Equipment May Be Next Target
Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson is starting to wonder if the club will have any other choice. The latest renovation to the 68-year-old course has added nearly 300 yards, and 11 of the 18 holes have been lengthened the past four years.
'If technology brings about change in the next several years like we've seen in the past several years, then we may have to consider equipment specifications for The Masters tournament,' Johnson said this week from his home in Columbia, S.C.
Whether that happens remains to be seen.
Most of the attention is on the golf ball, and Greg Norman said it would make sense for The Masters to set its own standards if technology forced its hand.
'Augusta National could be the first and only tournament to introduce its own golf ball,' Norman said. 'They could have manufacturers make the golf ball. And every player will go play. They'll play with a gutta (percha) ball if they got invited.'
When asked if the club was interested in setting equipment rules for its tournament, Johnson replied, 'Certainly not.'
Then again, Augusta National is almost out of room. The course has always gone through some minor changes from the time it opened in 1934, but never before have so many holes been changed in one year.
'We would like not to change the golf course, but we don't have any choice,' Johnson said. 'If we continue at the same rate the next five years like we had the last five years, I don't know where we'll go. I don't know where a lot of other great golf courses will go.'
Not every player believes equipment standards are in Augusta's future.
'That will never happen,' Chris DiMarco said. 'The game is too big now. There are too many endorsement deals. If they would have started this from the beginning, they could have. But it's too late for that to happen.'
Would he still compete if Augusta ever introduced its own equipment specs?
'Yeah, I'd go,' DiMarco said. 'It's The Masters.'
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.