5 Things: 'Cinderella story. Outta nowhere.'
Sunday, February 13, 2011
D.A. Points’ victory on one of America’s iconic courses earns him a tee time at another classic. By virtue of winning at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Points earned his first trip to Augusta National for the Masters in April.
It’s easy to select the shot of the tournament: Points’ third shot to the par-5 14th bounced through the rough fronting the green and rolled into the hole for eagle on the day’s second-most difficult hole. He followed with a birdie on the next hole. Points’ 67 was the second-best round of the day.
Points actually picked up two trophies Sunday. He and amateur partner Bill Murray of Caddyshack fame also won the pro-am title.
“I’m thinking of turning pro,” Murray joked. “I probably won’t.
“The only chance D.A. had to win was if I could make it through the entire week without ever asking what the initials ‘D.A.’ stand for. And I didn’t. And he’s the champion.”
(They stand for Darren Andrew.)
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Rowells has no problems facing bombs and bullets on duty in Afghanistan, but put him alongside Tiger Woods in a pro-am and he becomes a quivering wreck.
Rowells, 47, a Mississippi native, won the spot alongside Woods on the Emirates Course via a drawing among 16,000 worldwide amateurs.
Rowells, a 9-handicapper at Bayou Barriere Golf Club in Belle Chasse, La., took a break from duty with the 401st Army Field Support Brigade at Bagram Air Base to tee it up in Dubai.
“The air base at Bagram has come under rocket attack, but I never think about the danger, as I’m not a person who really gets nervous,” Rowells said. “But standing on the opening tee today with all those TV cameras and photographers, and all the crowd watching to see how I would hit the golf ball was a lot more nervous than anything I’ve ever faced in Afghanistan.”
Rowells said that he and Woods, whose late father, Earl, rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Army, connected.
“We first met on the practice putting green, and he walked over and introduced himself. He was just so nice and so open, and that helped dissolve all the tension.
“While he might not envy me and where I am headed back to, I feel he understands where I am coming from, given his father was a Green Beret.”
Rowells headed back to Afghanistan with a memento of his greatest experience in golf.
“Tiger kindly signed the peak of my Army cap, so that’s now been retired from active duty.”
Jose Maria Olazábal, Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, is determined not to let illness get the best of him ahead of the 2012 matches.
Olazábal has long suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and needs to “manage my program very carefully over the next 20 months,” he told The Guardian.
“I (was) in such excruciating pain, I was unable to do anything at all. All you can do is just sit or lie down and not move.”
But the two-time Masters champion is now feeling better. And he certainly has been playing better as of late on tour.
Olazábal shot two 69s at the Dubai Desert Classic to finish T-15. He placed 10th at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in October.
The Spaniard’s resiliency surely will be yet more inspiration for the Euro squad come 2012.
John Daly is going multimedia. He has a TV built into his golf bag.
Daly has signed up with ProBagAds.com, a new company that installs flat-screen monitors on golf bags to display advertisements, much like an electronic billboard.
The screen rotates with Daly’s various sponsors.
He says it weighs only about 3 pounds, so it’s not a big strain on his caddie. And while it looks like a TV, Daly says he’s trying to make it work like one. He says he will be able to program it through his mobile phone, and he hopes to get his home television programming. Daly says when he plays golf overseas, he wants to have something to watch on TV – especially during football season.
Kyeong Bae first used the built-in monitor last year on the LPGA Tour.
An expected white-out this week in New York just might cause traffic havoc on 54th Street – and we’re not talking about another snowstorm.
The marketers at TaylorMade and retailer Golfsmith are concocting an elaborate spectacle in the middle of a Manhattan thoroughfare to promote the equipment maker’s new white-headed R11 drivers.
On Feb. 15, the two business partners are scheduled to erect an outdoor driving range – 45 feet tall and 120 feet long – in the middle of 54th Street near Golfsmith’s Big Apple location.
The setting will stage a shootout among TaylorMade staff players Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia, and the company’s president and CEO Mark King. Using the new drivers, they’ll attempt to fire golf balls at targets – while snow blowers are blowing – and direct hits will earn donations for wounded military veterans’ rehabilitation efforts.
Even New Yorkers can get in on the action. They’ll get a chance to demo the new clubs, win prizes and go head-to-head with Kaymer and Garcia.
If the array of drivers doesn’t create enough of a “white-out,” organizers are promising to cover the area with man-made snow.
Only in New York.