MONDAY  | FEBRUARY 4, 2019
by Ron Kroichick

Nine years ago, Dustin Johnson validated his arrival as a rising star on the PGA Tour by winning at Pebble Beach. He shot 64 in the first and third rounds, then held on to beat David Duval and J.B. Holmes by one stroke.

Nine years ago, Johnson also offered a window into the weaknesses in his game by losing at Pebble Beach. He imploded with a final-round 82, squandering a three-shot lead and watching Graeme McDowell hoist the trophy.

 


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by Alex Miceli

American Dustin Johnson struggled to find his game in Sunday’s final round of the inaugural Saudi International, but his 3-under 67 still proved to be good enough to hold off China’s Haotong Li and win.

The victory, the 20th of Johnson’s career and first on the European Tour, could be attributed mostly to perseverance and patience.

 


by Juan Luis Guillen

In the chapters leading to Sergio Garcia’s extraordinary disqualification at the first European Tour event in Saudi Arabia, several Spanish characters – the caddies who called rules officials to complain about damage to greens, the official who photographed the damage and the players who reprimanded the fiery former Masters champion – played key roles.

“Sometimes you lose your head and later you realize what you have done,” Garcia said during an interview in Spanish a couple of hours after being disqualified for purposely damaging greens during Saturday’s third round of the Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, a new course by the Red Sea.

 


Golf can do better than a tour event in Saudi Arabia
I enjoy reading Morning Read’s Alex Miceli, and I typically find Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee to be insufferable. But I have to join the chorus of readers who come down against Miceli’s commentary in which he extols the virtues of the European Tour stop in Saudi Arabia (“Chamblee, Saudi critics miss big picture,” Jan. 31); (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 1).

The idea that this event is important for growing the future of golf is laughable. Where and how exactly does this event grow the future of the game? It is a political photo op for the Saudi royals and easy money for the top players picking up appearance fees.

 


Died: Alice Dye, who was known as the first lady of golf architecture and the longtime business partner to her husband, Pete Dye, on Feb. 1 in Gulf Stream, Fla. She was 91.

 


3

Number of strokes over par in Sunday’s final round for American Rickie Fowler, who nonetheless won the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Fowler, 30, shot 74 for a 17-under 267 total and two-stroke victory, his fifth on Tour and first in nearly two years.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: The Swing is the thing
In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts relive their days of covering West Coast Swing events.


The Grill Room Golf Show
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss Justin Rose, who validated his No. 1 world ranking with a victory in the recent Farmers Insurance Open. Plus, Bubka interviews golf instructor Hank Haney.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Sailfish Point, an oceanfront community on Hutchinson Island, Fla., reported $36 million in home sales during the year-to-date fiscal year. The 532-acre development features 520 residences – beachfront estates, villas, condos and townhomes – and access to the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River.

 

Poplar Grove Golf Club in Amherst, Va., has named Jacob Mast as its head professional, the club announced. Mast had been a teaching professional and then head professional at Poplar Forest Golf Club in Forest, Va. Poplar Grove, a Sam Snead design, is undergoing a $3 million renovation, with the first phase set to finish by early spring.

 


CALENDAR
February 7-10
LPGA: Vic Open

13th Beach Golf Links, Barwon Heads, Australia

Web.com: Panama Championship

Panama GC, Panama City, Panama

PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links

European: Vic Open

13th Beach Golf Links, Barwon Heads, Australia

February 8-10
Champions: Oasis Championship

Old Course at Broken Sound Club, Boca Raton, Fla.


      
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