Wednesday
MARCH 29, 2017
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By JOHN GORDON

In 2003, by the time Mike Weir became the first Canadian (and first lefty) to win the Masters (or any men’s major, for that matter), two of his countrymen, widely recognized as among the best ballstrikers of all time, had tried and failed.

Can we blame the “Canadian curse”?

On the 72nd hole of the 1969 Masters, George Knudson missed a birdie putt. The resulting par left him in a tie with Billy Casper and Tom Weiskopf, a shot back of winner George Archer. 


By BILL FIELDS

Professional golf has had a “world” tour for a while now, and it’s called the LPGA. 

There has been overwhelming evidence of this during the past year or so. In 2016, there were only two American winners – the fewest ever – in 33 official events, and the medals in the Summer Olympics went to players from South Korea, New Zealand and China. Brittany Lincicome is the only U.S. golfer to take home a trophy in the six events held in 2017. Going into the first major championship of the year, the ANA Inspiration, Lexi Thompson (No. 9) is the only American in the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings. Among the top 20 players, 10 nations on four continents are represented.

Not only are there no walls in the women’s game, there isn’t so much as a picket fence. Whether mathematical, cultural or cyclical, this is the way it is. 



In the news

Allowed: Distance-measuring devices, during a test phase on three of the PGA Tour’s developmental circuits. Players and caddies on the Web.com, Mackenzie and Latinoamerica tours can use the devices during four consecutive tournaments this spring and summer, the PGA Tour announced. Functions to measure slope, elevation or wind will not be allowed. Results will be reviewed with the player advisory councils on each tour.


Making room for ‘Boom Boom’

Just finished the article on Fred Couples (“For old times’ sake, Couples seeks Augusta magic,” March 27, bit.ly/2odV8ss). Great job. Love to read anything about my favorite PGA Tour player. 

Looking forward to seeing him at the Masters and the rest of the 2017 season. 

Dan Braun
Cincinnati 


Keeping score

1

Ranking on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation for Jordan Spieth, at 75.69 percent, entering this week’s Shell Houston Open. That’s up from 63.52 percent last year, when he ranked 145th.



FROM THE INDUSTRY

Five years into its initiative, the Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association benefits from turf research conducted by a salaried position at Oregon State University. The research assistant is funded by the OGCSA and Toro Co., with help from golfers via a tee-time donation program administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf, the philanthropic arm of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.



CALENDAR
March 30 - April 1
Symetra Tour: Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club
Mesa, Ariz.
March 30 - April 2
Amateur: Azalea Invitational
Country Club of Charleston (S.C.)
LPGA: ANA Inspiration
Mission Hills CC (Dinah Shore), Rancho Mirage, Calif.
PGA Tour: Shell Houston Open
Golf Club of Houston, Humble, Texas
March 31 - April 2
Champions Tour: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic
Fallen Oak, Biloxi, Miss.
April 1-2
College men: 3M Augusta Invitational
Forest Hills CC, Augusta, Ga.
April 2
Junior boys and girls: Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship
Augusta (Ga.) National GC
April 6-9
PGA Tour: Masters Tournament
Augusta (Ga.) National GC
April 7-9
Symetra Tour: Northern California Classic
Windsor (Calif.) GC
April 12-15
LPGA: Lotte Championship
Ko Olina GC, Kapolei, Hawaii
April 13-16
European Tour: Trophee Hassan II
Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, Morocco
PGA Tour: RBC Heritage
Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
April 14-16
Champions Tour: Mitsubishi Electric Classic
TPC Sugarloaf, Duluth, Ga.
April 19-22
Junior: Sage Valley Junior Invitational
Sage Valley Golf Club, Graniteville, S.C.
April 20-23
European Tour: Shenzhen International
Genzon GC, Shenzhen, China
Web.com Tour: United Leasing and Finance Championship
Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Ind.
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course)
April 21-23
Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge
Top of the Rock, Ridgedale, Mo.
Symetra Tour: Sara Bay Classic
Sara Bay CC, Sarasota, Fla.
April 25-26
National Golf Day
Washington

      
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