Notes Els Moving to Fla Poor Monty

By Associated PressMarch 20, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. -- Ernie Els spent last week in West Palm Beach, resting and working on his game as he tries to peak for the Masters. It might not be long before he returns for good.
 
Golfs most global player said Thursday that he was planning to move his home base from London to south Florida, where the weather is more suitable for golf in the winter and he can get strong care for his son, Ben, who is autistic.
 
Els was raised in South Africa, but he has made London his home for most of his professional career. He lives on the 16th hole of the West course Wentworth Golf Club, home of the European Tour and the World Match Play Championship. His daughter, Samantha, is about to turn 9 and it is tough to take her out of school.
 
For me to stay in England in the offseason is tough for me to do, Els said after opening with a 74 in the CA Championship. Im a guy from South Africa. I love the sun. I cant see myself sitting in the cold for three or fourth months. I dont like that. Ive always been comfortable down here. The schools for Ben, especially theres really good stuff happening over here for him.
 
All in all, I think it will be a good move.
 
Els disclosed two weeks ago that Ben, who is 6, has autism. He now has an Autism Speaks logo on his golf bag and wants to get involved raising money for research and awareness for the disorder.
 
He once had a home at Lake Nona in Orlando, but lived there only during long stretches of golf on the U.S. tour.
 
Els spoke to Nick Price, who grew up in Zimbabwe and has lived in Palm Beach County for years, during the Honda Classic, which the Big Easy won for his first PGA Tour victory in 3 1/2 years. Price is one of many friends in South Florida.
 
As for his golfing plans? Els does not think it will affect his schedule.
 
Ill still go to Dubai. I still got at the end of the year overseas, he said. I might put one or two more events into the schedule. Ill be closer to this side.
 
CONFIDENT CADDIE? According to his caddie, Tiger Woods had about a 1-in-15 chance of making that downhill, 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win at Bay Hill last week.
 
But upon further review, Steve Williams must have been confident it was going in.
 
Look at a replay of Woods standing over the putt, and Williams is in the background with his caddie bib already removed. If Woods had missed, there would have been a playoff with Bart Bryant.
 
This was brought to Williams attention Thursday. He thought about it, then smiled.
 
Just a habit, he said.
 
One can only assume the habit was taking off his bib on the 18th green. It had been seven years since Woods was in the final group and made a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win.
 
POOR MONTY: These are desperate times for Colin Montgomerie, who is No. 66 in the world and is at Doral (top 20 from the PGA European Tour money list last year) with one last chance to crack the top 50 and go to the Masters.
 
There are a lot of ranking points available at this World Golf Championship, and even more at the Masters. And thats one way Europe will pick its Ryder Cup team. With all that pressure in mind, Monty was on the range Thursday morning when European captain Nick Faldo came by in black workout shorts and a black shirt.
 
Faldo stood behind Sergio Garcia, about four stations down from Montgomerie.
 
Monty would hit a few shots, then look over his shoulder at Faldo. He did this for about five minutes. Finally, Faldo looked over at the Scot and they made eye contact, and exchanged a few words.
 
Alas, Monty went 13 holes before making a birdie and shot 75. Only two players had a worse score.
 
CLUBS ARRIVE: Louis Oosthuizen arrived on Sunday for the CA Championship, although his clubs did not make it. He chipped and putted Monday'no clubs. He learned on Tuesday that he would be playing with Tiger Woods'no clubs.
 
Ping made him a replacement set Wednesday'still no clubs.
 
They finally arrived at 10 p.m. Wednesday, so the young South African had a security blanket for his first time in the U.S. spotlight. And he acquitted himself nicely until struggling down the stretch, taking double bogey on No. 17 with trouble in the rough and a three-putt from 20 feet. He wound up with a 74.
 
The highlight?
 
He hit his tee shot over the green on the 366-yard 16th, and got up-and-down for birdie.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - WGC -CA Championship
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

    Getty Images

    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

    Getty Images

    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

    Getty Images

    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.