Thursday March 6, 2014
In a few months something will happen that's never happened before: the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open will take place on the same golf course in back-to-back weeks.
The golf course the USGA selected for this experiment? Pinehurst No. 2
. The second course built at the Pinehurst Resort in the Sandhills of North Carolina, the No. 2 course is one of the best-known in American golf.
But you can get to know it even better by checking out this course profile of Pinehurst No. 2
. There you'll find hole yardages, history, plus some interesting trivia.
The No. 2 course underwent a renovation, or restoration, in 2010-11 by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. Flip through a slideshow of Pinehurst No. 2 photos
to see the results and learn more about what was done.
Wednesday March 5, 2014
Many golfers out there have an interest in taking lessons. But not everyone is comfortable with the idea of going to lessons, especially those beginners and other golfers who aren't quite sure what taking lessons entails.
So what really happens during a golf lesson with an instructor? What will he or she require of you, how much time is involved - what, exactly, should your expectations be?
Those are the questions we tackle in our Golf Lessons Primer
. If you don't know what to expect out of golf lessons, give it a read. It might answer some questions or even make you feel more comfortable with the notion of signing up with an instructor.
Monday March 3, 2014
The WGC Cadillac Championship
takes center stage in the golf world this week. But will Tiger Woods
That's up in the air, and likely will be until just before the first round begins on Thursday. Woods is the defending champion, and a 7-time winner of the tournament. But he's also a 38-year-old whose body keeps letting him down.
The latest malady for Woods is actually the recurrence of an increasingly common one: back spasms. Woods withdrew from The Honda Classic
during Sunday's final round, after 13 holes, because of back pain.
In a statement issued after that withdrawal, Woods said it was "too early to tell" if he'll be able to play this week. "I need treatment every day until Thursday to try and calm it down," he said. "We'll see how it is."
Even if Woods is able to play, will it matter? He's had a couple good rounds in 2014, among three mediocre-to-poor tournaments: MDF
at the Farmers Insurance Open, tie for 41st at the Dubai Desert Classic, and then, last week, Woods barely made the cut before WDing in the final round of the Honda.
But if Woods does play, he can't be counted out. The last time he withdrew from a tournament in progress, prior the Honda, was at the 2012 Cadillac Championship. Then he won his next tournament, the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Another player in the field at the Cadillac who is probably feeling a little pain today is Rory McIlroy
. McIlroy is fine physically, but he must be hating how he played down the stretch at the Honda. McIlroy appeared set for the win, from a first-round 63 to the middle of the back nine on Sunday. The he hit into the water on the 16th and double-bogied; followed that with a bogey to drop one behind; tied the leaders with a birdie on the 72nd hole; but lost in the playoff.
The PGA Tour also has an opposite-field tournament this week, the Puerto Rico Open
. The European Tour has nothing scheduled beyond the WGC event.
The LPGA Tour is off until the March 20 start of the Founders Cup. But the LET cosanctioned Mission Hills World Ladies Championships
this week includes Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and So Yeon Ryu.
Sunday March 2, 2014
The last time Paula Creamer
was in a playoff, it ended in colossal frustration: a loss to Jiyai Shin at the 2012 Kingsmill Championship made much worse by the fact that the playoff stretched for nine holes over two days.
But Sunday, in a playoff against Azahara Munoz for the HSBC Women's Champions
title, Creamer took care of business early with a 75-foot eagle putt on the second playoff hole.
It's the 10th career LPGA victory for Creamer, but her first since winning the 2010 U.S. Women's Open
. That was a stretch of 79 tournaments without a win for one of the most popular players on the tour.
"It has been coming and it just shows you perseverance," Creamer said afterward. "That's why I love the game. I work hard for this reason. And holding that trophy, gosh, it was so nice."
Creamer shot 69 in the final round and Munoz 70, tying at 10-under 278. Third-round leader Karrie Webb led by three shots with seven holes to play, but then bogied three of her final six holes, including the 18th to miss the playoff.
So Creamer and Munoz headed into a playoff on the par-5 18th hole. Creamer nearly won it with a birdie the first time around, but her putt slid just by. So they played the 18th again.
This time, Creamer went for the green in two and made it, barely. Munoz laid up, then hit her approach to tap-in range for a birdie. That left Creamer facing a 75-foot eagle putt, up over a ridge then down a slope.
Creamer hadn't so much as birdied the hole all week - four rounds, four pars, plus another par on the first playoff hole.
But this time, somehow, the ball plopped right into the cup for eagle. Creamer later said she could try that same putt again, all day, one after another, and getting it within six or seven feet would be an accomplishment.
She made the one that mattered, and Creamer is a winner again.
Paula Creamer glamour shots