Butch Phil Ready for Masters

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2007 Arnold Palmer InvitationalTuesday, on this website, we broke the news about the John Daly-Butch Harmon split, a story that got more legs Wednesday when Daly missed his tee time in the Bay Hill pro-am.
 
That caused him, by TOUR rules, to be immediately disqualified from the pro-am which made him ineligible to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational that begins Thursday in Orlando.
 
Daly subsequently said he had been told the wrong tee time over the phone by tournament officials. And right about now an awful lot of people in and around golf are shaking their heads and wondering exactly why is it that these things happen with regularity to John Daly and nobody else.
 
Anyway, we are glad to report there is information of a more positive nature to report regarding Harmon and Phil Mickelson. Harmon says he spent all of last Saturday working with Mickelson near Phils San Diego area home. He said Mickelson is swinging beautifully and is energized for Bay Hill and Doral especially with Tiger Woods also in the field for both events.
 
But, Harmon said, our whole goal right now is to prepare for Augusta.
 
The Masters is four weeks away. And, by the way, Phils current plan includes playing the week before Augusta at the Shell Houston Open. This has been Mickelsons modus operandi for years prior to majors. But there had been recent word out of Mickelsons camp that that routine might change this year.
 
Phil still likes to play the week before a major, Harmon said.
 

CAPTAINS FOUR
Meanwhile, an idea I first broached on GOLF CHANNEL air and in this column, has gained serious traction. Heres the concept:
 
Suspend the qualifying standards for the LG Skins Game for one year to allow the four current Cup captains'Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Paul Azinger and Fred Couples'to comprise the field for this years event scheduled for late November.
 
The backstory lines here are patently obvious. The TV ratings and fan interest are potentially huge. And when I ran the idea past Lynn Roach, Couples agent, he responded with the words, .wonderfulawesome.phenomenal
 
Then I learned from sources close to the event that Skins Game officials have now contacted the TOUR to inquire about getting the needed permission to make this whole thing happen. They are still waiting for a reply.
 
To be sure, there are roadblocks. What, for example do officials do with the berth guaranteed to defending champion Stephen Ames?
 
But if the prevailing opinions in the large number of E-mails I have gotten are worth anything, these are roadblocks that the powers-that-be should at least think about removing.
 

WORLDS WORLD
Lots of good stuff in this weeks Golf World Magazine (March 14 issue): On page 32 there is a quote from Steve Bann, K.J. Chois swing coach, saying, Head-to-head with Tiger, K.J. would have as good a chance as anybody.
 
Nice enough quote from a respected teacher supporting the No. 5 ranked player in the world. And I wouldnt necessarily disagree with Banns assessment. Its just that you can bet somebody will put this quote in front of Tiger and it will, at some point, end up on his bulletin board.
 
There is also an item about Botox curing the yips. To which I would add: Dont try that at home. And: Dont try that with the Stack and Tilt.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
 
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