Phoenix Open hit by chilly conditions

By Associated PressFebruary 3, 2011, 6:44 am
  • Waste Management Phoenix OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Frozen turf wiped out the pro-am round at the Phoenix Open and frost was expected to lead to long delays before play Thursday and Friday.

“You get cold mornings and you get some frost, but this is a legitimate winter day today,” Scottsdale-based Geoff Ogilvy said after his pro-am round was canceled Wednesday because of frozen turf at TPC Scottsdale. “There’s a reason why people move here from up north in winter, and it’s not for days like this.”

The temperature was in the high 20s F (-2 C) early in the morning when the players started arriving at TPC Scottsdale and only 35 F (1.5 C) around 11 a.m. when the pro-am was called off.

“The greens are still frozen,” said Slugger White, the PGA Tour’s vice president of rules. “The approaches are frozen. And it just would do a tremendous amount of damage if we walked on it, just tracking everything up with the greens being frozen.”

With overnight temperatures well into the 20s, frost was expected to lead to long delays before play can start Thursday and Friday.

“Anything could happen with the weather, but it doesn’t look good tomorrow morning,” White said. “It’s supposed to be colder. And it might be even colder on Friday. So, we’ll just see.”

Phil Mickelson planned to use a softer, lower compression ball in the chilly conditions, a tactic he also used last week in his second-place finish at Torrey Pines.

“I’ve been switching golf balls in cold weather,” the former Arizona State player said. “It helped me last week at Torrey where it was fairly cold. It wasn’t as warm. And it’s going to help me this week, as well.

“When it gets cold the ball doesn’t compress as well and when it hits the face the face actually moves, and the misses get exaggerated, and this golf ball doesn’t do that,” he added. “This golf ball compresses very easily, so I hit it a lot straighter in cold conditions.”

Bubba Watson, coming off a one-stroke victory over Mickelson on Sunday in San Diego, had no plans to switch balls.

“I won with that ball last week,” said the long-hitting Watson, also an area resident. “I don’t care if it’s cold or hot. I’m playing with that ball again. … I’m not going to change because of cold weather, hot weather, whatever.”

Mickelson won at TPC Scottsdale in 1996 and 2005. In 2005, he shot a 60 in the second round en route to a five-stroke victory.

“I love coming back,” Mickelson said. “It’s one of my favorite places as always to play here in Phoenix where I spent so many years of my life, and my time at Arizona State was so much fun. I’m excited to be back here because I also feel like I’m playing some good golf and would like to try to improve on last week’s close call.”

Hunter Mahan won last year for the first of his two 2010 titles, closing with consecutive bogey-free 6-under 65s to beat Rickie Fowler by a stroke.

“It’s surprising for me here,” Mahan said about the cold conditions. “There’s maybe usually cold mornings, but then it warms up pretty nice. I know it’s going to be kind of chilly for the next few days, but I’ve been in Dallas and went to Aspen for our honeymoon, so we’ve been in cold weather for a bit now, so it’s not a big shock.”

Ogilvy is making his first start of the season after gouging his right index finger on a coral reef in Hawaii before the Tournament of Champions. The Australian needed 12 stitches to repair the cut to the side of his knuckle.

“It’s in a very annoying spot for a right-handed golfer,” Ogilvy said. “It’s right where the club hits the thing. … I’ve been hitting balls the last two or three days and it feels like I’m hitting it like I was when I arrived in Hawaii.”

Watson and fellow 2011 tour winners Watson, Jonathan Byrd, Mark Wilson and Jhonattan Vegas are in the field along with Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, three-time champion Mark Calcavecchia and two-time winners J.B. Holmes and Vijay Singh.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals 
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.