Interest in Pebble about Tiger and the QBs

By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2012, 8:53 pm

HONOLULU (AP)—Ollie Nutt can’t recall how long it has been since there wasso much interest and speculation in the field for the Pebble Beach NationalPro-Am—and that was after Tiger Woods announced he was playing.

Woods is set to play with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, although thepro-am pairings aren’t set until Feb. 7, the Tuesday of tournament week. Nutt,president and CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, said the tournament hasbeen in touch with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, and hopes to hear bythe end of the week if he will accept an invitation to play.

Also expected to play is Tom Brady, who hopes to get New England back intothe Super Bowl, which would be played the Sunday before the AT&T Pebble BeachNational Pro-Am.

Nutt can more easily measure the interest in ticket sales than phone calls.

“This last week, after Tiger committed, we’re up 35 percent,” Nutt saidTuesday after hosting the tournament’s media day. “I think Saturday could be asellout. We’ve been hitting 34,000, 35,000. We’ve set the maximum at 37,500, andI wouldn’t be surprised if we sold out. We won’t go more than that. We stillwant the spectators to have a good experience. And with the rotation of threecourses, we know we can handle that number.”

Pebble regular and “Caddyshack” star Bill Murray stole the spotlight lastyear when he teamed with D.A. Points , who captured his first PGA Tour event. Fornow, the focus has shifted to Tiger and the quarterbacks.

Nutt said Romo and Woods have said they were interested in playing aspartners. As for the speculation that Tebow would join the foursome if heplayed, Nutt said, “I don’t see that as likely.”


DRESSED LIKE A KING: Arnold Palmer Enterprises and Quagmire Golf cloth havedeveloped a new clothing line called “Arnie,” designed to reflect Palmer’sclassic look from the 1950s through the 1970s.

They found the PGA Tour player they believe is perfect for the look—RyanMoore .

Moore is a throwback, even wearing a skinny tie with a cardigan sweater onoccasion. He will wear the “Arnie” collection on tour and make marketingappearances for the company.

“Mr. Palmer is among my all-time idols as a golfer and a person, socompeting in these clothes and being so closely associated with his style legacyis a dream come true,” Moore said. “The research that went into each piece isreally evident and when you combine those timeless elements with advancedtechnical fabrics you’ve got something great.”

The collection was developed in part by going through Palmer’s personallibrary of photographs. It will be distributed this year over six months, withthree styles—the 1950s (fitted pants and tops, small collars and shortersleeves); the 1960s (wider pant legs and collars); and the 1970s (slightly widercollars, with gray as the signature color).

Geoff Tait, creative director for Arnie and Quagmire, said Moore was oneveryone’s list to wear the clothes.

“He truly gets our vision and is a dapper guy who’s always movingmainstream menswear trends onto the fairways,” Tait said.


NAME GAME: You’ve heard stories about players who take time off and move upin the world ranking. How about the case of Michael Thompson , who moved up 52spots after not playing one week?

It’s a true story—although it’s the product of confusion over his middleinitial.

Thompson was coming off a rookie season on the PGA Tour in which he finished98th on the money list to easily retain his card. He played in the inauguralThailand Golf Championship at the end of the year and finished third behind LeeWestwood and Charl Schwartzel . When he looked at the world ranking, he actuallydropped two spots to No. 183.

“I got back from Thailand and saw that I got no points,” Thompson said.

He called his agent, and before long the tour and world ranking board wereinvolved.

Thompson played his first PGA Tour-sanctioned event at the 2008 Masters, theyear after he was runner-up in the U.S. Amateur. Because there already was aMichael Thompson in the ranking archives, he was assigned “X” as his middleinitial. This is a common practice. He played the Masters, U.S. Open andTraveler’s Championship in 2008 as an amateur, and he tied for 28th in his prodebut that fall in the Texas Open.

When he earned his card, the tour entered him in the system using his properinitial—“H” for Hayes.

But the Michael X. Thompson remained in the system and was awarded the 12.8points for a third-place finish at Thailand that should have gone to Michael H.Thompson.

There was no golf played the following week, but in the final world rankingof 2011, the points were restored, and Michael H. Thompson had gone from No. 183to No. 131.


CITIZEN CARL: Carl Pettersson started his 10th season on the PGA Tour with aminor change: He’s not an American citizen.

He moved from Sweden to England when he was 10, then to North Carolina whilestill in high school. His father was an executive for Volvo. Pettersson neverleft, however. He played golf at North Carolina State, married a local girl, andsettled in Raleigh to raise a family.

“I’ve been here for 20 years. My kids were born here. My wife isAmerican,” Pettersson said. “I haven’t lived in Sweden since I was 10. I justwanted to do it because of my kids. And I feel American. It’s hard to say thatbecause I know I was born in Sweden. But I played junior golf here, went to highschool here.”

Pettersson said the process included fingerprints, a background check and ahistory test.

“And I got 100 on that, which I was proud of,” he said. “They hadquestions like when the Declaration of Independence was written, and somequestions about the Constitution. I crammed it all in the night before,memorized it and then forgot it.”


POLICY BOARD: Ben Crane , Harrison Frazar and Scott Verplank are the nomineesto be chairman of the Players Advisory Council. Voting lasts for about a month.The chairman eventually joins the policy board.

They are part of a 16-man PAC that was announced Tuesday. The other playersare Stewart Cink , Jason Day , Ken Duke , Charley Hoffman , Matt Kuchar , JoeOgilvie , Carl Pettersson, Justin Rose , Patrick Sheehan , Webb Simpson , ChrisStroud , Bo Van Pelt and Mark Wilson .


DIVOTS: The minor changes the world ranking board approved in 2010 now arecomplete. The new season began with 52 being the maximum tournaments that countas the divisor. … Johnson Wagner and Harrison Frazar were the only players tostart the season with top 10s in the two Hawaii tournaments. … Only fivewinners of the Sony Open did not play at Kapalua the previous week in the 14years since the Tournament of Champions moved to Maui. … Tom Pernice Jr.played the final round at Waialae with Kevin Chappell , who wasn’t even born whenPernice first played the Sony Open in 1986.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Steve Stricker has played the week after winning a PGATour event eight times in his career. His only finish in the top 10 was a tiefor ninth in 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship.


FINAL WORD: “The PGA Tour, I mean, it’s the Nationwide on steroids.”—Jhonattan Vegas .

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Twitter spat turns into fundraising opportunity

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Country music star Jake Owen, along with Brandt Snedeker, has turned a spat on Twitter into a fundraising campaign that will support Snedeker’s foundation.

On Thursday, Owen was criticized during the opening round of the Tour’s Nashville Golf Open, which benefits the Snedeker Foundation, for his poor play after opening with an 86.

In response, Snedeker and country singer Chris Young pledged $5,000 for every birdie that Owen makes on Friday in a campaign called NGO Birdies for Kids

Although Owen, who is playing the event on a sponsor exemption, doesn’t tee off for Round 2 in Nashville until 2 p.m. (CT), the campaign has already generated interest, with NBC Sports/Golf Channel analyst Peter Jacobsen along with Tour player Zac Blair both pledging $100 for every birdie Owen makes.

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Noren so impressed by Rory: 'I'm about to quit golf'

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 25, 2018, 5:33 pm

Alex Noren won the BMW PGA Championship last year, one of his nine career European Tour victories.

He opened his title defense at Wentworth Club in 68-69 and is tied for fourth through two rounds. Unfortunately, he's five back of leader Rory McIlroy. And after playing the first two days alongside McIlroy, Noren, currently ranked 19th in the world, doesn't seem to like his chances of back-to-back wins.

McIlroy opened in 67 and then shot a bogey-free 65 in second round, which included pars on the pair of par-5 finishing holes. Noren walked away left in awe.

"That's the best round I've ever seen," Noren said. "I'm about to quit golf, I think."

Check out the full interview below:

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Bubba gets to drive dream car: K.I.T.T. from 'Knight Rider'

By Grill Room TeamMay 25, 2018, 4:42 pm

Bubba Watson is a known car aficionado.

He purchased the original General Lee from the 1980’s TV show “Dukes of Hazzard” – later saying he was going to paint over the Confederate flag on the vehicle’s roof.

He also auctioned off his 1939 Cadillac LaSalle C-Hawk custom roadster and raised $410,000 for Birdies for the Brave.

He showed off images of his off-road Jeep two years ago.

And he even bought a car dealership near his hometown of Milton, Fla.

While recently appearing on the TV show “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the former “Tonight Show” host surprised Watson with another one of his dream cars: K.I.T.T.

The 1982 Pontiac Trans Am was made famous in the ‘80s action show “Knight Rider.”

Though, Bubba didn’t get to keep this one, he did get to drive it.

Bubba Watson gets behind the wheel of his dream car—the KITT from Knight Rider from CNBC.

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Cut Line: USGA readies for Shinnecock 'mulligan'

By Rex HoggardMay 25, 2018, 3:26 pm

In this week’s Memorial weekend edition, the European team adheres to the Ryder Cup secret formula, the USGA readies for the ultimate mulligan at next month’s U.S. Open and a bizarre finish at the Florida Mid-Am mystifies the Rules of Golf.

Made Cut

Cart golf. When the U.S. side announced the creation of a Ryder Cup task force following the American loss at Gleneagles in 2014, some Europeans privately – and publicly – snickered.

The idea that the secret sauce could be found in a meeting room did stretch the bounds of reason, yet two years later the U.S. team emerged as winners at Hazeltine National and suddenly the idea of a task force, which is now called a committee, didn’t seem so silly.

To Europe’s credit, they’ve always accomplished this cohesion organically, pulling together their collective knowledge with surprising ease, like this week when European captain Thomas Bjorn rounded out his vice captain crew.

Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald (a group that has a combined 47-40-13 record in the matches) were all given golf cart keys and will join Robert Karlsson as vice captains this year in Paris.

Perhaps it took the Americans a little longer to figure out, but Bjorn knows it’s continuity that wins Ryder Cups.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

The USGA’s mulligan. The U.S. Open is less than a month away and with it one of the most anticipated returns in recent major championship history.

The last time the national championship was played at Shinnecock Hills was in 2004 and things didn’t go well, particularly on Sunday when play had to be stopped to water some greens that officials deemed had become unplayable. This week USGA executive director Mike Davis was asked about the association’s last trip to the Hamptons and, to his credit, he didn’t attempt to reinvent history.

“Looking back at 2004, and at parts of that magnificent day with Retief (Goosen) and Phil Mickelson coming down to the end, there are parts that we learned from,” Davis said. “I’m happy we got a mulligan this time. We probably made a bogey last time, maybe a double bogey.”

Put another way, players headed to next month’s championship should look forward to what promises to be a Bounce Back Open.

Tweet of the week:

Homa joined a chorus of comments following Aaron Wise’s victory on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson, which included an awkward moment when his girlfriend, Reagan Trussell, backed away as Wise was going in for a kiss.

“No hard feelings at all,” Wise clarified this week. “We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was.”

Missed Cut

Strength of field. The European Tour gathers this week in England for the circuit’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, and like the PGA Tour’s marquee stop, The Players, the event appears headed for a new spot on the calendar next year.

As the PGA Tour inches closer to announcing the 2018-19 schedule, which will feature countless new twists and turns including the PGA Championship’s move to May and The Players shift back to March, it also seems likely the makeover will impact the European Tour schedule.

Although the BMW PGA currently draws a solid field, with this week’s event sporting a higher strength of field than the Fort Worth Invitational on the PGA Tour, it’s likely officials won’t want to play the event a week after the PGA Championship (which is scheduled for May 16-19 next year).

In fact, it’s been rumored that the European Tour could move all eight of its Rolex Series events, which are billed as “unmissable sporting occasions,” out of the FedExCup season window, which will end on Aug. 25 next year.

Although the focus has been on how the new PGA Tour schedule will impact the U.S. sports calendar, the impact of the dramatic makeover stretches will beyond the Lower 48.

Rules of engagement. For a game that at times seems to struggle with too much small print and antiquated rules, it’s hard to understand how things played out earlier this month at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship.

In a story first reported by, Jeff Golden claimed he was assaulted on May 13 by Brandon Hibbs – the caddie for his opponent, Marc Dull, in the championship’s final match. Golden told police that Hibbs struck him because of a rules dispute earlier in the round. Hibbs denied any involvement, and police found no evidence of an attack.

The incident occurred during a weather delay and Golden conceded the match to Dull after the altercation, although he wrote in a post on Twitter this week that he was disappointed with the Florida State Golf Association’s decision to accept his concession.

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf,” Golden wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated ‘ex-caddie’ punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

Because of the conflicting statements, it’s still not clear what exactly happened that day at Coral Creek Club, but the No. 1 rule in golf – protecting the competition and the competitors – seems to have fallen well short.