By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Ian Poulter has withdrawn from The Honda Classic due to illness.
“Sorry guys never been so disappointed in pulling out of a tournament,” Poulter tweeted Thursday morning before leaving the property. “Never felt so ruff, Hope 1st reserve plays well in a great group today.”
Poulter’s illness seemed to begin Wednesday night. He tweeted, “Heading straight to bed, 101.2 temperature, freezing then sweating. I hope I can sweat it out overnight or it could be home for me.” He even took a picture of the thermometer.
The Englishman was scheduled to tee off at 12:30 p.m. ET in the Featured Group with Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood. Poulter will be replaced by alternate Miguel Angel Carballo. Alternate Jonas Blixt would have replaced Poulter, but he had a sinus infection.
Carballo, who is from Bahia Blanca, Argentina, a rookie on the PGA TOUR after graduating from the Nationwide Tour, has made five starts this season with a tie for 29th his best finish.
Earlier, Alex Cejka withdrew with an elbow injury and was replaced in the field by Richard H. Lee.
The tee times for the first round of this week’s The Honda Classic have been released. CLICK HERE for the tee times. Use the space below to comment about the pairings at PGA National.
Here’s a look at some of the notable groups in the first two rounds:
Jim Furyk/Y.E. Yang/Henrik Stenson
Yang has owned PGA National in recent years, with a win and a second-place finish.
Kyle Stanley/Keegan Bradley/Rory McIlroy
Three of the best players in the world under the age of 30, and all three bomb the ball.
Mark Wilson/Rory Sabbatini/Camilo Villegas
These three players won at PGA National in 2007, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Villegas and Wilson squared off in a four-man playoff (with Boo Weekley and Jose Conceres) on a steamy Monday in 2007, which Wilson won.
Lee Westwood/Ian Poulter/Tiger Woods
No introduction needed for this trio. Tiger makes his first start at PGA National. This is the third consecutive year Westwood has teed if up here. Tied for ninth in 2010.
John Huh/Charl Schwartzel/Ernie Els
The PGA TOUR's newest winner (Huh) immediately graduates to an A-list tee time with a pair of major champions.
Anthony Kim/Mike Weir/Mark Calcavecchia
Can Kim and Weir get their games turned around at the start of the Florida Swing? And don't count out Calcavecchia, who has lived in Palm Beach for many years. He tied for fourth here in 2008.
Now, it’s your turn: Which groups are you most interested in following this week?
With perfect weather for their practice rounds this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, several players have tweeted photos from Pebble Beach. Here’s a sampling:
@geoffogilvy "pretty stunning right now"
@IanJamesPoulter 11th hole at Monterey it's very pretty, 183 yards pure
@angryant1910 No15 at mpcc shore course, awesome back drop
@JimmyWalkerPGA @attpbnproam #pgatour #7
@PaulStankowski This never gets old.
Ian Poulter isn't playing at the Farmers Insurance Open this week, but he's been a very busy man. Of course, not as busy as his wife, Katie, who delivered their fourth child, and second son, on Thursday.
Poulter is one of the PGA TOUR's most prolific tweeters and he understandably wanted to get the good news out. Here's a sample of his tweets over the last 24 hours -- be sure to check out the picture in the second one.
UPDATE: Poulter tweeted at 4:49 ET on Friday what he and his wife had decided to name their son: My little boy's name is Joshua James Poulter We have an IJP a LJP an a JJP. JJ Poulter Love him he is lovely.
@IanJamesPoulter Daddy going to fall asleep for a short while before Katie gets this show on the road, who knows what it will be.
@IanJamesPoulter Baby number 4 has arrived into the world, Mum an Baby are doing really well born at 12.41 hasn't been weighed yet I will tell u gender later
RT @WestwoodLee @IanJamesPoulter congrats poults! Are you still
calling it Lee if it's a boy? >> ha ha Thanks esty.
@IanJamesPoulter RT @LukeDonald @IanJamesPoulter congrats & glad everything went well Poults. Best wishes to the Mrs, my guess is boy!! >>Thanks Luke
@IanJamesPoulter Thank you guys for all the really great well wishes from all of you. It's been really nice. Thank you so much. They're doing great.
@IanJamesPoulter Well it's a beautiful baby boy 8lbs 1oz born at 12.41 we haven't named him yet, we are still thinking about names Thanks for the nice tweets
@IanJamesPoulter Tucked up in bed wired sleeping at home with the kids & Katie is at the hospital with our new boy. Can't wait to go see him tomorrow.
@IanJamesPoulter Getting the kids ready for school, then hit balls for 2 hours, then go to @ijpdesign booth at the PGA show, then straight to see our new boy
Poulter said earlier that he plans to make his 2012 PGA TOUR debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He’s sure to have some photos to show off there.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Mike Weir, who has been sidelined since elbow surgery last August, is planning to make his 2012 season debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, he announced on his website earlier this week.
“I think that’s a realistic target but I probably won’t know for sure until a week or 10 days before I have to commit,” Weir said in a blog post. “I’m very anxious to get back out there, which makes all this waiting tough.”
Weir, who lost his PGA TOUR card after finishing outside the top 125 on the money list and failing to earn it through a major medical exemption, has received a sponsor’s exemption into the event. Only recently, however, has Weir been cleared to play full rounds.
“I had considered playing in the Abu Dhabi and Qatar, but it was just a long way to go to test things out,” said Weir, who joined the European Tour in the offseason through an exemption he retained from winning the 2003 Masters. “Of course it would also be nice to play well at the start of the PGA TOUR and then be able to choose when and where I tee it up.”
Last year, Weir made just two cuts in 15 starts on TOUR. His low point came last July at the RBC Canadian Open, where he withdrew after just six holes. Weir made just three starts the rest of the year.
Also expected at Pebble Beach is Ian Poulter.
“I will be playing at the AT&T Pebble Beach Proam this year for the first time,” Poulter tweeted Friday. “Very much looking forward it. Game is really coming on.”
Poulter and his wife Katie are expecting the couple’s fourth child in about a week.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
For players who want to putt with a blade but enjoy the forgiveness of a mallet, without the bulbous shapes of most mallets, Nike Golf has created the Method Concept putter.
Called a mid-mallet by the company, the club features an eye-catching red blade-like face with a black D-shaped steel ring connecting to the blade. Two-thirds of the putter’s weight is in the black ring, moving the center of gravity down and back in the putter, helping to create a truer roll.
“We are giving consumers something new and something better,” Nike Golf designer David Franklin said. “There’s a reason the shape is the way it is. It allows us to infuse vital science and powerful technology that delivers a very high MOI in a relatively small package.”
The same polymetal groove insert found in other Method Core putters is in the Method Concept’s red face. Such an eye-catching red face figures to get consumers’ attention on crowded putter racks.
The putter will be available to the public Feb. 17 and comes in standard and belly lengths.
PUMA POULTER: Ian Poulter has his own clothing line but will wear Puma shoes and belts, Cobra Puma Golf announced Wednesday. He has played Cobra clubs for five years.
He’ll wear the company’s new Neo Classic Pro-Type shoe, which will be available to the public on a limited basis this summer.
RICKIE MOVING: Rickie Fowler, famous in part for his Puma clothing especially his all-orange look, is expected to be named to Cobra’s stable of professionals soon.
He will still play the Titleist ProV1x and wear Titleist gloves, but a big clue to what driver he’ll play is obvious in Cobra’s new AMP driver . Fowler can always find room for a little more orange.
CHAPPELL’S NEW HOME: Kevin Chappell, 84th in FedExCup points last season as a rookie with three top-10s including a third-place finish at the U.S. Open and playoff defeat at the Valero Texas Open, has moved from Bridgestone to Nike Golf for 2012.
Nike announced Wednesday that Chappell, in the field this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, signed a multi-year deal and will play the company’s clubs and 20XI ball while also wearing Nike shoes and apparel.
BACKUP PLAN: Webb Simpson, second in last year’s FedExCup, went to a backup Titleist 909D3 driver for the final two rounds, believing his primary driver’s face may have cracked during the second round on Saturday, Golf World Monday explained . Titleist shipped him another driver so he’d have two ready for the Sony Open in Hawaii.
WINNER’S BAG: Steve Stricker at the Hyundai
Tournament of Champions:
Driver: Titleist 909D3 8.5 degrees (UST Proforce V2 shaft)
3-wood: Titleist 906F2 13 degrees
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 19
Irons: Titleist AP2 3-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 54, 60 degrees
Putter: Odyssey White Hot #2
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
The United States doesn't have a player in the top five in the Official World Golf Ranking, but Englishman Ian Poulter doesn't think the U.S. needs to worry. With a bevy of young Americans on the rise, Poulter expects the U.S. to return to form soon.
"There is some great talent coming out of the States," Poulter told reporters this week on the eve of the Australian Masters in Melbourne. "I'm not going to say they are in a slump in any way, shape or form; they have some fantastic players.
"But I think certainly in the next 18 months, two years, we will see a push from those young guys in the States."
The youngsters certainly will enter the 2012 season with some momentum. Of the 16 players in their 20s who won PGA TOUR events in 2011, 11 of them were from the U.S. – including FedExCup winner Bill Haas, runner-up Webb Simpson and Rookie of the Year Keegan Bradley.
Poulter, arguably the TOUR's snappiest dresser, especially likes the potential of another fashionable golfer -- Rickie Fowler.
Although Fowler, who turned 24 on Tuesday, has yet to win a PGA TOUR event, he did break through recently with a six-stroke win on the OneAsia Tour at the Kolon Korea Open.
"Obviously it won't take him long to start winning plenty of tournaments,” Poulter said. “He won in Asia, but he hasn't won over there. I'm sure it won't be long before he makes a hard push up the world rankings."
Fowler currently ranks 29th in the Official World Golf Ranking – just one spot behind Poulter.
EDISON, N.J. -- Getting there may be a challenge with Hurricane Irene rumbling up the East Coast.
But eight players punched their ticket to TPC Boston on Saturday at The Barclays when they moved into the top 100 in the FedExCup standings.
Camilo Villegas made the biggest move -- jumping 58 spots to 51st when he tied for sixth at Plainfield Country Club. Chris Stroud moved up 31 spots, Ian Poulter 36, Padraig Harrington 44, Bill Lunde 18, William McGirt 29, John Merrick 6 and Ernie Els 19 to No. 99.
Poulter and McGirt had two of the biggest challenges in the final round. The colorful Brit birdied four of his last five holes on Saturday to seal the deal while McGirt, who was the last man to make the field for the first event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, clocked in at No. 101 until he made a birdie on the 17th hole.
Falling out of the top 100 were Bryce Molder, Hunter Haas, Chris DiMarco, Paul Goydos, Nick o'Hern, Matt Bettencourt, Tim Herron and Michael Bradley. Of that group only Molder made the cut and his closing 70 and tie for 65th simply wasn't enough.
EDISON, N.J. -- Ian Poulter always can be counted on for interesting fashion statements and entertaining Twitter observations.
@IanJamesPoulter Very eery feeling around the locker room today. People just want to get out of here before the Airports shut down. Race to the airplane.
@IanJamesPoulter Need to concentrate 100% on my round today then walking off 18th green, car will be running, bag in & get out of here.
So far, Poulter, who started the week ranked 114th in the FedExCup, is concentrating pretty darn well. He's 3 under through eight holes and is projected at No. 99 -- which would put him in the field for next week's Deutsche Bank Championship if he can continue to hang in there.