Winsday Hot List: Lights, camera, action in L.A.

By Win McMurryFebruary 13, 2013, 4:12 pm

Welcome to Hollywood! The Tour touches down in star-studded Los Angeles where Hogan’s Alley boasts a blockbuster cast of players at famed Riviera. I’ve rounded up the best scripted storylines before we go lights, camera, action at the Northern Trust Open.

1. Roddick, Romo, Rodgers: Golf is a universal sport among sports and it stepped up its game at last week’s tournament rooted in Bing Crosby tradition. These three who have taken spotlight roles in their non-golf professional athlete world sported their golf games with pride at Pebble Beach. Rodgers and Roddick even got the Tour treatment as Peter Kostis broke down their swings and Nick Faldo offered up tips.

2. Luke and MJ pow-wow: From the outside, these two couldn’t be more polar opposite. You have the quiet, art major, clean-cut, preppy, Polo-wearing Brit on one hand and the most famous athlete of the 20th century basketball star who won six NBA Titles for the Chicago Bulls on the other. In addition to golf, the two also have the Windy City in common. The former world number one who was at the top of the game in 2011 has been picking Michael Jordan’s brain in the off season in advance of his 2013 debut this week at Riviera. Jordan’s teaching him his mental approach, helping him mentally prepare for the season.

Lydia Ko

3. Lydia Ko: With her victory this past weekend in New Zealand the 15-year-old became a three-time winner on the professional circuit. While she’s still an amateur, she’s earning a lot of recognition and will be in the spotlight this week in Australia. The LPGA restricts the number of starts she can make on Tour this year to only eight due to her age, but she’s also eligible to play in the majors thanks to her US Amateur victory.

4. LPGA in Session: Australian opener kicks off the LPGA season this week. Fifteen rookies are making their debuts alongside the 2012 Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis, defending champion Jessica Korda, top-ranked Yani Tseng, two-time British Open champion Jiyai Shin and Michelle Wie.

5. Top 10 and you’re (not) in: A top 10 at Pebble Beach was not enough to get Patrick Cantlay into his home game this week at Riviera, but it pays to know people in Hollywood. Thanks to a sponsor’s exemption, he’s in the field. James Hahn and Patrick Reed were also able to get in to this week’s event because of their top-10 finishes, but they began the week as alternates, proving it’s hard to break-in in Hollywood, even when the top-10 category is seen as an automatic into the next week’s field.

Donald Trump

6. Trump Fishing for Ryder Cup: Donald Trump proposes a second course at Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland seven months after opening his first. It is to be named after his Scottish-born mother Mary MacLeod and constructed on the southern end of his 1,400-acre Menie Estate that is 10 miles north of Aberdeen. He has said he hopes to host either the British Open or the Ryder Cup.

7. Billy Casper: Last week the legendary golfer received the Award of Merit from the National Golf Course Owners Association for his long-term and significant contributions to the game of golf. The 51-time PGA Tour winner and three-time major champion has given back to the game through working with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, The First Tee, and his Billy’s Kids Foundation.

8. Sawgrass Spring Break for Seniors: It’s not quite Cancun, but for seniors 55 and up, maybe it’s even better. Leave the passport at home and enjoy the warm weather in sunny Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., while playing one of the most famed courses in the game at TPC Sawgrass. The Sawgras Marriott Golf Resort & Spa located adjacent to PGA Tour Headquarters and its courses, has teamed with AARP to market the resort accommodations and golf to the senior crowd. From March 1st  to June 30th this year the deal starts at $169 per night (golf not included).

9. Fred Couples: Talk about an icon in L.A. The two-time winner and three-time runner-up at Riviera returns to a course that has been near to his heart over the course of his career. This marks his 31st start which tops Gene Littler's previous record for most appearances in the tournament. He has 14 top-10 finishes.

Phil Mickelson

10. Phil and Keegan duo (well, trio): The successful Ryder Cup pairing play alongside each other as well as the defending champion for the first two rounds this week as one of the featured groups. The three were against each other a year ago as Bill Haas, the third player in this grouping, beat out the major champs in sudden death. 

Getty Images

Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

Getty Images

Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''

Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

Getty Images

Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

• “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

• "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

• "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

• “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

Getty Images

Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.

Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II

Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.