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This week on tour

Teeing Off

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

March 08, 2007|THOMAS BONK

1It's still the Florida Swing, but it has a lot different juice than the old one. This week in Tampa, the PGA Tour stop is the PODS Championship. Yes, that's the name, the title sponsor a moving and storage company.

The defending champion is K.J. Choi, who won the tournament when it was last played -- 19 weeks ago -- as the Chrysler Championship. Whatever the name, the top players don't seem thrilled. Vijay Singh is the only one in the top 10 with PODS on his schedule.

Arnold Palmer's PGA Tour event at Bay Hill is next week, but the Players Championship has been moved to May and the regular tour stop at Doral is now a World Golf Championship tournament, called the CA Championship. CA is the former Computer Associates. When keeping tabs on the new Florida Swing, a computer might come in handy.

2Buyer beware: Buick dealers in the Bay Area are running a television ad to sell cars driven by PGA Tour players from last month's A&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The only player pictured in the commercial is Tiger Woods, who hasn't played the tournament in five years.

3We know now that Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson have more in common than a total of six major titles. They're both endorsing Callaway Golf. Mickelson is an old-hand using Callaway clubs, but Els made the switch official at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand, where he tied for sixth. The only question: Will Els use two drivers for the Masters, like Mickelson?

4Annika Sorenstam, who was replaced by Lorena Ochoa as player of the year for the first time in six years, makes her 2007 LPGA Tour debut starting Friday at the MasterCard Classic. Sorenstam turns 37 in October and won only three times last year after winning 43 times the previous five years.

5Now that the word is out that Woods will host his own, official PGA Tour event in the Washington, D.C., area -- the $6-million AT&T National, July 5-8, with Congressional likely as host course for the first two years -- how silly do the conspiracy theorists look now?

They're the ones who said that a frosty relationship between Woods and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem meant Woods was paying back Finchem with a modest tour-playing schedule early this year.

-- THOMAS BONK

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