THURSDAY  | MARCH 28, 2019
by Gary Van Sickle

Our long national golfing nightmare is over. After nearly eight major-less months, the Masters Tournament is here. Almost.

March has been a great undercard. It featured Francesco Molinari’s charge at Bay Hill, Rory McIlroy’s survival test at TPC Sawgrass and Paul Casey’s successful defense of his Valspar Championship title. Those were good shows.

Now it’s time for azaleas, Magnolia Lane, Amen Corner, pre-recorded bird chirping, artificially colored ponds, the cathedral of pines and all the other things that create the aura of the Masters.

 



by Mike Purkey

I found the secret of golf. And I wouldn’t have uncovered it if it weren’t for the cold, rainy winter we’ve had in Charlotte, N.C., where I live, where there was almost no golf to be played.

I’m a golf junkie, no question. I soak up nearly all things golf – except “Morning Drive.” But there’s only so much golf on television, and there’s a limit to the number of college basketball games that I can watch after the first weekend of March Madness. I absolutely refused to watch Indiana vs. Wichita State in the NIT.

 


Flash! Bob Jones (no, not that one) rips Masters
Anymore, “Masters” means “masters of self-promotion” (“Augusta event won’t do much for women,” March 27).

Augusta National Golf Club took a tournament that was the Bobby Jones and Friends Invitational, not the championship of anything – with a weak field, as Martin Kaufmann notes – and turned it into The One Everybody Wants to Win. You know, the green jackets, lifetime gloating rights. If the only major championship you’ve ever won is the Masters, you’re still on the outside looking in, in my opinion.

 


10

Number of matches that made it to the 18th hole, out of 32 played, during the first day of the WGC Match Play on Wednesday at Austin (Texas) Country Club. The biggest upsets of the day, based on the seedings: No. 50 Lucas Bjerregaard defeated No. 5 Justin Thomas, 3 and 2; No. 57 Kevin Na edged No. 15 Bubba Watson, 1 up; and No. 52 Jim Furyk beat No. 12 Jason Day, 2 up.

 


Announced: By Augusta National Golf Club officials, at a news conference Wednesday in New York, that four iconic women’s golfers – Nancy Lopez, Lorena Ochoa, Se Ri Pak and Annika Sorenstam – will attend the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur next week. Club officials also unveiled the event’s trophy, a sterling silver bowl designed by Tiffany & Co.

 


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RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Hawk & Rude: Masters memories
Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude kick off their run-up to Masters week by reliving three of the best tournaments that they covered at Augusta National: 2004, 1998 and 1997.


The Grill Room with Bob & Jay
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. preview this week's WGC Match Play and take a look at the matchups at Austin (Texas) Country Club. Feature interviews include Texas legend Ben Crenshaw and Dale Morgan, the head pro at Austin Country Club. Crenshaw and Morgan also pay tribute to Tinsley Penick, who died recently and was the son of the late instructor Harvey Penick.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

Sean Cain has been named director at Reynolds Kingdom of Golf, the instruction facility located at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Ga. Cain joined Reynolds last year as lead instructor. He will continue teaching and be joined on staff by Blake Adams, a former PGA Tour player, and Taylor Crosby.

 

Seth Henrich has been appointed director of golf operations at World Golf Village Resort in St. Augustine, Fla. The site, managed by Troon’s Honours Golf Division, is home to two golf courses: King & Bear and Slammer & Squire.

 

The Annika Foundation will hold its next “Share My Passion” girls golf clinic on May 5 at The Woodlands (Texas) Country Club. Girls ages 6-12 who reside in the Southern Texas PGA Section are invited to write Annika Sorenstam about why they love golf and why other girls should learn to play. Sorenstam and the committee that oversees her charitable organization will select the 40 most-compelling notes and invite the authors to a clinic during the final round of the Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational.

 

Troon president Tim Schantz will assume duties of chief executive officer on April 1 as company founder Dana Garmany becomes executive chairman, the management company announced. Schantz has been with Troon since 1998 and has served as company president since 2017. Garmany founded Troon in 1990.

 

Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley, Idaho, will open for play April 12, the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel announced. To commemorate its 15th anniversary season, the club announced a tier of green fees starting at $79. The club also offered an “Early Bird Stay-and-Play Package” starting at $223, through May 23.

 

Billy Casper Golf, a course owner-operator, announced winners of the company’s annual Buffy Awards during its recent 30th-anniversary celebration in Kissimmee, Fla. The awards honored BCG’s top general manager, superintendent, facility and other categories among operators at the company’s 150 golf courses, country clubs and resorts in 29 states.

 

Golftec has opened a retail center on Long Island, company officials announced. The 2,400-square-foot store, at 89 Westbury Ave. in Carle Place, N.Y., will provide instruction and club-fitting services. The store was relocated from 233 Voice Road.

 


CALENDAR
March 27-31
PGA/European: WGC Dell Technologies Match Play

Austin (Texas) CC

March 28-31
Web.com: Savannah Golf Championship

Landings Club (Deer Creek GC), Savannah, Ga.

LPGA: Kia Classic

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort (Aviara GC), Carlsbad, Calif.

PGA Tour: Corales Puntacana Resort Championship

Corales GC, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

European: Hero Indian Open

DLF G&CC, New Delhi

March 29-31
Champions: Rapiscan Systems Classic

Fallen Oak, Biloxi, Miss.

Symetra: IOA Championship

Morongo GC at Tukwet Canyon, Beaumont, Calif.


      
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