Sorenstam Wie to Play Pro-Am
In these cases, the tournament asks other pros to fill in.
This year, they turned to Olin Browne, Fred Funk, Billy Andrade - and Annika Sorenstam.
Sorenstam, the first woman in 58 years on the PGA Tour when she play at the Colonial last year, has said she won't play on the tour again, except for special events, such as the Skins Game.
'I've heard more excitement about a Wednesday pro-am than I have in a long time,' Davis Love III said.
Michelle Wie also is playing as an amateur. She also played in the pro-am last year.
NEW LOOK:@ Charles Howell III will be sporting a new look this year - on his rail-thin body, and maybe in his bag.
Howell ended his two-year relationship with Swedish designer J. Lindeberg, and signed a multiyear clothing deal with Japanese-based Sanei over the weekend.
The clothes are said to be a little more classic in style, although Howell won't exactly blend in with the crowd.
As for the clubs?
Callaway Golf, the new owners of Hogan by way of its Top-Flite Golf Co. acquisition, recently sent Howell a few sets of the Hogan irons. He makes his '04 debut next week in the Sony Open, and might put the blades in his bag, or possibly a combination of blades (for the shorter irons) and the offset Callaways (longer irons).
RECOVERY WORK:@ The maintenance staff at Kapalua gets an early nominee for comeback of the year.
Kapalua received 13 inches of rain over the first three days of the New Year, turning the Plantation course into a river just five days before the start of the season-opening Mercedes Championships.
Sand that washed out of some bunkers left an 80-yard trail of silt down the fairways. Officials canceled an amateur tournament Sunday.
'If this was any other golf course, we'd be looking for alternative dates to play this tournament,' PGA Tour rules official Jon Brendle said.
By Tuesday, everything was almost back to normal. The severe elevation changes on the Plantation course helped allow the course to drain remarkably fast, and the maintenance staff went to work on the bunkers.
'It's gone from a bleak outlook to a very promising outlook,' tournament chairman Gary Planos said.
Sunshine was in the forecast the rest of the week, and Brendle said preferred lies was not even a consideration.
One thing became clear: The course won't play nearly has firm and fast as it did last year.
Ernie Els won at a record 31-under par, and the shot that had everyone talking was his 400-yard drive on the par-5 15th, which he hit to the bottom of the hill, which left him with only an 8-iron into the green.
During a practice round Tuesday, that wasn't the case.
'I didn't come close to where I was last year,' he said. 'This year, it's a lot softer. You're not going to see 390-, 400-yard drives this week.'
NEW FATHER, EMPTY NEST:@ Jim Furyk has plenty of room this week at his house on the Plantation course at Kapalua, for good reason: His wife, Tabitha, is home in Florida with their newborn.
Tanner James Furyk was born Dec. 12, their first son and second child.
His wife wanted to come to Maui, but their child was too young to travel so far. Furyk will play next week in the Sony Open, then likely take as much as a month off. That means missing Pebble Beach, one of his favorite events.
DIVOTS:@ Steve Flesch was looking at the pairings for the first round of the Mercedes Championships and rolled his eyes when he saw his name with Kenny Perry. 'Awwww, I don't want to play with Kenny,' Flesch moaned. 'I played with him last week and he was hitting it 50 yards by me.' Flesch and Perry are the only two players at Kapalua from Kentucky. ... Fresh off his first PGA Tour money title, Vijay Singh was seen practicing Monday and Tuesday with a regular putter. He won four times and $7.5 million last year using the belly putter. ... Scott Hoch will have to find another caddie after the Hawaii swing. His regular man on the bag, Damon Green, is leaving to caddie for Zach Johnson, the Nationwide Tour player of the year.
STAT OF THE WEEK:@ The U.S. Open at Olympia Fields had only one hole - No. 12 - that ranked among the 50 toughest holes on the PGA Tour last year. The British Open (Royal St. George's) and PGA Championship (Oak Hill) each had four holes in the top 10.
FINAL WORD:@ 'We get beat up for being honest, but he's the guy to beat. No argument.' - Davis Love III on Tiger Woods.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
What's in the bag: API winner McIlroy
Rory McIlroy closed in 64 to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 (8.5 degrees), with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 70X shaft
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80TX, (19 degrees) with Fujikura Rombax P95X shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4), P-730 RORS prototype (5-9), with Project X 7.0 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48, 52, 56 degrees), Hi-Toe(60 degrees), with Project X Rifle 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade TP Black Copper Soto prototype
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
API purse payout: What Rory, Tiger, field made
Rory McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and collected one of the biggest non-major paychecks of the year. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Bay Hill.
|T14||Charles Howell III||-6||$137,950|
|T14||Byeong Hun An||-6||$137,950|
After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...
Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner
On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...
Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.
After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.
Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.
A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray
Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call
PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.
At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.
“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”
Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.
Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.
“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.