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This week in golf

Teeing Off

July 12, 2007|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

Five things to keep an eye on this weekend on the pro golf scene:

1. Just when everyone was preparing to write off Colin Montgomerie as a 44-year-old nonentity, there he goes and reinvents himself as a winner -- and maybe even a contender at the upcoming British Open.

Montgomerie moved from 33rd to sixth on the European Tour's Order of Merit, or money list, and zoomed up the world rankings from 48th to 30th in the last two weeks, thanks largely to his victory in the Smurfit Kappa European Open at the K Club in Ireland.

After going winless for nearly two years and missing the cut in the U.S. Open at Oakmont, where he also fired his caddie, Montgomerie seems to have pulled himself together at just the right time. He's playing his home country's Scottish Open this week, and then next week, well, Montgomerie knows it's Carnoustie, even if he pretends he doesn't.

"Fabulous to come back ... and prove some critics wrong and that I am still capable of winning," he said. "I have proved it again. I have proved it to myself and hopefully I can do it again.

"I am back to where I used to play, in contention again, and I look forward to doing that again ... and the week after, whatever that tournament is."

Montgomerie changed his putting style at the K Club, where he was the inspirational leader in Europe's Ryder Cup victory last September, and is using a long-handled putter again.

"This is a new era for me," he said.

Meanwhile, in other equipment news, Ernie Els is going to carry a Callaway FT-i driver at Loch Lomond this week, the first time he will have used a square-headed driver in competition.

2. The entire Nike wardrobe Tiger Woods wears on the course is scripted, and has been for years, but there's a new twist for the British Open next week and the PGA Championship next month -- his clothes are already picked out.

Thursday at Carnoustie: Dri-Fit drop needle polo in blue recall ($70).

Friday at Carnoustie: Multi-mini stripe polo in palomino ($80).

Saturday at Carnoustie: Dri-Fit texture polo in pebble gray ($80).

Sunday at Carnoustie: Dri-Fit seamless herringbone mock in red ($80).

Now you won't be surprised.

3. Woods' AT&T National had a solid overnight rating of 2.9 for Sunday's fourth round -- the same rating the Players had in 2006. Meanwhile, Woods is spending the week at home in Isleworth, Fla., working with swing coach Hank Haney, getting ready for Carnoustie. Woods, who had trouble on the greens at Congressional during the AT&T National, said he expects the greens at Carnoustie to be a lot faster.

4. Further proof that you can't stop getting older: According to the latest statistics, the average age of a daytime Golf Channel viewer is 62. That's up from 58 in the last sampled period, according to Magna Global's "Median Age Report."

5. Phil Mickelson has popped up at Loch Lomond to play the Scottish Open, after missing the cut last week at Congressional. Mickelson, who also missed the cut at the U.S. Open with his injured left wrist, toured Carnoustie on Monday to get a look at the British Open venue.

His memories of the place aren't good -- he shot 79-76 in the 1999 British Open and missed the cut by a shot.

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BRITISH OPEN ODDS

Odds to win the British Open, to be held July 19-22 at Carnoustie:

Tiger Woods...5-2

Ernie Els...15-1

Phil Mickelson...15-1

Jim Furyk...22-1

Vijay Singh...22-1

Retief Goosen...25-1

Padraig Harrington....25-1

Justin Rose...30-1

Adam Scott...30-1

Paul Casey...35-1

Luke Donald...35-1

Sergio Garcia...35-1

Angel Cabrera...40-1

Geoff Ogilvy...40-1

Henrik Stenson...40-1

Stuart Appleby...50-1

Niclas Fasth...50-1

Trevor Immelman...50-1

Colin Montgomerie...50-1

Zach Johnson...65-1

Ian Poulter...65-1

Steve Stricker...65-1

David Toms...65-1

Lee Westwood...65-1

Robert Allenby...80-1

Aaron Baddeley...80-1

Thomas Bjorn...80-1

K.J. Choi...80-1

Chris DiMarco...80-1

Charles Howell III...80-1

J.M. Olazabal...80-1

Rory Sabbatini...80-1

Scott Verplank...80-1

Nick O'Hern...100-1

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THE TOURNAMENTS

PGA TOUR

John Deere Classic

* When: Today-Sunday.

* Where: TPC Deere Run (7,255 yards, par 70), Silvis, Ill.

* TV: Golf Channel (Today-Friday, noon-3 p.m., 5-8:30 p.m.) and Ch. 2 (Saturday-Sunday, noon-3 p.m.).

* 2006 winner: John Senden.

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LPGA TOUR: Jamie Farr

Owens Corning Classic

* When: Today-Sunday.

* Where: Highland Meadows Golf Club (6,428 yards, par 71), Sylvania, Ohio.

* TV: ESPN2 (Friday-Sunday, noon-3 p.m.).

* 2006 winner: Mi Hyun Kim.

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CHAMPIONS TOUR

Dick's Sporting Goods Open

* When: Friday-Sunday.

* Where: En-Joie Golf Course (6,974 yards, par 72), Endicott, N.Y.

* TV: Golf Channel (Friday, 10 a.m.-noon., 9:30-11:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 9:30-11:30 p.m.; Sunday; 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 10 p.m.-12:30 a.m.).

* 2006 winner: Inaugural event.

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EUROPEAN TOUR

Scottish Open

* When: Today-Sunday.

* Where: Loch Lomond (7,060 yards, par 71), Glasgow, Scotland.

* TV: Golf Channel (Today-Friday, 7-10 a.m., Saturday, 6:30-9:30 a.m., Sunday, 7-10 a.m.).

* 2006 winner: Johan Edfors.

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Associated Press

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STAT OF THE WEEK

* Zach Johnson is making news this week. Johnson, who won the Masters in April, is the first Masters champion to play in the John Deere Classic in the same year as winning at Augusta National. Johnson has played in the last five John Deere Classics.

A SLICE OF LIFE

Woody Austin, on why he's not going to play at the British Open at Carnoustie next week after playing eight weeks in a row:

"I won't have any time to prepare....I don't know how to play that type of golf, and I would probably go over there and shoot two high numbers and make a fool of myself."

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