By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
Here are some equipment news and notes from around the golf world this weekend:
Lee Westwood tests out new Ping G25 driver
Mickelson finished T-37 at 17-under.Jason Dufner switches to Scotty Cameron GoLo putter
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- David Toms said he wasn't completely surprised when the PGA of America recently announced that Tom Watson would serve as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for the second time in his career.
The 46-year-old Toms, who won the 2001 PGA, was among the potential candidates and he confirmed he had some general discussions with the PGA before the announcement. Ted Bishop, who is the president of the PGA, later called Toms to let him know the organization's decision.
And Toms said he was "fine" with it.
"Obviously, I would like to be the captain some day, but at this point in my career this is probably for the better for me personally and so I wish them well," Toms said. "I know that they will have a great team and have a great captain and I'm just hoping to get my game in good enough shape to be a part of that."
That's hardly out of the realm of possibility for Toms, who had five top-10s last year and finished second at The McGladrey Classic in his final start of the season. One of those top-10s came at the Humana Challenge in partnership wih the Clinton Foundation where he is making his 2013 debut this week.
That said, Toms knows the PGA TOUR is deeper that it was two decades ago when he turned pro. He has only to think back to Sunday when PGA TOUR rookie Russell Henley won the Sony Open in Hawaii in record fashion.
Of course, a case can be made for experience. But Toms knows he and the other fortysomethings need to take advantage of their chances when they arise.
"As far as somebody my age that can still win out here, guys do it every year," said Toms, who won his 13th PGA TOUR event in 2011. "It's just you probably don't have as many opportunities to do it. So it's not like on a weekly basis you see the older guys compete every single week. ...
"I think that's good for the TOUR, where you have a little bit of a mix, you have some old guys sprinkled in that everybody knows who they are and then you have the new guys that are young and play great golf that make a name for themselves."
Toward that end, the Louisiana native is developing the David Toms Academy that will open later this year in Shreveport, where he makes his home. It's a unique practice facility that will feature a nine-hole par-3 course, eight greens dedicated to chipping and putting, a driving range that spans 118 acres at various hitting angles and three regulation holes (par 3, 4 and 5).
The academy will also be known as "265" -- which refers to his winning score in 2001 at Atlanta Athletic Club, which remains the lowest aggregate total in major championship history. He shot the same score in winning first and his most recent PGA TOUR events.
Toms hopes the facility, which is being built on a 65-acre tract of land located just off a major thoroughfare in the center of Shreveport, will serve 400 young people each year. The academy will be affiliated with The First Tee of Northwest Lousiana. Once it's operational, private memberships will also be accepted so the academy will be self-sustaining.
"My motivation was, number one, we have a lot of kids in our area that are very good players, world class players at their age, and to give them the opportunity to really excel in the game and develop their skills to get to the next level," Toms said. "... And to impact the kids in our area that aren't exposed to golf. And there's quite a few of them.
"Baseball and football, as you can imagine, are really big in our area. And to take some of those athletes, expose them to the game, and see if we can turn out the next TOUR players. So I think it will be a great experience for everybody once it's finished."
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: This year will be Davis Toms' 24th on the PGA TOUR, and the soon-to-be 46-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down -- other than each fall to watch his beloved LSU Tigers play football. He managed five top 10s last year, including the 15th runner-up finish of his career, despite his scoring average falling just over a stroke and his GIR dropping four percentage points. Shore that up in 2013 and Toms knows how to win.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Toms came close to his 14th PGA TOUR victory when he closed with a 63 at Sea Island as he chased Tommy Gainey at The McGladrey Classic. Interestingly, Toms' final round scoring average ranked third on TOUR while his overall mark was 77th. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: David turns 46 in January and shows few signs of an eroding golf game. He won $1.6 million last year. David has never been a big hitter and I think that is actually a benefit as he ages. Other players have a hard time adjusting to a lack of length but Toms has never been long and has always found a way to score. Toms is a future Ryder Cup Captain. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Will turn 46 before his first tee ball is aloft in 2013. Dipped below 20 starts for the first time in 2012, so we must adjust immediately. Interestingly, made only five starts after the U.S. Open but didn't cite injury as cause for a pair of mini-sabbaticals. Still nabbed five top 10s, however, proving that he can still pick his spots. Returned from his second break to finish second at The McGladrey Classic. Might be evolving into the Bruce Lietzke of his generation. Coincidentally, both have 13 career victories. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finish||2nd||The McGladrey Classic|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 13
Rounds played: 58
Top-10 finishes: 5
Money List rank: 47th
Driving distance: 184th
Driving accuracy: 6th
Greens in regulation: 74th
Strokes gained-putting: 118th
Scoring average: 77th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN What is your prediction for David Toms in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
David Toms withdrew from the Deutsche Bank Championship on Tuesday, leaving the field at 98 for the second event of the FedExCup Playoffs. Sergio Garcia withdrew from the tournament last week.
Toms withdrew to spend time with his family. At 89th in the FedExCup standings , Toms will not make the 70-player field at next week's BMW Championship, ending his bid to make the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for the second year in a row.
Toms missed six weeks of action after tweaking his back in mid-June, then returned to finish tied for eighth in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He missed the cut in last week's Playoffs opener at The Barclays.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- David Toms figures he was tying his shoe. Or maybe just bending over to reach something in his closet.
Whatever happened, the Monday after he tied for fourth at the U.S. Open -- and for the better part of the next two days -- Toms was flat on his back in bed. He had a cortisone injection but continued to favor his ailing back and didn't return to action until this week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Looks like the month’s layoff has done Toms some good. In what he called "one of the ball-striking rounds" he's had in a while, Toms fired a 67 that moved him to 5 under for the tournament and six strokes behind the leader, Jim Furyk.
"It was one of those days where I wish I would have putted a little bit better," the LSU product said. "... (I) kept the ball in the fairway for the most part and hit a lot of solid iron shots and didn't have the putter rolling today."
Toms hit 10 of 14 fairways and all but one green in regulation, which had him leading the field when he finished. But he had 32 putts, as opposed to 27 in his first-round 68.
Toms said his back usually goes out on him several times a year. He had an MRI after the latest episode and has gotten several differing opinions -- from chronic bursitis to a torn labrum "which I don't think I have because I don't have that much pain and I can still move pretty good," Toms said. He plans to address the situation during the offseason.
"It is what it is," Toms said. "... Unfortunately it kept me out for a little while, but I needed a break probably in a way from the game. I wasn't quite enjoying it the way I should have and probably put too much pressure on myself to perform at that time before when I was off. It feels good to be back again and competing, and I feel pretty healthy, and I'm happy with where my golf swing is."
Toms said the problem is on his right side so his swing isn't really affected. As long as he paces himself when he practices and plays, Toms can usually deal with anything that might arise. "At 45, you really don't want to get cut on if you don't have to," he said. "... Right now I'm just going to go with it."
Toms has a big stretch of golf coming up, too.
He currently ranks 76th in the FedExCup so Toms has the opportunity to go deep into the Playoffs. He's also playing in the PGA Championship and Wyndham Championship, the final event of the Regular Season, so if Toms makes it to the third Playoffs event, he would play six straight tournaments.
Toms said he can't remember the last time he played that many weeks in a row. But unlike others who might skip Greensboro because their spots in the Playoffs are sewn up, Toms has opted to play the Wyndham Championship, where he was runner-up two years ago.
"I like the tournament," Toms said. "I've played well there. I've got a lot of friends in that area, a couple of guys that run the golf tournament that are very good, close friends of mine, and I want to go there to support that event. That's really how it adds up to six in a row.”
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and David Toms are tied for the 36-hole lead at the Olympic Club. At 1 under, they are the only three golfers under par, two shots clear of the rest of the field. Here are their thoughts heading into Saturday's third round:
TIGER WOODS: "Supposed to be the hottest day, I think almost 80, and depends on whether Mike (Davis, USGA Executive Director) and his staff put a little water on this golf course how it's going to play. ... It will be interesting to see if they make it scorable or they're going to really test us."
JIM FURYK: “Obviously it's going to get even more probably firmer and faster and even more of a stern test for the weekend. ... It can snowball very quickly here. It's tough to kind of put a tourniquet on it and stop the bleeding and get the momentum changed back in the right direction at this golf course ... There's not a lot of let up.”
DAVID TOMS: "I have to drive the ball a little bit better over the weekend than I did the first two days, but can I do that. It's usually one of my strengths. So I think I can do that. And the golf course is not playing too long. The only issue is maybe having enough spin to get to some of the pins when it firms up. But then I'll have to just play away from them and try to use my putter to my advantage."
Now it’s your turn. How do you think the third round will play out?
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- David Toms was paired with Davis Love III in the first two rounds last week in Memphis. On a TPC Southwind course that favors his game, Toms shot 74-75 and failed to make the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Classic -- and no doubt, failed to make an impression on the U.S. Ryder Cup captain.
He got a second chance in front of Love this week, as the two were grouped in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open. This time, he delivered -- 69-70 at the Olympic Club for a 1 under total that gives him a share of the 36-hole lead with Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk.
"Really part of my goal this week was to play a little better in front of our Ryder Cup captain, and I was able to do that," Toms said, "which is an extra bonus for me right now."
Now he shares the U.S. Open lead and searching for his second career major, having won the PGA Championship 11 years ago.
Although some U.S. Open courses might be too long for him -- like Congressional last year -- Toms feels better about his chances at the Olympic Club.
"My attitude is pretty good starting the round to know that I don't have to bomb it to play the golf course," Toms said. "Sometimes that is the case. It's not this week.
"I'm pretty confident that I can play the golf course well, but you still have to go out and execute, and I've done that for a couple days."
Toms will be playing Saturday's third round with John Peterson, who is a tie for fourth at 1 over. The two know each other well; both are LSU graduates, with Peterson having won the 2011 NCAA individual title. Peterson's dad followed Toms during his final 36 holes at the Colonial last year.
"He's a great kid," Toms said, "and I hope he plays great this weekend."
Toms wouldn't mind playing great himself, too.
SAN FRANCISCO – David Toms finished with an even-par 70 in Saturday’s second round, leaving him at 1 under for the tournament and tied with Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk for the lead.
Although several players are still on the course, that 1 under total is likely to hold up for the lead. If it does, Toms would be in the second-to-last twosome of the day, with Woods and Furyk in the final pairing.
For young Carter, the son of David Toms, his father's playoff loss at the 2011 PLAYERS Championship was disappointing. Toms' win the following week offered almost immediate redemption.