Notes Ishikawas heart in Japan Masters tickets 2012

By Doug FergusonApril 5, 2011, 4:42 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Ryo Ishikawa understands that whatever pressure he faces this week at the Masters doesn’t even compare with what his people in Japan are facing as they try to recover from the earthquake and tsunami that destroyed so many lives.

Even so, the 19-year-old has been around long enough to appreciate the role sports can play.

That was one reason Ishikawa decided last week to donate all of his 2011 earnings on the golf course to relief efforts. The money itself, which could be in the range of $2.2 million if he has the kind of season he did in 2010, is a small amount in the big picture.

He hopes the message is what comes across.

“I would like to emphasize the power and energy that sports can create for those people to encourage them, and also it’s my intention to play really well,” he said Monday. “It will be the best way to encourage people in Japan.”

Ishikawa has not been home since the March 11 devastation. He played three straight PGA Tour event in Florida, then drove up to Augusta. His family flew in from Japan to meet him.

He had said during the Florida swing that his mind was on golf, yet his heart was at home as the Japanese try to recover. But he made clear Monday that he would not be distracted by anything except golf while at Augusta National.

Besides, the better he players, the more money for the relief efforts. Along with donating his entire earnings, Ishikawa has pledged about $1,200 for each birdie in competition.

“Right now, since my big decision, I’m 100 percent for playing golf,” he said. “I believe that as I play, I’m connected with the people that are affected by the disaster through the donation, whatever I earn for this year. And that’s why I am fully devoting myself to golf.”

Now comes the hard part.

Ishikawa is a nine-time winner in Japan, once as a 15-year-old amateur, once by shooting 58 in the final round. That hasn’t translated in America, where he has made only nine cuts in 19 events, his best finish a tie for ninth in the Match Play Championship last year.

“I haven’t been producing the results, but at the same time, I know that I am playing well,” he said. “I know what I’m doing is right at this point. And I would like to show to the American people how well I can play.”

MASTERS TICKETS: Daily tickets for the Masters will be available for the first time starting in 2012.

Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said Tuesday that a small number of daily tickets would be available, although the club does not disclose how many. The price for a daily ticket is $75, while a practice round ticket costs $50.

Until now, a weekly badge was the only ticket for tournament rounds.

Meantime, the Masters has moved its application process online for tickets. Applications are being accepted at with a June 30 deadline for daily tournament tickets and a July 30 deadline for practice round tickets. The limit is two tournament tickets for any one day and four practice round tickets for any one day.

Applicants will be notified by e-mail within several weeks after the deadline.

The Masters also said the waiting list for a weekly badge, which reopened briefly in 2000, has been exhausted.

BO AND BOB: Among the questions being asked of players on Monday under the oak tree was what makes the Masters special.

The answer was on the other side of the clubhouse.

Mark Chaney, the caddie for Bo Van Pelt, was sitting alone on the bench when an 82-year-old man in a pink shirt asked if he could join him. It was Bob Goalby, who won the Masters in 1968. This was his 53rd consecutive trip to the Masters.

The stories began to flow.

Goalby talked about the practice routine at the Masters back in his day, how everyone came over from Greensboro because prize money was so low that no one could afford to skip many events.

Van Pelt showed up a few minutes later and he was introduced to Goalby. Van Pelt knew the name well. Meeting the man was a treat. With more stories – the Ryder Cup, practicing with Ben Hogan, the rivalry of Hogan and Sam Snead  – Van Pelt listened and laughed.

This doesn’t happen at any other major.

Goalby held court for close to an hour when he realized he was running late for a lunch appointment. Van Pelt finally headed off to the practice range and then to play the course. It was a good start to his day.

NICKLAUS REVISITED: CBS Sports is planning another Sunday special that looks back at the Masters, this one involving Jack Nicklaus. Only it’s not the Masters victory everyone is talking about this year.

Some might argue it’s even better.

Jim Nantz will revisit the 1975 Masters, featuring the dramatic back nine battle involving Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller. The signature moment was Nicklaus holing a 40-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole, raising his putter and running off in celebration as Weiskopf and Miller watched from the tee.

“This is a rare mulligan for people to look back and experience this historic tournament,” Nantz said. “It is a privilege to bring back the 1975 Masters, considered by many golf purists to have been the most dramatic final round in the history of this storied event.”

Most Nicklaus memories this year are from his 1986 victory, when he shot 30 on the back nine to win a sixth green jacket at age 46. This is the 25-year anniversary of that win, which has been well-documented. Nantz did a special on that in 2006.

Nantz also produced a color version of Arnold Palmer’s 1960 win.

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After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2018, 3:17 am

Each week, 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

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Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call

By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 3:06 am

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.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

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.

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Davies impresses, but there's no catching Park

By Randall MellMarch 19, 2018, 2:40 am

PHOENIX – Inbee Park won the tournament.

Laura Davies won the day.

It was a fitting script for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on Sunday, where nostalgia stirs the desert air in such a special way.

Two of the game’s all-time best, LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park and World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies, put on a show with the tour’s three living founders applauding them in the end.

Park and Davies made an event all about honoring the tour’s past while investing in its future something to savor in the moment. Founders Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge Vossler cheered them both.

For Park, there was meaningful affirmation in her 18th LPGA title.

In seven months away from the LPGA, healing up a bad back, Park confessed she wondered if she should retire. This was just her second start back. She won feeling no lingering effects from her injury.

“I was trying to figure out if I was still good enough to win,” Park said of her long break back home in South Korea. “This proved to me I can win and play some pain-free golf.”

At 54, Davies kept peeling away the years Sunday, one sweet swing after another. She did so after shaking some serious nerves hitting her first tee shot.

“It’s about as nervous as I’ve ever felt,” Davies said. “I swear I nearly shanked it.”

Davies has won 45 Ladies European Tour events and 20 LPGA titles, but she was almost 17 years removed from her last LPGA title. Still, she reached back to those times when she used to rule the game and chipped in for eagle at the second hole to steady herself.

“It calmed me down, and I really enjoyed the day,” Davies said.

With birdies at the ninth and 10th holes, Davies pulled from three shots down at day’s start to within one of Park, sending a buzz through all the fans who came out to root for the popular Englishwoman.

“People were loving it,” said Tanya Paterson, Davies’ caddie. “We kept hearing, `Laura, we love you.’ It was special for Laura, showing she can still compete.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Davies relished giving all the young players today, who never saw how dominant she once was, some flashes from her great past.

“Yesterday, after I had that 63, a lot of the younger girls came up and said, `Oh, great playing today,”’ Davies said. “It was nice, I suppose, to have that. I still am a decent player, and I actually used to be really good at it. Maybe that did give them a glimpse into what it used to be like.”

She also relished showing certain fans something.

“Now, people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.

Davies was the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996, when she won two of her four major championships. She was emboldened by the way she stood up to Sunday pressure again.

In the end, though, there was no catching Park, who continues to amaze with her ability to win coming back from long breaks after injuries.

Park, 29, comes back yet again looking like the player who reigned at world No. 1 for 92 weeks, won three consecutive major championships in 2013 and won the Olympic gold medal two years ago.

“The reason that I am competing and playing is because I want to win and because I want to contend in golf tournaments,” Park said.

After Davies and Marina Alex mounted runs to move within one shot, Park pulled away, closing ferociously. She made four birdies in a row starting at the 12th and won by five shots. Her famed putting stroke heated up, reminding today’s players how nobody can demoralize a field more with a flat stick.

“I just felt like nothing has dropped on the front nine,” Park said. “I was just thinking to myself, `They have to drop at some point.’ And they just started dropping, dropping, dropping.”

Yet again, Park showed her ability to win after long breaks.

In Rio de Janeiro two years ago, Park the Olympic gold medal in her first start back after missing two months because of a ligament injury in her left thumb. She took eight months off after Rio and came back to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship last year, in just her second start upon returning.

“I'm really happy to have a win early in the season,” Park said. “That just takes so much pressure off me.”

And puts it on the rest of the tour if she takes her best form to the year’s first major at the ANA Inspiration in two weeks.



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Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill

By Ryan LavnerMarch 19, 2018, 1:20 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.

The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?

“Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”

And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.

After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.

“Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”