Volume Three Hundred Seventy-Two

The loudest hole in golf, the biggest crowds, and more stories about Tiger than his play this year deserves.

Hittin' the LinksWhat a great weekend of sports! You had the 25th Dubai Desert Classic with Tiger and Rory in the field and the Waste Management Phoenix Open with the loudest hole in golf. And then there was that football game.

Next week we get plenty of eye-candy with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. While it’s not exactly what I’d call a deep field (the player photos are oddly entertaining), it does have its marquee names: Mickelson, Snedeker, Day, and Furyk, to name a few. There will even be Daly and Duval sightings. What we don’t get is Bill Murray. The comedian reportedly will be on the set of a movie. Though it would be just like Murray to show up anyway.

But that’s next week, let’s hit the links for this week:

Hole #1: Stadler Wins on 72nd Hole
Kevin Stadler got his first PGA TOUR win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday. Despite a bulky putter and a double bogey early on the back nine, Stadler made par to Bubba Watson’s bogey on the final hole to claim the title. The victory means that Craig and Kevin will become the first father-son duo to play in the same Masters this coming April. The day wasn’t all joy for Stadler… He’s a die-hard Broncos fan. [Link]

Hole #2: Gallacher Defends in Dubai
Starting Sunday with a two-shot lead, Stephen Gallacher shot an opening four-over 39 then a four-under 33 to win his second Omega Dubai Desert Classic in a row. McIlroy faltered Sunday. Woods wasn’t good (again). In a cool move, tournament organizers asked Seve’s son Javier to play in his father’s place in the 18-hole past-champions tournament before the event. [Link]

Hole #3: 20-Year-Old Beats 16-Year-Old
Mi Hyang Lee fired a nine-under 63 in the final round of the New Zealand Women’s Open
to prevent Lydia Ko from defending her title. Ko finished second. [Link]

Hole #4: A New Record in Phoenix
The Waste Management Phoenix Open broke its own record for the largest attendance for a golf event on any tour. On Saturday, 189,722 were on hand, besting the mark set last year by over 10,000. [Link]

Hole #5: Speaking of Phoenix
Love it or hate it, the Phoenix Open makes an impression, a loud one. Here are eight things that make it one of the more memorable stops on the PGA TOUR. [Link]

Hole #6: No TW15. No Problem.
EA Sports has put the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series on indefinite hold, but a new golf game is launching this spring to attempt to fill the void. Though you won’t be able to play as a tour stars or use the same clubs you play with in real life, The Golf Club does come with a course creation tool that will allow gamers to design their own courses and share them with others. If the game play holds up, golfers might well prefer it to watching your avatar play golf wearing an astronaut’s helmet and basketball shorts. [Link]

Hole #7: Kid Upstages Woods and O’Meara
A six-year-old stole the show from a pair of golf pros with 16 majors between them at a clinic in Dubai on Friday. Woods joked about that the kid would be turning pro about the time he’d be joining the Champions Tour. [Link]

Hole #8: Woods’ Worst Start as a Pro?
The hand wringing from the golf media over Tiger’s season start hit overdrive this weekend. Woods did shoot 6-under (10 back of winner Stephen Gallacher) at this week’s Dubai Desert Classic, and played better on the weekend. Hey, maybe watching that kid at the clinic helped Tiger figure out his swing. [Link]

Hole #9: I try to shoot the course record every time I play
For most of us, that’s not a very realistic goal. But Jackson Collier is not the typical golfer you run into on the course. [Link]

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