THURSDAY  | MARCH 15, 2018
by Steve Elling

At minimum, the highly unofficial nickname represented a shot in the arm as far as credible marketing goes.

For the second spring in succession, the PGA Tour’s decades-old Florida Swing was chopped into a disjointed series of three events, interrupted by a jaunt to Mexico City.


Take a swig and live in the moment

I’ve been a golf fan for decades and watch as much golf on TV as anyone, everything from the majors to the Valspar (even without Tiger Woods). My beef is this: the overwhelming propensity for golf announcers to use the phrase “a moment ago.” Almost every time they say that, the ball goes in the hole. Why can’t they simply show the highlight, then say, “That was a moment ago. Now back live …”?


Accepted: By Ernie Els and Jim Furyk, special exemptions into the U.S. Open, the U.S. Golf Association announced. Els, 48, of South Africa, won the 1994 and 1997 Opens. Furyk, 47, of the U.S., won the 2003 U.S. Open. The list of exemptions for the U.S. Open includes 10 years for an Open champion. The 118th U.S. Open will be played June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. Only three other players since 2010 have been granted special exemptions: Tom Watson (2010/T-29), Vijay Singh (2010/T-40) and Retief Goosen (2016/missed cut). Hale Irwin is the only player to have won the Open on a special exemption, in 1990 at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club.



Number of 2018 winners on the LPGA who are paired in today’s first round of the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Michelle Wie, Jin Young Ko and Brittany Lincicome will tee off at 12:34 p.m. MST on No. 1 at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix (tee times). The Founders Cup is the first of 16 consecutive LPGA tournaments to be played in the United States (schedule).



The inaugural Reynolds Cup is scheduled for Sept. 10-12 at Reynolds Lake Oconee, the Greensboro, Ga., resort announced. The Reynolds Cup will match two-person teams from U.S. companies over 36 holes on The Oconee course in a Stableford better-ball format.


Since Troon Privé assumed management of Rio Verde (Ariz.) Country Club and Community in mid-2016, more than 100 members have joined the club, Troon reported. Troon Privé, the private-club operating division of Troon, attributes the renaissance to improved agronomy at the 36-hole facility, better service, more food and beverage options and a boost in member programs, among other factors.


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

March 21-25
WGC Dell Technologies Match Play

Austin (Texas) CC

March 22-25
PGA Tour: Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship

Corales GC, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Men’s amateur: Azalea Invitational

CC of Charleston (S.C.)

LPGA: Kia Classic

Carlsbad, Calif. Tour: Chitimacha Louisiana Open

Le Triomphe GC, Broussard, La.

March 23-25
Champions: Rapiscan Systems Classic

Fallen Oak, Biloxi, Miss.

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