MONDAY  | APRIL 2, 2018
by Steve Elling

The nostalgic feeling that envelopes fans as they saunter onto the manicured lawns of Augusta National Golf Club is as carefully cultivated as the course itself.

There are no corporate tents, logos or signs in view. Concession prices seem frozen in the 1990s. Scoreboards are updated by hand. Ticket holders are searched at the gates to prohibit potentially disruptive cellphones.

 



by Alex Miceli

Should the Masters Tournament be one of golf’s four major championships?

Eight-seven players, the size of this week’s field, does not usually make for a major championship, unless a green jacket and Augusta National Golf Club, the best tournament course in the world, are involved.

 


by Alex Miceli

The junior golfers at the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship were not the only competitors who helped provide an early start to Masters week.

For the past five years, the DCP finals have been held at Augusta National Golf Club on the Sunday before the Masters. Four miles away, another significant event has highlighted some emerging amateur golf talent.

 


Don’t forget Noren for European team

I read with interest the timely warning from Mike Purkey to his American compatriots that a European revival is a distinct possibility at the 2018 Ryder Cup (“Europeans head to Augusta on a roll,” March 30).

 


1

Number of stroke-play tournament victories for Ian Poulter in the U.S. after the Englishman, renowned for his match-play prowess, won the Houston Open in a sudden-death playoff against Beau Hossler on Sunday and grab the final qualifying spot for this week’s Masters. Poulter sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole, the par-4 18th at Golf Club of Houston’s Tournament Course, to shoot 5-under 67 and tie Hossler (67) at 19-under 269. Poulter won with a par on the first playoff hole, No. 18, after Hossler found three hazards – fairway bunker, greenside bunker and greenside lateral-water hazard – en route to a triple bogey. Poulter, 42, a 10-time winner on the European Tour, rallied from a 1-over 73 in the opening round. American Jordan Spieth (66) and Argentine Emiliano Grillo (68) tied for third at 16-under 272. Poulter had won twice on the PGA Tour: the 2010 WGC Match Play and the 2012 HSBC Champions (scores).

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

The Grill Room Golf Show powered by Vertical Groove Golf

Bubba Watson shined with his golf vision and creativity in winning the recent WGC Match Play in Austin, Texas. Watson talks about his victory, and Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss the event. Steve Timms, the tournament director of the Houston Open, previews this week’s tournament and the recovery efforts after last year’s Hurricane Harvey struck southeast Texas. The Vertical Groove Hotline features comments from Alex Miceli, Morning Read’s founder and publisher and, in the final segment, an interview with broadcaster Jim Nantz.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Ping has released the clothing that Louis Oosthuizen will wear at this week’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Oosthuizen will play in a variety of polos and pullovers, including half-zip and sweater styles, from Ping’s spring/summer collection.

 

Ahead headwear announced the release of its Jack Nicklaus Majors Collection. The new line features four caps created as a tribute to Nicklaus, the game’s winningest major champion.

 

EGull has launched its eGull Pay Sweepstake, with the prize being a trip for two to the Sept. 29-30 weekend at the Ryder Cup in France. No purchase is necessary with the company, which developed the eGull Pay App that allows golfers to pay by the hole.

 


CALENDAR
April 5-8
PGA Tour: Masters Tournament

Augusta (Ga.) National GC

April 6-8
Symetra Tour: IOA Championship

Beaumont, Calif.

April 11-14
LPGA: Lotte Championship

Ko Olina GC, Kapolei, Hawaii

April 12-15
PGA Tour: RBC Heritage

Harbour Town GL, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

European Tour: Spanish Open

National Golf Center, Madrid

April 13-15
Champions: Mitsubishi Electric Classic

TPC Sugarloaf, Duluth, Ga.

Men’s amateur: Terra Cotta Invitational

Naples (Fla.) National GC


      
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