Former US Open champion Lucas Glover makes his return to competitive golf at this week’s Transitions Championship, two months after spraining his right knee in what has been described repeatedly as “a freak paddle boarding accident“.
A few weeks ago, Conor wrote a post outlining Sergio Garcia’s battle with the IRS, along with a brief mention of Retief Goosen’s similar woes. Difference is, the IRS claims Sergio owes $1.72 million, while the petition filed against the Goose is a tad more modest, amounting to $164,698 in back taxes and $32,940 in penalties. While Sergio won’t comment on the issue other than acknowledging the matter, Goosen is adamant that the IRS has made a mistake.
Anything that has to do with Sergio Garcia usually creates a healthy discussion. We saw glimpses of the “old” Sergio with his solid play in the first two rounds of last week’s Transitions Championship, but then he faltered over the weekend to finish T15. This week’s PGA Tour Confidential host, Mike Walker, posed the question, “Have we already seen the best we’re going to get from Sergio, or does he have the drive to become a top player again?” Here’s an excerpt from our lively chat:
*Update: I had to take down the photo of me and Ellie because apparently I’m violating PGA Tour media rights. Sadly, I’ve just been informed that I can’t post pictures from practice days, either! I’ve explained to the Tour that it’s a disservice to you guys, the readers, who are also PGA Tour fans.
In the spirit of my “Behind the Scenes” post, I’m starting another weekly feature that’s similar. You see, once the tournament starts, I catch some random bits and funny stuff happens that isn’t quite worthy of a standalone post, so I figure the solution is to compile them into a longer one at the end of the week. I’m still trying to think of a meme for the feature — suggestions welcome! — but “Tidbits From Inside the Ropes” will have to do for now. Enjoy!
*I forgot to include an amusing exchange from Wednesday. I was with my colleague Farrell Evans and we ran into Stephen Ames. Farrell says, “Hey Amesy, I saw your coach yesterday.” Ames looks at him with a completely straight (albeit goofy) face and deadpans, “Oh yeah, Tiger’s coach?” Then, as if on cue, we all start cracking up. Later that afternoon, I walked past Sean Foley and Ames, who were headed to the range. I jokingly said to Ames, “Ah, I see you found Tiger’s coach!” He playfully pretended he was going to push me into the practice bunker. He’s a beauty.
Gary Woodland says he’s still learning to play golf. Which many might find puzzling considering at the end of four rounds, he’s atop the Transitions Championship leaderboard — his first PGA Tour victory in 33 career starts. It’s also his first win since he took home the 2008 High Plains Pro-Am in Kansas.
Woodland, who hits the long ball (I’ve been hearing about his absurd distance since before Q-School), only needed 10 putts on the back nine and 23 total on his way to post his second consecutive 67 at Innisbrook. He sank a clutch 11-footer for par on No. 18 and watched as Webb Simpson made bogey, handing Woodland the victory by one.
When I approached Stewart Cink after his round at the Transitions Championship and asked him about the Twitter incident, he looked genuinely confused. “I’m not sure what you’re talking about,” said Cink. “What did it say? It could have been hacked because I didn’t send any (tweets) by accident.”
Justin Rose shot 65 for the second round in a row to become the first player in Transitions Championship history to achieve such a feat at Innisbrook’s Copperhead course. Rose posted 13-under, a stroke short of tying the tournament record, to take a one-shot lead over Brendon de Jonge and Webb Simpson going into the final round.
Just when it looked like Nick Watney might finally have run out of gas, he goes on another birdie tear, making seven birdies and one bogey to shoot 65 and surge back into contention at the Transitions Championship, with a 54-hole total of 10-under, three shots behind leader Justin Rose. Coming off the biggest victory of his career last week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Watney hit a wall on Thursday after rolling in seven birdies through 12 holes, which carried over to Friday.
In the previous ten rounds at Innisbrook’s Copperhead course, Jason Day had never broken 70. On Saturday morning he broke that streak, firing a six-under 66 to move up the leaderboard considerably at the Transitions Championship, with a 54-hole total of seven-under. Just a day earlier, he barely made the cut, draining a clutch seven-footer on his last hole, the ninth, to sneak in.