These are toughtimes for John Daly, with his wife being hauled off to prison and all, but thatdoesn't justify his acting like a punk on the golf course. At the FBR Open,Daly called in sick for Wednesday's pro-am, shot a 74 on Thursday and then a 40on his first nine on Friday, at which point he walked directly to his car andleft without telling a soul. Last year Daly spent the Tuesday before the FBRrocking out at a pre--Super Bowl event before jetting to town at the 11th hour,only to shoot 81 in the opening round, then WD. Daly should simply leaveScottsdale off his 2007 schedule. The dozens of players who failed to make itinto the tournament would've coveted the opportunity.... Perhaps inspired bythe Tour's most notoriously sinful crowd, a record number of pros showed up forthe players' informal Bible-study session on Wednesday night. The weeklymeeting usually draws about 12 to 15 people, but Aaron Baddeley, who hosted athis home in Scottsdale, estimated the crowd at "easily 50-plus." ...Tiger Woods (below) enjoyed the win and the reported $3 million appearance feehe got for playing in Dubai, but there was a downside. "Unfortunately I'mgoing to miss the Super Bowl," he said after beating Ernie Els in suddendeath, "so I'll probably be making some calls on the plane to see who'swinning."
The stats fromthe deserts (Dubai and Scottsdale) provide a catchy handle for the possiblefuture of pro golf: Tiger Woods and the Big Boppers. In Dubai, Woods earned his66th pro victory while improving his playoff record on the PGA and Europeantours to 13-2, including a perfect 3-0 against Els. At the FBR Open, J.B.Holmes averaged 320.5 yards off the tee (counting all his drives), with 23 ofhis 56 shots traveling more than 330 yards. Only 31 of those drives found thefairway, but the long ball trumps the short grass.
•Seve Ballesterossays he will quit competitive golf--in 2011. •The gold medal Orville Moody gotfor winning the 1969 U.S. Open was to be auctioned at Lyon and Turnbull inEdinburgh on Feb. 7.
• For morecoverage of the Dubai Desert Classic, go to SI.com/golf.
[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Pebble vs. the Hope
This week the PGATour stops at California's Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble BeachNational Pro-Am, which along with the recent Bob Hope Chrysler Classic is oneof only two Hollywood hackfests remaining on the pro circuit. So, whichtournament is better? Here's a side-by-side comparison of the star-studdedevents.
|Three courses, including Pebble Beach and SpyglassHill.||[ Courses ]|
Pebble. PB and Spyglass are the real classics.
|Four courses, including the brand new ClassicClub.|
|Most pros play three rounds with amateurpartners.||[ Format ]|
Pebble. Know why the pros love the Memorial? It doesn't have a pro-am.
|Pros play four rounds with amateur partners.|
|Bing Crosby, the Clambake founder and immortalcrooner.||[ Patron Saint ]|
Tie. A toss-up on The Road to Morocco.
|Bob Hope, Bing's buddy in the movies and immortalcomic.|
|Tiger used to play here.||[ Strength of Field ]|
Pebble. Even the memory of Tiger is better than no Tiger ever.
|Tiger has never played here (and probably neverwill).|
|Bill Murray, the greatest show in golf.||[ Star Attraction ]|
Pebble. Was Timberlake in Caddyshack?
|Teen heartthrob Justin Timberlake.|
|17-Mile Drive along the Pacific Ocean.||[ Scenic Drive ]|
Pebble. Nothing beats an ocean view.
|Frank Sinatra Drive through Palm Desert.|
|Clint Eastwood, chairman of the foundation that runsthe tournament.||[ Unofficial Host ]|
Pebble. Who's going to tell Clint he didn't win this category?
|Tom Dreesen, Sinatra pal who emcees tournamentfunctions.|
|It's been snowed on, canceled and had the final roundmoved to August.||[ Weather ]|
Hope. Pebble has more exciting weather, but....
|Ho-hum. It's sunny and 78 in Palm Desert, asusual.|
|Gary McCord yuks it up on a couch near the 16th holefor CBS.||[ Forced Celebrity Schmoozer ]|
Pebble. Faldo hadn't looked this uncomfortable since he had to hug GregNorman.
|Nick Faldo set up a buffet table and a blender forABC.|
"Wednesday is the worst day of the week." MyShot, page G12
Survey Says ...
Putters made by putters-only companies are used byabout 10% of Tour pros. (Titleist is the top putter maker on Tour, at 39%.)Here are the top putters-only companies this year.
1. Seemore / Yes -- TIE
3. Guerin Rife
5. Daito / Heavy Putter -- TIE
The Darrell Survey has been tracking equipment at proand amateur events since 1938.
Two starts and two playoffs add up to a 2-0 record forTiger Woods
(BUICK + JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL) + (APPEARANCE FEE +ERNIE ELS) * TWO PLAYOFFS = TIGER'S PERFECT START
Top 100 TEACHERS POLL
Who's the best player under 25 on the PGA Tour?
J.B. Holmes... 56%
Ryan Moore... 24%
Sean O'Hair... 20%
"Holmes's distance and accuracy are amazing, butwhat impresses me is the way he visualizes his shots."
Daly walked off the course after only 27 holes.