MONDAY  | MARCH 5, 2018
by Steve Elling

Long before David Duval climbed to the sport’s top professional perch, the learning curve in his former vocation was long, complicated and required time in the developmental arenas of college and the lesser tours.

You know, more than a decade of prep time.


Shortchanging championship holes

Many who have opposed the distances that the ball travels now grew up in a time when Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were at their zenith. Both hit the ball prodigious distances, with persimmon woods and balata balls. We also remember from photos the likes of Ben Hogan hitting 1-iron to the 18th at Merion in the 1950 U.S. Open and myriad other long irons to the final green to clinch a championship where a short iron, even a wedge, is now required. Where is the skill in that?    



Number of Champions Tour victories for American Steve Stricker, in eight starts spanning parts of two seasons, after he won the Cologuard Classic on Sunday at Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National. Stricker, 51, shot 4-under 69 for a 14-under 205 total and two-stroke victory over Scott Dunlap (71), Jerry Kelly (65) and Gene Sauers (70). Stricker, a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, finished T-31 (Phoenix) and T-26 (Pebble Beach) in consecutive starts last month (scores).


Committed: Tiger Woods, to play this week’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla., an event in which he has never competed. Woods also will play next week in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, where he has won eight times. The two Florida events will complete a four-tournament stretch in five weeks for Woods, who missed most of last season because of two back surgeries. At No. 389 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Woods is not eligible for the WGC Match Play, which will be the week after the API, and he has never played the Houston Open, which precedes the Masters. Woods, 42, has not won since the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational, his 79th career victory.



The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf

Justin Thomas wins again on the PGA Tour as the reigning player of the year claims the recent Honda Classic. Jack Nicklaus talks with Bob Bubka, and, yes, Tiger Woods is back. Bubka and guest co-host Alex Miceli analyze the Honda Classic. Miceli explains his new venture, Morning Read, and the hosts discuss the USGA's new shorter playoff format. Vertical Groove Golf’s Chris Reeves is the featured interview in Groove Up!


International Club Suppliers has appointed Eric Locklar as its western regional customer manager. ICS is the sales and marketing arm for Entegra Procurement Services.


March 8-11
European Tour: Indian Open

DLF GC, New Delhi Tour: El Bosque Mexico Championship

El Bosque CC, Leon, Mexico

Ladies European Tour: Investec SA Women’s Open

Westlake GC, Cape Town, South Africa

PGA Tour: Valspar Championship

Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, Fla.

March 9-11
Champions: Toshiba Classic

Newport Beach (Calif.) CC

Symetra Tour: SGIC Kickoff Classic

Feather Sound CC, Clearwater, Fla.

March 15-18
PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Bay Hill Club, Orlando, Fla.

LPGA: Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Wildfire GC, Phoenix

March 16-18
Symetra Tour: Florida’s Natural Charity Classic

CC of Winter Haven (Fla.)

Men’s amateur: Florida Azalea Amateur

Palatka (Fla.) GC

12700 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 300, Reston, Virginia 20191
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