Mrs Toledo Holds Key to Hubbys Work Future

By George WhiteAugust 12, 2002, 4:00 pm
Tiger Woods won. That was hardly news.
What would have been news ' gigantic news ' was if Esteban Toledo had won. Toledo has always sworn that he will quit the day he wins. Im waiting to see if he really does.
Toledo is hedging a little now. He says his wife isnt exactly pleased that he would quit at the height of his greatest accomplishment. He owned up to the iffy business Saturday when there was still a chance he might do it ' if you can call being a shot behind Tiger Woods on the final day a chance.
I dont know what I am going to do if I win or not, said Toledo the night before his most important day ever on a golf course. I told a lot of people that I will quit this game if I win. My wife doesnt agree with that because I have got to feed the family, but I dont know.
I want to win. And if I win, I go to the PGA ' hopefully if my wife lets me. And obviously my wife is more important than this game, and whatever she tells me to do, I will do.
But Esteban did not win, so his threat is still safe. If he wins, he quits ' maybe. Or maybe he wont. Hes 39 now, he was 36 when he first said it, and he might have reservations about it now.
Its not like I dont have anything left in this game, but its just I want to spend time with my family, he explained. So I am not into playing more golf ' unless my wife gives me the green light to go and then I will go.
One wonders if Mrs. Toledo will approve. Esteban is a very serious man, not much into joking. But he hasnt ever come this close to a victory, and when it actually appeared that he may have to put up or shut up, Esteban backpedaled a little. He may not actually do it, of course, but that is just the way he felt.
Hes from a poor family in Mexicali, Mexico, who learned to play golf while working at a driving range. The home he shared with 10 other children (hes the youngest) had dirt floors and no plumbing. Toledo was a boxer for four years in the 135-pound class, and he actually had a 12-1 record, but a bout with appendicitis changed all that. He discovered he was a pretty fair golfer, turned pro in 1986, played extensively on the Buy.Com (then Nike) Tour, and finally got his PGA Tour card for good in 1998.
Toledo has always been a journeyman ' which is to say he is tons better than any of us, but not good enough to really challenge for a title at this level. Maybe thats about to change, maybe not. He has played in the range of 35 tournaments a year, 36 last year, which tied him for the title of the tours busiest man. And ' he has made almost $3 million since he joined the Nike Tour back in 1990.
Of course, Toledo has to pay his expense out of that ' in the neighborhood of $100,000 per year if he is trying to poor-boy it, a little more if he is interested in sleeping well at night. Say he has spent $1.5 million just being a golfer. That means he has had about $1.5 million to live on the past 13 years ' a comfortable income. He is building a church in Mexicali by himself, so that eats into what is left. Not much for Mrs. Toledo to splurge on, obviously. Sounds like Esteban will be playing a few more years, regardless if he should win or not.
As for Tiger ' well, what is there left to say? He played like a Tiger the first two days, like a frustrated tabby the last two. But that was more than enough to win No. 33. When he wasnt really on, he just relied on his putter and that, predictably, bailed him out time and again. The announcers said he was playing a most un-Tiger-like round, and he still shot 70.
That was plenty to put down Mickelson, Goosen, Toms, Toledo ' whomever. He won it by, oh, just four. He continues to amaze, as much when he is just going on guts as when he is hitting one striper after another.
Toledo? God bless em, he had a great week. Mrs. Toledo probably wont let him quit, even if he should win. He has to feed the family, remember, and he can do nothing else that puts as much food on the table. Expect to see Esteban for many years to come.


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Down seven pounds, Thomas can gain No. 1

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 11:29 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On March 7, Justin Thomas had his wisdom teeth removed, and just when he was recovering from that, he was slowed by a bout with the flu.

In total, he estimates he lost about seven pounds, and he admitted on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to play the event.

“I had a pretty serious conversation with my dad on Monday if I was going to play,” Thomas said. “I never want to play in a tournament, first off, if it's going to hurt my health. If I was sick or really sick, me trying to play this week wasn't going to do me any good.”

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Thomas went on to explain he was “50/50” whether he’d play the World Golf Championship, but decided to make the start and it’s turned out well for the world’s second-ranked player.

After going undefeated in pool play, Thomas cruised past Si Woo Kim, 6 and 5, in the round of 16 and secured himself a spot in the semifinals with a 2-and-1 victory over Kyle Stanley in the quarterfinals. If Thomas wins his semifinal match against Bubba Watson on Sunday, he’s assured enough points to overtake Dustin Johnson atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

“I don't care when it happens; I just hope it happens and it happens for a while,” Thomas said when asked about the possibility of becoming world No. 1. “I don't know what to say because I've never experienced it. I don't know what's going to come with it. But I just hope it happens tomorrow.”

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Garnett's six-shot lead dwindles to two in Punta Cana

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 10:57 pm

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic - Brice Garnett took a six-stroke lead into the wind Saturday in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. He came out with a two-stroke advantage.

Garnett bogeyed three of the final six holes in the wind and rain for a 3-under 69 and a 16-under 200 total.

''Once we made the turn coming back, all those holes coming in toward the north, it was all we wanted and then some,'' Garnett said. ''I kind of took advantage of some holes going out, some holes downwind, some par 5s, and then we were just trying to leave it in the right spot those last four or five holes. Pars are pretty good scores on those holes.''

Canadian Corey Conners was second after a 67, and Tyler McCumber also had a 67 to get to 12 under. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropped out Friday, finishing last in the 132-man field in his PGA Tour debut. He shot 77-82 playing as an amateur on a sponsor exemption.

A stroke ahead after each of the first two rounds, Garnett opened with a bogey, birdied Nos. 2, 4 and 6, eagled the par-5 seventh, and made two more birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 12th. He bogeyed the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-3 17th.

Full-field scores from the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

''I looked once and the lead was a little bigger than what it is now,'' Garnett said. ''The eagle was huge, kind of gave me that confidence that I can push it on out and stretch it a little bit more. That wind was tough and I'll take a two-shot lead into tomorrow.''

The 34-year-old Garnett is winless on the PGA Tour. He won twice last year on the Tour.

''You've got another 18 holes. So much can happen,'' Garnett said. ''Just going to try to keep the golf ball in front of me. I have that self-belief this week and that's what I had last year when I won, so I'll just keep my head down and just keep going.''

Conners had five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added a birdie on No. 12.

''Really happy with the round,'' Conners said. ''I got off to a nice start, made a bunch of birdies on the front nine and kind of held it together on the back nine. It was playing really difficult. The wind was really blowing out there, made things challenging.''

McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, has played his last 39 holes with a bogey.

''Second shots have been pretty solid,'' McCumber said. ''Putting pretty well, short game is pretty good. Just really being in the right areas and staying below the hole.''

Tom Lovelady was fourth at 11 under after a 68. Seamus Power (71), Denny McCarthy (71) and Seungsu Han (72) were 10 under.

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Poulter incorrectly told he's in Masters before loss to Kisner

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 10:33 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Ian Poulter was not happy, and it was only partially because of his blowout loss to Kevin Kisner in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Following his morning victory in the round of 16 over Louis Oosthuizen, the Englishman was incorrectly informed that by making it to the Elite 8 at Austin Country Club he was assured enough Official World Golf Raking points to move into the top 50 and qualify for the Masters in two weeks.

“I should never listen to other people,” Poulter said following his 8-and-6 loss to Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals. “When you finish a round of golf and the press and everybody is telling you you're in the Masters, and then you get a text message 10 minutes before you tee off to correct everybody, to say, ‘Oh, we've made a mistake, actually, no, that was wrong, you're not in. You need to go and win.’

“Not that that's an excuse in any form or factor, it's a little disappointing.”

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Poulter actually needed to advance to the semifinal round to move into the top 50. Instead, his last chance to qualify for the Masters is to win next week’s Houston Open, although he was unsure if he’d play the event.

“I don't know yet, I haven't decided,” said Poulter when asked if he’d play next week. “I'm tired. It's been a long week. It's been a draining week. I'll wait until Monday night and if I have the energy then I will.”

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Not DJ, not Poulter: Kisner most proud to take down Kuchar

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 9:34 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – On his way to this week’s Final Four at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Kevin Kisner has beaten world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and the European match play ninja Ian Poulter. But neither match could compare to his duel with Matt Kuchar early Saturday.

“I was more jacked to beat [Kuchar], really. Kuch is such a good player and our games are so similar,” said Kisner, who defeated Kuchar in the round of 16, 1 up. “We both made eight birdies this morning and I barely snuck out of there. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

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By comparison, his quarterfinal bout against Poulter wasn’t nearly as electric. Kisner won two of the first four holes when the Englishman made bogey (No. 3) and when he was conceded the fourth hole, hecruised to an 8-and-6 victory for the week’s most lopsided win.

“I don't know Ian that well, so I don't really have a history with him, other than watching him kill us in the Ryder Cup,” Kisner laughed.

Things won’t get any easier for Kisner on Sunday when he’ll play Alex Noren in the semifinals. The Swede has been dominant this week and is considered one of Europe’s top players heading into this year’s Ryder Cup.