Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A New Blog In the Blogs of Note Section

The Armchair Golfer sent me a very entertaining email. So, I added a link to his blog to the Blogs of Note Section. Check it out there or HERE.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Glimpse into the Tennis World

There is a really good article about Fernando Gonzalez, finalist in this year's Australian Open. The name of the article is "Federer Beatable, Says Gonzalez" if that's a hint. He made a lot of interesting quotes in this article. Check it out.

FBR Open

The tour is in Arizona this coming week for the FBR Open, renowned for its rowdy galleries. Players scheduled to participate include: Paul Azinger, Alejandro Canizares, Fred Couples, John Daly, David Dubal, Brad Faxon, defending champion J. B. Holmes, Davis Love, Jose Maria Olazabal, Brett Quigley, and Steve Stricker. NBC will be calling the event on network tv Saturday and Sunday.

Found a clever article about the FBR Open at www.azcentral.com.

Qatar Masters Final Round

Retief Goosen won with a score of -15. Nick O'Hern finished one shot back and Ernie Els finished -13. Andres Romero -11. American Edward Michaels -6 and Amateur Seve Benson from England finished +1.

Spaniard Watch:
Sergio -7 (with a final round 67 - finally a good round)
Miguel Angel Jimenez -7
Alvaro Quiros -4
Alejandro Canizares -6
Jose Manuel Lara -2
Gonzalo Fernandez Castano +6


Chile has Professional Tennis Player Fernando Gonzalez

Spain has Professional Golfer Gonzalo Fernandez Castano.

Both sports now have one tongue-tied fan.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Qatar Masters Round 3

Retief Goosen, Richard Green and Nick O'Hern are all tied for the lead going into the final round at -12. American Edward Michaels and Henrik Stenson are next at -10. Andres Romero is -8. The next installment of Spaniard Watch will be after the final round. Miguel Angel Jimenez fell back a bit today with a 73. I'm excited about Edward Michaels. I don't know much about him. They said on the coverage that he plays the Asian Tour, had shoulder problems and is playing on a medical exemption. Sounds like the kind of guy you want to see do well when he has the chance.

Buick Invitational Round 3

I don't think Brandt Snedeker, Kevin Sutherland, or Andrew Buckle care that Tiger Woods is in the field. So many of the media keep trying to perpetuate this notion that Tiger intimidates competitors. Snedeker and Buckle could have folded easily but kept working at it and stayed in the lead by the end of the round. And Sutherland made a birdie to get into the final group. I'm not going to try to pick a winner or anything. Whenever I do, some one else wins. So, I will just say that with so many good players within 3 or 4 of the lead, the final round should be highly competitive.

As for the announcers today. Peter Kostis actually got to interview Tiger today. Wow. I guess Tiger's over his primadonna tantrum that started when Kostis criticized his swing a few years ago. It was great to hear David Feherty again after so long. Jim Nantz wasn't a bit afraid (unlike Kelly and Jerry from the Golf Channel) to say that Tiger topped his second shot on 18 yesterday. That was good. Nick and Ian Baker-Finch were great today as well.

They are still touting the whole Tiger Win Streak thing. It's amazing how people still buy into that. It isn't like he won six straight weeks in a row. That would be something to brag about. But Tiger one a couple, then lost one or two in Europe, then he may have won another, then lost some. Maybe someone else will win tomorrow and the media can finally stop trying to cash in on this pseudo-statistic. This is like me saying that I am an undefeated Trivial Pursuit player. I played three times in college and won three times. That was about 15 years ago. But I'm still undefeated. It doesn't matter how much time has past and how little I've played the game. I put all those other Trivial Pursuit players who don't win to shame.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Buick Invitational

After two rounds, Brandt Snedeker is in the lead at -13, followed by Charles Howell III at -10. Brett Quigley is -6, Ian Poulter is -4 and David Duval is -3. Heartbreaker of the Day: Jose Maria Olazabal misses the cut with a 65-79.

I got to see a little bit of the Golf Channel's coverage of the 2nd round today. How much do I love Nick Faldo???? He wasn't a bit afraid to say Tiger topped his shot on the 18th. Heeheehee. Faldo asked Kelly if she'd ever seen him do that and she quietly said 'no'. Then, Faldo asked Jerry if he'd ever seen that, and he, in a rather subdude voice, said 'never'. You could tell that Kelly and Jerry weren't sure if they were going to say anything the least bit negative about THE Tiger Woods. And you had to wonder if Nick wasn't testing the other announcers to see what they would say. Faldo had no fear. After Tiger had spoken to Jerry, Kelly said he had made a mess of things at the end. But it took her a while to call it like it was.

And how about how many Q School and Nationwide players from last year made the cut? That's something else. I think I'll have to go back to my Q-School post and see which players I was impressed with and start following them.

Qatar Masters

Retief Goosen is tied for the lead with Richard Green at -11. Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is having a really good two weeks, is -8. A surprise - Paul Casey missed the cut, as did Darren Clarke.

Rest of Spaniard Watch (Miguel is mentioned above):
Alejandro Canizares -5
Alvaro Quiros -4
Sergio Garcia -3
Jose Manuel Lara Even par
Ignacio Garrido +2 missed the cut.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Final Round Thoughts

Paul Casey came from behind to win in Abu Dhabi. Miguel Angel Jimenez finished T2. Sergio didn't make it into the top ten, but he did improve from yesterday and he did have 4 rounds at par or better.

At the Bob Hope, Justin Rose was in it right til the end but missed out on a playoff with the way he played the 18th. John Rollins and Charlie Hoffman did make it into a playoff and Charlie got the win. Jeff Quinney won a car for a hole in one. A couple of comments: John Rollins got a lot of negative thoughts attached to him last year for earning all those Ryder Cup points for his win at the B.C. Open. It's good to see him in contention at such a prestigious event. Maybe all those Points Whiners will rethink some of their comments. I didn't see them out there this week in contention. This is Charlie Hoffman's first win so if I was pulling for anyone other than Justin it would have been him. Plus, he had some great shoes on. And as for the hole in one - the announcers kept replaying it and talking about his score in the tournament but they took forever to tell us that Jeff had won a car and what kind of car it was. That's the exciting part about a hole in one.

Now I have a hard decision to make - do I watch the Champions Tour event in wonderful Hawaii, watch the Australian Open tennis coverage in blistering hot Australia, or Digging for the Truth on the History Channel? I have a feeling I might be channel surfing tonight.

Off topic: We got snow today (Booooo!!!!!). I was out shoveling about 3 inches of snow off my quarter of a mile long driveway and I am so sore and tired now. It was really depressing because it was still snowing while I was out there. I figured it would be easier for tomorrow's upper 30s temperatures to melt off the additional inch rather than 4 total inches. Have I mentioned on this blog how much I hate snow? I really, really hate snow. The weather for the rest of the week doesn't look all that great. I have a feeling I might end up carrying milk and other groceries up to my house while I leave my car parked at the main road. That will be a first for me. The one positive thing about that is that it's an extra workout.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday in Golf

Spaniard Watch is loving Miguel Angel Jimenez this week. It's about time he got back into contention. I don't have anywhere to go tomorrow, so hopefully I will be able to just sit down and watch the final round of the Abu Dhabi tournament.

Justin Rose had a so-so day at the Bob Hope. At one time he had a 5 shot lead, but when the players are playing 4 courses, you can't rely on the leaderboards that much on Saturday. Tomorrow, everyone plays the Classic Club and I agree with Justin that he will have an advantage for having played the course today. I also hope that today was Justin's typical fourth/final round hiccup that has prevented him from winning on the US tour in the past. If he gets that out of the way, maybe he will play great tomorrow and come away with a win. I also like Lucas Glover up there at the top too.

The Champions Tour looks to be a hotbed of competition this week. Several players within a couple shots of the lead and all the players are tough. Even Hale Irwin's in contention, something we haven't really seen for a year or so. I plan to check out this thing about the Titanic on History International and if it isn't any good, I'll probably come back to the Golf Channel to see more of the Champions Tour event.

A First For Me

I've created a Top 10 list of reasons why the new TV deal with the Golf Channel is good. I'm not saying the list is funny.

10. Less re-runs of old events and infomercials
9. More interviews with and features on the players
8. Your Game Night now starts at 10pm, my bedtime
7. No delays of airing the coverage because of football and basketball running over
6. No Law & Order opening scenes when the golf coverage ends
5. Counting how many times Aimpoint is right and Winzone is wrong
4. No ESPN Carl and his bad impressions of Terry Gannon
3. More Nick Faldo
2. Nick and Kelly's commentary sounds like they are calling the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - and who doesn't love a parade?

and the #1 reason why the TV Deal with the Golf Channel is good:

3rd graders everywhere will get into trouble at school after using Rocco's imaginative names for golf shots in everyday conversation on the playground.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Spanning the Globe

I haven't had much time to do the research necessary to comment fully on round 2 of Abu Dhabi or the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, but here are a couple of thoughts: Sergio was even par on the day. Not so bad when you think about his game, but not good when you think about the tournament. He's got to do better on the weekend so he can start the year off well. Miguel Angel Jimenez made a move today. Good for him.

As for the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic; Justin Rose continues to play great. I'm so happy for him. He is a very nice guy. I haven't met him, but he did personally respond to a fan email I sent him. He deserves a lot of success out there. Phil Mickelson hasn't made a move yet. You have to wonder just how much work he did during his off season. Yes, he's a lot fitter, but you'd expect after such a layoff, his game would be dynamically good. But so far, we haven't seen that. That's another thing that's kind of gotten me disappointed - Sergio had several weeks to work on his putting, but from what I saw yesterday, he's still sticking with what he did last year - crouching, stiff as a board, for seemingly forever before hitting the putt. Hopefully that will pay off for him and he will get a win or two this year.

And the Champions Tour begins its season tonight in Hawaii. I wish I was in Hawaii. But that's no surprise. Anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows I have a fondness for the island paradise.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Round 1: Worldwide

First Up: Abu Dhabi

Phillip Archer shot a -9 to take the lead with Nick Dougherty, Retief Goosen and Henrik Stenson at -6. Padraig Harrington was 4 under par. Defending Champion Chris DiMarco is at -3. Paul Casey and Andres Romero are 1 under par and a bit of a surprise - Johan Edfors +9.

Spaniard Watch at Abu Dhabi: Alejandro Canizares +3, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano +1, Ignacio Garrido - Even par, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Juan Parron -1, Alvaro Quiros -2, Jose Manuel Lara +5 and finally..... Sergio -4. Saw his new outfit - I thought he looked good. One of the best things about the start of a new golf season is seeing what everyone's wearing.

Next: Bob Hope Chrysler Classic

Last time I checked: Scott Verplank -13 (could change), Justin Rose -12, Matt Kuchar -10, Lucas Glover -7, Dean Wilson and David Duval -6, Mickelson was at -4 according to the golf channel, Will MacKenzie -3 and Paul Azinger - even par.

David Duval was only -1 today. Hopefully he'll rebound and do great the next three days. One of my favorites, Justin Rose, is doing really great. Good for him!

............... Now, I'm off to watch the Abu Dhabi coverage I recorded today...............

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

January 2007 Issue of National Geographic

In the January 2007 issue, there are two interesting somewhat golf-related articles. One is a feature on Dubai (mega dollar golf city) and the other is an article about a golf resort being planned near Victoria Falls which will be right in the middle of an elephant crossing.

I recently ordered a subscription to National Geographic after watching the Gospel of Judas documentary on tv last month. When I was younger, I had a brief career desire to become a photojournalist for National Geographic. Too bad I'm not that good at taking pictures.

All Aflutter

Abu Dhabi's coverage starts tomorrow. I can't wait to see how everyone does, and yes, I'm hoping for big things from Sergio. I watched the European Tour Weekly show and it looks really warm over there. It will be nice to watch the coverage and think that I could be that warm too. Like the other night when I watched the Australian Open tennis and it was a toasty 120 degrees on the court. Of course, when it gets 90 here in the summer, I'll be writing about how wonderful it is to have 6 fans going at the same time here in the house.

Bob Hope Chrysler Classic

Phil Mickelson began his year today with a 2 under par round. He does look fitter than last year. I don't like him much, but I do like the new fitness factor. It makes me think of my boss who tried to lose weight with nutrisystem instead of just getting off the rear and working out.

David Duval had a really good round today. Everyone at the golf channel talked about him like he's made some kind of big time comeback. I hope that wasn't a kiss of death for him this week. He should have really great memories of the tournament and hopefully that will help him finish great.

The Golf Channel had a lot of technical issues today. Mics cutting in and out, pictures screwing up. I hope they fix that soon. I would hate to have to put up with that all season.

And the weather. Oh, it's so cold in California. Oh, poor, poor people. It's cold here too but I can't just jet off to some warm weather locale like the players out there. The local weather person here likes to show the temperature in Caribou, Maine each morning. I think this morning it was 16 below or something. Talk to those people about how cold it is.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hall of Fame Ballots

Courtesy: Hall of Fame Magazine Website

HOFMAG.com Staff

St. Augustine, Fla. (January 16, 2007) – The World Golf Hall of Fame has released the 2007 PGA TOUR and International ballots to the respective voting bodies comprised of golf journalists, historians and dignitaries from around the globe. The ballots are due Friday, March 2 and announcements for the 2007 Class will be made later this Spring.

Of the 20 candidates on the PGA TOUR ballot, the top returning finishers from 2006 include Curtis Strange (50%), Craig Wood (37%) and Hubert Green (36%). The International ballot, which has 11 candidates, will again include last year’s vote leaders Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki (46%), Jose Maria Olazabal (32%) and Sandy Lyle (30%). The complete list of 2007 PGA TOUR and International candidates is below, as are the percentages from the 2006 ballot results.

“Each year we look forward to releasing the ballots as it signals the first step in determining new members of the World Golf Hall of Fame,” said Jack E. Peter, the Hall of Fame’s Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “We appreciate the voting bodies’ participation in this important process.”

David Toms is the only new addition to the PGA TOUR ballot. Toms, who turned 40 earlier this month, qualified for the ballot with his 12 PGA TOUR victories, including the 2001 PGA Championship. There were no new additions to the 2007 International ballot.

The Class of 2007 is expected to include Se Ri Pak, who has met the LPGA points criteria and is scheduled to fulfill the final requirement for Induction—10 years on the LPGA Tour—when she plays in her 10th event this season.

International ballot voters have the ability to nominate candidates for the Lifetime Achievement category and the World Golf Hall of Fame Advisory Board can nominate for the Veteran’s category. Both discretionary categories will be determined by the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors Selection Committee.

The 2007 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Monday, November 12 at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.

2007 Candidates

Miller Barber
Bob Charles
Fred Couples
John Daly
Doug Ford
Hubert Green
Don January
Tony Lema
Davis Love III
Harold McSpaden
Mark O’Meara
Denny Shute
Macdonald Smith
Dave Stockton
Curtis Strange
David Toms
Ken Venturi
Lanny Wadkins
Craig Wood
Fuzzy Zoeller

2006 Results

Larry Nelson 65%
Henry Picard 53%
Curtis Strange 50%
Craig Wood 37%
Hubert Green 36%
Lanny Wadkins 34%
Denny Shute 30%
Doug Ford 22%
Bob Charles 21%
Fred Couples 18%
Tony Lema 18%
Mark O'Meara 16%
Davis Love III 15%
Ken Venturi 15%
Don January 13%
Macdonald Smith 12%
Fuzzy Zoeller 10%
Harold McSpaden 6%
Dave Stockton 6%
Miller Barber 4%
John Daly 3%

International Ballot
2007 Candidates

Peter Alliss, England
Max Faulkner, England
Sandy Lyle, Scotland
Graham Marsh, Australia
Colin Montgomerie, Scotland
Kel Nagle, Australia
Christy O’Connor Sr., Ireland
Jose Maria Olazabal, Spain
Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, Japan
Norman Von Nida, Australia
Ian Woosnam, Wales

2006 Results

Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki 46%
Jose Maria Olazabal 32%
Sandy Lyle 30%
Kel Nagle 29%
Christy O’Connor, Sr. 26%
Graham Marsh 24%
Ian Woosnam 21%
Colin Montgomerie 16%
Peter Alliss 13%
Norman Von Nida 10%
Max Faulkner 7%

Monday, January 15, 2007

Australian Open Tennis

It's 120 degrees on the court. The chair umpire is under a canopy. The ball boys and girls and the lines judges are under cover. The players, however, are in full sun. That's just not right.

That Guy's Doing My Dream Job Again

I'm watching Playing Lessons From the Pros and this one features Fred Couples. Again, there is someone there handing him golf balls. This time it's probably his caddie, but like I said when I got back from the golf tournament in August, that's the job I want. Bridgestone People - email me. I'm good employment material. Really.

Here's Something New

Courtesy: European PGA Tour Website

Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Hole-in-One Prize
Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Hole-in-One Prize

The Commercialbank Qatar Masters is boasting a unique hole-in-one prize with a $150,000 luxury cruiser on offer to the first player ace the par three 17th hole at Doha Golf Club when the tournament takes place from January 25-28.

For the first time in the event’s ten-year history, Alfardan Marine has come on board to offer a 26-foot Doral Monticello luxury cruiser for the first player able to hole his tee shot on the par-three 17th hole .

Further sponsorship announcements align two of the Gulf state’s strongest corporate brands, with Qatar Airways appointed the official airline for the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

The agreement means Qatar Airways will play a key supporting role to the event’s title sponsor, the Commercialbank of Qatar, when £2.2 million event, co-sanctioned by The European Tour and the Asian Tour, is staged at Doha Golf Club later this month.

A further boost to the tournament is the announcement that the InterContinental Doha, one of Qatar’s award-winning five-star hotels, has been appointed Official Hotel for the tenth Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

Conveniently located within ten minutes of the major central business district, the diplomatic area, the city centre and Doha Golf Club, the InterContinental Doha combines heritage and luxury with contemporary comfort. To be found in the prestigious West Bay area overlooking the blue waters of the Gulf, the hotel boasts the largest free-form swimming pool and longest private beach in the city

The 2007 Commercialbank Qatar Masters will see a field of 120 golfers – including household names such as Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Chris DiMarco – in action at the Doha Golf Club.

It Pays to Read the Instructions

As some of you might know, in 2005 I lost a bunch of weight by working out and dieting. Well, after I went to the Bridgestone Invitational last year, I started eating everything in sight and that lasted throughout the rest of the year and resulted in a weight gain of about 20 to 25 pounds. So, last week, I got back on the treadmill and the diet. Almost immediately I got bored with the selection of dvds I have to watch while I'm walking off 300 calories at a time. I'm really into travel shows right now, like Rick Steves' Europe and Globetrekker, but I only have a few of those official dvds. I do, however, have episodes of Globetrekker recorded by my dvd recorder. Some of them wouldn't play in my dvd player that I have in front of the treadmill. I first thought the dvds were just worthless, but after reading the instruction manual for my dvd recorder, I learned that if I chose to finalize the dvd, then it would probably play in other players. I spent some time this afternoon finalizing several home-recorded dvds - episodes of Globetrekker and, relevant to this blog, rounds of golf that I've recorded in the last year or so. So, now I can watch European Tour golf while I'm working out - which is kind of like watching a travel show.

On to Abu Dhabi

While later this week the U. S. sees the next stop on the PGA Tour in California with the Bob Hope event, I am more interested in the European Tour's Abu Dhabi tournament. In it's second year, Abu Dhabi will offer a very competitive line up with the likes of Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Retief Goosen, Robert Karlsson, Andres Romero, Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Johan Edfors and defending champion Chris Dimarco. And as for Spaniard Watch, we should be seeing Sergio Garcia, Jose Manuel Lara, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Gonzalo Fernandez Castano, recent winner Alvaro Quiros, and Alejandro Canizares. I will probably record the first two rounds of this event and skip the second and third rounds of the Bob Hope coverage to watch this in the evenings.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sony Open Final Round

When the coverage began at 7pm, I looked at the leaderboard and thought that Paul Goydos could sneak in there and steal the win from Luke Donald and Charles Howell III. Neither Donald nor Howell has a good track record with final rounds and closing the deal and Paul has demonstrated recently that he can make a charge. Midway through the final round, the Golf Channel folks showed the very coveted WinZone percentages and no where in sight was Paul Goydos. It's interesting that for all the millions of calculations that WinZone is supposed to be doing, I had more foresight than it did. Of course, part of my inkling came from the "if Luke can't win, then I pick Goydos" philosophy.

Other notes: Tadd Fujikawa continued to thrill the crowds and I'm sure it was a big thrill for him to play with Jim Furyk today. Paul Azinger had a bad day. But, on the flip side, Geoff Ogilvy had a really good day. Doug Labelle II shot a 65 to finish T4. As for the Golf Channel Coverage - Last week Faldo was a little conservative but this week, he relaxed more and was more entertaining. Heaven knows what he'll be like by Masters time.

Ariel Canete Wins in South Africa

Courtesy: European PGA Tour Website

Argentina’s Ariel Canete captured his maiden European Tour title in impressive fashion, closing with three birdies in the final four holes to become the inaugural winner of the Joburg Open. The 31 year old former Challenge Tour graduate closed with a round of 67 over the East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club for a total of 19 under par 266, two strokes clear of South African Andrew McLardy in second place.

On lifting the winner's trophy Canete completed another success story for The European Tour and its policy of giving its members as many playing opportunities as possible. Having finished 146th on the Order of Merit in 2006 and then failing to regain his full playing privileges when he finished 53rd at the Qualifying School in San Roque in November, Canete started the new season with two appearances on the Challenge Tour.

Then came along the Joburg Open and its 200 strong field, which gave many of the less established European Tour players a valuable start. Opportunity knocked and the Argentine answered the call in commanding fashion, producing four rounds in the 60s to seal the biggest win of his career and, more crucially, earn a three year exemption to The European Tour International Schedule.

"I was in Argentina and it was the holidays. My category has not been so good and I was sitting there doing nothing. I thought to myself let’s go to South Africa and give it a try, you never know. Now I am very, very happy," said Canete.

"I putted really well all week. The lines always seemed very clear in my mind while my South African caddie helped a lot with club selection, as the ball travels farther here than it does at home in Argentina."

Canete, who led by one stroke going into the fourth round, bogeyed the par three second hole but then picked up two birdies on the front nine and three coming in to finish on 19 under par.

He sealed his victory with a brilliant up-and-down from a greenside bunker for birdie on the 18th, which gave him a two stroke cushion over McLardy, who equaled his best performance on The European Tour International Schedule following his runner-up spot in Madeira in 2005.

Another South African, Hennie Otto, was alone in third place on 16 under par after shooting a 67. Compatriot Alex Haindl briefly threatened the leaders, before bogeys on the 14th and 17th saw him finish on 13 under, along with countryman Mark Murless.

Earlier in the day Haindl had been one of the biggest movers when 36 players returned to complete their third rounds after Saturday’s play was terminated in the early afternoon by lightning and thunderstorms.

The 23 year old South African, who is 19th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, put himself into contention with a 66 while Canete and McLardy both completed 65s to go into the final round first and second on the leaderboard, which was exactly where they would finish.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Monkey Pod Tree

From this website

Leguminosae -- Legume family

Roger G. Skolmen

Monkey-pod (Pithecellobium saman), samán in Spanish, is a fast-growing tree that has been introduced to many tropical countries throughout the world from its native habitats in Central America and northern South America. Although generally planted as a shade tree and ornamental, it has been naturalized in many countries and is greatly valued in pastures as shade for cattle. Short-boled, with a spreading crown when open grown, it forms a long, relatively straight stem when closely spaced. Its wood is highly valued in some locations for carvings and furniture (7).

The most widely used common name for the species is raintree, from the belief that the tree produces rain at night. The leaflets close up at night or when under heavy cloud cover, allowing rain to pass easily through the crown. This trait may contribute to the frequently observed fact that grass remains green under the trees in times of drought. However, the shading effect of the crown, the addition of nitrogen to the soil by decomposition of litter from this leguminous tree, and possibly, the sticky droppings of cicada insects in the trees all contribute to this phenomenon (3). The Hawaiian common name, monkey-pod, is used here because it is a logical derivation of the scientific name Pithecellobium (monkey earring in Greek). Besides monkey-pod, raintree, and saman, which is its name throughout Latin America, the tree is called mimosa in the Philippines.

Special Uses

The pods contain a sweet edible pulp that supplies nutritious food for animals. Children also chew on the pods, which have a licoricelike flavor (3). Monkey-pod has long been a favorite of plant physiologists for studies of nyctinastic leaf movements (9).

Although the tree is commonly used as a shade tree in parking lots, it is undesirable for this purpose because of the sticky flowers, gum, and seed pods that fall from it during much of the year.

Monkey-pod wood has been reported as hard and heavy (12), and difficult to work (3,4). Actually, in Hawaii and elsewhere in the Pacific where it has been used much more extensively than in its native habitat, the wood is considered easy to work, particularly because low shrinkage during drying allows it to be machined while green. Articles made from green wood can be dried without serious drying degrade (10). In Hawaii, monkey-pod has been the premier craftwood used for carved and turned souvenir bowls since 1946. As labor costs increased, however, the industry spread to the Philippines and Thailand, which now supply most of the monkey-pod bowls for which Hawaii is famous.

Round 3 Sony Open

Charles Howell III is in the lead at 13 under with Luke Donald just one shot back. Steve Stricker is 9 under. Paul Azinger is -8. Tadd Fujikawa is -7, Will MacKenzie is -3 after having a real bad day, and George McNeill, Q School Winner, is -4.

Paul Azinger spent a little time in the booth after his round and it was very entertaining.

I've never heard anyone talk about a tree as much as Rolfing does that monkey pod tree. I'm going to have to research this tree.

The Dating Game

I just saw something during the Round 3 coverage of the Sony Open that I just have to comment on. It was a little clip of Luke Donald talking about how his friends might perceive him. The Golf Channel I'm sure thought this was a good idea, but Luke's answer sounded like an introduction of Bachelor #1, #2 or #3 on the Dating Game. I doubt if he intended it to come out that way and he was just providing an honest answer to a question the Golf Channel asked him so you could hardly blame Luke. Gee, once again I can tie blame for something to the media.

And just another comment about Luke, I think his putting is off today. The last few months, ever since the Ryder Cup actually, I've been thinking that his putting has been stellar. But I think he's missed a few today.

Hit Counter Tidbit

I checked the hit counter to see who'd been to the blog today. Apparently someone searched google images and somehow got to my blog from the following search: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.dailyherald.com/dow_photos

Curious to know what this dailyherald.com had to do with my blog, I tried going to the dow_photos blah, blah address and got a page not found message. So, I went to just daily herald part of the address and found out it's a Chicago news website. And that they charge you for just about everything. I hope they aren't charging people for pictures I took when I went to the golf tournament. People can come here and get them for free (well, they have to use their own printer and ink).

Sony Open Round 2

The big news is that of Tadd Fujikawa's 66 to make the cut by 3 shots. I didn't see it happen last night. I saw it on Golf Central this morning. That's great for the 16 year old amateur who is currently tied for 25th. Other happenings, Luke Donald and Paul Goydos are leading, Chad Campbell and Will MacKenzie are right in there.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I wanted to see the leaderboard for the Sony Open, so I went to the pga tour's website. I kept getting "this document contains no data" pop up boxes every few seconds. So, I gave up trying to get the scores there and went to the Golf Channel's website. There, the page kept refreshing and I couldn't get it to go anywhere but the first page of the leaderboard. Finally, I was able to go to the last page of the board, but I wanted to see all the scores. Not page by page. And it's pointless to expect full field scores during the coverage tonight. As I noted last week, they kept saying they would show full field scores but kept leaving off Ben Curtis.

Oh, and did anyone see the little, and I mean little, graphics last night during round one - at the top of the screen the Golf Channel showed two players' scores at a time. Unfortunately, you need a 52 inch screen for the graphics to be big enough to actually read.

It's obvious that both the pga tour and the golf channel expect their audiences to have tons of money - enough for broadband internet connections and big screen hd tvs.

At the Joburg Open

A bunch of people I haven't had the opportunity to watch are doing well in this tournament. Jaco Van Zyl, one of the American Q-School darlings, is playing. And as for Spaniard Watch: Manuel Quiros, Carl Suneson, and Alvaro Velasco are in the field. I have to learn these new players - I'm a bit confused as I know there's also an Alvaro Quiros who won a few weeks ago.

Sony Open

Round 1 coverage was pretty good. We got some closer looks at the players, and Faldo was hilarious. Will MacKenzie's presence in the booth for an interview was very enjoyable. I don't know if I like this WinZone thing. It pretty much rules out a surprise winner and just plays the odds. At one point, they said Vijay was in 54th position but he was ranked within the top 5 in the WinZone. How is this any different from the commentators just sucking up to the big names like they did last year? And Michelle Wie played again. I understand people are once again whining that she's taking their spot. What makes these people think Sony would have extended an invitation to them anyway? Talk about egos. Where is the whining over John Daly taking their spot? He got an exemption too.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I went to the PGA Tour website and there I found some links and writings on fantasy golf. One such link is called Total Fantasy. I don't think I'll expound on my golf fantasies. But it did get me to thinking.......................


I went to the PGA Tour website and there I found some links and writings on fantasy golf. One such link is called Total Fantasy. I don't think I'll expound on my golf fantasies. But it did get me to thinking.......................

Happy Birthday Sergio!!

Or, as altavista's babel fish translator says:

Feliz Cumpleaños

Monday, January 08, 2007

Final Round Mercedes Benz Championship

Well, Vijay Singh won. Adam Scott gave him a good challenge though. And Will MacKenzie continued to entertain and show some infectious, but not nasty, emotion. As for the Golf Channel coverage - I really think they should consider swapping Dottie Pepper for Judy Rankin. And I do have a problem with the announcers calling Vijay the 'King of Kapalua'. I'd say someone who won the tournament three years in a row is a king. Vijay is maybe a viscount.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Possible Return Trip

I asked my mom today if she would like to dog sit again this year. So far it's a tentative yes, which means I might be going back to Akron this summer to see the golf again. I'm excited at the possibility.

Mercedes Benz Championship Round 3

1. Luke Donald is wearing really pretty shirts. Nice colors.

2. Dean Wilson was under par for his third round. Hopefully he will have another good round today.

3. The Golf Channel announce team kept saying "Let's look at all the scores" but they would constantly leave off Ben Curtis. Just because he's last and would require another page of the leaderboard doesn't mean they can forget him. So, since the Golf Channel didn't bother to acknowledge him, I will: BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS, BEN CURTIS.

4. Hopefully Adam Scott, Trevor Immelman, J. B. Holmes and Will MacKenzie will make the final round really exciting. They will need low scores, some really low scores.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Twice now I've heard the Golf Channel 'analysts' criticize Sergio for dropping to #11 on the World Rankings and suggest that it's his putting that's at fault. No one has stated the obvious: Sergio hasn't played golf but these other players have. So, naturally the other players would leap frog over him. Kind of like how Jim Furyk is #2 in the world right now because Phil doesn't play after September.

Just another example of the media trying to make the news instead of reporting it.

Mecedes Benz Championship

I've been watching the Golf Channel's coverage for the last couple of days. My very first observation was: Rich Lerner sounded like he should be calling the action at a dog show on Animal Planet. Does anyone else get the impression that the coverage is more detached from the players than on the other networks? I don't know if they don't have their cameras close enough to them, or if they don't have the sound on or what, but I feel like I'm watching some European Tour event. Friday's coverage was a little better than Thursday's in this respect. Let's talk for a second about the Pat Green song. I have never really been a fan of his and last year, the Nationwide Tour coverage played his music so much that I got pretty tired of it. I don't know what will happen if I have to listen to Green every week for 30 weeks or more. I'm enjoying Rocco Mediate's efforts. He's very entertaining. I like that there's no barrier for him between the tv people and the players. All the commercials about the 'team' the Golf Channel assembled - Faldo, Kelly, Lerner and Nobilo - I was very disappointed to not hear Nobilo covering the event. He's doing the Post Game Show. Why is he part of the commerical and part of the 'team' when he's not in Hawaii with the rest of them? And a comment on AimPoint, the high tech purple dotted visual aid for showing the line of putts - I like it but I don't think I want to see it on every putt. So, far they are doing a pretty good job of deciding when to use it.

As for the event itself: I don't want anyone to say that an event needs a Tiger Woods or a Phil Mickelson. This week we have Vijay, Trevor, Will, J.B., and a bunch of other exciting players to watch. Anyone who likes golf would love this tournament this week. The one down side is that Arron Oberholser had to withdraw. Maybe he will stick around in Hawaii for a while though and enjoy the view. I would if I was there.

I saw something on another blog about how the Golf Channel doesn't reach as many tv viewers as ESPN or ABC. Well, for my satellite dish provider, I have to pay $58.00 a month to get the Golf Channel as opposed to about $22.00 a month for the package that includes ESPN (the local channels I get free with an antenna). It isn't so much a matter of no one's watching the network, it's that it's too expensive to get for a lot of people. Hopefully, this year, the Golf Channel will do away with a lot of the infomercials now that they will have more golf coverage to air and people will tune in to see something other than testimonials for the Q-Link. It isn't like there isn't a golf tournament going on somewhere in the world every week they could be covering.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

10,000 Hits

Even Par Round has achieved a milestone - 10,000 hits according to my counter. Granted some of those are mine. I'm awfully proud of my little blog and like to look at it. Plus, I get to all the other golf blogs I read by using my Blogs of Note section. But, despite that, 10,000 is still a pretty high number. It took about 3 years for my Window Dressing blog to reach that count. Maybe I should talk about those fake pictures of a certain pro golfer's house on my other blogs to increase viewership. LOL

I was disturbed however to see that my 11/19/06 blog post about Julieta Granada's win at the ADT Championship has recently been placed in the archives with the date of November 1990. I think Julieta was maybe 3 years old in 1990. I was a senior in high school in November 1990. Bad year for me - I single handedly killed a tradition of having three speakers at graduation. I was the last 3rd speaker my high school had. After about a half an hour trying to find the contact blogger support page, I finally told them about this error and asked them to either fix it or tell me how to fix it. I don't hold out much hope of getting a response. They don't email you back. In fact they probably want me to to convert to the 'new' blogger that just came out of Beta. I'm waiting to see what bad things are happening with that beta thing before I convert my blogs. I may convert in a couple of months once I'm sure all the other bloggers have found most of the bugs and they've been fixed. I did take the precaution of changing my password now that I've seen this unexplained change in my blog.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fed Ex Cup

The show Inside the PGA Tour is on right now on the Golf Channel. It featured some golfers saying that the Fed Ex Cup would make it possible for the top players to play each other more often. Well, that's working well so far (heavy with sarcasm). Tiger and Phil are both skipping the Mercedes Benz Championship this week. I don't think the Fed Ex Cup will make any difference to the Tour or the players. We'll probably see the same 30 guys at the end of this year that we saw at the end of last year. If they really wanted to make it exciting and create a shake-up within the golf world, then they should award extra points to the winner of a tournament if he is someone outside the top 50. Bring some of the breakout golfers into the mix. If they don't and they continue to just suck up to players like Tiger and Phil, then what's going to happen when those guys decide they don't want to play any longer? It will be a very dark time in American Golf.

Monday, January 01, 2007

My New Year's Day

I spent a big chunk of my New Year's Day at my parents' house with my niece, nephew and brother-in-law who came up from Florida for Christmas. My sister stayed behind to work and to have some me time for herself. Me time is very important. I have had over a year of it and I'm still not satisfied. Anyway, my brother-in-law tried his very best to get me to agree to come for a visit this spring and attend the Players Championship. They live in Jacksonville which isn't far away from the PGA Tour headquarters and the World Golf Hall of Fame. He almost had me convinced to do more than visit. He said I could visit for two weeks, to which I said if I stayed that long, I'd be turning in job applications at the World Golf Hall of Fame and the Tour Headquarters. He said that was fine since there's a house down the street from them that's for sale. I asked if it had a fenced in yard for my dogs and yes, it does. Added to all of that the fact that it doesn't snow there, and it's a very compelling argument. But, I am notorious for not making decisions and letting opportunities pass me by so odds are I'll let this one pass me by too.