FRIDAY  | MARCH 16, 2018
by Mike Purkey

At the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club outside Pittsburgh, Phil Mickelson was playing in his second Open as a professional. He was 24. Arnold Palmer was playing his last Open. He was 64.

After Palmer finished his second round – it was clear he was not going to make the cut – he walked into the volunteers’ tent and Mickelson followed him, keeping his distance. After a brutally hot day, Palmer was signing autographs for all of the volunteers present, thanking each one for helping put on the Open.

 



by Alex Miceli

Tiger Woods is exactly where many observers thought he would be after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational: on the leaderboard although not on top.

Woods, an eight-time winner of this event, shot 4-under 68 at Bay Hill Club on Thursday and sat tied for seventh, four strokes behind Henrik Stenson. PGA Tour rookies Aaron Wise and Talor Gooch shared second at 65. Jimmy Walker, Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau were tied at 67 (scores).

 


Golf faces many challenges

Is golf declining? Are more courses closing each year? Is the game too slow? How long does it take to play golf? Is golf adapting to the modern world?

There is no question that golf courses have gotten longer and tougher, with narrower fairways and faster greens. Virtually every course that has been renovated in the past 20 years has been lengthened. The reason: distance. It’s true that equipment and training are better, fairways are faster and clubfitting has improved, but the ball is key. 

 


20

Number of putts that Henrik Stenson used in compiling an 8-under 64 for the first-round lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Fla. Stenson birdied five consecutive holes, Nos. 9-13. He missed only one fairway and hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation. The round came one week after he made only one birdie in 36 holes and missed the cut at the Valspar Championship (scores).

 


Announced: By the U.S. Golf Association, that seven of its eight championships that will air on Fox Sports or FS1 will be broadcast commercial-free because of an expanded commitment from corporate partner Rolex. The U.S. Open will be the only tournament with traditional advertising, although the final hour will be presented without commercial interruption, the USGA said.

 




FROM THE INDUSTRY

PGA Golf Club’s Taplow Pub has been named “Best Pub” on Florida’s Treasure Coast by Indian River Magazine, the club in Port St. Lucie announced. Taplow Pub, named in honor of a business group at the former Wanamaker’s store in New York that sparked the birth of the PGA of America, serves breakfast, lunch and supper seven days a week.

 

Kapalua Golf’s Plantation Course will undergo renovations next year to the 27-hole site, to start after the PGA Tour’s annual Sentry Tournament of Champions. Work to the Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw design is scheduled to begin in February and be completed by November 2019. The work will include resurfacing the greens with TifEagle Bermudagrass, redoing the bunkers and regrassing the tees, fairways and roughs with Celebration Bermudagrass. Several new tees will be added for the TOC event.

 


CALENDAR
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.

Web.com Tour: Chitimacha Louisiana Open

Le Triomphe GC, Broussard, La.

March 23-25
Champions: Rapiscan Systems Classic

Fallen Oak, Biloxi, Miss.


      
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