Fantasy Island Honda Classic

By Rex HoggardMarch 3, 2009, 5:00 pm
MARANA, Ariz. ' After a week of bracket-busting and broken dreams lets celebrate a return to normalcy by way of old-fashion, 72 holes of stroke play on a what-you-see-is-what-you-get Honda Classic layout.
In retrospect, burning one of our five Tiger Woods picks at a match play event may have been worth a mulligan, but with only four more chances to pick the world No. 1 it kind of takes the guess work out of the rest of the season.
2007 Honda Classic

Pick a Foursome: Tough choice between Sergio Garcia and Camilo Villegas considering both players south Florida resumes, but the Colombian looked better last week at the Match Play and he was runner-up at the Honda in 2007. Els may be the easiest pick; hes the defending champion and his play at the Match Play suggests the Big Easy is poised for a big year.
Picks: A: Camilo VIlligas; B: Ernie Els; C: Stewart Cink; D: Andres Romero
Note: One player from four categories based on the World Golf Ranking (1-10, A; 11-20, B; 21-30, C; 31-40, D). Points awarded on money earned ($1 = 1 point).

Salary Cap: Its a good week to throw a few big-ticket players into the mix and Ernie Els ($2.5 million) and Camilo Villegas ($4.4 million) can anchor any team at PGA National.
McIlroy is a steal at $250K, the kid is a star-in-waiting, and Compton, the double heart transplant playing on a sponsor exemption, may as well have Good Karma stitched into the side of his staff bag.
Picks: Camilo Villegas, Ernie Els, Boo Weekley, Rory McIlroy, Erik Compton (Total: $9.85 million)
Note: Five players with a $10 million cap based on 2008 earnings. Rookies without 2008 earnings will be priced at $250,000. Standings based on overall team earnings.

Pick One: Ernie Els. The Honda Classic is a tough pre-season pick and, to be honest, going with the defending champion is a layup, but the Florida Swings fourth wheel defies analysis. Consider the last three winners ' Els (a multiple major championship winner), Mark Wilson (a little-known Q-School grad) and Luke Donald (an unproven international talent). If theres a pattern, we dont see it.
Note: Players must be picked before the start of the season and used only once. Standings based on total earnings.
In addition to my PGA Tour Pick One, the staff will be offering up their picks to win. A player can be picked a maximum of five times. We will be keeping a running tally of the monies earned each week. The participants include: Brian Hewitt, Insider; Jay Coffin, Editorial Director; Mercer Baggs, Editorial Manager; Brian Koressel, Senior Producer; Dena Davis, Assistant Editor; Erik Peterson, Travel Editor; Jerry Foltz, special contributor.

NamePlayer PickReasonMoney
Rex HoggardBoo WeekleyBack home in Florida, albeit a vastly different Florida than the one the Panhandle native is accustomed to, Weekleys game is a perfect fit for PGA National.$348,128
Brian HewittRory McIlroyGeoff Ogilvy won on another big stage last week but McIlroy came very close to stealing the show. No Ogilvy this week. McIlroy is the guy everybody's talking about in South Florida. So much game for one so young.$1,605,405
Jay CoffinRobert AllenbyI picked him at Riviera two weeks ago and he played well for three rounds. He hasnt finished worse than fifth here in the two years since the Honda has moved to PGA National.$2,884,985
Mercer BaggsCamilo VillegasBack in south Florida. Playing well at the moment.$1,427,563
Erik PetersonCamilo VillegasGood history at the Honda and hes played well recently in South Florida (Merrill Lynch Shootout).$1,251,817
Brian KoresselDavis Love IIINever has missed the cut and game is on the rise again.$1,660,344
Dena DavisCamilo VillegasThe Colombian with the most difficult name to pronounce on Tour (it's Ka-me-low Vee-jay-gaas, amigos) has T24 and T2 finishes at the Honda the last two years, and if you haven't noticed, he's been muy caliente in '09.$1,928,456
Jerry FoltzHeath SlocumCall it a hunch. Had dinner with him Saturday so now I'll feel somehow responsible if he wins. Plus, he's playing well--3rd in Mayakoba. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, he plays well in Florida.


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    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.’’

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    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.

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    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: