MONDAY  | FEBRUARY 5, 2018
by Ron Kroichick

Several years ago, while covering the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, I made a customary scan of the leaderboard – seeking a marquee name, an inspiring comeback tale, a compelling story of any kind – that produced absolutely nothing. Zero. Zilch.

That moment, frozen in my memory, was emblematic of an embarrassingly lean stretch for the once-prestigious tournament. PGA Tour journeymen such as Steve Lowery (2008) and D.A. Points (2011) won the AT&T, reinforcing how it had become an afterthought to most top Tour pros.

Not anymore.

 



GUEST ESSAY
by John Gaughan

It had been a month. Three snowfalls and 17 days straight below freezing in southwestern Ohio. Wind chills of minus-15 sprinkled here and there. The day before, it nudged toward the upper 30s. Today, low 40s, but that 4-inch blanket would take time to melt. My front yard was mostly green due to a southern exposure, but the back was a solid, crusty white. So when I got a text from G saying it was starting to feel “golfy,” I thought, Yeah, in Hawaii. Of course, I was feeling golfy, too, as were our three other shut-in buddies. House-bound, bored, itchin’.  

A day later, wide swaths of white still checkered my backyard. Temperatures were predicted to be near 50, with rain late in the day. A missed voicemail from G: “Bump, looks like we can get out tomorrow. What d’ya say?” I’d say staring at your four walls is making you delusionary. Maybe a few days from now. Maybe after a good wind dries out the rain predicted on top of this snow melt. Maybe the end of the week. I call back anyway. “Let me know if you find a course open, but I don’t see it.” He’s optimistic, though, so I say I’ll play, but don’t hold your breath.

 


Fond memories of pro-ams

Adam Schupak’s column brought back the best of memories from my younger days (“Tour’s new pro-am: 9 and 9, minus the whine,” Feb. 1).

I had the privilege of playing in 18 Western Open pro-ams, from 1982 to 1999 (half each at Butler National and Cog Hill). I drew many big names and several major champions, including three who hold multiple major titles. All but a handful of the pros were super-friendly, engaging gentlemen, and my groups loved every minute. Over the years, I have run into some of the pros at various venues, and we have exchanged everything from a casual hello to an extended nostalgic conversation.

 


2

Number of times that Indian rookie Shubhankar Sharma has won in only 13 career starts on the European Tour. Sharma, 21, shot a bogey-free 10-under 62 in the final round Sunday to erase a four-stroke deficit and win the Maybank Championship at Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sharma, who won the Joburg Open in December, finished at 21-under 267, two strokes ahead of Spain’s Jorge Campillo, who closed with 68 for a 19-under 269 total (scores).

 


Elected: Mark Newell, to a one-year term as president of the U.S. Golf Association. Newell, of McLean, Va., will oversee the 15-member Executive Committee, which provides direction to the USGA’s management and staff. Also at the USGA’s annual meeting in Miami Beach, Fla., the association announced a formal transition from the USGA Members Program, which dates to 1975, into a newly formed USGA Foundation. The foundation has been set up for golfers to contribute to the USGA, which is tax exempt as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Early last year, Morning Read correspondent Adam Schupak reported the pending demise of the Members Program (“USGA will scrap its Members Program, sources say,” Feb. 15). At the time, USGA spokeswoman Janeen Driscoll said, “The USGA has no intention of eliminating the Members Program.”

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf 

Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in a playoff, but Tiger Woods stole the show. Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph discuss and analyze Woods' return to the PGA Tour and Day's first victory since 2016. GROOVE UP! with Vertical Groove Golf features interviews with John Daly and Jeff Barry. Also, look for a preview of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Bob Ford has been appointed chairman of the advisory board at Arccos Golf, the company announced. Ford, the general manager at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., is the retired head professional at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club.

 


Learn more about RevenueStripe...

CALENDAR
February 3-8
Industry: Golf Industry Show

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio

February 6-8
Industry: National Golf Course Owners Association Golf Business Conference

Marriott San Antonio (Texas) Rivercenter

February 8-11
PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach (Calif.) GL

European Tour: ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth

Lake Karrinyup CC, Perth, Australia

Web.com Tour: Club Colombia Championship

CC de Bogota (Colombia)

February 9-11
Ladies European Tour: Actewagl Canberra Classic

Royal Canberra GC, Yarralumla, Australia

Champions: Boca Raton Championship

Old Course at Broken Sound, Boca Raton, Fla.

February 13-14
Women’s amateur: Women’s International Four-Ball Championship

The Wanderers Club, Wellington, Fla.

February 15-18
European Tour: NBO Oman Golf Classic

Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, Oman

LPGA: ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Adelaide, Australia

PGA Tour: Genesis Open

Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

February 16-18
Champions: Chubb Classic

TwinEagles GC (Talon), Naples, Fla.


      
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