Stories for March 2011

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Thursday, March 31

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Jutanugarn kicks off Kraft alongside Gulbis

Ariya Jutanugarn, 15, is teeing it up this week at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Julie Williams details her first round, which was played with LPGA star Natalie Gulbis.

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Lincicome, Lewis grab first-round Kraft lead

Brittany Lincicome and Stacy Lewis overcame the stifling desert heat for 6-under 66s Thursday, taking the first-round lead at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

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Walker (63) ties course record, leads in Houston

Jimmy Walker tied the course record with a 9-under 63 on Thursday to take a two-shot lead over Josh Teater and Nick O’Hern after the first round of the Houston Open.

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New baby, approach help rejuvenate Hart

It took a baby and a carefree approach to golf for Marcy Hart to find her game. Beth Ann Baldry explains.

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Kim seeing instant results with new focus

It’s been a few years, but Mindy Kim has seen success at Mission Hills. Kim is a local gal (she lives in nearby Diamond Bar) so it seems only fitting that her third stop in what’s shaping up to be a career-making season landed her at the Kraft Nabisco Championship this week.

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Lawrie takes early lead at Trophee Hassan II

Peter Lawrie of Ireland shot an 8-under 64 that included two eagles to take the first-round lead at the Trophee Hassan II on Thursday, two shots ahead of John Bickerton of England.

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Campbell (No. 38, 2012) commits to Tulane

Talia Campbell has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Tulane.

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Hak (No. 1, 2012) commits to Georgia Tech

Shun Yat Hak, the top-ranked junior in the class of 2012, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Georgia Tech.

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Wildman looks ahead: April 1-7

The season is starting to wind down, and a few teams need some great finishes to help their rankings. Let’s take a look at some big events happening this week as we wind down the regular season.

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College Notebook: A hectic yet heavenly month

While his Florida teammates were playing their regular-season finale, Andres Echavarria nearly made history last weekend on the Nationwide Tour. Ryan Lavner explains.

Wednesday, March 30

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Ishikawa to donate all 2011 earnings to Japan

Ryo Ishikawa says he is giving all of his 2011 tournament earnings to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in his native Japan.

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Commentary: Kia winner Gal destined for bright LPGA future

Despite her unknown status, Kia Classic winner Sandra Gal has the staying power to compete for years to come, writes Julie Williams.

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The skinny on Kerr: She’s ready for Kraft

Cristie Kerr will never escape her past – specifically, her former body. Transformation questions follow Kerr wherever she goes, especially now that she dropped 12 pounds during the offseason. Her size was a popular topic on Wednesday in the interview room at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA’s first major championship of the season. She looked confident and trim in an orange and white outfit, still wearing sneakers bef

In this issue: April 1, 2011

Inside the April 1, 2011 issue of Golfweek:

This college event gives back

So often we hear about professional golf tournaments, PGA Tour events in particular, and the money they raise for charity. It’s a good thing, no doubt.

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Complete coverage: Kraft Nabisco Championship

Check out Golfweek's complete coverage from the first major of the LPGA season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

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Mirror images at Augusta: Tiger and Phil

A soft-spoken German is the world’s top-ranked player, an Englishman arguably is overdue for a major and unheralded players are winning all the tournaments.

Thumbs up: Alabama | Thumbs down: Michigan State

It’s Wednesday, which means only one thing: It’s time for Thumbs up/Thumbs down!

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Carpenter finds his way at Bay Hill

Only a handful of fans stuck around to witness Alex Carpenter’s PGA Tour debut. The sun was setting at Bay Hill Club & Lodge, and the hottest player in college golf, the winner of seven events this season, was on his way to an 82 in the opening round of last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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Fantasy Tip Sheet: Shell Houston Open

Our Golfweek fantasy experts like Charl Schwartzel this week at the Shell Houston Open, the final event before the Masters.

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Q&A: Doc Giffin

Donald “Doc” Giffin started as a newspaper man in Pittsburgh, first with United Press International and then, after serving in the Korean War, with The Pittsburgh Press.

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Uihlein tops Jeong to capture Georgia Cup

U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein won the Georgia Cup on Tuesday, building a 4-up lead at the turn and holding on to beat British Amateur champion Jin Jeong on the 16th hole.

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Commentary: Hate to be Rude: Augusta on my mind

Only a week away from Augusta, Jeff Rude says there’s only one way to answer Masters anticipation: with golfy questions.

Tuesday, March 29

Long, Missouri roll at UALR tournament

Behind standout sophomore Jace Long, Missouri claims the 17th annual University of Arkansas-Little Rock title.

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Shin's dedication has her focused on top ranking

A commitment to fitness and to her swing, and Jiyai Shin has a new focus on becoming the top-ranked player in the world.

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Romano, Creamer team up for Kraft pro-am

Humor abounds as Ray Romano teams up with Paula Creamer during the Kraft-Nabisco Pro-Am on Tuesday in California.

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Toy Box: Laird relies mostly on TaylorMade

Martin Laird played mostly TaylorMade clubs in winning his second PGA Tour title March 27 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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EA Sports Tiger Woods '12 review: Thumbs up

We tested out the new EA Sports PGA Tour 12: The Masters not from a gamer's perspective, but from that of a golfer.

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Shell renews contract with Houston Open

Shell Oil Co. has agreed to a five-year extension as the title sponsor of the Houston Open, the third-longest tenured event on the PGA Tour.

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Notes: Tales from PGA Tour Q-School path

The PGA Tour is contemplating the radical change of handing out only Nationwide Tour cards at Q-School, in part to make sure promising young players are properly prepared for the big leagues.

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What if: Duke, OK State, match play, Carpenter

One of the best questions sports fans can ask during a season is, undoubtedly, What if? Today on Wildman’s Corner, I ask – and then answer – those scenarios.

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French Lick to host Big Tens in 2012, ’13, ’14

French Lick Resort, located in Southern Indiana, has been awarded the Big Ten men’s and women’s championship in 2012, ’13 and ’14.

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Top-ranked Tseng ready to defend Kraft title

Yani Tseng, winner of four consecutive tournaments to start the year, enters the LPGA's first major fashionably attired as World No. 1.

Valentine uses golf to cope with cancer

There are perhaps a thousand explanations as to why he shouldn’t be in work these days – one for every stitch that has been applied to his chest area to close the wounds – but they can’t outnumber the one reason he does show up.

Monday, March 28

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Urbina to restore 91-year-old Tillinghast design

Dellwood Country Club has changed its name to Paramount Country Club and hired architect Jim Urbina to restore its golf course, which was designed by A.W. Tillinghast in 1920.

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Tullymore launches home trade-in program

The owners of the Resorts of Tullymore & St. Ives want to make you a deal on a new home. Sound familiar? There’s a twist. The Stanwood, Mich., resort will buy your current home if you buy a home at Tullymore.

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Winner’s Circle: March 21-27, 2011

See what the winners had in their bags this week.

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New book places Golf Style over substance

The adage that “golf is a lifestyle” has become accepted wisdom, particularly among many in the design world.

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Anderson ready to start over with eco-resort

Three years ago, Lyle Anderson's business collapsed. Now the developer who shaped Scottsdale is starting over with plans for a high-end eco-resort. Martin Kaufmann explains.

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Monday Top Five: Where are the 59s?

Despite another close call, we are still yet to see a 59 in college golf. Lance Ringler discusses that and the rest of this week's Monday Top Five.

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Player of the Week: Michael Whitehead, Rice

Whitehead, a senior at Rice, won his first college tournament after posting a final-round 10-under 62.

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Player of the Week: Laura Gonzalez-Escallon, Purdue

Gonzalez-Escallon posted rounds of 70-71-68 for a 7-under 209 total to win the Battle at Rancho Bernardo by six shots.

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Team of the Week: Purdue

Led by tournament medalist Laura Gonzalez-Escallon, Purdue won the Battle at Rancho Bernardo by seven shots over top-ranked Southern California.

Fujikura shifts production in earthquake aftermath

The full effects of Japan’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake – and subsequent tsunami and nuclear crisis – won’t be known for years, but its immediate consequences certainly are being felt by golf equipment companies.

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Team of the Week: Oklahoma State

Playing without its No. 1 player, Peter Uihlein, Oklahoma State won The Duck Invitational.

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Player of the Week: Kendall Prince

Kendall Prince, of Lake Oswego, Ore., shot 7-under 139 (70-69) at San Ramon (Calif.) Golf Course to win the FCWT event by five shots.

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Player of the Week: Gustavo Chuang

Gustavo Chuang, of Rio Grande, Brazil, shot 1-over 145 (74-71) at San Ramon (Calif.) Golf Course to win the FCWT event by three shots.

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Five Things: After injuries, Wetterich wins in Louisiana

The Nationwide Tour had an interesting leaderboard for its first domestic event of 2011, with a former Ryder Cup participant beating out a collegian by a single shot. Brett Wetterich, making a comeback from injury after playing on the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup team, won the Louisiana Open by a shot over Florida’s Andres Echavarria.

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Barron cashes first Tour check in years

Doug Barron is making money on Tour again.

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Clark, Seahawks motivate each other

North Carolina-Wilmington men’s coach Matt Clark is much better after a health scare in the fall. His Seahawks are much improved, too.

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Wildman’s Q&A: USF coach Chris Malloy

Asher Wildman catches up with Chris Malloy, the first-year head coach at the University of South Florida.

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Player diary: Nicole has a reality check

Player diary: Nicole Noelle Smith had a reality check this week after not qualifying for the Kia Classic and a missed cut on the Futures Tour.

Sunday, March 27

Rookie Easton wins Sunshine Big Easy Tour debut

It's as if the Sunshine Big Easy Tour was created just for Bryce Easton. The developmental tour, named after Ernie Els, was created to help more professionals in South Africa gain competitive experience and sharpen their skills.

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King of the Hill

"I was not going to let this one get away," said Martin Laird after an up-and-down round that gave him the Arnold Palmer Invitational title.

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Gal wins Kia Classic with final-hole birdie

Sandra Gal won the Kia Classic on Sunday to become the second German winner in LPGA Tour history, beating second-ranked Jiyai Shin with a 2-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

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Kiradech overcomes nerves to net first Asian Tour victory

Youngster Kiradech Aphibarnrat picked up his first Asian Tour victory, outlasting Siddikur of Bangladesh with a clutch putt on No. 18 to win by one stroke at the SAIL Open on Friday at the Delhi Golf Club in New Delhi.

Stolz completes comeback with win at Indonesia PGA

A few years ago, Andre Stolz didn't know if he'd ever swing a golf club again. On Sunday, Stolz picked up a riveting victory by firing a 4-under 68 to outlast overnight-leader Rory Hie by a stroke to win the $1 million Indonesia PGA Championship at the Imperial Klub Golf in Jakarta.

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Commentary: Rude: Laird win proves difficulty of closing

For a good while in the final round, the Arnold Palmer Invitational looked like a tournament no one wanted to win. The final twosome spent much of the day in rewind, and other challengers hiccuped at key moments. In fact, the top three contenders hit shots into bunkers on the last three holes within the matter of a few seconds.

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Commentary: Laird gives Scottish golf a bit of hope

Paul Lawrie’s victory in Spain along with Martin Laird’s win at Bay Hill give Scotland much to cheer about. Goodness knows the Home of Golf has had very little to celebrate in recent years.

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Rapid reaction: Laird's win at Bay Hill

"I was not going to let this one get away," said Martin Laird after an up-and-down round that gave him the Arnold Palmer Invitational title.

Canadian Hadwin cruises to TLA victory in Bogota

With four rounds in the 60s, Canada's Adam Hadwin cruised to a six-stroke victory at the Pacific Colombia Tour Championship in Bogota, Colombia.

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Wetterich wins Nationwide's Louisiana Open

PGA Tour winner Brett Wetterich won the Nationwide Tour's Louisiana Open for the second time, closing with a 2-under 69 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over University of Florida senior Andres Echavarria.

5 Things You Need To Know Now

As further evidence of normalcy returning to Tiger Woods’ life, he’s stepping up his marketing duties again.

Lin prevails at Futures season opener for 1st win

Tzu-Chi Lin earned her first Futures Tour win March 27 at the season-opening Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. Lin shot her third consecutive round in the 60s Sunday at Lake Region Yacht and Country Club in Winter Haven, Fla., to move one spot up the leaderboard for a one-shot victory.

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Despite closing 75, Laird hangs on at Bay Hill

Martin Laird two-putted from 87 feet to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational Sunday, despite a closing 75. It was his second PGA Tour win.

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Santos (No. 17, 2012) commits to Gonzaga

Raychelle Santos, of La Quinta, Calif., has given a verbal commitment to Gonzaga. Santos also made an unofficial visit to Long Beach State before deciding on Gonzaga, and considered Notre Dame, Northwestern, Oregon and Washington.

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Lawrie wins Andalucia Open by 1 stroke

Paul Lawrie won the Andalucia Open on Sunday for his first European Tour victory since 2002 and sixth overall after holding off Johan Edfors of Sweden by one stroke.

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1986 Masters: Barbara, Jack had special connection

It was a family affair for Jack Nicklaus in 1986, with mom, Helen, in attendance, as well as son, Jackie, on his bag. But wife, Barbara, was always the strongest supporter.

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1986 Masters: Chirkinian caught up listening to ‘valley’ sounds

Frank Chirkinian was working as executive producer and director of the Masters for CBS Sports in 1986, and his most vivid memories are the sounds he heard that Sunday afternoon.

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1986 Masters: Toughest shot on back nine? All of them

New York Times columnist Dave Anderson asked Jack Nicklaus what the toughest shot on the back nine at Augusta was...his answer: "Every shot is tough."

Saturday, March 26

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After late bogey, Shin leads Kia Classic by one

Second-ranked Jiyai Shin shot a 3-under 70 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Sandra Gal after the third round of the Kia Classic.

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Baldry: Shin setting sights on World No. 1

After having lasik eye surgery during the offseason, Jiyai Shin has ditched her wire frames for sunglasses that only increase her final-round intimidation.

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Five Things: Laird looking for new ending

After a series of bad luck, Martin Laird may be poised for his second Tour title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Laird leads Spencer Levin by two.

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Five things: Nochta holds lead in Futures opener

Blink, and you might miss Laura Nochta. The Futures Tour rookie, a recent Indiana graduate, moves at a fast clip when on the course, disproving any arguments that fast players can’t be good players.

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Fond memories linger in Orlando for Laird

Fourteen miles and more than two years removed from this Arnold Palmer Invitational, Martin Laird hit arguably the most important putt of his career.

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Laird maintains Bay Hill lead; Levin two back

Firing a two-under 70 Saturday at Bay Hill, Martin Laird maintained his lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he leads Spencer Levin by two.

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Ferrie (60) ties Euro Tour record, leads in Spain

Kenneth Ferrie shot a 60 to equal the European Tour record at the Andalucia Open on Saturday, climbing within one stroke of leader Paul Lawrie heading into the final round.

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Clark (No. 2, 2012) commits to Oklahoma State

Wyndham Clark, of Greenwood Village, Colo., has given a verbal commitment to Oklahoma State for the fall of 2012. Clark also made unofficial visits to Duke, Texas and Oregon.

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1986 Masters: Davis Love III: All about the Nicklaus' caddie

Davis Love III was glued to the TV for a different reason, watching former college teammate Jackie Nicklaus tend to his father's bag.

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1986 Masters: Tiger thought Nicklaus had a ‘pretty cool’ pose

Tiger doesn't remember much about the 1986 Masters, but he thought Jack Nicklaus' pose after draining a putt on No. 17 was "pretty cool."

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1986 Masters: Lyle's hair-raising experience

Sandy Lyle had never played with Jack Nicklaus before the final round of the 1986 Masters. He says there were no signs the first eight holes, making the back-nine charge even more intense.

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1986 Masters: Lyle's caddie had a ringside seat

English caddie Dave Musgrove, on Sunday at the 1986 Masters: 'I’ve never known such noise on a golf course as I heard that day. When (Jack) Nicklaus birdied the 11th, I could hardly hear, it was so noisy.'

Friday, March 25

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1986 Masters: Norman just wants a mulligan

Even now, 20 years later, Greg Norman says his “biggest regret in golf” came on his last full shot at the 1986 Masters. Even now he longs for a mulligan.

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1986 Masters: ‘He’s got no chance if he putts like that’

Tom Meeks was working the par-3 fourth hole on Sunday of the 1986 Masters and saw Jack Nicklaus miss a 6-footer pretty badly. He thought Nicklaus was done. Not so fast.

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1986 Masters: Koch knew to hurry up and hit

Gary Koch and Bob Tway faced a bit of a dilemma during the final round of the 1986 Masters. Playing in the group ahead of Jack Nicklaus, they found themselves playing the last four holes at Augusta National at a torrid pace – just trying to stay out of the way.

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1986 Masters: Tom Kite was only a birdie away

Tom Kite needed to birdie one of the last two holes to tie Jack Nicklaus. Both he and those last two birdie putts came painfully close.

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1986 Masters: ‘Nobody that old wins the Masters’

Tom McCollister, longtime golf writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote off Jack Nicklaus at the 1986 Masters. Oops.

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1986 Masters: Jackie Nicklaus was cool and calm – until the 15th

Making victory extra sweet for Jack Nicklaus was the fact he was able to share it with his oldest son, Jackie, who was on the bag.

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Jiyai Shin takes four-stroke Kia Classic lead

Second-ranked Jiyai Shin shot a bogey-free 9-under 64, birdieing nine of the first 14 holes, to take a four-stroke lead in the rain-delayed Kia Classic.

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Langer out 2 months after thumb surgery

Two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer had surgery on his left thumb and will miss the next two months, ending his streak of 27 consecutive appearances at Augusta National.

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1986 Masters: Sam Randolph remembers ‘electricity in the air’

Despite low amateur honors, Sam Randolph knew the trophy ceremony on Augusta National’s 18th green belonged to the real Golden Bear.

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1986 Masters: Ernie Els' late-night treat

As a teen growing up in South Africa, Ernie Els had strict rules for bedtime: It was lights out by 10 p.m., with few exceptions. Watching the 1986 Masters and Jack Nicklaus' victory was a "special treat."

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5 Things: Bay Hill more accessible on Day 2

It was calm and manageable in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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Laird (65) grabs lead at Bay Hill

Martin Laird made a 12-foot birdie on the last hole for a 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead over K.J. Choi and Spencer Levin going into the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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Tiger’s ‘process’ beginning to come together

Dedicated to perfecting his new swing, Tiger Woods showed a few flashes of brilliance during a 68 Friday to move into contention at Bay Hill.

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Johnson juggles LPGA qualifiers, Futures events

A handful of players in the field at the Future Tour season opener made a last-minute, cross-country trip after attempting to take advantage of a new LPGA policy.

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Lafeber, two others tied for lead in Spain

Rikard Karlberg of Sweden shot a 67 in the Andalucian Open on Friday to take a share of the second-round lead with Dutchman Maarten Lafeber and Dane Jeppe Huldahl.

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Roig a welcome addition at Futures opener

If the LPGA Futures Tour is meant to usher in a new generation of pros, then the golf world should welcome Kyle Roig with open arms.

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Langer out two months after thumb surgery

Two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer has had thumb surgery because of a biking accident and will be out about two months. He will miss the Masters for the first time since 1983.

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Tough road for Euro Q-School grads

It didn’t take long for the euphoria of gaining a tour card to fade for the graduates of last year’s European Tour Qualifying School.

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Old White Course joins TPC Network

The Old White Course at The Greenbrier Resort, site of the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic, will be the newest member of the Tournament Players Club Network.

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Defending champ Purdue starting to peak

Despite a quiet start to the season, defending NCAA champion Purdue is surging toward the postseason. The Boilermakers picked up their most impressive victory of the season last week in San Diego.

Thursday, March 24

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Blumenherst leads Kia Classic; Gal one back

Amanda Blumenherst birdied the final four holes for a 7-under 66 and a one-stroke lead over Germany’s Sanda Gal on Thursday in the Kia Classic.

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Five Things: Long-drive contest fizzles out

Instead of leaving galleries in awe, the powerful trio of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland struggled Thursday at windswept Bay Hill.

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Levin continues strong play, leads at Bay Hill

On a tough and blustery day at Bay Hill, Spencer Levin made it look easy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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Late birdies vault Rock atop Andalucian Open

Robert Rock of England birdied five of his final eight holes for a 5-under 65 that tied him with four other players after the first round of the Andalucian Open on Thursday.

Wildman looks ahead: March 25-27

As the regular season winds down, so do the chances for bubble teams to climb the rankings. With a few weeks to go before conference championships begin, here are a few tournaments to tune in to over the weekend.

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Rude: Keep an eye on Mahan at Augusta

Even though he’s had a couple of chipping breakdowns in the past six months (at the Ryder Cup and WGC-Accenture Match Play) and a good short game is vital at Augusta National, Hunter Mahan merits occupancy on the early short list of 2011 Masters threats.

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Notes: Laird fixing swing on the fly

Think the importance of swing coaches is overstated? Then consider the case of Martin Laird, who’s having success this season while seeing less of his instructors.

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Play the EA Sports Virtual Challenge and win!

Now on Golfweek.com: Play the EA SPORTS Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online challenge and win great weekly prizes! This week: Nos. 16, 17 and 18 at Bay Hill. Do you have game?

Wednesday, March 23

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5 things: Tiger, Phil biggest draws at Bay Hill

On the eve of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, here are 5 Things you need to pay attention to:

For Woods, a bumpy road to the Masters

A toddler sitting on his father’s shoulder behind the third green at Bay Hill broke the silence of Wednesday morning with a comment that made the gallery laugh and caused Tiger Woods to break into a big smile.

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Jaworski (No. 30, 2012) commits to North Carolina

Zack Jaworski, of Milton, Ga., has given a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina.

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Hate to be Rude: Q-School changes miss the mark

The PGA Tour’s proposed changes to Q-School would misplace the competitive focus on the Nationwide Tour. Jeff Rude explains.

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Fantasy Tip Sheet: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Take a look at who Golfweek's experts are picking to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational on this week's Fantasy Tip Sheet.

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Purdue finishes atop strong Rancho Bernardo field

Purdue won its second consecutive tournament on March 22 at the Battle at Rancho Bernardo.

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Oklahoma among teams to score breakthrough win

Winning the Desert Shootout by 22 shots, Oklahoma was among a group of breakthrough winners this week in men's college golf. Ron Balicki explains.

Thumbs up: Tulsa | Thumbs down: Pace of play

As you might have noticed, the postseason is right around the corner. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, though, because first we need to do another installment of Thumbs Up & Thumbs Down.

In this issue: March 25, 2011

Inside the March 25, 2011 issue of Golfweek:

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Woods launches instructional mobile app

Tiger Woods is now giving lessons on mobile phones.

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Chow (NR, 2012) commits to Pepperdine

Marissa Chow, of Honolulu, has given a verbal commitment to Pepperdine. Chow also made an unofficial visit to UCLA.

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Reeves (NR, 2012) commits to Tennessee-Martin

Ben Reeves has given a verbal commitment to play for the University of Tennessee at Martin. Reeves is from Knoxville, Tenn.

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LPGA players from Japan raise awareness at Kia

Ai Miyazato was on a flight from Okinawa to Tokyo on March 11 when an earthquake shifted the main island of Japan.

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Player diary: Trying to make it financially

Nicole Noelle Smith knows she is fortunate to play golf for a living. But it isn't all roses when it comes to paying the bills.

Tuesday, March 22

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Duke tops Illinois, wins Callaway Match Play

Duke won its fourth consecutive match March 22, defeating Illinois, 4-1, to claim the Callaway Match Play Championship at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Georgia.

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Notes: Woodland can thank Faxon for success

Here is what happened: Gary Woodland birdied a demanding par-3 71st hole at the Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla., to win his first PGA Tour tournament.

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Bevacqua resigns as USGA business officer

Pete Bevacqua, who was a candidate for the USGA’s executive director post, has resigned as the association’s chief business officer, effective immediately.

Rah, Pace prevail in LPGA’s first ‘Open Qualifier’

The LPGA’s first “Open Qualifier” was a success, judging by the number of players who participated. Fifty-six players were on the roster to compete March 21 at the Kia Classic Monday qualifier.

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Woods to go on promotional tour in Asia

As further evidence of normalcy returning to Tiger Woods’ life, he’s stepping up his marketing duties again.

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Bombs away at Bay Hill: Tiger, D.J., Woodland

Tiger Woods will join Gary Woodland and Dustin Johnson, two of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, during the first two days at Bay Hill.

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Valasek (No. 94, 2011) commits to Coastal Carolina

Peter Valasek has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Coastal Carolina.

Hope springs anew, 18 holes at a time

The ground is coming to life again, and with it, the hopes of golfers.

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Monday Top 5: Kim’s Oklahoma record falls

Oklahoma sophomore Abraham Ancer broke former Sooner standout and PGA Tour star Anthony Kim’s 54-hole school record to win the Desert Shootout at Palm Valley.

Q&A: FAMU coach Marvin Green

Today on Wildman’s Corner, I interviewed a coach who works for the school that has the best band in the country.

Asian Tour appoints ex-Euro chief Schofield

Former European Tour executive director Ken Schofield has been appointed to the board of the Asian Tour.

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Sorenstam gives birth to second child

Annika Sorenstam says she has given birth to a boy a little earlier than expected.

Monday, March 21

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Tour considers changing season-ending format

The PGA Tour is considering a change to the end of its season in which players who don’t make the FedEx Cup playoffs would compete for their cards in a series of tournaments against top Nationwide Tour players.

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Winner’s Circle: March 14-20, 2011

See what the winners had in their bags.

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Is the Euro Tour’s foundation cracking?

Something strange happened last week on the European Tour – a tournament was actually held in Europe.

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Gasparilla Inn: Classic, yet modern

The late William F. Buckley Jr. famously declared it his mission to “stand athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’ ” Buckley almost certainly would have loved The Gasparilla Inn & Club.

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Resort golf gets a makeover on Florida Gulf Coast

Tournament-tough courses await on Florida's Gulf Coast. Martin Kaufmann reports.

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Player of the Week: Rika Park

Rika Park, of Hilton Head Island, S.C., shot 2-under 140 (67-73) at Mira Vista Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas to win the Kathy Whitworth Invitational by two shots.

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Player of the Week: Nathan Weant

Nathan Weant, of Hallsville, Texas, shot 3-under 141 (72-69) at Woodforest Golf Club in Montgomery, Texas to win the Texas Legends Junior Tour Spring Preview.

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American Express extends partnership with PGA

American Express, which became an official patron of the PGA of America in 2007, announced it will extend its sponsorship through 2013.

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A closer look at Tiger Woods '12: The Masters

How did EA Sports create the highly anticipated Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters? Ryan Lavner got a behind-the-scenes look.

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Team of the Week: Auburn

Auburn successfully defended its 2010 win at the Schenkel Invitational with a one-hole playoff victory. The win is Auburn’s second title of the season after winning last fall at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate.

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Player of the Week: Abraham Ancer, Oklahoma

Oklahoma sophomore Abraham Ancer won the Desert Shootout at Palm Valley Golf Course in Goodyear, Ariz., with rounds of 66-66-63 for a 21-under 195 total.

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Team of the Week: Arizona State

The Sun Devils beat Arizona by five shots at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational on March 15 for their first full-field win of the season.

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Player of the Week: Casey Kennedy, Augusta State

The freshman beat Purdue’s Paula Reto by five shots at the Administaff Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate on March 14 to earn medalist honors for the second time in four events this season.

Fantasy vs. Reality: The NCAA Championship

The Wildman is back from his week-long road trip to Tallahassee and Augusta, and what a week it was!

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Goosen disputes IRS: ‘I’ve paid my taxes’

Retief Goosen and the Internal Revenue Service have a difference of opinion, and neither side is backing down.

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Match Play will return to Dove Mountain in ’12

The PGA Tour and Accenture have announced that the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship will return to Dove Mountain in 2012.

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Jacquelin wins weather-delayed Sicilian Open

France’s Raphael Jacquelin ended a four-year wait for his third European Tour title by winning the weather-delayed Sicilian Open on Monday.

Sunday, March 20

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Augusta bound

After an unorthodox journey, Gary Woodland is a PGA Tour winner after claiming a one-shot victory at the Transitions Championship Sunday.

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Commentary: Is the Euro Tour's foundation cracking?

Something strange happened last week on the European Tour – a tournament was actually held in Europe. Such occasions are becoming rare.

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Webb wins inaugural Founders Cup by one

Karrie Webb won the inaugural Donnelly Founders Cup by one shot Sunday for her second consecutive LPGA win.

American Cody Slover triumphs in Colombian TLA event

For four and a half years, American Cody Slover has been waiting for a professional victory. The long wait ended suddenly when his 20-foot putt on the 72nd hole dropped for an eagle, giving him a one-stroke victory at the Pacific Colombia Tour presented by Helm Barranquilla Open Sunday afternoon.

Sunshine Tour rookie in 5th start claims Namibia PGA

From two meters off the green, JG Claassen struck his putt on the 16th hole of Windhoek Country Club. When it went in, it provided the decisive blow that yielded Claassen a victory at the MTC Namibia PGA Championship.

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Five Things: Woodland punches Augusta ticket

After an unorthodox journey, Gary Woodland is a PGA Tour winner after claiming a one-shot victory at the Transitions Championship Sunday.

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5 Things You Need To Know Now

Sergio Garcia began the 2009 season ranked No. 2 in the world. This weekend, he made his first PGA Tour start of the season at the Transitions Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., ranked 85th.

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Woodland claims Transitions title, first Tour win

After an unorthodox journey, Gary Woodland is a PGA Tour winner after claiming a one-shot victory at the Transitions Championship Sunday.

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Imada, Tour donate money to Japan relief fund

The distance between Tokyo and Tampa is more than 7,000 miles, but many in the field at the Transitions Championship are feeling the effects of the earthquake and tsunami that affected the island nation in the past two weeks.

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Storms push Sicilian Open to Monday finish

France’s Raphael Jacquelin held a one-shot lead over England’s Anthony Wall when final-round play at the inaugural Sicilian Open was suspended because of darkness Sunday.

Saturday, March 19

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Stanford leads Founders Cup by 3 strokes

Angela Stanford opened a 3-stroke lead over Brittany Lincicome on Saturday in the LPGA Founders Cup, shooting a second straight 6-under 66.

Despite earthquake, Japan Golf Tour to begin on schedule

The show will go on for the Japan Golf Tour next month despite last week's devastating earthquake. That's the plan, anyway. A senior tour official told Reuters that the Japanese men's tour will open the season on schedule April 14 at the Token Cup in Nagoya.

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Chang-won Han to make OneAsia debut

The long-awaited professional debut of teen sensation Han Chang-won of Korea is slated for this week at the Indonesia PGA Championship in Jakarta.

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Report: Elin buys $12.2M mansion near Tiger

According to The Palm Beach Post and other media outlets, Elin Nordegren has bought a $12.2 million mansion in North Palm Beach, about 10 miles away from ex-husband Tiger Woods' new digs.

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Rose takes one-stroke lead at Transitions

One last birdie gave Justin Rose a Saturday 65 and a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Transitions Championship.

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Jacquelin leads by 1 shot at Sicilian Open

Raphael Jacquelin of France shot a 2-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Sicilian Open on Saturday.

Carolinas amateur champion Smith, 80, dies

Charles Blalock Smith, who played on two victorious Walker Cup teams in the 1960s and won numerous amateur championships, died March 16 in Gastonia, N.C., the Gaston Gazette reported. He was 80.

Friday, March 18

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Hard work paying off for LPGA rookie Bordner

Danah Bordner, 30, might be older than the average rookie, but she takes determination to a new level. Beth Ann Baldry explains.

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Stanford leads LPGA U.S. opener by one

Angela Stanford holed out from a fairway bunker for eagle on the par-4 ninth hole and shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the LPGA Founders Cup, the tour’s play-for-free U.S. opener.

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Aguirre (NR, 2012) commits to Western Kentucky

Trey Aguirre, of Navarre, Fla., has given a verbal commitment to Western Kentucky. Aguirre also made an unofficial visit to Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.

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Arizona State logs big team win in Hawaii

It hasn't been an easy season for Arizona State, but after earning its first full-field win, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Julie Williams explains.

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Garcia one back at Transitions Championship

Playing in his first PGA Tour event in seven months, Sergio Garcia shot a second-round 66 to move within one shot of the lead in Tampa.

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Wall (67) takes two-shot Sicilian Open lead

Anthony Wall shot a 4-under 67 Friday to take a two-shot lead after the second round of the Sicilian Open.

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Dancing Rabbit signs Daly to promotion deal

Pro golfer John Daly has signed an agreement to promote the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians’ two golf courses at its Pearl River Resort near Philadelphia.

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Photos: EA Sports' Tiger Woods '12 game

Check out some new screenshots from EA Sports' upcoming "Tiger Woods 12: The Masters," including new player images.

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Sunningdale welcomes man's best friend

You can’t go to Sunningdale Golf Club without having one of its famous sausage sandwiches from the halfway hut. In fact, dogs can’t go to Sunningdale without having a sausage sandwich. That’s right, dogs.

Thursday, March 17

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Recari among LPGA players with a cause

LPGA players like Beatriz Recari are finding causes close to their hearts this week at the charity-driven RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.

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LPGA players teeing it up for free in U.S. opener

The LPGA tour found a way to return to the Valley of the Sun and add another U.S. event. The catch, the players aren’t getting paid.

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LPGA gets expanded live coverage in 2011

The LPGA is playing fewer domestic events this season, but will receive significantly more live coverage. Martin Kaufmann has the details.

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Casey (64) takes early two-shot lead in Tampa

Paul Casey played bogey-free Thursday at the fog-delayed Transitions Championship to take a two-shot lead.

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Lara, Dodd share lead at Sicilian Open

Jose Manuel Lara of Spain overcame an early double bogey to finish tied for the lead with Welshman Stephen Dodd on the opening day of the Sicilian Open.

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Weir (wrist) to miss Arnold Palmer Invite

Former Masters champion Mike Weir has had a cyst on his left wrist drained and will miss the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week at Bay Hill.

Events to watch: Schenkel, Callaway Match Play

Last night was the Wildman’s last night in Augusta, Ga., because today I am back in the rental and heading back to the 407.

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Pain, then gain for OK State’s Hoffmann

Oklahoma State junior Morgan Hoffmann won the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and entered the conversation for college player of the year.

Wednesday, March 16

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Woods commits to play Bay Hill

Tiger Woods says he will play the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week at Bay Hill.

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Recharged and refocused, Garcia seeks to regain game

Sergio Garcia began the 2009 season ranked No. 2 in the world. This week, he makes his first PGA Tour start of the season ranked 85th.

An old friend, a new name

explains why Arizona coach Rick LaRose did something special for longtime supporter Don Puckett.

In this issue: March 18, 2011

Inside the March 18, 2011 issue of Golfweek:

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Toy Box notes: Watney relies on Titleist gear

Nick Watney used Titleist AP2 irons in his victory at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, but he made a strategic change in his set makeup before the tournament.

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Smoltz to play N’wide’s South Georgia Classic

Former major-league pitcher John Smoltz has accepted a sponsor exemption into the Nationwide Tour’s South Georgia Classic, to be played April 28-May 1 at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga. It will be his first career start in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.

Q&A: Amy Bond, Florida State women's coach

Today on Wildman’s Corner, I caught up with Amy Bond, who is in her first year as the head coach at Florida State.

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Hate to be Rude: Woods stuck in the 'process'

What does Tiger need to do to master a few swing changes? Jeff Rude got Justin Rose and Sean O'Hair to weigh in.

Tuesday, March 15

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Arizona State wins 1st title of season in Hawaii

In just its fourth outing as a team this season, Arizona State won the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational on Tuesday. Carlota Ciganda took individual honors.

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Fantasy Tip Sheet: Transitions Championship

Martin Laird is getting plenty of love from our fantasy gurus. Can the "sleeper" pull it off at the Transitions?

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Park wins Kathy Whitworth by two shots

Rika Park has assembled quite a list of accomplishments in her final season as a junior golfer. The Kathy Whitworth Invitational might be her biggest yet.

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Green gains spot in Senior PGA Championship

Ken Green will compete in the Senior PGA Championship in May at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

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Ishikawa plays on despite destruction at home

Part of Ryo Ishikawa wishes he could fly home to Japan to see his family and find ways to help a country devastated by an earthquake and tsunami and now facing concerns over a nuclear meltdown.

New Euro Tour policy puts limits on gambling

The European Tour has a new policy in its regulations this year that forbids a player or a caddie to place a bet on any golf tournament in which they are participating.

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UCF prevails at Rio Pinar despite injuries

Brad Schneider and his UCF teammates have had their share of injuries this season. As Ryan Lavner writes, it didn't stop them from dominating their home event.

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Notes: Kaymer to prep for Masters in Scottsdale

Martin Kaymer may be World No. 1, but he doesn’t play like it in the Masters. Kaymer has missed the cut in each of his three starts at Augusta National.

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Funk likely to WD at Innisbrook with chest strain

Fred Funk has made one cut on the PGA Tour in four starts in 2011, and it may be awhile before he gets another chance. Funk is likely to withdraw from the Transitions Championship before the first round because of a strain in his chest.

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Notes: Caddie, wedges key to Watney’s success

With help from caddie Chad Reynolds, Nick Watney has made his wedges his friends. As Jim McCabe writes, it’s paying off in a big way.

Player of the Week: Madison Opfer

Madison Opfer, of Plant City, Fla., shot 2-over 146 (72-74) at Vero Beach (Fla.) Country Club to win the Florida Junior Tour event by three shots.

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Player of the Week: Taylor Hancock

Taylor Hancock, of Clearwater, Fla., shot 3-under 141 (71-70) at Vero Beach (Fla.) Country Club and won the Florida Junior Tour event in a playoff.

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Par 5: Women's Spring Preview

t's time for Lance and Asher to preview the women’s college game for the spring season.

Pacific players fall, Hagy victorious at SF City

The run toward the title at the San Francisco City Amateur Championship among University of Pacific players came to an end this past weekend in the semifinal round.

Thumbs up: Augusta St. | Thumbs down: Tulane

Wildman is still in Augusta, and so far this town has been nothing but thumbs up! In fact, the other night at dinner I ate with the Godfather of Soul’s (that’s James Brown for you young bucks) son in law.

Transgender golfer, Long Drivers face mediation

Lana Lawless, the transgender golfer who filed a discrimination suit last year against the Long Drivers of America, will meet with LDA owner Art Sellinger and a mediator on March 19 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in an attempt to settle their dispute.

Monday, March 14

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Monday Top 5: Hoffmann enters POY talks

Morgan Hoffmann led his OSU Cowboys to a come-from-behind title at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and may have found a spot in the Player of the Year talks.

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Mozo given exemption into Sybase Match Play

LPGA Tour rookie Belén Mozo (be-LEHN’ moh-THOH’) of Spain has been given a sponsor’s exemption for the Sybase Match Play Championship in mid May.

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Commentary: Woods still under scrutiny at Tavistock Cup

Tiger Woods and Thomas Bjorn might have been laughing at the Tavistock Cup, but Woods' swing remains firmly under public scrutiny.

Lutz wins Florida Azalea Senior with final-round 64

Chip Lutz made a twisting 8-foot par putt on the final hole March 13 to shoot 64 and win the Florida Azalea Senior by one shot over Bruce Scamehorn, who missed an 8-footer for birdie at his last and also shot 64.

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Winner’s Circle: March 7-13, 2011

See what the winners had in their bags this week.

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Live Blog: Tracking Tiger at the Tavistock Cup

After closing with a 6-under 66 Sunday at Doral, Tiger Woods is back in action today, teeing it up for Team Albany at the Tavistock Cup.

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Kohler Co. extends sponsorship of WGC events

The Kohler Co. has announced a four-year extension of its hospitality sponsorship of the World Golf Championships.

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Portuguese course cited as environmental steward

At a time when environmental stewardship in golf is becoming paramount, Belas Clube de Campo in Portugal can make an important claim: It’s the first golf facility in its country to achieve the GEO Certified award.

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Breaking down the design playbook

Too much of the discussion about golf courses is dominated by scratch players. Sit around the 19th hole at your average course long enough and you’d think that most opinions about course design concern yardage from the back tees and making holes tougher.

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Bastis, Phillips guide California GC to new heights

Sometimes, credit is the other side of blame. Consider Thomas Bastis, superintendent of the California Golf Club of San Francisco.

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Top course designs feature different techniques

The best designs – classic or modern – can arrive to final form in different ways. Bradley S. Klein explains.

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Q&A: Jason Roets on his PGA Tour debut

The 18-year-old South African made his PGA Tour debut last week at the Puerto Rico Open – the reward for winning an AJGA event on the Caribbean island in January.

A few notes from the Seminole Intercollegiate

The Wildman is on the road kiddies, and the rental car mileage is adding up. First, I stopped off in the 8-5-0 (Tallahassee) for the Seminole Intercollegiate. After the final putt dropped Sunday I drove through every back road the state of Georgia has to offer to get to Augusta.

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Chowrasia, Aiken showcase talent at Doral

It wouldn’t be a true “world” golf championship if different corners of the globe weren’t represented, which explains why the Cadillac Championship did its job once again.

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Player of the Week: Lindy Duncan, Duke

The Blue Devils sophomore made par on third hole of a sudden-death playoff with Louisville’s Anna-Karin Ljungstrom to win the LSU Golf Classic.

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Player of the Week: Morgan Hoffmann, Oklahoma State

The Cowboys junior won the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, his first victory since the 2009 Big 12 Championship.

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Team of the Week: Arkansas

The Razorbacks broke out of the pack to win the LSU Golf Classic by seven shots over Virginia. Arkansas was the only team to finish under par in the final round with a 1-under 287.

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Team of the Week: Oklahoma State

Down 10 shots going into the final round, the Cowboys rallied to win the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters by seven shots over Texas A&M and 10 shots over 36-hole leader California.

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Player diary: Nicole checks in from the road

In this week's installment, Golfweek player blogger Nicole Noelle Smith touches on the struggles that Futures Tour players face each season.

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Arkansas tops Virginia at LSU Golf Classic

Arkansas made the most of a quick turnaround this week, winning the LSU Golf Classic on March 13. It’s the first victory this spring for the Razorbacks, who spent the first part of the week in Gainesville, Fla. at the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invite

Sunday, March 13

Estevez's birdie barrage earns TLA win in Colombia

Few can withstand a birdie-barrage like the one unleashed by Joaquin Estevez of Argentina at this weekend's Challenge Tour event in Colombia.

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New memories

Nick Watney didn't let this one slip away. Two years removed from a heartbreaking loss at Doral, Watney birdied the tough No. 18 at Doral to help him win the Cadillac Championship on Sunday, picking up a World Golf Championship title in the process.

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Sunshine Tour creates circuit to groom talent

Ernie Els' legacy of developing professional golf in his homeland of South Africa is about to grow again.

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Five Things: Tiger rounding into form?

Two Butch Harmon disciples fought it out down the stretch, a Dane and an Italian held up the flag for the European Tour and Luke Donald posted another solid finish. That was part of what came out of the WGC-Cadilliac Championship. . . oh, and Tiger Woods was here, as well.

5 Things You Need To Know Now

Tiger Woods shot 66 in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, and seemed as happy as can be. But then who could have blamed him for being blissful?

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Start-to-finish leader Nick Price wins Toshiba

Nick Price won the Toshiba Classic on Sunday for his fourth career Champions Tour title, holding off Mark Wiebe by a stroke at Newport Beach Country Club.

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Hoffmann, OSU sweep Southern Highlands

Fueled by Morgan Hoffmann’s medalist performance, Oklahoma State claimed a seven-stroke victory Sunday at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters.

USGA pulls out of Colorado GC for 2012

The U.S. Golf Association has withdrawn an initial plan for Colorado Golf Club to co-host the 2012 U.S. Amateur.

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Korea claims its fifth consecutive Queen Sirikit Cup

Hyo-joo Kim, Ji-hee Kim and In-gee Chun led Korea to its fifth consecutive victory at the Queen Sirikit Cup in the 33rd edition of the 14-nation Asia Pacific Women's Amateur Team Championship in Delhi.

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Watney (67) tops Johnson for Doral title

After blowing a 3-shot lead at last year's PGA Championship, Nick Watney held off Dustin Johnson to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship Sunday.

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Fill out your Bracket Mania picks today!

Nick Watney. Annika. Gary Woodland. Hank Haney. Paula Creamer. They're all in. Are you? Noon is the deadline for Bracket Mania!

Bradley tops Matteson for Puerto Rico title

Michael Bradley won the Puerto Rico Open for the second time in three years, beating Troy Matteson in a playoff Sunday.

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Rapid reaction: Bradley's win in Puerto Rico

Michael Bradley bounced back from a three-putt at the 72nd hole to win the Puerto Rico Open in a playoff over Troy Matteson.

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Woods optimistic after final-round 66 at Doral

Tiger Woods shot 66 in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. When he walked off, he was tied for 12th and happier than I’ve seen him in years – so happy that he stopped to sign several autographs and even pose with two children for a photograph.

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Commentary: Changing the boring stroke-play diet

If golf was looking for an innovative tournament to break up the steady diet of moribund 72 hole stroke play events then this week’s Sunningdale Foursomes could provide inspiration.

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Lyle breaks 19-year drought with Euro Senior win

Sandy Lyle broke a 19-year drought on Sunday, winning on the PGA European Seniors circuit.

Attorney general drops claims against Tucson CC

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has dropped claims of discrimination against Tucson Country Club, according to court documents obtained by Golfweek.

Saturday, March 12

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Price leads by two at Toshiba Classic

Nick Price followed his record-tying first round with a 3-under 68 on Saturday at Newport Beach Country Club to take a two-stroke lead in the Toshiba Classic.

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Commentary: Young stars storm Cadillac leaderboard, spotlight

A youth-heavy leaderboard after three rounds of the WGC Cadillac Championship represents a changing world order. Jeff Rude explains.

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Johnson takes advantage of ideal day at Doral

Dustin Johnson had a perfect setting against which to post a 7-under 65 for a two-shot lead at the Cadillac Championship. Jim McCabe reports.

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Johnson emerges as third-round leader at Doral

Dustin Johnson emerged with a two-shot lead Saturday at the Cadillac Championship after a 7-under 65.

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Matteson opens three-shot lead in Puerto Rico

Troy Matteson shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday in the Puerto Rico Open to open a three-shot lead as he goes after the third PGA Tour victory.

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Etulain making PGA Tour debut in Puerto Rico

Julian Etulain of Argentina is putting his aggressive playing style on display this week at the Puerto Rico Open. Sean Martin explains.

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Crowds lacking in size during Round 2 at Doral

Beautiful Saturday at the Blue Monster. Bit of a surreal one, too.

Friday, March 11

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2011 Golfweek's Best Modern Courses

Sand Hills Golf Club and Pacific Dunes tops the 2011 Golfweek's Best Modern Courses

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Price (60) ties Champions record at Toshiba

Nick Price has matched the lowest round in Champions Tour history, eagling two of final four holes Friday for an 11-under 60 in the Toshiba Classic.

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Japanese players cope with homeland disaster

While Hunter Mahan leads the event, all eyes at Doral were on the three Japanese players struggling to put homeland tragedy out of mind.

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Five Things: Mahan in new position at Doral

It was catch-up day at the Blue Monster, players at the Cadillac Championship forced into a marathon session thanks to a storm that had halted the early going Thursday.

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Mahan leads at Doral; Kaymer, Molinari 1 back

Hunter Mahan retained his lead at Doral after a 71 in Round 2, but World No. 1 Martin Kaymer is lurking one shot back.

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Ikeda rattled before round by Japan disaster

Yuta Ikeda received an e-mail in the middle of the night about a massive earthquake in Japan, followed by a devastating tsunami that slammed the eastern coast near the city where he went to college.

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Dowling has Gators rolling in right direction

Jan Dowling is less than two years into the head coaching position at Florida, but already has led the Gators to a blowout victory at home. Julie Williams reports.

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Tidland among leaders at Puerto Rico Open

Chris Tidland shot a 9-under 63 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead in the Puerto Rico Open with James Driscoll and Troy Matteson.

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Talking Stick tackles tough Scottsdale market

It was 18 years ago when Robb McCreary first saw plans for a large resort on Indian Bend Road, just outside of the 101 Loop. Those plans called for an 800-room hotel, casino, horse track and arena.

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Stenson still looking to reclaim old form

When play begins Monday at the Tavistock Cup, Henrik Stenson will be amongst many of the world’s top players, including Graeme McDowell, Tiger Woods and Ian Poulter.

New development in Acushnet-Callaway dispute

In the yet unresolved patent litigation being waged between Acushnet Co. and Callaway Golf, a new development has surfaced.

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Junior blog: Four birdies highlight Tour debut

With Round 1 in the books at the Puerto Rico Open, Golfweek.com junior blogger Jason Roets reflects on an opening 76 in his PGA Tour debut.

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Woods flubs drive at Doral's second hole

Just when you think you’ve seen or heard it all. Tiger Woods hit a 122-yard drive on No. 2 Friday in the second round of the WGC Cadillac Championship.

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KPMG report paints gloomy portrait of Euro golf

Golf in the British Isles and Europe is in trouble, according to a new report, which confirms what most have suspected for some time – the game is not in a healthy state.

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Toste (No. 26, 2012) commits to Notre Dame

Zach Toste, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., has given a verbal commitment to Notre Dame. Toste is the No. 26-ranked golfer in Golfweek’s rankings for the class of 2012.

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Pacific duo marches on at San Francisco City

When Pacific coach Brandon Goethals gathered his team together last Sunday for a practice round prior to the Fresno State Lexus Classic at Sunnyside Country Club in Fresno, Calif., he found himself a little short.

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Mahan leads by one after first round at Doral

Ryo Ishikawa of Japan woke up to learn of devastation at home and managed to block it out, finishing off a 7-under 65 in a strong debut at the Cadillac Championship.

Thursday, March 10

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Five Things: Top players deliver at Doral

While much of the buzz was around the Tiger-Phil-McDowell pairing, World Nos. 1-3 provided the real show Thursday at Doral.

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Driscoll (63) takes two-shot lead in Puerto Rico

James Driscoll shot a 9-under 63 on Thursday in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open, missing a chance to break 60 when he played the final four holes in 2 over.

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Woods' putter shaky in Round 1 at Doral

The full swing wasn’t the problem for Tiger Woods in the weather-delayed first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. The little one was.

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Johnson, Ogilvy, Sabbatini pick up pace at Doral

The desire to finish a round the same day it started is extremely important – especially when sleep is involved.

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After delay, Mahan leads by two at Doral

Hunter Mahan had seven birdies in 11 holes in the Cadillac Championship before the storm-delayed opening round was suspended by darkness.

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College notebook: Illini already warm

Despite cold weather in the Northeast and Midwest, Illinois has gotten off to a hot start this spring. Ryan Lavner explains how the Illini are building toward spring.

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PHOTOS: Storms rip through Doral Resort

Strong gusts destroyed the large scoreboard near the 18th green at Doral and toppled a TV tower into a pond behind the ninth green.

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Watson, Crane, Clark withdraw at Doral

Tim Clark, Bubba Watson and Ben Crane have withdrawn from the Cadillac Championship, leaving the World Golf Championship field with only 66 players.

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Play delayed at Doral before Tiger tees off

Play was suspended at 11:45 because of lightning in the area. The stoppage came six minutes before the marquee group of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell was set to tee off.

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Alabama’s Cauley to turn pro after season

Alabama junior Bud Cauley, No. 15 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, has confirmed to Golfweek that he will forgo his senior season and turn professional.

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Golfweek's Best: Next 100 Classic Courses

Ever wonder who almost made the Top 100? So do we.

Golfweek's Best: Next 100 Modern Courses

Ever wonder who almost made the Top 100? So do we.

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2011 Golfweek's Best Classic Courses

Pine Valley Golf Club and Cypress Point Club top the 2011 Golfweek's Best Classic Courses list. See how your favorite course stacks up.

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Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play

The number of courses per state varies based on course supply, population and level of play; includes daily-fee layouts and courses accessible via resorts (m) – modern course; (c) – classic course; * – new to list

Events to watch: Southern Highlands, Hackler

This is a full, loaded week in college golf, so here are three events to keep a close eye on for different reasons.

Wednesday, March 9

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5 Things: Paying tribute to the Blue Monster

The PGA Tour is making its 50th stop at the Blue Monster this week, a venue Jim McCabe says should be mentioned among golf's elite.

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Hey, Gary, this is a wrong number

Ian Baker-Finch, one of golf’s nice guys, makes his Champions Tour debut this week in California at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach. The winner of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale (1991) basically walked away from competitive golf in his mid-30s when his game left him, but he’s enthused to have a little fun on the Champions Tour while taking a little break from his “day” job as a television analyst with CBS.

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Junior Blog: Practice round at Puerto Rico Open

The practice round is in the books and it's time for Golfweek.com Junior Blogger Jason Roets to tee it up at the Puerto Rico Open. Read about the week leading up to Roets' first PGA Tour event.

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Crane spoofs slow play in third comedy video

In his third homemade comedy video, Ben Crane addressed his most famous attribute – his tendency to play slow.

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Commentary: Hate to be Rude: Haney vs. Foley

Hank Haney and Sean Foley won’t be yukking it up any time soon. The animosity seems to have reached an all-time high. Jeff Rude explains.

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Heppler likes Georgia Tech’s chances

Georgia Tech coach Bruce Heppler is not surprised by the Yellow Jackets’ solid play this season.

In this issue: March 11, 2011

Inside the March 11, 2011 issue of Golfweek:

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Tiger: Playing sked limited by time with kids

Tiger Woods is playing only his fourth tournament of the year, with one stop left before the Masters. One reason for not playing more tournaments is trying to spend time with his two children.

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Thumbs up: MTSU | Thumbs down: UCF

This past week didn’t offer as many A-list tournaments as the week before, but there still are props to give out. Let’s see who gets a thumbs up or thumbs down:

Statistics in golf can yield great benefits

Golf is, by nature, a numbers game. Total strokes, driving distance, even the identifying marks on golf balls and clubs, are all numbers. Laptops and launch monitors are now commonplace on PGA Tour practice ranges.

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Plenty of history between Woods, Mickelson

DORAL, Fla. – It was just seven months ago that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were paired together in a PGA Tour event in the U.S., but the buzz with seeing the duo paired together, along with U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, on Thursday is the highlight of the week so far.

Tuesday, March 8

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Fantasy Tip Sheet: Cadillac Championship

Y.E. Yang has had a stellar two weeks, which didn't go unnoticed by our fantasy experts. Who else should fill out your squad?

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Notes: Kaymer celebrates No. 1 in Arizona

Martin Kaymer celebrated his rise to World No. 1 without ever leaving America.

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Scottsdale combines lavish living with priceless golf

Lavish desert luxuries, million-dollar views and priceless golf make Scottsdale, Ariz., a real-world hit. Martin Kaufmann explains.

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Woods, Mickelson paired together at Doral

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be in the same group at Doral for the first time this year.

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Toy Box: Sabbatini uses new driver, putter

Rory Sabbatini was grabbing headlines with his new putter (pictured), but he also took a new driver into play at the Honda Classic.

DuPre, acclaimed S.C. amateur, dies at 57

David DuPre, one of the most accomplished South Carolina amateurs in recent decades, died March 6, according to The State newspaper. He was 57 and had suffered from leukemia.

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Equipment: Nike introduces Tour golf ball

Nike Golf's new tour caliber golf ball – the 20XI – is scheduled to hit retail stores by May 1. James Achenbach reports.

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Cal authoring a Jekyll and Hyde season

Some of you may remember the book by Robert Lewis Stevenson titled “Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.” It’s the story about a man with a dual personality – one side good, the other, well, not so good.

Q&A: Garrett Jones, 2007 Wisconsin grad

The Big Ten has had several recent players move on to PGA Tour success.

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Commentary: Broadaway brings atypical grip to PGA Tour

Josh Broadaway proved last week at the Honda Classic that there still is a place for feel players with a love of the game. Jim McCabe explains.

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Out of prison, Thorpe plans Champions return

For Jim Thorpe, it's 10 months and $2 million – his tab after a federal tax-evasion conviction. Now that he has done the time, Thorpe plans to return to the Champions Tour.

Tour caddie released from jail after hearing

David Streza, caddie for PGA Tour pro Hunter Haas, was released from jail Monday after a hearing in Palm Beach Gardens on a charge that he had violated probation.

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North Texas hopes to recapture glory days

North Texas captured four consecutive NCAA titles in the '50s. Finally back into the top 25, the team is aiming to recapture its glory. Ron Balicki reports.

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Uihlein to use Transitions as Masters prep

U.S. Amateur champ Peter Uihlein will spend his spring break at the PGA Tour’s Transitions Championship, as preparation for his first Masters.

Monday, March 7

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Odds stacked against Woods at Doral

Tiger Woods won his last event on the PGA Tour in 2009 when he captured the BMW Championship on his way to capturing the FedEx Cup that year.

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Monday Top 5: San Diego State climbs the ranks

After a win at the USC Collegiate Invitational, San Diego State has cracked the top 10 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

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5 Things: Florida wins SunTrust Gator Invite

Florida enjoyed a significant home-course advantage and won the SunTrust Gator Invitational on March 7. Julie Williams reports.

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Winner’s Circle: Feb. 28-March 6, 2011

See what the winners had in their bags this week.

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PGA Tour Superstore to enter Denver market

PGA Tour Superstore announced it is expanding into the Denver market in May, adding an 11th location to the retail chain’s network.

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Q&A: Buff designer Vaughn Cochrane

We’re most likely to comment on the typical items of golf wear on this blog – pants, polos, skirts, gloves. But Martin Kaymer caught our eye during the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Ariz., with something different – neckwear.

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Five Things: Colombians excel at home event

There’s plenty of professional golf played outside the PGA Tour. This Five Things, which will appear after each Nationwide Tour event, is here to tell you about golf’s up-and-comers and those excelling away from the PGA Tour’s spotlight. A couple minutes here is a solid investment if you want to become the smartest member of your foursome.

LPGA remodels qualifying school process

The LPGA has streamlined its qualifying process, eliminating a separate Futures Tour qualifier. Beth Ann Baldry reports.

Wildman’s quick hits: FSU, women’s No. 1, PoY

There were several interesting storylines this past week in college golf, so let’s take a look back:

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Player of the week: Stephanie Meadow, Alabama

The Crimson Tide freshman won her second consecutive tournament at the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

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Player of the week: Patrick Cantlay, UCLA

The UCLA freshman shot 67-72-68 for a 6-under 207 and a two-stroke victory over Arizona State’s Scott Pinckney at the USC Intercollegiate.

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Team of the week: USC

The Trojans won their second consecutive tournament with a four-shot victory over top-ranked Alabama at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate at English Turn Golf and Country Club in New Orleans.

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Team of the week: San Diego State

The Aztecs, No. 10 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, continued to show they are a legitimate national contender with a two-stroke victory over UCLA at the USC Intercollegiate in Westlake Village, Calif.

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Diary: Life on the LPGA Futures Tour

Ready to go behind the scenes with a future star? Meet LPGA Futures Tour player and new Golfweek.com blogger Nicole Noelle Smith . . .

Sunday, March 6

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5 Things You Need To Know Now

Five things from the past week in the world of international golf:

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A new image?

With his brash, outspoken ways, Rory Sabbatini hasn't always been a model citizen. But he's determined to recast his image. Winning the Honda Classic on Sunday was a step in the right direction.

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LPGA continues cultural education with LTC

Continuing its effort to better market the tour globally, the LPGA has agreed to a two-year partnership extension with the Language Training Center, which is aiding players with language and cultural education.

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Williams earns maiden senior victory at Brunei

Chris Williams didn't just jettison that monkey off his back, he hurled it like a Major League fastball.

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Park rallies at Diakin Orchard for third JLPGA win

In-bee Park blitzed the field with a final-round, 6-under 66 to overcome an overnight three-stroke deficit and capture the Daikin Orchid Ladies Tournament in Okinawa, Japan.

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Pappas wins weather-shortened Bogota Open

Brenden Pappas won the Bogota Open on Sunday when lightning wiped out the third round, reducing the Nationwide Tour event to 36 holes.

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CME Group to sponsor LPGA’s Titleholders

The LPGA announced a title sponsor for its season-ending Titleholders tournament – a welcome bit of good news for a tour that has struggled domestically.

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Walker Cup hopefuls take steps to shore up selection

It might only be March, but the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team – set to take on the United States at Royal Aberdeen, Scotland, Sept. 10-11 – is beginning to take shape.

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Commentary: A plea to speed up the game

In October, the game's leaders are scheduled to meet at St. Andrews to discuss the future of the game. The powers that be should leave the Home of Golf with one common aim – to speed up the game says Alistair Tait.

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Five Things: Sabbatini hangs on for Honda title

Playing for the eighth consecutive week, Rory Sabbatini earned WGC and Masters berths with his win at the windy Honda Classic.

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Commentary: FSU’s Jones defends decision to play at USF

Florida State coach Trey Jones defended his decision to pull out of the demanding John Hayt Invitational and play his team a week later at the USF Invitational.

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Sabbatini wins Honda for sixth Tour title

After a week of wild weather, Rory Sabbatini won the Honda Classic Sunday, claiming his sixth career PGA Tour title.

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Green, MTSU sweep USF Invite titles

Hunter Green led Middle Tennessee State to a 19-shot win at the USF Invite at Lake Jovita Sunday. The win was the Blue Raiders’ fourth in the past six years at the event.

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Oosthuizen withdraws from Honda with cold

Being a dad can be difficult, something British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen is learning as he withdrew from the final round of the Honda Classic.

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Junior Blog: Reflecting on Puerto Rico win

With his win at the AJGA's Puerto Rico Junior Open, Jason Roets earned a sponsor exemption into the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open. Read his junior blog as he prepares for the biggest start of his life.

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It’s decision time for a recuperated Barron

Doug Barron, suspended for a year for violating the PGA Tour's drug policy in 2010, is at a career crossroads, says Alex Miceli.

Saturday, March 5

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Green Raiders? At MTSU, it’s color of hope

Wearing green ribbons in recognition of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Hunter Green and his Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders lead the USF Invitational.

Tour caddie arrested on probation violation

There were two arrests in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday, but only one occurred at the Honda Classic.

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Five Things: Wind gets best of Els at Honda

The Honda Classic's windy conditions got the best of Ernie Els Saturday, who stumbled to a 78. Read the rest of the day's storylines here.

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Sabbatini takes five-shot Honda Classic lead

Rory Sabbatini had another good round with his new putter Saturday, shooting a 4-under 66 to take a five-stroke lead in the Honda Classic.

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Poll: Will Tiger break Jack's major record?

The beginning of the 2011 season has been a bumpy one for Tiger Woods – before being bounced by Thomas Bjorn in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship, Woods finished T-44 at Torrey Pines.

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With Olympics coming, golf world turns to Brazil

The golf world is starting to pay attention to the land of soccer.

Friday, March 4

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Nantz remembers CBS colleague Chirkinian

Jim Nantz, the voice of the Masters, recalls how the late Frank Chirkinian would paint the masterpiece that unfolds in our living rooms every April.

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Five Things: Sabbatini outduels wind at Honda

While the wind sent most players into fits Friday at the Honda Classic, Rory Sabbatini soared, firing 6-under 64 to move within one.

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TV golf pioneer Chirkinian dies of cancer

CBS golf anchor Jim Nantz and other industry colleagues pay tribute to Frank Chirkinian, a pioneer in televised golf, who died March 4 after a long bout with lung cancer.

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Stanley leads midway through windy Honda

Battling the wind, Kyle Stanley shot 4-under 66 Friday to take the midway lead at the Honda Classic. Lee Westwood sits five shots back.

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McCabe: Vintage Jimenez, win or lose

Flags from 15 countries flapped in brisk mountain air, and beneath them walked 63 players who could have been cut from the same mold. Be they American or Japanese, Irish or Australian, German or Italian, they carried themselves lean and fit, as if headed to a GQ photo shoot, offering fluid swings and impeccable posture and focus.

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Meadow authoring strong freshman campaign

After a second-consecutive individual title, Stephanie Meadow is putting together a strong campaign in her freshman season at Alabama. Julie Williams explains.

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Norman: Woods won't catch Nicklaus' record

Will Tiger Woods catch or pass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors? Well, Hall of Famer Greg Norman, for one, thinks not.

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Park (No. 9, 2012) commits to Tulane

Kaitlin Park, of Tustin, Calif., has given a verbal commitment to Tulane for the fall of 2012. Park also considered Northwestern, Colorado, UCLA, UC Irvine, Oregon and Wake Forest before narrowing her decision down to Northwestern and Tulane.

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Price cut spikes demand at Golf Club Scottsdale

These days, if you’re looking for the best deal in this golf hotbed, you have a lot of options from which to choose given the recessionary effect on home prices, club memberships and green fees.

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UNCG's Hoadley fails to advance to Sullivan finals

The list of 12 semifinalists for the 2011 Sullivan Award have been narrowed to five finalists.

Q&A: Can statistics drive the game of golf?

Golfweek sat down with the PGA Tour's director of research and development, Kin Lo, to talk about golf's use of statistics.

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Player of the Week: Hally Leadbetter

Hally Leadbetter, of Bradenton, Fla., shot 1-over 145 (70-75) at at Plantation Inn Golf Resort in Crystal River, Fla., to win an FCWT event by on shot.

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Player of the Week: Peter Valasek

Peter Valasek, of Orlando, Fla., shot 7-under 137 (68-69) at Plantation Inn Golf Resort in Crystal River, Fla., to win an FCWT event by four shots.

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Europeans have reason to be proud of their own

They say numbers don’t lie, and right now the numbers are on the side of European golf.

Thursday, March 3

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5 things: Wind makes for brutal day at Honda

The wind was so brutal Thursday at PGA National that leader Spencer Levin was one of only eight players to break par.

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Levin leads at Honda after windy first round

Spencer Levin keeps it together Thursday during howling winds at the Honda Classic, posting a 3-under 67 for a one-shot lead.

In this issue: March 4, 2011

Inside the March 4, 2011 issue of Golfweek:

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Transfers Barber, Hebert lead new-look Auburn

No team has made transferring look as seamless as Auburn, which has turned into a top-10 contender thanks to the transfers of Blayne Barber and Michael Hebert.

Events to watch: USF Invite, Rio Verde

Kind of a slow week coming up in college golf, but have no fear: Wildman has a couple of interesting tournaments to take note.

Wednesday, March 2

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Rookie diary: Pumped about being home

No Pro-Am responsibilities give PGA Tour rookie Nate Smith time to spray his home for bugs and reflect on missed opportunities.

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A Pacific roar in San Francisco Championship

It has been about a month since the University of Pacific men’s team has seen action at a college event. But the Tigers have hardly been sitting around taking it easy.

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Nicklaus: Tiger will still break majors record

Jack Nicklaus doubts his lead in Grand Slam titles will last, because he anticipates that Tiger Woods’ slump will end.

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Toy Box notes: Donald sticks with his sticks

Perhaps Luke Donald, winner of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, should inspire amateur golfers to adopt his philosophy when it comes to golf equipment.

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Waldorf Astoria GC shows Jones’ evolving style

Despite redundancies, Waldorf Astoria Golf Club illustrates Rees Jones' evolving style. Bradley S. Klein reports.

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Rater's notebook: Waldorf Astoria GC

Here is how Waldorf Astoria stacks up by the numbers:

Thumbs up: Arkansas | Thumbs down: LSU

What a week it was in college golf. Comebacks and letdowns, surges and declines on the leaderboards. Let’s go over all the juicy details in this week’s thumbs up/thumbs down.

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Tebow, Nicklaus pair up at Honda Classic

This year’s Honda Classic is going to need a pretty big Sunday to match the frenzy Tim Tebow brought to Wednesday’s pro-am festivities.

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5 Things: Keys to Karrie Webb’s longevity

Karrie Webb became the second player in LPGA history to cross the $16 million mark in career earnings (Annika Sorenstam is the other) with her victory last week in Singapore.

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Davis plots strategic flexibility on USGA's courses

Mike Davis doesn’t know how many days he spends on the road a year, just that it’s a lot.

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Davis named executive director of USGA

Mike Davis, who made a reputation as an innovative course setup man, was named the USGA’s executive director on Wednesday.

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Commentary: Hate to be Rude: Moving the Match Play?

Jeff Rude says it makes sense to move the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but the big question remains: Where?

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Big rebound for ’Bama after 2009-10 campaign

When the 2009-10 season ended, Alabama coach Jay Seawell was about as down as at any time in his coaching career.

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5 Things: Plenty of star power at Honda

Three of the top four players in the world are in the field this week at the Honda Classic. Sean Martin reports from PGA National.

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Who leads college player-of-the-year race?

With two of the three leading player-of-the-year candidates – Florida’s Bank Vongvanij and UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay – in action this week, here’s an update on the race for season-ending awards:

Tuesday, March 1

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USC wins by four at Allstate Sugar Bowl

USC won its second tournament in as many weeks Tuesday with a four-shot victory over top-ranked Alabama at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate.

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Carpenter wins Golfweek title; Lynn, Barton tie

Paired with a hard-charging Dermot McElhennon, Alex Carpenter proved why he's one of the best players in the college game Tuesday as he notched a win at Golfweek's Division II Spring Invitational.

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5 Things: Arkansas rallies for John Hayt title

Ethan Tracy and his Razorback teammates endured gusting winds Tuesday at the John Hayt Collegiate to mount a heroic charge for the title. D.J. Piehowski was there.

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Notes: Match Play one of Tour’s moving parts

The World Golf Championships, which used to actually move around the world, have been in the same U.S. cities for the last five years. That could change with a new television contract.

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Commentary: At Florida Swing, time to take stock of the season

Two months into the PGA Tour season, changing fortunes chart the path to Florida for a player such as Mike Weir. Jim McCabe explains.

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Wet or dry, PGA National will play tough for Honda

It’s the first week on the Florida Swing, which means visiting one of the best courses on the PGA Tour: PGA National.

Truman State to cut men's golf in fall of 2011

Truman State University, located in Kirksville, Mo., announced Feb. 28 it will eliminate men’s golf in the fall of 2011. Truman competes at the Division II level.

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Echavarria among local talent at Bogota Open

Andres Echavarria, No. 21 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, wasn’t with the Florida Gators at the John Hayt Invitational.

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Q&A: Duke alumnus Michael Schachner

Today on Wildman’s Corner I took a trip down memory lane and caught up with the Dukie that was almost known as Mr. 59 (he settled instead for Mr. 60).

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Fantasy Tip Sheet: Singh, Westwood hot picks

Vijay Singh and Lee Westwood are the hot picks among Golfweek's fantasy expert panel. Find out who else could sneak in a win at the Honda Classic.

Former Rollins golfer dies after balcony fall

A former member of the Rollins men’s golf team died Feb. 26 after falling from a balcony in South Carolina.

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Commentary: Allen takes time off to donate kidney to brother

Beth Allen, an American professional who plays in Europe, underwent surgery March 1 to donate a kidney to her brother Dan. Beth Ann Baldry has the story.

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