It’s hard to believe that with the death-grip winter has on all of us folks on the Eastern Seaboard, we could be talking about golf. Fortunately, all of the bad weather is here, and not in Southern California where most of the action will be. So let’s celebrate our 16th Presidents birthday by taking some time to talk about golf, and let our thoughts wander to places where there is sunshine, blues skies and no snow falling. Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln, and Happy Hump Day!
The weather was a big factor on the Monterrey Peninsula last week, and had a major impact on the outcome at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am. Two-time winner in the new season, Jimmy Walker had the luck of the draw on his side. He amassed a six-shot lead on Saturday, held on to win by one stroke for his third career victory, and his third win of the year.
Walker was tied with 2013 Rookie of the Year, Jordan Spieth after the second round, but Spieth had to play Pebble Beach on Saturday, and Walker drew The Monterrey Peninsula Country Club(MPCC). Jordan Spieth had a horrible day at the iconic old course, and three-putted his way to a six over par 78 which finished up on Sunday morning due to weather and darkness. The rest, as we say, is history.
South African star, George Coetzee got the monkey off his back, and picked up his first European Tour victory at the Joburg Open. Coetzee held off Brit, Tyrrell Hatton, Jin Jeong from South Korea, and fellow South African, Justin Walters at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Course for the victory.
Cheyenne Woods got her short game together, and picked up here first victory at the Ladies Australian Masters on Sunday. The niece of Tiger Woods shot a final round -4 under 69 at the Royal Pines course in Australia. Be sure to read Elizabeth Bethel’s recap of the event.
The PGA Tour moves down the California coast to Los Angles for The Northern Trust Open. Action gets underway on Thursday at The Riviera Country Club for the last stop on the West Coast swing. Jimmy Walker will bring his win streak to “Hogans Alley” and try to pick up one more win before they move on to Florida.
The Northern Trust Open is a great stop on the tour, and is steeped in history and tradition. We will see Fred Couples in the field again, and the aging super-star is always competitive at Riviera. Boom Boom won twice, in 1990, and 1992.
Dubbed “Hogan’s Alley”, Ben Hogan won the L.A. Open at Riviera three times in 1942, and back-to-back in 1947, and 1948. He also won the US Open here in 1948. Winning a Tour event and the US Open at the same venue has not been done many times. The last was Tiger Woods who won the 2000 AT&T National Pro Am, and the US Open at Pebble Beach and The 2008 Farmers Open with the US Open at Torrey Pines .
Justin Rose gets back to work at the NTO after a two-month layoff because of shoulder Tendonitis. It a tough place for a comeback, but he claims his shoulder is feeling better, and it’s time to go back to work.
Louis Oosthuizen makes his first appearance on the PGA Tour this week as well. The 2010 Open Champ had a T15 finish at the HSBC Championship in China back in November, and after two starts on the Sunshine Tour, picked up a win at the Volvo Golf Championship, as well as a 14th place finish at the NedBank Challenge.
The LPGA Tour gets back in action this week at The ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open. In 2013, Rolex Rankings No. 8 Jiyai Shin outdueled amateur and No. 30 Lydia Ko and held off a surging No. 1 Yani Tseng to capture her 11th LPGA Tour victory at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open. Shin carded three birdies and two bogeys for a 1-under 72 to finish 18-under for the 2-stroke victory over No. 1 Yani Tseng.
So if you are going to be snowed in, kick back and tune in to the Golf Channel for some great golf. It should be a good week for it!
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