Honda Field Looking Stronger Than Usual


We're in Coral Springs, Fla., this week for the Honda Classic. The organizers are happy because the field is as strong as it's been in a while. Five of the top-10 players in the world are entered, including No. 2 Phil Mickelson.
Fred Couples is back for the first time since winning this event in 1993. Fred told us Wednesday that he couldn't come back the following year because of a bad back and because the tournament fell at a bad time in his schedule, but he promised the people here that he would return. He kept his promise.
Fred was candid about the proposed major winners tour, saying he's not trying to make more money, just win more tournaments. He struggles with the fact that he hasn't won since '98. The proposed tour would be a way for him to compete with some other big names that are also in the 'twilight years' of their regular tour careers. He insists it would not be exhibition golf. He also said dropping the age of the Senior Tour from 50 to 45 is not the goal. A meeting with tour officials is expected soon on the matter. It will be intersting to see what comes of the whole idea.
John Daly is also back for another run at a title that he's come close to winning in the past. Big John is fresh, coming off a week where he layed the clubs down to pick up a guitar. He was busy recording an album that should be released soon.
Ty Tryon returns to the site of his PGA Tour 'coming out' party. Last year, if you recall, the then 16-year-old became the youngest player to make a cut on the PGA Tour in over 40 years at the Honda Classic. He has yet to make the weekend this year since earning his Tour card. Maybe fond memories will help Ty.
This is the final year the Honda Classic will be played at TPC at Heron Bay. Next year the tournament moves up to the West Palm Beach area to The Country Club at Mirasol. The permanent course won't be ready in 2003, so they'll play at an adjacent course until the final home of this long-running PGA Tour event is finished.
If you're watching this week, check out the wind. The tricky breezes are most dangerous on the greens, says PGA Tour money leader Chris DiMarco. Chris says he has a hard time keeping his putter on line when the wind blows. The fan will be unrelenting all week playing mind games on the world's best players.