Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ogilvy: Good interview, good guy

In this week's Golf World magazine, Jaime Diaz weighs in with a back page column that declares Geoff Ogilvy, the reigning U.S. Open champion who lost Sunday in the finals of the Accenture Match Play, to be the best interview in golf

To that, I say: You got dat right, man.

Personally, I didn't know Ovilgy from Adam's house cat until this time last year, when I covered the Match Play, which he won, in its final year at La Costa. What I remember most from that week -- other than him beating Davis Love III in the finals -- were Ogilvy's interviews as he progressed through the field.

He was engaging, refreshingly honest and forth-coming and clearly intelligent -- in other words, a welcome departure from some of the sullen, uncooperative stars who suffer through interviews like they were a case of irritable bowel syndrome.

Ogilvy made a fan of me then and there. Not only did he have game, which became even more evident at Winged Foot, but he was shades of Jack Nicklaus in the interview room -- the standard bearer in golf for good interviews.

Ogilvy, an Aussie who lives in Scottsdale these days, truly convinced me he was a good guy the night he won the Open. As it happened, he was among the players staying in the same hotel as most of the media. After his victory that life-changing Sunday night, he didn't go out on the town in New York City to celebrate. Instead, he went back to the hotel, changed into jeans and a tee shirt, then came down to the lobby bar in the hotel -- trophy in hand -- with his wife to hang out.
No fanfare. No big-timing. No keeping fans at bay. Ogilvy sat there, obviously happy but quiet and subdued, chatting with anybody and everybody, posing for a few snapshots with friends and fans.

Name that Tiger cub

In the true spirit of poking its nose in places where the media is not welcome, the folks at are conducting a reader poll on what to name the gentically and circumstantially gifted offspring of Tiger and Elin Woods.

The suggestions have been whittled down to a dozen finalists, six girl names and six boys names. They are:

If it's a boy:

Eldrick Jr.
Tiger Jr.

If it's a girl:

For the whole story and to vote, click here.

In early polling Earl and Katherine -- to be shortened to Kat -- are the leaders in the clubhouse.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Prez Cup to San Francisco

This just in from the PGA Tour. In 2009, the Presidents Cup is headed to Harding Park in San Francisco.


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fl -- The PGA TOUR today announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the City of San Francisco on the scheduling of future TOUR events at the City’s Harding Park Golf Course.

The agreement is subject to the approval, expected within 45 days, of the City’s Recreation and Park Commission and Board of Supervisors. Under the terms of the agreement, Harding Park will serve as the host venue for The Presidents Cup in 2009; the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the Champion’s Tour season-ending event, in 2010 and 2011; an event from the four-tournament PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup series in either 2013 or 2014; and one additional event in the period 2014-2019 to be selected from among The Presidents Cup, a Playoff for the FedExCup event or a World Golf Championships event.

“We are absolutely delighted to reach this agreement with the City, ensuring that Harding Park will continue to periodically serve as the site for some of the TOUR’s premier events,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “As our experience with the World Golf Championships - American Express Championship proved in October, 2005, the golf course is a wonderful venue for the world’s best players, and San Francisco is a terrific host city. Our players and sponsors had a tremendous experience at Harding Park, and we are eagerly looking forward to our return.”

The first guy to beat Tiger -- ever

Here's a link to terrific story by Jason Sobel from, who found the first kid who ever beat Tiger in match play back in junior golf. It still sticks in Tiger's craw...

MARANA, Ariz. -- Tiger Woods remembers the match like it was yesterday. "I was 13," he said earlier this week. "James Mohon." He doesn't smile at the recollection, doesn't hide his displeasure for the memory.

For more, click here.

D.C. tournament replaces International

As I predicted a few weeks ago, the PGA Tour has indeed filled the July 4th week hole in the schedule left by The International with a new bigger and better tournament in Washington D.C.

Here's the lede graf of the announcement...

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA TOUR, in conjunction with the Tiger Woods Foundation, announced today that the TOUR will return to Washington, D.C. as a result of the two organizations reaching a long-term agreement to create a new PGA TOUR event in the nation's capital, beginning in July, 2007.

For the whole annoucement, click here.

I nailed this sucker a few weeks ago. Read on from Feb. 11...

On Golf:
Hopes for Tour stop in Philly are in vain

Joe Logan
Inquirer Columnist

If you saw that item in the paper a few days ago about the PGA Tour's considering Philadelphia for a tournament, here's a piece of advice: Don't get your hopes up.

True enough, in Associated Press reports last week about the sudden demise of the International, the 21-year-old Tour stop outside Denver, Philadelphia was mentioned as a major market without a tournament that might fill the gap. Washington, Minneapolis, and Portland, Ore., were also mentioned.

The e-mails poured in, not surprisingly. Could Philadelphia really be a candidate for a tournament to fill the very attractive July Fourth week gap on the Tour's schedule?
Sorry, but don't shoot the messenger.

If I was a betting man, I'd put up a few bucks, or a dozen Pro V1s, that in a month or so commissioner Tim Finchem will announce that the week in question will be filled by a newly created tournament in Washington.

If you're saying, hey, they've already got the Booz Allen Classic, perhaps you didn't notice it's gone from the schedule this year. When the Tour inexplicably bumped the tournament from its prime June date on the calendar to the "Fall Series" - the seven tournaments after the Tour Championship that nobody cares about - the chairman of Booz Allen yanked the sponsorship and killed the tournament.

So, why do I think D.C. is a shoo-in?

When I called late last week, Bob Combs, a top Tour spokesman, told me that they're already far enough along in the process of replacing the International that they expect to announce a new tournament - city undisclosed, thank you - within 30 to 45 days. Suffice it to say I did not come away with the impression that Philadelphia would be that city.

Next, I made a few phone calls around town to people who I figured would likely have at least heard something - whispers, rumors - if the Tour was sniffing around Philadelphia, let alone being 30 days from making an announcement about a tournament here.

Zippo. Nobody's heard nuthin'.

Finally, I called one of those high-powered, behind-the-scenes guys I know in golf, who shall remain nameless so that he continues to take my calls.

From what he hears, no, Philadelphia is not in the picture.

"They're focused on Washington," he said. "And from what I hear, there will be a Tiger element to this event."

A bit of a conspiracy theorist, he made to sound like the whole changing of the tournaments could very well have been quietly orchestrated by the Tour. You know, squeeze out a couple of older, lesser tournaments to make way for a new, bigger, better one, that is owned and run by the Tour.

Philadelphia? A mere diversion, along with the other cities.

Sounds plausible to me. After all, for a former White House aide like Finchem who knows how the influence game is played, how better to win friends in high government places than by bringing a new tournament with Tiger Woods - he never played Booz Allen - to the nation's capital on that most American of holidays, Fourth of July week?

U-grooves, V-grooves, U-snooze

In a much-anticipated attempt to dial back golf equipment, the U.S. Golf Association, along the with R & A, on Tuesday proposed new rules pertaining to the U-grooves on irons and wedges.

For about 99 percent of us golfers, no big deal. It's at the most elite levels of the game, where U-grooves and V-grooves, on the face of irons makes a difference in the spin control of the ball.

Still, if your head is swimming trying to understand what it all means, read this story from Golf Digest last fall.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ahhhh, choooo. OUCH!

So, what happened to Jay Sigel at last week's ACE Group Classic?

Jay shoots 4-under 68 in the first round on Friday, then WDs before his round on Saturday. Rib injury. Bad sneeze.

That's the official word from Champions Tour media official Phil Stambaugh, after talking to Jay's wife, Betty. "Betty told me he sneezed and pulled something in his ribs," said Stambaugh. Word is, Betty rolled her eyes as she gave the medical report, as if to wonder what else can go wrong for the oft-injured Sigel.

Americans sinking fast...

If we weren't already in full-blown panic about the state of golf in America, we ought to be after the Accenture Match Championship.

Not only did a Swede, for crying out loud, win, but the other finalist along with Henrik Stenson was an Australian, Geoff Ogilvy. In the consolation match, a South African, Trevor Immelman, thumped the only American among the final four, Chad Campbell.

That brings us to a quick review of the latest World Golf Rankings, just out today. Americans still rank 1st, 2nd and 3rd, thank you very much Tiger, Furyk and Phil. But after that, just try to find a US of A-born player until you hit 15th, Charles Howell III.

It does not bode well for the US in the Ryder Cup or this year's Presidents Cup.

1. Tiger

2. Furyk

3. Phil

4. Adam Scott, Aus

5. Henrik Stenson, Sweden

6. Ernie Els, South Africa

7.Geoff Ogivly, Aus

8. Retief Goosen, South Africa

9.Vijay Singh, Fijay

10. Luke Donald, England

11. Padraig Harrington, Ireland

12. Trevor Immelman, South Africa

13. Sergio Garcia. Spain

14. Paul Casey, England

15. Howell , USA