I am sure that golf fans around the world will join me in wishing golfers Tiger Woods and John Daly a speed recovery. Both Tiger and John recently underwent surgeries; Tiger had knee surgery and John had a stomach surgery.
Woods, who is expected to return to the fairways within four to six weeks, should be back for the US Open. Based upon his rehabilitation schedule, it is more than likely that he will be back to defend the Wachovia Championship (May 1-4) or compete in The Players Championship.
The U.S. Open which is eight weeks away will be played at Torrey Pines this year and is considered to be a stumping ground for Woods, who won six times,. Woods finished second to Trevor Immelman on Sunday at the Masters Tournament. He said that he made the decision to deal with the pain and schedule the surgery after the Masters,” Woods said on his Web site. “The upside is that I have been through this process before, and know how to handle it. This will be Woods’ third surgery.
Woods won his first three starts this season — and seven of eight PGA TOUR events dating back to the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last August. His victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard last month gave the 32-year-old a total of 64, tying him with the legendary Ben Hogan for third all-time.
While John Daly’s buddies were under par this week at the Masters, He was in Arkansas under the surgeon’s knife to repair a ton muscle in his stomach.
Daly has blamed his injury as the primary reason for his less that stellar play over the last two years, during which he has withdrawn eight times and missed the cut 14 times in 33 events. The injury dates to the ’07 Honda Classic, when he tried to stop his swing upon hearing the click of a fan’s camera. More than a year later, his doctor believes he found the problem.
It has been reported that when he tried to stop swinging at the Honda Classic, he tore his rotator cuff and he also dislocated two rib joints where they attach to the spine. Dr. Steve Whitelaw, who works with the University of Arkansas, said that the whole time he had dislocated ribs, he tore the ligaments around them.”
Whitelaw said when Daly complained of more pain, they ran a full body scan and discovered the muscle tear in the stomach. “It was not attached, and the muscle shrunk down,” he said. “When he swings, he uses that area with his stomach and core strength. He could only go so long without hurting. He was in a cycle he could not get out of. Whitelaw said Daly might be able to hit easy wedge shots this week, and the recovery should be quick. Where the two-time major champion returns is uncertain, although it could be Europe. Daly has agreed to play the Spanish Open in Seville in two weeks. That’s opposite the Wachovia Championship, which did not offer Daly an exemption this year. Daly is contemplating an extended stay in Europe, possibly playing the Italian Open and Irish Open the following two weeks, and perhaps the BMW Championship at Wentworth.
After some rain delay, Saturday at the Masters wrapped up with Trevor Immelman sitting on the lead at -11. Immelman who was played a solid game overall today had four birdies to finish with a a score of 69 for the day. Immelman has beaten the odds to return the game he loves so after a bout with cancer. On December 13, 2007 Immelman withdrew from the South African Airways Open due to severe discomfort around his ribcage area and problem breathing. He went into surgery the following Tuesday, December 18, 2007, and doctors discovered a lesion approximately the size of a golf ball on his diaphragm. It was diagnosed as a calcified fibrosis tumor. After more tests they discovered that it was benign. Immelman will be out four to eight weeks causing him to miss the beginning of the 2008 PGA Tour season.
Despite his health problems, Immelman came on strong to the 2008 season and went on to lead the Masters Tournament after three rounds. Immelman was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He took up golf at the age of five. He won the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 1998.
Immelman turned professional in 1999. In 2000 he played mainly on the second tier professional tour in Europe, the Challenge Tour, and finished tenth on the Order of Merit. He became a full member of the European Tour in 2001 and has made the top twenty of the Order of Merit three times. He has three wins on the European Tour, and in 2004 became the first man to successfully defend the South African Open title since Gary Player in the 1970s.
In 2003 Immelman won the WGC-World Cup for South Africa in partnership with Rory Sabbatini. In 2005 he was a member of the losing International Team at the Presidents Cup. He has been playing with increasing frequency on the PGA Tour after receiving a 2 year PGA Tour exemption for 2006 and 2007 on account of this Presidents Cup appearance. In 2006 Immelman won his first PGA Tour event at the Cialis Western Open, a result that moved him into the top 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings. He won the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit in 2002-03.
Trevor married his childhood sweetheart, Carmenita, on December 6th, 2003. He withdrew from the 2006 Open Championship to be with her for the birth of their first child. He finished 2006 in the top 10 of the PGA Tour money list and was named Rookie of the Year.
For golf fans everywhere who will be watching the Masters Tournament this week. I will introducing my readers to several of my dark horses, who I am predint to be in the hunt. Hello world, meet Steven Ames.
PGA Pro Golfer Stephen Michael Ames was born on April 28, 1964 in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, he is of English and Portuguese decent. Ames who current resides in Alberta, Canada hold a dual citizenship. His grandmother was Trinidad and Tobago Champion 20 times. He grew up in Pointe-à-Pierre and learned to play at the Petrotrin Pointe-à-Pierre Golf Club. Ames’s golfing talent developed early in life, assisted by support and discipline from his father, Michael. In his Hoerman Cup debut at the age of 16 in 1980, he smashed the course record at Sandy Lane, Barbados with a six-under-par total of 66.
He won a golf scholarship at Boca Raton, Florida in the United States and turned professional in 1987, but failed to win a PGA Tour card over the following few years, partly due to a neck injury. He won his first professional tournament in the United States (the Pensacola Open) in 1991 on the Ben Hogan Tour.
In 1992 he tried his luck at European Tour Qualifying School and was successful. He spent five seasons on the European Tour and performed consistently, making the top eighty on the Order of Merit each time, with a best of thirteenth in 1996. He won the 1994 Open V33 Grand Lyon in France and the 1996 Benson & Hedges International Open in England.
In 1997 Ames finished third at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament to earn exempt status for the 1998 season. In his first six seasons he performed solidly but didn’t break into the top 40 of the money list. He found a new level in his game in 2004. Until this year his main claim to fame in the US had been his runner up placing to Craig Perks at the 2002 Players Championship, however Stephen enjoyed his first PGA Tour victory in July 2004 winning the Cialis Western Open among a field that included many of the best professionals in the world, including Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Davis Love III. Later that year he reached the top twenty in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Despite these achievements, Ames has never received the “Sportsman of the Year” award in Trinidad and Tobago. He was, however, awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold), the nation’s second highest honour, in 2004. His Canadian wife is a former air hostess and he took Canadian citizenship in 2004.
In February 2006, after provoking world No. 1 Tiger Woods with the comment: “Anything can happen, especially where [Tiger’s] hitting the ball,” Ames was soundly defeated by Woods at the 2006 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa, losing 9 and 8, the earliest a player can possibly lose in an eighteen-hole match play event. However, on March 26, Ames overcame the record defeat by taking the prestigious The PLAYERS Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass. Playing against 48 of the top 50 golfers in the world (including Woods), Ames emerged victorious, with a record-equaling six stroke margin over World No. 3 Retief Goosen, becoming the second-oldest champion in championship history (tying Hal Sutton). Coincidentally, Ames and Sutton share the same birthday, April 28, though Sutton was born in 1958. With the win Ames surpassed the US $10 million barrier. With the victory, Ames climbed 37 places to 27th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
In November 2007, Ames picked up his 3rd PGA Tour victory at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.
Players In The Hunt:
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Argentina’s Angel Cabrera walked on the Augusta National grounds Monday, just as they have done in many years past, but each arrived with a different status – as the reigning champions of the British and U.S. Opens.
Sound Bits From The 2008 Masters
U.S. Open Champion, Angel Cabrera arrived at Augusta National on Monday hoping to continue on his winning ways. Cabrera said that thing are still the same since he won the US Open, although he says that he signs more autographs, see more U.S. Open stuff, and more people recognize him.
British Open Champion, Padraig Harrington said his arrival at the Masters was one more benefit to winning his first major championship last summer at the Carnoustie. “I can’t wait to hear the starter call my name Thursday at the Masters,” he said. “I’ll never say everything is perfect and ready to go, but I’m very excited to be here.” “In Ireland, where the weather was cold and wet, the Masters was really the start of the golf season,” Harrington said. “After the Masters was on TV, everybody went out and started playing golf. Even though we’ve been playing golf for four months, this is the start of the season back home.”
Past Masters’ Champion Vijay Singh had a changed of routine as he goes in hunt for his second Green Jacket. Singh who normally plays his way into a major chose to skip the Shell Houston Open, where he is a three-time champion. Instead, he stayed in Florida and practiced at his home course. “I didn’t miss it in Houston,” he said Monday morning. “I got to stay home with my family and rest. I am good now.”
Others with new Masters garb included 2007 runner-up Rory Sabbatini, who sported a large, new belt buckle featuring a metal snake wrapped around a staff.“You’ve always got to change it up,” Sabbatini said.
Luke Donald was one of the first players on the grounds Monday after not setting foot on the course since the 2008 Tournament. “I try to change it up in different ways, but there haven’t been a lot of changes since last year, so I don’t think I needed to come early,” said Donald. “I’m always excited to arrive because this is such a special place for me.”
K.J. Choi had no trouble getting to Augusta late Sunday night, after playing in his hometown Houston Open, but his clubs were not so lucky. They were a no show Sunday at the airport and did not arrive until Monday afternoon.
Two-time Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw was the Monday night honoree at the Mayor’s Masters Reception in downtown Augusta, one more great Masters memory in a lifetime full of them. “The Masters and Augusta National has meant so much to me and my career,” Crenshaw said. “I can remember watching it when I was eight-and-nine years old with my dad in Austin (Texas) and Harvey (Penick) telling us what a great tournament it was.” Crenshaw said he knows his time is coming to retire from active competition at Augusta National, but not just yet. “It’s going to be sooner rather than later, but it not time just yet,” he said. “It’s just so much fun to bring Julie and the kids here every year to see all of our friends at the club.” Crenshaw’s long-time Masters caddie, Carl Jackson, was also honored at the ceremony.
While most of the 2008 Masters favorites took to the course, two-time Masters Champion Phil Mickelson stuck to his routine, spending time at home in San Diego before flying to Augusta Monday afternoon. Mickelson flew from Houston, where he played in the PGA Tour event last week, returning to San Diego to see his family. Then he flew back cross-country to Georgia to get ready for the Masters. “I usually take Monday off during the majors and I wanted to see the family at home,” Mickelson said Sunday before leaving Houston.
New Masters food items offered this year include the green and white bagged Masters potato chips and the Masters Moon Pie.
Faces in the Crowd:
Monday faces in the crowd included past Masters Champion Charles Coody, former PGA Championship and U.S. Open winner Hubert Green and multi-time PGA Tour winner Doug Sanders, a runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in the British Open.
Resilient is one word you could use to describe jazz vocalist Will Downing who has been putting up a courageous fight against the disease polymyositis. Will was determined not to let the disease delay the work on the his current album After Tonight. He completed After Tonight, recording at times from a hospital bed or a wheelchair. Thanks to hard work, faith and family, Downing is now able to get up and walk on his own with the aid of a walker. With the success of his latest album it was definitely worth the trouble. Downing will be appearing at a series of speaking engagements and listening parties in various cities to further promote his new album. He will also discuss his career as well as his health challenges. These events will mark his first public appearances since being diagnosed with polymyositis at the end of 2006.
Downing will make stops in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Atlanta. The venues for each event will be carefully selected, and the organizers promises that it will be upscale and intimate. Prominent local media personality will host each event and will engage the veteran singer in a one-on-one interview before an audience.
Downing who still suffering from the effects of the crippling muscle condition, will not perform. Instead, this resilient artist dubbed “king of sensuality” will field questions directly from fans, sign autographs, and pose for photos.
Over the recent months Downing’s fans have been eagerly awaiting his come-back, as it has been well publicized that he has made great strides in his battle with polymyositis.
Upcoming dates for An Evening With Will Downing are as follows:
April 22 – Chicago, IL — DuSable Museum
April 24 — Detroit, MI – Sweet Georgia Browns
April 29 – Washington, DC — Station 9
May 1 — Baltimore, MD – Reginald Lewis African American Museum
May 7 — Atlanta, GA — (location — tba)
As a girl, I considered myself to be a fashionista on golf attire, so this should come as no surprise that when the first week of April rolls around, I thinking Masters’ fashion. The attire worn by the golfers during Masters week has gone from safe and classic to trendy and eye-catching. As the Masters Tournament gets on the way, I am happy to yield my title as a fashion expertise to the likes, of Ian Poulter and Camilo Villegas among others.
One thing that must not be forgotten, the newcomers to golf’s fashion arena did not oust their older golf pros colleagues, who have tried to showcase their persona by making fashion statement of their own. And with that in mind, one such player that comes to mind when I think of golf fashion is the late great and dapper Payne Stewart.
As a young golfer, there was not other pro golfer who caught mu attention. Payne was the epitome of class. He was that seeming mild mannered guy who had an almost perfect game, but his attire was something else to be reckoned with. Stewart was born in Springfield, Missouri, and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He was always popular with fans, especially for his clothing, and was reputed to have the biggest wardrobe of all professional golfers. He was a favorite of photographers because of his tam o’shanter caps and patterned trousers, which were a combination of plus fours and knickerbockers, a throwback to the once-commonplace golfing “uniform”.
So as I pay tribute to Payne Stewart as a fashion icon, I cannot help to think of the original man in black…Gary Player. Player is a unique golfer whose fashion choices can seem a bit rigid. He wears that signature black slacks and black shirt, Gary Player wearing black is like Tiger Woods’ signature red on Sunday. Player is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his last Masters win. He scored a final round 64, including seven birdies in his last 10 holes, for the 1978 title. Passing Arnold Palmer for the most Masters played at 51. He is a three-time Masters champion in 1961, 1974, 1978 runner-up in 1962 and 1965, and the Masters first international champion. Player holds three British Open titles, 1959, 1968 and 1974 and the 1965 US Open champion. He has snagged the 1962 and 1972 PGA championships. He is one of only five men to win golf’s modern grand slam and has won the South African Open 13 times. In addition he has won the South African PGA three times and won the Australian Open seven times. Recipient of the 1966 Bob Jones Award presented by the USGA for distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Player won a total of 24 PGA TOUR and 19 Champions Tour titles, winning a Tour event in five straight decades. He served as Captain of the international squad at the 2003, 2005 and 2007 Presidents Cup and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. Playing in his 51 Masters, we can only wait and see if it will be more of the same – Man In Black.
The Masters tournament is a time when golfer fans around the world tune in to so see the movers and shakers – both up and coming and seasoned players. For me I listen for sound bites and track the fashion. Not a bad idea if you have a great game like I do.
Stays for more scoop during Masters Week.
Greenville, South Carolina will roll out its own red carpet this May 15-18, when a host of celebrities tee it up for the 2008 BMW Charity Pro-Am. The line up of stars include scheduled to compete this year will Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Quaid, Luke Wilson, Greg Kinnear, Kurt Russell, Wayne Gretzky, Janet Jones Gretzky, Dave Coulier, Stefanie Schaeffer, Patrick Warburton, Oliver Hudson, Michael Pena, Lucas Black, Steve Azar, Mark Rypien, Branford Marsalis, Pat Green, George Rogers, Ben Wright and Jennifer Mills.
The tournament will be played at Bright’s Creek Golf Club, The Carolina Country Club and Thornblade Club golf courses. All four rounds will be televised live by Golf Channell. The BMW Charity Pro-Am is the only tournament on the Nationwide Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals in a three-day better-ball competition. Amateurs, celebrities and pros will rotate between each of the three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sunday’s final round at Thornblade Club.
The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $121,500 from the total purse of $675,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour, as well as a brand new BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle. Amateurs and celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
Samuel Jackson is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood, is playing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am for the first time. He most recently starred alongside Hayden Christenson and Rachel Bilson in Jumper. Jackson has also starred in numerous films, including hits like 1408, Episodes I, II and II of Star Wars, Snakes on a Plane, Coach Carter, S.W.A.T., The Negotiator, XXX, State of the Union, Shaft, Rules of Engagement, Deep Blue Sea, Sphere, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Pulp Fiction (where he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations as Best Supporting Actor), Jurassic Park and Patriot Games. He currently has five other works slated for release in the next two years. Jackson is an avid golfer whose golf attire is always quite fashionable.
Quaid, who is also making his first appearance at the BMW Charity Pro-Am, began his acting career in 1975 with the film, Crazy Mama. Among his other films are The Right Stuff, Great Balls of Fire, Enemy Mine, The Rookie, Far From Heaven (where he received a Golden Globe nomination), In Good Company, Dragonheart, The Parent Trap, Wyatt Earp, Frequency, Any Given Sunday and The Day After Tomorrow. In his most recent film, Vantage Point, Quaid stars alongside Matthew Fox, Forrest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt. Quaid will play “Hawk” in the Paramount Pictures production, G.I. Joe, which is slated for release in 2009.
Wilson began his acting career starring in a film (Bottle Rocket, 1994) co-written by his brother, Owen. Wilson has also appeared in Telling Lies in America, Best Men and Home Fries, Legally Blonde, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Alex and Emma, The Family Stone, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Vacancy and Blonde Ambition. Wilson’s latest film is Henry Poole is Here, which will be released later in 2008. This is Wilson’s first time playing in the tournament.
Kinnear is an Academy Award-nominated actor who received his breakthrough when he became the first host of “Talk Soup” in the early 1990s, which led to “Later with Greg Kinnear” four years later. In 1997, Kinnear starred in the blockbuster comedy drama As Good as It Gets, for which he received an Oscar nomination for “Best Supporting Actor”. In 2006, he starred in Little Miss Sunshine and co-starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in the film version of Invincible, based on the true story of a man who tries out for the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team. This is Kinnear’s first time playing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am.
Russell, who is playing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am for the third time, began his acting career as a child with the Walt Disney Co., but once he outgrew child roles, he quit acting to pursue his love of baseball. He played second base with the minor league baseball teams of the California Angels and San Diego Padres until he hurt his arm. Russell has appeared in Silkwood (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination), Escape from New York, Overboard, Back Draft, Captain Ron, Tombstone, Executive Decision, 3,000 Miles to Graceland, Vanilla Sky, and Miracle. Russell has lived with actress Goldie Hawn since 1983.
Bell is best known as Marine Corps attorney Lt. Colonel Sarah ‘Mac’ Mackenzie on the TV series J.A.G. Bell currently plays Sally Pressman in the Lifetime drama Army Wives, and she has also had supporting roles in the hit movies Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty as television news anchor Susan Ortega. This will be her fifth appearance.
Elliott, who is best known for his role as Commander Harmon “Harm” Rabb on the hit TV show J.A.G. will participate in his second BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament. Elliott played Assistant District Attorney James Conlon on the television series Close to Home in 2007.
Gretzky, arguably the greatest ice hockey player of all time, and his wife Janet, an actress, will return for their fourth appearance in the BMW Charity Pro-Am. The Hall of Fame center rewrote the NHL record book by setting 61 records, including being the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer with 894. He is currently coach and part-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes NHL hockey team.
The first seven BMW Charity Pro-Ams have raised more than $5.7 million for 80+ area charities.