Villegas Wins Canadian Skins Game

By Associated PressJune 17, 2008, 4:00 pm
VERNON, British Columbia -- With a couple of hundred of thousand dollars on the line, Camilo Villegas felt some nerves at his first Skins Game.
 
Coming off a top-10 finish at the U.S. Open, Villegas made more than $200,000 on Tuesday to win the two-day World Skins Game.
 
Villegas made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 14th hole for $127,800, then added another $97,800 in a playoff.
 
I actually was (nervous) with that short putt on the par 5, but it was good, said Villegas, whose tie for ninth at Torrey Pines was his best finish in a major. Its good to feel the nerves, a little shaking, and why not? Just test yourself.
 
Villegas forced the closest-to-the pin playoff for the final four skins by matching Mike Weirs 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole.
 
I thought maybe he might do me a favor being Canadian, joked Weir, who was shut out in his first Skins Game in his home country in seven years.
 
After walking 130 yards back into the fairway, Villegas pitching wedge over water settled 20 feet past the pin. Fred Couples and Australias Greg Norman were both closer, but their shots finished on the fringe just short of the green and didnt count. So when Colin Montgomeries ball stopped a foot past Villegas, and Weir came up short of the green, Villegas had the title and over $226,000.
 
I was actually nearest to the pin, so I won really, said a laughing Norman, who instead had settled for second spot after winning $97,800 on the first day.
 
Couples, nicknamed King of Skins, was third after adding $29,340 Monday to career skins earnings over $5 million. Scotlands Colin Montgomerie was also shut out for a second-straight year at the internationally flavored event.
 
I was a little surprised I didnt get a skin, but I made a few birdies after not making any yesterday, Weir said. Its timing, you have to make them at the right time.
 
After combining for just one birdie in the first six holes the first day, the five golfers had eight through the first three holes on Tuesday. They did not, however, produce an outright winner until the fifth hole, a 540-yard par 5 that Villegas and Weir reached in two shots.
 
Weir left his first putt short and couldnt make his 12-foot par putt, allowing Villegas to two putt for six skins, including one carried over from the ninth hole Monday.
 
After grinding it out at Torrey Pines last week, the 26-year-old Colombian enjoyed the loose atmosphere and the company of a five-some with four major championships between them.
 
It was a little more relaxing, I can tell you that, said Villegas, who flew up late Sunday night to Predator Ridge, almost 300 miles northeast of Vancouver. Just look at those guys: Greg Norman, Mike Weir, Colin, Freddie Couples. Im just a kid out here, trying to get better and better every day, and its just fun to come out here and play good.
 
The playful banter between players also picked up from the first day, with Norman taking the microphone to correct his introduction as a former World No. 1 for 331 days.
 
It was 331 weeks, said the two-time British Open winner.
 
Montgomerie, a close second to Weir as the fan favorite after leading much of the jokes the first day, didnt miss a beat.
 
I was No. 2 for a month, Montgomerie said as he stepped up to the first tee, and then Tiger (Woods) was born.
 
Montgomerie wasnt available to the media as he rushed to a flight, but Couples was sticking around to unveil his latest course co-design, The Rise, nearby on Wednesday.
 
The event, sponsored by Telus, raised $250,000 for B.C. Childrens Hospital. That included $40,000 for 20 total birdies, and $3,000 for Normans lone eagle on Monday, which got him the first-day lead and a hug from fiance Chris Evert, the former tennis great who walked the course both days.
 
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

Miller to retire from broadcast booth in 2019

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 15, 2018, 9:14 pm

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast booth, Johnny Miller is ready to hang up his microphone.

Following a Hall of Fame playing career that included a pair of major titles, Miller has become one of the most outspoken voices in the game as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports. But at age 71 he has decided to retire from broadcasting following the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“The call of being there for my grandkids, to teach them how to fish. I felt it was a higher calling,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “The parents are trying to make a living, and grandparents can be there like my father was with my four boys. He was there every day for them. I'm a big believer that there is a time and a season for everything.”

Miller was named lead analyst for NBC in 1990, making his broadcast debut at what was then known as the Bob Hope Desert Classic. He still remained competitive, notably winning the 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at age 46, but made an indelible mark on the next generation of Tour pros with his frank and candid assessment of the action from some of golf’s biggest events.

Miller’s broadcasting career has included 20 U.S. Opens, 14 Ryder Cups, nine Presidents Cups, three Open Championships and the 2016 Olympics. While he has teamed in the booth with Dan Hicks for the past 20 years, Miller’s previous on-air partners included Bryant Gumbel, Charlie Jones, Jim Lampley and Dick Enberg.

His farewell event will be in Phoenix Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at a tournament he won in back-to-back years in 1974-75.

“When it comes to serving golf fans with sharp insight on what is happening inside the ropes, Johnny Miller is the gold standard,” said NBC lead golf producer Tommy Roy. “It has been an honor working with him, and while it might not be Johnny’s personal style, it will be fun to send him off at one of the PGA Tour’s best parties at TPC Scottsdale.”

Miller was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998 after a playing career that included wins at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont and The Open in 1976 at Royal Birkdale. Before turning pro, he won the 1964 U.S. Junior Amateur and was low amateur at the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic, where he tied for eighth at age 19.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller now lives in Utah with his wife, Linda, and annually serves as tournament host of the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

Getty Images

Randall's Rant: Tiger vs. Phil feels like a ripoff

By Randall MellOctober 15, 2018, 7:45 pm

Usually, you have to buy something before you feel like you were ripped off.

The wonder in the marketing of Tiger vs. Phil and “The Match” is how it is making so many people feel as if they are getting ripped off before they’ve shelled out a single penny for the product.

Phil Mickelson gets credit for this miscue.

Apparently, the smartest guy in the room isn’t the smartest marketing guy.

He was a little bit like that telemarketer who teases you into thinking you’ve won a free weekend getaway, only to lead you into the discovery that there’s a shady catch, with fine print and a price tag.

There was something as slippery as snake oil in the original pitch.

In Mickelson’s eagerness to create some excitement, he hinted back during The Players in May about the possibility of a big-money, head-to-head match with Woods. A couple months later, he leaked more details, before it was ready to be fully announced.

So while there was an initial buzz over news of the Thanksgiving weekend matchup, the original pitch set up a real buzzkill when it was later announced that you were only going to get to see it live on pay-per-view.

The news landed with a thud but no price tag. We’re still waiting to see what it’s going to cost when these two meet at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, but anything that feels even slightly inflated now is going to further dampen the original enthusiasm Mickelson created.

Without Woods or Mickelson putting up their own money, this $9 million winner-take-all event was always going to feel more like a money grab than real competition.

When we were expecting to see it on network or cable TV, we didn’t care so much. Tiger's and Phil’s hands would have felt as if they were reaching into corporate America’s pockets. Now, it feels as if they’re digging into ours.

Last week, there was more disappointing news, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting that tickets won’t be sold to the public, that the match at Shadow Creek will only be open to select sponsors and VIPs.



Now there’s a larger insult to the common fan, who can’t help but feel he isn’t worthy or important enough to gain admittance.

Sorry, but that’s how news of a closed gate landed on the heels of the pay-per-view news.

“The Match” was never going to be meaningful golf in any historical sense.

This matchup was never going to rekindle the magic Tiger vs. Phil brought in their epic Duel at Doral in ’05.

The $9 million was never going to buy the legitimacy a major championship or PGA Tour Sunday clash could bring.

It was never going to be more than an exhibition, with no lingering historical significance, but that was OK as quasi silly-season fare on TV on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23), the traditional weekend of the old Skins Game.

“The Match” still has a chance to be meaningful, but first and foremost as entertainment, not real competition. That’s what this was always going to be about, but now the bar is raised.

Pay per view does that.

“You get what you pay for” is an adage that doesn’t apply to free (or already-paid for) TV. It does to pay per view. Expectations go way up when you aren’t just channel surfing to a telecast. So the higher the price tag they end up putting on this showdown, the more entertaining this has to be.

If Phil brings his “A-Game” to his trash talking, and if Tiger can bring some clever repartee, this can still be fun. If the prerecorded segments wedged between shots are insightful, even meaningful in their ability to make us understand these players in ways we didn’t before, this will be worthwhile.

Ultimately, “The Match” is a success if it leaves folks who paid to see it feeling as if they weren’t as ripped off as the people who refused to pay for it. That’s the handicap a history of free golf on TV brings. Welcome to pay-per-view, Tiger and Phil.

Celia Barquin Arozamena Iowa State University athletics

Trial date set for drifter charged with killing Barquin Arozamena

By Associated PressOctober 15, 2018, 7:28 pm

AMES, Iowa – A judge has scheduled a January trial for a 22-year-old Iowa drifter charged with killing a top amateur golfer from Spain.

District Judge Bethany Currie ruled Monday that Collin Richards will stand trial Jan. 15 for first-degree murder in the death of Iowa State University student Celia Barquin Arozamena.

Richards entered a written not guilty plea Monday morning and waived his right to a speedy trial. The filing canceled an in-person arraignment hearing that had been scheduled for later Monday.

Investigators say Richards attacked Barquin on Sept. 17 while she was playing a round at a public course in Ames, near the university campus. Her body was found in a pond on the course riddled with stab wounds.

Richards faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

View this post on Instagram

Finally got it down lol

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

View this post on Instagram

How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.