Thursday, January 31

2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open TV Schedule and Tournament Notes



THE 2013 WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN is underway at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona. With the first round in progress, Phil Mickelson has the early lead. Lefty is 9 under through 12 holes.

Purse: $6.2 million
Winner’s share: $1.098 million
Defending champion: Kyle Stanley

2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open Leaderboard

The field
Tee times
The course
Tournament overview
Tour report

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open is on Golf Channel and NBC.

Thu, Jan 31
4-7p GOLF

Fri, Feb 1
4-7p GOLF

Sat, Feb 2
1-3p GOLF
3-6p NBC

Sun, Feb 3
1-3p GOLF
3-6p NBC

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Wednesday, January 30

2013 Masters: Dunbar Relishes Crow's Nest Stay

By Brian Keogh
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.

BRITISH AMATEUR CHAMPION ALAN DUNBAR THOUGHT his place in the 2013 Masters was priceless. And it is.

But even though it turns out that it’s going to cost him $14 a day to stay in the famous Crow’s Nest at Augusta National, the 22-year old from Rathmore is happy to stay there for at least two days of what will be his final event before he can start playing for cash as a professional.

Managed by Chubby Chandler’s ISM stable thanks to a change in the Rules of Amateur Status in 2011, Dunbar said: “Augusta charge you $14 a day for your room and board but it’s going to be a once in a lifetime experience. You couldn’t put a price on a place in the Masters and I’m really looking forward to it.”

The amateur invitees get to stay in the attic dormitory at the world’s most exclusive club from April 8-14 and Dunbar is looking forward to following in the footsteps of Irish winners of the Amateur such as Joe Carr, Garth McGimpsey, Brian McElhinney and Michael Hoey as well as legends of the game such as Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

And while the Portrush native initially plans only to stay there the weekend before the Masters having taken on US Amateur champion Steven Fox in the traditional George Cup match at the Golf Club of Georgia the previous Friday, he’s not ruling out spending an entire week under the eves of the famous old clubhouse.

“I’ll stay at the Crow’s Nest the Saturday and Sunday before the Masters for sure and if it’s spot on I’ll stay the rest of the week,” he said. “I’ll definitely have a room at the ISM house if it doesn’t work out, so it’s all good.”

Dunbar revealed that he will turn professional straight after the Masters and confessed that he is not tempted to wait until after the US Open at Merion, for which he would have been exempt thanks to his win at Royal Troon.

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

Tuesday, January 29

President Golf Matches: Obama, Bushes and Clinton Eliminated

From the ARMCHAIR GOLF archives.

Ike is still in, Bush is out. (Public Domain)
UNDER CLOUDY SKIES AT AUGUSTA National Golf Club, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower and Gerald Ford advanced to the semifinals of the Presidents Golf Championship.

For No. 13 seed Nixon, it was the second consecutive upsetthis time at the expense of George H.W. Bushalthough he now faces political nemesis and tournament top seed Kennedy in the semifinals. When asked for his thoughts about his next opponent, JFK declined to comment.

(Last week: Nixon upset highlights opening matches)

The other semifinal will pit No. 2 seed Dwight Eisenhower against No. 3 seed Gerald Ford. Summaries of the quarterfinal matches are below, followed by the upcoming semifinal matches.

EAGLE BRACKET

#1 Kennedy defeats #8 Obama, (match score not disclosed)
While Obama’s political skills may remind some people of JFK, his inconsistent golf game was no match for Kennedy’s, especially at Augusta. It was over early, and, by mutual agreement, the final match score was not disclosed so as to not embarrass the current president. Not only did Obama show respect for Kennedy’s golf game, he praised JFK’s skillful oratory. The pair spent much of the match discussing their inauguration speeches.

#13 Nixon defeats #5 George H.W. Bush, 1-up
Long shot Richard Nixon once again showed his resiliency and resolve, coming from three holes down on Augusta’s inward nine to upset George H.W. Bush. The rally began at the par-5 13th hole, where Nixon noticeably slowed down his play, which clearly infuriated the fast-playing Bush. The comeback was completed on the final hole when a rattled Bush three-putted for a double bogey and Nixon slapped a 20-foot bogey putt that raced across the green and dove into the cup. When asked about gamesmanship, Nixon’s reply sounded like a warning. “My opponents should know I play to win.”

FREEDOM BRACKET

#2 Eisenhower defeats #7 Clinton, 9 and 7
Ike was on his game and decimated an overmatched Bill Clinton in the day’s second-to-the-last pairing. The general had his game face on and was impervious to Clinton’s charm and golfing eccentricities (even when Clinton gave himself a potential hole-winning putt). The one bright spot for Clinton was an improbable ace on the par-3 6th hole. It was the only hole he won. Despite the lopsided match score, Clinton insisted he shot an 85. He signed autographs and chatted with spectators before climbing into a waiting limousine.

#3 Ford defeats #6 George W. Bush, 4 and 3
With most of the spectators following the Ike-Clinton match directly in front of them, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush played an amiable, uneventful match in relative solitude. Whether looking ahead to his semifinal match with Eisenhower or easing up on his erratic opponent, Ford dropped some holes on the final nine, which made the match appear to be closer than it was.

Semifinal Matches

Results of the following matches will be published next Tuesday.

EAGLE BRACKET
#1 Kennedy vs. #13 Nixon

FREEDOM BRACKET
#2 Eisenhower vs. #3 Ford

Monday, January 28

Torrey Pines Still Under Tiger Ownership

Tiger Woods at AT&T National. (Allison)
TIGER WOODS WON THE FARMERS Insurance Open. Yawn.

Do you really expect me to get excited? After all, Tiger has won this tournament seven times. Add the 2008 U.S. Open, and he's won eight times at Torrey Pines as a professional. Then, if you throw in his amateur career, well, it's ridiculous.

Tiger owns Torrey. It's that simple. Just like The Slammer owned Greensboro.

It makes me wonder why Tiger would ever skip San Diego. Why pass up what seems like a certain victory, especially in the not-so-distant past when he was in that painfully long win drought?

OK, yes, I do remember. Woods skipped in previous years because of his trips to the Middle East for those ginormous appearance fees. But this year he decided to play both Abu Dhabi and Farmers, a smart move.

Tiger posted rounds of 68, 65, 69 and 72 for a 14-under total of 274. Brandt Snedeker, last year's champion, and Josh Teater finished in a tie for second at 10 under, four shots back. It wasn't that close, really. Tiger had a eight-shot lead and lost interest.

Hunter Mahan suggested Woods may be making a statement with his early season win.

"I think he wanted to send a message," Mahan said. "I think deep down he did. You play some games to try to motivate yourself. There's been so much talk about Rory (McIlroy). Rory is now with Nike. That would be my guess."

Not sure I agree with that theory. Might be overthinking it. It's Torrey, Hunter. Tiger always wins there. He even did it once with a broken leg.

Friday, January 25

Top 10 All-Time Long Hitters



ACCORDING TO THIS PGA TOUR VIDEO, here are the top 10 all-time long hitters. Following are their names in alphabetical order:

Fred Couples
John Daly
J.B. Holmes
Davis Love III
Jack Nicklaus
Greg Norman
Arnold Palmer
Sam Snead
Bubba Watson
Tiger Woods

How do you think the video ranked the players from 10 to 1? Hint: It's not entirely based on total driving distance, but also how they stacked up in their era.

Thursday, January 24

Kyle Stanley Shakes Off Torreyble Finish

ON TUESDAY KYLE STANLEY WAS BACK at the spot in the 18th fairway on Torrey Pines South Course from which he made a disastrous triple bogey 8 and went on to lose the Farmers Insurance Open to Brandt Snedeker in a sudden-death playoff. Stanley was just 85 yards away from his first PGA Tour victory a year ago, but his sand wedge spun into the water.


Karen Crouse of the New York Times reported:
Returning to the scene of his spectacular collapse during a practice round for this week’s event, Stanley gripped his two iron — taking aim at all the Monday morning caddies who criticized him for using a club that generates so much spin — and hit a line drive that ricocheted off a sponsor’s sign and landed behind the green. The shot was filmed for a commercial for Nike, which added Stanley to its endorsement stable this year. 
The act was part commerce, part catharsis. It was a lighthearted way for Stanley to chase away any lurking demons. “At some point you’ve got to smile about it,” Stanley said. “And, yeah, it was fun. It was nice to do that.”
After last year's final-hole disaster, Stanley went on to win in Phoenix the following week.

“Out here you’re going to have good stretches, you’re going to have bad stretches,” Stanley told Crouse. “You’ve just got to be tough and try as hard as you can to focus on the positives. It’s hard to do.”

On Thursday, Stanley opened with a 75 on the South Course. Snedeker, the opportunistic player who edged him last year, is co-leader with K.J. Choi after a 65.

Wednesday, January 23

Leave Rory Alone

Rory McIlroy
RORY MCILROY FAMOUSLY MISSED THE CUT last week at Abu Dhabi, his season opener, as did his Nike stablemate Tiger Woods. McIlroy didn't hit it well and didn't putt it well. And he certainly didn't score well, carding a pair of 75s.

Some folks blamed that new Swoosh on his golf clubs. Predictable.

I think Larry Dorman has it right. Here's what Dorman wrote in his equipment column at PGATour.com:
With the spotlight comes the microscope and the pointed questions follow. And when McIlroy hit some uncharacteristically stray shots and missed the cut at Abu Dhabi, it took about a micro-second for some equipment mavens to wonder aloud whether he had gone after the fast bucks and abandoned the tools that got him to the top, thus imperiling this season and impeding his progress. 
Here’s the quick answer to that: you’re joking, right? (bold added)
Dorman points out that McIlroy has done pretty well with other recent career decisions, including changing his management company and rejoining the PGA Tour. He contends that Rory didn't just take the money (an estimated $20 million annually) and run. He's smarter than that.

So, take it easy, everyone. Yes, equipment changes are tricky, but, considering Rory's immense talent, I expect he'll do just fine with the Swoosh. I mean, young McIlroy has barely had time to get those clubs dirty.

Now if Rors is still shooting 75 in April, we'll all be shaking our heads. And all those Swooshes will turn upside down into a bunch of frowns.

Tuesday, January 22

Nixon Upset Highlights President Golf Matches

From the ARMCHAIR GOLF archives.

Nixon dispatched FDR.
ALL BUT ONE OF THE FAVORITES advanced in the opening matches of the Presidents Golf Championship at Augusta National Golf Club. In a stunning upset in the Eagle Bracket, No. 13 seed Richard Nixon defeated No. 4 seed Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

“No, I’m not surprised I won,” Nixon said. “People have counted me out before. I guess I showed them again.”

Top seeds John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower cruised to victory on an overcast day at Augusta. Summaries of the opening matches are below, followed by a listing of the bracket semifinal matches.

EAGLE BRACKET

#1 Kennedy defeats #16 Grant, 10 and 8
Tournament favorite JFK closed out No. 16 seed Ulysses S. Grant in the minimum number of holes. Grant was clearly uncomfortable on the golf course and didn’t finish out on several holes. At one point during the match, a muttering, cigar-chomping Grant disappeared into the pines and forfeited several holes before reemerging on the 9th hole. Grant also attempted to “free” his caddie. When Kennedy was asked to comment about his opponent, he said, “Grant was a better president than people think.”

#8 Obama defeats #9 Reagan, 1-up
As expected, the Obama-Reagan match-up was a tight contest characterized by a lot of conceded putts. The two men enjoyed each others’ company and were heard laughing all the way around Augusta National. Tied when they reached the final hole, Reagan’s mental error on the 18th green cost him the match. After tapping in for his bogey, Reagan mistakenly gave Obama a 10-foot par putt.

#5 George H.W. Bush defeats #12 Wilson, 4 and 2
George H.W. Bush built a large early lead but faltered in the middle of the match as Wilson doggedly played on, winning several holes due mostly to Bush’s mistakes. The match was dormie when the pair arrived at the par-3 16th, where Wilson hit eight tee shots into the water and lost 4 and 2.

#13 Nixon defeats #4 Roosevelt, 2 and 1
In the most surprising match of the day, Richard Nixon wielded a hot putter at just the right moments to turn back the heavily favored FDR. Nixon’s usual highly erratic play did not hurt him in the match-play format. Roosevelt admitted his game was off and called Nixon “fortunate.” Buoyed by his opening win, Nixon said he liked his chances as he marched to the practice tee.

FREEDOM BRACKET

#6 George W. Bush defeats #11 Taft, 5 and 4
With George W. Bush’s late afternoon win over William Howard Taft, both Bushes advanced to the second round in their respective brackets, preserving the possibility of an all-Bush final. Yet, speaking on the condition of anonymity in the locker room, one president said the Bushes would soon fold. Even though Taft’s game was wild (he never found the fairway), the jovial president said he immensely enjoyed the atmosphere and would stick around until the conclusion of the tournament.

#3 Ford defeats #14 Johnson, 6 and 5
Gerald Ford breezed to a first-round victory over LBJ, who swore after every shot and bitterly complained about the difficulty of the golf course. Ford played well in what many considered to be a tune-up match and appeared to ease up when his lead grew to a sizable margin. Johnson held up play on several holes and, to the embarrassment of the Secret Service and a handful of spectators, relieved himself in Rae’s Creek. When the match was decided, LBJ shook Ford’s hand and reportedly told Ford to kick Kennedy’s ass if they met in the finals.

#7 Clinton defeats #10 Harding, 1-up
Bill Clinton narrowly escaped with a victory over an upset-minded Warren G. Harding. Hitting a flask as often as his driver, Harding played boldly while Clinton constantly argued with the match’s official scorekeeper. Clinton managed to prevail and also won most of the side bets. The two were last seen headed for the par-3 course where they planned to continue playing (and betting) until darkness forced them to the clubhouse for an all-night card game.

#2 Eisenhower defeats #15 Coolidge, 9 and 7
Never in doubt, Dwight Eisenhower’s one-sided match with Calvin Coolidge was a study in contrasts. Whereas Ike thoroughly enjoyed the game and Augusta National Golf Club, his golfing home turf, “Silent Cal” looked and played like a man in a chain gang. Eisenhower approached the match as a practice round, attempting shots that he felt he would need later in the tournament. When asked about his day at Augusta, Coolidge uttered four words before trudging to a waiting car. “A waste of time.”

Quarterfinal Matches

Results of the following matches will be available next Tuesday.

EAGLE BRACKET
#1 Kennedy vs. #8 Obama
#5 George H.W. Bush vs. #13 Nixon

FREEDOM BRACKET
#2 Eisenhower vs. #7 Clinton
#3 Ford vs. #6 George W. Bush

Monday, January 21

Another Cook in Hawaii

John Cook
CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, A BRITISH EXPLORER, made three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, including significant time in the Hawaiian Islands, where he and his crew were the first Europeans, according to historical accounts. After two successful visits to the islands, however, Captain Cook was killed in a dispute with villagers.

"He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions," says Wikipedia.

John Cook, no relation to Captain James Cook as far as I know, demonstrated perhaps one or two of those qualities this past weekend, outlasting David Frost in a sudden-death playoff to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii. The 54-hole event was the season opener on the Champions Tour.

Cook sank a 16-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to force the playoff. Then he dropped a 25-footer for birdie on the second playoff hole to earn his ninth Champions Tour title and a check for $309,000. Cook also won 11 times on the PGA Tour.

Frost had trouble capitalizing on the par 5s in the final round, while Cook birdied all four of them.

"He's won a lot of tournaments all over the world," Cook said about Frost, the 36-hole leader. "He hit some beautiful golf shots today and didn't get much out of what he was doing and I hadn't either. It was kind of a survival day until it got down to the nitty gritty and you knew what you had to do."

Cook's victory means a return visit next year to defend his title. He might not win again, but he'll certainly be welcome and surely get out alive.

Friday, January 18

2013 LPGA Schedule: Upswing Continues

From LPGA Press Release

EARLIER THIS WEEK THE LPGA ANNOUNCED a 2013 tournament schedule featuring 28 tournaments, nearly $49 million in total prize money, and more than 300 hours of tournament television coverage on Golf Channel and other networks, the most in the Tour's history.

The 2013 LPGA schedule includes three new tournaments: the $1.3 million North Texas LPGA Shootout, to be played April 22 to 28 at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas; the $1.3 million Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, to be played May 20-26 at the Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas; and the $1.8 million Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic in Beijing, China, which kicks off the Tour’s Fall Asian swing the first week of October at Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club.

Each of the new tournaments are four-day, 72 hole, stroke-play events, aired on the LPGA's international television partner networks, including Golf Channel. Every North American tournament and 27 of the 28 Tour's stops on the 2013 schedule will be televised worldwide.

"The performance, approachability and growing popularity of our players is the No. 1 factor in the LPGA's continued momentum," said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan, "which has led to expanding coverage on Golf Channel, the growing slate of playing opportunities and our ever-increasing fan base."

The season opener is the ISPS Handa Women's Australia Open that begins on February 14.

Thursday, January 17

Gary Player 'Fit as Ever' at 77

HOW MANY SIT-UPS CAN YOU DO? Hall of Famer Gary Player, who recently turned 77, can do a thousand. The South African golfer started working out, eating right and getting his rest in 1953. He never stopped.

Gary Player (Allison)
Player, along with former President Bill Clinton, is hosting the Humana Challenge, which begins today in La Quinta, California.

The nine-time major winner recently talked to Mike Walker of Golf.com.

"In 1953 I started exercising with weights, and there were only two of us who did it, Frank Stranahan and myself. Now I’m 77 years of age and still as fit as ever. I can still do a thousand sit-ups, and I work out with weights every week. I’m very careful not to eat food with high fat and excessive sugar; I’m probably about 75 percent vegetarian and it stood me in great stead."

READ GOLF.COM Q&A WITH GARY PLAYER

Player, nicknamed "The Black Knight," claims to be the world's most-traveled athlete. He has been flying around the world to play in golf tournaments for 60 years. Walker asked Player for a travel secret.

"Yesterday I left my ranch in South Africa [to fly to Florida]. I set my alarm for 20 past 4 and I got up and exercised profusely. If you exercise profusely, then when you get on the plane you’ll be able to sleep well. I watched everybody around me eating like it was the Last Supper, and all I had was three bananas and a lot of water. The worst thing you can do is overeat on these planes, having these drinks and eating all this fatty bacon. I just don’t understand it."

Player is one of only five men who has won all four majors. He also has won six majors on the Champions Tour and amassed 165 professional victories.

Wednesday, January 16

Abu Dhabi: The Third Man in Rory-Tiger Grouping

Martin Kaymer
QUIET MARTIN KAYMER IS THE THIRD MAN in the marquee grouping that features Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, both flashing their Nike threads and sticks in their season opener at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the United Arab Emirates.

"It's always nice to play with them," Kaymer said in his media conference. He gets along with both players. He knows they'll attract large galleries. No, it won't bother him. He's been there before.

The soft-spoken Kaymer is the odd man out, in a sense, just as anyone would be alongside the two mega stars. And yet Kaymer, also the man who clinched the Ryder Cup for Europe at Medinah last September, is arguably as solid a pick this week as McIlroy or Woods.

You never should count out someone who has won a tournament three times in the last five years. Kaymer hoisted the trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2011. He was the runner-up in 2009. Last year he missed the cut, though.

LISTEN TO MARTIN KAYMER AT ABU DHABI

"I'm coming here to a golf course that I really like and have been successful on; that I never really have to play against my feel, which is very rare on golf courses where you go and you can really feel very comfortable."

Beware of the third man.

Tuesday, January 15

SETTLED: McGinley at Ryder Cup Helm for Europe

IT’S PAUL MCGINLEY, AFTER ALL. After all the drama and speculation surrounding who would be the next Ryder Cup captain for Europe—would it be McGinley, Darren Clarke, or perhaps an encore captaincy for Colin Montgomerie?—the Irishman emerged as the unanimous choice of the European Tour’s tournament committee.

“To lead the cream of the crop in the Ryder Cup is going to be a huge honor,” McGinley said in an Associated Press story.

“To be quite honest, it is a very humbling experience to be sitting in this seat. It is a week I'm looking forward to. It’s a whole new experience for me, the chance to be a captain.”

Clarke recently withdrew his name from consideration, and Montgomerie began an eleventh-hour lobbying effort. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, a McGinley supporter, thought his countryman was the obvious choice.

“Common sense prevailed in the end,” McIlroy tweeted.

The 2014 Ryder Cup will be played at Gleneagles, Scotland. A part of five winning teams as a player and vice captain, McGinley, 46, has a solid Ryder Cup resume. He sank the Cup-clinching putt at The Belfry (England) in 2002.

“Paul . . . is an outstanding representative of European golf,” said Tom Watson, U.S. Ryder Cup captain. “I look forward to sharing the stage with him as we make our journey to Scotland.”

Monday, January 14

Louis Oosthuizen, The Excavator

Louis Oosthuizen
IT WAS A VERY GOOD WEEK for Louis Oosthuizen. The South African won the Volvo Champions on Sunday, closing with a 66 for a 1-stroke victory over 54-hole leader Scott Jamieson of Scotland. Oosthuizen’s sixth career title on the European Tour vaulted him to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

But that’s not all.

Earlier in the week Oosthuizen also won the pro-am and swapped the first prize, a car, for an excavator. Louis comes from a farming tradition. You can take the golfer off the farm, but you can’t ... I don’t know. Something. Help me out.

The point is, Oosthuizen was really thrilled about his new Volvo CE excavator.

“I’ve been nagging my wife for a few years that I want something on the farm as there are a few stumps and things I need to get rid of,” Oosthuizen said.

“And that’s why I stood over that putt on 18 for a bit longer than normal. So I’m going to play around with it and might dig out a few bunkers.”

Note

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy signed with Nike. They’re going to pay McIlroy a lot of money for a long time. He’s going to use their golf clubs.

Friday, January 11

The Breakup: Goodbye 3 Iron

By Charles Prokop
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF


Copyright © Charles Prokop. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

IN A COMMERCIAL FOR ADAMS HYBRIDS, Kenny Perry says, “I just can’t hit a 3 iron like I used to.” I’ve never come close to playing like Kenny Perry and he’s ten or so years younger than me, so I guess there’s no shame in admitting that my love affair with my 3 iron is over, too.

There was a time that I loved hitting long irons and my 3 iron was my go-to club. I used it for long approach shots. I used it in place of a fairway wood, not just because I could hit my 3 iron so well but also because I couldn’t hit a 3 wood at all. For a few years I used my 3 iron as my driver. I used it for punch shots out of the trees and for low runners under the wind. I probably hit it more often than any clubs in the bag except for my pitching wedge and my putter.

But something happened, along with the appearance of gray hair and a little pooch around the waist. My 3 iron wasn’t such a good friend anymore, and then my 4 iron started to insult me. Even my 5 iron thought the occasional worm burner and shank were pretty hilarious. My best friends had deserted me.

A few months ago I finally took the plunge and decided if it was good enough for Kenny, it was good enough for me. I found a used set of Adams hybrid irons at a decent price and fell in love with them. The set even has a hybrid 6 iron, and I’ve been amazed at how much more confident I feel over those hybrids and how much better I’m hitting it. It doesn’t always show in my score, but every now and then I pop out a round I can be proud of.

I held out as long as I could, but I’ve finally admitted it. “My name is Charlie and I’m getting older and I hit hybrids.” I’ve watched the bags of the guys I play with, and most of them admitted it a few years ago. I think they were more mature than me in more ways than one.

If you doubt I can’t hit my 3 iron like I used to, have a look at the header image of my blog. My 3 iron is the broken club in the picture.

Charles Prokop is a clinical psychologist who writes about golf at fairwaywords.

Thursday, January 10

2013 Sony Open TV Schedule and Tournament Notes



THE 2013 SONY OPEN IN HAWAII is underway at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Jeff Overton is the clubhouse leader after shooting a 6-under 64. The first round is still in progress.

Purse: $5.6 million
Winner’s share: $990,000
Defending champion: Johnson Wagner

2013 Sony Open Leaderboard

The field
Tee times
The course
Tournament overview
Tour report

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 Sony Open is on Golf Channel.

Thu, Jan 10
7:00-10:30p

Fri, Jan 11
7:00-10:30p

Sat, Jan 12
7:00-10:30p

Sun, Jan 13
7:00-10:00p

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Wednesday, January 9

Jim Furyk’s ‘Most Depressing Interview’

Jim Furyk (Allison)
IF, LIKE ME, YOU AGONIZED ABOUT Jim Furyk's failures at critical moments during the 2012 season, be sure to read the GOLF Magazine interview, "The Unraveling of Jim Furyk: Lessons Learned from a Season Marked by Failure."

Furyk comes across as brutally honest and provides insight about what went wrong at the U.S. Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Ryder Cup, including how he dealt with the catastrophes immediately after and as time went by.

The interview itself was like a snap hook into the junk.

"I'm going to have to stick a knife in my heart at the end of this," Furyk said during the sitdown with Cameron Morfit.

"This is the most depressing interview I've ever given for this amount of time."

A couple of excerpts. Here's what Furyk said about dealing with defeat:
The way Greg Norman handled his defeat at the 1996 Masters -- was that a model for you, a template, sort of, for how to be graceful in defeat? 
No. I think when something happens that's upsetting for you, the last thing you think of is someone else. You feel like you're on an island, and the people that really care about you, and the people who are in your corner -- it's a small number. [Laughs] So I'm looking at my family, I'm looking at dear friends, but as I handled it and talked about it, I saw that when the questions were asked, a lot of people had soft looks in their eyes, almost like a I-feel-bad-I-have-to-ask-this-question look. Someone asked the other day, "How do you keep coming back? How do you pick yourself up?" It's just what we do! We get our asses beat week in and week out, some weeks worse than others. It's humbling.
On his son crying at Firestone:
After the WGC-Bridgestone, you mentioned seeing your 8-year-old son, Tanner, crying behind the green. Was there anything instructive about that day from a parenting perspective?

I probably handled myself better in the presence of them, having children, than I would have without being a father. One, I know they're there, I saw they're upset. He's young, he's going to be a little bit more emotional, whereas my daughter, she's older, she's a little bit more like me, hides her emotions from people. He sat there and listened to me answer questions. Even he'll say, "That's kind of annoying, isn't it?" But yeah, it's good for them to see.

Tuesday, January 8

Field for 2013 Masters, Just 92 Days Away

(Shannon Hurst Lane)
THE 2013 MASTERS WILL BE THE 77TH EDITION of the famous invitational started by Bobby Jones after his retirement from competitive golf. The first round tees off on Thursday, April 11, only 92 days from today. Following are the men (to date) who will be playing for the Green Jacket.

2013 Masters Invitees

The number(s) after each name indicates the basis of qualification. (See qualifications criteria below.)

Thomas Bjorn (18) Keegan Bradley (4,14,15,16,17,18) Angel Cabrera (1) K.J. Choi (5,18) Stewart Cink (3) Tim Clark (5) Darren Clarke (3) George Coetzee (18) Nicolas Colsaerts (18) Fred Couples (1,11) Ben Crenshaw (1) Ben Curtis (15,16) Jason Day (18) Luke Donald (15,17,18) Jamie Donaldson (18) Jason Dufner (12,15,16,17,18) Alan Dunbar (7) Ernie Els (3,15,17,18) Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (18) Rickie Fowler (15,16,17,18) Steven Fox (6-A) Hiroyuki Fujita (18) Jim Furyk (11,12,15,17,18) Sergio Garcia (11,15,16,17,18) Robert Garrigus (15,17,18) Lucas Glover (2) Branden Grace (18) Tianlang Guan (8) Bill Haas (18) Peter Hanson (11,18) Padraig Harrington (3,4,11,12) John Huh (15,17) Trevor Immelman (1) Dustin Johnson (15,16,17,18) Zach Johnson (1,15,16,17,18) Martin Kaymer (4,18) Matt Kuchar (5,11,15,17,18) Bernhard Langer (1) Paul Lawrie (18) Marc Leishman (16) Sandy Lyle (1) David Lynn (14,18) Hunter Mahan (11,15,17,18) Matteo Manassero (18) Graeme McDowell (2,11,12,18) Rory McIlroy (2,4,15,16,17,18) Phil Mickelson (1,11,15,17,18) Larry Mize (1) Francesco Molinari (18) Ryan Moore (15,17,18) Kevin Na (11) Mark O'Meara (1) Jose Maria Olazabal (1) Thorbjorn Olesen (18) Louis Oosthuizen (3,11,15,17,18) John Peterson (12) Carl Pettersson (14,15,16,17,18) Scott Piercy (15,16,17,18) Ted Potter Jr. (16) Ian Poulter (11,14,18) Justin Rose (11,14,15,17,18) Charl Schwartzel (1,18) Adam Scott (11,13,15,17,18) John Senden (17,18) Webb Simpson (2,15,17,18) Vijay Singh (1) Nathan Smith (10) Brandt Snedeker (13,15,16,17,18) Craig Stadler (1) Steve Stricker (15,17,18) Michael Thompson (12) David Toms (12,18) Bo Van Pelt (15,17,18) T. J. Vogel (9) Nick Watney (15,16,17,18) Bubba Watson (1,15,17,18) Tom Watson (1) Michael Weaver (6-B) Mike Weir (1) Lee Westwood (11,15,17,18) Tiger Woods (1,2,13,15,16,17,18) Y.E. Yang (4)

Past champions not expected to participate: Tommy Aaron, Jack Burke Jr,. Billy Casper, Charles Coody, Nick Faldo, Raymond Floyd, Doug Ford, Bob Goalby, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Fuzzy Zoeller.

2013 Masters Qualifications

1. Masters Tournament Champions (Lifetime)
2. US Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
3. British Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
4. PGA Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
5. Winners of The Players Championship (Three years)
6. Current US Amateur Champion (6-A) (Honorary, non-competing after 1 year) and the runner-up (6-B) to the current US Amateur Champion
7. Current British Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after 1 year)
8. Current Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion
9. Current US Amateur Public Links Champion
10. Current US Mid-Amateur Champion
11. The first 16 players, including ties, in the previous year's Masters Tournament
12. The first 8 players, including ties, in the previous year's US Open Championship
13. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's British Open Championship
14. The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's PGA Championship
15. The 30 leaders on the Final Official PGA Tour Money List for the previous calendar year
16. Winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
17. Those qualifying for the previous year's season-ending Tour Championship
18. The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
19. The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament

(Source: Masters.com)

Monday, January 7

30 Guys on Really Bad Maui Golf Vacation

THE PLANTATION COURSE AT KAPALUA RESORT in Maui is usually a pristine track for an all-guys golf weekend in paradise. Especially in early January when much of the mainland is shivering through freezing cold.

But not this past weekend.

Golf on the Plantation (if you could even call it golf) was simply ridiculous. These 30 dudes, looking forward to sunshine and warm tropical breezes, could not even get in a full round, for gosh sake. Man oh man. Just sad.

They certainly tried, though, getting in maybe eight holes on Friday. Saturday was a complete wash out. They tried again on Sunday, but that was a total mistake.

“After we went through Friday and then having Saturday blown out, as well, we were kind of expecting that today,” said one of them, a guy named Matt. “With the wind being as strong as it was this morning ... I think most guys pretty much could have told you what was going to happen in the locker room.”

Winds were gusting to 50 mph and balls were rolling off the green and stuff. It was just crazy.

Finally, some good news. They got in a round today. Apparently they’re so jacked about it they’re going out again to get in 36.

They’re supposed to play another 18 tomorrow. A guy named Mark (one of the shortest hitters of the bunch) was low man, but now two cats called Nick and Dustin are leading the outing.

When they finish up tomorrow, rumor has it that some of them are headed over to Oahu to tee it up again next weekend.

Friday, January 4

Book Excerpt: ‘Looping in Limbo’ by Ginney Etherton

An excerpt from Chapter 1 of Looping in Limbo (Lainey Tidwell Series), available at Amazon.

By Ginney Etherton
Special to ARMCHAIR GOLF


© 2012 Ginney Etherton. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

First book in Lainey Tidwell Series.
BEFORE SHE LEFT FOR GREENER pastures, Tiny Sue had been my mentor at Singing Bluffs. She was the only girl in the caddie shack who I respected – and it wasn’t because we both hovered near the five-foot mark. She’d quit two months earlier to join the Champions Tour. That’s how smart she is.

We were sitting on the dinky balcony of Sue’s motel room overlooking an asphalt parking lot. It was eight p.m., and it was ninety degrees with no breeze – way beyond the comfort zone of a coastie like me.

“And the trees. I really miss the trees,” she continued. “Lainey, do you know how artificial Pebble Beach is? Boring. I haven’t seen a course yet that has even half the character of those at the Bluffs, and I’ve looped all over the place. And the weather’s always hot and sunny. It took me a while to get used to that.”

“Yeah, well, maybe the middle of summer wasn’t the best time to leave Eden Beach,” I said, doubting my own road trip decision.

But no, however insufferable Central Oregon was compared to my home on the south coast, a weekend in Sun River was the break I needed to fully appreciate my choice to stay on at Singing Bluffs Resort. True, the guys were going to jack me around for taking off during the high season. But Larson would put me back into the first-years’ rotation without even a dirty look. He knew I was leaning towards wintering at the resort.

I’m a caddie, and it’s my job to help golfers have the game of their lives. My first four months of looping at Singing Bluffs had earned me a reputation as a solid, dependable caddie. Once guests realized that I was smarter than my top-heavy bimbo body suggested, they golfed and let me do my job.

That’s the way it went on good days. Then there were the days of gross, boys’-club losers, egotistical know-it-all assholes, and endless, stupid golf jokes and offensive slurs. But the beauty of the resort’s two links-style courses always brought me back for another day. Even in the worst eighty-mile-an-hour windstorm and with thirty pounds of golf clubs on my back, walking the fairways of the Bluffs or the Hollows is the coolest job imaginable.

Ginney Etherton lives on the Oregon coast, a short distance from famed Bandon Dunes. Visit her at ginneyetherton.weebly.com.

Thursday, January 3

2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions TV Schedule and Tournament Notes



THE 2013 HYUNDAI TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS begins on Friday at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii. Steve Stricker is the defending champion in the 30-player winners-only field.

Purse: $5.7 million
Winner’s share: $1.12 million
Defending champion: Steve Stricker

2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions Leaderboard

The field
Tee times
The Plantation Course at Kapalua
Tournament overview
Tour report
Tournament news

TV SCHEDULE

TV coverage of the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions is on Golf Channel and NBC.

Fri, 1/4:
GOLF 5:30p - 10p ET

Sat, 1/5:
GOLF 5:30p - 10p ET

Sun, 1/6:
NBC 3p - 6p ET
GOLF 6p - 10p ET

Mon, 1/7:
GOLF 4p - 8p ET

SIRIUS-XM PGA Tour broadcast times

Wednesday, January 2

Jimenez Takes Broken Leg in Stride

(A pie de campo - Flickr)
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ, THE MOST INTERESTING golfer in the world, broke his tibia last week on a ski slope not far from his home in Malaga, Spain, and will be out of golf action for three to five months, according to the European Tour.

“I was going down a hill and lost control briefly and when I fell it was very sore,” Jimenez said at EuropeanTour.com.

“I knew immediately I had broken something. The medical staff at Sierra Nevada took me for an x-ray straight away and I am very thankful to them, as well as all of the staff at the hospital, for their quick and professional response.”

The 19-time European Tour winner who made history when he won in Hong Kong last month can’t stay off the slopes. He loves to ski, just like he loves cigars, wine, fast cars and birdies.

“When I took up skiing I knew the risks that I was taking but I love it so much I could not stop,” Jimenez said. “It has not all been bad news for me to finish the year, however, and in just a few days I will be opening my new golf school near Torremolinos.”

Jimenez was scheduled to go home on Monday with a set of crutches and an uncertain golf future. (He will be 49 on Saturday.) But, as you might expect, the broken leg did not break his spirit.

“I was playing well,” he said, “but you have to take life as it comes.”

Tuesday, January 1

Golfers Are Athletes After All

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

This just in my email inbox from Nike. The athletic shoe and apparel behemoth has signed PGA Tour stars Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley to multi-year agreements. The two players will wear the Swoosh beginning in the 2013 season and represent Nike Golf in multiple lines: clubs, ball, footwear, glove, apparel, headwear and accessories.

As you can see, they are athletes, according to the Nike artwork. Thats right, folks. Golfers are athletes. Well, these two are. They look the part. Not an ounce of fat on either man.

Watney won twice in 2011 and followed up those victories with the 2012 Barclays during the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The Fresno State product is ranked No. 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Stanley claimed his first title at the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open after a heartbreaking loss at the Farmers Insurance Open the week before. The former Ben Hogan Award winner is No. 76 in the world.

“Nike is the most powerful sports company in the world,” Stanley said in a Nike news release.

“They want to have the best athletes on board and it’s an honor to be a part of that and represent them.”

Watney said: “I am excited to call myself a Nike athlete. I am proud to wear the Swoosh because it’s the symbol of excellence across all sports and golf is no exception.”

I ate dinner with Nick Watney (and others) at Pebble Beach in early December and hope to bring you highlights of that conversation soon.