Stories of interest you might have missed…
“Bubba Watson wears an $825,000 wristwatch. Apparently, it won’t tell him when it’s time to shut up,” Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley writes after Watson said he does not like the TPC Scottsdale and that he was playing the Waste Management Phoenix Open only to appease his sponsors.
Jack Nicklaus intends to host a bonding party for potential U.S. Ryder Cup team members during the Honda Classic, Derek Lawrenson reports in the Daily Mail. “Nicklaus' motivational gesture was revealed by Graeme McDowell, who played recently in Hawaii with American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III. ‘I didn't glean very much but he did mention to me, and I'm not sure it's common knowledge, about Jack having them all around to his house,’ McDowell said. ‘The plan is to have around 25 players who could make the team for dinner. Given this level of intensity this early in the campaign, it just shows how fired up they are.’”
Ernie Els is 46 now, but now that he has found a fix for his putting woes feels he can still compete. “Even in the majors?” Martin Dempster of the Scotsman asks in this story on Els’ newfound confidence. “Yes, I feel I can do that,” [Els] added. “Equipment has kept me very relative in the modern game. Length is not a big issue as I can hit my driver as long as a lot of the young guys. My issue was on the greens but I always felt that, if I could get my touch back, I could still compete. That’s what is happening now – I’m starting to feel it on the greens again. That gives you even more of a kick and I feel that I am going to have a good year.”
“When Hyo Joo Kim won last week's Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, the age of the champion wasn't a shock. That Kim, only 20, started the 2016 season with a victory merely reinforced a dominant theme of 2015: The women's game is getting younger,” Bill Fields writes at ESPNw in this story on the youth movement that has taken over women’s golf.