Golf

Wednesday, July 17, 2024
To be played at famed Troon and its Postage Stamp . . .

    The Open begins tonight at Royal Troon in Scotland, home of the renowned par 3 called Postage Stamp. Ocala's Louis Oosthuizen will be right at home on the famed hole, he's been playing its replica for the past few years at his home course, Golden Ocala.

    Oostie is coming off a tie for third with Patrick Reed in the Andalucia Open, where both wound up at three under par, two strokes behind playoff winner Sergio Garcia and Anirban Lahiri. Oostie shot 70-71-69-210 on the par-71 course, and collected a cool $900,000.

    There is one Gator in the field playing for the major share ($3.1 million) of the $17 million purse - Billy Horschel - and one Seminole, Brooks Koepka, who tied for 27th at six over par in the Andalucia and earned $167,500. There's also a fella named Tiger, taking another shot at history if his tortured body allows him to get through 72 holes, and Scottie Scheffler, the world's No. 1 who will be looking for his 7th victory of this season if he can keep driving (his car) in the proper lane. 

    The Open airs beginning at 4 a. m. on the USA network.  

    There's a satellite event in the U. S. for those who didn't qualify for The Open, the $4 million Barracuda Championship at the Tahoe Mountain Club in Truckee, California. Gators Tyson Alexander and Camilo Villegas are aboard, as is Seminole Daniel Berger.  

Sunday, July 7, 2024
FSU junior could have two top 10s . . .

    What would have been the odds that if there were two Gators and two Seminoles playing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic, followed by the John Deere Classic, that the only one left standing for both weekends would be a Seminole junior, and he would be a major factor in both.

    That's how it has transpired over the last two weeks: Gators Tyson Alexander and Camilo Villegas and Seminole Daniel Berger sitting on the sidelines after all three missed both cuts, while amateur Luke Clanton was a possibility at the Rocket Mortgage only to fall into a tie for 10th with a Sunday 72, but still very much alive at the John Deere today at 16 under par, five strokes behind leader Davis Thompson and in a tie for sixth. 

    Clanton shot 69-68-65-72 in Detroit, and the 72 finale left him at 14 under, still just four strokes behind winner Cam Davis, and three behind runner-up Davis Thompson. If he had already turned pro, Clanton would have cashed a check for more than $200,000.  

    Looking for his first PGA Tour victory, Thompson has continued his stellar play at the TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois this week (63-67-62, 21 under) and leads Eric Cole (62-65-64) and Aaron Rai by two strokes with 18 holes to play. His runner-up finish behind Davis was worth $616,400.

    Clanton (63-67-67) is 16 under, and tied for sixth. No word yet if the 20-year-old will remain in Tallahassee or turn pro and stop throwing away all that cash. He might let us in on it late this afternoon. 

Saturday, June 29, 2024
Unknowns tied for lead . . .

    With such as Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau and a few others opting out of heading to Detroit for the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the $9.2 million event appeared to be a wide-open affair, and the 36-hole standings bear this out.

    Akshay Bhattia (64-67-131) is 13 under par, as is Aaron Rai. Gators Tyson Alexander (73-71) and Camilo Villegas (70-72) missed the cut, which came at 34 under par, as did Seminole Daniel Berger (70-72).

    Three Cams are playing, and two made the cut. Cam Young is 11 under, tied for third with Troy Merritt, Cam Davis is right behind at 10 under, and Can Champ missed the cut (73-71). 

    

Tuesday, June 25, 2024
He's up to $28 million after Traveler's score . . .

    The best news that the field received pertaining to the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit beginning Thursday is that Scottie Scheffler is sitting this one out.

    Apparently, the winner's share of a measly $9.2 million purse isn't enough to lure Scottie away from home and his new baby. Of course, his playoff victory over Tom Kim Sunday in the Traveler's Championship was worth $3.6 million, same as the RBC Heritage, another of his four signature victories among his total of six this season, tying Tiger for most in one season and it's not over yet. Scottie collected $4 million in his other two signature scores, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial.

    All in all, he's won nearly $28 million this season, eclipsing the record of $21 million he ran up last year. At this rate, Tiger's career record of $120 million is in serious jeopardy. 

    Scottie's out this week but Gators Tyson Alexander and Camilo Villegas and Seminole Daniel Berger are in.  

Sunday, June 23, 2024
From the Marion County Golf Association website      During the last three days,...

From the Marion County Golf Association website 

    During the last three days, over three different golf courses, Matt Giovannelli played brilliantly to capture his second Marion Masters championship trophy, but it didn’t come easy.


    Giovannelli grabbed the tournament lead after day one with a 5-under-par 67. Round two saw “Gio” shoot a 1-under-par 71 but he found himself just one shot clear of last year’s champion, Martin Musgrave, heading into the final round at the Ocala Golf Club.

    The lead during the last round see-sawed back and forth with Musgrave grabbing it midway through the front nine. A birdie-birdie-birdie finish on the front side by Giovannelli and the lead was up to two shots heading to the back nine. Both golfers played well on the inward nine despite the sudden downpour that popped up. Unfortunately, Musgrave’s 35 was no match for the 33 that Giovannelli put up to claim the crown. Giovannelli finished with a three-day total of 12-under-par 204 (67-71-66) and Musgrave totaled an 8-under-par 208 score on rounds of 68-71-68.

    Finishing in third place was another former MM Champion, Justin Grant. Grant fired rounds of 68-75-68 for a 5-under-par 211 total. Finishing in a tie for fourth place at 3-under-par 213 were Tommy Lowe and Ryan Letterly. Lowe shot rounds of 70-73-70. Letterly shot the low round of the tournament on the final day, a 65, to go with his 73 and 75. In sixth place was three-time former champion Daniel Owen who was also under par for the tournament with a 215 total (70-784-71).

    For all the scores see TOURNAMENT INFO/Results/FINAL SCORES – MARION MASTERS


    CHIP SHOTS – Finishing in a tie for 20th place was Tiana Eldem. The Lake Diamond resident plays golf for the Central Arkansas University golf team and is the fourth female to qualify to play in the championship.

Thursday, June 13, 2024
Pinehurst No. 2 proving to be a tough test . . .

    Thursday a. m. - Tiger tees off on the 10th hole of the U. S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 and, naturally, gets the biggest ovation as he is introduced. Then he goes out and birdies the hole, and, like the days of old, his name is on top of the leaderboard.

    Tiger pars the next five holes, making some 10-footers along the way, and at one point, reaches No. 1 again. But bogeys on 16 and 17 drop him to one over, one on a three-putt green, as he falls prey to several missed putts by an inch. He pars 18 and turns in 1-over-36, tied for 32nd, three strokes behind leader and former Seminole Brooks Koepka. He hit 6 of 9 greens. No sign of a limp. But on the front nine, Tiger's putting failed him and he wound up with a 4-over 74, tied for 86th, but not out of it as far as the cut goes. He missed four putts inside 10 feet and had 32 for the round. 

    Once again, the best of the PGA Tour, including No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, No. 2 Xander Schauffele and No. 3 Rory McIlroy, are pitted against the top LIV golfers, including Dustin Johnson, Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson. Dustin won it in 2016, Bryson in 2021, Koepka in 2017 and 2018.

    Two other Seminoles are in, veteran Daniel Berger and 3-time All-American Frederik Kjettrup, from Denmark, a Korn Ferry member. Gators playing the par-70, 7,548-yard course are Billy Horschel and amateur Parker Bell, who just graduated.   

    The TV analysts are almost all of the opinion that even par could win it come Sunday evening. 

    More to come.

    At the close of day. Patrick Cantlay and Rory are tied at 5-under 65, one ahead of Ludvig Aberg. Billy Horschel shot 73, same as Daniel Berger. Koepka is at even par and FSU rookie Frederik Kjettrup debuted with 72. Gator rookie Parker Bell skied to 77. Red-hot Scottie Scheffler was off all day, and posted a 71.  

 


Monday, May 27, 2024
Ties for 2nd at Colonial, worth $809,900 . . .

    Everybody has a way of handling dire situations, from 1 to 100 on a scale of 1 to 100. The Scottie Scheffler fiasco has elicited responses from the entire golfing world in every one of the 100 categories.

    My personal way to handle the absurd arrest of the world's No. 1 golfer would be simple. He isn't a murderer, a kidnapper, an embezzler, a rapist, a burglar, a terrorist, an escaped convict, a voyeur . . . you get the picture. He returned from the Kentucky police station, didn't utter a single Donald Trump-like word, made the cut at the PGA Championship, finished 72 holes, and now has to report to the bluegrass again on June 3 to be arraigned. When it's over, if Scottie has a felony on his record, the PGA Tour should immediately announce it will never return to Kentucky for any event, ever.   

    The guy is a saint. The scene at Valhalla after the disastrous accident that killed eight people and hospitalized so many others was utter chaos. Anything was a possibility. And one pig-headed cop has to flex his muscles and make the situation worse. Kentucky horsemen already think they're the cream of the crop, even though so many of their horses leave home and wind up in Ocala to be prepared for the races. 

    Kudos to Scottie for his excellent play at Valhalla after his ordeal, and for continuing it for a second-place check of $809,000 in the Charles Schwab Challenge that ended yesterday in Fort Worth. And without his beard, no less.

    Davis Riley, who had never won a PGA tournament, except for one team event, was a runaway winner at the Colonial CC of Ben Hogan, despite a Sunday even-par 70, and profited to the tune of $1,638,000. Scottie tied for second with Keegan Bradley, five strokes behind, and each left town with $809,000 paydays, which a Louisville cop probably needs 15 years to earn. 

    The only Gator to make the Colonial cut (+2) was Billy Horschel, who wound up 1 under par, tied for 24th, and collected $70,866. Camilo Villegas bowed out with a pair of 72s (4 over) and Tyson Alexander did likewise with 71-73. Seminole Daniel Berger, who won the event in 2020, tied for 45th at plus 2 and banked $27,100. 

    Gators were much more successful at the $3.5 million Kitchen Aid Senior PGA Championship won by Richard Bland (17 under, $630,000). Chris DiMarco finished tied for sixth at 11 under, closing with a 69; Brian Gay tied for 11th at 8 under; Scott Dunlap tied for 21st at 4 under. Mark Calcavecchia withdrew without posting a score.

    Tom Lehman, architect of the Trilogy course on highway 27, missed the cut, and Marco Dawson, one-time touring pro for the defunct Adena Springs course, tied for 32nd at 1 under. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024
The possibilities are endless . . .

    The possibilities for the PGA Championship beginning tomorrow at famed Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville are endless, as they were in the last sporting event contested in the area 12 days ago. 

    There's Tiger Woods, who is always worth a few thousand words, along with PGA stalwarts Scottie Scheffler, the brand new father who probably has no room on the shelf for another trophy, also Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa and many more; LIV big guns Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka, who won it last year and put $3,159,000 in the bank. The former Seminole who knows a little something about building up a storage of Majors also won in 2018 and 2019. Then, there's the old guard - John Daly, Padraig Harrington and a pair of winners who have come out of the woodwork, Shaun Micheel and Rich Beem. And don't forget the two Gators, Billy Horschel and Camilo Villegas, who like Stella appear to have their groove back, both celebrating recent victories.

    But - the biggest galleries- at least for the first two days - will be reserved for Tiger. And if he makes the cut, they'll be tearing the clubhouse down trying to get a good vantage point for two more days. Tiger looks good, and doesn't appear to be limping, but these days, his physical status is always a question mark going in. His last win in this event came in 2007. Thomas won in 2017 and 2022, Mickelson in 2021, and Rory in 2012 and 2014.

    It promises to be one heckuva show.   

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Ocala's farm owner earns $2.25 million . . .

    Louis Oosthuizen birdied two holes late in Sunday's round, but fell one stroke short of catching Brendan Steele in the LIV Golf Adelaide event in South Australia. Steele finished at 18 under par at the Grange Club course, and took home the $4 million winner's check.

    Oosthuizen, the Ocala farm owner, was 17 under for the 54 holes and took home $2.25 million to help feed his farm's horses. Oostie's Stinger team also finished second, and each of the four members earned $375,000. Oostie's latest total for the current season is $5,450,000.

    In the singles competition there was a 5-way tie for third at 16 under, which included Jon Rahm, and each earned $920,000. Seminole Brooks Koepka tied for ninth at 14 under; his take was $385,500. 

    

Friday, April 26, 2024
They shoot 6 under; cut comes at minus 9 . . .

    Ted Potter's back and he made it into the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the PGA Tour's team event at the TPC Louisiana in Avondale. Ted's partner was little-known Alejandro Tosti, and they shot a 6-under-par 66 in Thursday's first round, five strokes off the pace behind four teams who posted 11-under 61s, including the power duo of Rory McIlroy and Steve Lowry. 

    But the partnership fell short as Ted and Tosti shot even-par 72 on Friday and remained at 6 under; it took 9-under to make the cut to continue play on the weekend. 

    Ted had played in just one previous event in 2024, the Puerto Rico Open in March, and he missed the cut despite shooting 2 under par (72-70) 142. Ted has been stuck at $6,194,109 in career money for several months now after losing his exempt status.

    The Gator team of Billy Horschel and Tyson Alexander also missed the cut with 67-73-140, 4 under par. Horschel was coming off a victory in the Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic where he shot 67-69-66-63-265, 23 under par, and two strokes better than Wesley Bryan. Billy collected $720,000, ballooning his career total to $36,692,854. He picked up 300 FedEx Cup points. Tyson shot 69-70-69-75-283, 5 under, and tied for 55th, good for a check for $9,280. A mini tour player just two years ago, Tyson has now banked $1,772,017.             

Sunday, April 21, 2024
Scottie's on fire, golf isn't . . .

     Scottie Scheffler leads the RBC Heritage by one stroke over Sepp Straka after 54 holes at Hilton Head, in a field that numbers only 69. So what's new other than that they didn't begin with 145 or so players? Everybody else is in the Dominican Republic for the Corales Puntacana Championship, where there's nobody named Scheffler.

    If Scottie goes on to win later this afternoon, and there's no reason to believe he won't after yesterday's 63 sent him into the lead, it will mean four victories and a second in his last five starts. As formidable a feat as it is, it just isn't the same without Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Ocala's Louis Oosthuizen, Brooks Koepka and the rest of the A-list gang who defected to LIV in response to the buckets of cash being offered by the Saudis.

    There's no denying the game has suffered since the defections. PGA tour attendance is down, as is TV viewership, and it's been a disaster for LIV. Even the Masters suffered, despite the mammoth crowds that followed Tiger, but his second half demise cast a pall over the whole affair.  

    Like the old 1955 song from 'Daddy Long Legs,' Something's Gotta Give, or the days of Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnie and Tiger, won't be anything but a memory. 

    Wesley Bryan leads at the Dominican event at 17 under par, with Kevin Tway one stroke behind. Two Gators made the cut of 4 under; Billy Horschel is fifth with 67-69-66-202, 14 under, and Tyson Alexander is tied for 32nd with 69-70-69-208, 8 under. Seminole Daniel Berger has fallen to 3 under. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024
Scheffler leads by 1; Tiger disappoints his massive gallery . . .

    Saturday is known as moving day in professional golf, and there may never have been a moving day like yesterday at Augusta.

    Scottie Scheffler wound up the day with a one stroke lead in the Masters after he posted a 1-under-par 71; he begins today at 7 under. Collin Morikawa's impressive 3-under 69 put him second at 6 under, one ahead of Max Homa, who shot 1-over 73. Fourth belongs to Ludvig Aberg at 4 under after a 2-under-70 (who in his ancestry decided it was pronounced O-berg). He's followed in fifth by Bryson DeChambeau, who began the day leading under and ended at 3 under after a sloppy 75. 

    At one time or another during the round, they all spent time on the lead, or tied, or close to it.

    After the wind killed many rounds on Friday, the cut line ballooned to plus six, and a host of big guns didn't make it, including Dustin Johnson (+13), Fred Couples (+12), Bubba Watson (+10), Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman (+9), Viktor Hovland (+8), and Mike Weir, Sergio Garcia and Justin Thomas, all at plus 7. 

    Gator Camilo Villegas made the cut at 5 over, as did Seminole Brooks Koepka , at 2 over. However, yesterday they both shot 76 and out of contention for a high finish. 

    And then there was a fella named Tiger. After making the cut with ease at 1 over (73-72), golf's No. 1 ambassador  imploded yesterday with a career high 10-over-par 82 and left the networks with one less major story. He dropped from a tie for 22nd into a tie for 53rd.  

    Even with only a one-stroke lead going in, Scheffler has to be the choice today, but after moving day's problems, it's really anybody's guess. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Tiger is still the the No. 1 attraction . . .

    The Masters has drawn perhaps the most diverse field in recent memory, with the best players participating from the PGA Tour, LIV Tour and Champions Tour, plus Tiger Woods himself. Like the recent WNBA playoff game, it could set records for on-course and TV viewing.

    Tiger, of course, will be the main attraction, but among the LIV group are such former PGA guns as Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and ex-Seminole Brooks Koepka. The seniors include Fred Couples, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Vijay Singh and Mike Weir.  The PGA contingent includes No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama. No. 4 Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy. It's a golf fans' dream four days at legendary Augusta National.

    There's even a Gator in the mix - Camilo Villegas, whose prep last week at the Valero Texas Open fell flat; he shot 7-76 and missed the cut.

    Akshay Bhatia won in Texas in a playoff with Denny McCarthy when Denny hit his second in the water on the par-5 18th. Bhatia was in compete command all the way on Sunday until Denny birdied nine of the last 10 holes to equal Bhatia's 20 under par. Bhatia moved up to 12th in the rankings and took $1,656,000 with him to Augusta.  

    

    

Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Villegas, Horschel and Alexander shoot for the rich prize . . .

    The last Gator to win on the PGA Tour was Camilo Villegas in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in November. Since then, the Colombian hasn't been the same, adding a bunch of missed cuts and way down-the-list finishes.

    Camilo will try again starting tomorrow in the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, along with two other Gators, Billy Horschel and Tyson Alexander. Camilo missed the cut at last week's Texas Children's Houston Open with rounds of 73-82, and he's only made three cuts in 2024 with earnings of $94,964. But he won't need a gofundme effort on his behalf since he's earned $22,882,415 since joining the Tour.

    Horschel, on the other hand. whose lifetime earnings have reached a gaudy $35,972,854, is in top form as witnessed by his tie for seventh in the Valero (71-68-67-64-270) and a check for $276,412, which ballooned his 2024 haul to $790,194. He's cashed in five events so far and his Sunday 64 was the best round of the day.

    Tyson had a monumental rookie year in 2022-2023 with earnings of more than $1 million, but so far hasn't been able to duplicate that season. He put together rounds of 70-67-76-68, and the poor third round was responsible for a tie for 64th and a meager check for $19,383. His best this season was a tie for sixth in the Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches and a check for $137,250, but even with that healthy cash he's only made four cuts and earned $197,502. 

    The defending champ at the TPC San Antonio Oaks Course is Corey Conners, who shot 15 under par and collected $1,602,000.

    Stephen Jaegar (69-66-66-67-268) was the upset winner last week at 12 under par and he took home $1,638,000. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (65-70-66-68-269), who never seems to miss the top 5, was one stroke behind.     

    Daniel Berger will carry the torch for the Seminoles in San Antonio.

Saturday, March 23, 2024
5-way tie at 6 under par . . .

    There's a virtual logjam after 36 holes at the Valspar Championship in nearby Palm Harbor. Kevin Streelman, who led after the first round on the famed par 71 Copperhead course with a 7-under 64, was unable to repeat his heroics with a Friday 72 and is in a five-way tie for the halfway lead at 6 under par. One of the others at 6 under is Stewart Cink, the latest many-time winner who is splitting time playing both the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.

    Billy Horschel (69-72-141) is the lone Gator to make the cut, which came at even-par 142. Camilo Villegas shot 76 in round 1 and then withdrew, and Tyson Alexander (71-72-143) bogeyed his 34th hole and missed the cut by one. Seminole Daniel Berger (76-74-150) was never close.   

    

Sunday, March 17, 2024
Trio of Gators all miss the cut . . .

    The Players Championship is geared up for a bang-bang finish today in Ponte Vedra, with Xander Schauffele, at 17 under par, leading by one stroke over Wyndham Clark, who is one more ahead of lefty Brian Harman. Clark gave up the 36-hole lead he had forged by a pair of 7-under 65s, adding a Saturday 2-under 70 for his 16-under 200. Xander took the lead with a 7-under 65, while Harman made a huge jump with his 8-under 64 over the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course.

    There are six players within five shots of Xander, but he will be tough to run down if he continues his hot hand. 

    All the Gators missed the cut of 1 under: Camilo Villegas with 73-82, Billy Horschel with 71-74, and Tyson Alexander with 71-74. Senior Steve Stricker, the Champions Tour leader, took time out from the elderly tour but missed the cut with 72-74. 

    The leaders tee off just before 2 p. m., so it will be around 6 when a champ is crowned. 

Saturday, March 9, 2024
First-round double bogey does him in . . .

    Despite making a strong late charge yesterday, it was an early double bogey on Thursday that was enough to knock Ted Potter out of the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. 

    Ted began early Thursday morning with a birdie on his first hole, No. 10 at the Grand Reserve Golf Club. He then made seven pars and another birdie on No. 15, finishing the back nine at 2-under-par-34. Then came a bogey on No. 1 after an errant tee shot led to Ted having to take a drop and falling back to 1 under. But a double bogey on No. 4 put him at 1 over, and a birdie at 7 led to an even-par round of 72. 

    On Friday, Ted was at even par after 15 holes when he birdied the 16th and 17th and finished with a 2-under 70, and 2 under for the 36 holes. But it left him two short of the cut line of 4 under. 

    Also missing the cut were Seminole Daniel Berger, by two strokes, and Gator Camilo Villegas, by one. Joe Highsmith held the halfway lead at 14 under with a pair of 65s, and there was a 6-way tie for second at 12 under

Wednesday, March 6, 2024
Ted tied for 59th last year . . .

    The Puerto Rico Open always brings out various groups: including former big-time PGA Tour players who are not riding the big wave anymore, and a slew of newbies looking to break through for a full-time exemption.

    Among the former group is Ocala's Ted Potter, who hasn't been seen in a while after spending a decade or so with the big guns, winning twice and running up more than $6.1 million in prize money. Ted played in this one at Grand Reserve Golf Club (par 72, 7,506 yards) last year and finished tied for 59th at 1 under par, earning a check for $8,664.

    Also among the huge group of "formers" are Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker, Geoff Ogilvy, Sean O'Hair, Jeff Overton, Jason Dufner, Aaron Baddeley, Ben Crane, Ricky Barnes and D. J. Trahan. Barnes tees off with Ted and Martin Trainer in tomorrow's first round, starting at 6:34 a. m. 

    Nico Echavarria is the defending champ; the Columbian won at 21 under last year and collected $684,000. He'll be joined this time by fellow Columbian and ex-Gator Camilo Villegas, a recent winner on Tour. In last week's Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches, Nico tied for 21st at 10 under par. Austin Eckroat won the event that for years was the Honda Classic, and he collected $1.6 million. Gator Billy Horschel tied for ninth at 12 under and Tyson Alexander (68-70-69-66-273) tied for 16th at 11 under.

    Seminole Daniel Berger is also in the entries in Puerto Rico. 

    At Bay Hill, all the remaining elites (who haven't defected to the boring LIV golf tour) are among the short field of 69 honoring Arnie. They include Jusin Rose, Jason Day, Xander Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Jordan Spieth and Shane Lowry.

    Unfortunately, for the average fan, the problem of identifying most of the 6' 2" same-build players from behind makes the TV coverage less enjoyable. Not like the days when Arnie, Nicklaus, Player, Trevino, Watson, Mickelson and others could always be picked out, no matter what angle the cameras had on them. \

     Of course, the LIV problems go much deeper, but that's a column for another day.    

Sunday, February 18, 2024
Tiger bows out with flu in 2nd round . . .

    The highlight of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera lasted only one round and a few holes when Tiger Wood withdrew on the front nine Friday with a touch of the flu after having posted a 1-over-par 72 on Thursday.

    It left a strong field fighting for the top prize of the $20 million purse, and heading into today's finale, Patrick Cantlay's 14 under par 199 (64-65-70) was two better than Xander Schauffele (70-66-65) and Will Zalatoris (66-70-65), making for the promise of a down-to-the-wire finish

    The 1-2 finishers in last week's WM Phoenix Open, Nick Taylor and Charley Hoffman, were never close, Taylor at 4 under and Hoffman at two over. Jordan Spieth was disqualified after signing a wrong scorecard. 

    There were no Gators or Seminoles in the short, but elite field, which began with 70 players.

    

Monday, February 12, 2024
Defends his 2023 crown . . .

By the Marion County Golf Association

  Brent Dorman successfully defended his Marion Masters Senior title. The 36-hole tournament, which is for Marion County residents who are least 50 years old, finished at Ocala Golf Club.

    Dorman shot a final round 4-under-par 68 which gave him two-day total of 4-under-par 140. Finishing in second was Steve Humphrey who was also under par. Humphrey, who finished second nationally for Super Senior Amateur in 2023, shot a 1-under par 143. In third place was Tommy Lowe with a 148 score. Fourth place was Jeff Morley at 149 and tied for fifth were Richie Crile and Scott Goldbach with 150s.

    Winning the Super Senior Division was Jeff Faulkner, who shot back-to-back 3-under-par 69’s for a 6-under-par 138 total. Coming in second place was Robert Parmar with a 2-under-par 142. Tied for third were Phillip Yancey and Bob Bailey with 145. Bill Zylstra was alone in fifth with a 147 total.

    In separate division play, it was Dorman winning the 50-59 title with his 140 finish followed by Richie Crile and Scot Goldbach at 150. In fourth place was Lyle Livengood with a 152 and Paul Irvin was fifth with 155.

    Winning the Silver Senior Division (60-64) was Humphrey with his 143 followed by Lowe at 148. Third place went to Morley at 149 and finishing in a tie for fifth was Bill Knapp and John McLeod at 150.

    In the 65-69 Super Senior Division Faulkner topped the list with his 138 followed by Parmar at 142, Yancey at 145, Dave Falcone with 150 and David Mears at 152.

    In the Golden Seniors Division (70-74) Bailey was first at 145 with a Zylstra second at 147. Jim Prendergast was third at 148 with Mike Arminio and Laurie Harrison tied for fifth at 150.

    There was a tie for the top spot in the Legends (75+). Randy Briggs and Ron Russo ended up with 155 scores. Briggs shot 78-77 and Russo shot 76-79. Finishing third was Tom Stephenson at 157 (83-74) and Dick McDonough was fourth with 162 (88-74).

CHIP SHOTS – Several participants shot their age in the tournament. Dick McDonough (75) shot 74, Bob Bailey (71) shot 69, Bill Zylstra (72) shot 71, Mike Armino (74) shot 71 Robert Parmar (69) shot 67, Jim Prendergast (72) shot 72, Tom Stephenson (76) posted a 74 and Ron Russo (80) shot 76 and 79.