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Ricky Tiki Tantrum

Dec. 13, 2004     By     Comments (2)

ricky_barnes.jpgFormer University of Arizona star and 2002 US Amateur champion Ricky Barnes decided that, when the going gets tough, the best course of action is to lay down on the course and throw a tantrum. Since that would be only slightly more over the top, Ricky opted for the ever-popular "Bruce Banner" school of golf.

During last week's Australian Masters at Huntingdale Golf Club, Melbourne, Ricky entered the final round three shots off the lead. After watching a tee shot fly a little too far off-target, Ricky decided to actually hit a fairway by smashing his club into the ground. On the 17th, with a repeat performance off the tee, Ricky decided that golf was too difficult a sport, and took up a new sport: Hit the Earth with Golf Clubs.

We'll let you know if it catches on.

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Host with the Most: Tiger On Target

Dec. 12, 2004     By     Comments (3)

Tiger in ActionTiger Woods is the host with the most, and has captured victory in his own tournament, the Tiger Target World Challenge. Missing only two fairways and one green en-route to a closing 5-under 66, Woods capped off his year with his second win in a row. Woods' play was marvelous, and he knew it, saying "Every shot I wanted to hit, I hit."

Padraig Harringon shot a 31 on the front at Sherwood Country Club to get into contention, but faltered on the last three. He bogeyed 16, birdied 17, and then bogeyed 18 after an errant drive. He earned $750,000 for finishing second.

Colin Montgomery, starting the day with a two-stroke lead and having never won a stroke-play tournament in the US, bogeyed the first hole and shot 71 to finish at 13-under 271 with his playing partner, Jay Haas.

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Qualifying School Joy and Agony

Dec. 7, 2004     By     Comments (0)

oneal_qschool.jpgIt happens every year - over 150 golfers get together for six rounds of golf, fighting for a chance. A chance to become a PGA rookie, a chance to rekindle your career, or a chance to join your Dad on the Tour.

For 35 players this year, their dreams were answered when they earned their Tour Cards at the PGA's Qualifying School at PGA West. Leading the pack of players was Ben Davis, the Brit who won with a six-round 415 and ending one shot better than fellow Tour player Rob Rashell.

Bill Haas, son of Jay Haas, was looking to join his dad on the Tour and looking to convert more than one of the eight birdie opportunities he had on the back nine at the Stadium course. He did neither with a final-round 71, missing his card by two strokes.

Joy, agony and Tim O'Neal.

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Harrington, Howell to Hong Kong

Nov. 30, 2004     By     Comments (1)

After two successful 2004 seasons, Padraig Harrington and David Howell turn to the Omega Hong Kong Open close out their 2004 golf seasons.

Harrington looks to defend his 2003 victory in Hong Kong and make a start at building the foundation for a season better than last year's second-place European Tour season. After deciding to play on the PGA Tour in 2005, Harrington hopes to defend his first career title with a win in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Ryder Cup star David Howell will be joining Padraig in Hong Kong. Howell is coming off an excellent showing at the Ryder Cup, but will be joined at the event by fellow Ryder Cup teammates Harrington and Miguel Angel Jimenez, as well as the likes of Nick Faldo and Jose Maria Olazabal.

The Omega Hong Kong Open starts Thursday at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling, Hong Kong.

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Mickelson Fires 59, Wins Grand Slam of Golf

Nov. 24, 2004     By     Comments (6)

Phil Mickelson IronPhil Mickelson, Masters winner, has joined the '59' club and won the 2004 PGA Grand Slam of Golf. The event, which features each of the year's major winners, was played over two rounds at Hawaii's Poipu Bay Golf Course - no easy challenge at par 72, 7,081 yards.

Phil's round features birdies at 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 18 and an eagle at 6. He parred the other six holes. Phil had a six-footer for 58 on the last, but slid the putt just past the hole. He had a tap-in for the 59.

Members of the ultra-presigious "59 Club" now include the following

Al Geiberger           1977
Chip Beck              1991
David Duval            1999
Annika Sorenstam       2001
Phil Mickelson         2004

Phil ended up at -17. Vijay Singh finished second at -12, birdieing the last to secure that spot, while Retief Goosen finished at -11. Todd Hamilton finished with a 75 to end up at +1 for the tournament.

Is Phil's switch to Callaway finally starting to pay off!!!

P.S. A day later, ESPN and The Golf Channel provide coverage.

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Singh and Renwick on the Rocks

Nov. 14, 2004     By     Comments (2)

Vijay Singh and caddy Dave Renwick have had a good year - Renwick has been with Singh for 7 of his 9 victories. However, reports are running rampant that there is a growing tension between the two.

Back at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Renwick was replaced after two rounds due to a supposed hip injury by Vijay's fitness trainer, Joey Diovisalvi, who caddied for the other two Singh victories. Yet Renwick was spotted at the course on Saturday morning. Some speculation suggests that the two had a heated difference of opinion on the practice range at East Lake after Singh carded a 3-over 73 in the second round. "Vijay told Dave he was going to bench him for Saturday, and Dave said, 'In that case, you can bench me permanently'," it was alleged by an unnamed source.

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Tiger Back to #2

Nov. 9, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Tiger and VijayTiger Woods is once again the #2 ranked player in the world. Though he may have given up a 54-hole lead in the Tour Championship, his second-place finish was enough to vault him back to second in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Vijay Singh remains perched in first, but Tiger's move drops Ernie Els back to third and Retief Goosen's win vaults him to fourth, pushing the slumping Phil Mickelson down a notch to fifth. Mike Weir and Padraig Harrington climbed to sixth and seventh while Davis Love III, who withdrew from the Tour Championship with a shoulder injury, fell to eight. Sergio Garcia and Stewart Cink round out the top ten.

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Virginia Legend Chandler Harper Passes at 90

Nov. 9, 2004     By     Comments (0)

Chandler Harper wins the 1955 ColonialChandler "Old Bones" Harper, PGA Championship winner in 1950 and PGA Hall of Fame inductee in 1968 - died Monday in Portsmouth, Virginia from complications due to pneumonia.

Known for his wiry, thin frame, Chandler competed in the first nationally televised golf tournament, the 1953 ("Tam O'Shanter") World Championship of Golf. Chandler held a one-shot lead over Lew Worsham when Worsham holed a 115-yard wedge shot for eagle and a one-shot victory.

With eleven career PGA Tour victories, Harper retired after participating in the 1955 Ryder Cup matches. After retiring, Harper was instrumental in the design and construction of the Bide-A-Wee Golf Course in Portsmouth, Virginia, which hosted the Virginia State Open four times.

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Harrington to Play PGA Tour in 2005

Nov. 8, 2004     By     Comments (1)

padraig_harrington.jpgEarning enough money in 2004 to put him in the top-30 on the PGA Tour money list, Padraig Harrington will finally make it official. He plans to join the Tour next year and intends to play 16 to 18 tournaments in a bid to earn his first PGA Tour victory.

"I've won plenty of events, but there's still that tag when I come here that I haven't won here," he said. "The only way to get rid of it is to win here."

Harrington had initially planned on joining the PGA Tour in 2004, but had to hold off after the birth of his son, Patrick. He says that the time is now right. However, he will keep his residence in Dublin, Ireland knowing there are plenty of flights available to get him back and forth.

In addition to the PGA Tour, Harrington also plans to remain on the European tour. This will bring his total tournaments during the year to around 30 or so.

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