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News & Tours

Scott Piercy and Jenna Jameson

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- They do their homework, those in the stadium around the 16th hole of the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. When Scott Piercy arrived there during the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Saturday, some in the crowd were chanting, "Jenna Jameson."

"She went to the same high school," Piercy said. "I think she's older than me."

The high school was Bonanza in Las Vegas. Jameson is an adult film star.

"She's not an old girl friend," Piercy added quickly.

Piercy is an aficionado of the 16th, the rowdiest place in golf.

"I really love it," he said. "It's the one time a year you get to feel like a rock star. As long as they understand golf and the etiquette a little bit, I'm all for it."

Piercy, 31, will play in Sunday's final group of the Waste Management Phoenix Open for the second straight year. He tied for sixth in 2009, his first full year on the PGA Tour.

-- John Strege

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News & Tours

Missing fat at fault for Daly's putting woes

This Association Press story pertains to the first episode of the new Golf Channel reality show, "Being John Daly," that debuts Tuesday night, but the story included this quote pertaining to the putting woes that have plagued his comeback bid:

"I don't have anywhere to put my elbows when I putt now," Daly said. "That's the problem. I used to be able to rest my right elbow right perfectly on my right fat part of my stomach when I putted, and now I can't do that."

-- John Strege

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News & Tours

Poulter gets his wakeup call

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ian Poulter, perhaps boosted by a desire to keep pace with his roommate, did not play tired on Friday, shooting an eight-under par 63 to vault into contention at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Poulter considered withdrawing in the wake of his victory at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, and following a lethargic opening round of one-over par 72 wondered whether he had erred in not following his instinct and returning home to Florida.

"May have been a mistake to play this week, the tank was empty, trying to hang in there and see if we can make some birdies, never give up," Poulter wrote on Twitter Thursday night.

He followed his own advice, making eight birdies and no bogeys to move within two strokes of the lead, held jointly by Camilo Villegas and Pat Perez. Poulter is staying with Perez at his Scottsdale home this week.

-- John Strege

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News & Tours

Campus Insider Podcast/Conrad Ray

Conrad Ray.jpegToday's episode is an interview with Stanford men's coach Conrad Ray, whose Cardinal squad ranks second in the Golf World/Nike Golf coaches' poll. After winning its spring opener in Maui earlier this month, the team heads south this week to North Ranch CC in Westlake Village, Calif., where it will attempt to defend its title at the USC Invitational.

Quick note, as you'll learn when you listen to the podcast: senior Joseph Bramlett will be playing in his first tournament of the 2009-10 season for Stanford.

Here's a look at Stanford stats this season:

Stanford stats for blog.jpg

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Courses & Travel

Mail Bag: Jacksonville

Sawgrass_6.jpgFrom Rob Shim of Dublin, Ohio: Hi Matt, Thanks for your help on "Out of the Inbox: Jacksonville." We've recently completed our trip to the Jacksonville area. The courses we played, in order: Amelia Long Point, Ponte Vedra Inn Ocean, Amelia National, Pete Dye's Valley Course, and the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass (pictured above). All of the courses were phenomenal. We got to meet Bill Hughes, GM of TPC Sawgrass, who came out and greeted us at the 17th at Valley. This was day after Tiger's announcement so we were doubly impressed that he had time to come out and greet fellow Ohioans. This alone made the experience of a lifetime (along with seeing Tiger's announcement from across the street). The only downside was that grasses were brown from cold weather. I will write again for advice on our next destination when that is determined.

Rob, What was your favorite course? What was the best value for your money? How much did you pay to play each course? And how did you do on 16-18 at the Stadium?

--Matty G.

Do you have a question you'd like answered on this blog or in the magazine? Send it to:

I'm tweeting from Kiawah this week/weekend. Follow me at:

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News & Tours

Calcavecchia was his favorite player

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When Matt Every was growing up in Florida, his favorite player was another Floridian, Mark Calcavecchia, with whom he was paired in the third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic last week.

"It was really cool for me," Every said. "But it was the perfect storm. I doubled the last hole and I was ticked off. It was just kind of an immature thing for me to do, but he had my (score) card, just threw it toward me and I didn't even look at it. I just signed it and turned it in.

"I was like 40 yards out of the scoring area, and they called me back in. He had written a three down on number six and I made a four, so I got DQ'd."

It qualifies as a rookie mistake for Every, a PGA Tour rookie. It took him no time to put the error behind him, however; he birdied six straight holes at one point in the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday en route to an eight-under par 63 that puts him one stroke off the lead held by his former University of Florida teammate Camilo Villegas.

As for Cacavecchia, "he's still my favorite player, and he was a blast to play with," Every said. "It was 100 percent my fault, and he felt horrible. It's in no way his fault. But if somebody would have come up to me (15 years ago) and said, 'you know, you're going to get to play with this guy in 15 years and you're going to get DQ'd,' I would have been like, 'yeah, right.'"

-- John Strege

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News & Tours

This week's syllabus: Feb. 25-March 3

My look at the top five school in the country right now


Stanford logo 2008-09.gif1. Stanford (Last week: 1)
The most impressive thing about the Cardinal thus far in 2009-10 has been the team's consistency—no finish worse than third place with five different players posting top-20 finishes. I'm looking for more of the same this week as they attempt to defend their USC Invitational title
Next event: USC Invitational, North Ranch CC, Westlake, Calif., March 1-2

Oklahoma-state-logo-latest.jpg2. Oklahoma State (2)
Hard to complain about a second-place finish in Puerto Rico when four players finish in top-20, including Kevin Tway's individual victory, the third of his career. Bottom line: No Cowboy shot worse than a 74 in their collective 15 rounds.
Next event: Southern Highlands Collegiate, Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas, March 12-14

Texas logo 2009-10.gif3. Texas (NR)
My beef with Texas in recent years has been lots of talent, little results. The Longhorns, however, are starting to make believers out of me after a most impressive victory in Puerto Rico. All five players finish in top 20.
Next event: Southern Highlands Collegiate, Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas, March 12-14

Thumbnail image for Florida logo 2008-09.gif4. Florida (4)
OK, Gators got the win that they wanted at home earlier this month. Let's see how they do as the favorites at the John Hayt. My prediction? They'll handle it just fine.
Next event: John Hayt Invitational, Sawgrass CC, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 28-March 2

Thumbnail image for Washington logo 2008-09.gif5. Washington (3)
Just got pipped at the Battle at the Beach by UCLA, and that was with Nick Taylor finishing outside the top-20 for the first time in a full year. This is the time the Huskies traditionally start to shine, and playing in Fresno might set-up nicely for them.
Next event: Fresno Lexus Challenge, San Joaquin CC, Fresno, Calif., March 8-9

Thumbnail image for Arizona State logo 2008-09.gif1. Arizona State (2)
Nice bounce back for the Sun Devils as they claim the rain-shortened Arizona Wildcat Invite title by 12 strokes. In contrast to their performance at the Northrup Grumman, where only one golfer finished in the top 15, four players posted top-10s, lead by Juliana Murcia's T-2.
Next event: Bruin/Wave Invitational, Robinson Ranch GC, Canyon Country, Calif., March 1-3

Thumbnail image for USC 2008-09 logo.gif2. USC (1)
A 12th-place finish in Tucson was definitely not what anyone expected. Jennifer Song finishing T-41? Lizette Salas finishing T-53? Sadly for Trojan fans those aren't misprints. Thankfully, a chance at redemption is only a few days away.
Next event: Bruin/Wave Invitational, Robinson Ranch GC, Canyon Country, Calif., March 1-3

Thumbnail image for UCLA logo 2008-09.gif3. UCLA (3)
The Bruins remain the top team in the Golfstat head-to-head ranking, thanks to having both the low adjusted average score (72.94) and the low average drop score (76.6). The stat they'd like to work on most, however, is the one in the win column, which is currently at 0.
Next event: Bruin/Wave Invitational, Robinson Ranch GC, Canyon Country, Calif., March 1-3

Thumbnail image for Alabama logo 2008-09.gif4. Alabama (4)
I've got to think the women in Tuscaloosa are going a bit stir-crazy just sitting there and not having any tournaments to play in. I don't know how this will affect them when they do get back into competition, but you hope it doesn't hurt their momentum.
Next event: Tiger-Wave Classic, English Turn GC, New Orleans, March 12-13

Thumbnail image for Purdue 2008-09 logo.gif5. Purdue (NR)
Sure, the Boilermakers finished third at the Central District Invitational, 32 strokes back of victorious Florida. They did it, however, without Maude Aimee Leblanc in their lineup. I can hear people crying my point is heresy, but I think at full-strength Purdue might have had a more favorable outcome.
Next event: Liz Murphey Collegiate, U. of Georgia GC, Athens, Ga., March 26-28

Number of rounds at par or worse that the Texas men counted in their Puerto Rico Classic victory this week at Rio Mar GC in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Accounting for all five Longhorns in the field, only two of the 15 rounds played were par or worse with eight sub-70 scores.

* A pair of Arizona State golfers—Philip Francis and Braxton Marquez—with will be playing at this week's PGA Tour stop, the Waste Management Open, at TPC Scottsdale, not far from campus. The two have varied backgrounds, but the event will mean something to both. Francis is in the midst of a redshirt season after transferring from UCLA. The former U.S. Junior champion, who is playing in his sixth tour event, will no doubt just be excited to get in a little competition.

As for Marquez, his participation is even more poignant. His family's catering business has worked at the event for a number of years, with Marquez himself pitching in and helping on various odd jobs. Sadly, Marquez' father, Randy, died last March after being diagnosed with liver cancer, providing Braxton all the incentive in the world to make the most of his appearance in the event.

USC Collegiate Invitational
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
North Ranch CC, Westlake Village, Calif.
Feb. 28-March 2
Host: USC
Defending champion: Stanford (-13/839) by 10 strokes over BYU; Stanford's Steve Ziegler (-9/204) by one stroke over Pepperdine's Andrew Putnam
Field: Arizona State, BYU, California, Charlotte, Fresno State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pepperdine, San Diego, San Diego State, Stanford, UC Davis, UCLA, USC
Skinny: Not trying to pick on Charlotte here, but the 49ers chances of winning are near zero. Why? Because only once in the 32 years of the event has a team east of the Mississippi claimed the title (Tennessee, 2005).

John Hayt Collegiate Invitational
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Sawgrass CC, Ponte Vedra, Fla. (par 72, 6,895 yards)
Feb. 28-March 2
Host: North Florida
Defending champion: LSU (+21/885) by eight strokes over Arizona State;  LSU's John Peterson (-2/214) by two strokes over LSU's Andrew Loupe, Alabama's Hunter Hamrick and Coastal Carolina's Zack Byrd
Field: UAB, Alabama, UCF, Coastal Carolina, Duke, Florida, Furman, Georgia Southern, LSU, Mercer, N.C. State, North Florida, TCU, Tennessee, Tulsa
Skinny: The 18-year-old tournament is played on one of the tougher courses that collegiate teams face. To wit, the last team to finish under par at the event was South Carolina back in ... 2004.

Braveheart Classic
Oak Valley GC, Beaumont, Calif. (Par 72, 7,003 yards)
March 1-2
Host: UC Riverside
Defending champion: Oregon (+11/875) by seven strokes over Southern Utah; Southern Utah's Nate Page (-1/215) by two strokes over five others
Field: Arizona, CSU Bakersfield, CSU Fullerton, CSU Northridge, Gonzaga, La Verne, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, Minnesota, Portland, Sacramento State, Santa Clara, Southern Utah, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara
Skinny: Can Arizona or Minnesota, the highest profile teams in the field, use the event to springboard their spring seasons, as Oregon did in 2009?

Seahawk Intercollegiate
CC of Landfall (Nicklaus), Wilmington, N.C. (Par 72, 7,058 yards)
March 1-2
Host: UNC Wilmington
Defending champion: New event
Field: Augusta State, Davidson, Drexel, East Carolina, Georgia State, James Madison, North Carolina, UNC Wilmington, South Carolina, VCU Wake Forest, William & Mary
Skinny: Moved Landfall event to the spring with the club hosting the NCAA women's preview last October.

Fresno State Lexus Classic
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Copper River CC, Fresno, Calif.
March 1-2
Host: Fresno State
Defending champion: UC Irvine (+27/891) by one stroke over San Francisco; Santa Clara's Miki Ueoka (-7/209) by three strokes over Long Beach State's Kay Hoey
Field: Boise State, Cal Poly, CSU Fullerton, Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Gonzaga, Nevada, Portland State, Sacramento State, San Jose State, Santa Clara, Seattle, UC Davis, UC Irvine
Skinny: Coach Angie Cates-Moore specifically decided to push Fresno State's home tournament down the Bulldogs' schedule, playing on the road to open the spring at the Peg Barnard Classic, so that they wouldn't knocking the rust off their competitive games but would have already had a few rounds under their collective belts when playing in front of their fans.

Kinderlou Forest Challenge
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Kinderlou Forest, Valdosta, Ga.
March 1-2
Host: Kennesaw State/Kentucky
Defending champion: New event
Field: Arkansas, Chattanooga, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kennesaw State, Kent State, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Virginia
Skinny: Impressive field for a first-year event, with seven top-25 teams from the most recent Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll.

Bruin Wave Invitational
   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)
Robinson Ranch GC, Santa Clarita, Calif. (Par 72, 6,282 yards)
March 1-3
Host: Pepperdine/UCLA
Defending champion: New event
Field: Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, CSU Northridge, Long Beach State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pepperdine, San Diego State, San Francisco, Stanford, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Washington, Washington State
Skinny: West Coast neighbors help organize this new tournament. Might feel like a Pac-10 Conference preview event consider nine of the 10 schools are in the field (only one missing: California). ... Read
News & Tours

Golf World/Nike Golf men's coaches' poll

Here is the first spring edition of the Golf World/Nike Golf men's coaches' poll, which appear in the March 1 issue of the magazine.
GW-Nike Golf 3-1 polls pt1.jpg

GW-Nike golf poll 3-1 pt 2.jpg

Polls conducted by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Voting closed Feb. 18, so results this past weekend's tournaments weren't included for consideration.
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News & Tours

David Feherty becomes U.S. citizen

CBS golf analyst David Feherty, a Northern Irishman by birth, became a citizen of the United States on Tuesday, one of 31 to recite the Oath of Allegiance to the United States at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Irving, Texas.

Feherty told the Dallas Morning News that a visit to Baghdad, Iraq, to visit U.S. troops two years ago convinced him that he wanted to become a citizen.

"I wanted to be able to call them my soldiers, my pilots, my sailors," Feherty, a Dallas resident, told the newspaper. "I have the benefit of living in this country and it is maintained by them...Thomas Jefferson said we need soldiers and teachers, and it is as true now as it was then."

Here is the Oath, incidentally, required of all immigrants who wish to become U.S. citizens:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

-- John Strege

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News & Tours

Will rain lower the decibels at 16?

Showers (as well as a high temperature of 64 degrees) are forecast for Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz. What might that do to the crowd at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and its rambunctiousness, particularly at the par-3 16th hole?

Weather has been part of the story at the Bob Hope Classic, the Northern Trust Open, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and now, possibly, the Phoenix Open. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was spared, though the course was saturated from rain a week earlier, resulting in preferred lies being employed over the first three rounds.

The Florida swing can't come soon enough.

-- John Strege

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