Like Fathers Like Sons - Almost

By Associated PressJanuary 9, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Mercedes ChampionshipsKAPALUA, Hawaii -- Davis Love III and Vijay Singh are spending a lot more time with their sons at the office.
Love noticed over the last few years that 10-year-old son Drew is a regular on the range at Sea Island, which has carried onto the golf course at Sea Island, Ga.
'Drew playing a lot has given me another boost, another reason to get out and play at home, not be lazy and go hunting, fishing,' Love said. 'I think his excitement is spilling over a little bit to me. He's having fun with it. He's dragging me out there a lot.'
Love is trying not to push his son toward a future in golf.
The former PGA champion had every resource imaginable as a kid, especially since his father was a renowned teaching pro. Love said he doesn't offer a lot of instruction unless asked, leaving that to the golf pros at Sea Island.
'I'm trying to do what my dad did -- give him all the access, teach him more about how to act at the golf course, etiquette, rules,' Love said. 'I'm trying to put him in the atmosphere that my dad put me in, let him find his way.'
Love said it was important that Drew saw him win four tournaments last year, if nothing else than to see the hard work pay off in results.
When they play together, Love still has pressure to perform well.
'He told me the other day, 'Why don't you hit the ball close like Uncle Mark?'' Love said.
'He knows. He's watching. When I don't hit a good shot, he wants to know why. Dad is supposed to hit it good every time. He inspires me to still play hard because he wants me to do well.'
Whether his son will follow the same career path remains to be seen.
Love said he wants to play in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge, along with Fred Couples and his 10-year-old son, Oliver, but they figure the boys are a little too young.
They can check with Singh about what that experience is like.
Singh, who has won a Masters and PGA Championship, says his best golf memory was playing with 13-year-old Qass in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge in Orlando, Fla., last month, where they contended on the final day.
'That was the biggest thrill I've ever had in my whole career,' Singh said. 'To do something special, like playing golf with him, was something that I never thought I was going to do until last year. '
There are different dynamics in the house of Singh.
While Drew Love has become a range rat, Qass Singh isn't as motivated to hit even a small bucket of balls.
'I have to drag him out on the golf course,' Singh said with a laugh.
The Fijian said his son was a natural as a toddler, and they even have pictures of him swinging a club in his pre-kindergarten years.
'He was unbelievable,' Singh said. 'I thought, 'I've got a winner, here.' He was a great player for his age until he hit about six, then he totally quit.'
Qass is in the seventh grade, and he started taking golf for his physical education class.
The Singhs, like the Loves, are not hurting for resources.
Qass gets out of school every day and spends an hour on the range at the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass, which has one of the best practice facilities in the world. It was through that practice that Qass became good enough to take his game to national TV in the Office Depot Father-Son Challenge.
The bad news?
'After that tournament, he has not gone to the golf course,' Singh said. 'Once he starts school again, I think he'll get back that feel. He's keen, but he's not that keen right now. I'm not going to push him, although I'd love him to play golf. I think he's got great potential to be a great player.
'He swings the club better at his age than I did when I was his age. We'll have to see.'
NEW AGENT: Ernie Els says he turned to Nick Price for advice when he was starting out in professional golf.
Now, he'll be turning to Price's agent.
Els left longtime manager Nick Frangos last year and has been shopping around for a new agent. He checked with just about everyone, from IMG to Links Sports, before settling on David Abell of Jupiter, Fla.
'I've never really gone with a group, so I felt staying on my own will be good,' Els said. 'I've known David a long time.'
TIGER AND PEBBLE: Tiger Woods has had some of his greatest moments at Pebble Beach. He came from seven shots behind with seven holes to go to win the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and later that summer won the U.S. Open by a record 15 shots with the lowest score ever in relation to par at a U.S. Open (12 under).
But it could be a while before he returns.
Woods said he was skipping the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the second straight year because of the bumpy poa annua greens in early February.
'You walk off the golf course saying you can never make a 1-foot putt,' he said.
Woods says his confidence on the greens is shot for weeks after Pebble Beach.
Instead, he will take a four-week break after this week and return at the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines, where he is the defending champion.
Woods also is expected to play the Nissan Open and World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Asked if he would ever return to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Woods replied, 'That depends on the greens.'
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    Romo set to make PGA Tour debut at Punta Cana

    By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:43 pm

    While much of the attention in golf this week will be focused on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Tony Romo may send a few eyeballs toward the Caribbean.

    The former quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst will make his PGA Tour debut this week, playing on a sponsor invite at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. The exemption was announced last month when Romo played as an amateur at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he's apparently been hard at work ever since.

    "I'll be treating it very serious," Romo told reporters Tuesday. "My wife will tell you she hasn't seen me much over the last month. But if you know me at all, I think you know if I care about something I'm going to commit to it 100 percent. So like I said. you'll get the best I've got this week."

    Romo retired from the NFL last year and plays to a plus-0.3 handicap. In addition to his participation in the Pebble Beach event, he has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open multiple times and last month played a North Texas PGA mini-tour event as an amateur.

    According to Romo, one of the key differences between pro football and golf is the fact that his former position is entirely about reactive decisions, while in golf "you're trying to commit wholeheartedly before you ever pull the club out of your bag."

    "I'm not worried about getting hit before I hit the ball," Romo said. "It's at my own tempo, my own speed, in this sport. Sometimes that's difficult, and sometimes that's easier depending on the situation."

    Romo admitted that he would have preferred to have a couple extra weeks to prepare, but recently has made great strides in his wedge game which "was not up to any Tour standard." The first-tee jitters can't be avoided, but Romo hopes to settle in after battling nerves for the first three or four holes Thursday.

    Romo hopes to derive an added comfort factor from his golf in the Dallas area, where he frequently plays with a group of Tour pros. While Steph Curry traded texts with a few pros before his tournament debut last summer on the Tour, Romo expects his phone to remain silent until he puts a score on the board.

    "I think they're waiting to either tell me 'Congrats' or 'I knew it, terrible,'" Romo said. "Something along those lines. They're probably going to wait to see which way the wind's blowing before they send them."

    Romo will tee off at 8:10 a.m. ET Thursday alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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    Spieth vs. Reed random? Hmm, wonders Spieth

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Monday’s blind draw to determine the 16 pods for this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play didn’t exactly feel “blind” for Jordan Spieth, whose group includes Patrick Reed.

    Spieth and Reed have become a staple of U.S. teams in recent years, with a 7-2-2 record in the Ryder and Presidents Cup combined. So when the ping-pong ball revealed Reed’s number on Monday night Spieth wasn’t surprised.

    “It seems to me there's a bit more to this drawing than randomness,” laughed Spieth, whose pod also includes Haotong Li and Charl Schwartzel. “It's not just me and him. It's actually a lot of groups, to have Luke List and Justin [Thomas] in the same group seems too good to be true. It might be some sort of rigging that's going on, I'm not sure.”

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    “I've seen it firsthand when he's been at his best. And we have history together in a couple of different playoffs, which is a match-play scenario,” Spieth said. “I've got to take care of work tomorrow and the next day for that day to even matter. But even if it doesn't matter, trust me, it will matter to both of us.”

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    U.S. Open champ Koepka (wrist) to miss Masters

    By Will GrayMarch 20, 2018, 6:12 pm

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    Koepka has been battling a left wrist injury since late last year, and he hasn't played since finishing last at the limited-field Sentry Tournament of Champions in early January. Weeks later he revealed that he had a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) tendon but hoped to return in time for the season's first major.

    According to the report, Koepka only started putting this week and plans to begin hitting chips next week.

    "They said I would be about 80 percent, but I can't play 80 percent," Koepka said. "I either have to go full bore or not at all. I don't want to risk getting it re-injured and then be out a long time."

    Koepka has finished T-33 or better in each of his three prior Masters appearances, culminating in a T-11 result last year.

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    Spieth's agent leaving firm, but keeping Spieth as client

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 6:07 pm

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    In a press release, Danzi said, “after careful consideration I feel that it’s time for a new adventure.” Danzi will represent Spieth independently.

    “It’s been a privilege having Jordan be part of the Lagardère Sports’ family for the last five years and watching him grow from a promising young player to someone who transcends the game,” said Steve Loy, Lagardère Sports president of golf. “We are also grateful for Jay’s contributions over the years, in golf and other areas of our business.”

    Lagardère Sports underwent an aggressive expansion in recent years, acquiring numerous boutique firms including Danzi’s business and Crown Sports Management.

    Although losing Spieth, the world’s fourth-ranked player, and Danzi, who took over as Lagardère COO in February 2017, is a setback, the firm still has a number of high-profile clients including Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Patton Kizzire, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.