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Jim McCabe
Phil Mickelson preparing for the PGA Tour's 2014 Valero Texas Open.
Phil Mickelson preparing for the PGA Tour's 2014 Valero Texas Open.

As always, there’s a story behind the story. In the case of Phil Mickelson missing the pro-am at the Shell Houston Open, for instance, well, no need to point fingers and make a case out of it.

It’s the way the sponsors want it. In fact, it’s the way they had it last year, too. And another time before that.

Sponsors reserve the right “to shift a player out of the pro-am for another sponsor function,” said a tournament director, and that’s the case with Mickelson at Houston. Shell officials have found great value in hosting ...

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Cassie Stein
Rory McIlroy's scripted apparel from Nike Golf for the 2014 Masters.
Rory McIlroy's scripted apparel from Nike Golf for the 2014 Masters.

As reported in January, Rory McIlroy designed a new Lightweight Innovation Color polo with Nike Golf, and the polo will make its debut at the Masters.

The polo has bonded shoulder seams for movement throughout the swing and a perforated collar for breathability and cooling.

On Thursday he’ll go with the medium base gray / turf orange polo with black pants. During the second round, he’ll wear dark gray with black pants. Over the weekend, starting on Saturday, McIlroy will sport the vivid blue polo with white pants. For Masters Sunday, he’ll wear base gray / venom green with ...

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Bill Zimmerman
Tiger Woods will miss the 2014 Masters after undergoing back surgery, he announced via his website Tuesday, April 1.
Tiger Woods will miss the 2014 Masters after undergoing back surgery, he announced via his website Tuesday, April 1.

By all accounts, it wasn't an April Fools joke – Tiger is out of this year's Masters after back surgery. (Read the developing news story here.)

It didn't take other pros and notables long to take to Twitter and react.

Paul Azinger, @PaulAzinger: "Sadly Tiger has to WD from the @The_Masters due to back surgery. Out 3-6 months. This is as career threatening an injury as his knee."

Peter Kostis, @peterjkostis: "Best wishes to Tiger Woods in his recovery from back surgery. My son had 2 of them and it's not fun. Must modify w'outs [workouts ...

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Brentley Romine
Lexi Thompson is one of four individuals on the top-seeded U.S. squad for the LPGA's inaugural International Crown.
Lexi Thompson is one of four individuals on the top-seeded U.S. squad for the LPGA's inaugural International Crown.

The LPGA announced the final 32-player field for the inaugural International Crown. Four players each from eight countries will compete in the event, July 24-27 at Caves Valley GC in Owings Mills, Md.

The eight teams are split into two groups and seeded based on the cumulative team score of their four players’ Rolex Ranking.

Here is the list of teams and their respective seeds, as well as the individual participants:

• • •

POOL A

1. UNITED STATES

Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr

4. THAILAND

Pornanong Phatlum, Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Onnarin Sattayabanphot

5. SPAIN

Azahara Munoz, Beatriz Recari ...

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Categories: Teeing Off, LPGA, Top Stories
Brentley Romine
Steven Bowditch during the third round of the Valero Texas Open.
Steven Bowditch during the third round of the Valero Texas Open.

Fresh off his first PGA Tour victory, one that brought with it an invitation to the Masters, Steven Bowditch reached a new high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Bowditch rose from No. 339 to No. 134 in the latest rankings, the first time he's ever cracked the top 250. He also went from No. 265 to No. 240 in Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

Click here to see Golfweek's men's pro rankings.

The co-runners-up in Texas, Will MacKenzie and Daniel Summerhays, both moved into the top 100. MacKenzie is now 84th while Summerhays is 97th.

Of course, not ...

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Laura Diaz picked up hole-in-ones on back-to-back days at the Kia Classic.
Laura Diaz picked up hole-in-ones on back-to-back days at the Kia Classic.

CARLSBAD, Calif. –– Laura Diaz had a hole-in-one for the second straight day in the Kia Classic to become the second player in LPGA Tour history to make two aces in a tournament.

Diaz aced the par-3 third hole Saturday in the third round, then holed out on the par-3 sixth on Sunday -- a shot she followed with an eagle on the par-4 seventh. She also had an eagle Saturday on the par-5 fifth.

"I went out today hoping I could get another one," Diaz said. "Just really using my head to see how wild and crazy it could get. Then ...

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Categories: Teeing Off, LPGA, Top Stories
Brentley Romine
Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Valero Texas Open during Saturday's third round at TPC San Antonio.
Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Valero Texas Open during Saturday's third round at TPC San Antonio.

Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Valero Texas Open Saturday, citing a pulled oblique muscle.

Mickelson was 1 over through 10 holes, 4 over overall, at the time of his withdrawal. He made the cut on the number Friday after birdieing his final hole.

"My back's feeling great, my body's been feeling great," Mickelson said in a statement. "I felt as good as I have all year. My speed is back, I was hitting the ball hard, driving it great. I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit the ball hard on the second hole (the par-4 ...

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Jim McCabe
Nick Faldo will play the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage in April.
Nick Faldo will play the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage in April.

Plaid remains an irresistible urge.

Consider that the bottom line to the feel-good news that a pair of iconic names – Tom Watson and Nick Faldo – have committed to play in the upcoming RBC Heritage Classic (April 17-20), the week after the Masters.

The news means the coziest and quaintest PGA Tour stop of the year will have an impressive Hall of Fame ensemble teeing it up at Harbour Town Golf Links. Ernie Els and Vijay Singh are also committed, as is Davis Love III, who someday will reside with the sport’s best.

Watson, 64, and Faldo, 56, have long ...

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Bill Zimmerman
Graeme McDowell says the EurAsia Cup needs to become part of Europe's preparation for the Ryder Cup, especially in finding pairings that work.
Graeme McDowell says the EurAsia Cup needs to become part of Europe's preparation for the Ryder Cup, especially in finding pairings that work.

The pairings for the first matches at the inaugural EurAsia Cup are out in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as the Europeans taking part have an eye on preparation for this year's Ryder Cup.

If there is any foreshadowing to be seen in Thursday's pairings, only time will tell. But captain Miguel Angel Jimenez will partner with fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, while Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen will form an all-Denmark pairing.

Remaining groups for the morning four-ball matches are Victor Dubuisson and Joost Luiten; Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher; and Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson.

“One of the toughest ...

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Alistair Tait
At the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland, Lorena Ochoa plays the Old Course during her 2007 Women's British Open win.
At the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland, Lorena Ochoa plays the Old Course during her 2007 Women's British Open win.

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – The Royal & Ancient Golf Club is set to break with centuries of tradition and allow female members, R&A chief executive Peter Dawson announced today.

Club members will vote on whether to allow women to join during their annual business meeting Sept. 18.

“I’m delighted that our general committee, supported by all our other committees, are recommending to club members that we welcome women to be members of the club in future,” Dawson said.

For the motion to pass, two thirds of the membership must vote to accept women as members.

“There will now be a ...

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Brentley Romine
Phil Mickelson is in the field for this week's Valero Texas Open.
Phil Mickelson is in the field for this week's Valero Texas Open.

Phil Mickelson will make his second appearance at the Valero Texas Open this week at TPC San Antonio's Oaks Course.

Mickelson, who tied for 47th in his first Texas Open start in 1992 (Mickelson's rookie year), will play the first two rounds alongside Jordan Spieth and defending champion Martin Laird. The trio will tee off at 8 a.m. Thursday off tee No. 10 and 12:50 p.m. Friday off tee No. 1.

It is expected to be Mickelson's second to last start before the Masters, which is two weeks away – he'll play the Shell ...

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Bill Zimmerman
What was he thinking? The one-and-only Jason Dufner debuting the #Dufnering Twitter craze.
What was he thinking? The one-and-only Jason Dufner debuting the #Dufnering Twitter craze.

Golfers' posts via Twitter on Monday ranged from looking at the week ahead to Monday's practice time to congratulations for Sunday's winners to the usual travel travails. Oh, and the reigning PGA Championship victor's birthday. Here's a sample:

• • •

Ernie Els, @TheBig_Easy: "Looking forward to two weeks in Texas @valerotxopen @ShellHouOpen which starts an exciting five-week stretch for me @PGATOUR"

Edward Loar, @BigEinBigD: "Field moved my way at Valero so I'm in now & get to skip the Monday q circuit this week"

Kris Blanks, @krisblanks: "Early trip to the airport. Flying to Houston. Not sure where ...

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Brentley Romine
Matt Every during the final round of his first PGA Tour victory, the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla.
Matt Every during the final round of his first PGA Tour victory, the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla.

Matt Every's victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational not only secured him a spot in the Masters, but also moved him to a career-high 44th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

It was the first career PGA Tour title for Every, who was ranked 94th a week ago and now has five top 10s this season. Before last week, he had yet to crack the top 100.

Keegan Bradley, who was runner-up at Bay Hill, moved up 10 spots to 18th while Adam Scott's third-place finish kept him at No. 2 – had the Australian won Sunday he likely ...

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Nick Masuda
Tiger Woods says he has yet to determine whether he'll be able to play in next month's Masters.
Tiger Woods says he has yet to determine whether he'll be able to play in next month's Masters.

With only 17 days left until the first tee ball goes in the air at Augusta National, it's still to be determined if the World's No. 1 player will be a participant in 2014.

Tiger Woods, addressing the media during a press conference announcing Quicken Loans as the new sponsor for his PGA Tour event at Congressional, says that he has been undergoing treatment for his ailing back, but has yet to determine whether that will allow him to play at the Masters on April 10.

“For Augusta, it’s still a little too soon (to know), to ...

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Cassie Stein
Yueer "Cindy" Feng, show here during the 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur, won her first Symetra Tour event on Sunday at Lake Wales Country Club.
Yueer "Cindy" Feng, show here during the 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur, won her first Symetra Tour event on Sunday at Lake Wales Country Club.

Yueer “Cindy” Feng claimed her first Symetra Tour victory at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic on Sunday at Lake Wales (Fla.) Country Club.

The 18-year-old shot a final-round, 5-under 67 and finished at 9 under for the tournament.

Feng entered the final round one shot back of leader Maude-Aimee Leblanc, but made consecutive birdies on Nos. 7-9 and took control of the tournament for good when she eagled the 10th.

In her third event on the Symetra Tour, Feng earned $18,750, which moves her into the top spot on the Volvik Race for the Card money list through three ...

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Recent Teeing Off Blog Videos

VIDEO: John Daly hitting out of man's mouth

John Daly, after having elbow surgery in July, is back in action. He hit a drive out of a man's mouth in Nashville, Tenn., on Sept. 29.

VIDEO: Nicklaus' grandson OK after motorcycle wreck

Video has become public of a wreck that Nick O'Leary, the grandson of Jack Nicklaus and a tight end on the Florida State football team, had while riding a motorcycle in May. See the frightening video here.

VIDEO: Henrik Stenson interview after second round

Henrik Stenson, who is in the clubhouse at 2 under, talks with the media after his second round of the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.

VIDEO: Jimenez shows off his pre-round practice routine

Miguel Angel JImenez, who shot a first-round 3-under 68 in the first round of the 2013 Open Championship, shows off his pre-round stretching routine. Believe me, you don't want to miss this.

VIDEO: Thomas Bjorn breaks camera lens at Muirfield

Watch Thomas Bjorn hit a shot and break a camera lens at the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.

VIDEO: $1 million hole-in-one contest

Machrihanish Dunes will reward four random golfers with a shot at $1 million on its par-3 14th hole.

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