Accenture/WGC World Match Play Preview

Could the World Match Play signal a changing of the guard? I for one think so. Look for Phil Mickelson to dominate this week.

Mickelson in BlackVijay Singh and Tiger Woods are neck-and-mockneck atop the World Golf Ranking, with Singh holding a slight lead. Could this be the place for the two top guns to have a 36-hole shootout? Don’t get your hopes up for a No. 1-2 showdown at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA this week. First of all, the 64-player bracket is every bit as unpredictable as NCAA hoops in March Madness mode. Second of all, a third player is going to throw his visor into the “Who’s No. 1?” debate. He won’t have the world ranking points to officially claim the top spot, but at week’s end, look for Phil Mickelson to stand tall above Vijay, Tiger and the rest of the world for the all-important title of Best Golfer in the World right now.

Read on for details on how Phil is going to take over the world, as well as predictions for every single match scheduled for soggy La Costa at this week’s WGC/Accenture Match Play Championship.

Drug Testing in the PGA Tour? Not Likely

As performance enhacing drugs garner attention on the diamond, is there a reason for concern on the links as well?

pga_tour_logo.jpgIf you’ve been anywhere within range of televisions, radios, newspapers, or the Internet over the last couple of weeks, you have undoubtedly heard something about the steroid controversy gripping baseball as it heads into spring training. For the first time in its history, baseball will have mandatory testing for performance-enhancing drugs following a precedent set by the NFL and the NBA years ago. And while the controversy has swirled on the diamond, there are those that might wonder, should testing for performance enhancing drugs be done on in professional golf as well?

Scott Shines in Playoff

Adam Scott beat Chad Campbell in a playoff to win the Nissan Open, which was called after two rounds due to rain.

adam_scott_nissan_open.jpgDay after day of heavy rain in the Los Angeles area left the Nissan Open very open ended. Yesterday no one seemed to know for sure whether the tournament would be called after two rounds, or whether a third round would be played on Monday. However, two additional inches of rainfall last night made the decision to call the tournament an easy choice. The final leaderboard showed two leaders: Adam Scott and Chad Campbell tied at 9-under par. Thankfully, the rain eased up enough today to allow a playoff between Scott and Campbell and crown a winner. The playoff was decided on the first hole, when Scott sunk a 4-foot putt for par on the 18th green to cash in on an unofficial victory on the PGA Tour.

Long Bunker Shot? Chip!

Instead of whaling away at a 40-yard bunker shot, try a far easier chip. You’ll eliminate the home run and get close to the pin, safely.

The 30- to 40-yard bunker shot is one of the most dreadful in golf. Hit fat and you’re facing a long putt or perhaps another bunker shot. Hit it thin and you’re 50 yards past the pin in goodness knows what kind of lie. Long bunker shots require a full, powerful swing and the room for error is small.

Instead of risking a fat plopper or a thin home run, try chipping instead. We’ve talked about chipping from wet sand before, and the long chip is not very different.

Manic Monday at the Nissan? Or Tuesday…

The scenarios are many, and the Nissan Open may not be over until Tuesday! A round two recap – yes, on Sunday – follows.

Adam Scott NissanPlayers finally finished the second round of the Nissan Open and tournament officials are going to attempt to get a third round in on Monday, but the forecast isn’t promising.

Adam Scott took advantage of the weather and fired a 5-under 66 to vault him into a tie for the 36-hole lead. Should the tournament end, Scott and Chad Campbell, who completed his second round on Friday and hasn’t hit a shot since, would play off late Monday for the $836,000 first-place check. The win, unfortunately, would be unofficial. Tour officials still hope that 54 holes can be played – they have 12 hours of daylight and a field of 76 golfers after the cut – to make the tournament official.

The iPod: My Key to Breaking 80?

Can an iPod be the key to breaking 80? Perhaps…

ipod_mini.jpgAfter receiving a bright pink iPod for the holidays this year, I was unable to decide how it could enhance my life. “Just another electronic toy,” I said to myself, kind of like my digicam or my new picture-taking LG cell phone. It stayed in the box for almost a week before I attached it to my iMac and diligently began to load it with several hundred songs.

Because of their intuitive interface and small size, iPod minis and iPod shuffles are easy to use while exercising. When listening to my iPod over watching the news, I seem to have more stamina. With my favorite tunes playing in my ears, I remain on the elliptical trainer 15 minutes longer and am not as tired when I’m through. I stand up straighter, pulling my shoulders back confidently while strutting my stuff through the weight room. I now look forward to exercising, as long as my iPod is sufficiently charged.

Of course, taking my iPod to the gym is an obvious use. But I wondered: could it also help me improve my golf game?

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head… Saturday at the Nissan Washed Out

Nobody hit a single shot on Saturday at the Nissan Open and the PGA Tour may be looking at its first 36-hole event in over eight years.

Rain at RivieraThe rain kept coming. So much so that the Nissan Open may become the first 36-hole event in nearly nine years on the PGA Tour. PGA Tour tournament director Mark Russel said “Our main goal is to get 36 holes in. We’re at the mercy of the elements, and right now it has us on the ground.”

The Nissan Open may need to catch a break just to finish 36, as rain is forecast for Sunday and Monday. The $7.5 million Match Play Championship, a World Golf Championship event, begins Wednesday in La Costa, CA. Last year’s Match Play Championship was the site of the last PGA Tour rainout when the second round was cancelled.

Maxfli BlackMAX: The Newest Challenger?

Just how good is Maxfli’s BlackMAX ball? Is it good enough to knock-off the king of golf balls – Titleist’s Pro V1?

Black MAXIn 2001, Titliest Introduced the Pro V1 line of golf balls which quickly became the most played ball on the PGA Tour due to their low spin off the driver and high spin around the greens. Titleist is the number one ball of choice on every professional golf tour and perennially leads in number of wins. Even players like Mike Weir, Sergio Garcia, and Vijay Singh who have signed equipment contracts with other companies choose to play Titleist golf balls. However, the recent introduction of Bridgestone’s B330, and the new HX Tour from Callaway, which has been earning notoriety behind a hot Phil Mickelson, has proved that there is still room for competitors in the high-end golf ball market.

Earlier this week, we introduced you to Maxfli’s BlackMAX golf ball, the newest entry into the high-end golf ball market. Is the BlackMAX good enough to compete? As promised, we’ve played this ball on course and experimented on the launch monitor, here’s what we found.

Nissan Open: Friday Recap

The second round of the Nissan Open was more like half a round, and first-round leader Brian Davis didn’t even get to tee off.

Nissan OpenPlay in the second round of the Nissan Open was pushed back four hours due to rain and eventually suspended, as many players – including first-round leader Brian Davis – didn’t even get a chance to tee off.

Chad Campbell teed off, though, and nearly holed out two shots en route to a 6-under 65 that catapulted him into a three-shot lead over Robert Allenby. Davis was about to tee off on ten when the siren signaling the end of play due to darkness sounded, ending his round before it had even begun.