Golf: January 29, 2007

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Mark O'Meara completed Sunday's final-round 72 on the distant No. 9 green at Torrey Pines, far removed from the tumult of No. 18. O'Meara then quietly departed the premises, with no plans to play in another regular PGA Tour event. And, yes, that includes the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. O'Meara will join Tiger Woods for this week's European Tour event in Dubai and plans to make his Champions Tour debut Feb. 16 in Tampa, Fla. -- San Francisco Chronicle

With a little more than two months until the golf world rolls into Augusta, Phil Mickelson has some time to figure things out and get ready. "Maybe ribs," Mickelson said of his entree choice for the Champions Dinner. Preferring to play the week before majors, he plans instead to come to Augusta a week early and put in the hours of preparation that has become his routine. -- Augusta Chronicle

Charlie Wi, the onetime All-American at Cal, lingered on the leaderboard with a final-round 71. By finishing in the top 10, Wi assured himself of a spot in this week's field at the FBR Open. Wi earned his tour card at qualifying school, giving him low priority in trying to land a spot in events. Now he figures to play at least three consecutive tournaments: Torrey Pines, Scottsdale and Pebble Beach. -- San Francisco Chronicle

At a time when an increasing number of promising young Irish golfers seem to be losing their way in a highly competitive world, Pádraig Harrington is planning to give them a clear sense of direction. And part of his ambitious strategy is to launch a foundation which will target players down to primary school level. -- Irish Independent

Matt Gogel will play his last professional tournament in next month's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a fitting if premature end to Gogel's career. It's obviously uncommon for a player in his mid-30s to pack up his clubs and head home. But Gogel has struggled on the course the past two years, partly because he grew increasingly weary of life on the road, away from his wife and two young children (the family lives outside Kansas City). -- San Francisco Chronicle

The TPC of Scottsdale, where the FBR Open will be played Thursday-Sunday, has served up its share of birdies over the past 20 years and there will be plenty more this week, partly because of the Valley's recent cold snap. That weather has kept the rough down to 3-3 1/2 inches, compared with 5-6 inches golfers usually face during tournament week. -- Arizona Republic