THURSDAY  | FEBRUARY 28, 2019
by Adam Schupak

The Brooks Koepka Unplugged Tour continued this week at the Honda Classic. After calling out Sergio Garcia for "acting like a child" when he damaged greens in Saudi Arabia and then expressing his frustration with slow players, Koepka said Wednesday in his pre-tournament news conference that we're “getting the real me now.”

“I think before, I was just trying to be politically correct and not stir any bubbles and just kind of go on with things and be unnoticed,” Koepka said. “I feel like I actually do have a voice, and it will be heard, and I can do that now, where when you’ve only won once on the PGA Tour, you can't really say the things you want to say. You haven’t established yourself; you haven't put yourself out there.”

 


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by Len Ziehm

The field for today’s start of the Honda Classic isn’t as good as usual, no doubt about it. Only three of the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking are here.

Clearly this $6.8 million event that has roots on the PGA Tour going back to 1972, when it was known as the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic, is a victim of the new scheduling by the circuit. Maybe four straight weeks of tournaments in Florida in March wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Still, all is not lost for the Honda Classic, an event that has been played under its current title since 1984 and been held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Champion Course at PGA National Resort since 2007.

 


Fans worship mythology linked to Woods
I attended two tournaments last year that Tiger Woods played. At both of them, the crush of spectators around him was intense, and other players were going around the course with nary a follower. TV coverage is far more balanced than the live experience.

What fans are reacting to is not Tiger Woods the man, but the mythology, embedded in the human psyche since early times, of a fallen god who is attempting to regain divinity. All superhero movies revolve around a god-like figure who struggles against a (temporarily) greater power, eventually overcoming mortality to regain his former god-like invincibility.

 


1

Number of players who successfully defended his title at the Honda Classic. Jack Nicklaus won in 1977 and ’78 at what was known as the Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic and played at Inverrary Country Club’s East Course in Lauderhill, Fla.

 


Expressed: By Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, “significant concern” about how the United Kingdom’s proposed exit from the Europe Union will affect the British Open this summer at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. U.K. lawmakers face a March 29 deadline to extricate Britain from the continent’s economic bloc.

 


>> Coming Friday: Master club tinkerer Barney Adams is back at it again with a new company, Breakthrough Golf Technology, which manufactures a stabilizing shaft for putters.  

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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Slow play, D.J. and . . . shorts?
Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude take on a variety of subjects, including golf’s most pervasive problem: pace of play.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

French Lick (Ind.) Resort offered its Donald Ross Experience and Hall of Fame packages for booking in 2019, officials announced. Rates start at $334 and $559, respectively, per person, double occupancy, and include accommodations at the resort’s French Lick Springs or West Baden Springs hotels.

 

In its 22nd year, International Golf Travel Market has relaunched its business with an updated brand image and website, plus a new organizing team from Reed Travel Exhibitions. IGTM expects more than 500 golf-tourism suppliers and hundreds of buyers from 65-plus countries at its next event, Oct. 14-17 in Marrakech, Morocco.

 

NBC Sports launched Golf Pick ’Em, a free game available on the NBC Sports Predictor games app. The game will feature two weekly contests, with cash prizes and a $100,000 season-ending grand prize.

 

Cliff Drysdale Tennis has been selected to manage tennis operations at Sand Valley in Rome, Wis. Sand Valley is home to three golf courses: Sand Valley, Mammoth Dunes and The Sandbox. The tennis facility features 15 grass courts.

 


CALENDAR
February 28 - March 3
PGA Tour: Honda Classic

PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

LPGA: HSBC Women’s World Championship

Sentosa GC (New Tanjong Course), Singapore

European: Oman Open

Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, Oman

March 1-3
Champions: Cologuard Classic

Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National (Catalina), Tucson, Ariz.


      
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