February 5, 2010 |
It gets dark early here next to the Pacific Ocean, and the Northern Trust Open is being held two weeks earlier than in the past. With that early date comes about 30 minutes less daylight. To compensate, the field was kept to 132 players instead of 144, but one threesome that included Murrieta's Rickie Fowler still was left stranded in the dark. Fowler, who was even par with a hole to go, PGA Tour rookie Alex Prugh of Spokane, Wash., and Brett Lederer of Lakewood will have to finish their final first-round hole at 8 a.m. Friday.
February 4, 2010 |
Phil Mickelson's Ping is gone for now. The No. 2-ranked golfer in the world made it clear Wednesday that he wants his game to create the buzz, not his much-discussed wedge with the square grooves. In a preemptive move, Mickelson, the two-time defending champion of the Northern Trust Open, said he would not be using the controversial Ping Eye 2 when play begins Thursday. "I'm playing too well to get sidetracked here," he told reporters. "I've got a unique opportunity, and I want to take advantage of it without other distractions."
February 3, 2010 |
Scott McCarron says he's sorry he used the words "cheat," "Phil," and "Mickelson" in the same sentence last week. McCarron says he has apologized personally to Mickelson, the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world, and that they are now on the same side in all things having to do with golf clubs, grooves and even Ping Eye 2s, which are legal but only thanks to a legal loophole. Oh, and the controversial Ping Eye 2 wedge that Mickelson used last week? It's still in play. Welcome to the "groovy" Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club, where McCarron told reporters that he talked to Mickelson for 10 minutes Tuesday after a previously scheduled players' meeting.
February 3, 2010 |
The floundering golf tournament that was once heaven for Hogan and sacrosanct for Snead wants to be a major player again. To get there, the Northern Trust Open has left it to the Logo. It has been a busy week for Jerry West, and it has only just begun. Monday night, Kobe Bryant put West front and center in the news by topping his Lakers all-time scoring record. It was one supernatural athlete surpassing another. The rest of this week, West will be working his miracles in another sport, along the fairways and in the hospitality tents at legendary Riviera Country Club.
January 30, 2010 |
Phil Mickelson is a cheater. John Daly is a quitter. Or maybe not, though Scott McCarron did assert Mickelson's use of a controversial club was cheating and Daly did tell a producer for the Golf Channel that he was done with golf after rounds of 79 and 71 left the 43-year-old Daly not close to making the cut for the final two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. "I'm done," Daly said on camera. "I can't compete. I can't play like I used to." D.A. Points and Ryuji Imada, meanwhile, are your co-leaders after two rounds, at 11-under-par 133. Points had an eagle and a birdie on his last four holes on the South Course to finish with a 65 Friday.
January 29, 2010 |
Scott Piercy, who once played golf at nearby San Diego State, couldn't help but be subdued despite becoming the first-round leader of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament. His eight-under-par 64 Thursday was conducted on the Torrey Pines North Course, which always plays much easier than the longer and taxing South Course. Only one of the day's top 15 scorers played the South Course (Robert Allenby, who is five under). So maybe Piercy, 31, is right to not be enthused. Golfing judgments won't really be made until the field rotates in today's second round.
January 28, 2010 |
Phil Mickelson walks with big, long steps, meaning the eager golf fans, the ones waving scorecards and visors to be autographed, have to jog along to keep up. It's worthwhile exercise. Mickelson was in a signing mood Wednesday at Torrey Pines. For this Tiger Woods-less moment anyway, Mickelson is golf's biggest attraction. Today he begins his 19th season on the PGA Tour at the Farmers Insurance Open on the course he considers home. He spoke of personal issues, of Tiger issues, of club issues, of the state of his golf, his physique, his outlook on life, as easily as if every media member was a good buddy.
January 14, 2010 |
Spend a few minutes at the practice range here at Waialae Country Club, and you'd come away thinking that all is dreamy on the PGA Tour. Ernie Els smiled after launching balls into an island breeze. A few spots over, Luke Donald chuckled with his new caddie, John McLaren. Shigeki Maruyama did a double-take after spotting John Daly, a walking advertisement for lap-band surgery. (Daly shed the equivalent of a Chinese gymnast in five months.) "Johnny, good shape!" Maruyama remarked, sliding his hands from his shoulders to waist.
December 15, 2009 |
Tiger Woods isn't the only one who is going to take a financial hit for his indiscretions. The broadcast and cable networks that count on him and his amazing golf game for big ratings will also feel his pain -- at least in the near term. Woods, who said he's taking a break from golf to focus on his family after revelations about womanizing emerged in the wake of his Thanksgiving weekend car crash, is to golf what Michael Jordan was to basketball: a player bigger than the game. Although hard-core golf fans may not turn away from watching the game just because Tiger isn't playing, the casual fan might.
December 7, 2009 |
Maybe it was appropriate that Tiger Woods' charity golf tournament, so emotionally charged when it started with the saga of Woods' personal affairs, ultimately would end up in the hands of Jim Furyk. So stoic and single-minded about his game that he couldn't remember blowing last year's Chevron World Challenge, Furyk this year shut out the noise about the problems afflicting the world's No. 1 golfer -- including Woods' withdrawal from his own tournament -- and went about the business of playing winning golf.