The Donald likes a tough golf course. That much was clear this week in Miami at Trump National Doral. J.B. Holmes’ amazing 62 notwithstanding, the pros were struggling to score and, like last year, taking a few shots at the course setup. In the end, only 11 players broke par for the week.
In addition to all the news from Doral, we also learned a few interesting updates to some of the stories noted in Volume 422 of HTL.
For instance, just hours after losing his lead in last Monday’s conclusion to the final round of the Honda Classic, Ian Poulter found some harsh, but cute, criticism at home. In a tweet Monday, he said: “I just got home and my 3-year-old Joshua just said ‘bad daddy, you hit it in the trees’; that’s funny. No more needed to be said. Sorry son.”
And the story about caddies being left in a potentially unsafe tent during a thunderstorm at the Honda Classic got a humorous reprise from Rex Hoggard. After last week’s black eye, I suspect the PGA TOUR will make sure that caddies are well taken care of at tournaments for the remainder of this season.
Let’s hit the links.
Hole #1: DJ Beats JB and Bubba
It was a long-hitter slugfest in the final round of the WGC Cadillac Championship on a very tough Doral course, and for awhile it didn’t look like anyone wanted to win. JB Holmes entered the final round with a five-stroke lead, but he couldn’t buy a birdie on Sunday to erase three bogeys. He finished in solo second at 8-under. At the turn, it looked like it would be Bubba Watson’s day after four birdies on the front, but he made three bogeys on the back and finished third. Dustin Johnson shot a solid 69 to get to 9-under and claim the title, his first since returning to the TOUR from a self imposed leave of absence to get his life in order. It seems to have worked. [Link]
Hole #2: Golf Loses Influential Architect
Noted golf architect Jay Morrish passed away this week at age 78. During his long career, he worked with Robert Trent Jones and Jack Nicklaus and later formed a successful partnership with Tom Weiskopf. [Link]
Hole #3: Elsewhere on Tour
Arnold Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, capped off the King’s birthday week by getting into a five-man playoff in the Puerto Rico Open. Alex Cejka won with a birdie on the first playoff hole. In Singapore, Inbee Park got in the way of Lydia Ko’s bid to win three straight weeks. Park (-15) took the HSBC Champions by two strokes over runner up Ko. And in South Africa, Trevor Fisher, Jr. won the Africa Open to notch his first European Tour victory.
Hole #4: Another Crash Landing on Golf Course
Harrison Ford crashed his vintage WWII plane on a California golf course on Friday. The actor was “battered, but ok,” according to his son, after his plane lost power forcing the emergency landing on a fairway. According to one account, the first responders were a group of doctors who were playing the course at the time of the crash. Perhaps Ford was trying to break his own record for the Kessel run. [Link]
Hole #5: The Boomerang Three Iron
The splash heard round the world… Doral managed to get under a lot of players’ skin in a way normally associated with U.S. Open courses. Rory McIlroy lost his cool for a moment on the eighth hole. After his ball found the water on his approach to the par five, his three iron soon followed. Then a scuba diver recovered it, and Donald Trump presented it back to Rory, who put it back int he bag, on the practice range prior to Sunday’s round. The rumor is that the club may wind up mounted in the clubhouse to commemorate the toss. [Link]
Hole #6: “The Lance Armstrong of Golf”
Monday, PGA journeyman pro Dan Olsen briefly claimed in a radio interview that Tiger Woods is currently serving a month-long suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Within minutes, the PGA TOUR and Tiger Woods had denied the claim, and Dan Olsen later retracted it and apologized. [Link]
Dan Olsen……what in the world are you thinking. #craycray
— Arron Oberholser (@ArronOberholser) March 2, 2015
Dan Olsen makes full retraction of radio statements and apologizes to everyone mentioned. http://t.co/Vx0jUtwgzj
— Michael Collins (@ESPNCaddie) March 2, 2015
Hole #7: Don’t Blame the Golfers
Here’s one from my neck of the woods… A semi-truck spilled golf course fertilizer on a Columbus (Ohio) highway, closing it for hours and snarling traffic. [Link]
Hole #8: “The Price Is Wrong, Bitch”
Adam Sandler and Bob Barker recreated their “Happy Gilmore” fight to promote a benefit for Autism programs. It has its moments. [Link]
Hole #9: Snow, Snow, Go Away
Spring is coming, even to the Northeast U.S., but will courses be ready for golfers? The amount of snow and, more importantly, the duration that it has covered greens in some parts of the country is causing worry for course superintendents. [Link]