A Little Bit of Everything

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 2, 2009, 5:00 pm

SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT: The PGA Merchandise Show made its annual appearance at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The 56th edition featured some 10 miles of Show aisles and approximately 1,100 interactive exhibits.
Backspin Multiple choice question ' the PGA Show is: A) a place where people try to convince you that you need to spend $500 on a new driver instead of on your children. B) a place where you can find someone pushing head covers of a skunk's anus. C) a place where beautiful women in skimpy outfits pretend to know golf but couldn't tell you what separates Canada from Mexico. D) All of the above (and then some).

DON'T OVERSTAY YOUR WELCOME: Phil Mickelson made his 2009 debut at the FBR Open, an event hes twice won. Not only did he fail to add a third title to his resume, he missed the cut, shooting 76-73.
Backspin When Tiger Woods was sidelined it was assumed ' naturally ' that Mickelson would benefit the most. Instead, hes slipped to fourth in the world ranking and hasnt won since before the 08 U.S. Open. Maybe the real Lefty will return when Tiger does.

LUCKY 13: Kenny Perry, playing in his 22nd straight FBR Open, made a 22-foot birdie putt on the third hole of sudden death to claim his 13th Tour victory. The 48-year-old, who bogeyed 18 to force the playoff, defeated 32-year-old Charley Hoffman.
Backspin Perry usually doesnt heat up until summer time, but this victory couldnt have come at a better time. His father has had two stents put in his heart. His mother has blood cancer and is in an assisted-living facility. And his wifes mother fell at a fast-food restaurant, breaking her knee cap and two vertebrae. Winning doesnt cure everything, but hopefully it helps a little in the healing.

YOUTH PREVAILS: Rory McIlroy notched his first European Tour victory, taking down one of the best fields of the year at the Dubai Desert Classic. The 19-year-old from Northern Ireland survived not only stiff competition, but myriad weather delays and suspensions of play to win by one over Justin Rose.
Backspin Europe needs young stars and it seems to have one in McIlroy. The best thing for the tour is that if the Race to Dubai is successful it actually has a good chance at keeping their talent on the home tour, instead of having them defect to the U.S.

HE DEFINITELY HAS BETTER HAIR: Mark O'Meara, playing this past week in Dubai, said, prior to his victory, that McIlroy is ahead of where Tiger Woods was at the same age.
Backspin O'Meara said this about Anthony Kim as well. And recently he said this about me: 'Tiger is probably a little more athletic, but Mercer is probably a little more adept at using a remote control than Tiger is at their current age (both 33). Rarely does Baggs get caught for more than a split second on a channel like Lifetime.'

MR. SUNSHINE ... FOR NOW: Colin Montgomerie was named the 2010 European Ryder Cup captain at Celtic Manor in Wales. Montgomerie, who will be 47 when the competition begins, will be Europe's youngest ever captain.
Backspin He will also be the most entertaining and engaging captain ever ' on either side ' until Oct. 3, 2010, when the U.S. comes from behind to repeat as champions. He'll then be asked his thoughts on the outcome and he'll respond as only Monty can, 'No, it feels great to lose. Wonderful, actually. Why did you ask me that question? Why are you even allowed to breathe?'

GINN AND BEAR IT: Ginn Resorts announced that they were immediately dropping sponsorship of all golf tournaments, which includes the LPGAs Ginn Open and the Champions Tour Ginn Championship.
Backspin That's crushing news for the LPGA. The Ginn was one of the tour's most popular and most lucrative events. Maybe they can join in on the lawsuit the PGA Tour has already filed against Bobby Ginn and company for breach of contract. Word of advice, courtesy X-Files, for all professional organizations: Trust no one.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: FBR Open officials announced a weekly attendance total of 470,294. The Buick Invitational field list was released last Friday ' without Tiger Woods on it. Mercedes-Benz signed a two-year deal to become the official car sponsor of the Northern Trust Open. ... The Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl.
Backspin In the words of Judge Smails, Pfff I dont believe it. Theres still talk about Tiger returning at the Match Play. Crazy talk. Good thing. That event would have a tough time attracting a good field otherwise, what with only Riviera, Los Angeles and a $6.3 million purse to offer. ... Santonio Holmes' feet never left the ground on the winning catch. Just like Phil Mickelson's after winning the 2004 Masters.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' FBR Open
  • Full Coverage ' Dubai Desert Classic
  • Complete News Headlines
  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.