Notes Crows Nest scare the Par-3 Contest jinx

By Doug FergusonApril 6, 2011, 3:13 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – An overnight storm that swept through Augusta National left broken limbs all over the course and knocked down one of the famous trees along Magnolia Lane.

Defending Masters champion Phil Mickelson noticed the gap when he arrived at the course Tuesday.

“It was just disappointing that a tree that’s been there for so many years was uprooted,” he said.

The storms toppled trees and some power lines across town. The club delayed its scheduled opening by 45 minutes to give workers time to clear debris so the practice rounds could begin.

Chain saws could be heard from various corners of the course. In the final minutes before fans were allowed on Augusta National, numerous carts were hauling away tree limbs. Some marshals were picking up debris from fairways.

The day turned sunny but was much cooler, barely reaching the 60s, than the balmy conditions Monday and what is expected during the tournament.

With that in mind, Mickelson changed up his schedule, deciding to take Tuesday off and play a practice round Wednesday, when the forecast was for temperatures in the low 70s.

As for the entrance to the club, Mickelson said jokingly that he couldn’t believe it hadn’t already been replaced.

“Chairman (Billy) Payne must have been sleeping,” Mickelson said. “This place does it right. That drive, I guess it has 60 magnolia trees now instead of 61. But it did not detract from the drive up.”

CROW’S NEST: Peter Uihlein picked the wrong night to spend in the Crow’s Nest, the upper floor cubicle at Augusta National where top amateurs in the Masters are invited to stay.

Watching the national championship basketball game with fellow amateur David Chung was fine. But the powerful storm that roared through the area later in the night caused Uihlein some anxious moments.

“I was up all night,” the U.S. Amateur champion said.

There was no damage in the Crow’s Nest, though Uihlein had already planned to move into a house with relatives and his girlfriend for the rest of the tournament.

Despite the storm, Uihlein was soaking in the experience of his first Masters, including hitting a tee shot on the part-3 12th hole for the first time.

Like his stay in the Crow’s Nest, that was an adventure.

“I hit it in the water the first time I played,” Uihlein said. “Right pin, I went for it.”

CHAMPIONS DINNER: Two-time Masters champ Seve Ballesteros was too ill to attend the Champions Dinner, but the Spaniard was very much a part of the night.

Phil Mickelson, who selected the menu as the 2010 winner, went with a Spanish-themed dinner that included paella.

“All of the past champions are really thinking about Seve,” Mickelson said. “Honoring Seve is easy and no big deal. I just want him to know we all wish he was here and we are thinking about him.”

Ballesteros, who has been battling brain cancer, was one of Mickelson’s golfing heroes. He recalled playing a practice round with the Spaniard at his first PGA Tour event when he was only 17.

“He was the guy I wanted to play with,” Mickelson said. “He was the classiest gentleman to me. From that day on and the rest of my career, he has been the nicest guy and supportive and nothing but class to me. I just always appreciated that.”

Mickelson tried to model his own career after Ballesteros, who was one of the most imaginative shot-makers in the history of the game.

“I watched the way he played and loved the way he played and was drawn in by his charisma,” Mickelson said. “He didn’t let me down at all. He was every bit the gentleman I thought he was and more, and I just want him to know we are thinking about him.”

Jack Nicklaus, who holds the Masters record with six victories, still marvels at the way Ballesteros could bail himself out of trouble.

“Seve was a seat-of-the-pants golfer. He invented shots,” Nicklaus said. “When he couldn’t drive it to find it early in his career, he would play out of parking lots, under cars, over the top, out of trees, and he would knock it on the green and make pars. That’s what he did. That was Seve.”

PAR-3 JINX: The winner of the Par 3 Contest has never gone on to win the green jacket.

That’s not going to stop British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen from coming back to defend his trophy Wednesday.

The South African won the just-for-fun contest a year ago, even through countryman Ernie Els advised him to put the ball in the water after he pulled into a tie for the lead.

“I don’t like to believe in things like that,” Oosthuizen said. “I’m definitely playing again.”

Will he try to win again?

Uhhh, that’s another issue.

“My little girl is going to walk with me,” he joked, “so I’ll probably try and get her to kick the ball or something, so that my score doesn’t count.”

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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.