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.
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 he’s twice won. Not only did he fail to add a third title to his resume, he missed the cut, shooting 76-73.
When Tiger Woods was sidelined it was assumed – naturally – that Mickelson would benefit the most. Instead, he’s slipped to fourth in the world ranking and hasn’t 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.
Perry usually doesn’t heat up until summer time, but this victory couldn’t 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 wife’s mother fell at a fast-food restaurant, breaking her knee cap and two vertebrae. Winning doesn’t 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.
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.
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.
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 LPGA’s Ginn Open and the Champions Tour Ginn Championship.
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.
In the words of Judge Smails, “Pfff … I don’t believe it.” … There’s 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.
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