career by winning The Players Championship, provided Tiger Woods finishes out of the top five.

Of the players considered to be the "Big Four" of this generation -- Woods, Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els -- Mickelson is the only player to have never been No. 1.

The Quail Hollow Championship had already been decided when Mickelson came to the 18th hole in a tie for second with Angel Cabrera, five shots behind winner Rory McIlroy. The final birdie that made him solo runner-up gave him enough extra points for a chance to rise to No. 1 at the TPC Sawgrass.

Woods, who missed the cut last week for only the sixth time in his career, has been No. 1 the last five years.

Mickelson is trying to become only the 13th player to be No. 1 since the rankings began in 1986, and he has momentum on his side. He won The Players Championship two years ago, and he is coming off a Masters victory and a runner-up finish at Quail Hollow.

"I'm glad that this first tournament went well, because after a couple weeks off after a big high like Augusta, you never know where the game is going to be at," Mickelson said Sunday. "And the way that I played and kept the ball in play and hit good shots, I'm looking forward to next week."

Woods is coming off the highest 36-hole score of his career at Quail Hollow. He shot a 79 in the second round -- the second-highest round as a pro -- and missed the cut by eight shots.

Woods arrived on Monday for a practice round with Rod Pampling.

It is rare for Woods to show up at regular PGA Tour events on Monday, although he said last week before leaving Quail Hollow that his home course at Isleworth is torn up at the moment because of renovations.

This is the second time in the last two years that Woods' top ranking was on the line. Last year at Doral, Sergio Garcia could have become No. 1 with a victory in the World Golf Championship provided Woods was 27th or worse. In that situation, however, Woods had never finished out of the top 10 at Doral.

While he won The Players Championship in 2001, this is the only tournament where Woods has finished out of the top 20 at least five times. Last year, he played in the final group (five shots behind Alex Cejka), but closed with a 73 to finish eighth.

05/04/2010 3:30 am Maddox

0I think he could take Tiger!
05/05/2010 Susan M Murphy
May 3 - Lorena Ochoa is at peace with stepping away from golf

Three years to the day after she replaced Annika Sorenstam as the No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings, Lorena Ochoa confirmed Friday she was walking away from the game, saying, "After playing next week in Morelia, I am retiring from competitive golf and the LPGA."

Surrounded by family, friends and sponsors -- all of whom expressed their love for her and support of her decision -- Ochoa exited the game with the same joy and passion with which she played it.

The mood was more celebratory than sad, marking a beginning of the next stage of Ochoa's life rather than an end of a remarkable golf career. Cameras clicked constantly as she read her statement and its conclusion was greeted with spontaneous applause. Sorenstam was 37 when she announced she was retiring at the Sybase Classic in May 2008 and by September of the next year was a mother. Those who know Ochoa well say they would not be surprised if she followed a similarly rapid path to motherhood.

"Today is the most special day in my career," Ochoa said, speaking in Spanish and wearing a golf hat. "Every career has a beginning and an end, and we are at the end." Addressing her parents she said, "You taught me to fight for my dreams." And in speaking of her husband, Andres Conesa, who she married in December, she said, "We want to have a family. I can tell you I am the happiest woman in the world."

For the second time in less than two years the LPGA watched as its best player abruptly hung up her spikes. And Ochoa is leaving the stage nearly a decade earlier than her predecessor Sorenstam. She also leaves as one of the two or three most popular athletes in Mexico -- right up there with any soccer player. That was clear from the turnout at her farewell press conference.

Speaking before an overflow and emotional gathering -- more than two dozen TV crews jammed the room in a modern convention center overlooking a racetrack -- the 28-year-old Mexican said, "I will never forget the last eight years. I wanted to play with the best players and I wanted to represent Mexico worldwide and I achieved that."

Ochoa also left the door open for appearances in professional events. She said she will host her tournament in Guadalajara in November and indicated she would be open to accepting some sponsor invitations. "This does not mean I am going to stop playing golf," she said. "I am going to keep in shape. While I will not be an active member of the LPGA, I will play my tournament as hostess and perform for my sponsors."

As for the timing of the announcement, Ochoa said. "First, I wanted to retire as No. 1," a position she has held since April 23, 2007. "Second, I always dreamed of saying goodbye in Mexico. Now, I want to leave and enjoy everyday life. I want to give back to my family the times I haven't been able to give them the last eight years. I am very satisfied with my achievements."

While Ochoa has long said she would retire early to focus on raising a family and running her foundation, which provides educational opportunities for the less fortunate in a country with many who meet that description, this announcement comes several years earlier than expected. She had always targeted her early 30s as a departure date.

And though Ochoa has enough points to gain entry to the LPGA Hall of Fame, she would not have the 10 years of active participation as a player needed to be eligible until 10 events into the 2012 season. Ochoa still could gain entry to the Hall, however, by a vote of the Veterans Committee after five years of inactivity.

The decision to step away at this time made clear her priorities. Life changed greatly for Ochoa in December when she married Conesa, an Aeromexico executive, and became stepmother to his three children. Those close to her said she started thinking seriously about retirement during the season-opening Asia swing in Thailand and Singapore. 

Ochoa's departure creates an opportunity for other Americans as well, including rookie Amanda Blumenhurst and second-year players Vicky Hurst and Stacy Lewis. Looming is 15-year-old Alexis Thompson, who is expected to turn pro after the Curtis Cup in June, and who would likely petition the LPGA for an exception to the 18-year-old minimum age rule when she turns 16 on Feb. 10 of next year.

05/03/2010 9:33 am Maddox
Apr 30 - Tiger Woods' opening round in Charlotte proves there's lots of work to be done

The Tiger Woods who was playing his fifth competitive round of 2010 on the opening day of the Quail Hollow Championship looked a lot more like a player who had taken a five month leave of absence from the game than the one who managed to finish fourth in the Masters, even if he was using his fair share of smoke and mirrors in Augusta. If anything, his left-right-left two-over-par 74 on a Quail Hollow course he both likes and has previously won on, is proof that reentry into the game is a work in progress and not a snap of the fingers like some golfing Houdini.

Augusta's generous fairways gave Woods a margin for error he simply doesn't enjoy in Charlotte. Quail Hollow has its own set of fast, contoured greens but is more demanding off the tee and exacts a steep price if you don't know where the golf ball's going.

"I didn't hit the ball very good at all today," said Woods. "I had a two-way miss with everything. Two balls in the water. Pretty much struggled all day." Woods only hit four of 14 fairways and hooked his tee shot left into the water on the par three 17th and left into the creek off the 18th tee. On the 15th he drove it way right and was effectively stymied by a bush. He blasted it straight through it, back to the fairway, to salvage a par. On the first hole, his 10th, he drove it miles right, then threaded his recovery shot through the trees and through the green but couldn't get up and down.

Asked if he was able to cut himself a little slack since he's played so little, Woods replied, "I'm trying. But when you're fighting with a miss like this and trying to piece together a round to keep myself in a tournament, it's pretty tough. I know what I can do and I'm not doing it. And it's certainly frustrating. It's just a matter of carrying it to the golf course and I just haven't done that yet."

It was frustrating enough that Woods chose to pack it in for the day following his round, rather to head to the practice range as he would normally. "Sometimes when I shoot a high round, I put the clubs away -- or break a few," he joked. "I'm just going to let it go today. I'm not going to the range. Hell with it."

In many ways, Quail Hollow is a better barometer of the state of Woods' game than Augusta National. The man who so often would insist he was "close" when he was inconsistent, made no such assertions after finishing Thursday. "The course could be had today," he said. "After seeing the pin locations, some of the spots are a little dicey. Still, the course can be had. You've got the par fives. You got a couple short par fours, you can drive it right next to the green. If you take advantage of those holes right there, you're at six under par. So, it can be had." But he also was well aware of the dangers. "Fairways are hard to hit out here," said Woods. "There's not going to be a lot of guys hitting a lot of fairways here. Never have been."

While Woods is having a hard time finding the fairways at Quail Hollow, the ones that are in the back of his mind are the ones at Pebble Beach. He knows if, over the next few days, he can find one, he'll be able to find the other come June.

04/30/2010 2:44 am Maddox
0I feel bad for him!
05/01/2010 Susan M Murphy
Apr 29 - Woods all wet at Quail Hollow

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tiger Woods will need to keep his shots out of the water if he hopes to contend at the Quail Hollow Championship.  Woods put drives in the water off the 17th and 18th tees and finished with a 2-over 74 on Thursday at Quail Hollow Club. That left him nine shots behind leader Bo Van Pelt, another early starter in with a 65.

Masters champion Phil Mickelson began his round in the afternoon, walking to the first tee amid cheers as Woods crossed the scorer's area.

Woods is playing his second PGA Tour event this season and hoped to build on a tie for fourth at the Masters three weeks ago.

Things looked promising when Woods, off a rousing welcome from a chilly crowd, hit a near perfect tee shot on the 10th and birdied his opening hole.

Then Woods could barely keep anything straight.

A drive into the left rough on the 12th hole led to a bogey. He saved par from near a holly tree on the 15th.

Woods' water world began on the picturesque, challenging par 3, 17th hole. Woods' ball sailed into the water, his second try stuck to the green but he could not make a 30-footer and came away with a double bogey.

Woods' problems continued on the par-4 closing hole when his drive ended up in a creek along the left side. He came up short of the green after taking a penalty stroke, then chipped to 3 feet for a bogey.

Woods followed with another bogey on No. 1, falling to 4-over par through 10 holes.

That's when Woods picked up his game. He hit to about 15 feet on the par-3 second and made the birdie. He added another birdie on the par-5 fifth after reaching the green in two.

04/29/2010 10:33 am Tracymarie

0I thought he would do better than this!
05/01/2010 Susan M Murphy
Apr 24 - Ochoa retires from golf in a wrenching farewell

MEXICO CITY – Her voice breaking and eyes watering, Lorena Ochoa said goodbye to golf.

She made her farewell Friday after a career in which she reigned as No. 1 for three years, won two majors and 27 tour victories and was honored for four straight years as the LPGA Tour's Player of the Year.

She also was not alone in being swept up in the moment. Her father, Javier, dabbed away tears with a tissue at the retirement news conference. Her brother and manager, Alejandro, broke down in his remarks.

The 28-year-old Ochoa has never forgotten her Mexican roots, her family and her friends. That grounded sense of self was not lost on those all across golf.

"We all know that Lorena's golf has spoken for itself," LPGA Tour vice president Jane Geddes said, sitting alongside Ochoa. "But what has always been the most impressive to the players is the way in which Lorena was able to balance her rise to greatness with such humility."

Ochoa made her surprise announcement Tuesday. On Friday, she filled in the details.

She will step away as an active player after the Tres Marias Championship next week in Morelia, Mexico. She left the door slightly ajar to play a few more tournaments, including her own Lorena Ochoa Invitational each November in her hometown of Guadalajara.

04/23/2010 6:34 pm Tracymarie

0I always liked watching her. I'm betting she will either be back or, has plans to train others!
04/26/2010 Susan M Murphy
0Retire at 28 ????
04/25/2010 Maddox
Apr 22 - Tiger Woods enters Two more tournaments

Tiger Woods added two more tournaments Wednesday to a schedule that is not much different from previous years except for the timing.  Woods entered The Players Championship and the AT&T National, which benefits his foundation.

It was the second straight week that Woods made an early commitment to a PGA Tour event, allowing for more time to promote his appearance. For years, the world's No. 1 player waited until the last few days before signing up.

Last week, Woods beat the deadline by eight days for entering the Quail Hollow Championship, which starts April 29. He signed up for The Players Championship, which starts May 6, nine days ahead of the deadline.

Woods no longer is the host of the AT&T National, which will be held over the Fourth of July weekend at Aronomink outside Philadelphia. It had been played the last three years at outside of Washington at Congressional, which will host the U.S. Open next year.

Woods missed five months while caught in a sex scandal that shattered his image and cost him three major endorsements. He returned at the Masters, where he tied for fourth.

04/21/2010 3:23 pm Tracymarie

0Did anyone think he wouldn't be entering more tournaments!
04/22/2010 Susan M Murphy
Apr 21 - Mexican golf star Lorena Ochoa retires

MEXICO CITY – Lorena Ochoa is retiring, just as Annika Sorenstam did two years ago, leaving the struggling LPGA Tour without its No. 1 player again and depriving the sport of one of its great ambassadors.

Ochoa, probably the best-known athlete in Mexico who is not a soccer player, announced her surprise decision Tuesday and will discuss her plans Friday.

The 28-year-old Mexican got married last year, setting off speculation she might be putting golf aside to raise a family. She has been No. 1 in the world the last three years and won 27 times over the last six.

"Lorena Ochoa confirms her retirement from the LPGA, as news reports in some media have said today," her statement said. "The reasons and more details on the matter will be given by Lorena personally in a press conference on Friday in Mexico City. Lorena will share this news of a new stage in her life with her sponsors, family members and friends."

The LPGA told The Associated Press it would not comment until Friday's news conference.

The LPGA said late Tuesday that Ochoa had not withdrawn from next week's Tres Marias event in Morelia, west of Mexico City, and indicated she was expected to play. She finished fourth earlier this month in the Kraft Nabisco Championship

04/20/2010 11:23 pm Tracymarie

APr 20 - Davis' penalty leads to Furyk win

Davis ticked a loose reed during his backswing Sunday on the first playoff hole, calling a two-stroke penalty on himself that gave Jim Furyk a victory at the Verizon Heritage.

Davis immediately asked for PGA Tour tournament director Slugger White and shared what he saw on the shot.

White consulted with officials who checked TV replays and confirmed Davis' worst fear: His violation cost him a chance at his first PGA Tour victory.

What Davis lost on the course will be regained in his reputation for his honorable act, White said.

That was little consolation for Davis, who rolled in a clutch 18-footer for birdie on his final regulation hole to catch Furyk and force overtime.

Davis' troubles began with his approach, a wayward 7-iron that hit the left edge of the green, rattled off the rocks boarding Calibogue Sound and settled among some grass, twigs and reeds.

Davis' error, a violation of rule 13.4 against moving a loose impediment during a takeaway, was indiscernible but for slow motion replays.

``It was one of those things I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. And I thought we'd check on TV, and indeed there was movement,'' Davis said.

He immediately conceded victory to Furyk, who putted out for his 15th PGA Tour win and second since March.

Furyk didn't know what to do at first. He raised his putter and tipped his cap to the cheering and confused crowd, then embraced his children who ran to meet their championship dad.

``I want to react to the crowd and kind of wave and let them know, that 'Hey, I'm excited,''' Furyk said. ``But I don't want it to take away from Brian.''

Furyk earned $1,026,000 million, finally tasting victory at Harbour Town after posting two seconds and a fourth since 2005.

Davis earned $615,000 for his fourth second-place finish on the PGA Tour.

``To have the tournament come down that way is definitely not the way I wanted to win,'' Furyk said. ``It's obviously a tough loss for him and I respect and admire what he did.''

Davis nearly won in regulation, his approach to his final hole scaring the cup before settling 18 feet away. His birdie putt had just enough steam to drop in and keep hope of a breakthrough win alive.

Moments later, the playoff was done with Davis' self-imposed violation, something inconceivable in most other sports, where competitors take pride in getting every edge they can.

``He's class, first class,'' White said.

04/19/2010 10:32 am Susan M Murphy

Apr 16 - Tiger Woods Will Play at Quail Hollow

Tiger Woods announced on his web site Thursday that he'll play the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, which starts in two weeks.

An article at TigerWoods.com was headlined "Woods commits to Quail Hollow Championship." The tournament runs from April 29 to May 2 and will be Woods' second tournament of the year.

"I'm excited about competing," Woods said on his web site. "It's a wonderful venue, and they always have a great field. ... It's always been one of my favorite courses. I can't wait to go back."

It will be interesting to see what the security procedures are like at Quail Hollow. Woods chose to make his long-awaited return at the Masters not only because it's the year's first major but also because Augusta, more than any other venue in golf, has tight security and a strict code of conduct for visitors, which assured that Woods wouldn't be heckled over his Thanksgiving night car accident and the five months of revelations about his personal life that followed it.

Quail Hollow won't necessarily provide him with that kind of security, but if Woods is going to continue his golf career, he can't expect to be protected by an Augusta-style cocoon forever, and he's apparently decided that he's ready for Quail Hollow.

Woods also committed to the U.S. Open, which begins June 17 at Pebble Beach.
04/16/2010 7:19 am Maddox
Apr 15 - Tiger files U.S. Open entry

Tiger Woods hasn't announced his post-Masters playing schedule, but the 2010 U.S. Open is definitely on his radar.

GolfDigest.com has learned that the USGA on Monday received Woods' entry to play at Pebble Beach on June 17-20. Woods won the first of his three U.S. Opens at Pebble in 2000, winning by 15 shots at 12-under-par 272. He later won at Bethpage in 2002 and Torrey Pines in 2008.

Woods, fresh off a tie for fourth at Augusta National, wouldn't comment during the past few days on where he will next play. In recent seasons, his next event after the Masters has been the Quail Hollow Championship the week April 29-May 2, followed by the Players Championship the next week.

Woods has until the Friday before each PGA Tour event to commit for the next week's tournament. And while an entry for the Open means nothing other than Woods covering his bases, it should be noted applications aren't due until 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 28, 2010.
04/14/2010 1:04 pm Maddox
Apr 14 - TV ratings rise for Masters, fall short of record

Phil Mickelson's Masters win, with Tiger Woods lurking but never really in contention, drew much higher television ratings than last year but fell far short of the record set by Woods' first title at Augusta.

Sunday's final round on CBS earned a 12.0 overnight rating and 25 share, up 36 percent from last year's 8.8/21 for Angel Cabrera's win in a two-hole playoff. But it didn't come close to matching the 15.8/32 for Woods' first Masters victory in 1997.

It was still the third highest overnight rating for a final round of any golf tournament since at least 1986, which is as far back as the records go. Woods' second Masters title in 2001, when he became the first player to hold all four professional majors at once, drew a 12.9/27.

Woods' return to golf after a sex scandal led to a five-month hiatus generated a ratings increase of 43 percent for first-round coverage on ESPN. Woods was never completely out of it during the weekend, but he wasn't able to make a sustained run at the leaders after three bogeys in four holes on the front nine Saturday.

Ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time. Overnight ratings measure the nation's largest markets.

04/13/2010 10:55 pm Daniel
Apr 14 - Announcer ticked at Tiger Woods' tantrums

Jim Nantz criticizes Tiger Woods' vocal tantrums.

Before the Masters started, Tiger Woods told us that he had changed. His outbursts would be quieted, his club tossing would be softened and he was going to be a different guy on the golf course.

No matter if you bought that or not, it's true that the weekend brought out some of the old Tiger. He screamed "Tiger, you suck!," only to follow that up with a profanity unlike any other in the third round. On Sunday on the 13th hole, Woods screamed "Jesus Christ!" after a tee shot and he wasn't complimenting the man upstairs.

It wasn't something new with Tiger, but it is something he told us would be avoiding in the future. Jim Nantz, the voice of CBS at the Masters, had a chance to talk with Mike Francesa of WFAN on Monday, and let it be known that he wasn't happy with the way Woods acted.

"If I said what he said on the air, I would be fired. I read in the USA Today and it was called “mild language.” Someone on my broadcast dismissed it as him having a camera in his face. Well, guess what? Phil Mickelson had a camera in his face all week and did you even hear him come close to approaching that? He didn’t hit every shot the way he wanted. Have you ever heard Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus use that kind of language? What are the parameters between what’s right or wrong?"

Nantz then admitted that this isn't something that has disturbed him in the past, but the fact that Tiger promised us a change is why it rubbed him the wrong way. He mentioned that he doesn't speak perfectly, but when the red light is on, he has things he cannot say. 

He also said that there are people watching the telecast that shouldn't be subjected to such profanities.

"How about the father and son who are standing right there by the tee? How about the hundreds of people who are around that tee who hear that? How about the hundreds of letters I’ve gotten through the years from people who have been outraged at the language they’ve heard there and have written me and said, ‘Why don’t you guys ever say something about that?’ "

Nantz obviously has some great points here. If you're going to cuss when the cameras are rolling over a live broadcast, that is one thing, but when you tell us you won't and still do it, it sure makes you look bad. Especially for a guy trying to bulldoze his past image.
04/13/2010 1:25 pm ERIKA
Apr 13 - Phil Mickelson's emotional win a win for golf, too

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson was doing his best not to cry again as he slipped on another green jacket and tried to put into words things that he couldn't possibly put into words.

He had already shed a tear on the 18th green, though he wasn't alone. Anyone who knew the story had to shed a few, too, as Mickelson latched onto the tiny blonde woman who had been through so much and shared an embrace that neither seemed willing to end.

He had struggled on the golf course all year, but that meant nothing. Not compared to the struggles Amy Mickelson went through while battling breast cancer.

There would be plenty of time later to talk about the shot that will live in Masters lore, plenty of time to reflect on what a third title means to his career. As the fading sun added some drama to the victory ceremony on the practice putting green, though, Mickelson wanted to talk about something closer to his heart — his wife.

"We've been through a lot this year; it means a lot to share some joy together," he said. "She's an incredible wife, an incredible mother. She's been an inspiration for me this past year, seeing what she's been through."

It couldn't have been more sincere. It could hardly have been more appropriate.

04/12/2010 8:53 am Tracymarie

Apr 12 - Tiger Will Take Time Off to 'Kind of Re-evaluate Things'

Tiger Woods came back from his five-month break to play the Masters, but now he may be gone again.

Woods shot an adventure-filled final-round 69 Sunday to finish 11-under and tied for fourth with K.J. Choi, five shots back of winner Phil Mickelson.

When asked if he had any idea of when he would compete again, Woods was quick with the answer.

"No," he said. "I'm going to take a little time off and kind of re-evaluate things."

It is doubtful he will want to spend too much timing thinking about Sunday's final round.

Beginning the day four shots out of the lead, he quickly added to his comeback burden with bogeys on the first, fourth and fifth holes.

Masters 2010: returning Tiger Woods wrestles desperately with himself at Augusta National

He still played the front nine 1-under, holing a wedge from the fairway to eagle the par-4 seventh, and making birdie on Nos. 8 and 9.

The back nine, however, was almost as inconsistent, with two birdies, an eagle and two bogeys.

It was Woods' first competition in five months, but he took no consolation in the finish.

"I entered this event and I only enter events to win and I didn't get it done," he said. "I didn't hit the ball good enough and I made too many mistakes around the green, consequently I'm not there."

Do you think Tiger Woods is a golfer in decline? Now, do not get us wrong. We are not for one moment saying Woods has become a bad golfer overnight. Far from it. After all, he has just finished 4th in a major. However, Woods is making more mistakes than ever before. The Woods of a decade ago would not have made the putting errors he made.
04/12/2010 1:01 am Daniel
Apr 12 - The Sting of Losing

The question hanging over the Masters all week was straightforward: Could Tiger Woods change?

The short answer: He can't.  Or won't.

A fourth-place finish at Augusta National would be the highlight of a career for some guys, and a mild disappointment for others. Woods is not one of them. It pained him every time he failed to win long before his SUV went pin-balling down the driveway and deposited him at the punchline of late-night TV jokes for five solid months. If anything, losing this tournament stung more than all the previous setbacks here rolled into one.

Woods walked off the 18th green Sunday with a final-round 69 and 279 total, seven strokes on the wrong side of rival Phil Mickelson's winning 272. It marked the first time Woods shot four rounds under par at the Masters - a tournament he's won four times - and walked away without a green jacket.

``I only enter events to win,'' he said, ``and I didn't get it done.''

Gone was much of the grace he displayed in losing before, replaced by a distant stare and an emotional state that can be best described as mechanical. Someone asked whether the attempt to control his temperament had extracted too big a toll.

``I think people are making way too much of a big deal of this thing,'' he replied. ``I was not feeling too good.''

Woods was talking about his comfort level on the golf course, but his eyes were smoldering. Controlling his emotions at that moment appeared to be every bit as difficult as during the roller-coaster, birdie-and-bogey-filled adventure he'd endured for the previous five hours. Woods angrily ticked off a litany of shots that hadn't come off the way he planned - ``snipes ... quacks ... cuts'' - beginning with his opening tee shot on a sparkling Sunday afternoon that once held so much promise.

``I don't know how people think you can be happy about that,'' Woods said finally. ``These are not things I normally do. So I'm not going to be smiling and not going to be happy.''

At that point, Woods left us to wonder whether the sullen face he turned to the world mirrored how he felt inside.

He never had more eyeballs trained on him than when he pulled the driver back for his first tee shot on Thursday. He sent that rocketing long and true down the first fairway. When he papered over three bogeys with a birdie and two eagles and brought back a 68, the galleries screamed themselves hoarse.

Woods got the same reception Friday and looked even sharper. If you closed your eyes and just listened to the roars, or the questions he got in the interview room afterward, it felt like Woods and his mastery of this confounding game had never left.

But he knew better.

``As the week wore on,'' Woods said, ``I kept hitting the ball worse.''

Not surprising, perhaps, his temper began cracking through the calm facade every time a hole in his game opened up. He stopped in mid-curse when he pulled an iron at No. 14 late Friday afternoon. By midday Saturday the microphones caught him at No. 6 yelling at himself, ``Tiger, you suck!''

Yet even as Mickelson began his charge from five strokes off the lead late that afternoon, it stirred the competitor in Woods. He made five birdies of his own during a wearying back nine and appeared to right himself. But there was this telling exchange with reporters afterward:

``How is the mental focus?''

``It's fine,'' Woods said. ``That's never a problem.''

``Playing three days in a row isn't getting ...''

Woods cut the questioner off.

``It's not a problem,'' he nearly blurted out.

Maybe so.

But Bobby Jones, who founded the Masters and insisted on a gentlemanly code of conduct that everyone of his successors has taken pains to enforce to this day, once said this about the game:

``Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course, the space between your ears.''

04/11/2010 9:14 pm Susan M Murphy

Apr 11 - The roars start a day early at Augusta

Phil Mickelson made consecutive eagles, and came within inches of three in a row. Tiger Woods battled back from a seven-shot deficit with three straight birdies to stay in the game. Fred Couples chipped in for eagle, keeping his hopes alive.

With his best chance ever to win that elusive major, Westwood made only one bogey and finished with a tough par for a 4-under 68 to take a one-shot lead over Mickelson into the final round of a Masters that keeps getting better.

Westwood, No. 4 in the world and among the best without a major, was at 12-under 204. He will be in the final group with Mickelson, No. 3 in the world and the sentimental favorite at Augusta given his turbulent year at home with his wife and mother battling breast cancer.

Right in front of them will be Woods, No. 1 in the world and playing as though five months of a humiliating sex scandal never happened. He finished with a 3-foot birdie on the last hole for a 2-under 70, putting him at 8-under 208 along with K.J. Choi, who also had a 70.

Just as exciting as the names were the cheers, too many to count.

It got so crazy at one point that in the time it took Westwood to play the 11th hole with a hard-earned par, Mickelson made up four shots on him with an 8-foot eagle putt on the 13th and holing out a wedge on the 14th.

Ricky Barnes holed an eagle from off the green and knocked in a 60-foot birdie putt across the 14th.

"It was probably one of those great days in golf at a major championship," Westwood said. "I obviously wasn't privy to the things you have seen, but I was well aware somebody was making a charge, and I figured it was Phil.

That's what major championships are about. They're tough ones to win because great players do great things."

The course was not meant to yield so many fireworks — not one shot better than 67 — yet the quality of the play was superb. Westwood did his work on the front nine, rolling in a bending birdie putt at the first, hitting a 4-iron just over the bunker to 10 feet on the fourth and slowly starting to pull away.

Then came the first of big cheers, from all corners of the course, so many that it was hard to figure out what they meant.

Couples was walking off the 14th tee when he motioned at Mickelson across the 13th fairway to get it going. Lefty obliged with a 7-iron to 8 feet, followed by his eagle from the 14th fairway that produced such volume that Westwood backed off his putt on the 11th.

"It was pretty funny because we were texting a little bit about how low I was going to have to go to catch him and maybe play with him tomorrow," said Couples. "For a time, we were both playing pretty well. But then he went eagle-eagle-birdie, and that's a pretty big jump to get going.

For Woods, it was more of a love-hate relationship for most of the round.

He quickly pulled within one shot of the lead with two tough birdies, from 18 feet on the first hole and a curling 35-footer on the third. Few could have guessed it would be the putter that put him behind.

It started with a bad swing and an outburst — "Tiger, you suck!" — from a guy who pledged to keep his temper in check. From the bottom shelf of the green, Woods ran his putt 15 feet by the hole and missed that for his first three-putt bogey of the Masters. He missed a 5-foot par on the seventh hole, then three-putted on the 10th from about 18 feet.

That's all it took for Woods to tumble seven shots out of the lead. And while he tried to peck away with birdies, Mickelson ahead of him was hammering away at eagles.

Woods two-putted the 13th, hit his approach to 3 feet on the 14th for birdie, then made an 8-foot birdie on the 15th. He was so wild at times that he played the 17th hole from the 15th fairway and almost got away with it until missing a 6-footer for par.

From the spontaneous cheer he received for the opening tee shot on Thursday, the cheers have become louder throughout the week for Woods. Only on this day, they weren't all for him.

"Those roars are Augusta roars," said 60-year-old Tom Watson, who had a 73 to fall 10 shots behind. "I'm glad they're back.'"'

Ian Poulter, tied for the 36-hole lead with Westwood, shot a 74 and fell six shots behind with Barnes (72) and Hunter Mahan (68). That would seem to be too far behind at any other major.

04/10/2010 6:17 pm Susan M Murphy
Apr 10 - Woods' return to Masters most-watched golf event ever

It's Tiger season.  Tiger Woods' dramatic return to the links has made this year's Masters Tournament the most-watched golf event of all time.

Woods' return Thursday after a scandal-tarred five-month hiatus was watched by 5 million viewers, according to ESPN, which is broadcasting the tournament.

That's double the number of viewers who watched the opening round a year ago.

"Tiger has taken sports off the sports page and put it in the front of the paper," said Bob Gutkowski, a New York-based media consultant.

"It's like a car crash," he said. "People pull over to take a look at the car crash. That's what's going on with the Masters.

"These are not people who are going to stick to viewing golf, this is a unique situation, and the titillation factor is huge."

The sex appeal of the story - combined with Woods having one of the best starts of his career - will more than likely drive this weekend's coverage even higher.

"People want to see how he holds up, they want to see the reaction to him and if he can still play golf," said Gutkowski. "They also want to know if he's any good in bed."

The tournament moves to CBS today and tomorrow for the final rounds. Officials at CBS declined to comment on what kind of ratings they expect.

But CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus has predicted Woods' return "will be the biggest media event other than the Obama inauguration in the past 10 or 15 years."

Fans at the ESPN Zone last night said they usually don't tune into the opening rounds of the Masters, but did this year because of Woods.

"It's been great. I didn't expect Tiger to do so well in the first and second rounds," said Mehuel Patel, 33, of Manhattan. "I've always liked him as a golfer and I hope he wins."

04/10/2010 2:46 am Melanie

0I have been watching some of it here and there...very exciting!
04/10/2010 Susan M Murphy
Apr 10 -Tiger Woods is chairman of the Masters leaderboard

Woods shoots a second-round 70 and says he feels ‘comfortable' at six under, two shots behind leaders Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. Given that he's a four-time Masters winner, he's not the only one who likes his chances; other pros probably regard him as the favorite too.
Tiger Woods didn't even need to glance at the electronic scoreboard in the interview room to answer the question with conviction.

Like your spot on the board, Tiger?

"I do," he replied with a smile that could have been sponsored by Colgate. "Yes."

He's not alone.

"The oddsmakers would like Tiger Woods, I think," said playing partner Matt Kuchar, who for two days has had the best view of Woods' six-under-par score, which leaves him tied for third, two shots behind co-leaders Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.

Those two foes have the chops to win the Masters, but neither has claimed a major. Woods has 14.

If that doesn't give Woods confidence heading into the weekend, this should: He said Friday that he has "control" of his golf ball.

"I feel very comfortable," he said.

For the rest of the field, that means: Uh-oh.

Woods' 70 was two shots worse than his opening-round score. But it was more impressive considering conditions (faster greens, tougher pin placements) that made grown men cry. Make that old men.

Fred Couples, 50, followed his tournament-leading 66 with a 75. Tom Watson, 60, started bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie before settling for 74, seven shots north of his fountain-of-youth opener.

Woods, who poured in long birdie putts on the back-nine par-fives, will play Saturday with K.J. Choi, also at six under, at 11:35 a.m. PDT.

Also at six under: Ricky Barnes, who led last year's U.S. Open until a final-round 76; Anthony Kim, who fired at a tucked pin at No. 6 on Friday and almost aced it; and Phil Mickelson, whose lengthy birdie bid at the 18th hole popped over the cup and stayed out.

The Woods twosome surely won't have as many chuckles as the pairing of Westwood and Poulter, two Brits and buddies who have climbed into the top 10 in the world golf rankings. Westwood is fourth, Poulter seventh.

"He took a few dollars off me the other day," Poulter said, referring to a practice round, "so I would like to get some back."

Said Westwood: "We won't be cracking jokes on each other's backswings."

Westwood, 36, is dead set on ending his drought in the majors, especially after close calls at the 2008 U.S. Open and 2009 British Open, where a two-putt at No. 18 would have landed him in a playoff with Tom Watson and Stewart Cink.

"It's the only thing missing, really, in my career," Westwood said. "I know I've got the game and the temperament."

Westwood hit 10 under Friday after a birdie on 13 but immediately gave two shots back.

His description of his train wreck on No. 14: "I hooked my tee shot, hit the tree . . . and overhooked my second shot. Then I tried to get too cute with a chip that was probably the hardest flag of the day, a real stinker. I should have just sort of accepted a [bogey] five."

That double dropped him to eight under. He then birdied 15 but gave one back on the final hole after appearing to flinch on the downswing of his drive.

"Just a bit of noise back there, but no [bad] intentions," he said. "I should have backed off it, really. It's my own fault."

That flub cost Westwood, but he remains two ahead of Woods, who felt comfy enough Friday to take a page from Mickelson and high-five a young fan from the gallery.

"It feels good to be back and in contention," Woods said. "I'm right there."

04/09/2010 8:12 pm Daniel
Apr 10 - Italian youngster makes more history at Masters

Italy's Matteo Manassero was the youngest person to play at the Masters. Now he's the youngest to make the cut.

The 16-year-old shot a 76 Friday that put him right on the cutline — 3 over for the tournament. He is also the first amateur since 1999 to make the cut, and the lone teenager of the four in the field playing the weekend.

Previously, the youngest player to make the cut was South African Bobby Cole, who was about a month shy of his 19th birthday when he made it in 1967.

Angel Cabrera made a 12-footer on 18 to avoid becoming the first defending Masters champion since Mike Weir in 2004 to miss the cut.

Chad Campbell, who finished third in the playoff with Cabrera and Kenny Perry last year, also is sticking around after an impressive rebound. He came back with a 4-under 68 Friday after opening with a 79.

04/09/2010 6:15 pm Susan M Murphy

Apr 9 - Woods tees off in second round 3 shots off lead

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Wearing white tennis shoes with no socks, Fred Couples teed off Friday on a cool morning at Augusta National with Tiger Woods getting ready on the practice range.

The 50-year-old Couples shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday, his best round ever at Augusta National and making him the oldest golfer to lead outright after the opening round. He began Day Two with a one-stroke lead over five golfers, including 60-year-old Tom Watson, two-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson and PGA champion Y.A. Yang.

Woods was two strokes back. He was set to tee off at 10:35 a.m. after posting the best-opening round score of his Augusta career, emphatically answering questions about how he would fare coming back from a sex scandal and five-month layoff.

ESPN got the spike everyone expected when Woods announced he would make his return to the game at Augusta, and interest only figures to build if he stays in contention through the weekend. The cable network said its overnight ratings jumped to 3.6 in metered markets from 2.4 a year ago.

After heavy overnight showers, the second round began under sunny skies with temperatures expected to rise into the lower 70s — a forecast that's expected to hold through the weekend.

Couples teed off with a stiff breeze in his face and hit a booming drive down the left side of the fairway. He had a shot at birdie, but his putt drifted off short and left of the hole to leave him with a par.

On Thursday, Woods picked up where he left off before his image was shattered by reports of serial infidelity. He hit a booming shot down the right side of the fairway — "One of the best drives I've ever seen him hit," swing coach Hank Haney said — and it seemed as if Woods had never been away.

04/09/2010 7:59 am Tracymarie
Apr 8 - Tiger 3 Under In first Round At Masters

The shots. The fist pumps. The roaring galleries at Augusta National.

Tiger Woods played as though he'd never been away.  Returning from a five-month layoff and trying to rebuild his reputation after a sex scandal, Woods quickly showed that his game was still in good shape Thursday at the Masters.

Even with Phil Mickelson grabbing a share of the lead and 60-year-old Tom Watson posting another turn-back-the-clock round in a major, all eyes were on the world's best player during one of the most scrutinized opening rounds in golf history.

No one was sure what to expect from Woods, a four-time Masters champion competing for the first time since a Thanksgiving night car wreck led to revelations of numerous extramarital affairs. But a 3-under 33 on the front side certainly answered the question on everyone's mind: how he would play.

He bounced back from his first bogey with two precise shots that set up a 10-footer for eagle at the par-5 eighth. When the ball dropped in the cup, patrons rose in unison to salute Woods, who delivered his first fist pump of the day.

But this round likely will be remembered for a shot Woods pulled off at the next hole. He yanked his drive left of the fairway, leaving him with a treacherous 5-iron that had to be hooked around the pine trees to reach an uphill green he could barely see.

Woods ripped into the ball with a powerful swing, then ran out into the fairway to get a look at the ball as it skidded onto the green, pulling to a stop about 12 feet above the hole. He rolled in the birdie putt, which put him on the leaderboard for the first time, just two strokes behind.

04/08/2010 2:43 pm Tracymarie

Apr 8 - Tiger Woods' Nike Ad VIDEO

Nike has released a new Tiger Woods ad on the eve of the Masters, which will mark the dominant golfer's return to the sport following revelations of his sordid sex life. The commercial consists of black-and-white footage of Woods, accompanied a voice recording from his father, who died in 2006. Earl Woods can be heard saying:

Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything.

Nike is one of the few major corporate sponsors to stand by Woods. While companies such as Gatorade, Proctor & Gamble, AT&T and Accenture have cut ties with Tiger, Nike and Electronic Arts have continued their endorsements.

The ad arrives on the same day that the National Enquirer reported that Woods slept with his neighbor's 22-year-old daughter. Woods' first round of golf in 2010 begins at 1:42 PM ET on Thursday.

04/07/2010 5:31 pm Melanie
0I think this is a great ad!
04/09/2010 Susan M Murphy
Apr 7 - People Will Watch Masters Because of Woods

Donald Trump is hoping his new celebrity golf show, 'Donald J. Trump's Fabulous World of Golf,' premiering on the Golf Channel next week, can capitalize on the newbie golf watchers who tune into the Masters this week to get a peak at Tiger Woods.

"I think the ratings will be the biggest in the history of golf and they could be close to Super Bowl ratings," The Donald opined on this week's tournament during a conference call Tuesday afternoon. He added that even his wife Melania, who could care less about golf despite her husband's financial interest in courses around the world, would be tuning in this week.

"She called me yesterday and asked when the Masters would be on because she wants to Tivo it. She is going to sit in front of the television and watch every minute of it. That's why I think the ratings are going to be phenomenal," Trump says.

But Trump, like many golf insiders, is concerned about what all this pressure to perform (although he's never had trouble, um, performing in the past) and this new found audience will have on Tiger's game.

"I know Tiger and I like Tiger and I have always liked Tiger. It's amazing to watch Tiger playing golf. And I'm a pretty good golfer. The only question I have is how will he handle the pressure. I don't think there has ever been pressure on a golfer like there is on Tiger," Trump says.

The real estate mogul's own show on the Golf Channel will put much less pressure on players, professional golfers and celebrities, who will compete for a charity purse. The first matchup, airing next Monday night, will be between former professional football stars Lawrence Taylor and Jerry Rice.

"Those guys say things to each other that a professional would never say," Trump says of the Taylor-Rice game. "I've never heard language like that."
04/06/2010 7:56 pm Maddox
0I agree with this. More people will be watching because of him!
04/09/2010 Susan M Murphy
Apr 6 - Masters in 3D, if you have the right equipment

If you can't make it to Augusta this week for the Masters golf tournament, you may still be able to experience it in a lifelike format. But you'll need an expensive new TV to do it and, at this point, there aren't a lot of consumers that have them.

Comcast Corp, the cable television company that serves most of Northeast Florida, announced Monday it will be offering television coverage of the Masters in 3D, becoming the first major live television event broadcast in that format which has become popular at the movies.

"We can't imagine a better setting than the Masters Tournament to give a glimpse of the future of 3D television," said Tim Horn, Comcast's market vice president and general manager in Jacksonville.

The 3D broadcasts are being produced exclusively by Comcast and are not available on satellite or over-the-air television. But regular coverage of the Masters will continue to be available on ESPN and CBS on all cable and satellite systems.

The 3D coverage begins with the Par 3 tournament on Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. It continues with coverage of the regular tournament from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

But in order to see the broadcasts in 3D, you're going to need a 3D-equipped television set. And relatively few households currently have those sets, which have only gone on sale to the public in the last couple of months.
04/05/2010 1:35 pm Daniel
0I saw this on my internet provider...I wonder if this will boost sales of these TV's!
04/07/2010 Susan M Murphy
Apr 5 - Tiger arrives at Augusta National

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods arrived without warning on a lazy Sunday afternoon at the Masters. He offered a playful jab when he greeted two reporters he had not seen in five months, acting as though nothing had changed. He then strolled onto the new practice facility at Augusta National and stopped to chat with Paul Casey.

"It's where I'm used to seeing him," Casey said, choosing to keep their conversation private. "All of a sudden he appeared behind me. He was all business as usual — hit 10 balls and go play."

This Masters figures to be anything but that.

Tiger Woods’s practice round on Monday at Augusta National was the first golf he played in public since Nov. 15 at the Australian Masters.

Photo: Tiger Woods’s practice round on Monday at Augusta National was the first golf he played in public since Nov. 15 at the Australian Masters.

Woods has not been seen in public, except for a few chosen media, since his middle-of-the-night car accident Nov. 27 that set off explosive revelations of a sordid life hardly anyone knew existed. More than a four-time Masters champion and the No. 1 player in golf, he is famous worldwide for a sex scandal that have made his a regular in tabloids.

He is to speak at 2 p.m. Monday in a news conference of such interest that the club has limited seating to one reporter for each news outlet, with only a few exceptions.

Most of the players have not seen him since he won the Australian Masters on Nov. 15, or played in Shanghai the week before. Jim Furyk had not seen him since they celebrated a Presidents Cup victory on Oct. 11

04/04/2010 2:43 pm Tracymarie
Apr 4 - Stupples atop star-studded KNC leaderboard

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Karen Stupples shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, with six other majors winners within seven shots.

Stupples, the 2004 Women's British Open winner, had a 10-under 206 total at Mission Hills in the season's first major.

Yani Tseng and Suzann Pettersen, who seemingly played herself out of contention with a 73 on Friday, shot 67s to reach 9 under.

Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa rebounded from a slow start with birdies on three of her last seven holes for a 71 to join second-round leader Song Hee-Kim (72) at 7 under.

Karrie Webb, Kristie Kerr and Grace Park also were in the top nine

04/03/2010 6:35 pm Tracymarie
Apr 4 - Molder shoots 66 to take Houston Open lead

Getting to the Masters is secondary in Bryce Molder's mind. He just wants that elusive first victory on the PGA Tour.

Molder birdied four of the last seven holes for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead Friday in the final event before the Masters next week at Augusta National. Molder had a 9-under 135 total on Redstone's Tournament Course.

The former Georgia Tech star is winless in 88 career PGA Tour starts and he's never played in the Masters. Sure, he's thought about punching his ticket this week, but that's not as important to him as winning.

"Once you're out there and over the ball, you're not really thinking, 'Well, maybe this is what could or could not get me in next week,'" Molder said. "If you ask me that Sunday afternoon and I've got a two-shot lead walking down the last hole, maybe so.

"But I haven't won on the PGA Tour. When I win out here, first and foremost, it's going to be exciting."

Molder made short birdie putts on 12 and 13, then chipped in on the par-5 15th. He rolled in a 33-foot putt on 17 to take the outright lead.

Molder had a breakthrough season in 2009, with three top-10 finishes and more than $1 million in earnings for the first time. He has three more top 10s already this year, and his confidence grows a bit each time he plays himself in contention.

"The more recent it's been, the more comfortable you are," Molder said. "When you're nervous, it's a good thing. Dealing with playing and expectations and trying to get committed out there and all these kinds of things - you just have to be there to learn it and go through it. It's a process."

First-round co-leader Cameron Percy (69) and fellow PGA Tour rookie Alex Prugh (66) were tied for second, and Lee Westwood (68), Anthony Kim (69), Joe Ogilvie (67) and Kevin Stadler (70) were 7 under after another windy day.

Ernie Els, Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson made the cut, but were far off the pace. Els (74) and Couples (73) were even par, and Mickelson (76) was 1 over.

Els is trying to win his third straight start and the 50-year-old Couples is warming up for the Masters after three consecutive wins on the Champions Tour.

04/02/2010 7:57 pm Susan M Murphy

Apr 2 - Masters to limit rebroadcasts of Tiger's Press Conference

Alex Miceli of GolfWeek has a good scoop regarding the video distribution of Tiger Woods' Monday press conference at the Masters this Monday.

In an agreement drafted by Augusta National, the club said it will provide a feed of the April 5 press conference free of charge, but limits its use after the live broadcast to 48 hours after the press conference. During those 48 hours the press conference cannot be rebroadcast in its entirety, the use is limited to regularly scheduled sports or news programs and cannot be in excess of three minutes.

After the 48 hours the video cannot be rebroadcast at all without the written permission of Augusta National.

I don't know about you guys, but this sounds pretty fair to me. If you're obsessed with Woods and are going to treat the video from this Q&A like the Zapruder film, then you'll have YouTube. If you consider the transcript of a Woods press conference a good substitute for Ambien, then you can get your Tiger soundbites ("private matter," "police report," "no PEDs," "core values") on SportsCenter and go right back to Opening Day baseball highlights

04/02/2010 12:10 pm Maddox
0im looking forward to watching the masters!!!
04/03/2010 Nicole Gagne`
Apr 1 - Fred Couples To Practice With Tiger Woods

Fred Couples said Wednesday that he'll play a practice round for the Masters with Tiger Woods at Augusta National on Monday.

Woods is making his return to competitive golf next week at the Masters after months of seclusion following revelations that he cheated on his wife.

Couples said he'll avoid asking Woods about his personal life.

"This is not going to be questions and answers," said Couples, playing in the Houston Open this week. "It's going to be strictly golf. I play a lot with him at Augusta, so this is not unusual."

Couples said he would be playing in a foursome with Woods, though he did not know who the other two golfers would be. Couples said he's curious to see how fans will react to seeing Woods on the course again.

"I'm looking forward to it, for sure, just because he hasn't played," Couples said. "I want to see the reaction and how good he's hitting it."

Couples wasn't sure what time the practice round would begin. Woods has a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. that day.

The 50-year-old Couples has won his last three starts on the Champions Tour and says he's taken some ribbing from Woods in recent text messages.

"He teases me about winning a couple of times on the Champions Tour," Couples said. "He needs shots is what he's telling me. I'm smarter than that."

Couples, who will be returning as captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team next year, said he expects Woods to commit to play in the event in Australia.

03/31/2010 3:16 pm Nicole Gagne`
0 Good choice for a practice partner!
04/01/2010 Susan M Murphy
Mar 29 - Wie penalized 2 strokes for grounding club

Michelle Wie has been penalized two strokes for grounding her club in a hazard after hitting out of the water on the 11th hole in the final round of the Kia Classic at La Costa on Sunday.

Wie was notified of the penalty by LPGA Tour rules official Doug Brecht a few holes later. At the time, she was five strokes behind leader Hee Kyung Seo.

With her right foot in the water, Wie hit her submerged ball in a spray of water, with the ball moving only a few inches onto the rough. She then let her club touch the ground.

03/28/2010 8:03 pm Tracymarie
Mar 28 - Els in a familiar position

Ernie Els went two years without winning. Now he has a chance to make it two wins in a row.  The Big Easy was in a four-way tie for the lead going into the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, still plenty of golf left at Bay Hill considering how some of them got to the top.

Ben Curtis opened with two bogeys and wound up with a 5-under 67, his lowest score this year. Davis Love III didn't make a par until his 10th hole, made six bogeys and still shot a 71. D.J. Trahan didn't have too many adventures in his round of 68.

Joining them at 7-under 137 was Els, who had a 69 and was as surprised as anyone to be there.

Els could easily have spent Friday afternoon grinding to make the cut except for the way he survived a nasty patch on the front nine, when the tournament could have gotten away from him.

He opened with a bogey from the bunker, which is no disgrace. He hit a bad tee shot to the left on the par-5 fourth hole, making such a mess that he had to struggle for par. Then came a three-putt bogey on No. 5 from only about 35 feet.

The par-5 sixth wraps around a lake, and with the wind in his face, Els hit a solid shot that was slightly pulled. It took a few hops and disappeared over the edge toward the water, leading to what surely would be a bogey, maybe worse.

Els found the ball a few feet away from a shelf, sitting in an inch of water. He removed his shoes, and had a good enough lie that he could play out to the fairway. From there, he hit 4-iron short of the green and saved par.

Equally big was saving par from a plugged lie in the bunker on No. 7. He made par on those two holes to stay at 2 under, when he easily could have been even par or worse, right around the cut line.

``I was a yard away from probably not being in the tournament anymore, because that would have been a sure double bogey,'' he said. ``I would have gone back to even par for the tournament, and it was a battle for making the cut and trying to get yourself in red figures.''

From there, he ran off four birdies on the next five holes - the exception was a putt he missed from just over 10 feet - and he worked his way to the top when a 5-iron into about 3 feet for birdie on the 17th.

Els had intended to hit a 6-iron until his caddie, Ricci Roberts, called him off and suggested the 5-iron.

That's the club that has always served him well, for it was the 5-iron to the 17th at Congressional that Els recalls so fondly, a key shot that brought him his second U.S. Open.
03/27/2010 10:11 am Tracymarie
Mar 28 - Arnold Palmer's grandson contending at Bay Hill

Sam Saunders was at the driving range Friday morning after an up-and-down round a day earlier. He took a swing, glanced over and saw his grandfather staring sternly in his face.

Family pressure isn't anything unusual for players. Except when your grandfather is Arnold Palmer.

``He didn't give me a very good look,'' Saunders said. ``He came out to the range and talked to me about a few things that we were working on, and we got it straightened out.''

Just in time, too.

Saunders shot a 2-under 70 on Friday in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That moved him six shots behind leaders Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Ben Curtis and D.J. Trahan.

Saunders was 1 under for the tournament and suddenly a lot less stressed after making the cut while playing on an exemption granted by his grandfather.

``I was as nervous as I've ever been teeing off on the first hole,'' Saunders said. ``This being my fifth start, I didn't think I would have that feeling again, and I did. The first hole, my hands were shaking.''

Playing Bay Hill is hardly new for Saunders.

After all, his grandfather designed the course.

The 22-year-old said he's shot a 66 a few times on the course, only those came without fans - many knowing his family roots - surrounding his every shot.

``I play the course almost every day,'' Saunders said. ``Everybody always asks me, 'What other courses do you play in Orlando?' There are none. Why would I go anywhere else?''

Saunders will need a top-10 finish at Bay Hill to guarantee him entry next week at Houston. Otherwise, he'll have to hope for sponsor's exemptions or qualify.

Saunders tied for 17th at the Honda Classic three weeks ago, his best finish. And with a strong push on the weekend, there might be more opportunities soon.

``One of the biggest hurdles is making the cut and not disappointing,'' Saunders said. ``I'm glad I was able to do that. Now I can focus on putting myself in contention to win the tournament.''
03/27/2010 9:53 am Susan M Murphy
Mar 27 - Curtis says Woods playing well, looked 'nervous'

For players wondering what it will be like to play golf with Tiger Woods when he returns, Ben Curtis can speak from experience.  Curtis, a member at Lake Nona, decided to practice at Isleworth two weeks ago and wound up playing 18 holes with Woods.

"He was a bit rusty," Curtis said with a grin.

Several players have been asked if it will be awkward to first see Woods on the golf course or to play with him when he returns to golf in two weeks at the Masters, his first competition since revelations of a sex scandal made him tabloid fodder for months.

"Everybody that tells you that it was the same as before would be kidding themselves," Curtis said Friday after a 67 left him in a tie for the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. "It was obviously a little bit different. When I saw him, no one had actually really seen him in public."

Curtis said he never really spent much time with Woods except for times they were in the same group.

"I didn't know him that well before, anyway," Curtis said. "But I could see where some of the guys that might have known him pretty well — like Mark O'Meara — it might be a little bit different for them now than it was before. But I don't know. That's hard to say. I try to just treat it as we are just going out there and playing golf and just having some fun."

Curtis said Woods appeared to be nervous, perhaps because it might have been his first time playing with a PGA Tour colleague. They were joined by Steve Johnson, the swing coach for Curtis and a disciple of Hank Haney, and a friend of Woods that Curtis did not recognize.

He said when he saw Woods a week later, he seemed more relaxed in the company of other players.

Curtis said neither kept score, and their chatter was strictly golf.

Curtis won the British Open in 2003 at Royal St. George's, where Woods finished two shots behind in a tie for fourth. Curtis sank about a 10-foot par putt on the final hole, and was on the practice range waiting for everyone else to finish when he learned he had won.

"He said I made everything, but I only made one putt that one day," Curtis said. "He seems to think I make everything, but he hasn't seen me putt all year, either."

03/26/2010 7:39 pm Tracymarie
Mar 26 - Tiger Woods - Still Hiding the Truth?

There's a major hole in Tiger Woods' televised explanation of the infamous mistress saga -- a hole that could prove the golfer is still in the business of keeping scandalous secrets.

TMZ noticed the red flag during Tiger's new interview with the Golf Channel when Woods flat out denied that certain members of his "inner circle" had helped him to reach supermassive man-slut status -- saying, "no one knew it was going on when it was going on."

Here's the problem with that statement: As we first reported months ago, Tiger's childhood friend and employee Bryon Bell organized a trip for mistress Rachel Uchitel to meet Tiger in Australia ... just weeks before Tiger crashed the Escalade.

TMZ has also seen copies of emails showing Bryon organized trips for Tiger's porn star mistress Joslyn James in 2007 -- including two meetings timed around PGA events Tiger was playing in.

Assuming Bell was aware of the nature of the trips he was arranging -- Tiger's assertion that no one knew it was going on seems to be 100% B.S.

So the question now -- is Tiger lying to cover his friend's ass?

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/category/tiger-woods/#ixzz0jEW8ZUtc

03/25/2010 10:47 pm Casey Alexis
Mar 25 - Tiger to hold first press conference at Masters

Tiger Woods will speak before he plays in the Masters.  Woods is scheduled to hold his first press conference in nearly five months at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 5, according to a tentative interview schedule that Augusta National released Wednesday.

It will be his first press conference in nearly five months, and his first time facing a room full of reporters since he crashed his SUV into a tree on Nov. 27, setting off shocking revelations of rampant infidelity.

The Masters only recently began conducting a press conference on Monday of tournament week, usually a player with only moderate news interest because most of the media isn't there yet.

Woods is the only player scheduled for an interview that day. Given the sensational nature of his downfall, what he says could trump the NCAA basketball championship game held later that night.

Arnold Palmer, one of the most popular players in golf history, suggested that Woods be more open with reporters.

``It's up to him to do and say whatever he feels he needs to do to redeem the situation, put it in the proper place,'' Palmer said. `` ... I suppose the best thing he could do would be open up and just let you guys shoot at him. And that's just my thought.''

The last time Woods held a press conference was Nov. 15 after he won the Australian Masters in Melbourne for his 82nd career victory. His middle-of-the-night accident occurred 12 days later.

Woods typically has his press conference at the majors on Tuesday.

Among those scheduled to speak the day after Woods are Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy and Jack Nicklaus.

03/24/2010 6:58 pm Susan M Murphy
Mar 22 - Tiger Woods grants first interviews since November crash

Tiger Woods said Sunday that he is focused on "living a life of amends" after "living the life of a lie" in one of his first interviews since a November car crash outside his home unleashed a media frenzy amid rumors of extramarital affairs.

The brief, five-minute interview on ESPN was one of two the professional golfer granted Sunday afternoon at the Isleworth golf club near his home outside Orlando, Florida. The Golf Channel simultaneously aired its similarly brief interview with Woods on Sunday night.

Woods credited inpatient and outpatient therapy for helping him start the process toward making amends.

"It was tough," he told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi of the therapy. "To look at yourself in a light that you never want to look at yourself, that's pretty brutal. ... I saw a person that I never thought I would ever become."

Woods said two of his lowest points in the past four months came when he had to tell his wife, Elin Woods, and his mother about his affairs.

"Those are the two people in my life who I'm closest to, and to say the things that I've done, truthfully to them, is ... honestly ... was ... very painful," he said.

Woods told The Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman that his mentor and father, the late Earl Woods, "would be very disappointed in me."

"I wish I could have had his guidance through all of this," he told Tilghman. "Have him help straighten me up. I know he would have done it."

Despite the open nature of the interviews -- both Rinaldi and Tilghman weren't restricted on the questions they could ask -- the notoriously private Woods declined to go into detail about the night of the November car crash, telling Rinaldi that "it's all on the police report."

"Beyond that, everything is between Elin and myself, and that's private," Woods said.

He also declined to specify what treatment he has been seeking, but did say it will continue despite his announcement last week that he will return to golf at the Masters next month.

"I'm excited to get back and play," he told Rinaldi. "I'm excited to get to see the guys again. ... I miss competing. But still, I still have a lot more treatment to do, and just because I'm playing, doesn't mean I'm gonna stop going to treatment."

When asked about what reaction he expects from the fans, Woods said: "I don't know. I'm a little nervous about that to be honest with you. ... It would be nice to hear a couple claps here and there. But I also hope they clap for birdies, too."

In closing her interview, Tilghman asked Woods about a bracelet he was wearing.

"It's Buddhist," he said. "It's for protection and strength. And I certainly need that."

03/21/2010 8:01 pm Melanie
0I think it was very noble of him to give these interviews, however, he really "had" to do it!
03/22/2010 Susan M Murphy
Mar 21 - Ochoa wants to keep it simple at #1

MICHELLE Wie may have been getting all the limelight at this week's HSBC Women's Champions tournament, but the past winners of the event seemed content to be out of the spotlight.

While defending champion Shin Ji Yai and 2008 winner Lorena Ochoa still gamely participated in the publicity for the competition, one could sense that they would rather use the time to hone their golf skills.

And for good reason, too: They are the top two golfers in the world, and every competitor at Tanah Merah Country Club will be gunning to outdo them during the four-day strokeplay competition.

World No. 1 Ochoa likes it very much that Wie has got far more attention and coverage than her.

Said the Mexican: "I like to come out here and just do my practices and to play. It's not easy, you know, having all the media following you.

"Michelle's a great player and she deserves the attention. I just like to keep it simple."

The 28-year-old has held the top spot in women's golf since April 2007, and has earned the respect of her peers, including Shin.

Last year's Ladies Professional Golfers Association's Rookie of the Year, the petite South Korean has risen to No. 2 in the world rankings, but is still in awe of the only golfer ahead of her.

"She plays so easy," the 21-year-old said in halting English.

"I think she can make every shot from everywhere. She makes it easy, every time."

Yet, she could very well be talking about her memorable final round at last year's tournament, in which she made birdies in her first four holes to win the event from six shots behind.

For such a confident, swashbuckling golfer, she was nevertheless at a loss for words when asked about her hobbies outside of golf.

It is a far cry from the 20-year-old Wie's media conference, where she answered everything from what she bought at Chinatown the other day, to how she is faring in her academic coursework at Stanford University.

After much prodding, Shin gave eventual answer: "I like listening to music."

No doubt, she feels more at ease out on the golf course, and with the nickname her legions of Korean fans have bestowed on her - Final-Round Queen.

"I'm really happy with the nickname. It really has a strong feel and I've gained more confidence from the name," she said.

Despite so many top golfers such as Shin chasing the top spot, Ochoa welcomes such competitive spirit.

She said: "Competition gets tougher and tougher all the time. That's what I need to work harder all the time. I would like to continue to stay at the top."

And if it means ceding media attention to other golf stars, Ochoa looks unlikely to be bothered too much.

03/21/2010 1:09 am Melanie
0I really admire her!
03/22/2010 Susan M Murphy
Mar 20 - Furyk takes control in Tampa

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Two straight birdies allowed Jim Furyk to pull away from the pack. Eighteen holes is what stands in the way of ending his longest stretch without a victory since he was a rookie.

Furyk played bogey-free Saturday with a round almost as flawless as Florida weather, finishing off a 4-under 67 to build a three-shot lead at the Transitions Championship as he tries to win for the first time since the 2007 Canadian Open.

"I'm in a great position in the tournament," Furyk said. "I've got a three-shot lead. You kind of dictate what the other guys have to do."

Furyk was at 11-under 202, with a strong group of contenders behind him.

Defending champion Retief Goosen birdied the last hole of a roller-coaster round that gave him a 1-under 70, part of four-way tie for second. The others at 8-under 205 were two past champions at Innisbrook — K.J. Choi (67) and Carl Pettersson (70) — and Bubba Watson, who has never won on tour. He scrambled for a 70.

03/20/2010 4:23 pm Tracymarie
Mar 20 - Tiger Woods chooses new logo for golf bag

Tiger Woods will feature a new Nike logo on his golf bag, replacing AT&T, when he returns to play at the Masters next month, his agent said Friday. "We are not actively pursuing new business partnerships at this point in time," Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at IMG, said Friday in a text message. Steinberg said Woods will be using the "TW" brand at Nike, his longest corporate sponsor.

The "TW" brand logo will be the fourth logo on Woods' bag in his professional career. He started with Titleist from 1996 before signing an endorsement deal with Buick that lasted through the 2008, ending early when GM filed for bankruptcy. The golf bag and hat are the two areas in golf where companies get the most television exposure. AT&T dropped him as a sponsor Dec. 31 in the midst of the infidelity scandal.

It was the second sponsor — behind Accenture — to drop Woods over revelations he had been cheating on his wife. AT&T is still the title sponsor of Woods' tournament, although Woods will not be the tournament host this year.

03/19/2010 7:17 pm Photography By Glenn
Mar 19 - Tiger Woods Masters Tickets Price Gouging Ramps Up

Even before Tiger Woods formally announced he would be returning to the golf world at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National, ticket prices for the event were already getting out of hand in anticipation he might show up. Now that everyone knows Woods will be playing, Masters golf tournament ticket prices are soaring into the thousands of dollars.

Tickets for the Masters Tournament at August National usually go for $200 to $400 average, but now fans who want to be present to watch Tiger Woods hit the balls once again may well have to pay several thousand for the privilege. Tickets for resale on sites like GoldenTickets.com are going for up to $2400. Auctions for Masters tickets on eBay are climbing above $3000. Some of the more reasonable prices still available can be found over at StubHub.com, but prices there are climbing rapidly as well.

So if you’re one of those rabid fans who just have to get to the Masters to see Tiger Woods hit the course again in person, you best be buying some tickets pronto. Every day that passes, the Masters ticket prices just get more insane. Personally, we’d rather just watch the debacle on television, where we can giggle and sneer over the media frenzy in the privacy of our own home.

I just searched Ebay, and the tickets are now going for over $10,000 !

03/19/2010 11:49 am Melanie
Mar 19 - 'South Park' Makes Video Game of Tiger Woods' Troubles

In the season premiere of 'South Park,' Eric and Stan play a video game where an animated Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren fight each other with golf clubs.

In the game, the troubled golf superstar and his wife engage in a battle to the death on the golf course, where Woods can lose endorsements and Nordegren uses a "pre-nup power-up" to defeat her husband.

Woods recently announced his return to golf. He had been on a hiatus since a Thanksgiving car accident -- where many alleged Nordegren beat him with a golf club -- that led the exposure of his many affairs.

"It's such an important issue in America right now -- the sex addiction outbreak," 'South Park' creator Matt Stone said of the episode. "We're all really concerned about him and hope he gets better."

"There's a delicacy in talking about [Woods] that we don't have to worry about," he added.

This is not the first time 'Park' has taken aim at celebrities. The long-running cartoon has lambasted Tom Cruise, R. Kelly, Steve Irwin, Michael Jackson and many more during its tenure.
03/18/2010 5:48 am Nicole Gagne`
Mar 18 - Tiger returns too late for sponsors to cash in

Tiger Woods' return to golf at the U.S. Masters next month will generate huge interest in the tournament but almost nothing in the way of immediate revenues or profits for the event. TV ratings will be up, sponsors will be pleased at increased coverage and the general buzz around the year's first major will be intense given the fascination with seeing how the scandal-hit golfer copes with his first event back. But none of that excitement will translate into serious extra cash for the businesses tied into the event.

Industry sources say CBS's inventory for the key advertising slots on Saturday and the final round on Sunday have long since been sold out, at pre-Tiger prices. At least television ratings should be back to their best and possibly beyond for what CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus recently said would be "the biggest media event other than the Obama inauguration in the past 10 or 15 years."

03/17/2010 9:49 pm Photography By Glenn
Mar 16 - Els holds off Schwartzel to win at Doral by 4

For maybe the first time in his life, Charl Schwartzel found himself rooting against Ernie Els.  Els had a 25-foot par putt on the 14th green. Miss it, and he and Schwartzel - two South Africans, the final pair at the CA Championship - would be tied for the lead with four holes left. Make it, and Schwartzel would stay one shot behind the guy whose swing he tried to emulate for years.

Els hit the par putt just hard enough to get it into the bottom of the cup, Schwartzel could only smile as he walked to the 15th tee, and he never had a good chance at catching his hero again.

Els ended up running away to win the CA by four shots, finishing at 18-under 270 after a flawless final round of 66 at Doral.

``He's still like a 15-year-old in my eyes,'' the 40-year-old Els said of his 25-year-old playing partner Sunday.

``He seems so young still. And he's already got so much experience. But it just felt awkward. Him trying to win the golf tournament. I'm trying to win the golf tournament. I'm the old man. He's the youngster. So it was a little different.''

He became only the fifth player with multiple victories in the World Golf Championships, joining Tiger Woods, Darren Clarke, Geoff Ogilvy and Phil Mickelson. It was his 61st victory worldwide, his 17th on the PGA Tour, and moved Els to No. 8 in the world ranking.

It was Els' first win since the 2008 Honda Classic, and gave him a check for $1.4 million. Schwartzel earned $850,000, and moments after the final putt holed out, the winner let the kid - who stayed with Els at his South Florida home last week, and will stay with him again this coming week - know what the bigger consolation prize was.

``He's got his tour card over here now,'' Els said. ``And now you guys can really see him in all his glory.''

Schwartzel caught a bad break on the 15th hole when his ball plugged in a front bunker, and he knocked that into a back bunker on his way to a crucial bogey. He missed short putts on the next two holes and closed with a 70.

They were chatty at times, which was expected. Els won a tournament playing alongside Schwartzel's father more than 20 years ago, and Schwartzel said he learned to swing by watching a tape Els made. Walking up the fourth hole together, they talked and laughed as if it were a practice round, not the final pairing of a World Golf Championships event.
03/15/2010 8:52 pm Susan M Murphy
Mar 16 - Els beats Schwartzel in WGC-CA golf clash

Ernie Els felt relief more than exhilaration after beating his house guest, South African countryman Charl Schwartzel, to win the 8.5 million-dollar CA Championship by four strokes.

"This means so much. I didn?t think it was ever going to happen again," Els said on Sunday after producing a bogey-free, six-under-par 66 final round to end a two-year victory drought.

Els and Schwartzel turned the World Golf Championships event into a South African showdown in a demanding breeze at Doral?s Blue Monster.

They started the final round tied and although Els never trailed, he took a long time to put away his much younger countryman, the final duo being level with eight holes remaining.

But the 14th hole proved pivotal as Els sank a 25-foot par-saving putt to retain a one-shot lead before pulling away down the stretch for a victory that was not quite as comfortable as the final margin suggests.

Els finished at 18-under 270 with Schwartzel runner-up on 14-under after a final-round 70. Irishman Padraig Harrington, German Martin Kaymer and American Matt Kuchar tied for third, three shots further back.

Els collected 1.4 million dollars for his second WGC victory, his 17th on the PGA Tour, but he was not in a mood to make any bold predictions of future glory.

"I said too much last time I won," continued Els, who has blown a few tournaments in the past couple of years.

"I was a bit too cocky. I want to enjoy this one. This took so much work to win. The older you get, the tougher it becomes to win. I?m 40 years old and it feels like I had so many chances in my 20s and didn?t take them.

"I was just different today. I can?t explain it (but) I felt I wasn?t going to mess up badly. I wish I felt like this all the time. I?ll just have a bit more confidence now, I?m sure."

Els felt "surreal" playing with 25-year-old Schwartzel, who was a house guest at his Florida estate last week and will be again this week.

"I felt awkward because this young kid, he?s still like a 15-year-old in my eyes. It was a little different, but I think both of us were very professional today.

"Obviously I?m glad I won and I?m glad he finished second (because) he?s got his tour card over here now."

Schwartzel seemed satisfied with second.

"It just shows me I can play against the best in the world," he said. "All credit to Ernie. He played flawless golf.

"Both of us gave it our all. He just played a bit better."

Els now has his sight firmly set on next month?s Masters. He has won three majors, but never at Augusta, where he has come close to claiming a green jacket more often than he cares to remember.

"Next week I?m going to work hard again," he said. "I?ve got to get these things I?m working on drilled a bit more and be really comfortable with it and get my ball flight drilled for Augusta.

"But you know, two years ago when I won (the Honda Classic) I got all carried away and thought I was going to win Augusta."

There will be no bold predictions this time. Instead, Els will let his clubs do the talking.

03/14/2010 6:48 pm Melissa Ilievski
Mar 15 - Meet the LPGA Tour's newest sex symbol

Beatriz Recari is a new member of the LPGA tour is not only talented, but smokin’ hot! It has become a dream of Beatriz’s to play in the MoJo 6 Tournament in Jamaica, and she’s asking fans to help fulfill her dream by voting her into the final spot of the tourney!

03/14/2010 3:24 pm Daniel
Mar 12 - Woods likely to return at Masters

DORAL, Fla. – Tiger Woods intends to remain out of golf at least until the Masters, two people with knowledge of his plans told The Associated Press on Thursday.  Woods has been practicing at Isleworth near his Orlando home the last two weeks, and swing coach Hank Haney flew there during the weekend to work with him. That led to speculation Thursday he was close to playing again.

The two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because only Woods is supposed to release such information, say he is likely to play first at Augusta National in April.

Woods twice has gone nine weeks without competing before showing up at a major. The first time was in 2006, when he didn't play after the Masters while coping with his father's death, then missed the cut in a major for the first time in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Two years ago, he was out with knee surgery until winning the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on a shattered left knee.

03/11/2010 6:14 pm Tracymarie
Mar 11 - Davies takes 1st-round lead at Australian Open

Defending champion Laura Davies shot a 5-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Women's Australian Open.

Davies had six birdies and a bogey on the tough, par-73 Commonwealth layout where fewer than 25 golfers in the 150-woman field broke par Thursday.

There was a six-way tie for second: Yang Soo-jin, Giulia Sergas, Jenni Kuosa, Felicity Johnson, Rebecca Flood and amateur Alison Whitaker all had 70s.

Alexis Thompson, the 15-year-old American amateur who played in the U.S. Open at the age of 12, shot 71 and was in a group tied for eighth.

Karrie Webb, who won last week's Australian Ladies Masters and is a four-time Open champion, shot 73. Playing the tougher back nine first, Webb had three bogeys before making the turn and then made four birdies and another bogey to remain even on the day.

Former amateur star Amanda Blumenherst, who led the Australian Masters after the first two rounds, shot 77 while fellow American Christina Kim had a 78.

Davies bailed herself out by some strong putting.

"Luckily I putted really well today," Davies said. "Today we had two 8- or 9-footers for par and they both went right in the middle of the hole. That's the sort of thing that really keeps you going. Then on nine, hoping to two-putt and you roll a 35-footer in so that was a real bonus."

Davies has won the Australian Open twice — last year at Metropolitan and in 2004 at Concord in New South Wales.
03/11/2010 4:49 am Susan M Murphy
Mar 11 - Beauty of Imperfection

Golf is not a game of perfect. Truth is it’s barely a game of “best two out of three” under the most forgiving circumstances.

Of course, Hunter Mahan has never had much interest in respectable efforts and consolation prizes. “I want to feel like I’m in control,” he says. Still, the quiet kid from Orange, Calif., wanted perfect. He wanted trophies.

That first keepsake took some time – better part of four seasons for those scoring at home. But it was his second Tour tilt that likely caused some sleepless nights. He’d come close, 11 top-10s since 2007, but each time perfection eluded him.

That is until he finally learned the beauty of imperfection at TPC Scottsdale, to say nothing of timely clutch putting.

“I thought guys that win, you had to play perfect golf, which is definitely not the case,” Mahan says. “You just have to play better than everybody else. I know through my experiences that the more I tried, the harder I tried to be perfect, it just does not work out well.”

So “good enough” turned out to be good enough to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. And good enough to finally exhale.

At 27 Mahan is less young gun, than he is hired gun. A ball-striker with a bad rap as an inconsistent putter who has performed admirably in the game’s biggest events, yet needed that second bottle cap like the Oscars needed a slow-play penalty.

There are no shortage of reasons for Mahan’s epiphany – new girlfriend, new workout regimen, new putting stance, but it all adds up to his embrace of something less than his best stuff that is wearing differently on the man they call “H” at TPC Doral.

As for his new putting technique, Foley dismisses the notion that Mahan has suddenly been transformed into the “Boss of the Dallas moss.” For Foley it’s a numbers game clouded by the mirrors of solid ball striking.

Mahan is 32nd on Tour in greens in regulation, which means there are fewer chances for him to scramble for par, and more lengthy birdie attempts.

A player with Mahan’s pedigree had notched just a single victory since joining the Tour in 2004. It is a reality that, in retrospect, haunted Mahan when he ducked in behind his signature wrap-around sunglasses.

Last year he missed just one cut, a great year, but deep down he was disappointed he hadn’t made it onto the podium.

On nday in Scottsdale, one would never have noticed. Mahan played his last six holes in 4 under to cap a 65-65 weekend, a late-game run that included a pair of must-make putts of 4 and 6 feet.

“I was probably pressing maybe for a couple of years,” Mahan admits. “I knew I was playing well and I knew I was hitting it great. I just wasn't getting the results the first couple of tournaments, so I went out and started to let it happen and have fun and play golf.”
03/10/2010 3:37 am Susan M Murphy
Mar 10 - Tiger Back in Training

Reports that Tiger Woods is working with his swing coach Hank Haney have leading golfers talking of a possible return to action for the world number one.

The websites of the Golf Channel and Golf Digest have both reported that Woods was seen working with Haney on a driving range in Florida over the weekend, which has led to speculation that his return could be on the horizon.

"It's certainly going to be interesting to see not just how he plays but just how he handles the whole situation," Britain's Rory McIlroy said on Tuesday at the Doral course in Miami, where the WGC-CA Championship will take place this week.

"I think everyone is excited to see him just get back out on to the golf course and play golf and from the reports I've heard, he seems to be swinging it well and as good as he ever was.

Woods, who said he was taking an "indefinite break" from the game last December, has only spoken publicly once since and he left it wide open on when he would return.

The first major of the year is the Masters at Augusta on April 8 and if Woods were to return for that event he would likely pick a March tournament to get into the groove.
03/09/2010 7:29 pm Susan M Murphy
Mar 8 - Sawgrass Marriott Files Chapter 11

Last month the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa was in the news as the setting for TIger Woods' mea culpa moment. This month the setting for the Woods' apology is in the news for a different reason, bankruptcy. RQB Resort LP filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection listing estimated assets and liabilities of up to $500 million. A debt of over $193 million is owed to Goldman Sachs which has not been paid since August 2009.

The 65-acre resort has more than 500 rooms and has seen a drop in corporate and group bookings over the last year as a result of the struggling economy. The resort overlooks the Pete Dye-designed TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course famous for the 17th hole which has an island green. The course is the setting for the Players Championship each May. Sawgrass Marriott has the rights to the bulk of the tee times available on the popular course which draws many golfers each year. The hotel is continuing normal operations and hopes to emerge from bankruptcy to take advantage of the hoped-for economic resurgence in 2011.

03/07/2010 7:31 pm Nicole Gagne`
0Wow thats very interesting.
03/10/2010 Scott
Mar 7 - PGA Tour Prepares for Tiger's Return

As you might expect, Tiger Woods' eventual return to competitive golf is being eagerly awaited by pretty much everyone at PGA Tour headquarters.

Absolutely and positively there is no one in the golf organization's offices at Ponta Vedra Beach, Fla., who does not want their lead dog back playing for every reason you would expect.

Plus one more.  Can we, please, hurry up and get this over with?

While everyone is careful to the extreme to politely suggest Woods should take all the time he needs to reassemble his personal life before returning to competition, there's no denying that the longer he takes the bigger the task of his arrival becomes.

And despite recent news that Woods returned home to Orlando following a week of family counseling and is preparing to resume golf and fitness routines, there has been no indication of a target date for a initial tournament appearance.

Beyond the golfer's open-ended statement made Feb. 19 during his first public appearance since being engulfed by scandal three months earlier -- "I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year." -- there is nothing to suggest when and where he might reappear.

That leaves only one thing for certain: Whenever and wherever Woods finally does come back, it will be an absolute circus.

"We are certainly anticipating that, especially the first week back, there will be issues that will have to be dealt with in terms of numbers, in terms of procedures and cautions that will have to be planned and thought through," PGA Tour executive vice president Ty Votaw. "We're in the process of doing all those things."

Numerous meetings at tour headquarters already have taken place, and more are certain to follow, for the purpose of discussing and preparing for the chaos expected to accompany Woods' eventual return.

"We just have to be prepared for any number of different scenarios," Votaw said.

Even during simpler times, when Woods was only the world's No. 1 golfer and most recognized athlete, there were necessary tournament security procedures for weeks he competed and for the weeks he did not.

Now, having become a full-fledged paparazzi target and tarnished icon, Woods can expect to be on the receiving end of behavior -- from both fans and media -- that golf never before imagined.

"I think it's going to be a bit dicey at first," said tour player Rocco Mediate, who lost a 19-hole playoff to Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open. "There's going to be some people around and probably some media around that usually aren't here.

"I think there will be people in the crowds that are saying stupid things that will be removed immediately, as they should be. I think the tour will handle it perfectly. He'll have the people around him he needs to have, and he should have the people around him that he needs to have."

After Woods announced plans for an indefinite leave before the start of this year, PGA Tour observers mostly agreed that the importance the golfer places on major championships would draw him back before the Masters arrives in early April.

If that assumption is correct, it would be likely Woods would choose to play at least once before going into the year's first major.

Next week's World Golf Championship at Doral, where he has won three times, has been one of the tournaments mentioned when speculating Woods' return, but it now seems unlikely considering the report he is just resuming practice.

The next possibility on the PGA Tour is the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he is the defending champion and a six-time winner.

The Masters, which Woods has played every year since 1995, follows two weeks later. Augusta National officials have not indicated whether they expect Woods to compete.

"Which ever is the first event back, there will be an impact," said Eddie Carabone, tournament director for Doral's CA Championship. "No question about it."

Left unspoken is the part about not all of it being positive.

Security issues, crowd control, media demands and endless details will multiply the moment Woods announces his intentions. Adding to the challenge is Woods' habit of waiting until moments before the 5 p.m. deadline the Friday before the tournament to commit.

"I'm sure we are going to have instances that we are going to have to deal with," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "I would not want to say if this were to happen, we'll do X, of if that were to happen, we'll do Y. We hopefully will be prepared for different contingencies and deal with them effectively."

The most obvious concern will be fan conduct.

It's not a case of "'if" an over-imbibed fan will make a comment that breaks golf's gallery etiquette, but "how many" and what will be the consequences.

Woods' long-time caddie, Steve Williams, known for past run-ins with fans over noise or unauthorized use of cameras, already has gone on record vowing to shield his boss.

"When I go back to work with Tiger Woods, nothing will change," Williams said recently. "My job is to give him the best information I can and get him around in the fewest possible strokes.

"And as I have always pointed out, it is to try and give him a level playing field. Nothing will change from that aspect. I won't do anything differently."

03/06/2010 12:03 pm Maddox
0I am looking foward to his return. Even though his personal life has made a negative mark, he still is hands down one of the best golfers ever.
03/10/2010 Scott
Mar 6 - Tiger Woods snubs offer from Irish bookmaker Paddy Power

The troubled golf star has turned down Paddy Power's $75 million offer, the Irish betting giants confirmed on Friday.   Tiger Woods has snubbed a multi-million pound sponsorship deal from an Irish bookmaker. 
Woods, who has 14 major titles to his name, was recently dropped by sports drink brand Gatorade. It was the third major sponsor to abandon the disgraced sportsman since details of his affairs surfaced at the end of last year.

Paddy Power, who also said they will be making an improved deal to Woods revealed their offer spans a five-year period.

Woods was said to have earned $100 million a year in endorsement deals before his spectacular fall that resulted in him taking a break from golf in December.

Last year, Paddy Power lost 1.5 million euros after paying out early to those who gambled on Woods to win the US PGA Championship. Woods eventually lost to South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun.

03/06/2010 8:49 am catherine.st-pierre
Mar 6 - Tiger to miss WGC Doral event for first time ever

The waiting for Tiger Woods' return to competitive golf continues. As expected, Woods did not enter the field for next week's CA Championship at Doral, marking the first time he'll miss that World Golf Championship event. Players had until 5 p.m. Friday to commit to that event. In all, 64 players will be at Doral, including Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson, the two players immediately behind Woods in the world ranking. Woods resumed practicing about a week ago but has not said when he'll play again. He has won on Doral's Blue Monster three times in his career.

03/05/2010 7:46 pm Photography By Glenn
0Not surprised about this..
03/10/2010 Scott
Mar 5 - Jack Nicklaus insists he doesn't have any knowledge of Tiger Woods' returning

Jack Nicklaus insists he doesn't have any intimate knowledge of Tiger Woods' plans on returning to competition, having not spoken to the world No. 1 since his well-documented hiatus began late last fall. But Nicklaus still understands Woods' competitive mindset better than most, and the Golden Bear said he'll be "very surprised" if Woods isn't back for the Masters in five weeks.

"I suspect he'll play something before Augusta," Nicklaus told reporters at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where he played the pro-am on Wednesday. "Your guess is as good as mine. I'd be very surprised if he doesn't play something before Augusta."

While Nicklaus has stayed clear of the more salacious details of the Woods scandal, he has weighed in on how the player's personal troubles would impact his golf. And on Wednesday, he said he didn't think those problems would be enough to keep off the course long.

"It would surprise me if he didn't," Nicklaus said. "I can't imagine in 100 years he's going to miss this. None of you guys do either. But I don't know. I don't know. I've been very noncommittal about anything as it's not my business. But as it relates to him playing golf, my guess is as a golfer he's going to want to try to play Augusta if he's got his other things in order."

Meanwhile, in other Woods news on the other side of the globe, caddie Steve Williams says Woods has resumed practicing, but won't return to competition until his game is sharp.
03/05/2010 11:18 am Maddox
Mar 5 - Davies, Garrido tied for lead

Challenge Tour graduate Rhys Davies and former Ryder Cup player Ignacio Garrido share the lead at seven-under-par after the opening day of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

The duo are one clear of two-time former winner Thongchai Jaidee and South Korea's Dae-Hyun Kim, although 30 players have yet to complete their first rounds after a thunderstorm brought a premature end to play on Thursday.

Welshman Davies produced five birdies on the front nine to reach the turn in just 31 and picked up further shots at the 10th and 17th to complete a bogey-free effort of 65 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

He joined Garrido at the top of the leaderboard, the Spaniard having set the benchmark with a superb putting display that yielded six birdies and an eagle, along with a solitary bogey on the seventh.

"I didn't actually have the best warm-up this morning so I wasn't striking the ball as well as I would have liked and I tried not to think about it," said Davies, who won twice on the Challenge Tour last year.

"I think the fact that I made a few birdies early on was important for me and I just pushed on from there.

"It went well, I hit a good few shots early on and had birdie chances on six of the first seven and made most of them. I had a really good run early on and it gave me something to play for later in the day.

"It is scoreable on the front, there are a few more demanding holes on the back nine with a bit more length with more trouble."

Garrido, without a victory since 2003, was also satisfied with his day's work.

"I am very pleased," he said. "I think that on any golf course starting with a 65 is a great score, particularly round here where the climate is completely different from the one I have been used to in the last couple of months with the snow in Madrid.

"The grass is also difficult for us, although it is not as grainy as other greens in Asia, but is still tricky."

Asian number one Jaidee missed two of his final three greens to account for a pair of late bogeys in his 66, although the world number 44 remained upbeat.

"If you have confidence you won't have any pressure," he said.


"If your driver, irons and putting are good, you are going to get a low score and win the tournament. I'm thinking about winning, I think this is a good chance for me."

South Korea's KJ Choi dropped his only shot of the day at the last to card a five-under-par 67 and sits alongside Spain's Alejandro Canizares, Dane Mark Haastrup and England's Mark Foster in a share of fifth place.

Of the afternoon starters, only a resurgent Thomas Bjorn, fresh from top-15 finishes in his last two events, made an impact to join a large contingent rounding out the top 10 at four under.

03/04/2010 4:08 pm Melissa Ilievski
Mar 9 - What the Pros Like in Golf Balls

Some pros like the Titleist ProV1 golf ball for many reasons, the most important being that it was designed specifically with the pro in mind. It is the golf ball of choice for such pros as Mike Weir, Fred Funk, and David Toms.

This ball is described by the manufacturer as a soft ball with a l.550” diameter core formulation. Other features include a speed-enhancing, spin controlling ionomer casing, with an 0.30” urethane cover, plus 392-count dimple coverage in an icosahedral or 20-faced design. The pros on the PGA circuit put tremendous energy into their explosive shots on tee and fairway for days at a time and need a ball like this to meet their standards.

Golf balls designed for the pros, such as the Titleist Pro V1, which has a soft, thin cover and costs about $60 for a dozen balls. Contrast that price with what you would be paying for a lesser ball, but one that could certainly be a good ball for your game, such as the Srixon Hi-Spin, priced about $15 a dozen, or the MaxFli A3, at about $25 a dozen.

If you'd like to know what the pros look for in a golf ball, keep in mind that the characteristics of all golf balls are strictly governed by the rules laid down by the U.S. Golf Association. It is these rules that determine maximum initial velocity, total distance, and all the other features advertised by manufacturers
03/04/2010 4:02 pm LiSa ReNe'
0Very interesting article...
03/10/2010 Scott
Mar 4 - Daly to endorse Underwear Line

John Daly has a new endorsement deal to go with those outrageously loud pants.

He also will be hawking underwear.  Slix, an online company that began four months ago, says the two-time major winner will endorse its line of Slix Closer boxer briefs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Daly has lost over 100 pounds after lap-band surgery a year ago. He no longer has his PGA Tour card, but has played four times this year and made his first cut last week in Mexico, before shooting 81 in the last round.

03/04/2010 10:49 am Susan M Murphy
Mar 4 - Tiger Woods's Caddy: I Would Have Blown the Whistle

Tiger Woods's secrets would not have been safe with his longtime caddy, Steve Williams, had Williams known about the golfer's string of affairs.

"I'm a straight-up sort of person," Williams told New Zealand's TV3. "If I had known something was going on, the whistle would have been blown."

Though Woods hasn't spoken to Williams since his accident – and subsequent scandal – in November 2009, Williams has been personally affected by his employer's indiscretions.

"Of course I'm mad at him, why would you not be?" Williams said. "I'm close with his wife and he's got two lovely children and he's let them down."

But that doesn't mean Williams doesn't still stand by his boss. "When a guy's having a tough time, it's not up to me to beat him with a stick right now," the caddy said. "He's getting enough grilling from everybody else."

"Tiger's one of my closest friends and he needs my support right now," Williams continued, "and I'd never think of walking away."

Woods, 34, who is reportedly home from his Arizona rehab, has been spotted hitting golf balls at a range in Isleworth, Fla., near his home. But Williams says Woods has informed him that he is ready to return to competition.

For his part, Williams says he doesn't want to dwell on the past. "When I talk to him, I don't talk to him about what's happened," he said. "I talk to him about the future and about what we're going to try to accomplish and how we're going to get over it."

03/04/2010 9:42 am Antonio
Mar 3 - Tiger Woods Reportedly Done With Rehab, Practicing Golf

Tiger Woods is closer to competing again. Woods is back home after a week of family counseling in Arizona and is trying to get back into a routine that includes fitness and his first significant practice in 15 weeks, a person with knowledge of his schedule said Tuesday.

Woods returned to his home near Orlando on Saturday and has been hitting balls on the range at Isleworth, not far from where he ran his SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree in a middle-of-the-night accident on Nov. 27 that set off shocking revelations of infidelity.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because only Woods is authorized to release such information, said golf's No. 1 player still has not decided when he will return to competition.

Woods was photographed hitting balls at Isleworth on Feb. 18, the day before he ended nearly three months of silence by speaking to a small group of associates at the TPC Sawgrass in a 13 1/2-minute statement that was televised around the world. Those photos of Woods were arranged to counter the paparazzi trying to follow his every move since Thanksgiving.

Woods has not practiced in earnest since winning the Australian Masters in Melbourne on Nov. 15 for his 82nd victory worldwide.

"I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be," Woods said in his statement at Sawgrass. "I don't rule out that it will be this year."

Woods said he had attended inpatient therapy "for the issues I'm facing" for 45 days, from the end of December to early February. He said he was leaving the next day for more therapy, without saying what kind. The person who spoke to The Associated Press said he went to Arizona for a week of family and marriage counseling with his wife, Elin.

Woods said at Sawgrass of his infidelity, "As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss; however, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us."

News of him getting back into a routine is sure to begin speculation when he might return to the PGA Tour. Woods announced on Dec. 4 that he was taking an "indefinite break" to try to salvage his marriage.

To date, he has missed only two tournaments he typically would have played – Torrey Pines and the Match Play Championship – although he had been leaning toward playing Pebble Beach this year because it will host the U.S. Open in June.

Woods is not likely to play next week in the World Golf Championship at Doral, where he has won three times.

His next possibility on the PGA Tour is the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he is the defending champion and a six-time winner. The Masters, which Woods has played every year since 1995, would follow. Augusta National officials have not indicated whether they expect Woods to compete.

"When he does come back, I hope it's in the Masters, and I hope he's in great form," Masters champion Angel Cabrera said Tuesday on a conference call.

The fallout from Woods' sex scandal has been immense. He already has had three sponsors drop him – Accenture, AT&T and, most recently, Gatorade – while other companies like Gillette have suspended promotions of Woods while he takes his break from golf.

When he does return, he will have a different logo on his golf bag, replacing AT&T, if he can find a deal.

03/02/2010 7:06 pm Melanie
Mar 2 - Hunter Mahan charged to victory in the Phoenix Open

Hunter Mahan has been one of the most successful golfers not to win a tournament the last two years.  That's not the case anymore.

Mahan came from four strokes back to win the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., by a shot over Rickie Fowler on Sunday in a one-two finish for former Oklahoma State players.

"It's always a little better to lose to a Cowboy," Fowler said.

Mahan, 27, had an eagle and two birdies in a four-hole span on the back nine, finishing at 16-under-par 268. Mahan, whose first victory came at the 2007 Travelers Championship, closed with consecutive bogey-free rounds of six-under 65.

Fowler, a 21-year-old PGA Tour rookie, had a final-round 68 for the second runner-up finish of his career.

South Korea's Y.E. Yang also shot a 65 and finished at 14 under, two off the pace. Yang led until his tee shot at No. 17 went into the water.

Brandt Snedeker, the third-round leader, struggled mightily with a 78 and wound up far back at seven under.

Mahan's win was worth $1.08 million.
03/01/2010 12:57 pm Melanie
Feb 28 - Nike Standing By Woods

Nike will continue to support Tiger Woods even though the world's best player has taken an indefinite leave from golf to deal with personal issues.

Nike brand president Charlie Denson said Thursday he does not want Woods back on the course until he sorts out his private life, which has been in the public spotlight since a bizarre car crash outside his Florida home last November revealed allegations of marital infidelity.

Woods issued a public apology last week and has sought inpatient treatment.

"Under the circumstances, the more he deals with the issues and the better he deals with them, the better off he'll be when he does return," Denson told The Associated Press.

The sports giant's $650 million golf sector has been one of the hardest-hit segments of its business during the global recession, but Nike is standing by Woods despite any damage done to its image by his high-profile transgressions.

AT&T, Gatorade and Accenture dropped Woods from their roster of sponsorships, and others like Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette and Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer de-emphasized him in their marketing.

"We've been supportive of Tiger since the story broke and we continue to be supportive," Denson said. "He's got issues he needs to deal with and he's dealing with them. We are looking forward to him getting back on the golf course."

Woods said last week that he spent 45 days in treatment and he planned to seek additional therapy. He did not say when he'll return to the course.

"We've been in touch with his camp," Denson said. "We're very comfortable with where he's at, how he's dealing with it and we're looking forward to his return."

02/27/2010 2:15 pm Melanie
Feb 27 - Gatorade Ends Relationship With Tiger

Gatorade became the latest sponsor to drop Tiger Woods on Friday.  A representative for the drink, sold by PepsiCo Inc., confirmed it ended its relationship with the golfer, who made a lengthy public apology a week ago for his infidelities.

"We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship," a Gatorade spokeswoman said. "We wish him all the best."

The spokewoman said Gatorade would continue its relationship with the Tiger Woods Foundation.

She declined to say whether his contract was terminated early because of trouble with his public image.

Gatorade discontinued its Tiger Woods-brand drinks in November, a decision made before Woods' marital problems became known.

At the time, Gatorade stuck by him as a sponsor, but it too relented on Friday, becoming the third major endorsement deal the golfer has lost. AT&T Inc. and Accenture dropped Woods in the weeks following the tabloid frenzy of cheating allegations.

"We have been in discussions with Gatorade, and while we are disappointed they have decided to not continue with Tiger in their marketing plans, we appreciate their continued involvement with Tiger through his foundation," Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg of IMG, said in an e-mail.

The companies that have stuck most closely by Woods, Nike Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc. - which have invested specifically in his athleticism - reiterated their support last week when the golfer made his public apology.

Others, such as Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette and Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer, de-emphasized him in their marketing.

The CEO of Procter & Gamble said this week that he doesn't know whether Woods will ever appear in another Gillette commercial, saying the company did not need the "distraction" of using him in its advertising.

02/27/2010 8:06 am Melanie
Feb 26 - Suspend Tiger? Not on Your Life

Tiger Woods dodged a few hundred embarrassing questions last week. His enablers at the PGA Tour can't answer just one.  Why isn't Woods suspended?

Based on case history, he's done enough to warrant a few months in exile, or wherever John Daly was sent. That assumes the PGA Tour is interested in being consistent. Based again on case history, the Tour bans all women members dressed as Lady Justice.

"A totalitarian, authoritarian system," is what Mac O'Grady called the Tour.

That got him a six-week suspension in 1986. It's hard to say how many players have been suspended since, mainly because the Tour apparently hired Hugo Chavez as its legal consultant.

It doesn't announce suspensions. It won't acknowledge when it sanctions a player. It won't even say what the rules are.

What you have is a star chamber where the stars never seem to get chambered. It's safe to assume, however, that the commissioner can discipline players for the standard "conduct detrimental to the game."

This is where Tiger fans and defense attorneys yell, "Back off, Morality Police. His conduct was detrimental to his marriage, and that's a private matter."

Having an affair is a private matter between a man, his wife and their prenuptial agreement. But this was hardly a discreet dalliance that would leave no smudges on the game if discovered.

Woods knew his actions would turn into a mushroom cloud that blotted out all light on the Tour. If he didn't realize that, he should get a 10-year suspension for stupidity.

And please, spare me the addiction excuse. That didn't work for Daly, and he had an addiction that's actually recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. Tiger's is recognized by 16-year-old boys who don't have parental blocks on their computer.

Daly was arrested for public intoxication in 2008. His Otis the Drunk mug shot, complete with orange jumpsuit, raced around the world.

He'd also recently used a beer can as tee during a pro-am, and recruited Bucs coach Jon Gruden to be his caddy after a rain delay. Tim Finchem had every right to act, even if Daly didn't see it the commissioner's way.

"Is it fair that I got suspended?" he said. "It's not fair in reality, but it's probably fair in perception."

The perception is that Woods has hounded every porn star except John Holmes. The reality is that he's been linked to only 17 women. Rural precincts in Montana and Wyoming have yet to report, however.

If picking up an NFL coach to caddy is unbecoming of a gentleman's game, what is picking up hookers? I'll tell one thing it is:


A Hollywood madam claims Woods paid $60,000 for at least four "escorts." On the crazy assumption the madam is telling the truth, authorities could size up Woods for one of those orange jumpsuits. That would certainly enhance golf's image.

And it's not as if a player even has to break the law to be suspended. The Tour busted Ken Green for 30 days in 1997 for accusing Raymond Floyd of an improper drop at Doral 10 years earlier.

Good God, imagine if Finchem tried to suspend everyone who's accused Tiger of cheating. At least that might shut up Gloria Allred. Anyway, if you want to know how subjective the rules are we need go back only a month.

Scott McCarron accused Phil Mickelson of cheating that week after Lefty used a 20-year-old wedge to skirt new rules. McCarron wasn't suspended a day, though he probably had to write "I will not insult Phil" 1,000 times on a blackboard.

Then there's the wacky case of Jonathan Kaye. He was co-leading the 2001 Michelob Championship after two rounds when he tried to get into the locker room without his player ID badge.

Kaye reportedly chatted at length with the security guard about his round, but the guard still demanded Kaye produce a badge. Kaye tracked it down and returned with the badge clipped to the zipper of his pants.

The guard complained and Kaye got a two-month suspension. Fair enough, but witnesses said the guard also asked Vijay Singh for his ID, only to have Singh walk past and flip him a bird.

It was approximately the 282nd time Mr. Happy had flipped off or cussed out a tournament volunteer. He's probably done it a few hundred times since.

Funny, you've never heard about Vijay getting suspended.

Maybe he was banned and we just didn't know it. Sort of like when Michael Jordan "retired" in 1993, though conspiracy theorists will always say MJ was really serving a gambling suspension.

I doubt you'll see Tiger playing right field for the Birmingham Barons anytime soon. The PGA Tour provided him a nice conference room and a getaway car for last week's non-news conference.

One of the questions Tiger avoided was why he had to stage his event during the Accenture Match Play. Finchem (right) tried to take the blame, saying he should have warned players that they'd be asked about Woods re-emergence.

As tired as players are of answering Tiger questions, that wasn't the issue. They were upset that he upstaged a tournament. No matter, if need be Finchem would say he impregnated Joslyn James while running over the fire hydrant in Tiger's front yard.

Woods isn't golf's cash cow. He's a one-man herd.

A study showed this scandal has cost shareholders in sponsors like Nike, AT&T and Gatorade a cool $12 billion. Attendance drops 10 to 25 percent when he doesn't play, and TV ratings are cut in half.

At the risk of putting too indelicate a point on it, Woods has screwed everybody. So why hasn't he been suspended? He said it himself in his first Nike commercial.

"I'm Tiger Woods."

Maybe Kaye should try that the next time a guard stops him. And instead of putting a badge on his zipper, he should attach a hooker.

Based on case history, the PGA Tour would throw the door wide open for him.
02/25/2010 12:24 pm Melanie
Feb 25 - Mayakoba Golf Classic

Cameron Beckman won the Mayakoba Golf Classic for his third PGA Tour title, closing with a 3-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over third-round leader Joe Durant and Brian Stuard.

The 40-year-old Beckman, three strokes behind Durant at the start of play Sunday, finished at 15-under 269 on the Mayakoba Resort's El Camaleon course. Beckman also won the 2001 Southern Farm Bureau Classic and 2008 Frys.com Open.

Durant shot a 72, and Stuard had a 66. Skip Kendall (64), Richard S. Johnson (65), Briny Baird (68), Chad Collins (70) and J.P. Hayes (71) followed at 12 under.
02/24/2010 1:26 pm Melanie
Feb 24 - Langer Wins In Playoff

Bernhard Langer knocked in a bunker shot for eagle on the first playoff hole to beat John Cook for the Allianz Championship title on Sunday.

Langer and Cook were tied at 17-under 199 when they headed to a sudden death playoff on No. 18. Cook missed an eagle chance when his putt rolled past the hole on the Old Course at Broken Sound.

Langer won $255,500 for his ninth career Champions Tour title.

"First of all, I didn't want to make it that exciting," he said. "I'm emotional because I did it at home in front of a home crowd, family and friends."

Langer, who lives in Boca Raton, finished third in the event last year.

Langer and Cook both shot a 5-under 67 in the final round. Joey Sindelar was one stroke back at 16-under 200, while Gene Jones finished at 15 under.

Langer was leading before he missed a 4-foot putt for par on No. 17. But he bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 finishing hole to tie clubhouse leader Cook, recovering after his tee shot landed in a bed of crushed shells.

02/24/2010 11:55 am Melanie
Feb 24 - Tiger Apologizes to School Parents

Tiger Woods has offered another apology, this time to parents of children at the preschool that his 2-year-old daughter attends, an Orlando television station reported on Tuesday.

WFTV reported on its Web site that it has obtained a letter that Woods and his wife, Elin, wrote to parents of children attending Premier Academy to apologize for increased media scrutiny around the school.

"We hope that the paparazzi will find something better to do with their time in the near future," the letter said.

Media coverage around Woods and his family has been intense since the Nov. 27 accident outside his home led to revelations that the world's No. 1 golfer had been cheating on his wife. Woods did not make his first public appearance until Friday at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Woods' wife did not attend his nationally televised appearance, and photographers were seen outside the Premier Academy that day. WFTV says an off-duty sheriff's deputy has been hired to sit outside the school.

The station did not say when the letter was sent.

Woods lashed out at paparazzi for chasing after his family, including his daughter, Sam.
02/23/2010 7:53 pm Michelle
Feb 21 - Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun

Joe Durant, a 45-year-old native of Pensacola, Fla., hung on to the lead for the third straight day at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, moving to 14-under 199 and two shots ahead of Charles Warren (65) and J.P. Hayes (69). Chad Collins (67) and Cameron Beckman (69) are three back. Durant is seeking his fifth TOUR win in 366 starts (1998 Motorola Western Open, 2001 Bob Hope Classic, 2001 Genuity Championship, 2006 Children's Miracle Network Classic).

Durant carded a rollercoaster 2-under 69 on Saturday. He immediately built a four-stroke lead with birdies on the first two holes, but then had a double-bogey on the par-4 third hole and a bogey on the par-4 fourth to open the door for several of his closest competitors. He later added birdies on Nos. 8, 9, 17 and 18 and a bogey on No. 14 to end the day with a 69.

This is the third time Joe Durant has entered the final round with at least a share of the lead: 2001 Bob Hope Classic (Won) and the 2001 Shell Houston Open (T2).
Durant is seeking to become the first wire-to-wire winner this season and in the four-year history of the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Ryan Palmer (Sony Open in Hawaii) and Dustin Johnson (AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) led after each round in their respective wins this year, but shared the lead at least one day en route to victory in those events.

Durant is making just his second start of the season (T48 at Bob Hope Classic) and his third at the Mayakoba Golf Classic (T12 in 2008 and T28 in 2009).

The round of the day was turned in by Charles Warren with a 6-under 65, jumping seven spots to T2. He is making his first start of the season after finishing No. 147 on the 2009 official money list. Warren's only other appearance at the Mayakoba Golf Classic was a missed cut in 2009 after rounds of 72-72.

The 54-hole leader/co-leader has gone on to win three of six events on TOUR in 2010: Ryan Palmer (Sony Open), Steve Stricker (Northern Trust Open) and Dustin Johnson (AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am). The 54-hole leader/co-leader at the Mayakoba Golf Classic has won all three times (Fred Funk in 2007, Brian Gay in 2008 and Mark Wilson in 2009).
02/20/2010 8:19 pm Susan M Murphy
Feb 21 - Casey routs Cink, no Americans in Match Play semis

MARANA, Ariz. – Paul Casey has taken another big step in his one-sided march through the Match Play Championship by beating Stewart Cink in 14 holes at chilly, windy Dove Mountain, where light rain turned heavy late Saturday morning.

Cink's loss left no Americans in the afternoon semifinals for the first time in the tournament's 12-year history.

It was Casey's fourth 5 and 4 win in four rounds. The English-born golfer, who attended Arizona State University and lives in Scottsdale, has yet to play the final four holes in the event.

"I don't know where that came from, I must admit," Casey said. "(Nick) Faldo suggested I go play the last four holes just to practice."

Casey faces Colombian Camilo Villegas, a 4 and 3 winner over South African Retief Goosen. In the other quarterfinals, Spain's Sergio Garcia beat Oliver Wilson 4 and 3, and Englishman Ian Poulter edged Tongchai Jaidee of Thailand 1-up.

Jaidee had not trailed in a match all week until Poulter went 1-up on the 17th hole. Jaidee, seeded No. 48, lost when his 15-foot putt hung on the left lip of the cup on the 18th.

02/20/2010 11:59 am Tracymarie
Feb 20 - Fellow players express support for Woods

There was a lot of bobbing and weaving going on as the remaining 16 players in the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship began addressing Tiger Woods' statement issued from a podium in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Tim Clark jokingly walked across the parking lot toward the gathering of cameras and journalists with his sweater over his head to disguise his identity. Paul Casey walked on past the scrum of media wearing earplugs. Ian Poulter said simply that he hadn't seen it and couldn't comment on it. Most of the players simply preferred to address the matter post match. Some, however, stopped briefly.

Luke Donald did a cameo for CBS television. "Well, I think it was a sincere apology," said Donald. "Obviously I think he made it very clear that he wants media to leave his family alone, which I kind of agree with. Hopefully, he'll get the help he needs and he'll be back on tour whenever he's better."

In 2008, Woods demolished Stewart Cink 8 and 7 in the finals of the Match Play Championship. Though Cink said he only heard bits and pieces of Woods' statement, some impressions came through. "I was moved by how difficult it seemed to be for him," said Cink. "But, it's a big part of the process to go through that difficulty and to face up to what's happened and especially the hurt that other people are feeling, his friends and family. From that point of view, I think it was a very important step for him to take.

It sounds like it's part of the recovery or the healing process that he has to go through. I've got a couple of good friends at home that have gone through the alcohol abuse program with AA and similar steps are taken in the healing process where you have to make amends to the people you've hurt and you have to start the bridge to the other side. I think that's where Tiger is. From a guy that's done a lot of tough things in golf over the years, it was probably one of the most difficult things he's ever had to do. And it was something probably that's going to help him along the way of healing."
02/19/2010 5:54 pm Melanie
Feb 19 - Golf Writers Turn Their Backs on Tiger Woods

So much for Tiger Woods' ace in the hole.  Saying it would give credence to an obviously staged event, the Golf Writers Association of America has announced that it is going to pass on the press conference the No. 1 golfer in the world called to address the madness that has been his life since November.

Not that the 950 members of the GWAA are going to completely ignore what Woods has to say...

It's just that none of them are going to make a point of going to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in order to hear their sport's heavily tarnished golden boy read a speech.

"I cannot stress how strongly our board felt that this should be open to all media and also for the opportunity to question Woods," GWAA president Vartan Kupelian said Thursday.

"The position, simply put, is all or none. This is a major story of international scope. To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question Woods goes against the grain of everything we believe."

According to the GWAA, Woods' camp initially offered them three spots in the media pool, while another three were given to the Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg News Service.

They ultimately upped the ante to six spots for GWAA members, but the board turned them down.

Nineteen board members voted in favor of boycotting the event, while four disagreed and three abstained.

Not abstaining from commenting in the meantime is Woods' fellow PGA Tour pro Ernie Els, who told Golfweek magazine that Tiger scheduling a presser on the same day that the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship will be heating up in Arizona does a disservice to their sport.

"It's selfish," the South African golfer said. "You can write that. I feel sorry for the sponsor. Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday. This takes a lot away from the golf tournament."

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, told the mag that they were careful to schedule the conference "well outside the tournament's TV window."

And what do you know? The PGA Tour also said that Woods was actually helping the sport.

"We have tournaments every week," Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "I think it's going to be a story in and of itself. A lot of people are going to be watching golf this week to see what the world of golf says about it, my guess is. So that will be a good thing."
02/19/2010 2:36 am Susan M Murphy
Feb 17 - Woods' break continues; he's not in Match Play

Rampant speculation on Tiger Woods' returning to golf at the Match Play Championship ended quietly Friday when the PGA Tour released its 64-man field minus the No. 1 player.

Woods did not meet the deadline for entering the Match Play Championship next week in Arizona, the tournament where he made his comeback a year ago from knee surgery.

Woods announced Dec. 11 that he was stepping away from golf as he tries to salvage his marriage after confessing to infidelity. He has not been heard from since then, including the announcement Friday. He simply didn't enter by 5 p.m. ET.

Phil Mickelson already said he would skip next week to take a family vacation that previously was postponed due to his wife's treatment for breast cancer. That makes Steve Stricker the No. 1 seed when the tournament begins Wednesday at Dove Mountain north of Tucson.

It will be only the second time Woods has missed the Match Play Championship, which he has won three times. He was among several top players who did not compete in Australia in 2001.

"It will take away quite a lot from Monday and Tuesday," Padraig Harrington said.
02/16/2010 2:15 pm Michelle
Feb 15 - Near Miss for David Duval

The much talked about comeback story of David Duval nearly came full circle on Sunday during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. Duval was in the clubhouse tied for the lead at 15 under par with JB Holmes after shooting a 3 under 69 during final round at Pebble Beach. Dustin Johnson, last years champion was also at 15 under par with one hole left to play. Standing on the tee box overlooking the Pacific Ocean and facing one of the most difficult tee shots in the world, Johnson ripped his tee shot straight down the middle of the fairway. Not an easy thing to do under any circumstance, but needing to hit that shot with the tournament on the line, on arguably the world's most famous finishing hole was absolutely clutch. He put his second shot into the front bunker and got up and down for a birdie 4 to win the tournament by 1 stroke.

I'm sure Duval had thoughts of "what could have been", but in the end, he hit the ball wonderfully for 4 consecutive days and unfortunately got beat on the last hole of the tournament. The good news for Duval is he played with confidence and his career seems to be back on track. If he continues to play like this, it's only a matter of time before we see him back in the winner's circle again.

Good luck David, we're rooting for you.

02/15/2010 4:21 pm Justin
Feb 15 - The Tiger rumor mill misfires again

On Feb. 4, the Herald Sun in Melbourne, Australia, published a story that said Tiger Woods "is poised to make a shock return to competitive golf in a fortnight at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona."

From there, the Misinformation Superhighway took over. Google the words "tiger woods" and "shock return to competitive golf" and more than 15,000 mentions turn up. That doesn't account for those stories and blog posts that might have referenced the story without mentioning "shock return to competitive golf."

The story was not sourced and even acknowledged that "his management has gone to ground with its star client." It seems to have been based only on "strengthening whispers" that he would return at the Match Play Championship.

Woods, you might have guessed, is not playing the Match Play Championship next week; the deadline to enter came and passed on Friday afternoon, 5 p.m. (EST).

It ought to serve as yet another reminder that on the Tiger Woods rumor front, proceed with caution.

UPDATE: The PGA Tour has released the final field and Steve Stricker, by virtue of his No. 2 World Ranking, becomes the fourth overall top seed in the 12-year history of the event. Joining Stricker as the top seeds in their respective brackets are Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk and Martin Kaymer.

Phil Mickelson had previously announced that he would not play in the tournament. With Woods' absence as well, the 65th and 66th-ranked players in the world, Chris Wood and Ross McGowan, gain entry.

02/15/2010 11:20 am Daniel
Feb 15 - Elin Nordegren Parties in Orlando

Tiger Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, was spotted at a dinner party Saturday night in Orlando, according to RadarOnline. The web site, which captured pictures of her out on the town, says "she made it clear to Tiger that he was not invited" to the dinner, a birthday celebration for a friend.

Woods reportedly stayed home with their two kids, with whom he was just recently reunited, according to reports.

The Swedish ex-model is reportedly living apart from Woods, who may have recently finished sex rehab.

From the sounds of the RadarOnline article, Nordegren parties very differently than Tiger allegedly has. Woods reportedly developed a voracious gambling appetite, and it's in Las Vegas where he apparently met several of his alleged mistresses.

Among them are Jamie Jungers, the blonde who says she had "wild" and "crazy" sex with Tiger. She also claims to have bedded the golfer the night his father died. She may have worked as a stripper as recently as November.

Another alleged Las Vegas connection is Jaimee Grubbs, who kept dirty text messages from Woods as well as a panicked voicemail. In one text Tiger allegedly promised that he would "wear you out." Grubbs has more recently stripped down for multiple magazines, including Maxim.

02/15/2010 10:27 am Maddox
Feb 13 - Duval 1 Back after 68 at Pebble!

David Duval continued his hot play in the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am with a 4 under par 68 at Pebble Beach Golf Links. His two day total of 9 under par puts him one stroke off the lead heading into his Saturday's round at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Currently 6 players finished in a tie for first at 10 under including first round leader and last years champion Dustin Johnson.
02/12/2010 4:03 pm Justin
Feb 12 - Dustin Johnson opens with 64 at Pebble

Dustin Johnson wanted to make sure he got off to a good start as the defending champion of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He succeeded Thursday because of a phenomenal finish.

Johnson overpowered the par 5s on a pristine day at Pebble Beach and closed with five consecutive birdies to tie the tournament record with a 30 on the back nine. He finished with an 8-under 64 and was atop the leaderboard.

Charley Hoffman had a 6-under 64 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula, the newcomer to a three-course rotation that opened to rave reviews and scenery to match.

"One of my favorites now on tour," Phil Mickelson said after a 68 at Monterey Peninsula.

The best round might have belonged to David Duval, who played bogey-free until the final hole for a 5-under 67 at Spyglass Hill, traditionally the toughest course of the bunch. The average score at Spyglass was 71.52, compared with a 70.89 at Pebble Beach and a 69.97 at Monterey Peninsula.

So who's leading?

"No one," Duval said, laughing. "All the courses are so different. It's hard to tell until after the third day."

J.B. Holmes finished eagle-birdie at Pebble Beach for a 7-under 65, an unusual streak that began by holing out an 8-iron on the par-4 eighth hole over the edge of the Pacific Ocean. K.J. Choi also had a 65 at Pebble Beach.

The most famous of the three courses was the best place to be in such serene conditions. If wind and rain is in the forecast — anything is possible in these parts — it's best to get Pebble out of the way.

"It's one of the best places you want to be when it's good weather," Johnson said. "It's so pretty, too. It's a fun place to be."
02/12/2010 5:42 am Susan M Murphy
Feb 12 - David Duval is back?

The David Duval golf saga is back on center stage today after he posted a 5 under par 67 at Spyglass Hill during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He's three shots back of tournament leader (Dustin Johnson) last years champion, but Duval's 67 was the low round at Spyglass which is annually the most difficult of the 3 courses being played (Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula CC).

I'll be at the tournament on Saturday and am looking forward to following Duval. He's an incredible story of a player who was once the #1 golfer in the world, then completely lost his game and now is slowly scratching his way back. Hopefully he can keep it going!
02/11/2010 4:39 pm Justin
Feb 8 - Stricker wins at Riviera, goes to No. 2 in World

In a tournament everyone expected him to win, Steve Stricker was trying not to lose.
Instead of firing at flags and trying to make birdies, which allowed him to build a six-shot lead at Riviera, he suddenly found himself playing it safe and trying not to make bogeys. Instead of having a chance to break the 25-year-old tournament scoring record, he feared matching a PGA Tour record for blowing the biggest lead.

``I just knew it was going to be hard,'' Stricker said after closing with a 1-under 70 for a two-shot victory over Luke Donald. ``You're playing a different game than what you normally play. You played scared - at least I did there for a while.''
Back-to-back birdies at the turn settled him down. Another clutch putt for par on the 15th hole essentially clinched it for him.

Stricker won for the fourth time in his last 15 starts, moving up to No. 2 in the world for the second time in his career. It was his eighth career victory.

This time, all it took was a reminder of where he was four years ago, when he lost his PGA Tour card.

The final round felt as though it lasted just as long.

His lead was cut in half after four holes after Stricker missed a short par putt. It was down to two shots when Donald made a 10-foot birdie on the fifth hole. It might have vanished entirely had Donald not missed birdie putts about the same length on the next two holes.

Stricker finished at 16-under 268 and earned $1.152 million to go over $25 million for his career.

Stricker built his lead back to four shots on the back nine when he started playing cautiously and saw it start slipping away. Then came the 15th, when he missed his 4-iron to the left and chipped poorly to 10 feet, only to make his biggest putt of the round.

Stricker completed a 66 for a six-shot lead.

The tough part was finishing it off.

Stricker knew he was in for a battle when he had 5-iron to clear the bunker at the par-5 opening hole. Instead, he took 4-iron to play it safe, went just over the green and failed to make birdie.

Stricker didn't have another birdie putt inside 20 feet until the eighth hole, but he converted them. Donald, meanwhile, had birdie chances inside 20 feet over the opening eight holes, but only made three of them.

This is the second time Stricker has gone to No. 2 in the world - he also got there in September after winning in Boston - although he likely still would have to win at three more times to catch Tiger Woods.

02/07/2010 5:51 pm Susan M Murphy
Feb 7 - Tiger Woods needs to rebuild image in crafted comeback

While speculation escalates over when Tiger Woods will return from exile to competition, the execution of his comeback is attracting widespread comment from communication experts and his fellow players.

The American world number one has been in hiding since admitting in December he had cheated on his Swedish wife Elin and he has been roundly advised to answer his critics in public before reappearing on the golf circuit.

"If Tiger wants to minimize the scrutiny he'll get on tour, he has to proactively manage the situation by doing an interview before his first event back," communications specialist Michael Gordon told Reuters Thursday.

"Oprah (Winfrey) and ESPN would be two great forums for him. Either way, he needs to speak publicly, be honest and apologize.

"By doing that, he can regain some of the control he's lost over his public image," said Gordon, chief executive of Group Gordon Strategic Communications in New York.
Tom Watson, speaking ahead of this week's Dubai Desert Classic, agreed.

"When he comes back, he has to show some humility to the public," the 60-year-old Watson told reporters at the European Tour event. "If I were him, I'd come back not at a golf tournament but out in public first

02/06/2010 4:18 pm Tracymarie
Feb 6 - Johnson hopes length comes in Handy

In a cold rain, Riviera is playing longer than Dustin Johnson can remember. That might be one reason why he doesn't mind the cold rain.  "It doesn't bother me," Johnson said Friday, still wearing a short-sleeve rain jacket after darkness chased him off the course at the Northern Trust Open with two holes left in his second round.

"Hitting it a long way helps, too." Here's the long and short of it going into Saturday.
Johnson is tied for the lead at 10-under par and faces two holes that measure more than 1,000 yards — the par-5 17th, followed by the uphill 18th that is 473 yards on the card and plays much longer in these conditions.

The clubhouse leader is Steve Stricker, who shot a 6-under 65 in the morning. Stricker isn't terribly long, but he's as good as anyone with the short stick. Recent history doesn't necessary favor big hitters at Riviera. For every Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Robert Allenby, there is Kirk Triplett, Mike Weir and Len Mattiace.
Adding to the puzzle?

The signature shot for each of them came on a par 3 — the shortest par 3 for Johnson, the longest for Stricker.

The tee was forward on the par-3 sixth hole, and the pin was located to the front right portion of the green, making it play 152 yards. In this weather, Johnson opted for an 8-iron. It landed short of the famous bunker in the middle of the green, spun back and dropped in for the 14th ace on that hole in tournament history.

"Probably my best shot of the day," Johnson said. "Hit 8-iron and made it. So that always helps the round a little bit."

Stricker hit a hybrid 3-iron on the 230-yard fourth hole, and it hit the lip before settling 20 inches away for one of seven birdies on the round, and by far his easiest putt.

"I knew it was in there close, but I guess it had lipped out," Stricker said. "That's like stealing one."

To get an idea of how long Riviera is playing is to consider how Stricker played the par-5 first one, which for him came in the middle of his round Friday. He ripped a driver — typically a 3-wood off the tee because of the huge drop down the hill — and had 253 yards to the hole. Stricker checked his yardage, kept his hand over his clubs trying to decide and figured it was a three-shot hole in this weather.

He opted for a hybrid that would not go in the large, deep bunker fronting the green, leaving himself a good angle for the pitch.

"We had like 247 to cover the whole bunker, and we hadn't been able to hit anything 247," Stricker said. "Even our drivers were going about 236. I knew I couldn't get there, so I just wanted to lay up as close to that bunker as I could — the pine was in the back — and give myself a good look at birdie."

The pitch was pure, took one big hop and check up inches from the hole for a tap-in birdie.

Johnson was long enough that he gave it a crack at the green, came up just short and chipped close for an easy birdie. But the par-5 11th was another story.

Johnson hammered a drive, meaning he usually would reach for a 3-iron. But in this weather, he took 3-wood and crushed it. That left him some 100 yards from the hole, which was startling. From there, he hit a punch wedge that showed variety in his game, landed it about 6 feet from the hole and missed the putt.

For all his length, it was the putter that helped Johnson, just as did Stricker.

He made par putts of 15 feet, 18 feet and 6 feet in a four-hole stretch on the back nine that kept his round together, not making a bogey until the 15th, when his drive went longer than most and brought a bunker into play. Johnson wasn't in the bunker, but an awkward stance on the edge of it caused him to come up short, and he finally missed a par putt.

No matter. He was in good position, a good time of the year.

Next week, Johnson goes to Pebble Beach to defend his title. He won last year in 54 holes because the tournament was cut short by rain. It's worth noting that he also won Turning Stone in 2008 in another tournament featuring rain.

Maybe he was right when he said of the weather, "It doesn't bother me."

02/06/2010 4:37 am Susan M Murphy
Feb 5 - Johnson takes lead at Riviera

Dustin Johnson was determined to get off to a good start in the Northern Trust Open, so for the first time, he decided against trying to drive the 10th green at Riviera and instead laid up with a 4-iron.

He made par, which never hurts. And then he took off.

Johnson birdied three of his next four holes, one of them with a 65-foot putt, and he kept bogeys off his card during a cool, gentle morning for a 7-under 64 to build a one-shot lead Thursday over Andres Romero and Kevin Stadler.

``Had good vibes going all day, and just hit the ball really good all day long,'' Johnson said.

Romero had good vibes going for most of the day. The dynamic Argentine had eight birdies to offset a double bogey on the ninth hole when he didn't listen to his caddie. Romero finished with four straight birdies for a 65. Stadler had the best score among late starters, opening with a 30 on the back nine. He played the final eight holes in 1 over.

Brandt Snedeker, coming off a runner-up finish last week at Torrey Pines, and Ricky Barnes were at 66. Steve Stricker had a 67 despite a three-putt bogey at No. 3, missing his par putt from 2 feet when he couldn't get the sound of a nearby jackhammer out of his head.

David Duval and Ernie Els were in the large group at 68.

Phil Mickelson thought he might be among the leaders. Going for an unprecedented third straight victory at Riviera, he was 3 under midway through his round. He finished with three bogeys over his last four holes - the exception was a 6-foot birdie putt he missed - and wound up with a 1-over 72.

``I had it right there with five or six holes to go, and I let it go,'' Mickelson said.
Mickelson took the Ping Eye2 wedge with square grooves out of his bag this week, although one wish was fulfilled when two players continued using it - Hunter Mahan and Fred Couples, who had a 69.

The wedge is approved for play under a legal settlement from two decades ago.
Couples was inspired by the fuss from last week, generated mainly by Scott McCarron saying it was ``cheating'' for players like Mickelson to use it. He also was impressed that Mickelson, given his stature as the top player in golf while Tiger Woods is away, was willing to take any criticism by using the club.

``I said, 'I think that's strong, and I'm going to use one next week,''' Couples said. ``He said, 'Man, I think that's great.' I get out here and he's not using it.''

Couples said the Ping wedge is the best one he has, although he suggested he would look at others as he played more tournaments.

Mahan said he never considered anything wrong with a club that was approved under the rules.

Mickelson's reason for using the wedge was to call attention to the USGA's process of changing rules, which he has referred to as ``ridiculous.'' Mahan's reason was different.

``It spins a little bit more,'' he said.

Even so, it didn't help on the 10th hole, when Mahan went bunker-to-bunker and made double bogey. Heading down the 11th fairway, John Wood, his caddie who found the old Ping wedge, said with a laugh, ``If we had V-grooves, we would have had to hit four times instead of three.''

The par-4 10th hole is among the most famous in golf, and one of the best tests among short par 4s anywhere in the world. It measured 303 yards for the opening round, with an emphasis on angles more than how far the ball is struck.

Johnson is ample long, but this time hit 4-iron to about 85 yards, a safe wedge to some 18 feet and two putts for par.

``I didn't make birdie, but it was an easy 4,'' he said. ``And I wanted it to be easy.''
He made the rest of his round look that way. He was on or around the greens on two of the par 5s, received a gift with the monster putt on No. 12, and the only time he came close to a bogey was at the par-3 fourth, when he went long and chipped to 8 feet.

Romero, coming off such a poor year that he's not eligible for any of the majors, also had an easy time except for the ninth. From a fairway bunker, his caddie wanted him to hit 7-iron short of the green and get up-and-down for par.

02/04/2010 7:29 pm Susan M Murphy
Feb 4 - Mickelson goes for 3 in a Row

No one is about to change the nickname to Phil's Place or Lefty's Lane.  Riviera has been known as ``Hogan's Alley'' for more than a half-century after Ben Hogan turned this fabled course along Sunset Boulevard into his personal playground. He won the Los Angeles Open in consecutive years, and won twice in one season in 1948 when he added a U.S. Open victory.

But no one - not Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson or Fred Couples - has ever won at Riviera three straight years. That's what Phil Mickelson will set out to do when the Northern Trust Open begins Thursday.

``I don't have a good explanation for it,'' Mickelson said.

And to think he was only a good chip away from already having won three straight years. Mickelson only needed a par on the 18th hole to win at Riviera in 2007 until he hit a chip that came out flat and missed an 18-foot putt. Charles Howell beat him in a playoff.

Mickelson won the next two years, comfortably in 2008 and with a strong finish last year to beat Steve Stricker.

Strangely enough, Mickelson used to avoid this place earlier in his career because he wasn't getting very good results. Now, he can't wait to get to Riviera.

The only question is what kind of game he brings.

Mickelson, who ended last year with victories in the Tour Championship and HSBC Champions in Shanghai, couldn't wait to get started this year. Perhaps he was too excited. He felt nerves of anticipation, lost some of his timing and never seriously threatened at Torrey Pines, where he finished 19th.

He had talked about his driving going from a liability to a weapon, then walked to the tee for his pro-am and hit his tee shot on the next fairway, offering a sheepish grin. His tee shots never improved during the week, and one got stuck in a tree.

As he played the pro-am late Wednesday afternoon at Riviera, Mickelson offered one reason.

After the tournament, he pulled the head of his driver off the shaft and noticed the inside of the shaft had been cracked so badly that it was about five swings away from shattering.

Then again, after sharing that story and how he has it fixed, he sent a tee shot on the third hole into the left rough.

Even so, Mickelson is excited to get started this week, hopeful that the focus returns to his golf.

The world's No. 2 player was in the news quite a bit last week, not over his driver but his wedge. He was among five players who have used the Ping Eye2 wedge with square grooves - which don't conform to the new rules but are approved to play because of a settlement from two decades ago.

That prompted Scott McCarron to say it was ``cheating,'' and Mickelson fired back by saying he had been ``publicly slandered.'' Mickelson might have put the controversy to rest - at least for now - by saying he had made his point against the USGA and accepted an apology from McCarron.

The next challenge comes from Riviera, which is in pristine condition, and from the strongest field on the PGA Tour so far this year.

Stricker, who finished one shot behind last year, is back for another try, while among those making their season debut are Padraig Harrington and Anthony Kim.

The Irishman was not much of a threat last year at Riviera, or hardly any tournament. He spent the better half of the year trying to find the secret to his mechanics at impact and he wasn't satisfied until July. By then, he was so far behind that he wound up not winning a tournament anywhere in the world.

Always tinkering, Harrington spent his offseason making more adjustments. Only now, there's a big difference.

``Last year I came out at this stage and I wasn't happy with the changes and what they resulted in, and I kept working on it,'' Harrington said. ``This year, I'm not in that mindset. I'm happy with what I've done, and I'm going to just play with that. It's finished at the moment, and I'm ready to go play golf, which is what I didn't do last year.''
02/03/2010 7:21 pm Susan M Murphy
Feb 3 - Watson to Tiger: Show humility, stop Swearing

Tom Watson says Tiger Woods needs to "show some humility to the public" when he returns to golf after sorting out his personal life. Watson also said Wednesday that Woods should clean up his on-course behavior in order to be considered among the true greats of the game.

Woods is on an indefinite break since his car crash Nov. 27 that fueled sordid tales of extramarital affairs.

"I'll let the cat out of the bag," Watson said ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic. "Tiger has to take ownership of what he has done. He must get his personal life in order. I think that's what he's trying to do. And when he comes back he has to show some humility to the public.

"I would come out and I would do an interview with somebody and say, 'You know what? I screwed up. And I admit it. I am going to try to change. I am trying to change. I want my wife and family back."

The 60-year-old Watson, one of golf's elder statesmen, also criticized Woods — a 14-time major winner — for bad language and other on-course behavior.
02/03/2010 11:09 am Michelle
Feb 2 - McCarron refuses to Back Down

Ping chairman John Solheim reminded the PGA Tour on Monday that it cannot make a separate rule to ban Ping Eye2 wedges, the 20-year-old clubs that led Scott McCarron to claim Phil Mickelson is ``cheating'' by using them.

Hours after McCarron said he would ``not be silenced'' over the grooves controversy, the PGA Tour's situation became a little more muddled with Solheim's gentle reminder.

Mickelson was among at least four players at Torrey Pines who used the Ping wedges, which have square grooves.

The USGA has a new regulation this year that shrinks the volume and softens the edges of the grooves. However, the Ping wedges made before April 1, 1990, are approved for competition because of a 1990 settlement from Ping's lawsuit against the USGA.

The PGA Tour said in a statement over the weekend that it would monitor the situation, noting it could adopt a ``local rule'' for tournaments that would ban the Ping wedges.

Solheim, however, said under the 1993 agreement with the PGA Tour, the tour could not adopt a separate rule if it differed from the USGA.

``The recent statement from the PGA Tour and several PGA Tour players that they could invoked a 'local rule' required us to remind the PGA Tour of the terms of the agreement,'' Solheim said in a statement.

Then, the chairman and CEO of Ping appeared to leave room for a compromise.
``While I fully expect the PGA Tour to honor this agreement, I'm willing to discuss a workable solution to this matter that would benefit the game and respect the role innovation has played over the long history of golf,'' Solheim said.

Solheim is the son of Ping founder Karsten Solheim, one of golf's foremost innovators who spent millions battling the USGA and PGA Tour over the square grooves in its popular Ping Eye2 model.

PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw declined comment, noting commissioner Tim Finchem would have a press conference Tuesday in Los Angeles after a players meeting.
McCarron and Mickelson, meanwhile, struck no conciliatory tones.

McCarron, who has won three times in his 16-year career, issued a statement Monday in which he wanted to clarify that while he believes ``it's cheating'' for Mickelson or anyone else to use the Ping wedges, ``I never called Phil Mickelson a cheater.''

``That being said, I want my fans, sponsors and most importantly, my fellow players, to know that I will not be silenced and I will continue my efforts to get the groove issue resolved,'' McCarron said.

Mickelson, the world's No. 2 player, had said over the weekend he felt ``publicly slandered'' and hinted at legal action if the PGA Tour does not discipline McCarron for his choice of words.

``Again, everybody has their opinions and so forth, and it's healthy to talk about it,'' Mickelson said Saturday. ``But when you cross that line and slander someone publicly, that's when the tour needs to step in - or someone else.''

John Daly and Dean Wilson were the first players to use the Ping wedges this year, at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Others who have had the Ping wedge in play include Hunter Mahan, whose caddie found a copper wedge with square grooves.

An industry official said three-time major winner Padraig Harrington showed up at Riviera on Monday with two sets of Ping wedges, including one set that was made before 1990 and would be approved for play. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on Harrington's behalf.

Mickelson did not say if he would continue to play the wedge, although he made it clear at Torrey Pines the decision would not be based on what other players think.
Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site Monday that Randy Peterson, Callaway Golf's director of fitting and instruction, said Mickelson's Ping wedge imparted as much as 25 percent more spin than any of the Callaway wedges with new grooves.

McCarron directed some of his frustration at the USGA and the PGA Tour for knowing the potential for this controversy before it blew up on them last week at Torrey Pines. He said the focus should shift from a small number of players using the Ping Eye2 wedges to the majority of players ``who chose to do the right thing.'

02/02/2010 3:57 am Susan M Murphy
Feb 2 - Mickelson not taking "cheating" Accusation Lightly

SAN DIEGO – Phil Mickelson hinted at legal action Saturday for being accused of "cheating," saying that if the PGA Tour did not do something about him being "publicly slandered," then he would let others handle it.

Mickelson didn't mention Scott McCarron by name in a series of interviews after his third round at Torrey Pines.  McCarron was quoted in The San Francisco Chronicle on Friday as saying about Mickelson using the Ping-Eye 2 wedges with square grooves, "It's cheating, and I'm appalled Phil has put it in play."

The USGA has a new rule this year that irons have V-shaped grooves. However, the Ping-Eye 2 wedges that were made before April 1, 1990, remain approved for play through a Ping lawsuit that was settled 20 years ago and takes precedence over new regulations.

Mickelson is using one of those wedges this week after reading about John Daly and Dean Wilson using them in Hawaii.

When asked Friday about McCarron's quote about him cheating, Mickelson declined to get into what he referred to as "name-calling." Instead, he suggested that McCarron was upset with the new rule on grooves

02/01/2010 3:34 pm Tracymarie
Feb 1 - Williams F1 racing Engineers produce $50,000 set of Golf Clubs

The most attention-getting club at this year's PGA Merchandise Show has to be the Williams Black Diamond driver. It comes complete with solid gold insets, a set of gold-plated irons and, oh yeah, a $50,000 price tag.

These clubs are largely for show, and anyone who actually lays out the 50 grand will also enjoy a wide array of perks, including a customized fitting by an expert who will fly to see customers, an Italian leather handbag and VIP treatment at a Formula One race. No doubt several sheiks are already lining up for this bargain.

In the real world, Williams also offers a Players Series driver for $500, and it's pretty good. I tested it at Orange County National during Demo Day this week and launched some pretty good tee shots with it. If I knew more about continental racing, I wouldn't have been surprised. Williams F1 is one of the top teams in Formula One racing and its engineers, who focus on aerodynamics, applied those principles to the design of golf clubs. It actually makes sense that a bunch of racing experts could improve the aerodynamics of the clubhead.

The bottom of the clubhead has a series of fan-like ridges (again, for aerodynamics) that give it a distinctive look. It would be a mistake not to take Williams seriously. They race to win in Formula One. This club is worth checking out.

01/31/2010 11:31 pm Maddox
Feb 1 - Crane shoots final-round 70 to win at Torrey Pines

Ben Crane is back in the news for all the right reasons.  Crane's quiet offseason took a strange turn in December when a gossip magazine quoted him as saying that Tiger Woods was a ``phony and fake,'' even though Crane had never spoken to Life & Style and had not given any interviews in months.

He handled that situation with the same even hand he displayed Sunday at Torrey Pines, where Crane overcame a two-shot deficit and hung on for a 2-under 70 and a one-shot victory in the Farmers Insurance Open.

``Obviously, being in the news a month ago was bizarre,'' Crane said. ``Someone made some stuff up that I said something about Tiger, which I didn't. To be in the news again? Yeah, my name keeps popping up. It's good to be (in the news) on a good note.''

Then he smiled.

``And you can quote me on that.''

Even more bizarre was the way Crane made his way around the tough South Course. He made two birdie putts longer than 45 feet to seize control, then missed two short par putts to keep alive the hopes of Michael Sim, Brandt Snedeker and Marc Leishman.

And the whole time, Crane wasn't even keeping score.

He pledged not to look at a leaderboard all day, and when he rapped in a 30-inch par putt, Crane didn't even realize he had won until Ryuji Imada congratulated him.

``Did I win?'' Crane asked.

With a reputation for slow play, perhaps it was only fitting that Crane was the last one to know.

Crane finished at 13-under 275 for his third career victory, ending an 0-98 drought that stretches to Milwaukee in the summer of 2005. Even as he settled in for his news conference, he wasn't sure of the perks - a return trip to the Masters in April and Kapalua next January. He likely will crack the top 60 in the world, which should be enough to put him in the Match Play Championship.

Starting the final round two shots behind, he opened with three birdies in five holes, including one from just over 45 feet on No. 3. He expanded his lead to three shots with another 45-foot birdie putt on the 11th.

Then, it was a matter of hanging on.

``It's really cool to know I'm going in the right direction,'' Crane said.

He had plenty of challengers, although Phil Mickelson wasn't one of them. Making his season debut, and only four shots behind, Mickelson bogeyed his first three holes and was never a factor. He closed with a 73 and finished 19th.

01/31/2010 7:33 pm Susan M Murphy
Jan 31 - The Perils of Living on the Green

So you want to live in a home on a golf course? You may want think twice about that.
The cachet that comes from that beautiful expanse of green outside your window and country club living, also comes with...golf balls.

Hundreds and hundreds of golf balls.

Ask Willam and Dorothy Abbott in North Naples, Fla. For more than 15 years, the couple has tried to co-exist with the Stonebridge Country Club next door. But errant golf balls have rained down on their property, breaking windows, roof tiles and patio screens. The Naples Daily News reports the couple has tried to get the country club to pay to repair the damage but to no avail. When the Abbotts built their retirement home in 1988, there was no golf course next door. It came five years later and they quickly realized this might not be the best neighbor.

Their plight isn't unique, especially in states like Florida, California, and Nevada, where many new communities -- both high-end and more modest -- are built around golf courses. There are more than 2,941 golf courses built in real estate developments in the United States, according to the National Golf Foundation.

Some clubs might be willing to work with surrounding homeowners to find ways to protect against recreational golfers and their wayward golf balls. The Miami Shores Country Club in Miami Beach, FL moved its driving range a few years ago. One home was the landing point for long shots, says General Manager Alberto Pozzi. But even after the redesign, the homeowner still has a net stretched across a portion of his backyard to catch any wayward golf balls that may come his way.

The Miami Shores' golf course, built in the 1930's, predated the surrounding homes which were built in the 1950s. But if, like the Abbotts, you're buying a home next to empty land, ask about zoning. You don't want to find out after you've moved in that the property next door is slated for a golf course, or perhaps worse yet, a shopping mall.

Claims for broken windows and smashed garden sculptures aren't much of a concern for insurance companies, says Jeff Weiner, a Coral Gables, Fla., insurance agent. Repair costs are usually a homeowner's deductible of $500 or $1,000.

Risk isn't the only deterrent to having a golf course be an extension of your backyard. There's also a loss of privacy -- unless you like having dozens of golf carts, loaded with players and clubs, whiz by your patio as you're enjoying your morning coffee and newspaper.

"On a few holes, you don't dare look to the left or right when you're in the tee box, otherwise you're staring in someone's backyard," says Alex Soto, a Miami insurance agent and a member of the Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables. Soto says he once broke a window with one of his shots. Lucky for him, the homeowner was a friend and he just paid for the repair.

The proximity of homes so close to the fairways can cut both ways. Nothing can break a player's concentration like the sound of a family splashing in their pool some 20 feet away.

One country club general manager in Pompano Beach, Fl, admits to living on a golf course, but also says he didn't let his kids play in the backyard when they were small.

01/30/2010 2:40 pm Maddox
Jan 30 - Phony Tiger Quotes Behind Him, the Real Ben Crane Stands Up

The 33-year-old PGA Tour veteran with two career wins shot a 7-under 65 Thursday in the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. It earned Crane more attention than anything he has done since being quoted during December's PGA Tour ripping Tiger Woods as "a phony and a fake."

Even better news: Crane actually did shoot 65 to trail first-round leader Scott Piercy by one shot. That's more than can be said of his reported comments about Woods.

The harsh words attributed to Crane last month by Life & Style magazine, penned by what the publication called an "experienced freelance reporter,'' were never spoken. The "face-to-face interview" conducted in West Palm Beach, Fla., that also included similar criticism of Woods' personal life by Charles Warren, never took place.

Crane is certain of it.

"They said they interviewed me at tour school, " he said. "Thankfully, I was not there."

The problem with public life, however, is not always what you say. It's what people think you said. And Crane, one of the tour's most religious, mild-mannered members, woke up one morning at home in Texas to find himself a five-alarm golf-news headline maker.

A phone call from agent Tommy Limbaugh sounded the alert.

"Interesting situation we have here," Limbaugh told Crane.

"It was obviously a huge surprise when Tommy called and said, 'There's a quote,' " Crane said. "I told him, 'That's funny, I haven't given an interview in five weeks.' "

For those who really, really want to know what it was Crane did not say, here is the excerpt:

"This is no surprise to anyone who knows Tiger," Crane tells Life & Style. "He's a phony and a fake and he can't retain that squeaky-clean endorsement deal any longer."

Crane also believes Elin may have known about Tiger's other women.

"She's no fool," Crane said, adding that perhaps Elin "turned a blind eye because of the money and the kids and the lifestyle he provides."For a guy who calls himself "a boring interview," it was a heck of a quote.

"It was a surprise for sure," he said. "But what I didn't realize about the situation was just because you didn't say it doesn't mean that I don't need to try to put out the fire and let people know."

Through PGA Tour headquarters, Crane sent an explanation to Woods' camp. Contacts at golf's more traditional news outlets were called.

"You know what, because I didn't say it, actually it didn't bother me that much," Crane said. "I was like, these guys, whoever it is, made this up. I can understand if I said it, it might be frustrating or hurtful that now all of a sudden it's all over the national news. I didn't say it. My friends knew I didn't say it. I really don't run my mouth on things like that. It didn't actually bother me, but I did want to do my best to put out the fire."

The magazine did release a statement. "Our reporter spoke with two golfers who presented themselves as Ben Crane and Charles Warren," it read. "We are taking these claims very seriously and investigating further."

An apology was offered to Crane and a retraction promised. But the best thing Crane figures he can do now is make some real news.

Thursday was a good start.

Crane had eight birdies, including putts of 30 feet on the first hole and an eight-footer on the 18th. In the tournament that's played on two different golf courses, he took advantage of opening on the less-difficult North design to get a running start.

"This is a place where on the North course you are going to make more birdies," he said. "The South course is a beast. Every hole is long. You hit a lot of rescues and 5-woods onto the greens. So it's nice to come over here and get a good round started, and then go concentrate on the South."

01/30/2010 6:34 am Maddox
Jan 29 - Tiger Woods named the most Powerful Athlete

Tiger Woods tops the Bloomberg BusinessWeek list of most powerful athletes, with the companies saying he would have held the top spot even if his infidelity had become public earlier last year.

The list released Wednesday is based on earning potential and was compiled with the assistance of CSE and Horrow Sports Ventures.

LeBron James of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers was second, followed by golfer Phil Mickelson, Albert Pujols of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, Peyton Manning of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, Dwyane Wade of the NBA's Miami Heat, swimmer Michael Phelps, Adrian Peterson of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, the Cavaliers' Shaquille O'Neal and cyclist Lance Armstrong.

01/29/2010 5:36 am Maddox
0Most powerful in terms of athletic prowess or brand?
01/30/2010 Ronald Tucker
0His name will live on.
01/29/2010 Keith McNulty
Jan 28 - Golf needs Tiger says Phil Mickelson

World number two golfer, Phil Mickelson begins his US Tour campaign at the San Diego Open starting on Thursday insisting golf needs Tiger Woods to return soon. Woods is taking an indefinite break because of his much-publicised personal problems but Mickelson said: "It's important for him to come back.

"He's got a lot more important things going on in his life but the game of golf needs him to come back."

01/28/2010 4:00 pm Bob Anderson
0Tigers' drawing power equates with the PGA's bottom line...he will return soon and very soon!
01/30/2010 Ronald Tucker
Jan 29 - Nike Launches New Golf Clubs Without Tiger Woods

Nike Inc. will launch new golf clubs this month without the promotional muscle of golfing great Tiger Woods. That will be a challenge for the sporting-goods giant, which was largely a nonentity in golf before it built a sizable business around the superstar's image.

Nike says that its Victory Red STR8-FIT Tour fairway woods, which will go on sale Jan. 28 for $299, were designed with input from all 13 U.S. golf stars who promote Nike's golf products. But the promotional materials make no mention of Mr. Woods, whose tradition of wearing red shirts on the final day of golf tournaments inspired the Victory Red name.

Instead, the materials trumpet that the clubs were tested in tournament play by a respected but lesser-known golf pro, Lucas Glover, who claimed his first major victory last year when he won the U.S. Open Championship.

Nike's inability to bank on Mr. Woods — who remains a Nike-sponsored athlete but is postponing his career as he deals with the fallout from his alleged extramarital affairs — comes at a problematic time. The Beaverton, Ore., company has faced deteriorating golf sales because of the recession. Annual revenue at the Nike Golf division fell 11% last year to $648 million after peaking at $725 million the year before.

Nike declined to discuss the effect of Mr. Woods's problems on its business, where overall revenue grew 3% to $19.2 billion in fiscal 2009. But in a conference call with investors last month, Chief Executive Mark Parker played down the ramifications, even as he acknowledged that larger economic factors were hurting golf sales.

"We feel very good about how we are managing our golf business through this period and our position in the broader golf market," Mr. Parker said, adding, "We'll continue to support Tiger and his family as we, of course, look forward to his return."

Nike's golf slump mirrors a wider plunge in the market for golf apparel and gear, as consumers put off discretionary purchases. Sales of clubs and other hard equipment fell 11.9% in the first 11 months of 2009 at golf-course shops and specialty stores, according to Golf Datatech LLC, a market research firm. Retail experts estimate that such locations make up roughly three-fourths of total golf sales.

While Mr. Woods's alleged peccadilloes have forced him out of the limelight for at least part of this year, some golf-industry experts say Nike has a larger set of options because of the recent emergence of other stars.

Like Mr. Glover, Stewart Cink, also a Nike-sponsored athlete, captured his first major title last year when he won the British Open. .

"Nike golfers won two major tournaments last year, and neither guy was named Tiger Woods," said Tom Stine, co-founder of Golf Datatech. "What Tiger gave Nike is credibility. When you have the top guy out there winning with your stuff, it tells the public that you have top-line equipment. But they have plenty of other golfers doing that now."

Michelle Wie, also under contract with Nike, won her first professional women's tournament last year, one of the first signs that the 20-year-old phenom could yet fulfill her potential to become the female version of Mr. Woods.

Nike first dabbled in golf in 1985 with a shoe called the Air Linkster, and pro Curtis Strange donned its gear while winning U.S. Open championships in 1988 and 1989. But it was not until Nike signed a huge endorsement deal with a 20-year-old Mr. Woods in 1996 that the swoosh became an upstart in the business side of the sport.

The golfer draped himself in Nike apparel as he won a dizzying succession of major titles, and the company blanketed the airwaves with emotional ads playing up his historic ascent, notably a landmark spot called "I am Tiger Woods" that showed children of numerous races playing the game.

Mr. Woods started using Nike golf balls rather than the Titleist balls favored by other stars, and later picked up Nike clubs, moves that experts say greatly helped the company win over skeptical golfers raised on such brands as Callaway Golf Co. and TaylorMade Golf Co, a subsidiary of Adidas. Titleist is part of Acushnet Co., a subsidiary of Fortune Brands Inc. that also includes Cobra golf clubs and FootJoy golf shoes and generates annual revenue of more than $1 billion.

Mr. Woods has also helped Nike craft new clubs, boosting the company's reputation for cutting-edge sports-gear design. "This is my iron. This is what I created. This is what I've been playing," Mr. Woods said in a promotional video for a Victory Red line of golf irons two years ago. "Now that consumers get to feel and play what I've been playing, they'll understand why I love it so much."

01/28/2010 2:35 am Susan M Murphy
0Nike is not abandoning Tiger, they are carving out a niche market. Its all about repositioning.
01/30/2010 Ronald Tucker
0Now NIKE gets to make the clubs that Woods made famous...without paying him.
01/29/2010 Keith McNulty
Jan 27 - Cessna lands on Houston Golf Course

An area near the 11th hole at a Houston golf course provided a smooth landing spot after a small plane ran out of fuel and glided on to the grass. The Cessna 170 was expected to be moved from Hermann Park on Tuesday. The unplanned landing of the single-engine plane happened Monday night on a flight from Lafayette, La.

Veteran pilot Brendon Ford says an apparent gauge problem led him to believe he had more fuel than he actually did. Ford was bound for Columbus, about 70 miles west of Houston, when the engine started sputtering and gave out, at about 2,000 feet. He spotted two fairways. He says there was just one person on the site he chose, so he flew over the top of him and landed. No one was injured.
01/26/2010 2:09 pm Susan M Murphy
Jan 27 - Bangladesh's Siddikur leads in Dhaka

Mohd. Siddikur Rahman, Bangaldesh's top professional golfer, Chandigarh's Sujjan Singh and first round leader Sanjay Kumar of Lucknow shared the lead after second round at the American Express Bangladesh Open 2010 golf here Tuesday.

Siddikur, Sujjan and Sanjay ended round two with identical totals of six-under 138. While Siddikur and Sujjan shot scores of 66, Sanjay carded an even par 72 to make it a three-way tie for the lead. Bangladeshi amateurs Mohd. Dulal Hossain and Mohd Shakhawat Hossain are tied fourth at five under 139. The cut came at 11 over 155. Fifty professionals and all the six amateurs, all from Bangladesh, in the field made the cut. Sixteen Bangladeshi professionals made the cut.

Siddikur kept the flag flying for the host nation with his second round effort of a bogey-free six under 66. Siddikur was five under after the front nine, having birdied the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth. The 25-year-old then played an outstanding approach shot from 140 yards to within four feet of the pin to close his round with his sixth birdie of the day. Sujjan matched Siddikur's score of 66 to be the joint leader. His second round featured an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys. On his first nine, Sujjan birdied the 11th, 13th, 14th, 17th and bogeyed the 10th and 16th to make the turn at two under. The 29-year-old then had a flawless second nine, as he sank birdies on the third and fifth and closed with an eagle on the par four ninth. Sujjan holed his lob wedge approach shot from 94 yards on the ninth. Sanjay made seven birdies against five bogeys and a double bogey in his second round to grab a share of the lead along with Siddikur and Sujjan.

Indians Digvijay Singh and Ranjit Singh share sixth place along with Bangladesh's Mohd Jibon Ali at four under 140.

01/26/2010 9:07 am H e a t h e r ~~ R e n e e
Jan 25 - Tiger's leave finally Begins

The Friday 5 p.m. (EST) deadline for committing to the following week's PGA Tour event passed uneventfully, without a commitment coming from Tiger Woods. He won't be playing in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif., next week.

Typically, Woods would have begun his season at this tournament, formerly known as the Buick Invitational, one he's won six times. So when he announced in December that he was taking an indefinite leave from golf, it wouldn't actually have been a leave until and unless he skipped the Farmers Insurance Open.

Since 2006 (excluding '09, when he was absent while recovering from knee surgery), Woods had begun his season at Torrey Pines. There still is no word on when he might return to golf.

ADD: Phil Mickelson, No. 2 in the World Ranking, makes his 2010 debut at the Farmers Insurance Open and will be in pursuit of a third straight victory. Mickelson won the Tour Championship and the WGC-HSBC Champions to close his '09 season.

01/25/2010 6:05 am Maddox
Jan 24 - Jack at 70 (His birthday was Jan 21)

Of all the holes, not the 16th!  - I've been fortunate over my career to make a little history on the 16th hole at Augusta National. But one day last spring, I stood on that tee box, and I caught myself doing a little scorecard-watching, not scoreboard-watching. Playing a casual round with some friends, I found myself four under par and on the cusp of shooting my age, 69, or better at a place that has meant so much to me. I didn't make history; I just made a bad swing and a splash. A double bogey ruined my score but not my day, as I shot 70. (I'd shot my age for the first time at 64 in Hawaii.)

As the year wore on and I played my usual one round or so a month, I found myself trying to take the game a little less seriously. Not that this has been easy. Almost 4½ years removed from my last competitive round and staring down my 70th birthday on Jan. 21, I still find it difficult getting over, well, being me. See, as much as I love the game, golf was my vehicle to competition. And I love to compete. That's why the poor shots still sting and bring out an "Oh, Jack!" and the good ones, especially those that come on the 18th hole with a close friend pressing me, bring on a smile and a wink.

I'm finding now, more than ever, that the game of a lifetime can give you the time of your life without ever striking a shot. I find myself having lunch and conversation with friends at The Bear's Club in Florida, with no tee time in sight. I've recently crossed paths with old friends such as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Billy Casper and Jackie Burke.

I thoroughly enjoy working with kids, whether it's The First Tee or the lesson tee with my grandkids. And, of course, I'm constantly energized by designing courses around the world.

Still, I'll likely bring in some friends to play Augusta again in the spring. When that happens, you can bet I've got a little goal in mind when I step on the 16th tee. See, golf can still be my vehicle to competition, and it can always be a joy ride.

01/23/2010 7:44 pm Maddox
Jan 24 - Prugh surges at Hope Classic

The 25-year-old rookie surged ahead when the sun finally came out Saturday, shooting a 7-under 65 on the tough La Quinta course to take a one-stroke lead over Bubba Watson and fellow PGA Tour rookie Martin Flores.

With his third straight remarkably consistent round in the five-round, four-course tournament, Prugh pulled ahead at 21-under 195. Yet if Prugh had any strong feelings after his second straight bogey-free round, the former University of Washington star wasn't letting on.

``I was almost bored with myself a little bit,'' Prugh said. ``It's not a bad thing. I was hitting the driver very well, and I kept on hitting fairway after fairway. ... Boring rounds are actually fine with me.''

Prugh thinks the pro-am format keeps him away from any mental dangers that might otherwise arise from leading a PGA Tour tournament after three rounds. Perhaps helping amateurs with their game prevents him from overthinking his own.

Whatever the magic formula, Prugh is the first rookie to lead a round at the famed event since John Senden took the second-round lead in the 2002 tournament eventually won by Phil Mickelson.

``I'm just trying to entertain my amateur partners as well as I can, and hopefully they get their money's worth when they're out here,'' Prugh said.

01/23/2010 6:16 pm Susan M Murphy
Jan 23 - Pro golfer gets 1 year in prison for not Paying Taxes

Professional golfer Jim Thorpe has been sentenced to a year in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in income taxes.  Thorpe's attorney, Mark Horwitz, said Friday that Thorpe must turn himself in to authorities by April 1. The golfer also was sentenced to two years of supervised release and 200 hours of community service. He must try to repay the taxes while he's on supervised release.

In September, Thorpe pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay income taxes and had faced up to two years in prison.

Horwitz said "Thorpe has accepted his punishment and will be getting on with his life."
Thorpe has won 13 times on the Champions Tour and three times on the PGA Tour.

01/23/2010 6:53 am Photography By Glenn
0Too bad for him.
01/29/2010 Keith McNulty
Jan 22 - Golf Vs. The $16,000 Lunch

The Wall Street Journal's John Paul Newport has a nice piece on modest-sized clubhouses (as opposed to the overstuffed kind that have been a huge financial drag on so many clubs lately).

He quotes Joe Webster, who developed and manages the Dye Preserve in Jupiter, Fla., as saying: "Most clubs that are open for dinner at night are losing seven figures on their food and beverage operations."

Dye Preserve is one of four newish high-end clubs cited by Newport for their "understated" clubhouses. The others are Whisper Rock in Arizona, Chechessee Creek Club in South Carolina (pictured) and Dallas National.

Webster runs some thought-provoking numbers for Newport. Quoting from his article:
"Mr. Webster said that a typical golf club with 300 members might spend $1.5 million a year on course maintenance, or $5,000 per member. 'Everything you pay in dues above that is basically so you can have lunch,' he said. Lunch is his shorthand for the cost of supporting a kitchen, other services such as the locker rooms, and clubhouse staff -- essentially, all the non-golf amenities that a club offers.

"Dues at Dye Preserve, which has a 15,000 square-foot clubhouse (and is not open for dinner), are $9,000 a year. 'So that's $4,000 for lunch,' he said. A nearby club in Jupiter, with a 50,000-square-foot clubhouse plus a pool and tennis, charges $21,000 in dues. 'So those members are paying $16,000 to eat and for the other stuff,' he said. Yet another club in the area, built in the go-go 1990s as a real-estate play, has a 100,000-square-foot clubhouse and is operating under bankruptcy protection."

01/22/2010 1:25 am Maddox

Ryan Palmer expected the worst when his chip from 50 feet short of the 18th green came out a little strong. His chip struck the pin squarely, and instead of running about 8 feet past the hole, it settled a few inches away.

Palmer tapped in for a birdie and a 4-under 66, giving him a one-shot victory in the Sony Open when Robert Allenby missed a 10-foot birdie putt. "What a way to start the year," Palmer said. Sony Open Leaderboard 1. Palmer (-15) 2. Allenby (-14) 3. Stricker (-13) 4. Goosen (-12) T-5. Howell (-11) T-5. Pettersson (-11) T-5. Love (-11) 

All week long at the Sony Open, he tried to stay in the moment, a lesson he picked up earlier in the week while reading an article about defending champion Zach Johnson. The chip turned out to be the greatest moment of all. "It was a good chip," Palmer said.

"The grain was running against me. It was either going to hit it fat or do what I did. Fortunately, I got the good break." The 33-year-old Texan was atop the leaderboard every day, and kept his composure in a tight final round at Waialae against Allenby and Steve Stricker, who was briefly tied for the lead and eventually finished third. "What I got out of this is beyond words," Palmer said.

"It's a great field. To do it every day ... my bad round was 2-under par. I never once got upset or impatient. What I did today was the best round of golf I ever experienced." And it came with some pretty good perks. Palmer, who finished 150th on the money list last year, is exempt on the PGA Tour through 2012.

He's going to the Masters for the first time in five years. He can add The Players Championship and PGA Championship to his list, along with at least one World Golf Championship. 

01/19/2010 5:20 am Susan M Murphy
Jan 22 - Augusta National announces Masters Invitations

Augusta National chairman Billy Payne announced Friday that 91 players have been invited to the Masters April 8-11. The list includes 42 U.S. players and 49 players from 19 countries outside of the United States. Among those invited are six amateurs and 16 first-time participants.

“We look forward to welcoming the world’s best golfers to Augusta for the 74th time,” Payne said. “The course is in excellent condition and the tournament field is comprised of competitors with tremendous talent. We anticipate another exciting tournament for our patrons and golf fans around the world to enjoy.”

In accordance with qualifications, invitations have also been sent to Honorary Invitees. Two opportunities still remain for players to compete in this year’s tournament. Invitations may also be issued to those not qualified to date who:

– Win a PGA Tour event that awards a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship.
–Finish in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the Masters.

Here are just some of the invites:

Robert Allenby (Australia), Byeong-Hun An (Korea), Ricky Barnes (United States), Brad Benjamin (United States), Angel Cabrera (Argentina), Chad Campbell (United States), Michael Campbell (New Zealand), Paul Casey (England), Stewart Cink (United States), Tim Clark (South Africa), Fred Couples (United States), Ben Crenshaw (United States), Ben Curtis (United States), Luke Donald (England), Jason Dufner (United States), David Duval (United States), Simon Dyson (England), Ernie Els (South Africa), Ross Fisher (England), Steve Flesch (United States), Raymond Floyd (United States), Jim Furyk (United States), Sergio Garcia (Spain), Brian Gay (United States), Lucas Glover (United States), Retief Goosen (South Africa), Nathan Green (Australia), Todd Hamilton (United States), Chang-won Han (Korea), Anders Hansen (United States), Soren Hansen (Denmark), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Yuta Ikeda (Japan), Trevor Immelman (South Africa), Ryo Ishikawa (Japan), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain), Dustin Johnson (United States), Zach Johnson (United States), Robert Karlsson (Sweden), Shingo Katayama (Japan), Martin Kaymer (Germany), Jerry Kelly (United States), Anthony Kim (United States), Soren Kjeldsen (Denmark), Matt Kuchar (United States), Bernhard Langer (Germany)

01/17/2010 7:15 pm Susan M Murphy
Allenby, Palmer tied for lead at Sony Open

Robert Allenby and Ryan Palmer kept bogeys off their cards and made enough birdies to share the lead at the Sony Open and give themselves a small cushion over everyone else on Saturday. Allenby made all three of his birdies inside 4 feet for a 3-under 67. Palmer, who started the third round with a one-shot margin, two-putted for birdie on his last hole for a 68 to finally catch the Australian.
They were at 11-under 199, three shots clear of a group that includes defending champion Zach Johnson, Davis Love III, Steve Stricker and Troy Matteson.

Allenby will be trying to win his third straight tournament, having won consecutive weeks in South Africa and Australia at the end of last year.

01/16/2010 8:01 pm Susan M Murphy
Why the Tiger Woods scandal says more about us than it does about him

Imagine for a moment that you are editor in chief of your local newspaper. Where do you put the Tiger stories? It started out as a Crime Blotter item, a suspicious early morning one-car accident. In the end it netted Woods only a $164 fine and up to four points on his driving record.

It's a Sports story, since Woods is the world's most famous athlete, and a sex-and-celebrity story, so surely it belongs on the People page. It's also a Business story because of the impact Tiger's indiscretions will have on his endorsements, and that his absence will have on television ratings, tournament attendance and the sport itself.

About the only thing missing is a Weather tie-in, but by now there can be no debating that it is the perfect storm of a story. It is a tale both familiar (Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant, Eliot Spitzer) and unique — seldom if ever has the public's perception of a man been so totally at odds with reality.

It cuts across demographics, hitting the celebrity angle for women and the sports angle for men and giving both sides fodder in the ongoing battle of the sexes now being played out anew on an Internet message board near you.

The story resonates for children, who have benefited most from Woods's philanthropy, specifically those who have visited his eponymous learning center in Anaheim, Calif. What are they to make of Woods and his interdisciplinary studies? (A copy of the out-of-print "Get a Grip on Physics" by John Gribbin was found lying behind Tiger's car seat, shards of glass on its cover.)

Is it time to nudge Johnny in the direction of a new hero?

A story like this, of course, ends up on A1, where it has been almost every day since Woods kicked off Black Friday by driving his SUV over a hydrant and into a tree. It has sent New York Post headline writers into borderline-dangerous, 80-point delirium.

But the more you ponder the plots and subplots, the more you begin to realize the saga says more about us than it does about Woods.

Start with the gutter twins of plain-old lurid curiosity, the type that moves tabloids in supermarket checkout lines, and its lowest-common-denominator sidekick, schadenfreude.

Meryl Streep once said in a commencement address, "You have been told that real life is not like college, and you have been correctly informed. Real life is more like high school."

Woods was our Most Likely to Succeed, Biggest Jock and Homecoming King. But his downfall has played out like a John Hughes movie, where the jock turns out to be like the rest of us while the nerds look on with amusement.

We are all, in this film, Anthony Michael Hall.

We are also, on some level, 4 years old again. We love to kick over sandcastles, the more elaborate the better, for the simple reason that it's interesting to watch them fall. (Thus the impetus for season two of "Human Wrecking Balls," Gallagher's timeless watermelon gag and other mondo-destructo pop-culture mush.)

We love to catch a cheat, or a "cheetah," as the Post called Woods, and to bust a myth. Woods was both of these things. His carefully crafted public image has cratered so swiftly and dramatically that his rep for right decision making, trumpeted by the consulting firm Accenture (the first Woods-backer to bail), was immediately exposed as farcical.

What's more, the Tiger affair has changed our concept of happiness itself, recalling every tired but true aphorism along the "Money can't buy happiness" spectrum, starting with, "He who gets everything he wants will soon want nothing he has."

Tiger had millions in the bank, a Swedish-bikini-team wife, a couple of cute kids (2-year-old Sam, 10-month-old Charlie), the adulation of millions, a labradoodle (Yogi) and a border collie (Taz), vacation homes, a yacht — and still it was not enough.

He was, it seems, a lost, lonely man, searching for happiness in all the wrong places. (Or, if you believe men merely seek to dominate other men, and to detonate their biological imperative far and wide, and to conquer the "Over the Top Benedicts" breakfast at Perkins, he was a very happy man. Discuss amongst yourselves.)

Tiger Woods was named athlete of the decade by the Associated Press on Wednesday, and he deserves another award for remaining such an enigma. We still don't know Tiger very well, but it seems likely we will get to know him better soon. Oprah or someone like her will take center stage to broker a second introduction better than the first.

This Tiger will be more man, less comic book hero. He may or may not be married, but he will be flawed and, for the first time, relatable. That's a good thing, after the impenetrable facade built by Tiger and IMG and monetized by so many watch, sports drink and video game makers for the last 13 years.

We like flawed, always have, because even though we have been exposed as rubberneckers and relationship know-it-alls, we are still, more than anything, about forgiveness and second acts. We love renewal, rebirth, a unique fixer-upper opportunity.

Come on back, Tiger. We're dying to meet you.

01/16/2010 1:43 pm Maddox
A look back at the decade's best, worst and notable

Best player: Sergio Garcia. Just kidding. It's Tiger Woods, of course. The only player whose numbers remotely rival Tiger's in the last decade (56 wins, 12 majors) is Annika Sorenstam (54 wins, 8 majors), and she compiled hers in nine years because she retired a year ago. The numbers are pretty close, in fact. Woods gets the nod when it comes to majors, however.

Best major championship: The 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines may prove to be Tiger's signature championship, and that's saying a lot. First, he limped through 72 holes on a bad leg — he had micro fractures from playing on a blown ACL and needed season-ending surgery soon afterward. Then he turned Saturday into one big highlight show with a pair of dramatic eagles, and Sunday sank a clutch putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff. His blue-collar, every-man opponent, Rocco Mediate, enjoyed his own underdog following and surprisingly took Woods to a 91st hole — and was actually ahead late in the round — before finally losing. It was a mesmerizing, captivating week.

Biggest shocker: No contest here. It was Tiger Woods falling from grace in stunning, messy, nasty tabloid-like fashion. It all began with a National Enquirer story that accused Tiger of flying a New York city hostess to Australia for a tryst. Then there was the suspicious early morning one-car accident just outside Tiger's Orlando home. Then we were then plunged into a weeks-long salacious scandal. Woods has dropped out of sight after announcing he was taking an "indefinite leave" from golf. His wife, Elin, has bought a mansion on an island in Sweden, and People Magazine is reporting that she will leave her husband. Accenture cut ties with Woods, and other sponsors seem to be questioning their relationship with him. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour and its players are left to wonder what impact his indefinite absence will have on their future.

Most amazing shot: Tiger's chip-in at the 16th in the '05 Masters, when his ball rolled past the cup, changed directions and rolled back the other way, barely toppling in at the end.

Best clutch shot on 72nd hole of a major: Australian Karrie Webb holed out a pitching wedge from 116 yards for eagle on the last hole of the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Her big shot got her into a playoff, which she won.

Second best clutch shot on 72nd hole of a major: Little-known Shaun Micheel, one shot ahead after a weekend duel with Chad Campbell, stiffed a 7-iron to two inches to ice his first (and only) career win at the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

Biggest one-hit wonder: Stanford alum Hilary Lunke, who beat Angela Stanford and Kelly Robbins in a playoff at the 2003 U.S. Women's Open. It was not only Lunke's only win and her only top-35 finish in a women's major, it was her only top-10 finish in any LPGA event, ever.

Best Cinderella finish: Obscure Aussie Craig Perks bogeyed seven of the first 15 holes in the final round of the 2002 Players, then chipped in for eagle at the 16th, holed an unlikely birdie putt at the 17th and chipped in again for a miraculous par at the 18th to pull out the victory.

Worst hunch: Perks, after his Players win, said, "I hope this is not my defining moment." It was his only moment. Perks, now 42, retired in frustration after the 2007 season.

Loudest tear-inducing ovation: When Ireland's Darren Clarke walked to the first tee for Friday morning's 2006 Ryder Cup matches at the K Club in his home country, just weeks after his wife passed away from cancer, the roar was like nothing ever heard before in golf — not the Masters, not the 16th hole in Phoenix, not the New Yorkers at the Bethpage People's Open.

Best gender barrier-breaking event: Lorena Ochoa, the top player in women's golf, won the 2007 Women's British Open at St. Andrews, the first women's event held at the Old Course, which is the home of the male-only R&A. It was Ochoa's first major championship, making her the first player since Tony Lema in 1964 to win that first career major at the Old Course. "Being at St. Andrews to make history — there's no more to say," a happy Ochoa said.

Best non-major tournament: No man with two young sons ever needed a victory, or maybe just a weekend to play golf and take a brief break from reality, more than Clarke at the '06 Ryder Cup. Clarke played brilliantly, once holing a putt in excess of 100 feet from just off the green, and just missed scoring the clinching point for Europe by a matter of minutes. It was the feel-good story of the decade, even if you were an American. Honorable mention: Assorted Bay Hill tournaments where Tiger Woods holed walk-off winning putts on the final green. (See here and here.)

Best comeback: The Comeback Player of the Year Award used to be reserved for players who overcame physical adversity, but Steve Stricker took the prize when he revived his game in 2006 and rose from 337th in the world rankings to 63rd. The next year, he rose to No. 4 in the world and won it again. "After I won it the second time," Stricker said, "Tiger looked me in the eyes and was dead serious and said, 'You know, no one will ever do that again.' Which is pretty cool."

Most famous footwear: Annika Sorenstam won the 2002 Nabisco Championship wearing Dorothy-like ruby red slippers. Sorenstam said she almost changed shoes at the turn the first day because every time she looked down to putt, "they were distracting."

Biggest upset: Y.E. Yang, a 37-year-old Korean and your 2009 Honda Classic champion, played in the PGA Championship's final-round pairing with Tiger Woods, who had a two-shot edge and had never lost a major championship that he led after 54 holes. Until now. Yang stared down Woods, hit the hybrid shot of his life to the 72nd green, won the PGA by three strokes and acquired lifetime superstar status as the first Asian-born golfer to win a major.

Best quote: Phil Mickelson, after making double bogey to lose the '06 U.S. Open at Winged Foot by one stroke: "I am such an idiot."

Worst quote: Van Erven Dorens, the TNT Dutch Open tournament director, on offering Tiger Woods a $2 million appearance fee in 2000 to play his event: "He's the Jesus Christ of golf right now."

Most overrated player: Michelle Wie showed signs of progress on the LPGA tour this year, with her first win and stellar play in the Solheim Cup, but has any golfer gotten $10 million to turn pro and done less? She’s still only 20, however, and seems poised to become one of the LPGA's top players.

01/16/2010 10:41 am Maddox
A slow start, quick rebound for Glover

U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover played 26 tournaments last year and made only two eagles. It only took him nine holes in the new season to match that total, and the timing could not have been better.
The start of the season-opening SBS Championship was not something Glover envisioned. He hit a 3-wood so weakly that while most players had a wedge to the green, he was hitting 4-iron. And he didn't hit that one very well, for it sailed to the right and disappeared into the native grasses.

``I should have stayed home,'' Glover said Thursday.
Good thing he was kidding, because he would have missed an amazing turnaround that featured two eagles and four straight birdies, a nine-hole stretch that he played in 9-under par and led him to a 7-under 66 and a one-shot lead.
His final birdie on the par-5 18th, pitching to within a foot of the cup, put him atop the leaderboard over Martin Laird, Nathan Green, Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney and Dustin Johnson.

British Open champion Stewart Cink and Masters champion Angel Cabrera were among those at 68. Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy had a late bogey for a 68.

Heath Slocum (75) and Mark Wilson (74) were the only players who failed to break par on a breezy day above the Pacific Ocean. Even so, a nine-shot difference between first and worst is unusual.

The first tournament of the year with such a small field usually brings a mixed bag of games. Some players are rusty, others still feel as though they're on vacation with no cut and stunning beauty of Maui, and some can't quite figure out how to handle a Plantation course carved out of a mountain that requires imagination to get the ball close on greens with such severe grain.

Glover has not been to Kapalua since 2006, when he won at Disney by holing a bunker shot on the last hole. His start that year didn't inspire much confidence, either - bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey until he recovered with a 74.

It started with a huge drive down the right side of the fifth fairway that left him only a 6-iron to the green, which he hit to 18 feet. Then came a 374-yard drive down the hill for a simple up-and-down for birdie, and he closed out his front nine with a 3-wood to about 30 feet on the par-5 ninth for yet another eagle.

Even better golf followed - four straight birdies, including a 35-footer across the 11th green. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of his round is how his brilliant stretch of golf ended. From the front of the par-4 14th green, he chipped weakly to 8 feet and missed the birdie putt, then missed a 3-foot birdie on the par-5 15th.

It still added to a 66, and Glover felt as though he played that well.
Otherwise, it was a typical start to another PGA Tour season, even as questions linger about Tiger Woods and when he will return from the crisis in his personal life that has put golf in the mainstream media for reasons few ever imagined.

Green felt particularly good after his worst shot of the day. He hit it left of the green on the par-3 eighth and tried to play it from the weeds, but the thick grass grabbed the hosel of the club and pulled it straight to the left. Green feared it was going to take the head off a woman, one of about 10 people in his gallery, but it hit her in the arm.

``That's the stuff I wasn't doing much at all last year,'' Green said. ``If I had a slightly good break like that, I wouldn't make the most of it. I wouldn't manage to get it up and down.''

He settled down after that with four birdies on the back nine.

Johnson had eight birdies to offset a few mistakes, which are expected this time of the year. Laird had the honor of hitting the opening tee shot of the 2010 season, and he split the middle of the fairway, which isn't hard to do since it's about 80 yards wide.
Watney played with Johnson, and both kept it pretty simple.
01/08/2010 2:09 pm Susan M Murphy
A Cure For Slices

You need a wide and powerful backswing to get distance on your drive. But if lately you've been slicing the ball, you should find out why this is happening and make the proper adjustments. If you're right-handed, maybe the problem is in your left arm. You need to keep this arm out straight on your backswing, but if it is still straight when you follow through, your ball is going to slice.

Tension in your left arm will prevent your right arm from rotating over naturally, the way it is supposed to do when you hit your drives. Result: the clubface stays open instead of squaring at impact and your ball slices to the right. This problem can be fixed if you concentrate on letting your left arm bend when you follow through. If you're too conscious of this, that can create problems, too. Best to practice this correction before you get out on the course with your buddies. They'll be proud of you when they note that your slice is gone.
01/07/2010 10:31 am Photography By Glenn
Why Golf Balls Have "Dimples"

Ever wonder why your golf ball has all those “dimples” on it? The answer is simple enough and in one word: aerodynamics. If your golf ball was perfectly smooth, it would fly when you hit it, sure enough, but it wouldn't fly very far. It's the dimples that give your golf balls the thrust needed for distance. On most golf balls up to 80 percent of the surface is composed of dimples, and on some the coverage is as high as 100 percent, with configurations in hexagons and pentagons, tiny six- and five-sided figures.

There are no flat spots to cause drag, giving these balls the ability to carry further and roll farther once they hit the ground. This makes them ideal for driving on long holes. You can make the needed adjustments when hitting to short holes or when hitting an iron from the fairway onto the green. Good dimple coverage also gives golf balls more wind-resistance, enhancing stability.
01/07/2010 10:28 am Photography By Glenn
Tiger Woods update: Golfer not M.I.A., staying with billionaire Jim Dolan; seeing psychiatrist

Tiger Woods, who has been missing in action ever since he was exposed as a serial philanderer, may be laying low at the Long Island estate of Jim Dolan, the billionaire owner of a cable television system and Madison Square Garden. Then, again, maybe not.

Various reports have placed Woods in Arizona in a rehab facility, in Florida, staying near the home of golf legend Arnold Palmer and at the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan, where he allegedly partied down on New Year’s Eve. None have been substantiated.

The mystery of Woods’ whereabouts took the latest turn after Us Weekly reported that the world’s No. 1 golfer moved into Dolan’s 10,000-square-foot colonial mansion a week after his sex scandal broke. But a rep for Dolan strenuously denies the report.

A spokesman for Dolan told Us the report is “categorically false and preposterous on its face.”

But the magazine claims a “knowledgeable source” says otherwise: “Jim reached out to Tiger,” the source claims. “Tiger’s been seeing a shrink who goes to Dolan’s house,” says the source.

Dolan reportedly invited Woods to hide out at his $13.5 million home, which it described as a “fortress-like waterfront estate.”

Dolan has even made his fleet of jets available to Woods. The golfer has his own plane, but wife Elin Nordegren commandeered it for a trip to and from Switzerland to Windermere, Fla. She returned Jan. 1. after reportedly spending the holidays at a French ski resort.

A woman believed to be Elin was spotted outside the gated community where the Woods have a home over the Weekend. But the woman declined to identify herself. See the video.

“He’s the one keeping him under the radar,” says the source. “Jet-setting everywhere. I know Tiger’s flown on Jim’s jet from Florida probably three times.”

The source adds that Nike, one of Woods’ sponsors, let him use their jet for at least one trip.

Dolan has had his own problems with drug and alcohol addictions and spent time in rehab in 1993 and has helped troubled athletes, including basketball player Vin Baker, who battled alcoholism, the magazine says.

Dolan is Chairman of the Board of Cablevision Systems Inc., which operates Long Island’s cable system and is the parent company of the Madison Square Garden. His family also owns the New York Rangers and New York Knicks.

The magazine claims to have in its latest issue, other details about Elin’s “drinking at night”; what Woods has been telling his kids during recent speakerphone conversations and details of a Woods’ meeting with his mother the week before Christmas.

01/07/2010 6:50 am Maddox
0I really the Tiger will be back on the tour by March, however, we may not see him for a long time...
01/10/2010 Bob Anderson
Tiger investment pays off Down Under

When government officials agreed to contribute public funds to lure Tiger Woods to Melbourne for the Australian Masters, it wasn't a universally popular decision. Woods received a $3 million appearance fee, about half paid by the government, which projected Woods would provide an economic boost to the region to the tune of $19 million.

It proved a fruitful investment, returning a dividend of $31 million (U.S.) to the state of Victoria, the Age is reporting.

"This was truly a great event for Melbourne and Victoria that delivered a massive boost to our tourism industry, attracted thousands of visitors to our state and beamed Melbourne to a global audience," Rob Hulls, Victoria's acting premier, tells the newspaper.

More to the point, Woods, who won the tournament, will likely be invited back, notwithstanding the controversy that has resulted in his taking a hiatus from the game.

''Tiger is welcome to come and play golf any time in Victoria,'' said Tourism Minister Tim Holding.

01/07/2010 6:44 am Maddox
Two More Courses Under Trump's Tree

Donald Trump bought himself a pair of golf courses. They are the private Branton Woods in Hopewell Junction, N.Y, and the public Pine Hill Golf Club, a Tom Fazio-designed course that's adjacent to the famous Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Hill, N.J.

Big surprise—he's changing their names! Effective immediately, Branton Woods will be known as Trump National Golf Club - Hudson Valley, New York, and Pine Hill will be Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia. Quoting from the Trump press release: "Both courses will be operated by The Trump Organization as high-end ultra-luxury private clubs."

Trump did not disclose his purchase price for either. The acquisitions bring to 11 the total number of golf courses owned by Trump. His most recent purchases include the former Lowes Island Golf Club outside Washington, D.C..
01/06/2010 1:11 am Maddox
Black Golf Legend Bill Powell Died Dec 31

It's not a name that resonates with American sports fans like Jackie Robinson or Joe Louis, but black golf pioneer William "Bill" Powell blazed his own trails on the fairways, sand traps and putting greens of our nation's sports scene. Powell, the first black man to build, own and operate a golf course, died on Dec. 31st at the age of 93 in Canton, Ohio, after a stroke

Powell built the Clearview Golf Club in 1948, at a time when many golf courses didn't allow blacks to play the game. Nine holes were added in 1978 to earn its full-course designation. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1978.

Named the 2009 winner of the Professional Golf Association Distinguished Service Award, Powell was the father of professional golfer Renee Powell, the second black woman to compete on the LPGA.
01/05/2010 11:25 am Maddox
Electronic Arts Stands Behind Tiger Woods

Electronic Arts Inc. said Monday it will stand behind Tiger Woods — at least for the release of a new online golf game featuring the embattled athlete. The relationship between EA and Woods stretches back more than a decade, and Tiger Woods-branded games have pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars for the company over the years.

Woods' image has been tarnished following a Thanksgiving holiday car accident at the golfer's Florida home, which led to an admission of extramarital "transgressions." He is taking a break from golf and has been dropped by major corporate sponsors AT&T Corp. and Accenture.

Gillette, a unit of the Procter & Gamble Co., and Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer, a unit of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, have also said they will cut back their use of Woods in their advertising campaigns.

On Monday, EA Sports President Peter Moore said the company decided to stick with Woods because he is "still one of the greatest athletes in history" despite his "mistakes" off the golf course.

Moore added in a statement that the company has spent "considerable time" developing and testing the new "Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online" game, which he called a "breakthrough experience."

The game will be released in so-called "open beta" later this month, which means it is still being tested but anyone can play and help find areas that can be improved. EA said it doesn't have a date yet for the launch of the finished game.

The company, which is based in Redwood City, wouldn't comment on whether Woods' sex scandal will affect EA's plans for a new edition of Woods' popular console game, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour," a franchise that that doesn't do as well as the company's enormously successful "Madden" football series but is still a serious moneymaker. EA has raked in more than $670 million from the Woods franchise in the United States alone over the length of the partnership, according to estimates by market research firm NPD Group.

The most recent installment of the console game, "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10," was launched in June 2009. The next one is scheduled for the summer of 2010. The games are especially popular on the Nintendo Wii, whose intuitive motion controls lend themselves to sports games.

EA can continue to make "PGA Tour" games without Woods. It could pick another golfer with a more pristine family life. Or it could go back to the pre-Woods days, and simply call it "PGA Tour."

The game has no real competitors. EA is the only company licensed by the PGA to make games that carry its name. It lets players play in a setting that looks as close to the real thing as possible.

Most of Woods' $100 million in annual earnings have come not from tournament winnings but from companies that wanted to be associated with his persona.

01/05/2010 3:20 am Maddox
Interview with Y.E. Yang and how his life has Changed

Since winning the PGA at Hazeltine, I have a lot more interviews. And a lot more cash in my bank account, which my family loves. I've never had this kind of reception from American fans before. Now they recognize me and want autographs.

Lifting my bag over my head after I won was totally spontaneous -- I'd never done that before. It was before I hugged my wife. I was walking to the scorer's tent and suddenly felt so thankful and just wanted to have that little moment with my clubs. They made me what I am today. And yes, I was a bodybuilder for two years.

I bring duplicate wedges to each tournament and write "P" on one set. I use those during practice so I don't wear out the grooves on the other ones.

If I weren't playing golf for a living, I'd take over for my father and be a vegetable farmer. I bought a house near Dallas, and now my favorite food is barbecued spare ribs. I like trying the different sauces. Add a cold Budweiser, and it's the perfect meal. Only thing is, you need lots of napkins.

I started endorsing a new line of grips called NO1-Grip. The sticky feel lasts a long time, and I use different colors for different clubs.
01/03/2010 1:52 pm Maddox
Tom Watson Hopes to be the Olderst Dubai Classic Winner

Next month, Tom Watson, winner of eight majors, hopes to become the oldest winner of the Dubai Desert Classic. Watson is 60 and will join top European players at the tournament hosted by Emirates Golf Club from February 1-7. To date Mark O’Meara is the oldest player to have won at age 47 in 2004. Also, playing in the Dubai Classic is Rory McIllroy of Northern Ireland who won the Classic last year.

He is a third of Watson’s age. Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chief executive of Golf In Dubai, said: "We are delighted to have a player and stature of the caliber of Tom Watson. He is a great player, we all know." Concerning the possibility of winning Watson said, "The winners' list is quite impressive and I would be very proud and pleased to add my name to it." Earlier this year Watson narrowly missed winning The Open at Turnberry for a sixth time. It was down to a play-off again Stewart Cink.
01/03/2010 9:40 am Jessica Nicole
Worst Golf Year Ever

Even before the great Tiger Woods scandal, I had already marked down 2009 as a contender for Worst Golf Year Ever. I don't want to sound negative, but the fall of Tiger has effectively sewn up that award. This year was scary bad. Every golf tour in the world is downsizing, some at alarming rates, along with advertising and sponsorship dollars. More courses are closing than are being built in America. Golf equipment makers have been forced to cut jobs. Golf real estate values, like most real estate values, have plunged. Golf hasn't seen a dip like this since the Great Depression, not counting Charles Barkley's swing. In fact, that's how bad 2009 was — a show featuring Barkley trying to fix his spastic Mr. Roboto swing was one of the year's guilty pleasures. We could all relate to Sir Charles.

The men's major championships, while thrilling to watch, were ultimately bastions of buzzkill. If Kenny Perry, Phil Mickelson and Tom Watson had won the first three majors, and if Woods had finished off the PGA Championship, we might be talking about one of golf's all-time storybook seasons. With no disrespect to the champs — Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and Y.E. Yang — the winners we had were less compelling than the stories of the nearly men.

Tiger's seven wins after knee surgery might have made for a feel-good comeback story, but the post-Thanksgiving revelations about his personal life turned Tiger into the feel-bad story of 2009.

Golf got back into the Olympics for 2016. That's probably good for international golf, but is it good for the U.S.? It's a given that the PGA Tour will soon be exporting events, just like the Nationwide Tour has shipped off tournaments to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Panama, Canada and Colombia. That's good for golf in those countries, but not so good for low-paid American Nationwide pros who probably won't be able to win back their upsized travel expenses.

What else? Well, we'll start 2010 with two sets of rules. Amateurs can continue to play clubs with U-shaped grooves while tour pros must use modified V-shaped grooves. Good or bad, it's definitely confusing. And one PGA Tour player tested positive for drugs this year, which is likely to become another controversial and lengthy court case.

As for women's golf, buy yourself a drink if you can name any winner of a women's major in the last two seasons. (OK, I'll help you out with this year's under-appreciated champs — Brittany Lincicome, Eun-Hee Ji, Catriona Matthew and Anna Nordqvist.) This a tour badly in need of better TV exposure. Still, there's room for hope. Michelle Wie finally won a regular LPGA event, and the tour has a new commissioner whose mission isn't to alienate media and run off long-time sponsors, a smart step forward.

But mainly it was a downer of a year. It couldn't get worse in 2010, right? Not unless Tiger's indefinite leave is longer than we fear, and those PGA Tour sponsors whose contracts are up after 2010 opt to bail, and the TV networks smell panic and decide golf is a money-losing proposition. But I don't think that's going to happen. Like I said, I don't want to sound negative.

Let's go ahead and call 2009 the Worst Golf Year Ever. That way we're guaranteed that 2010 will be better.


01/02/2010 10:57 pm Maddox
How Tiger Can Get His Swing Swag Back in 2010

Tiger Woods lost both his swing and his swag in 2009, as we saw him fall from being one of the most admired men in America to becoming the poster child for sexual promiscuity. I don't believe that Tiger deserved such a label, because like the rest of us, he is a complex being with many good attributes to complement the bad ones. Also, how would you look if all of your ex-lovers were put on television? I thought so.

But the world is going to have its perceptions, and a public image can typically be an either/or sort of thing. Either you are damn near perfect, or you are the most flawed human being in the history of the world. That can work to your detriment or your advantage, depending on how you play it.

But the goal for Tiger Woods in 2010 goes deeper than his public image. On his birthday, I offer that it is really about his own self-perception, his personal sense of optimism and the simple act of regaining the focus and confidence that got him to where he is right now. He is the greatest golfer in the history of all mankind, attacking golf legends with the speed and force of a runaway freight train. He is only four majors away from breaking a record that was once considered unbreakable (the record of 18 majors, held by Jack Nicklaus), and I would hate to see him lose his quest for a lifelong objective.

Here's what I'd like to see from Tiger Woods when it comes to finding ways to regain both his swing and his swag in 2010:

1) Keep playing golf: Tiger Woods quitting golf is like the most beautiful woman in the world cutting her face off. If Tiger is not sinking putts and winning tournaments, he is just another athlete who cheated on his wife. Additionally, missing next season would cause him to miss a critical opportunity to inch closer to the 18-major record of Jack Nicklaus. In an unusual season, three of the four courses where majors are being played just happen to be courses that Tiger has dominated in the past. He has the opportunity to make 2010 one of the greatest seasons in the history of golf. What better way to reclaim his dominance than to go out and murder the field like no one has ever seen? Tiger has got to get on the golf course next year, no matter what it takes.

2) Reshape the image and keep making your paper: While Tiger has earned more than $100 million dollars per year being a squeaky clean choir boy, he can still earn just as much money by being a little bit of a bad boy. There are quite a few athletes and celebrities known for their imperfections who get plenty of endorsement opportunities. Beyond the squeaky clean Tiger, there is also the Killer Tiger; the one who conquers everything in his path (including women, I guess). That version of Tiger can also sell, since America may end up respecting Tiger more than they actually like him.

3) Remember that there is no substitute for Tiger Woods: When Tiger plays, America watches. The PGA Tour loses its financial soul when Tiger Woods leaves the golf course. You can't replace that with a thousand Phil Mickelsons (some readers may not even know who Mickelson is, which proves my point exactly). Additionally, there is no way of escaping the fact that Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer the world has ever seen (yes, I keep saying it, because it is fundamentally true). There is no competitor for No. 1, and there really is no No. 2, 3 or 4. This is Tiger's world, and no amount of infidelity is going to change that. Tiger and his team surely understand this reality, so I encourage Tiger to get his butt out there and keep kicking the butts of others.

4) Keep your head up: While Tiger's popularity has plummeted among white Americans, black folks still have a favorable opinion of Woods. According to a recent CNN poll, only 28 percent of White Americans view Woods favorably, while that number is 66 percent for African Americans. Once again, Tiger Woods has become a racially polarizing figure, reflecting the divergent realities of whites and blacks in America. All the while, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks about Tiger: He's already insanely rich, and he doesn't need anyone to pay the bills. Tiger should hold his head up high and be proud of his achievements. Don't let the madness drive you mad Tiger, you're too sharp for that.

I have a feeling that the real Tiger Woods is going to show up in 2010. This is the greatest battle he's ever faced, and I believe that he's going to win this one with flying colors. The drama of recent weeks is going to make a great segment to his (previously dull) life story, leading to an interesting blockbuster film 20 years from now. But the film is only going to be interesting if Tiger gives us the comeback story we need him to provide. Go get 'em Tiger, get your swag back!

01/02/2010 12:59 am Maddox
Woods, Top Sports Story of the Year

All week, we've been counting down the biggest sports story of 2009. By an overwhelming vote, Tiger Woods sex scandal topped the list. Tiger is one of the few athletes who are bigger than the sport they play. A golf tournament with Tiger looks a lot different than a tournament without him. Tiger tourneys get bigger crowds, bigger paying sponsors and a bigger headline on Sportscenter.

So when Tiger crashed his car Thanksgiving Weekend, it was big news. But the crash was just the tip of the iceberg.

The crash was minor. Woods got a few cuts on his face. What we learned after it led to Woods suspending his career and losing several sponsors.

More than a dozen women claimed to have had an affair with Woods. Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, has told friends she will divorce the golf superstar. AT&T & Accenture dropped sponsorships. And other companies are scaling back, keeping Woods out of their advertisements.

This story will only grow in 2010. Woods will have to eventually answer the questions about his personal life. Even if Woods doesn't come out and talk, his wife could. How will crowds react to Tiger on tour now? And will he be able to get back to his dominating form with all of these rumors out there?

12/31/2009 11:10 am Maddox
Who Gains Most From Tiger-less Tour?

The PGA Tour next week begins a second consecutive season without its best player. Unlike last year, however, when Tiger Woods was rehabbing a surgically repaired knee in a hard-working push to return to competition, this season he has gone underground to hide from the backlash of a tawdry secret life.

Last year, Woods' return to the PGA Tour was charted and awaited. But nobody has a clue what Woods' role will be in 2010.

"I'm a little disappointed personally," NBC golf analyst Gary Koch said. "I was really looking forward to early 2010 because of the way Phil Mickelson finished 2009, winning the Tour Championship, and playing in the final group in China with Tiger and winning.

"I'm thinking, 'Man, we are going to have some good head-to-head confrontations early in the year.' Obviously, that's not going to happen any time soon."

That leaves a void to fill. Golf needs somebody to step up and make fans pay attention. As Koch points out, the likely candidate is Mickelson. After a season-long struggle with his putter, Lefty caught fire at the end of 2009 after working with Dave Stockton.

If Mickelson picks up where he left off, it is not unrealistic to suggest he can unseat Woods atop the World Golf Rankings.

"This gives Mickelson a great chance to enhance his name and his stature," Koch said. "If Tiger sits six months, nine months, and Mickelson plays and plays well, all he's going to do it keep moving closer to No. 1, which I know he has said is a huge goal. At some point in his career, he'd love to be the No. 1 player in the world."

Mickelson, with three majors and a total of 37 career wins, is by far the player most capable of taking advantage of Woods' absence, but the same could have been said last year and Phil struggled through most of the early season.

So if not Mickelson, who? Since you asked:

1: Padraig Harrington: The 38-year-old Irishman was winless in 2009 after winning two majors the previous season, spending much of the season working on his swing.

2. Sergio Garcia: The talented Spaniard who seems to always draw more attention of his ability to pout than hit golf shots, had an absolute stink-o 2009. And it may have been the best thing that ever happened to him.

3. Anthony Kim: He's brash, talented and only 24 years old. That's a good start. The Los Angeles native won twice in 2008, and although win less last year, had a strong showing in the Presidents Cup.

4. Sean O'Hair: Only 27 and already with three wins, O'Hair has quietly distinguished himself as one of the tour's most-successful 20-something talents.

5: Steve Stricker: The PGA Tour could do a lot worse than having Stricker become its marquee player.

6. John Daly: You know things are upside down when Daly can offer life advice to Woods and it makes sense.

12/30/2009 11:38 am Maddox
Daly to play at the Sony Open in January

John Daly, winner of two majors, will be playing at the Sony Open in Hawaii on January 14-17 due to being granted a sponsor’s exemption. Also, playing will be fellow sponsor invites Tadd Fujikawa and Dean Wilson along with all four major winners from 2009: Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and Y.E. Yang.

Daly, who is 43, has a reputation for hard living. However, this past year he lost over 100 lbs due to lapband surgery. His sponsor’s exemption for this tournament comes as a result of a letter he wrote that according to a tournament official demonstrated great humility and states that he finally realized all he should be doing is playing golf. The official was quoted as saying, “If he lives up to one-tenth of what he says in the letter he’s going to be incredible”.

Looks like Daly coming back into the game and playing well might be just what we need to distract us from this Tiger Wood’s mess.

12/29/2009 9:19 am Jessica Nicole
Michelle Wie Opens Her Bag

The wait is over for Michelle Wie who recorded her first professional victory on Sunday at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational by Banamex and Corona Light. In her 65th LPGA tournament - 18th as a member this season - the 20-year-old clinched the win with a 30-yard sand shot to one foot on the 72nd hole for birdie. Wie joins six other Rolex First-Time Winners this season and is the fifth American winner on Tour this season.

"It feels, it sounds cliché, but it feels awesome," Wie said. "Fantastic actually. For sure, it's definitely (a monkey) off my back. I think that hopefully life will be a lot better, but I still have a lot of work to do."

12/28/2009 3:30 pm Jessica Nicole
PGA Tour Adding Malaysian Event

The PGA Tour will stage a select-field tournament in conjunction with the Asian Tour in 2010 The PGA Tour has reached a multiyear deal with the Asian Tour to stage the Malaysia Asia Pacific Golf Classic. The tours said Monday the event will be played late next year at The Mines Resort and Golf Club, with the winner receiving $1 million from the $6 million purse.

The top 25 players from the PGA Tour's final FedEx Cup standings and the top 10 available players from the Asian Tour money list will get spots in the 40-man field. The event also will include five sponsor exemptions and at least one Malaysian professional will be guaranteed a spot at The Mines.

Dates of the tournament were not announced.

12/28/2009 11:35 am Jessica Nicole
Origin of Golf - What do you Say

The origin of golf is unclear and open to debate. Some histoians trace the sport back to the Roman game of paganica, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. One theory asserts that paganica spread throughout Britain and Europe as the Romans conquered most of the continent, during the first century B.C., and eventually evolved into the modern game. Others cite chuiwan ("chui" means striking and "wan" means small ball) as the progenitor, a Chinese game played between the eighth and 14th centuries.

The game is thought to have been introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Another early game that resembled modern golf was known as cambuca in England and chambot in France. This game was, in turn, exported to the Low Countries, Germany, and England (where it was called pall-mall, pronounced “pell mell”). Some observers, however, believe that golf descended from the Persian game, chaugán. In addition, kolven (a game involving a ball and curved bats) was played annually in Loenen, Netherlands, beginning in 1297, to commemorate the capture of the assassin of Floris V, a year earlier.

According to the most widely accepted account, however, the modern game originated in Scotland around the 12th century, with shepherds knocking stones into rabbit holes on the current site of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
12/27/2009 8:41 pm Susan M Murphy
Golf Digest Bumps Tiger Woods Column

Golf Digest has become the latest partner to cut ties with embattled golf icon Tiger Woods, announcing today that it will suspend its monthly instructional column that bears Woods' name.

"Golf Digest has had a long-standing relationship with Tiger Woods to provide instructional articles for the magazine, and we do not have any plans to change that," Golf Digest spokesman Bret Hopman said in a statement provided to CNBC. "We respect Tiger's decision to take a break from professional golf and focus on his family; Tiger's bylined instructional articles will not be published during his time away from the game."

Golf Digest managed to say that it has no plans to change its relationship with Woods while still canceling his column "during his time away from the game".

As though Tiger Woods personally sits down at the computer and hacks out his own columns and just won't have time for it now that he's devoting his energy to fixing his family.

According to The New York Post, which first reported this story, "Golf Digest has an exclusive long-term contract with Woods valued at $3 million per year. It declined to say whether Tiger's compensation would be suspended. . . Tiger will remain on the magazine's masthead as Playing Editor. No pun intended, we are sure."

Given the troubles the magazine industry is facing -- according to MediaWeek, Golf Digest's ad pages are down 20.98% year over year -- and the hit Tiger's marketing appeal has taken, it's hard to see how the company can make money paying Tiger $3 million per year.
12/27/2009 7:38 pm Susan M Murphy
Tiger Woods Still Has Time with Tag Heuer

Branding is a tricky thing. Celebrity spokesmen come and go. A hint of scandal can drive a company to dump an affiliation with a famous endorser -- or not. The Tiger Woods scandal caused global consulting firm Accenture (AON) to remove the golfer from all of its marketing programs. Gillette seems to have cut back on using Woods in ads. Nike (NKE), however, has decided to stand by the golfer.

On Tuesday, watch company TAG Heuer put a photo of Woods on the front page of all eight of its websites, according to CNBC. A check of the websites shows that each displays Woods' image with a headline reading: "TAG Heuer Stands with Tiger Woods." In a statement on the sites, Jean-Christophe Babin, President and CEO of the company, says, "The partnership with Tiger Woods will continue."

There is no explanation for TAG's action. It may be that, like Nike, the watch company believes loyalty to a long-time partner will play better with the public than turning a cold shoulder to someone in trouble. Woods will never get back all of his endorsements, but some of the companies may stand by him. Backing a wounded hero could have unexpected benefits.

12/25/2009 10:21 pm Maddox
Mom fed up with Drunken Golfers

Drunken golfers continue to urinate at the tee-off for Tennessee Centennial Golf Course's 18th hole next to a home with two young girls, their mother said Wednesday. Delisa Schubert says she's reported the incidents on numerous occasions to police, city officials, the local district attorney and the manager of the city-owned golf course - all to no avail.

"I've received zero cooperation," Schubert said. "The city doesn't want to discuss the issue. They don't want to enforce the law. I've begged them to do something."

Fed up as another golfing season started, Schubert said she began videotaping offenders relieving themselves.

"Many times I would say, 'You're on camera,' and they'd keep right on going. They'd yell and scream obscenities at me," she said. "I've been threatened over and over again."

Some of those scenes were aired Monday on local TV and Tuesday morning on Fox News.

That night, Schubert said her husband looked out their window and said, "I can't believe it." Another golfer was urinating next to their back yard, she said.

She said it's been a problem ever since her family moved into their home next to the golf course in December 2005.

When her daughters, now 11 and 15, first saw golfers urinating next to their house, "it freaked them out," Schubert said.

Too much beer and too little restraint are to blame, she says. "They are carting beer out to these men," she said.

"There is a direct correlation between these men that do this and being intoxicated."

There are rest rooms nearby, both on the 16th hole and at the clubhouse, Schubert said. A portable bathroom on the 18th hole wouldn't end the problem, she said. "When you have no inhibition, you're just going to go anywhere.

"On the face of this, it's funny. But when you think about it, it's extremely dangerous. They're going to get in their car and drive off drunk."

Already, signs banning public urination are posted on the golf course, said Josh Collins, director of the city's recreation and parks department.

Collins said the city is in talks with the course operator, Billy Casper Golf Management, about the issue. "We're telling the golf course this is a problem you need to look at very closely," he said.

12/23/2009 5:53 pm Maddox
Highest Golf Course in the World

A number of golf courses have laid claim to be the highest in the world. The now abandoned Tuctu in Peru was over 14,000 feet above sea level and a rough 9-hole track run by Indian Army engineers in the Himalayas was said to be over 11,000 feet in elevation.

In the USA, several courses in Colorado are over 9,000 feet in height whilst Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in China stands very tall at 10,000 feet. These layouts can boast impressive altimeter readings but none of them quite come up to the 10,650 feet highest point of the La Paz golf course in Bolivia.

Founded in 1912 by British railway workers employed on the construction of roads, bridges and tracks through the Andes, the La Paz Golf Club members built a 9-hole course in a suburb of the city named – appropriately enough – El Alto.

That course is now long since gone (swallowed up by the international airport) and the club has been playing on property 10 miles southeast of El Alto at Mallasilla since the late 1940s.

Here, in plush country club surroundings, golfers play on a well-manicured course – much of it maintained by hand – two miles up in the air. The La Paz Golf Course is the highest golf course in the world.

The dramatic Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) site of the modern day 18 hole course is unlike any other as the sandstone mountains have been eroded over time to produce a lofty lunar landscape that has been described as an “odd work of art, like a desert filled with stalagmites.”

This remarkable terrain is best encountered up close at the 12th hole, where the island tee box is reached by not one, but two bridges. With an enormous canyon to the rear of this precarious position, the tee shot requires a 180-yard forced carry across a mass of beige and brown coloured rocky outcrops to a welcoming verdant fairway in the distance.
12/22/2009 11:50 am Maddox

Bank on It: Tiger Will Return to Golf Sooner than Later

Can we talk? Despite everything, ranging from his marital woes to his ties with a doctor busted for steroids, there is no way Tiger Woods misses the glory stretch of the upcoming PGA Tour season. More specifically, he'll travel to Augusta in April to do more than just watch the blooming of dogwoods and azaleas.

He'll play in the Masters. Chances are, he'll play before that, just to prepare for the chance to pull on his fifth green jacket.

Then, with the drama out of the way surrounding his first major tournament since the start of those ugly revelations, he'll move on with the rest of his golfing life, especially regarding trips to Pebble Beach (U.S. Open), St. Andrews (British Open) and Kohler, Wis. (PGA Championship).

But let's return to the Masters, the always perfect venue for the intensely private Woods, and maybe you've heard: He has vanished since he supposedly damaged his face after he crashed his Escalade into a bunch of stuff on Thanksgiving weekend. He knows that the public scrutiny that he is trying to avoid only will explode during his next few appearances on the tour. I mean, in the past, he couldn't handle a stray noise or a sudden movement after he addressed the ball, and you just know that his already wired galleries will get louder and bolder in the future.

The exception? Augusta National, where those who run the place are notoriously ruthless when it comes to unruly spectators and media folks who don't follow the Masters' famously stringent rules.

Woods could go to the place and just ... golf.

If you haven't really studied Woods' nearly 34 years on earth, let's start with something huge: He once made the promise to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part. No, I'm not talking about his 5-year-old marriage vows to Elin Nordegren. This reference is to the game of golf, Woods' significant other since he whacked balls on national television in front of his father, Earl, along with Mike Douglas and Bob Hope at the age of 2.

Tiger may love his wife -- and I stress "may," given the avalanche of women who have surfaced since his November 27 crash to claim that they've had intimate dealings with Woods -- but he definitely loves golf.

The man actually is obsessed with golf. Among other things, the spirit of his deceased father still dominates his soul.

Earl Woods proclaimed boldly that his mission was to turn Tiger into the greatest person ever to drive, chip and putt for a living. The father even urged his son not to marry, because he said it would hinder his pursuit of golfing immortality.

While Tiger defied Earl on that marriage thing, the son never lost his desire to fulfill the rest of his father's wishes. That's why, despite sitting a couple of stratospheres above the elite of the elite in his profession, Woods kept changing his swing to become even more otherworldly. That's why he ignored the throbbing in his left knee during the 2008 U.S. Open to win a playoff on one leg. That's why he returned from reconstructive surgery on that knee this past season to win six tournaments along the way to grabbing his second FedEx Cup as the tour's No. 1 player.

That's why you should yawn over much of what Woods placed on his Web site about taking an "indefinite break" from golf.

Wrote Tiger: "I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try. After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person."

Yeah, well. It sounds good.

Mostly, it sounds like what Woods has to say to pave the way for his inevitable appearance before the Oprah crowd.

If you believe the reports, Woods will climb into his yacht with his wife and two small children for a trip to Nordegren's native land for that family bonding. Whatever the case, and wherever he goes, you can bet he'll take his Nike clubs and a bucket of balls with him. In others words, don't be shocked if somebody snaps a few aerial shots of the guy firing three-irons into the middle of the Atlantic .

He'll play in the Masters, all right, because Woods is obsessed with trying to win major championships in particular. He has Jack Nicklaus to catch. While Nicklaus has the all-time mark with 18 such victories, Woods has been stuck on 14 since that U.S. Open title 18 months ago. That gap will stretch to 22 months (an eternity for Woods) by the time the Masters rolls around.

For every major that Tiger skips, he knows that is another opportunity lost, not only to surpass Nicklaus' record, but to destroy it.

There also are those sponsors who Sports Illustrated said contributed to $92 million of the $99.7 million that Woods made overall last year. Accenture dropped him, and others such as AT&T are waffling. But he'll still have more than enough sponsors in the aftermath not to stand in somebody's soup line any time soon.

That is, if Tiger is playing.

Take the contrasting statements on Monday from Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer, for instance. Earlier in the day, a company spokesperson told the Associated Press that Tag Heuer would stick with Woods despite his problems because he is "the best in his domain." Later, the company released a statement that said it was examining its long-term relationship with Woods because of his indefinite leave from golf.

So Tiger has to keep playing, but only if he wishes to keep getting paid by the millions instead of the thousands.

Then you have PGA officials and Woods' peers. They need him as much as he needs them. If nothing else, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem will knock on Woods' door sooner than later, drop to his knees and beg him to play.

The Tour's total purse has gone from $56 million in 1994 before Tiger's arrival to more than $260 million in recent years. According to Forbes magazine, when Woods returned to the Tour this season after his knee surgery, TV ratings jumped 136 percent. And get this: the Tour's six-year deals with CBS and NBC expire in 2012. Negotiations are expected to begin at the start of next year.

I don't know about January for Woods' return, but I do know about April.

Tiger knows, too.

He just can't say it.
12/21/2009 4:03 pm Maddox
0He's an amazing golfer. He is very talented and I'm sure he will return to the sport sooner than later too. However, he should really consider focusing on being a better husband, father and person. I personally don't believe Elin will stay with him after being humiliated and used so many times. But he should still make the effort to make things better for his family.
12/21/2009 ERIKA
0Tiger Woods economic impact on the game is huge...in 1996 nine PGA golfers earned a million or more, in 2008 there were 104 who earned 1M plus. He definitely will return with their blessings.
12/21/2009 Ronald Tucker
Anna Rawson the sexiest Lady on Tour

While the Tiger Woods scandal continues, this steaming Aussie is bringing a less sleazy sex appeal to the game of golf. At 28 years of age, Anna Rawson certainly knows how to handle a three wood and has raised eyebrows by suggesting the older female golfer look like lesbians. She is one of the new breed of sexy golfers who bring joy to a game that can sometimes get a tad boring. And with hotties like this on the LPGA Tour one wonders why Tiger didn't focus his efforts within his own sport.

As well as professional golfer, Rawson is also a model. She has appeared in many racy photo shoots, getting men all over the world hot under the collar.

Rawson turned professional at the end of 2004 and in 2008 she qualified for a full time tour card for the 2009 tour.
12/20/2009 1:18 pm Ronald Tucker
0We need to get her to model some Ujena bikinis, what do you think?
12/23/2009 Bob Anderson
Tiger Woods Named PGA Tour 'Player Of The Year'

Despite having a tumultuous year Tiger Woods has been named the 2009 PGA Tour Player of The Year. The honor comes from a vote by the players and on Friday, the players voted him to be the ‘Jack Nicklaus: Player Of The Year' for the 10th time in his 13 years on tour.

The tour does not disclose vote totals. In addition to this award, Tiger also won the Byron Nelson Award for the lowest adjusted scoring average and the Arnold Palmer Award for winning the most money in the season.

12/20/2009 12:47 pm Maddox
Tiger Woods Has Been Golfing Alone at Night

Tiger Woods -- who has been named Athlete of the Decade by The Associated Press -- is dealing with his extramarital affair scandal with late-night golfing sessions, Us Weekly reports in its latest issue (on newsstands now).

A resident in Woods' Isleworth gated community in Windermere, Fla., tells Us Weekly that the 33-year-old athlete -- who announced Dec. 11 that he is taking a break from professional golf to focus on being "a better person" -- has been spotted "coming by in the early evenings only for their counseling and therapy."

After those grueling sessions -- which a source describes as the golfer "just apologizing over and over again" -- Woods heads to a nearby course to hit golf balls "to clear his head," another local says. "He goes after dark so he can't be seen. For him, what's more therapeutic than hitting golf balls, the thing he's best at in the whole world?"

Seems the intense therapy won't be able to save Woods' five-year marriage: A new report claims that Nordegren -- mother to Sam, 2, and Charlie, 10 months -- will "100 percent" divorce him.

She and the kids are also expected to spend the holidays without him.
12/17/2009 11:10 am Maddox
2009 PGA Money Leaders

The Top Earners for PGA Golf for 2009.
Interesting that Tiger is at the Top, but has played the least amount of Games. The PGA Tour is an organization that operates the main professional golf tours in the United States. It is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, a suburb of Jacksonville. Its name is officially rendered in all-capital letters as "PGA TOUR".

Rank... Player ........ Events .. Earnings
1..... Tiger Woods ... 18 .... $10,508,163.00
2..... Steve Stricker . 23 .... $6,332,636.00
3..... Phil Mickelson .19 .... $5,332,754.50
4..... Zach Johnson .. 27 ... $4,714,812.50
5..... Kenny Perry .... 25 ... $4,445,562.00
6..... Sean O'Hair ..... 24 ... $4,316,493.00
7..... Jim Furyk ........ 24 ... $3,946,515.00
8..... Geoff Ogilvy ..... 21 ... $3,866,270.00
9..... Lucas Glover ... 27 .... $3,693,353.30
10... Y.E. Yang ....... 24 .... $3,489,515.80

12/13/2009 10:25 am Maddox

Since donating $10,000 to charity at the 1938 Palm Beach Invitational, the PGA Tour, which operates the main men's professional golf tours, has donated more than $1.4 billion. But the Tour's donations are down 10% to 15% this year from a record $124 million in 2008. The Tour's response? A renewed commitment to fundraising with a website coming in January 2010 and an advertising campaign, "Together, anything is possible."

The important thing about all this is if more people know that the PGA Tour stands for charity, the better chance we have to harness their financial support. It's easier to excite people because David Toms or Tiger Woods is doing something. When we say, "Together, anything's possible," we mean that by rallying behind the common cause of charitable giving, we can create greater awareness and elevate our overall impact.

The TOUR’s goal is to reach the $2 billion mark by 2013, a figure that would have stunned the players and tournament organizers who in 1938 contributed $10,000 to local charities at the Palm Beach Invitational. It was an unprecedented action in professional sports, and in the years since, no other sport has come close to matching either the TOUR’s commitment or its contributions.

12/11/2009 8:50 am Maddox
Anthony Kim splits with Caddie

Anthony Kim is letting go of the caddie who helped him to his only PGA Tour victories. Eric Larson, who toted Kim’s bag in both of his breakthrough victories, last year, caddied for Kim for most of the last two golf seasons. Larson was told he was not needed for the rest of the fall and is unsure whether Kim will keep him for next season.

Larson said Kim told him he just felt like he needed a change but that Larson deserved to be on his bag Presidents Cup week. So, who will be Kims new caddie? Former University of Oklahoma teammate Brodie Flanders will serve as his new caddie while Kim plays in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas.

Brodie will caddie for the rest of this season while Anthony evaluates the future of the caddie position. Larson will caddie for his long-time friend and former boss, Mark Calcavecchia, at the Frys.com Open next week, but he’s uncertain about his future. Kim left the door open to a possible reunion.

10/16/2009 1:44 am Susan M Murphy
Money not on the brain for Tiger at East Lake

ATLANTA — So many scenarios. So many good players. So much money on the line. Tiger Woods is keeping it so simple. The much-anticipated TOUR Championship, the last event of the PGA Tour Playoffs, begins Thursday at East Lake Golf Club. The tournament winner receives $1.35 million, and the overall champion in the elite 30-player field earns $10 million.

Woods, who previously won the FedExCup in 2007, said he won't be thinking about money until the final putt Sunday afternoon. Even when Woods was playing his rookie season, he just looked at trying to beat everybody in the field, and that would kind of take care of itself. At the time, he was looking at the money list because he was trying to get in the top 150, trying to get unlimited exemptions the following year.
“ it was just you'd play as hard as you can, and at the end, then you'd look at it." Said Woods.

Wouldn't it only be human to permit the though that he could depart East Lake with a $11.35 million Sunday, the biggest payday of his professional career? Woods will do what he always does: stay in the present and take it one shot at a time.

Woods stated, "I kind of get into the moment of playing, and I get into my own little world and my own little zone, and I think that's just how I've always played," he said. "I get into my own little world, and my intensity just allows me to kind of go there."

09/24/2009 6:19 am Susan M Murphy
The David Duval Story!

The British Open starts tomorrow at Turnberry and I can't wait. I'm pulling for David Duval. If you don't know his story, he was the #1 ranked golfer in the world not long ago and then suddenly, after winning the 2001 British Open, his game started a downward spiral the likes of which had never been seen before. It's not often you see an elite athlete go from the being the absolute best for so long, to being one of the worst "tour" level golfers for a period of close to 6 years.

Amazingly, he never quit and after a near victory at this years U.S. Open, he seems poised to regain the magic that made him the world's best. It's quite a comeback story and I look for him to challenge Tiger this week. Good luck to David Duval and check out www.pgatour.com for all the latest British Open updates.
07/15/2009 12:54 pm Justin
Basic forms of Golf!

Two types of basic forms are Match Play and Stroke Play. Match Play is played by either two teams or two players. They play each hole as a separate contest against each other.

In Match Play the party with the lower score wins that hole, or if the scores of both players or teams are equal the hole is "halved" (tied).

In Stroke Play the score achieved for each and every hole of the round or tournament is added to produce the total score, and the player with the lowest score wins. (Stroke play is the game most commonly played by professional golfers.) If there is a tie after the regulation number of holes in a professional tournament, a playoff takes place between all tied players.
07/13/2009 7:57 am Melissa Ilievski
0I'm confused!
09/20/2009 Susan M Murphy
Playing the game!

Every round of golf is based on playing a number of holes in a given order. A round typically consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout. On a nine-hole course, a standard round consists of two successive nine-hole rounds. Playing a hole on the golf course consists of hitting a ball from a tee on the teeing box, called a drive on longer holes, a drive is a long-distance shot intended to move the ball a great distance down the fairway, shorter holes can be reached with clubs shorter than the driver.

Once the ball comes to rest, striking it again with a lay-up, an approach, or a chip, until the ball reaches the green, where the golfer then putts the ball into the hole. The goal of sinking the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible may be impeded by hazards, such as areas of long grass called rough, bunkers, and water hazards. In most typical forms of gameplay, each player plays his/her ball until it is holed.

Players can walk or drive in motorized carts over the course, either singly or with others, sometimes accompanied by caddies who carry and manage the players' equipment and give them advice.
07/10/2009 4:37 am Melissa Ilievski
0I never did understand the game...this helps clear up a few things. Thanks!
09/20/2009 Susan M Murphy
What is a good Golf course?

A golf course consists of a series of holes, each with a teeing area marked by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area, fairway, rough and other hazards, and the putting green surrounded by the fringe with the pin (flagstick) and cup. Different levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty or to allow for putting in the case of the green.

While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the tee-off point to the green, some of the holes may bend either to the left or to the right. This is called a "dogleg", in reference to a dog's knee. The hole is called a "dogleg left" if the hole angles leftwards, and vice versa; sometimes, a hole's direction can bend twice, and is called a "double dogleg". A typical golf course consists of eighteen holes, but nine hole courses are common and can be play twice through for 18 holes.

Early Scottish golf courses were are mostly laid out on links land, soil covered sand dunes directly inland from beaches. This gave rise to the term golf links, particularly applied to seaside courses and those built on naturally sandy soil inland.
07/10/2009 4:30 am Melissa Ilievski
0I have been told that there are many fantastiv courses down here in Florida. Most any given day you can see some of the greats on one or another.
09/20/2009 Susan M Murphy
Golf is Simply...

Golf is an outdoor lawn sport in which competing players (golfers) using many types of clubs, attempt to hit balls into each hole on a golf course
in the lowest number of strokes. Golf is one of the few ball games that does not use a standardized playing area; rather the game is played on
golf "courses", each one of which has a unique design and typically
consists of either 9 or 18 holes. Golf is defined in the rules of golf as "playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules".

Golf competition is generally played for the lowest number of strokes by
an individual, known simply as stroke play, or for the lowest score on the
most individual holes during a complete round by an individual or team,
known as match play.

07/09/2009 1:48 pm Melissa Ilievski
0I heard it's kind of like playing pool!
09/20/2009 Susan M Murphy
0I played for the first time this week and was amazed at the amount of skill golf requires.
07/25/2009 Mariah

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Golfers Insider Group Notebook

36813Sonia Michelle - Mon 8/23/10 1:07 pm
I heard about that. He seems to be all over the place lately

33278Susan M Murphy - Sun 6/20/10 9:50 pm
No win for Tiger this time...I was pulling for him though!

33278Susan M Murphy - Wed 6/2/10 3:52 pm
Looks like Tiger is coming back, again!

33278Susan M Murphy - Sun 5/9/10 7:01 pm
Have you heard? Tiger withdrew from the Players!

33278Susan M Murphy - Sat 4/10/10 6:18 pm
This years Masters has been very exciting!

34396Tracymarie - Sun 3/28/10 8:04 pm
I might just play golf at the PV Jam!

34396Tracymarie - Mon 3/1/10 7:36 am
Played in the sand trap yesterday on our shoot!

33278Susan M Murphy - Sat 2/20/10 8:21 pm
Maybe I should try it. My son has a set of clubs I could use!

33278Susan M Murphy - Fri 2/19/10 2:38 am
When I was a kid, my big brother dug holes all over the yard and put tin cans in them...he had one golf club and played a whole round of golf!

33278Susan M Murphy - Fri 2/12/10 5:43 am
I love watching golf but, have no desire to play!

12859Justin - Fri 2/12/10 4:05 pm
If you try it, you'll fall in love with the game!


Double Road Race