It Takes a Village

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2007 WGC CA ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. ' There is not cut at the WGC-CA Championship, perhaps the only flaw in the WGC concept, but Cut Line had no shortage of material for its inaugural March Madness edition.
 

MADE CUT
 
  • WGC-CA Championship: Some scoffed when the Doral stop was pulled within the World Golf Championship umbrella, fearing a limited field would harm what had become one of the circuits most exciting stops.
     
    Three years into the WGC experiment at Doral, however, its become clear the buzz is back and that has a lot to do with the fields international tilt. The World Baseball Classic may be the international heavyweight in this area, but never before has the golf village felt so small than at the CA.
     
    Posh, on-site accommodations, a classic ballpark and the Monster Grill ' the tented burger stand adjacent the scoring trailer which is a favorite among players, caddies and the media ' easily make Doral the jewel of the WGC crown.
     
  • Youth: Maybe life after Tiger Woods wont be so bleak, at least if the picture of youth painted by Fridays leaderboard at Doral is any indication.
     
    Anthony Kim, 23, bounded out of the scoring trailer this afternoon, iPod earphones pushed deep in his ears and a smile etched into his face following a second-round 69, looking like the same AK who won twice in 08 and fist-pumped the Valhalla galleries into a frenzy at the Ryder Cup.
     
    Dustin Johnson, who has never met a fast car he didnt like or a par-5 he couldnt reach in two shots, pounded his way to a second-day 66 to move into the hunt for his third Tour title at 24.
     
    Rory McIlroy, the 19-year-old Northern Irishman who attended his first NBA game Wednesday night (Heat vs. Celtics) and became an instant hoops fan, continued to impress with an eclectic card (nine pars, six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle) that backs up his managers assessment, He plays like an Irish Seve (Ballesteros), Chubby Chandler smiled.
     
    Not far to the south, or from a regular spot at Doral, Jason Day, 21, is closing in on his first Tour title, pacing the field at the Puerto Rico Open at 10 under after a 66-68 start.
     
    Dont look now, but Generation Z is closing.
     

    MADE CUT' DID NOT FINISH (MDF)
     
  • Phil Mickelson: Yes, hes in the lead and hes starting to look like the Phil of old, which is exactly why hes atop the MDF list. The new version of the Old Phil, is just as exciting as the 1.0 version, and just as venerable to the untimely meltdown.
     
    And while Mickelson would never pen a Drive it like a champion tome because, Nobody would buy it, he smiled, but watching the short-game show Lefty put on Friday his new putting and chipping DVD is a must-see.
     
    The Thrill chipped in at the seventh hole for birdie on Friday to take the lead, needed just eight putts to cover his final nine holes on Thursday ' the Tours third-lowest total ' and is leading the field with a 1.45 putting average.
     
    Win, lose or wince, the man is an A ticket ride between the ropes.
     
  • Dr. Thomas Rosenberg: The Park City, Utah, surgeon who performed Tiger Woods season-ending knee surgery last June may have stitched together a healthier, more stable left knee but it has been a while since his high-profile patient performed like he did Friday at Doral.
     
    It may be a stretch to saddle Dr. Rosenberg with Woods erratic play which included two sloppy bogeys in a five-hole stretch that landed the world No. 1 some 10 shots out of the lead and tied for 35th in his second stroke-play event in 10 months, but somebody has to take the fall if Woods begins his comeback 0-for-2.
     
    Therefore, Woods play must have something to do with Rosenbergs handiwork. Or, maybe hes just a tad rusty and dialing his game in for Augusta National. You decide.
     

    MISSED CUT
     
  • Congress (c/o Rep. Barney Frank): Its become good sport to scold economically stressed companies for honoring their commitments and trying to improve their business.
     
    Northern Trust ' which received funds from the Department of Treasurys $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program ' became the epicenter of the controversy when it fulfilled its commitment to host the Los Angeles stop and held numerous parties and a concert to entertain clients.
     
    Frank and colleagues demanded Northern Trust repay the money spent to host the event. Lost in the political hyperbole was the fact Northern Trust never requested TARP funds. Besides, if TARP companies cant compete with companies that are allowed to market and entertain, they may not be the best investments.
     
  • Prayad Van de Velde, eh . . . Marksaeng: Forgive the transgression, but the native of Thailand made such a mess of the 18th on Friday the confusion is certainly understandable.
     
    Considering how far Marksaeng has come to earn his place at Doral ' during an extended scrum Friday with gathered scribes he talked about earning $3 per loop as a caddie as a kid, losing his only two matches in a short-lived boxing career and the death of three of his siblings ' his closing miscue will probably not keep him up late Friday.
     
    Perspective can make even the most unsightly triple-bogey look like a Rembrandt.
     

     
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