Monday, December 26, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
I've also spent some time watching the Military channel, History International, and the Biography channel.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
There will no longer be Tuesday pro-ams on PGA Tour
PGA Tour events run by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were distinctive because the pro-am rounds were on Tuesdays.
That won't be the case next year for the Memorial of Nicklaus or Palmer's Bay Hill Invitational. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem had said it would be best for all pro-ams to be held on the same day, and both tournaments confirmed they will move theirs to Wednesdays.
"I'm not objectionable to it," Palmer said. "In the beginning, we tried to do some extra stuff to make it attractive to the players, but now the indication is the guys want to come in on Tuesday night and play Wednesday in the pro-am as their practice round."
Memorial tournament director Dan Sullivan said a move to Wednesday was in the works long before the tour got involved. He was concerned about players who had been with their families over the Memorial Day weekend and might have to rush to get to Ohio for a Tuesday pro-am.
The PGA Tour has a policy that players must take part in the pro-am if they want to compete in a tournament. Phil Mickelson missed the Memorial last year, saying he wanted to spend three days at Pinehurst to prepare for the U.S. Open and couldn't get back for the pro-am.
Sullivan said the Memorial, which honors star players each year, would move that ceremony to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. The pro-am is for only 18 players and features a shotgun start on 12 holes. That will take place at 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, allowing others to practice in the morning.
The Tour Championship also has a Tuesday pro-am, and Mickelson used that as an excuse not to play this year. That pro-am also will move to Wednesday.
"There will be no Tuesday pro-ams next year," said Andy Pazder, the tour's vice president of competition. "That helps some players who have an obligation Monday and Tuesday, whether it's an outing or a commitment to sponsors."
Former Masters champion Fred Couples already has played Augusta National five times in two trips since the course opened after more changes to lengthen six holes.
He shot a 64 a few weeks ago but kept that nugget from players who came by his locker two weeks ago at Sherwood Country Club and milked him for information.
The first hole is 20 yards longer and now plays 455 yards, making it difficult to get up the hill.
"The last day, I hit 3-wood into No. 1," Couples said, neglecting to tell them it was 8 a.m. and not quite 50 degrees, so the ball wasn't traveling all that far.
He was asked what he hit on No. 7, which was lengthened 40 yards. It played as a 2-iron and a wedge when Couples won in 1992. He told them he killed a drive and had a 5-iron left.
David Toms walked by.
"It's perfect for you, the way you hit your 5-wood," Couples told him.
After they all left wide-eyed, Couples winked and said, "I've got them all scared now. It's not that bad."
Heather Daly-Donofrio has received the William and Mousie Powell Award for behavior and deeds that best exemplify the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA Tour.
A Yale graduate who returned to coach at her alma mater while keeping a full schedule, Daly-Donofrio has won twice and averaged 22 stars a year. She balanced her time inside the ropes this year with serving as president of the LPGA Tour and co-chair of the search committee for a new commissioner.
Amy Read was honored with the Heather Farr Player Award, given to the LPGA player who shows determination, perseverance and spirit in fulfilling her goals. Farr died in 1993 after a 41/2-year battle with cancer.
Read has fought through injuries to her ankle, wrist, shoulder and knees, and has had eight knee surgeries since 1995. That was followed by two shoulder surgeries earlier this year, and doctors discovered she had Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease.
Read is on the course nearly every day with hopes of playing Monday qualifiers to get back on tour.
Royal Birkdale is the latest British Open venue to strengthen its links by adding 154 yards, 16 fairway bunkers and redoing the 17th green.
The Open returns to Birkdale in 2008 for the first time since Mark O'Meara beat Brian Watts in a playoff.
"Royal Birkdale has always been a strong Open venue, and we feel that by introducing these changes, that challenge can be maintained," Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said.
The most significant change is likely to be No. 6, a par-4 that will play 499 yards. A bunker will be added at the left corner of the dogleg right, 280 yards from the tee. Another bunker will be added left of the green.
In 1998, the sixth hole was the toughest at Birkdale, yielding only 16 birdies and playing to an average of 4.62.
Change of luck
Tiger Woods has his red shirt for Sunday. Michael Campbell once wore red socks for luck.
But not anymore.
"That was about 10 years ago," the U.S. Open champion said with a smile. "I did for a while, yeah. At the (1995) British Open, I wore red socks. And then I started missing cuts, so I changed back. They're black and gray now."
The last time anyone remembered Campbell and his red socks was in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa, were Woods beat him, 5 and 4.
Tour officials had been leaning toward taking the World Cup to China in 2006, but instead it will be moving to the Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados, site of Tiger Woods' wedding last year. ... Vijay Singh will be playing next month n the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, to be held opposite the Bob Hope Classic. Also playing Abu Dhabi are Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia and John Daly. ... The 2007 Senior British Open will be held at Muirfield to coincide with the 50th birthday of Nick Faldo, who won two of his three claret jugs there.
Stat of the week
Ever since Augusta National changed its qualifications in 2000, only five Americans have had to rely on top 50 in the world ranking to get into the Masters.
"Daytime television is pretty depressing." _ Ernie Els, on the low point of a year in which he spent four months recovering from knee surgery.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
| By VOA Sports |
17 December 2005
|South Africa's Retief Goosen Leads Ernie Els (AP Photo)|
Goosen shot a 4-under-par 69 in his third round Saturday and is 7-under-par 212 for the tournament.
Els, playing in only his third tournament since undergoing knee surgery, is three strokes off the lead at 4-under-par 215. Els also fired a 4-under-par, 69 in his third round.
Overnight leader Ross Fisher is tied with another South African Darren Fichardt for third place at 3-under-par, 216. Fichardt shot a 4-under-par 69 Saturday while Fisher had a 5-over-par 78 in his third round.
The tournament is being played on the Gary Player-designed Fancourt Golf Club Course, a par-73 layout that measures 6,799 meters. This year's winner takes home more than $189,000.
Some information for this report provided by AP.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
I agree that people who complain most about the season lasting so long seem to be the ones who play those silly season events. No one forces these guys to play ANY golf at all. They make out their schedules. They are responsible. Believe me, I'm just a lowly worker bee at my place of employment, but even I know that I control my vacation leave and how hard I work when I'm there.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
GIVEN the sort of money that they earn, the likes of Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia having the odd friendly bet among themselves would hardly be here or there, really. Well, that's what we thought until we caught up with Scott, the affable young Queenslander, on the eve of the Australian Masters at Huntingdale yesterday. Scott, you may remember, was the focus of our attention two weeks ago when he turned up at the Australian Open with an unruly mop of hair — quite a contrast for a bloke who cares about his grooming so much that only a few months ago he was voted by Esquire magazine as one of the 10 best-dressed men in the world. In fact, it was so unruly he was asked at a news conference if he was growing a mullet but denied he was, saying only: "It's just growing long for the time being." Well, not only has Scott's hair grown appreciably in the past fortnight but we now discover there is, in fact, a very good reason for it. It's all to do with a bet he had recently with Spaniard Garcia and another PGA Tour player, South African Tim Clark, on who could grow the longest mop before getting so sick of it they had to cut it off. Now the exact size of the wager is not known but what we can tell you is there's a lot at stake, and it is not necessarily just the money. Quizzed about it yesterday, Scott admitted his hair was "getting out of hand" but hinted there was no chance of him backing out just yet. Noted Scott: "There's too much pride at stake."
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Cabrera posted a two-over 74 to end at seven-under-par 209. He was joined there by South African Tim Clark, who carded the low round of the day, a five- under 67, and Australian Adam Scott (68). Defending champion Retief Goosen posted the only other sub-par round, as he shot one-under 71. He stands at six-under-par 210 and was joined there by former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk (72). Cabrera, who led after round two, played the front nine at plus-two with a birdie, a bogey and a double-bogey. However, he birdied the 10th and 11th at Gary Player Country Club to get back to nine-under. The Argentine tripped to a bogey on the 12th. Cabrera birdied the par-five 14th for the third round in a row, then birdied the 16th to climb to 10-under. Cabrera struggled badly at the 17th. He found some deep rough off the tee and chose to layup. His third shot bounded over the green and into the water. Cabrera played his fifth just short of the green. He managed to get up and down for triple-bogey, but his lead was lost. Clark opened with back-to-back birdies from the first. He birdied Nos. 8 and 9 to move to six-under. Clark sank a birdie on the 11th and another on the 12th before a bogey on 14 dropped him to minus-seven. He parred his final four holes to remain there. Scott played the front nine at two-under with three birdies and a bogey. He bogeyed the 10th and 13th, but got those shots back with an eagle on the 14th. The Australian closed with consecutive birdies from the 17th to share the lead. First-round leader Darren Clarke stumbled to a four-over 76 to drop to three- under-par 213. He fell into a tie for sixth alongside Luke Donald (75). Ernie Els, playing for the first time since July knee surgery, carded a one- over 73. He stands at minus-one, where he was tied for eighth place by Chris DiMarco, who shot a third-round 72. Sergio Garcia, like Cabrera, was victimized by the 17th. He quadruple-bogeyed the 17th en route to a 74 that dropped him to 10th place at two-over-par 218. Kenny Perry, plus-seven, and Stewart Cink, 11-over-par 217, round out the 12- player field.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
SUN CITY, South Africa — Ernie Els is back after the longest layoff of his career and unconcerned that playing tournament golf will aggravate his sore knee.
The two-time U.S. Open champion, who also won the 2002 British Open, injured his left knee in a boating accident in July and underwent surgery.
"The knee is still uncomfortable, but the doctor assures me there's no way a golf swing will damage my knee," Els said Wednesday. "It tends to swell up at the end of each round and that's the worst part really."
He returns to tournament play Thursday in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
"It's been 4½ months since I played in a tournament," Els said. "I'm feeling pretty anxious. I felt very unsure the first time I played 18 holes."
Els did so at the end of October in Wentworth, England. This time, he'll face hot and humid conditions on the 7,832-yard, par-72 Gary Player Country Club course against several top players.
Els is the most experienced player in the 12-man field with 13 appearances and three victories. But he faces a tough group led by defending champion Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Luke Donald.
"It helps if you've been here before because then you're used to the crowds, the course, the grandstands and everything else," Els said. "I'm just fortunate to have my health back, to be playing again. The last 20 weeks or so have been a period of reflection for me."
Also entered in the $4 million event are Jim Furyk, Darren Clarke, Angel Cabrera, Stewart Cink, Tim Clark, Kenny Perry and Chris DiMarco.
Clarke finished third in 1999 and fourth in 2003, but has won at Sun City — in the Dimension Data Pro-Am.
Furyk has posted low rounds here. He shot a 64 in 1998 and a 66 last year — the lowest round of the week.