Miller Gibson Tanaka Lead The Pack

By Marty HenwoodFebruary 6, 2003, 5:00 pm
ORLANDO, FLA -- It is crowded at the top of the leaderboard after Wednesdays third round of the Canadian Tours Winter Qualifying School.
 
Three players- Americans Ryan Miller and Scott Gibson, along with Dai Tanaka of Japan- share the lead at 3-under 213 through 54 holes, one shot in front of Anders Hultman (Sweden), Erik Compton (Cleveland, OH) and Orlandos Patrick Damron, the brother of PGA Tour winner Robert Damron. Three others are just two strokes off the pace.
 
Carl Desjardins of Ste. Catherine, QC is tied for 37th spot at 7-over 223.
 
Following Thursdays fourth round, the field will be narrowed to the low sixty scores plus ties. Those who make the cut will compete Friday, with the Canadian Tour awarding 20 exempt and a minimum 10 non-exempt playing cards for the 2003 season. Each player will have played ChampionsGate's National and International courses twice apiece after Thursday.
 
Gibson finished 20th on the Golden Bear Tour money list last season, his first back in the pro ranks after a five-year hiatus. The 29-year-old admits he turned his back on the game and instead focused his attention to motocross racing and chumming around with his friends. Golf was the furthest thing from his mind.
 
After a while, you get sick of hearing everyone telling you that you are wasting your talent, said the former NCAA All-American at the University of Tulsa. I decided to give this another shot. I dont want to look back and say coulda, woulda, shoulda. I think Ive still got the game to compete.
 
On Sunday, Gibson will celebrate his first anniversary with wife Stephanie. Gibson says when the couple first met, Stephanie didnt even realize he had an impressive career in college golf.
 
Shes the bread winner in the family, so I am hoping to get my card here this week, added Gibson with a laugh. Stephanie caddied for me last year and has been very supportive of me. I think it will be a great anniversary present for both of us. Ive kept a good attitude all week and Im not going to lose that.
 
Miller, 25, turned professional in November and has held his own on both courses all week. The International layout has played tougher through the first three rounds, but like Gibson, Miller was able to post a 2-under 70 Wednesday. He admits he will not get overly aggressive over the next two days, but will stick to his game plan.
 
I have my plan for how I want to play each course, and Im going to stick with it, said Miller. You have to pick and choose on these courses and see what happens. But I know the moment I get conservative is the moment I am going to get passed.
 

T1 Miller, Ryan West Alexandria, OH 73 70 70 213 -3
T1 Gibson, Scott Huntington Beach, CA 74 69 70 213 -3
T1 Tanaka, Dai Japan 70 74 69 213 -3
T4 Hultman, Anders Sweden 72 70 72 214 -2
T4 Compton, Erik Cleveland, OH 72 72 70 214 -2
T4 Damron, Patrick Orlando, FL 73 71 70 214 -2
T7 Davey, Nick New Zealand 72 70 73 215 -1
T7 Bettencourt, Matt Modesto, CA 71 72 72 215 -1
T7 Marino, Steve Fairfax, VA 77 69 69 215 -1
T10 Torres, Jesus Mexico 72 71 73 216 0
T10 Bachman, John Orlando, FL 73 71 72 216 0
T12 Goti, Ramiro Buenos Aires, Argentina 71 71 75 217 1
T12 Allred, Jason Scottsdale, AZ 70 74 73 217 1
T12 Lavoie, Ryan West Palm Beach, FL 72 73 72 217 1
T12 Pigott, Sam Kent, England 72 73 72 217 1
T16 Edmond, Pascal France 72 77 69 218 2
T16 Donovan, Matt Pittsfield, MA 71 77 70 218 2
T16 Mikkelsen, Kris Dunwoody, GA 71 75 72 218 2
T16 Corbett, Clark Long Beach, CA 74 72 72 218 2
T16 Habig, Josh Jasper, IN 75 72 71 218 2
T21 Centers, Derrick Somerset, KY 69 74 76 219 3
T21 Kim, Christopher Fullerton, CA 68 75 76 219 3
T21 Higton, Jason Fresno, CA 75 71 73 219 3
T24 Patrick, David Scotland 71 72 77 220 4
T24 Jensen, Clint Palm Beach Gardens, FL 69 75 76 220 4
T24 Patterson, John Hilton Head, SC 74 72 74 220 4
T27 Trevino, Chris Chula Vista, CA 76 76 69 221 5
T27 Coughlan, Richie Ireland 77 72 72 221 5
T27 Parra, Chris Tequesta, FL 71 74 76 221 5
T27 Nelson, Drew Woodstock, GA 73 73 75 221 5
T27 Shuert, Steve St. Louis, MO 72 75 74 221 5
T27 Byers, Aaron Albany, OR 80 67 74 221 5
T27 Horowitz, Joe Long Beach, NY 68 82 72 222 5
T34 Yi, Dong Alameda, CA 73 73 76 222 6
T34 Knudsen, Erik Orlando, FL 74 73 75 222 6
T34 Wightman, Tele Chicopee, MA 75 73 74 222 6
T37 Lane, Matthew New Zealand 77 75 71 223 7
T37 Hibler, Jesse Boise, ID 72 78 73 223 7
T37 Desjardins, Carl Ste. Catherine, QC 78 71 74 223 7
T37 Oppenheim, Rob Andover, MA 73 76 74 223 7
T37 Hastings, Brad Easton, MD 71 73 79 223 7
T37 Salinetti, Jim West Palm Beach, FL 74 73 76 223 7
T43 Beyer, Cody Tucson, AZ 74 78 72 224 8
T43 Lemon, Jim Madison, WI 74 77 73 224 8
T43 Carman, Brett Claysville, PA 72 78 74 224 8
T43 Goik, Brent Bay City, MI 77 72 75 224 8
T43 Horacek, Sandy Los Angeles, CA 75 71 78 224 8
T43 Erickson, Tyler Tempe, AZ 73 74 77 224 8
T43 Hong, Chang Bethesda, MD 74 74 76 224 8
T43 Harnden, Brandon Portland, OR 74 74 76 224 8
T43 Argiro, Eduardo Argentina 71 77 76 224 8
T52 Gentry, Brian Tahoe City, CA 77 76 72 225 9
T52 Gatchel, Matt Palm Harbor, FL 76 77 72 225 9
T52 Koch, Shawn Howell, MI 76 77 72 225 9
T52 Kanesaka, Fumio Japan 72 82 71 225 9
T52 McCammon, Jeff Jupiter, FL 74 77 74 225 9
T52 Dailey, John Frisco, TX 74 77 74 225 9
T52 Wyatt, Charles Tampa, FL 73 75 77 225 9
T59 Davidson, Graham Langholm, Scotland 74 78 74 226 10
T59 Campbell, Chris Surprise, AZ 74 79 73 226 10
T59 Walters, Barry Yakima, WA 75 76 75 226 10
T59 Williamson, Lee Crawfordsville, IN 72 77 77 226 10
T59 Wheatcroft, Steven Tequesta, FL 74 75 77 226 10
T59 Lower, Johua Englewood, FL 75 74 77 226 10
T59 Loving, Matthew Corpus Cristi, TX 74 73 79 226 10
T59 Brown, Michael Cheltenham, PA 73 74 79 226 10
T59 Bradford, George Columbia, MD 72 76 78 226 10
T68 Peltomaki, Jyry Finland 73 79 75 227 11
T68 Jang, Jae Indio, CA 74 79 74 227 11
T68 Ilic, Zoran Lakeland, FL 76 78 73 227 11
T68 Slowinski, Matt Glen Ellyn, Il 81 74 72 227 11
T68 Jenkins, Steven Chesterfield, VA 76 76 75 227 11
T68 Snelling, Justin Boise, ID 75 77 75 227 11
T68 Fonner, Matthew Saratoga, CA 79 72 76 227 11
T68 Van Rensburg, Morne South Africa 80 71 76 227 11
T68 Horodesky, Gregory Las Vegas, NV 73 78 76 227 11
T68 Watt, James Lodi, CA 76 74 77 227 11
T68 Fribley, Chad Tualatin, OR 77 72 78 227 11
T68 Heffernan, John Humboldt, SK 76 73 78 227 11
T68 Werley, CJ Coshocton, OH 76 72 79 227 11
T68 Boner, Brett Charlotte, NC 72 76 79 227 11
T82 Larrea, Santiago Spain 75 78 75 228 12
T82 Saglio, Matthew Clearwater, FL 78 75 75 228 12
T82 Kitts, Ben Summerfield, FL 79 75 74 228 12
T82 Herberth, Erik Avon Lake, OH 77 77 74 228 12
T82 Ellis, Ryan Draper, UT 80 75 73 228 12
T82 Cuthbertson, Phil Rocklin, CA 76 76 76 228 12
T82 Flugstad, Brian Seattle, WA 75 77 76 228 12
T82 Martin, Trey Phoenix, AZ 74 78 76 228 12
T82 Wright, Justin Livermore, CA 74 78 76 228 12
T82 Moore, Michael Mississauga, ON 76 75 77 228 12
T82 Kemp, Korky Greensboro, NC 79 72 77 228 12
T82 Duncan, TJ Carson City, NV 74 75 79 228 12
T82 Fosdick, Joshua Nashville, TN 74 74 80 228 12
T95 Giordano, Davidde Rochester, NY 76 81 72 229 13
T95 Karnow, Kyle Elk Grove, CA 76 76 77 229 13
T95 Brost, Matt Austin, TX 74 78 77 229 13
T95 Williams, Mark New Zealand 76 76 77 229 13
T95 Okushima, Tomoaki Japan 74 78 77 229 13
T95 Laing, Jason New Zealand 75 79 75 229 13
T95 Vitali, Peter Tequesta, FL 77 78 74 229 13
T95 Harvey, Billy Las Vegas, NV 78 77 74 229 13
T95 San Gabriel, Paulo Covina, CA 77 79 73 229 13
T95 Rodriguez, Miguel Argentina 76 80 73 229 13
T95 Bloxham, Jordan West Jordan, UT 75 77 77 229 13
T95 Peluso, Todd Palm City, FL 72 78 79 229 13
T95 Takacs, Brendan Clearwater, FL 71 78 80 229 13
T108 Corson, Adam Potomac, MD 80 81 69 230 14
T108 Jeong, Tae Korea 75 84 71 230 14
T108 Weatherly, Scott Fort Payne, AL 77 75 78 230 14
T108 Mortimer, Jamie Waterloo, ON 84 69 77 230 14
T108 Sauger, Mark Cape Coral, FL 77 76 77 230 14
T108 Stone, Jason Brentwood, CA 80 75 75 230 14
T108 Lacroix, Brandon Roanoke, VA 82 73 75 230 14
T108 Sueki, Tsuyoshi Japan 78 77 75 230 14
T108 Douglas, Rob Stratford, ON 78 73 79 230 14
T108 Link, William Acton, MA 73 78 79 230 14
T108 Havens, David Wytheville, VA 77 73 80 230 14
T119 Corcoran, Rob South Windsor, CT 78 77 76 231 15
T119 Stevens, Kevin Menlo Park, CA 78 77 76 231 15
T119 Rohrbaugh, Doug Carbondale, CO 80 76 75 231 15
T119 Ping, David Ypsilanti, MI 78 78 75 231 15
T119 Levy, Jon Scottsdale, AZ 77 79 75 231 15
T119 Rudolph, John La Jolla, CA 77 80 74 231 15
T119 Cannon, Brad Phoenix, AZ 73 79 79 231 15
T126 Coughlin, Peter Punta Gorda, FL 76 84 72 232 16
T126 Stewart, Travis Jamestown, NC 85 73 74 232 16
T126 Sine, Josh Springfield, OH 78 79 75 232 16
T126 DiMuccio, Joey New Castle, PA 74 74 84 232 16
T126 Tolliver, Billy Joe Shreveport, LA 75 73 84 232 16
T131 Sandeman, Alex England 78 80 75 233 17
T131 Leao, Ivo Brazil 79 79 75 233 17
T131 Hutsell, David Baltimore,MD 74 78 81 233 17
T134 Banks, Ben England 82 79 73 234 18
T134 McAfee, Alan Germantown, TN 78 77 79 234 18
T134 Mathews, Stan Monteca, CA 77 71 86 234 18
T137 Licursi, Daniel Chatsworth, CA 79 82 74 235 19
T137 Evangelist, Shane Irving, TX 79 79 77 235 19
T137 Maki, Peter Franklin, MA 78 79 78 235 19
T137 Slawson, J.D. Austin, TX 77 79 79 235 19
T137 Ki, Yuji Japan 74 82 79 235 19
T142 DeLeon, Daniel Mexico 77 83 76 236 20
T142 Shears, Jared Roy, UT 82 76 78 236 20
T144 Tassic, Don Northville, MI 85 77 75 237 21
T144 Edmond, Olivier France 81 81 75 237 21
T144 Makino, Yuji Japan 75 82 80 237 21
T144 Busby Jr., John St. George, UT 79 78 80 237 21
T148 Harrison, Jeremy Hollywood, FL 84 81 73 238 22
T148 Paganini, Lou Naples, FL 76 81 81 238 22
T148 Cohen, Itamar Israel 75 80 83 238 22
T151 Sessions, Dean Westminster, CO 78 83 78 239 23
T151 Smith, Brandon Tucson, AZ 81 77 81 239 23
T153 Takase, Atsushi Japan 80 85 75 240 24
T153 Heiple, Josh Sturgis, MI 84 79 77 240 24
T153 McGaha, Benji Easley, SC 81 80 79 240 24
T153 Miller, Scott Royal Palm Beach, FL 79 79 82 240 24
T157 Nomura, Eric Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 78 80 83 241 25
T157 Fuhr, Grant Edmonton, AB 73 86 82 241 25
T159 Paul, Thomas Scottsdale, AZ 82 86 74 242 26
T159 Gavlak, Zac Palmer, AK 81 82 79 242 26
T161 Slabbert, Gavin Roseville, CA 82 81 80 243 27
T161 Hodgkinson, Richard England 77 80 86 243 27
163 Veres, Mike Logan, West VA 81 78 85 244 28
T164 Kuliesh, John Lewisburg, W.V. 80 90 76 246 30
T164 Guilder, Tony Irvine, CA 84 83 79 246 30
T164 Humerickhouse, Keith Boca Raton, FL 81 83 82 246 30
T167 Irie, Norio Gardenia, CA 77 86 84 247 31
T167 Thornburg, Michael Hendersonville, NC 79 84 84 247 31
T169 Newboldt, Tim Kihei, HI 79 90 79 248 32
T169 Nakatsuka, Kazuta Japan 79 90 79 248 32
T169 Hasson, Felipe Brazil 80 86 82 248 32
172 Caldwell, Raymond San Antonio, TX 82 87 81 250 34
173 Stevens, Noah Austin, TX 84 83 84 251 35
174 Pereira, Jeff Vancouver, BC 92 81 83 256 40
175 Chor, Michael Cambodia 88 92 83 263 47
176 Smith, Lang Lakeland, TN 89 94 85 268 52
177 Vitorino, Tito Sarasota, FL 93 89 89 271 55
178 Payne, Dusty Fayetteville, GA 87 96 91 274 58
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For better or worse, golf attracting the mainstream crowd

By Rex HoggardFebruary 21, 2018, 4:26 pm

A split second after Bubba Watson launched his tee shot at the par-4 10th hole on Sunday at Riviera Country Club the relative calm was shattered by one overly enthusiastic, and probably over-served, fan.

“Boom goes the dynamite!” the fan yelled.

Watson ignored the attention seeker, adhering to the notion it’s best not to make eye contact. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to turn a deaf ear.

The last few weeks on the PGA Tour have been particularly raucous, first with the circuit’s annual stop at the “world’s largest outdoor cocktail party,” which is also known as the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and then last week in Los Angeles, where Tiger Woods was making his first start since 2006 and just his second of this season.

Fans crowded in five and six people deep along fairways and around greens to get a glimpse at the 14-time major champion, to cheer and, with increasing regularity, to push the boundaries of acceptable behavior at a golf tournament.

“I guess it's a part of it now, unfortunately. I wish it wasn't, I wish people didn't think it was so amusing to yell and all that stuff while we're trying to hit shots and play,” said Justin Thomas, who was grouped with Woods for the first two rounds at Riviera.



Although overzealous fans are becoming the norm, there’s a particularly rowdy element that has been drawn to the course by Woods’ return from injury. Even last month at Torrey Pines, which isn’t known as one of the Tour’s more boisterous stops, galleries were heard with increasing regularity.

But then Tiger has been dealing with chaotic crowds since he began rewriting the record books in the late-1990s, and it’s easy to dismiss the chorus of distractions. But it turns out that is as inaccurate as it is inconsiderate.

“It might have been like this the whole Tiger-mania and these dudes, but I swear, playing in front of all that, [Woods] gives up half a shot a day on the field,” reasoned Rory McIlroy, who was also grouped with Tiger for Rounds 1 and 2 last week. “It's two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that goes on around him. ...  I need a couple Advil, I've got a headache after all that.”

There’s always been a price to pay for all of the attention that’s followed Woods’ every step, but McIlroy’s take offered new context. How many more events could Tiger have won if he had played in front of galleries that didn’t feel the need to scream the first thing that crossed their mind?

“It's cost me a lot of shots over the years. It's cost me a few tournaments here and there,” allowed Woods after missing the cut at Riviera. “I've dealt with it for a very long time.”

For Woods, the ubiquitous, “Get in the hole,” shriek has simply been an occupational hazard, the burden that he endured. What’s changed in recent years is that behavior has expanded beyond Tiger’s gallery.

While officials two weeks ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open happily announced attendance records – 719,179 made their way to TPC Scottsdale for the week – players quietly lamented the atmosphere, specifically around the 16th hole that has become particularly harsh in recent years.

“I was a little disappointed in some of the stuff that was said and I don't want much negativity – the normal boos for missing a green, that's fine, but leave the heckling to a minimum and make it fun, support the guys out playing,” Rickie Fowler said following his second round at TPC Scottsdale.

What used to be an entertaining one-off in Phoenix is becoming standard fare, with players bracing for a similar atmosphere this week at PGA National’s 17th hole, and that’s not sitting well with the rank and file.

“I guess they just think it's funny. It might be funny to them, and obviously people think of it differently and I could just be overreacting, but when people are now starting to time it wrong and get in people's swings is just completely unacceptable really,” Thomas said in Los Angeles. “We're out here playing for a lot of money, a lot of points, and a lot of things can happen, and you would just hate to see in the future something happen down the line because of something like that.”

This issue reared its rowdy head at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah, and again two years ago at Hazeltine National. Combine thousands of patriotic fans with a cash bar and what you end up with is an atmosphere closer to Yankee Stadium in October than Augusta National in April.

It’s called mainstream sports, which golf has always aspired to until the raucous underbelly runs through the decorum stop signs that golf clings to.

This is not an endorsement or a justification for the “Mashed Potatoes” guy – Seriously, dude, what does that even mean? – and it seems just a matter of time before someone yells something at the wrong moment and costs a player a title.

But this is mainstream sports. It’s not pretty, it’s certainly not quiet and maybe it’s not for golf. But this is where the game now finds itself.

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Nicklaus eager to help USGA rein in golf ball distance

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 3:16 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Jack Nicklaus heard words that warmed his heart over dinner Sunday with USGA executive director Mike Davis.

He said Davis pledged to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

“I'm happy to help you,” Nicklaus told Davis. “I've only been yelling at you for 40 years.”

Nicklaus said he first confronted the USGA in 1977 over ball and distance issues.

In a meeting with reporters at the Honda Classic Tuesday, Nicklaus basically blamed the ball for the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to soaring costs to play the game.

Nicklaus brought up the ball when asked about slow play.

“The golf ball is the biggest culprit of that,” Nicklaus said.

Nicklaus said the great distance gains players enjoy today is stretching courses, and that’s slowing play. He singled out one company when asked about push back from manufacturers over proposals to roll back the distance balls can fly.

“You can start with Titleist,” Nicklaus said.

Nicklaus would like to see the USGA and R&A roll back the distance today’s ball flies by 20 percent. He said that would put driving distances back to what they were in the mid-‘90s, but he believes Titleist is the manufacturer most opposed to any roll back.

“Titleist controls the game,” Nicklaus said. “And I don't understand why Titleist would be against it. I know they are, but I don't understand why you would be against it. They make probably the best product. If they make the best product, whether it's 20 percent shorter ... What difference would it make? Their market share isn't going to change a bit. They are still going to dominate the game."

Titleist representatives could not be immediately reached by Golf Channel.

“For the good of the game, we need to play this game in about three-and-a-half hours on a daily basis," Nicklaus said. "All other sports on television and all other sports are played in three hours, usually three hours or less – except for a five-set tennis match – but all the other games are played in that.

“It's not about [Titleist]. It's about the people watching the game and the people that are paying the tab. The people paying the tab are the people that are buying that television time and buying all the things that happen out there. Those are the people that you've got to start to look out for.

“And the growth of the game of golf, it's not going to grow with the young kids. Young kids don't have five hours to play golf. Young kids want instant gratification.”

Davis said last month that increased distance is not "necessarily good for the game." R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers added earlier this month in relation to the same topic, "We have probably crossed that line."

Nicklaus said he would like to see golf courses and golf balls rated, so that different courses could be played with different rated balls. For example, a ball rolled back “70 percent” would fit courses rated for that ball. He said players could still play those courses with a 100 percent ball, but handicapping could be factored into the game so players could compete using differently rated balls.

“And so then if a guy wants to play with a 90 or 100 percent golf ball, it makes it shorter and faster for him to play,” Nicklaus said.

Nicklaus believes rating balls like that would make shorter courses more playable again. He believes creating differently rated balls would also make more money for ball manufacturers.

“Then you don't have any obsolete golf courses.” Nicklaus said. “Right now we only have one golf course that's not obsolete, as I said earlier [Augusta National], in my opinion.”

Nicklaus said Davis seemed to like the rated ball idea.

“The USGA was all over that, incidentally,” Nicklaus said.

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Sponsored: Callaway's Chrome Soft, from creation to the course

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 21, 2018, 2:38 pm

Those boxes of Callaway Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X golf balls that you see on the shelf orignated somewhere. But where? The answer is Chicopee, Mass., a former Spalding golf ball plant that Callaway Golf purchased 15 years ago.

The plant was built in 1915 for manufacturing automobiles, and was converted to make ballistics during WWII. Currently, it makes some of the finest golf balls in the industry.

Eventually, those balls will be put into play by both professionals and amateurs. But the journey, from creation to the course, is an intriguing one.

In this Flow Motion video, Callaway Golf shows you in creative fashion what it's like for these balls to be made and played. Check it out!

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Hot Seat: Honda fans bring noise and heat

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 1:34 pm

The Bear Trap awaits in South Florida.

With hot, sunny days forecast for all four rounds of the Honda Classic, the mercury’s rising, especially at the 17th hole, where the revelry at the Goslings Bear Trap party pavilion could turn the tee box into a sweat box.

It may be even steamier for women playing the Honda LPGA Thailand, with temperatures forecast in the 90s for the weekend.

Here’s our special heat index gauging the toastiest seats in golf this week:

Five-alarm salsa – PGA National’s 17th tee

PGA Tour pros almost universally don’t want to see the craziness promoted at the Phoenix Open’s party hole (No. 16) duplicated at other Tour events, but they will get a distant cousin this week at the Honda Classic.

The Goslings Bear Trap party pavilion sits over the 17th tee, where Graeme McDowell cracked that players can get “splashed with vodka cranberries” if the wind is right. The Cobra Puma Village surrounds the 17th green.

That pretty much means everyone playing through there late in the day, with the party fully percolating, is on the Hot Seat.

Tiger Woods is scheduled to go through there at about Happy Hour on Friday afternoon.

“I said to myself, ‘This isn’t Scottsdale, this is ridiculous,’” Billy Horschel said after playing through there a year ago.

Sergio Garcia was among players who got heckled there last year.

It’s one of the toughest holes on the PGA Tour, ranking as the 21st most difficult par 3 last year.



Hot-collar rub – Rickie Fowler

Fowler returns to the Honda Classic as its defending champ.

He also returns for his first start since losing the 54-hole lead at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he bogeyed three of the final four holes and fell all the way out of the top 10 at Sunday’s end.

Fowler is now one for his last six closing out 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour.


Shanshan Feng during Round 2 at the 2017 Japan Classic.


Spicy Tom Yum heat – Shanshan Feng

The Rolex world No. 1 in women’s golf is back in action with the strongest field of this young season ready to resume chasing her at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

World No. 2 Sung Hyun Park will be making her first start of the year. No. 3 So Yeon Ryu, No. 4 Lexi Thompson, No. 5 Anna Nordqvist and No. 6 In Gee Chun are all in the field.

Park and Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last season. Thompson was the Golf Writers Association of America’s Player of the Year.

Feng has ridden atop the world rankings for 15 consecutive weeks. She opened the year tying for third at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic last month.