Some like it hot: Am Tour national champ. ready for desert rumble

By Jason SobelSeptember 23, 2011, 9:52 pm

”Man it's hot. It's like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot.” –Eugene Morris Jerome in the film “Biloxi Blues.”

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – First impression of this desert town while walking out of the airport en route to this week's Golf Channel Amateur Tour national championship: Hmm, it's kinda warm here.

Second impression: Forget warm, this place is downright toasty.

Third impression: OK, so when does that little red fellow with the horns and a pitchfork come tell us about all the bad stuff we did to deserve being here?

Actually, it’s quite the opposite. The 1,029 amateur competitors who are scheduled to take part in the festivities – those in the senior division have already finished; the open division begins on Saturday – achieved some very good stuff on the way to qualifying for this event.

With 60 local chapters throughout North America, the national championship features the best of the best in six separate flights. Contestants hail from 42 different U.S. states, plus Puerto Rico and Canada.

It’s an eclectic group, too, ranging in ages from 12 to 79. Yes, that’s right – 12. Perhaps the only thing more amazing than pre-teen Charlie Reiter of Palm Desert, Calif., competing in this tournament is the fact that he also owns one national title here.

Two years ago. When he was 10.

Eat your hearts out, Matteo Manassero and Lexi Thompson.

Including Reiter, 26 past champions are returning to this year’s championship, with seven competitors attempting to defend their titles.

Of course, Palm Springs is a home away from home for many famous people – and this event isn’t without its share of stars, either. Three-time Olympic figure skater Todd Eldredge and former Major League Baseball pitchers Orlando Hernandez and Mark Mulder will be competing this week, showcasing athletic talents of another kind.

“I’m excited to play in the national championships for the first time, which is going to feel like a PGA Tour event,” Mulder said.  “Having to play well for four consecutive days is something that is not easy, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Speaking of the PGA Tour, the tourney will essentially mirror that of the long-running Humana Challenge – formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic – with a three-course rotation in the desert, its home base at the La Quinta Resort.

It will indeed be tough conditions for those who can’t take the heat. Literally.

Although there’s good news for players who regularly shoot in the 90s – and I’m not talking about their scores.

As the nice woman in the pro shop at PGA West’s Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course confided Friday morning, “Oh, you're lucky. It's going to cool off for you guys. Shouldn't get above 98 the next few days.”

Oh, yeah. Just a little warm.

As I walked away, she called out, “You might need a jacket,” as she proffered a sinister little laugh.

You might even say it was devilish.

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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.