Volume Three Hundred Seventy-Four

A major loss at a major venue and a past major winner finally wins again.

Hittin' the LinksThe winter weather continues to make news around the U.S., while in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, it seems like spring has arrived. If you are in the north (as we are), you are probably wishing for spring to arrive where you are. Well, fear not, the calendar tell us that spring is right around the corner, just a month to go.

Are your brackets filled out for match play yet? Play kicks off at Dove Mountain on Wednesday with the round of 64. But before we make our picks, let’s hit the links.

Hole #1: Pax Dooms Eisenhower Tree
Dwight Eisenhower tried to have it removed over 50 years ago, and failed. Last week an ice storm named “Pax” did in the Loblolly pine that for decades added difficulty to the drive on #17 at Augusta National. The tree was removed this weekend. Rumors of replacement trees are already circulating. [Link]

Hole #2: Bubba Finally Wins Again
Gas up the General Lee. It’s time for a victory lap. Bubba Watson shot 64-64 on the weekend and made up four shots on Sunday to clinch his first victory since the 2012 Masters. [Link]

Hole #3: Webb Takes Fifth Australian Open
Karrie Webb, who was DQ’d from the Australian Ladies Masters last week for signing an incorrect scorecard, bounced back this week at Victoria Golf Club to claim the Women’s Australian Open by a stroke. In case you were wondering, last week’s winner, Cheyenne Woods, finished a respectable T-23 at -4. [Link]

Hole #4: Triplett, Langer’s Nemesis?
Kirk Triplett won the ACE Group Classic by one stroke this weekend, beating Bernhard Langer down the stretch for the second time. So does that make him the Luke Skywalker to Langer’s Darth Vadar? [Link]

Hole #5: Nothing But Net, er, Hole
A 28-year-old Auburn fan drained a putt from way beyond the three-point arc at halftime of a Tigers basketball game to win a car (or more accurately, a $15,000 credit toward a car). Patrick Burch, who doesn’t golf and claims he doesn’t even play putt-putt well, made a 95-foot putt across the hardwood into a hole in a sponsor sign. No one had ever made the putt before, and Burch had never been to a game before. [Link]

Hole #6: Westwood Leaves Foley
A Valentine’s Day break up? Lee Westwood has decided to find a new swing coach and leave the Sean Foley camp. “I just wanted to work on swing positions and stuff like that a bit more,” Westwood said at Riviera. “I didn’t feel like Sean coached like that, so it didn’t really fit what I wanted to do.” [Link]

Hole #7: Heidi’s Hooked on Golf
In a move somewhat reminiscent of the famous Heidi Game from 1967, a radio station in San Francisco cut away from Saturday’s riveting, overtime U.S. win over Russia in ice hockey for the “Hooked on Golf” show, causing a number of listeners to vent their dismay on Twitter. Hmm… We don’t see the problem. [Link]

Hole #8: Meanwhile, in Africa
Thomas Aiken dropped a 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Oliver Fisher and win the Africa Open title. [Link]

Hole #9: Watson Chooses Floyd
Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson announced last week his selection of Raymond Floyd as vice captain. The pair teamed in 1993 as captain (Watson) and player (Floyd) on the winning side (Watson has never been involved in a losing Ryder Cup effort). Floyd also captained the U.S. side to a halve in 1989 and was an assistant to Paul Azinger in 2008, the most recent U.S. win. [Link]

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