Impressive though Keegan Bradley’s performance over the closing holes of the Northern Trust Open was – and it really was; he’ll be a very good player, even after his putter is banned – it didn’t exactly endear him to international audiences. (continue reading…)
Tag: Northern Trust Open
Just before darkness set in at Riviera Country Club, Phil Mickelson capped off a(nother) spectacular round with a chip-in for birdie on 18 to take the outright lead in the first round of the Northern Trust Open. (Could hear the roar from the media center during J.B. Holmes’ presser — it sounded like a “Phil roar.”)
Mickelson, who shot a memorable eight-under 64 on Sunday to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, fired a five-under 66. With the morning wave getting the worst of the gusty conditions, the players who teed off later in the day had the benefit of nearly no wind toward the end of their rounds. (continue reading…)
Since golf’s governing bodies, the USGA and the R&A, announced that they were taking a “fresh look” at implementing a rule to ban belly/long putters or “anchoring,” inquiring minds have asked some of the biggest names in golf for their opinions. Of course, last week at Pebble Beach Tiger Woods shocked us all when he gave his most opinionated answer in years (obviously he is a strong proponent of banning them). Here, at Riviera in the pre-tourney pressers, other esteemed players chimed in. (continue reading…)
With winds gusting up to 35mph at Riviera Country Club, Thursday’s first round has been a wild ride — well, for just about everyone besides J.B. Holmes, who had brain surgery last September. Doctors at John Hopkins University Hospital removed quarter-sized chunk of Holmes’ skull to repair a Chiari malformation that gave him vertigo-like symptoms.
Holmes is five-under through 11 holes this afternoon and currently leads by one over Phil Mickelson, who is four-under through 11 and coming off his spectacular win last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
(*Update, 4:19pm: Holmes made two consecutive bogeys on Nos. 4 and 5, his 13th and 14th holes of the day, to drop to three-under. Mickelson birdies three of the first four on the back nine and is now alone atop the leaderboard at five-under.) (continue reading…)
Rory Sabbatini and Sean O’Hair, who were paired together in the first two rounds, along with Pat Perez, had a heated exchange (limited to words — sorry, no punches thrown) during the second round of last week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Both players will likely receive disciplinary action — determined at the discretion of the PGA Tour — but the severity of their punishments is expected to differ, according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. (continue reading…)
Last week the guys behind TourPlayers filmed a special feature of me covering the Northern Trust Open at Riviera — who knew I was such a comedian?? If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, I recommend fast forwarding to the 1:55 mark — as if I haven’t suffered enough embarrassment in the last few weeks! The word I’d use to describe myself isn’t very politically correct, so I’ll let you fill in the blank. Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself…Enjoy!
The SI Golf Group had an especially lively PGA Tour Confidential (e-mail exchange) on Sunday evening, where anger management classes were even suggested by a colleague to another at one point! I’m joking, but there was some interesting back-and-forth between several participants. And then a few of us just got downright goofy. Fun times.
There’s nothing like Hall of Fame talk to get a bunch of golf writers fired up! The discussion was kicked off with whether we thought Freddie Couples’ place in the HOF was sealed. I think so. Even though he’s one of the biggest underachievers of his generation, I don’t think you can tell the history of golf without mentioning Couples and the impact he’s had on the game. Here are some excerpts from this week’s PGA Tour Confidential:
Photographer Kyle Auclair caught these priceless moments on No. 12 on Sunday at Riviera. I was too preoccupied with whatever I was tweeting or whomever I was texting (or saving Freddie’s number in my phone) to notice Fred Couples brush shoulders with me as he walked toward his ball, which he had hit to the right rough after a(nother) stray drive.
Now this second shot is even better in my opinion. I think the expression on my face says it all. Feel free to have fun captioning these photos.
Kevin Na got off to a shaky start at Riviera on Sunday, which actually made him play faster at times on the front nine, but he pulled it together, draining two clutch putts in the final two holes. It wasn’t enough to capture his first win on the PGA Tour and send the trophy to his sick father in Korea, but he was happy with his solo third-place finish at the Northern Trust Open.
“I let my friends down a little bit, but not too much,” Na said. “I’m going to take the positives out of this week. It was still a great week.”
Fred Couples knows Riviera so well that he takes the backdoor exit through the kitchen in the clubhouse to avoid the media and the crowds. After shooting a two-over 73 in the final round of the Northern Trust Open to drop down the leaderboard and finish T7, he probably wasn’t in the mood to chat. Naturally, when Freddie discreetly came out of the scoring room and saw reporters focused on Kevin Na, he quickly turned the corner and walked briskly toward his escape route. But we cornered him just before he got away and he politely agreed to give us a few minutes of his time when asked.