Sunday, February 20, 2005

Curtis Strange on the Champions Tour, Riviera under water and Tiger Woods gets it on

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So, after years spent largely away from the fairway, two-time US Open winner Curtis Strange is back on course.
Strange, who was always a strong analyst on ABC's golf telecasts, butted heads with the network last year when he said he wanted to play more after turning 50. In the end, he parted ways with the network to give professional golf another full-time try on the Champions Tour after eight years in a television booth.
Well, Strange is playing in his first Seniors' event (I hate this Champions' Tour nonsense) this week, and got off to a rocky start, shooting a 2-over-74 on the first day, though he recovered nicely, shooting a 71 the next.
Not sure whether Strange is going to be the next Hale Irwin, and win everything there is, or become like Ben Crenshaw, and demonstrate that not everyone gets better as they get older.
I've had one encounter with Strange, two summers ago. On a sunny day, I was playing the exclusive Fox Harb'r Golf Club in Nova Scotia (and shooting 73) alongside my partner, David Booth, a senior executive with Hewlett-Packard. After our game, David was jetting to New Jersey for some corporate golf function, while I flew back to Toronto.
When I arrived in TO and got in my cab, my cell phone notified me that I had a message.
"Robert, Curtis Strange here. David Booth tells me you played a hell of a game yesterday and added that you need to get a real job," he said in his Virginia drawl. "Anyway, keep hittin'em straight."
Apparently Booth told Strange about me game, whereupon Strange grabbed David's cell and gave me a call. Would have been more fun had I been there to pick up.
Anyway, Strange is OK by me, and I hope he makes lots of money this year.

* Riviera was rained out yesterday, with bunkers full of water. Apparently things don't look much better today -- and there's talk this could become a 36-hole event, the first for the tour in the last nine years. Mike Weir, the defending champ and the hope of the Great White North, is 2-under after stumbling badly during his second round. I can't see him repeating, though he did make a great comeback to win in 2003.

* Tiger Woods used the rain delay at Riviera to apparently get all conjugal with Elin.
At least that's the take from a story in the Orange County Register. According to writer Randy Youngman, Woods is spending some effort on "his timing," when it comes to Elin, something that apparently can't be worked out on the range.
"I would like to be a father soon," said Woods. "It's something we would like to have happen. As you know, it's about timing."
In his discussion on the topic, Woods apparently didn't mention anything about the need to bring the club from the inside, or the concern about prematurely releasing his position.
Given his typical abilities to hit it close in the clutch, expect news on Elin's pregnancy soon.

Just so you can be certain I haven't taken this out of context, here is the full story:

http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/02/20/sections/sports/sports_columns/article_415473.php

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