With the Super Bowl being at the top of list for most sports fans around the world, I might remind you that there is some great golf on the schedule for the weekend as well. Not only do we have a huge Rory McIlroy/Tiger Woods matchup building in Dubai, we also have one of the more exciting events on the PGA Tour this week in Phoenix. Stick around, it should be a great week for golf around the world.
The Omega Dubai Desert Classic actually starts on Wednesday night on the Golf Channel at 9:00PM Eastern, but will be available on Thursday as a tape-delay in case you miss it. This is the 25th anniversary of the final stop for the “Desert Swing” on the European Tour, and not only will we have a full field of World Class players, we have Tiger and Rory. Need I say more?
We haven’t seen Rory since he finished in a tie with Phil Mickelson for second place at Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago, but the youngster from Northern Ireland looks confident, and ready to play. Tiger comes off his worst performance on American Soil after he carded a 79 on Saturday at the Torrey Pines South Course where he missed the secondary cut.
Speaking of Phil Mickelson, it appears Phil hurt his back in Abu Dhabi, and was forced to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open Friday night after making the 36-hole cut. The five-time major champion hopes to be ready when they tee it up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday morning. I sure hope so, because he is the defending champion, and will be seeking his fourth win in this event.
After all, the WMPO would not be the same if the three-time winner of the event weren’t there to defend. The field is strong, but since the PGA Tour has put a stop to the Caddie Races at the par 3 16th hole, the golfing world just wouldn’t be right if Phil Mickelson has to withdraw.
The LPGA got it’s season underway last week at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. After playing only 12 holes during the Carribean Hurricane season last year, the LPGA decided to start the season at the Paradise Golf Course in the Bahamas.
Jessica Korda outlasted a very strong field of LPGA stars, and beat the number three ranked Stacy Lewis by one stroke in a finish that was exciting to say the least. The LPGA takes this week off, and will resume at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open on February 13th. We should see the return of the Rolex number one player, Inbee Park, and the number two ranked Suzann Pettersen.
Sergio Garcia beat Mikko Ilonen from Finland in a three-hole playoff at the Qatar Masters which wrapped up on Saturday afternoon for his first victory in the new season. Garcia made a great sand-save on the first playoff hole which kept him in the match until Ilonen made the same mistake on the third hole.
This was the second consecutive win for Spain in as many weeks. Pablo Larrazabal won in Abu Dhabi three weeks ago.
The Farmers Insurance Open ended with Scott Stallings making a birdie at the 18th hole on Sunday to beat seven other golfers all waiting for a playoff at the Torrey Pines South Course, that never came.
The Torrey Pines South Course turned into a monster on Saturday, and produced US Open type results. The leaders score dropped from -10 under par to -8 under par for Sunday’s finale. The difficult layout produced a log jam at the top of the leaderboard, and a very unpredictable result.
So if you are a golf fan, you need to pull a NASCAR type weekend. Get in the Laz-Y-Boy, buckle yourself in, and tune into some great golf. The Phoenix Open is one of the more popular events on the PGA Tour, and the action at the 16th hole is always fun to watch. Especially the Saturday edition!…Enjoy!
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