Torrey Pines Renovation
This is an article from the Oct. 22, 2001 issue
There's no need to bother voting for the Tour's comeback of the
year in 2002. The South course at Torrey Pines in La Jolla,
Calif., site of the Buick Invitational, has a lock on the award.
Torrey Pines, perched on windswept cliffs overlooking the
Pacific, is undergoing a $3 million renovation to turn the most
scenic municipal layout in the U.S.--the South Course and its
sister 18, the North, are owned by San Diego--into the most
major-championship-ready venue of its kind. (New Yorkers, relax:
Bethpage Black, site of next year's U.S. Open, is state-owned.)
In fact an Open at Torrey Pines, which USGA executive director
David Fay has visited once, is such a no-brainer that insiders
say the South Course has a good chance to receive one of the
next available Opens, in 2008 or '09.
Augusta National's makeover got all the publicity, but Torrey
Pines's renovation, which was mostly paid for by the Century
Club, the group of San Diego businesspeople who put on the Buick
Invitational, and executed by course designer Rees Jones, is
more extensive. Although the routing of the South Course, which
has been using temporary tees and greens since work began in
July, hasn't changed, all 18 greens and tee complexes are being
rebuilt and most fairways are being narrowed. When the layout is
ready for play early next year, it will have grown by about 500
yards, to a maximum length of 7,600, and will no longer be a
wide-open big-hitter's track.
Sixty bunkers are being added, and most greens have been
elevated and sloped. Several greens have also been moved to the
edges of cliffs and ravines, requiring dangerous approaches. For
example the 3rd hole used to be a benign par-3 of 173 yards.
Jones gave the 3rd pucker power by lengthening it to 201 yards
and moving the green to the edge of a deep ravine. He likens the
new hole to the 17th at Pebble Beach. Torrey Pines's par-5 18th,
formerly a 498-yard cupcake, will be 575 yards with an enlarged
pond in front of the green. "No more eight-iron second shots for
Phil [Mickelson]," Scott Simpson, the 1998 Buick champ, told The
San Diego Union-Tribune.
The 4th hole, previously a 453-yard par-4, will be a merciless
480-yarder with a green perched on the edge of a canyon. The
par-4 14th is being transformed into a perilous 440-yard dogleg
left, and the 15th is going from 390 to 475 yards. In case the
USGA wants to lower par from 72 to 70 for the Open, as is its
wont, two of Torrey's par-5s, the 557-yard 6th hole and the 18th
could be converted into par-4s. "Torrey Pines is a whole new
animal," says Jim Allen, San Diego's director of golf operations.
Other factors make Torrey Pines a logical pick for the Open.
Since 1998, when San Francisco's Olympic Club was exposed as
being more conducive to pinball than championship golf, the USGA
has been left with one suitable Open venue on the West
Coast--Pebble Beach--in a rotation that's long on Northeastern
sites (Bethpage, Shinnecock Hills and Winged Foot in the next
five years). Also, the USGA appreciates the fact that, like
Bethpage, Torrey Pines is a course that anyone can play. "It has
all the makings of an Open site," says Jones. "You have the
North Course for auxiliary facilities, a city inclined to host
major sports events, 70-degree weather year-round and no rain."
Says Tom Wilson, executive director of the Century Club, "I'm
sick of hearing Ken Venturi say about Pebble Beach and Riviera,
'This is where you want to win a title [on the West Coast].'
Give me a break. What does that say about every other event on
the Coast? We want a course where the top players feel they've
already beaten three quarters of the field."
Golf Plus will next appear in the Nov. 12 issue of SPORTS
John Daly will play in the Masters next year. It took failing to
qualify for the tournament for the first time since 1997 and the
threat of Q school to get his attention, but with a new
calmness, a rejuvenated short game and momentum from a first and
a second on the Euro tour, Daly will move into the top 50 in the
World Ranking (he's 52nd) by the end of the year to earn his
What do these pros have in common?
They're the only former winners of the PGA Club Pro Championship
to take a Senior tour event in 2001. Dougherty ('85 Club Pro)
won the TD Waterhouse Championship, Fleisher ('89) the Las Vegas
Senior Classic, the Home Depot Invitational and the U.S. Senior
Open, and Rachels ('94) the BellSouth Senior Classic and the
Do you agree or disagree with the PGA of America's decision to
postpone the Ryder Cup until next year?
--Based on 3,420 responses to our informal survey
Next question: Aside from Tiger Woods, who would get your vote
for PGA Tour player of the year: David Duval, Phil Mickelson or
David Toms? Vote at golfplus.cnnsi.com.
Here are the Tour players who have made the biggest moves up and
down the money list this season.
'01 $ RANK +/- FROM '00
John Daly 59th +129
Tom Pernice Jr. 40th +87
Steve Stricker 27th +86
Bob Estes 9th +79
Billy Mayfair 29th +77
Brian Henninger 196th -105
Blaine McCallister 159th -110
Andrew Magee 178th -123
Tom Scherrer 163rd -128
Notah Begay 197th -177
Wynne Solle, PINE NEEDLES, N.C.
Solle, 44, won the Carolinas Golf Association mid-amateur. He
and Mike Carlisle, 44, of Aiken, S.C., fired two-under 142s in
regulation before Solle birdied the first playoff hole for the
victory. Solle also earned his second club championship at
Pinehurst Resort and a third Moore County amateur title last
Codie Mudd, LOUISVILLE
Mudd, a junior at Mississippi State, won his second collegiate
event, the Mason Rudolph Championships in Nashville, by
defeating Virginia's Steve Marino on the first hole of a
playoff. Codie, whose uncle Jodie won four PGA Tour events,
fired a 10-under 210, the second-lowest three-round score in
Matt Arvantis, MANCHESTER, N.H.
Arvantis, a junior at Southern New Hampshire University, took
the individual crown to lead the Penmen to their first
Northeast-10 Conference team title and third consecutive
victory. Arvantis shot a five-under 137 to break the tournament
record by six strokes. The Penmen beat Bryant College of
Smithfield, R.I., by one shot.
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