Notes Clarks elbow passes Par 3 test

By Associated PressApril 7, 2011, 3:06 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tim Clark was 2 under at the Par 3 Tournament, significant not so much because of the score or the event, but the fact the South African played golf.

It was his first competition since he finished second at the Sony Open in Hawaii three months ago.

Clark has been coping with a severe and mysterious injury to his left elbow, which has kept him from even hitting full shots until Tuesday on the practice range at the Masters. There’s still no guarantee he will play in the Masters on Thursday. He first wanted to get through the Par 3 and make up his mind.

In that respect, at least he finished.

“I’ve started to get better the last two weeks,” he said. “In the last few days, they might have found something that’s causing the problem. It could be a pinched nerve in my neck that’s the root of the problem. I’m hoping that’s the case.”

After returning from Honolulu, and when he woke up after his first night at home, his elbow was throbbing. He tried a cortisone shot a few weeks later, and it didn’t get better. Clark actually flew out to Pebble Beach, but he could tell on the range he couldn’t play.

He even tried blood spinning, a painful process that “hurt like crazy.”

It didn’t help.

Clark was in good spirits before the Par 3. Two weeks ago, he felt he had no chance of playing the Masters. A week ago, he had hope. And on Wednesday, he hit full shots on nine holes.

He plans to tee it up Thursday, although his expectations are next to nil. Without having hit full shots in three months, he lacks strength in his arms. Also doubtful is defending his title in The Players Championship next month.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Clark said.

Only after he was done talking about his elbow did he mention the best news of all during his absence. His wife gave birth to their first child Friday, a 6-pound boy they named Jack.

LOVE ALL: Tennis player Andy Roddick’s first trip to the Masters was a memorable one.

The 2003 U.S. Open champion was Zach Johnson’s caddie for the Par 3 Tournament on Wednesday and did a decent job of it, too, with Johnson earning closest-to-the-hole honors on No. 3.

“He gave me some great yardages early on. And then he got tired,” Johnson cracked. “We had a great day. We birdied the first three holes and went from there, and it was fun.”

Roddick, who dropped to 14th in the most recent ATP rankings, took up golf a few years ago. He’d been planning to come to Augusta National with some friends when he mentioned that it would be fun to caddie for someone, and a friend who is business partners with one of Johnson’s friends set it up.

Augusta National is one of golf’s most famous courses, and Roddick said it reminded him of that other treasure on grass, Wimbledon.

“There are a lot of parallels, with the tradition and the pride that everyone takes just being there,” Roddick said. “There are definitely a lot of similarities.”
The better the players get on the PGA Tour, the larger the field gets at the Masters.

It’s enough to prompt Augusta National chairman Billy Payne to say officials will take a close look at their criteria after this Masters to decide whether a change is required.

There are 99 players in the field, the most since 103 in 1966.

“We say every year in response to that question that we look and we study the qualifications, which we do,” Payne said Wednesday. “But we are really going to look at it this year, because there is a maximum number of competitors for which we can give the experience that we want them to have and do it in a way that’s manageable. The 100 pushes that limit quite significantly.”

The biggest change over the past few years has been taking the field of the 30-man Tour Championship to conclude the FedEx Cup, along with the top 30 on the PGA Tour money list. The Masters also began taking winners of PGA Tour events, as long as they are not opposite-field events or part of the Fall Series.

Kevin Streelman and Kevin Na got into the Masters based on getting to the Tour Championship. All that was required of Streelman was finishing third in a playoff event. What also increased the field were 10 players who won PGA Tour events. It’s possible that Tiger Woods not winning and Phil Mickelson winning just once in the last year contributed to that.

“The trends vary every year, and we do look at that and we’ll have a thorough evaluation after the tournament this year,” said Fred Ridley, chairman of the Masters’ competition committee. “And we’ll make adjustments if we think it’s necessary.”
The Par 3 Tournament gave Ian Poulter a chance to spend some quality time with his mother.

Poulter’s mother, Theresa, caddied for him during the tournament, a lighthearted family affair before the serious work begins Thursday. The greens are filled with children, looking adorable in their miniature white caddie outfits, and wives and parents are not only allowed to tag along, they’re encouraged.

“Had a great time playing the par 3 with mum on the bag. she has never done that before,” Poulter said afterward on Twitter. “It’s great to share with friends & family. Special.”

Poulter wasn’t the only one to put his mother to work. D.A. Points’ caddie was his mom, Mary Jo, and her only complaint was that the afternoon didn’t last longer.

“He wouldn’t play another nine,” she said. “I begged him to play another nine.”

But Points said he’s already got an idea of how to make it up to her.

“A special coat fitting on Sunday,” he said. “That would maybe do it.”

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

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 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

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

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.