Interest in Pebble about Tiger and the QBs

By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2012, 8:53 pm

HONOLULU (AP)—Ollie Nutt can’t recall how long it has been since there wasso much interest and speculation in the field for the Pebble Beach NationalPro-Am—and that was after Tiger Woods announced he was playing.

Woods is set to play with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, although thepro-am pairings aren’t set until Feb. 7, the Tuesday of tournament week. Nutt,president and CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, said the tournament hasbeen in touch with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, and hopes to hear bythe end of the week if he will accept an invitation to play.

Also expected to play is Tom Brady, who hopes to get New England back intothe Super Bowl, which would be played the Sunday before the AT&T Pebble BeachNational Pro-Am.

Nutt can more easily measure the interest in ticket sales than phone calls.

“This last week, after Tiger committed, we’re up 35 percent,” Nutt saidTuesday after hosting the tournament’s media day. “I think Saturday could be asellout. We’ve been hitting 34,000, 35,000. We’ve set the maximum at 37,500, andI wouldn’t be surprised if we sold out. We won’t go more than that. We stillwant the spectators to have a good experience. And with the rotation of threecourses, we know we can handle that number.”

Pebble regular and “Caddyshack” star Bill Murray stole the spotlight lastyear when he teamed with D.A. Points , who captured his first PGA Tour event. Fornow, the focus has shifted to Tiger and the quarterbacks.

Nutt said Romo and Woods have said they were interested in playing aspartners. As for the speculation that Tebow would join the foursome if heplayed, Nutt said, “I don’t see that as likely.”


DRESSED LIKE A KING: Arnold Palmer Enterprises and Quagmire Golf cloth havedeveloped a new clothing line called “Arnie,” designed to reflect Palmer’sclassic look from the 1950s through the 1970s.

They found the PGA Tour player they believe is perfect for the look—RyanMoore .

Moore is a throwback, even wearing a skinny tie with a cardigan sweater onoccasion. He will wear the “Arnie” collection on tour and make marketingappearances for the company.

“Mr. Palmer is among my all-time idols as a golfer and a person, socompeting in these clothes and being so closely associated with his style legacyis a dream come true,” Moore said. “The research that went into each piece isreally evident and when you combine those timeless elements with advancedtechnical fabrics you’ve got something great.”

The collection was developed in part by going through Palmer’s personallibrary of photographs. It will be distributed this year over six months, withthree styles—the 1950s (fitted pants and tops, small collars and shortersleeves); the 1960s (wider pant legs and collars); and the 1970s (slightly widercollars, with gray as the signature color).

Geoff Tait, creative director for Arnie and Quagmire, said Moore was oneveryone’s list to wear the clothes.

“He truly gets our vision and is a dapper guy who’s always movingmainstream menswear trends onto the fairways,” Tait said.


NAME GAME: You’ve heard stories about players who take time off and move upin the world ranking. How about the case of Michael Thompson , who moved up 52spots after not playing one week?

It’s a true story—although it’s the product of confusion over his middleinitial.

Thompson was coming off a rookie season on the PGA Tour in which he finished98th on the money list to easily retain his card. He played in the inauguralThailand Golf Championship at the end of the year and finished third behind LeeWestwood and Charl Schwartzel . When he looked at the world ranking, he actuallydropped two spots to No. 183.

“I got back from Thailand and saw that I got no points,” Thompson said.

He called his agent, and before long the tour and world ranking board wereinvolved.

Thompson played his first PGA Tour-sanctioned event at the 2008 Masters, theyear after he was runner-up in the U.S. Amateur. Because there already was aMichael Thompson in the ranking archives, he was assigned “X” as his middleinitial. This is a common practice. He played the Masters, U.S. Open andTraveler’s Championship in 2008 as an amateur, and he tied for 28th in his prodebut that fall in the Texas Open.

When he earned his card, the tour entered him in the system using his properinitial—“H” for Hayes.

But the Michael X. Thompson remained in the system and was awarded the 12.8points for a third-place finish at Thailand that should have gone to Michael H.Thompson.

There was no golf played the following week, but in the final world rankingof 2011, the points were restored, and Michael H. Thompson had gone from No. 183to No. 131.


CITIZEN CARL: Carl Pettersson started his 10th season on the PGA Tour with aminor change: He’s not an American citizen.

He moved from Sweden to England when he was 10, then to North Carolina whilestill in high school. His father was an executive for Volvo. Pettersson neverleft, however. He played golf at North Carolina State, married a local girl, andsettled in Raleigh to raise a family.

“I’ve been here for 20 years. My kids were born here. My wife isAmerican,” Pettersson said. “I haven’t lived in Sweden since I was 10. I justwanted to do it because of my kids. And I feel American. It’s hard to say thatbecause I know I was born in Sweden. But I played junior golf here, went to highschool here.”

Pettersson said the process included fingerprints, a background check and ahistory test.

“And I got 100 on that, which I was proud of,” he said. “They hadquestions like when the Declaration of Independence was written, and somequestions about the Constitution. I crammed it all in the night before,memorized it and then forgot it.”


POLICY BOARD: Ben Crane , Harrison Frazar and Scott Verplank are the nomineesto be chairman of the Players Advisory Council. Voting lasts for about a month.The chairman eventually joins the policy board.

They are part of a 16-man PAC that was announced Tuesday. The other playersare Stewart Cink , Jason Day , Ken Duke , Charley Hoffman , Matt Kuchar , JoeOgilvie , Carl Pettersson, Justin Rose , Patrick Sheehan , Webb Simpson , ChrisStroud , Bo Van Pelt and Mark Wilson .


DIVOTS: The minor changes the world ranking board approved in 2010 now arecomplete. The new season began with 52 being the maximum tournaments that countas the divisor. … Johnson Wagner and Harrison Frazar were the only players tostart the season with top 10s in the two Hawaii tournaments. … Only fivewinners of the Sony Open did not play at Kapalua the previous week in the 14years since the Tournament of Champions moved to Maui. … Tom Pernice Jr.played the final round at Waialae with Kevin Chappell , who wasn’t even born whenPernice first played the Sony Open in 1986.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Steve Stricker has played the week after winning a PGATour event eight times in his career. His only finish in the top 10 was a tiefor ninth in 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship.


FINAL WORD: “The PGA Tour, I mean, it’s the Nationwide on steroids.”—Jhonattan Vegas .

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

Getty Images

Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

Getty Images

Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.