Monday, February 20

DJ Conquers LA and the World



DUSTIN JOHNSON IS THE MAN. No longer an underachiever, DJ has checked off another accomplishment on the list, even if it wasn't a goal but rather a byproduct of winning. With a dominant victory at Riviera yesterday in the Genesis Open, Johnson has moved the top of the golf world.

From Karen Crouse of the New York Times:
LOS ANGELES — Nineteen golfers, including the Genesis Open's nonplaying host, Tiger Woods, have ascended to the men's No. 1 spot since the rankings were introduced in 1986. On Monday, Dustin Johnson will become the 20th. 
Johnson, the reigning United States Open champion and PGA Tour player of the year, closed with rounds of seven-under-par 64 and 71 at a soggy Riviera Country Club on Sunday for a five-stroke victory. The win, his 13th on the PGA Tour, will vault him past Jason Day, the No. 1 player for the past 47 weeks, and the former No. 1 Rory McIlroy in the new rankings.
Johnson said: "If you look at even the top 10 guys in the world, all of them are very, very good. I'm going to have to keep working hard and keep playing well if I want to stay there."

DJ has won 13 times on the PGA Tour, including at least one victory in each calendar year since 2008.

What's next? I don't know, but I expect high on his list is a Green Jacket.

Friday, February 17

Skratch TV Presents 'Prison Golf '



THIS IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. This is Adventures in Golf (Season 1) from Skratch TV.

Documentary filmmaker Erik Anders Lang takes viewers on a tour around the globe searching for the craziest, most intriguing stories in golf.

I hope you enjoy the next episode, "Prison Golf."

Related:
Golf Cart vs. GolfBoard
Urban Golf Landia in Portland
St. Andrews and the Legend of Tom Morris
Golf Outta Compton
24 Hours in Dubai
Slum Golf in Mumbai

Thursday, February 16

Golf on TV: Genesis Open, ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, Chubb Classic, ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth



From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 14, 2017) – The PGA TOUR will stage the final event of its West Coast swing with the Genesis Open near Los Angeles before heading east for next week’s Honda Classic in South Florida. Eight of the top-10 players in the world are in the field, including Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama and Sergio Garcia; each of whom enter the event coming off a victory in the previous start. World No. 1 Lydia Ko is set to make her 2017 debut at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, airing Wednesday-Saturday in primetime on Golf Channel. Three-time winner of the event – Bernhard Langer – headlines a strong field at the Chubb Classic, the second of two Florida events in as many weeks on the PGA TOUR Champions. And the European Tour will stage the inaugural ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth in Australia, combining both stroke and match play into one event which will culminate with a bracket style series of six-hole matches on the final day of competition to determine a champion.

PGA TOUR

Genesis Open
Dates: Feb. 16-19
Venue: Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         2-6 p.m. (Live) / 7-11 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              2-6 p.m. (Live) / 7-11 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-9 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on CBS (Eastern):
Saturday          3-6 p.m.
Sunday            3-6:30 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
Elite field to showcase eight of top-10 in the world: The Genesis Open will feature eight of the top-10 players in the world, led by No. 1 Jason Day and No. 3 Dustin Johnson. Hideki Matsuyama (No. 5), Jordan Spieth (No. 6) and Sergio Garcia (No. 9) are in the field as well, each coming off a victory in their previous start. Both Johnson and Matsuyama have a mathematical chance of ascending to No. 1 in the world with a win this week, depending on where Day finishes.
Watson defends: Bubba Watson finished one stroke ahead of Adam Scott and Jason Kokrak to claim his ninth career PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the field: Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose and Bubba Watson.

* * *

LPGA TOUR

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
Dates: Feb. 16-19
Venue: Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Adelaide, Australia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 2-6 a.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday         11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)
Friday              11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 5-6:30 p.m. (Sunday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Ko making 2017 debut: World No. 1 Lydia Ko will make her first competitive start of 2017, and her first start since changing her caddie (Gary Matthews), coach (Gary Gilchrist) and golf clubs (Parsons Xtreme Golf).
Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson, Charley Hull, Ha Na Jang, Minjee Lee, Karrie Webb, Aditi Ashok, Haru Nomura and Cheyenne Woods.

* * *

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Chubb Classic
Dates: Feb. 17-19
Venue: The TwinEagles Club (Talon Course), Naples, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Saturday replay)     
Saturday          3-5:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            3-5 p.m. (Live) / 1:30-3:30 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Kelly to make PGA TOUR Champions debut: Three-time PGA TOUR winner Jerry Kelly is set to make his PGA TOUR Champions debut this week after turning 50 in November.
Langer defends: Bernhard Langer finished three strokes ahead of Fred Couples to win the event for the third time, and earn his 26th PGA TOUR Champions victory.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Scott McCarron, Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie, John Daly, Woody Austin and Kenny Perry.

* * * 

EUROPEAN TOUR

ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth
Dates: Feb. 16-19
Venue: Lake Karrinyup Country Club, Perth, Australia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6-10 a.m. (Tape delay) / 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Wednesday overnight, Live Stream)
Friday              6-10 a.m. (Tape delay) / 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Thursday overnight, Live Stream)
Saturday          6-10 a.m. (Tape delay) / 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Friday overnight, Live Stream)     
Sunday            6-10 a.m. (Tape delay) / 11 p.m.-4 a.m. (Saturday overnight, Live Stream)

Broadcast Notes:
Inaugural event combines stroke and match play: The event will utilize a unique format combining both stroke and match play, as the first three days will consist of traditional stroke play, with a 36-hole cut and an additional 54-hole cut to the low-24 players, with any ties for 24th place being broken by a sudden death playoff. The final day will be contested as match play – but each match will consist of only six holes – where the top-8 players after 54 holes will earn an opening-round “bye.” The remaining 16 players will compete in the first round (six-hole) matches, with the eight winners advancing to face the top-8 players having earned a bye, until the field is reduced to 8, 4, 2 and eventually crowning a champion. Any match tied after six holes will be decided by playing a “shootout hole,” measuring approximately 100 yards.
Headlining the field: Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Thorbjorn Olesen, Marcus Fraser, Siddikur Rahman, Peter Uihlein, Robert Allenby and Curtis Luck (a).

Wednesday, February 15

VIDEO: Jordan Spieth on Winning Time



JORDAN SPIETH TALKS ABOUT HOW he closes out tournaments on ESPN. Spieth collected his ninth PGA Tour title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week.

This week Spieth goes for two in a row at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

Tuesday, February 14

World No. 1 Lydia Ko Has a New Coach

Lydia Ko left golf instructor David Leadbetter in December after working together for three years. Following is the announcement of her new coach.

Howey-in-the Hills, Fla.; February 9, 2017 – The #1 ranked women's golfer Lydia Ko has officially partnered with Gary Gilchrist.  After spending over a month at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy at Mission Inn Resort & Club, Ko feels confident in the new team she has built in the off-season, including having Gilchrist as her new swing coach.

"Everybody here (at GGGA) tries to make it fun. We're obviously working on things, but we're trying to have a good time. Even before coming here, I had heard that Gary is not only a great coach, but he's a "cheerleader" - he’s here to support." says Ko. "In golf, it can feel so individual… You have to feel like you have a team around you that will make it fun, no matter what the situation is."

Ko is walking into the season with a new team, new equipment and new goals. Gilchrist and Ko have been honing in on her long game while working on the ownership of her swing. "That’s been the real difference for me. It's been very simple. Making it into a natural swing instead of putting me into place." says Ko. "I started over-thinking myself in my last season - and when you're over-thinking and you're over the ball - that is not a good combination."

For Coach Gilchrist, the opportunity to work with Lydia Ko is an honor that comes with a lot of responsibility. There is no missing Gilchrist's passion for the game and building champions. For him, it is much more than technical training, and when starting off with a new player, Gilchrist focuses on the positive that is going unnoticed.  

"In the beginning, I try to build confidence through consistency, and from there begin to build their game," says Gilchrist. "That is the art of coaching to me... it is not to get into somebody's head - it's to get into somebody's heart. If you follow your heart, you'll get there quickly. It will change your mindset right away... Improving your club face can get you somewhere, but improving your outlook can get you anywhere in life."

"Coaches are not something you change very often, and I hope this (partnership) goes a long way. I like what we've done. It's been good progress without being too much to work on… I'm excited to go out and play," says Ko.

Gilchrist also coaches some of the best players in golf including current LPGA Tour world #2 player Ariya Jutanugarn, world #4 Shanshan Feng, former #1 Yani Tseng, 10-time winner Paula Creamer, 2013 Rookie-of-the-Year Moriya Jutanugarn, and PGA Tour player Morgan Hoffmann.

"What I do every single day is my passion. Now, getting to coach the best players in the world… that is the cherry on top," says Gilchrist.

Monday, February 13

Jordan Spieth's 'Boring Golf' at Pebble Beach



"JORDAN SPIETH'S DOING JORDAN SPIETH things again," wrote Steve DiMeglio for USA TODAY. "That doesn't bode well for his colleagues."

Spieth, 23, notched his ninth win on the PGA Tour by cruising to a four-shot victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. At times, Spieth putted extremely well. That's his trademark. But when the putter went lukewarm or even cold, the young Texan striped the ball from tee to green. Michael Greller, Spieth's caddie, said his boss is underrated in the ballstriking department.

"Today I hit 17 greens," Spieth said after his final round, "sort of a dream round when you're leading by a bunch. But it was sort of boring golf."

He closed with a ho-hum 70. For the week, he finished 19 under (68-65-65-70--268) and made just four bogeys.

"That was the game plan," he added. "We got to every tee box and Michael said, 'Keep playing boring golf.'"

Spieth is one of only two golfers since World War II to collect nine tour titles before turning 24. Tiger Woods is the other. He had 15.

Still two months away, it's safe to say that Spieth will be a favorite at the Masters.

Friday, February 10

Tiger Woods Announces Break


ABOVE: Tiger warming up in Dubai.

TIGER WOODS ANNOUNCED TODAY AT TIGERWOODS.COM that he won't be playing in the Genesis (LA) Open and The Honda Classic.
"My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down. This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week."
Woods withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic last week after the first round because of back spasms. When Tiger will play next is anyone's guess.

"Really looking forward to seeing everyone one [at the Genesis Open]," he tweeted. "Unfortunately I won't be able to play."

Thursday, February 9

Golf on TV: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Allianz Championship, Maybank Championship



From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2017) – The PGA TOUR shifts to the Monterey Peninsula this week for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where three of the top-six players in the world are scheduled to compete: Jason Day (No. 1), Dustin Johnson (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 6). The 156 professionals in the field will be joined by celebrity amateurs for one round each at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club, with the top-60 professionals (and ties) along with the top-25 professional/amateur teams advancing to compete in Sunday’s final round at Pebble Beach. Notable celebrities in the field include: Wayne Gretzky, Peyton Manning, Bill Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Timberlake and Mark Wahlberg. Paul McGinley and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jose Maria Olazabal are both scheduled to make their PGA TOUR Champions debut this week at the Allianz Championship in South Florida. The strong field also will feature Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, John Daly, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Colin Montgomerie. The European Tour heads to Malaysia this week for the Maybank Championship, headlined by 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett and Lee Westwood.

PGA TOUR

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Dates: Feb. 9-12
Venues: Pebble Beach Golf Links; Spyglass Hill Golf Course; Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore Course), Pebble Beach, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         3-6 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              3-6 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on CBS (Eastern):
Saturday          3-6 p.m.
Sunday            3-6:30 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
Format: The field of 156 professionals and 156 celebrity amateurs will compete in one round on each of the three host course venues, with the top-60 professionals (and ties) and the top-25 professional/amateur teams advancing to play in Sunday’s final round at Pebble Beach.
Taylor defends: Vaughn Taylor finished one shot ahead of Phil Mickelson to earn his third career PGA TOUR win, and first since 2005.
Headlining the field: Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar and Ernie Els.
Notable celebrities in the field: Carson Daly, Larry Fitzgerald, Wayne Gretzky, Peyton Manning, Bill Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Ray Romano, Justin Timberlake and Mark Wahlberg.

* * *   

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Allianz Championship
Dates: Feb. 10-12
Venue: Broken Sound Club (Old Course), Boca Raton, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              Noon-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          3-5:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            3-5 p.m. (Live) / 12:30-2:30 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
McGinley, Olazabal making PGA TOUR Champions debut: 2014 European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jose Maria Olazabal are both scheduled to make their PGA TOUR Champions debut this week, with Olazabal hoping to return to form after being sidelined from competition for most of 2016 due to struggles with rheumatoid arthritis.
Toledo defends: Esteban Toledo defeated Billy Andrade on the third playoff hole to claim his fourth PGA TOUR Champions victory.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Miguel Angel Jimenez, John Daly, Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Paul McGinley, Mark O’Meara and Woody Austin.

* * * 

EUROPEAN TOUR

Maybank Championship
Dates: Feb. 9-12
Venue: Saujana Golf & Country Club (Palm Course), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         10 p.m.-Midnight (Wednesday, Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Live) / 5-10 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              10 p.m.-Midnight (Thursday, Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Live) / 5-10 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Friday Overnight, Live)        
Sunday            10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Saturday Overnight, Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Fraser defends: Marcus Fraser finished two shots ahead of Miguel Tabuena and Soomin Lee to earn his third career European Tour win.
Headlining the field: Danny Willett, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Thongchai Jaidee, Tommy Fleetwood, Marcus Fraser, Anirban Lahiri and Bernd Wiesberger.