There’s lots going on in the world of golf right now. The USGA just hired a new CEO (kiss Mike Davis and Chambers Bay goodbye), the PGA of America (not the PGA Tour) approved use of rangefinders in it’s championships, and the movie Happy Gilmore turned 25.
And before we turn our full attention to the pros, there is some good golf news coming from the Classic City.
The UGA Men’s Golf Team is coming off a tie for 2nd at the Florida Gators Invitational played last weekend. Weather played a role and moved tee times and schedules around quite a bit, but our Bulldogs braved the elements and finished just behind the home team winning Gators. Even better, junior Trent Phillips tied for the individual medalist honors after starting with rounds of 64-65.
The Women’s team also had a strong finish in their first action of the spring campaign. Playing in the LTWF Heroes Intercollegiate, Coach Josh Brewer’s ladies placed third out of fifteen teams. This is mostly due to a record-setting 64 by sophomore Caterina Don, the lowest single round in UGA Women’s Golf history. The previous record of 65 was held by Vicki Goetz (former LPGA player) and Jillian Hollis (current LPGA player). The team had 5 scores of even par or better on the day.
The PGA Tour heads down the PCH from Carmel and stops in Hollywood. Okay, Pacific Palisades, but it’s near enough as doesn’t matter. Only a block from Sunset, and a mile from the UCLA campus. The Riviera Country Club has hosted major championships, movie stars, millionaires (and their wives), I’m sure some professors and probably a skipper or two. Likely someone named Mary Ann at some point.
Five former Bulldogs will be teeing it up at the Genesis Invitational, though I’d like to highlight one specifically. Bubba Watson deserves a little focus for several reasons. One is that he is a 3-time winner of this event. Bubba won the 2014 and 2016 editions of this tourney when it was called the Northern Trust Open, and in 2018 after the name change to the current Genesis.
Secondly, there is a nice piece on Bubba’s now public struggles with mental health. He has been called mercurial, odd, even some names your mama wouldn’t want to hear from your mouth. Yet we are slowly starting to understand that this is a man who is dealing with anxiety issues, sometimes severe, and is complicated by an ADHD diagnosis. All while playing for millions of dollars, and for country, in near proximity to thousands of people and millions more on TV. That’s a lot to digest for anyone, much less a redneck from the Florida panhandle. Here at Dawg Sports we’ve covered:
- Bubba’s wins going back a decade,
- including his major championships,
- and have covered some of the public persona issues.
I’d like to think we’ve been fair and balanced, but heck, he’s a Dawg so he’s always going to get good treatment ‘round these parts. Now onto this week’s PGA Tournament details:
Tournament: Genesis Invitational, February 18-21, 2021
Course: Riviera Country Club, par 71, 7,322 yards
Purse: $9,300,000; with $1,674,000 to the winner
Defending Champ: Adam Scott. The Hugo Boss model and major winner got back in the winner’s circle by holding off a gaggle of players on a tough scoring day and no one could hold a lead.
Fun Fact: I’ve probably written this before, but Tiger Woods famously received a sponsor’s exemption and played his first PGA Tour event here at the age of 15. He missed the cut, but he still fared well. And even in 1992, he had cameras and a crowd following him everywhere.
TV Times: Thursday, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (GC), 6 p.m.-8 p.m. (GC). Friday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (GC). Saturday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (GC), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (GC), 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (CBS).
‘Dawgs in the Field: 5. Sepp Straka, Brendon Todd, Bubba Watson, Brian Harman, Russell Henley.
So now you know who to root for, and when to tune in to see ‘Dawgs chasing little white balls. And as always...