NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS: Lorena Ochoa made her LPGA season debut at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore and showed aboslutely no signs of rust as she blew away the field, winning by a whopping Tiger-like and career best 11 strokes.
After seeing Sorenstam and Creamer win the first two events of the LPGA Tour season, there was no doubt Ochoa was itching to get into the mix. The final leaderboard looked like a dream scenario for golf fans with the names Sorenstam, Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Stacy Prammanasudh and even Karrie Webb all positioned in the top-10. The only problem was Ochoa decided to go Tiger on everyone, thus sucking the air out of what could have been a race to the finish with Tour's top stars. Shame on Lorena for being so good, so early in the season.
WORTH THE WAIT?: Ernie Els got off to a hot start in the final round of the Honda Classic and then held on to claim his first PGA TOUR victory since the 2004 season. The win vaulted Els pass Steve Stricker in the world rankings, right behind Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
The golfing gods must have figured it was time to even things out for the Big Easy. His share of misfortune and missed opportunities over the last couples years has been well documented and this time Els watched as others made the mistakes coming down the stretch. Just two days into March, the TOUR has already seen Tiger, Lefty and now Els all visit the winner's circle - just the kind of build up we want to see heading towards Augusta National.
FREDDIE AND THE SHARK: The Presidents Cup will have two new captains as it was announced that Greg Norman will head the International team and Fred Couples the United States squad. The two will become the first captains who have competed in the matches Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were captains at the last three competitions.
The announcement this week moves the Presidents Cup into a new era as it said goodbye to two icons from the '60s and '70s, Nicklaus and Player, and welcomed two stars from the '80s and '90s in Freddy and the Shark. This was an honor clearly not lost on Couples, who said, “Not in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen.” And Robin Williams as a vice-captain should be fun.
CUT IT OUT ALREADY: The PGA TOUR announced early last week that the much-maligned new cut rule that went into effect at the start of the year has been altered and will now have a 54-hole cut if the situation arises in which 78 or more players are on the number.
The new cut rule has not only been controversial to many players, but also quite confusing to many fans as well. Perhaps best to sum up the seemingly ongoing sticky situation is none other than TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, stating, "I just think we didn’t think through the new rule. It’s hard to understand. People see players making the cut and not playing. Nobody’s happy with that." Mark one up in the accountability department for the commish.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?: New Zealand's Mark Brown heated up on the back nine on Sunday - posting birdies at the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th - to pull away and win the Johnnie Walker Classic in New Delhi, India. It was Brown's first career European Tour title.
The amazing story here is the fact that Brown gave up on the game several years ago after he became completely frustrated with his lack of good results - to the point of taking an office job. But the lure of the game once again came calling and the 33-year-old found his way back out onto the course in 2006 and in just over two years remarkably found himself in the winner's circle. Said Brown in an understatement, "It's a dream come true."
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: David Duval missed the cut at the Honda Classic, shooting 72-78; Billy Walters, who teamed with Fredrik Jacobson to win the pro-am portion of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, was cleared by officials concerning the authenticity of his stated handicap of 11.
A story nobody wants to hear, but Duval has played in five events in 2008 and has missed the cut in four and withdrew from the other. In 11 rounds has yet to break 70, this from the former No. 1 player in the world; As reported by GOLF CHANNEL's Brian Hewitt, the well-know Vegas golf hustler actually didn't even break 80 in any of his rounds and attributed their record win as a classic “ham and egg” effort. Must have been one tasty omelet.
Scott Erdmann birdied three of the final four holes for a 2-under 69 and a one-stroke lead in the 44th PGA Professional National Championship. Read More
Sean Dougherty shot an 8-under 64 on Monday on the Hershey Country Club’s West Course to break Sam Snead’s 36-hole scoring record in the PGA Professional National Championship. Read More
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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