WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?: One week after Colin Montgomerie became the overwhelming betting favorite to be the 2010 European Ryder Cup captain, Jose Maria Olazabal has once again thrown his name into the hat. A captain will be announced this Wednesday.
Here's what we'd like to see: Ian Woosnam (again) in his native Wales (2010); Ollie at Medinah (2012); and Monty at Gleneagles, Scotland (2014). We'd also like to see current U.S. captain Corey Pavin grow back his mustache and Golf Channel to hire 6-foot-7 Phil Blackmar to do all interviews with Woosie (5-foot-4) and Pavin (5-foot-8).
THE KING AND I: Pat Perez earned his first PGA Tour title at the 50th Bob Hope Classic, defeating John Merrick by three strokes. Perez finished the event at 33 under par, three shots off the Tour’s 90-hole scoring record.
Kudos to Perez, for not only winning but keeping his emotions in check. He’s always wondered why media and fans only focus on his temper, but until now we’ve never had anything else to associate with him. Let’s just hope he didn’t lose all of that anger; it’s good to see some emotion on the course.
ILL STRICKEN: Steve Stricker led the Bob Hope through four rounds, establishing a new Tour 72-hole scoring record at 33 under par. He then proceeded to make a seven on the par-4 seventh and an eight on the par-4 10th on his way to a closing 77 and a tie for third.
There are better ways to honor tournament host Arnold Palmer than trying to shoot his age (79) on Sunday. We didn’t think it was possible to shoot 77 on the Palmer Course at PGA West. But like landing on the moon or getting people to eat a McRib sandwich, Stricker showed us there are no limits to what we can accomplish.
CAN’T SHOULDER THE LOAD: Anthony Kim withdrew from the 50th Bob Hope due to a sore left shoulder. Kim said in a statement: "We don’t consider my shoulder to be anything too serious, and I don’t expect to miss extended time."
But he did miss the Hope. His absence left the field without a top 15 player. The way the top-ranked players treat the first three events of the year, the Tour might as well not start up until after the Super Bowl.
MEANWHILE ...: The European Tour's Qatar Masters had six of the top 15 players in the world. And for the second straight tournament more world ranking points were handed out to the European winner than the PGA Tour champion.
That winner, however, did not come from inside the top 15. Instead it was No. 74 Alvaro Quiros who prevailed in Qatar. Actually, make that No. 28, which is where Mr. Quiros currently resides. Perez, on the other hand, only jumped 31 spots, from 90th to 59th. It pays to play in Europe – now more than ever.
NICE FOURSOME: Ryo Ishikawa accepted an invitation to play in this year's Masters. The 17-year-old Japanese sensation has also accepted exemptions to the Northern Trust Open, the Transitions Championship, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
That's Riviera, Innisbrook, Bay Hill and Augusta National. Not a bad quartet of courses for a high school student. Kind of like hanging out with three really cute girls and one super hot one.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Bernhard Langer opened up the 2009 Champions Tour season with a win in Hawaii. ... Seve Ballesteros said test results following his first course of chemotherapy came back “quite good." ... Adams Golf dropped Rory Sabbatini and added Chad Campbell. ... Erik Compton was granted an exemption by the Honda Classic. ... Barack Obama was elected the 44th President.
Langer was the tour’s Rookie and Player of the Year in 2008. But he didn’t win Mr. Personality. ... That's a good start to a long road of recovery. ... Adams got rid of a guy who won't shut up and picked up a guy who won't speak up. ... Compton, who received his third heart last May, will also play this week in Dubai, replacing John Daly. ... Was that on TV? Was too busy watching P90X infomercials.
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