FRIDAY  | MARCH 15, 2019
by Alex Miceli

Trouble seems to find Phil Mickelson more often than it does any other professional golfer, with the possible exception of Tiger Woods. With Mickelson, though, the issues carry greater significance than the salacious missteps of Woods in years past.

Mickelson has a history of skirting the legal lines.

 



by Adam Schupak

On Monday, Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy conducted a clinic at the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., for more than 100 youth from local chapters of The First Tee and PGA Junior League. Addressing the youngsters, Fleetwood told them how he has made four aces, but none on Tour before getting personal and opening up in a way which he perhaps wouldn't do with a roomful of reporters.

"Confidence is not a natural thing for me," he said. "There are plenty of days I don't feel well about how I'm playing.... My confidence begins to rise through an accumulation of a lot of things, a lot of practice, a lot of playing."

 


by Gary Van Sickle

I don’t have any quotes from the guy who made the first albatross – or double eagle, to those of you intent on ruining golf – in a major championship.

That’s because it was Young Tom Morris, in the 1870 British Open. Curiously, Young Tom didn’t make a 2. He made the rarer-than-Civil-War-gold albatross 3. The opening hole at Prestwick then was a par 6. (Which is good news. That means the only time I played it, I made par.) I am sure that Young Tom didn’t high-five or knuckle-bump his caddie. Something with his kilt? Probably not.

Thursday, I got to enjoy golf’s rarest moment thanks to video replay. Harris English holed his second shot from the fairway as nice as you please on the par-5 11th hole at TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course in the Players Championship.

 


GUEST ESSAY
by Jim and Ginny Kavanagh

We often have been asked by friends who never have volunteered at a golf event: “What do you get for volunteering? Do you get to play the course? Free meals? Discounts? Free entry?”

To those who would not offer an hour of their time without some sort of compensation: You don’t volunteer for what you can get. You volunteer for what you can give.

 


Don’t turn back clock with multiple sets of rules
Recently, there has been criticism from PGA Tour players Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka about the revised Rules of Golf promulgated by the USGA and the R&A. Koepka, the two-time defending U.S. Open champion, has gone so far as to suggest that the PGA Tour should have its own set of rules for the game’s most elite players, and some other Tour players apparently agree. After all, Koepka notes, other professional sports have their own rules, which differ among leagues and are different from those followed by amateurs.

Thankfully, Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has stepped forward in favor of a single set of rules for golf, noting that the new rules were drafted with input from the Tour and other bodies (“Monahan vows to mend golf’s fences,” March 14).

 


7

Number of strokes under par for first-round co-leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley at the PGA Tour’s Players Championship on Thursday. Fleetwood, 28, of England, and Bradley, 32, an American, shot 65 at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

 




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Billy Casper Golf, the owner-operator of more than 150 golf courses in 29 states, celebrated its 30th anniversary this week at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla. Peter Hill and Bob Morris, who founded the company with the late Billy Casper, welcomed the nearly 400 employees in attendance.

 

Desert Highlands will begin a $7 million renovation project on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at the club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Among the work to be done will be renovations to all bunkers, revamping the 13th hole, new irrigation and restoring cart paths. Nine holes will remain open during the work, which is scheduled to be finished in the summer.

 

The Branson, Mo., area is preparing for a big golf season that includes a new course, a variety of spring events and seasonal destination deals. Ozarks National, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, will debut this spring as a host to the Champions Tour’s Bass Pro Legends of Golf in late April. It will be the ninth course in the Branson area.

 

Course architect Gene Bates has been hired to renovate Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley, Idaho, ahead of the club’s 15th anniversary next year. In the announcement by Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, the club will undergo renovated and repositioned bunkers, re-grassed greens and expansion of the practice facility, among other improvements.

 

Ping released its top 100 club-fitters for 2018, the Phoenix-based manufacturer announced. John K. Solheim, Ping's president, said the club-fitters help grow the game by promoting the benefits of custom fitting to players who are new to the experience.

 


CALENDAR
March 14-17
European: Kenya Open

Karen CC, Nairobi, Kenya

PGA Tour: Players Championship

TPC Sawgrass (Stadium), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

March 15-17
Symetra: Florida’s Natural Charity Classic

Winter Haven (Fla.) CC


      
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