No 2 Sergio or Phil
Without further ado:
Jim writes: No doubt Sergio is the No. 2 guy in the world. In his defense of supplanting Phil (Mickelson), what has Phil done to keep his spot? Not much. Sergio is the guy that's winning. As far as being No. 1, that will take a major (victory) along with regular wins. But for now he's the real No. 2.
And as such, Sergio is the best No. 2 never to have won a major. I know that sounds like a cheap shot. And, really, Jims on the money here. Phil should be under the microscope a little more right now than Sergio.
Dave writes: Hopefully, the PGA Tour is not taking the upcoming potential sponsorship problems too lightly. I cannot believe that sponsors like Buick, Wachovia, AT&T and Morgan Stanley are long for the PGA Tour. Others will probably leave also. The Tour is already too elitist ' there are many events that the top players will NEVER play in. That is not good. I hope that the players understand that. Does anyone have the courage to ask Tiger to make an exception or two each year? Maybe it's time to give something back to the Tour. It may be too late. The European Tour has the PGA Tour on its heels. Everyone on the PGA Tour needs to pray that Tiger comes back strong. You're only as strong as your weakest link.
Dave, you said a mouthful there. The good news for the Tour is that its fully subscribed for 2009 with the possible exception of one Fall Series event. The better news would be a turnaround for the economy. None of the experts Ive heard are predicting that before 2010.
Jim writes: I was pulling hard for Davis Love this past Sunday. He hasn't won for a while, and has gone through some tough physical and personal problems, all without whining about it. Love doesn't generate the excitement of Woods or Mickelson, but to me, his professional, gentlemanly demeanor represents the very essence of the game of golf. (Im) Happy that he got his lifetime exemption; he's a great talent and totally deserves it.
Well said. You get the sense that Bobby Jones, if he were still alive, would have been a big DL III fan.
Jim writes: Read your comments on Davis Love and I, for one, would love to see him in the Presidents Cup. Can you imagine the feeling that he would have, when reunited with his old golfing partner, Freddy Couples? If anyone deserves a break after some of the problems that they have encountered, I can think of nobody more deserving than Mr. Love.
More love for Love.
Wichai writes: Two-piece range ball only 0.20 US$/ball. Orange color. Only 150,000 balls available. Minimum order 5,000 balls. CALL NOW.
I guess my SPAM filters busted.
Sally writes: .Regarding sunflower seeds on the greens. That is also one of my (pet peeves) along with the famous cigarette butts, especially when there are bunkers on some of the holes were they could toss those butts. Who wants to clean up after a health issue like that? Better yet, don't smoke!! Or spit those things around anywhere. I used to be a smoker and not part of the smoker police, but I certainly would never have done that around the green areas. Fred Couples had it right at his course in San Juan Bautista: 'Please....No smoking on this course! It is beautiful and pristine. Let's keep it that way.' Now I have said my piece.
And somewhere Charlie Sifford is grumbling at the notion of the no smoking on the golf course.
Doug writes: My last peeve: The Golf Channel moving their half hour Golf Central away from 7 p.m. It was a great slot. I've not watched it since it moved to a later time. Doesn't the Channel care if anyone watches it? I know I'm not alone. All my buddies used to watch and none do now. It was (perhaps still is) a great show and I miss it. No way to watch it now that it's in prime time and competing with movies and big time shows.
Howard writes: My 'opposite of pet peeve' about golf: The fact that after 50 years of playing I can still sincerely convince myself that, This round may be the best round of my life every single time I step on the first tee. (It helps that I've never been all that good!).
The only problem with the glass being half full is when you drink it all up, whats left?
Larry writes: Golf is the greatest game ever. I can't wait to get out and play or watch it on TV. Those little things that happen on the course or comments by commentators are all part of the game. For people to get annoyed I say, get over it! Enjoy the game. And blessed be those who created the Golf Channel. Wow! I'm loving it all.
For Larry, the glass is completely full.
Kirk writes: The article in our local paper stated that Boo (Weekley) couldn't retire now, that he won't save $8 million due to the impending tax brackets being introduced by President-elect Barack Obama. Give me a break. This clown earns more than most do in a lifetime. I retired and it sure the hell wasn't on $8 million. These pro athletes (if thats what they are called) need to wake up and be thankful for the millions that they earn by playing a game that they enjoy. I wish I could earn millions playing at my local club. Regards, a semi-poor, retired man living on a company pension.
Just think, Kirk, if Boo gave you a million and me a million, hed still have six million. And his tax bill would be smaller.
Barry writes: I love the sound of the ball in the hole, but the best sound in golf is the crack of the driver on ball from a heavily treed area on a narrow tee box!
Especially in the titanium era.
Chris writes: The sound of a frosty adult beverage, preferably a Pacifico, hitting a chilled glass at the end of a round (good or bad).
Muy bien. And a large bowl of freshly-baked taco chips next to an equally large bowl of guacamole with kick.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion
Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.
Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.
“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.
It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.
“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”
The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.
“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”
Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey
Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:
Tiger sighting on the range! pic.twitter.com/rcJYLCes7R— Morning Drive (@GCMorningDrive) January 23, 2018
Back on TOUR.pic.twitter.com/OPmjaXFo1l— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 23, 2018
Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open
The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.
Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.
Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:
1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.
2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.
3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.
4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.
5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.
6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.
7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.
8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.
9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.
10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.
Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'
It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.
Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.
"The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."
Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.
That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.
"You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.
"But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."