News for Wednesday, January 12, 2011

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Meet and greet

The PGA Tour's first full-field event of the season, the Sony Open in Hawaii, welcomes regulars such as Ernie Els and Vijay Singh – and plenty of rookies who can only hope to, one day, match their success. Count Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela among the newcomers ready to chase their dreams.

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OK State adds All-Big 12 quarterback

The No. 2 Oklahoma State golf team will have a new player for the spring season: Brandon Weeden, the Cowboys’ All-Big 12 quarterback.

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Presnell inspired to repeat success at Victorian PGA

Looking back on the past year, Alistair Presnell is pleased. A win in the Victorian PGA Championship, a T-6 finish at the WGC-CA Championship and a runner-up showing in the Australian Open confirms the 31-year-old deserves to be mentioned among Australia’s top golfers.

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On a rainy day, a funny tale from Furyk

Rainy days at the golf course aren’t always a bad thing. Prime time for story-telling time, to be honest.

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Instruction: Hyundai winner Jonathan Byrd

Maybe Jonathan Byrd’s recent success shouldn’t come as a surprise. Byrd, winner of his past two PGA Tour starts, is one of the most consistent iron players on Tour.

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5 Things: New yutes on the PGA Tour

Don’t look now, but the Tour just got younger. Twenty-nine of this year’s rookies are under 30, and 15 are 25 or younger – including 20-year-old Bio Kim. Eleven of them have never played a Tour event.

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Montgomerie lobbying to gain status for Royal Trophy

Colin Montgomerie has pledged to gain the Royal Trophy official European Tour status. Montgomerie described Sunday’s come-from-behind 9-7 victory at Black Mountain Golf Club that enabled Europe to retain the title as “one of the most remarkable days” of his career.

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Challenge Tour emerging as fertile proving ground

Edoardo Molinari of Italy may be the Challenge Tour’s biggest success story.

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Lincicome (+7) MCs in Hooters Tour debut

Brittany Lincicome’s match against the men ended one day early.

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Toy Box notes: New Nike ball hits Hawaii

Nike has a new top-of-the-line golf ball that has appeared on the PGA Tour and should be available for consumers later in the spring.

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Putter permitting, Palmer excited to defend Sony title

Ryan Palmer, fresh off a tie for 15th at Kapalua, will defend a title for third time on the PGA Tour this week at the Sony Open.

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Champions Tour clears Thorpe to play

When Jim Thorpe gets out of prison – perhaps as soon as this month – he’ll have his old job waiting for him.

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Els trims his European Tour schedule

Ernie Els has reached a point in his career where he will not be traveling as far, and making decisions based as much on his business ventures as the golf itself.

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Euro Tour’s unheralded seek glory at Joburg Open

With so many European players opting staying away from Johannesburg, it’s a chance for the minnows to make hay.

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Heavy rain cancels pro-am at Sony Open

Just to make you folks back on the mainland feel better about your battles with snow, ice and cold, it’s raining down here.

Malaysian group to build golf complex in China

Five 18-hole, golf courses will provide summertime entertainment for what’s being billed as the largest ski destination in Asia. Called Secret Garden, the 5,000-acre development is being built in Hebei Province – about three hours from Beijing – that’s already home to several smaller ski areas.

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Challenge Tour extends its reach into India

The 2011 European Challenge Tour makes its debut in India this week. Europe’s developmental circuit gets underway Thursday at Kensville Golf Club in Ahmedabad for the inaugural Gujarat Kensville Challenge, an event Jeev Milkha Singh hopes will further accelerate the growing popularity of golf in India.

France’s Billot sets pace at Asian Tour Q-School

More than 300 players, representing over 30 countries, are at three venues in Hua Hin this week, trying to advance to the final stage of Asian Tour Qualifying School.

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Now up for sale: A Masters Trophy replica

If you wait long enough, everything is for sale at least once. In the golf world, there are certain pieces of memorabilia that are cherished, many of them having to do with Augusta National and The Masters.

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Golf Channel: Ratings increase for Tour opener

With the PGA Tour putting together a strategy for their next TV deal with the networks, a 38 percent increase in viewership for the first event of the season has to be good news to commissioner Tim Finchem.

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Early starts critical for Q-School, N'wide grads

How would you feel if you missed a 3-foot putt with a trip to Hawaii on the line? That’s what happened to Justin Hicks, a 36-year-old PGA Tour rookie.

In this issue: Jan. 14, 2011

Inside the Jan. 14, 2011 issue of Golfweek:

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Commentary: Hate to be Rude: Can Oberholser come back?

There’s sunshine on the horizon for Arron Oberholser, who hasn't competed on the PGA Tour since 2009 because of injuries.

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