News for Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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Donald Trump reopens Doral's Blue Monster

The Blue Monster is back, its holes seemingly in the same place. But nearly everything about the place has changed. And owner Donald Trump could not be happier.

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Experts' picks: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson and a handful of other stars register as favorites or players to watch this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

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Spieth embraces learning process on Tour

Jordan Spieth has set the golf world on fire over the past year, but the 20-year-old knows he has plenty to learn if he is going to continue to win on the world's biggest stage – the PGA Tour.

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Q&A: LPGA's Stacy Lewis shares interesting facts

Stacy Lewis, an eight-time winner on the LPGA and the tour’s top-ranked American, recently sat down with Golfweek at the JW Marriott Phoenix, site of next month's LPGA Founders Cup.

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'Bama, Cal players highlight Hogan Award watch list

Four Alabama players and three Cal players were included on the 2014 Ben Hogan Award watch list, which was released Wednesday.

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Toy Box Extra e-magazine: Feb. 5, 2014

Take a look at our Wedge Issue, complete with profiles on clubs from Nike, TaylorMade and Titleist, as well as a Q&A with Roger Cleveland and James Achenbach's love of wedges.

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Volvo World Match Play returns to England

The Volvo World Match Play Championship will be held this fall at London Golf Club, organizers from IMG and sponsor Volvo announced today at the Savoy Hotel, confirming one of golf’s worst-kept secrets.

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Woods faces a light pre-Masters schedule

If Tiger Woods skips the upcoming WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship – and sources have indicated he will – several reasons will have factored into the decision. But there’s also enough data to suggest that Woods isn’t deviating from a pre-Masters preparation that he has favored since turning 35 three years ago.

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Aphibarnrat, others vying for Match Play spots

Among the unique sights on the range Tuesday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the big guy with the big smile from Thailand, who is among those trying this week to secure a Match Play spot.

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Bigger and (sometimes) better: Woods, golf holes, more

Tiger Woods is muscled up; an initiative to grow golf wants the hole sized up; Bernhard Langer's Champions Tour wins are piling up; that and more from senior writer Jeff Rude.

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McDowells cherish special opportunity at Pebble Beach

Graeme McDowell will make his return to Pebble Beach this week for the first time since his 2010 U.S. Open victory, and he'll share the experience with his father.

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Dunning Golf's Heritage Performance pants and polo

The Heritage Performance Cotton comes in 12 colors, and the spring collection will be available on the Dunning website soon. For the summer/fall line, the four-way stretch, five-pocket pants and shorts become available July 15.

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True linkswear golf shoes bring fashion pieces for spring

True linkswear is bringing more-fashionable pieces for spring. The gent dame and wingtip golf shoes are classically inspired but with a new fashion upgrade.

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Notes: Wrap-around facts; Japan's duo; more

True, it’s only February and there’s warmer weather and a long stretch of golf ahead, but if you study where we are in the 2013-14 PGA Tour calendar, there are some intriguing aspects that show you just how different this “wrap-around” landscape is.

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Palm Springs offers something for everyone

While a nighttime skins game at Indio Municipal GC is a wacky diversion in the Palm Springs area, Pete Dye’s Stadium Course at PGA West is a true bucket-list item for any golfer heading to Southern California.

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Garcia fired up over cheating scandal in Abu Dhabi

Rules infractions -- and even any appearances thereof -- can be a dicey business in golf. Once again, we had our share of rules news in Abu Dhabi, where a year ago a two-shot penalty sent Tiger Woods packing.

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Mitsubishi Rayon's Gunther, Ibuki team up

Mitsubishi Rayon president Tsutomi Ibuki moved to California in 2013 to work closely alongside Mark Gunther, a testament to the importance of the U.S. market and the PGA Tour.

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Full Swing VP Coleman focuses on accuracy

Full Swing is proud of its image quality, and vice president of sales and marketing Chad Coleman likes to focus on accuracy: "How real is it? How much is this like my outdoor game?"

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As Cobra's VP of R&D, Olsavsky in for long haul

Tom Olsavsky, 50, sent a few shock waves through the Carlsbad golf community when he decided in late October to move to Cobra -- yet he isn’t promising immediate changes.

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Titleist R&D VP Dan Stone talks airplanes to clubs

Dan Stone, Titleist's VP of R&D, shares his transition from airplanes to golf clubs: One day he was designing flight controls for the C-17 military transport plane; the next he was figuring out where to place tungsten in an iron head.

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Callaway's Hocknell, team create 2 drivers for '14

Known as Doc Hock, Alan Hocknell has a doctorate from Loughborough University -- where he spent four years studying sports collisions (such as a clubhead hitting a ball) and met Callaway’s technical chief.

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'Old' Texan Leonard comfortable playing for fun

Don’t look now, but Justin Leonard is 41 and in his 20th full year on the PGA Tour. The 12-time winner has lived through highs (1997 Open Championship victory) and lows (140th in 2012 earnings) -- and is finally at peace.

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Schnider drives upgrade to Fujikura's Speeder shaft

Dave Schnider’s story is typical of many young golfers: “I woke up one morning and realized I had to get a job.” That was after four years playing at San Diego State.

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Larrazabal stars in Abu Dhabi, McIlroy and Mickelson set the stage for a big 2014

If the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is a precursor to what we’ll see in 2014, then it should be a great season. We’d take Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson at the top of leader boards all year, especially in the majors.

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Brown brings metallurgy background to True Temper

Don Brown, with an undergraduate degree in metallurgical engineering and masters degree in materials engineering, was working on a doctorate when he decided to step into the working world with True Temper.

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TaylorMade's Bazzel talks SLDR, JetSpeed drivers

Brian Bazzel, 39, is director of product creation for TaylorMade -- focusing heavily on metalwoods, where TaylorMade's roots began in 1979 as a metalwood company.

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Line forms early for Ryder Cup tournament

Let’s see. It’s January, the PGA Show is in town, Tiger and Phil rejoin the PGA Tour fray this week at Torrey Pines, and we’re thinking . . . Ryder Cup? Already? You bet we are.

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Reed after Humana win: Goal is 'multi-win years'

Patrick Reed was in the middle of his post-victory news conference at the Humana Challenge when a woman handed him an old-style cellphone and said former President Bill Clinton was on the line. Call it a perk of success.

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Fernandez-Castano targets full-time U.S. foray

PGA Tour leaderboards had better make room for one of the longest names in golf. Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, No. 36 in the world, is bringing his 23 letters, hyphen and stellar game to his first full-time U.S. foray.

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PGA Tour's Perez, Hartford prove opposites attract

“Friendship,” Muhammad Ali once said, “is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” So it goes for Pat Perez and his caddie, Mike Hartford.

Unlike some sports, at least golf shows class

As Patrick Reed coasted in the American desert while Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson came up short in the Arabian desert, it was easy to lament a lack of drama. One NFL interview made golf more appreciable.

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Rude: Zach Johnson sticks to strengths

At 5-11, 160 pounds, Zach Johnson doesn’t look like much. Any NFL lineman could pick him up with one hand; he passes for an insurance salesman. But put him on a golf course and he’s a bully.