From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Archive for July 2009

Anna Rawson’s looks won’t help her golf game

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OK, we’ve all seen the Anna Rawson piece on E:60 and have Googled ogled her numerous times when she’s passed by on the television. I’ll admit she’s got the looks to earn the LPGA some big bucks in the future. Shoot, she’s already earning a better living off the course modeling for various designers.

But if there’s one things that’s missing from that gorgeous face, it’s a solid golf game. During the E:60 interview, the LPGA’s VP of communications, David Higdon, was asked what Rawson needed to do to become the face of the LPGA. Higdon held his hands above his head like he was holding a trophy. Just like Anna Kournikova when she was playing on the WTA, Rawson needs to find a way to get inside the top 50 world rankings and win a tournament or two – at least.

She definitely didn’t go in the right directions this weekend at the Women’s British Open, shooting an opening round 82 to fall completely off the map. She followed that up with a 5-over 77 to finish at 15-over for the tournament. That just won’t do for the future face of the LPGA.
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Written by Jonathan Wall

07/31/2009 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Anna Rawson, LPGA

Tiger Woods quiets critics with 9-under 63

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So it looks like Tiger Woods took all the media bashing to heart. Either that or he’s just tired of sitting at the bottom of the leaderboard and toying with the rest of the field. Woods fired a 9-under 63 to move within two of the leader after two rounds. Considering he was T-95 to start Friday’s second round, I guess a jump up to third isn’t too bad.

The round included a stretch of five birdies and an eagle in his first seven holes, and for a while it really looked like his career-best round of 61 was in jeopardy. But Woods came back to earth on the 9th hole with a bogey before firing a bogey-free back-nine to finish at 10-under for the tournament.

To be totally honest, I’m not shocked to see Tiger lighting up a course that’s yielded two victories in the last seven years. I’m going to go out on a big limb here and make the prediction that we’ll see Mr. Woods hoisting the trophy on Sunday.

I know, that’s a bit of a stretch!

Written by Jonathan Wall

07/31/2009 at 6:42 pm

Stricker and Kelly try to save Milwaukee; Greenbrier in for Buick slot

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News, news, news. That’s all Tim Rosaforte is good for these days! And you know what? I couldn’t be happier. Rosaforte has some gems in his recent article on Golfdigest.com that are worth noting – most importantly, his view on the Milwaukee tour stop and the future of the Buick Open slot.

So let’s dive right in to the news and see where the tour might be headed next season.

The Greenbrier is being touted as a possible replacement for the Buick Open in Michigan. And while I’m all for getting new blood on tour, I just don’t have a warm feeling in my body thinking about the state not having a tour stop for the first time in 51 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

07/30/2009 at 8:39 pm

Posted in Buick Open, PGA Tour

PGA Championship will return to Valhalla in 2014

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It’s golf photos like the one in the post that make you realize how great the game of golf can be. Tiger Woods’ victory at the 2000 PGA Championship against is still considered to be one of the greatest finishes to a major championship in golf history.

His sudden death playoff with relative unknown, Bob May, was the stuff of legends. You had a David versus Goliath battle between two players who grew up playing on the same California Junior Golf circuit. Not only that, you had May matching Tiger shot-for-shot, as well as Tiger upping his game when he needed it most to dispose of the journeyman tour pro with some clutch putts that left many with their mouth agape.

Yes, the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla was one we’ll always remember. Now it looks like we’ll be back there soon enough for a possible repeat (we can only hope) of the duel in Kentucky. The PGA announced this morning that the course will be hosting the PGA Championship once again in 2014. The 2014 PGA will be the fifth major golf event at the course in the last 15 years (2 PGA’s, the 2004 and 2011 Senior PGA, as well as the Ryder Cup). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

07/30/2009 at 8:20 pm

Phil Mickelson set to return at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

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Well it looks like Phil Mickelson won’t be missing the PGA Championship after all. Word just came out within the last hour that the world’s second-ranked golfer will make his return to the PGA Tour at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Here’s the report via Bob Harig of ESPN.com:

Phil Mickelson will return to the PGA Tour next week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after taking time off to be with his family while his wife, Amy, and mother, Mary, battle breast cancer.

The PGA Tour announced Mickelson’s commitment to the tournament, played at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

Mickelson, 39, who has won twice this year, including the WGC-CA Championship at Doral, has not played since a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black last month.

You don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you how good this news really is for the game of golf. Sure, Tiger Woods is the draw at any golf tournament. But if there’s one player besides Tiger who brings out the masses, it would be Mickelson. While I wouldn’t expect fireworks and a Sunday showdown with Mr. Woods, his return next week means he’ll have one event under his belt when he tees it up at the PGA Championship the following week. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

07/28/2009 at 8:59 pm

General Motors says so long to Buick Invitational, professional golf

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No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you; this really is another story involving Buick and another PGA Tour event. Yesterday’s news of Buick’s departure from the list of PGA Tour sponsors started with the Buick Open in Michigan, before they announced earlier today that the Buick Invitational — probably their biggest tournament of the season — won’t be sponsored by the auto giant starting next year.

The San Diego Union-Tribune has the story covered:

It is very likely that the PGA Tour’s event at Torrey Pines in 2010 will not be called the Buick Invitational.

According to published reports, this week’s Buick Open will be the last in Michigan after the tournament’s 51-year run with General Motors. It is expected that new sponsors and venue for the Detroit-area event will be announced next week.

GM has sponsored San Diego’s tournament since 1992, but that doesn’t figure to continue now that the reorganized automaker has cut ties with the tournament closest to its heart and headquarters.

The tour has contracts with Buick to sponsor both tournaments through 2010.

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Written by Jonathan Wall

07/28/2009 at 8:29 pm

General Motors set to end relationship with Michigan tour stop; what next for Buick Open?

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It’s been a long, hard year for General Motors since the company filed for bankruptcy on June 2, 2009, thereby ending their run as one of the giants of the American auto industry. With the end of their reign came the closing of dozens of facilities and 20,000+ job losses. Needless to say, things have been pretty rough for GM.

Bankruptcy does a lot of things to a company; more importantly, it forces said company to look at their balance sheet and see what isn’t needed for the future. And while the PGA Tour was hoping GM would keep their long-standing relationship with the Tour, it looks like the relationship with at least one of their stops on the golf schedule is about to come to an end, as GM appears to be on the verge of opting out of their Buick Open sponsorship for next year.

We mentioned last week that GM was already considering their options for next year’s Michigan event. Now it looks like the wait-and-see game between GM and Tim Finchem will is over before it even began. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

07/27/2009 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Buick Open, PGA Tour