By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Not all the clubs on the PGA TOUR come from the hands of a manufacturer rep or all those gleaming equipment trailers that travel from tournament to tournament.
Sometimes players buy them just like we do.
David Toms, T18 last year in Strokes Gained-Putting but mired in 115th this year, switched to an Odyssey White Hot XG No. 7 last week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He picked up the putter in the pro shop at a Baton Rouge course the previous weekend, hit a few putts with it and paid for it on a credit card.
After having the lie flattened slightly by an Odyssey rep at TPC Louisiana, he put it in play and finished T45, saying he liked its insert and the sight lines. We’ll see if the putter travels to TPC Sawgrass for THE PLAYERS Championship, where Toms lost in a playoff last year to K.J. Choi.
SOUNDBITES: If you can’t get enough of CBS golf announcer Jim Nantz (or maybe you have a golf partner who is less of a fan), check out “The Nantz Effect” at Titleist.com (link here). And put a little gravy on that bird.
KILLED IT: Who says amateurs can’t make good contact with a 4-iron? A California condo owner used a Callaway 4-iron to dispose of a foot-long baby rattlesnake that bit him on the heel. Callaway posted the story on its social media sites.
WINNER’S BAG: Jason Dufner at the Zurich
Classic of New Orleans:
Driver: Titleist 910D2 (Mitsubishi Diamana ‘ahina 60X shaft, 9.5 degrees)
Fairway woods: Titleist 910F (13.5 degrees) and 906 F2 (18 degrees)
Hybrids: Titleist 910H (19 degrees)
Irons: Titleist AP2 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
David Toms meets with the media and talks about the layout at TPC Louisiana.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AVONDALE, La. -- David Toms loves playing golf in New Orleans, even if the TPC Louisiana may be a little long for the 45-year-old's game.
After all, the Shreveport resident's victory in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans came back in 2001 when the tournament was played at English Turn. But Toms does have two top-20 finishes at TPC Louisiana, including a tie for fifth in 2009.
"If they played this golf course like we played it today it
would be a tough tournament for me to win in the long run, to be
quite honest," Toms said after shooting 68 in the pro-am on
Wednesday. "But they do a good job of moving the tees around here,
putting some of them up on some of the holes. So, I've had
some decent tournaments here.
"So, certainly if I get hot, I'll have a chance but I wouldn't say this is one of the golf courses where I feel like going into the week where I'm at an advantage. I wouldn't say that at all."
At the same time, the LSU product loves coming to New Orleans each year, 19 to be exact, and seeing old friends. He feeds off the partisan crowd, too – “(it) just gives you that extra bit of a shot in the arm that sometimes you need," Toms said.
And make no mistake, he would like to gather some momentum this week.
Toms is starting an important three-week stretch with the Zurich Classic, Wells Fargo Championship and PLAYERS Championship. He's won the first two during his career and lost to K.J. Choi in a playoff at the third last year. He'll take a week off and then defend his title at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Toms' 2012 campaign hasn't been anything to write home about, though. He's played in eight events and has one top-10 finish at the Humana Challenge. He had to withdraw with a nagging back problem through two rounds at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, too.
"It hasn't been great," Toms acknowledged when asked about the
state of his game. "... There's no reason why. I'm not really
struggling with my golf swing or putting or anything in particular.
So, I need that one, you know, good round and good tournament to
get a little bit of confidence moving forward."
And as Toms found out, all it takes is one good tournament. After losing that playoff to Choi last year at THE PLAYERS -- which he thought "was my tournament to win until the very end," Toms said -- he won at Colonial in his next start.
"If you give yourself a chance, you never know when you're going to have that hot round that will get you to the winner's circle or somebody else might come back,” Toms said. “Just don't know. You have to get there first."
|Bubba Watson vs. Keegan Bradley||Two major winners square off. Bubba is the reigning champ.|
|Graeme McDowell vs. Luke Donald||Two Euros inside the FedExCup top 30 do battle in NoLa.|
|Nick Watney vs. David Toms||Who wins between these past champions off to slow '12 starts?|
|Ben Curtis vs. Ben Crane||Battling Bens, both boasting four wins, head to TPC Louisiana.|
|Webb Simpson vs. Steve Stricker||Consistency is key for both players. Which one has the edge?|
Note: All interviews will be streamed live on PGATOUR.COM.
Tuesday, April 24
2 p.m. ET: Bubba Watson
2:45 p.m. ET: Ben Crane
Wednesday, April 25
After Pro-Am: Justin Rose
After Pro-Am: Keegan Bradley
After Pro-Am: David Toms
The tee times for the first round of this week’s The Transitions Championships have been released. CLICK HERE for the tee times. Use the space below to comment about the pairings at the Copperhead Course.
Here’s a look at some of the notable groups in the first two rounds:
Zach Johnson/Geoff Ogilvy/Padraig Harrington, 8:27 a.m.,
How strong is the field this week? This three major champions are among 17 that showed up.
John Huh/David Toms/Jonathan Byrd, 8:37 a.m., No. 1
Rookie John Huh finds himself in an "A" pairing after his win last month at the Mayakoba Classic.
Luke Donald/Justin Rose/K.J. Choi, 1:33 p.m, No. 1
The world No. 2 (Donald) tees it up with last week's winner (Rose) and a two-time winner here (Choi).
Bud Cauley/Ryo Ishikawa/Tom Lewis, 2:04 p.m., No. 1
The oldest player in this group, Cauley, is all of 21 years old (in all fairness, he turns 22 on Friday). Lewis, who turned pro after last year's British Open, makes his U.S. debut.
Gary Woodland/Webb Simpson/Scott Stallings, 1:22 p.m., No.
This trio finished 1-2-3 last year at Copperhead. Stallings is making his return to the TOUR after missing four weeks with an injury.
David Toms hits his second to 17 feet and makes the eagle putt on the par-5 eighth hole.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The tournament has a new name, a new sponsor and a new format. But one thing hasn't changed.
In order to win the Humana Challenge, someone is going to have to go low. Really, really low, if Thursday's first round is any indication.
Camilo Villegas and David Toms led the birdie barrage, making nine each on two different courses to seize the lead after rounds of 63. Villegas' round came on the more generous Nicklaus course while Toms tamed the stingier La Quinta layout.
"It was a good day," Toms acknowledged after hitting all but one green in regulation and using just 27 putts. "I've always though that La Quinta Country Club is one of the tougher courses in the rotation because the greens are fairly firm and it's a tight golf course.
"But the golf course is in such good shape that is you had birdie putts you could really start to make them, and that's what I did today. I had a lot of opportunities. I made a couple of long putts but I kept the ball in play all day and had just a lot of birdie putts."
Villegas did, as well, even if he wasn't as familiar with the Nicklaus Course. The Colombian had never played in the tournament before but he came in early and played a practice round on each of the three courses in the rotation to prepare for turned out to be a "chill" day.
"Guys, I'm struggling," Villegas said, laughing as he tried to remember the holes and how he made each birdie. "... I was chatting with my amateurs, having a good time and just picking targets and hitting it. How about that?"
Villegas was solid in all phases of the game, hitting all but one fairway, 14 of 18 greens in regulation and using 24 putts.
Two rookies -- Ted Potter Jr., who finished second on the Nationwide Tour money list last year, and q-school grad Sang-moon Bae -- were tied with a pair of veterans -- Brandt Snedeker and Bob Estes after rounds of 64. There are seven players deadlocked at 63s, including 20-year-old Seung-yul Noh.
Defending champion Jhonattan Vegas finished at 2 under while Greg Norman, who will play with his good friend President Bill Clinton on Saturday, shot a 72.
The Nicklaus Course played to an average of 68.875 while the Palmer course averaged 69.53 and La Quinta 69.938.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Ted Potter Jr., who is playing in just his second PGA TOUR event, has moved within a shot of the lead currently held by Camilo Villegas.
Villegas is 8 under through 15 holes while Potter is tied for second with David Toms. Villegas and Potter, who has played 14 holes, are playing the Nicklaus Course, while Toms is through 13 at La Quinta.
Potter should have come to the Coachello Valley with confidence. The Nationwide Tour grad tied for 13th in his PGA TOUR debut at the Sony Open, shooting three rounds in the 60s at Waialae last week.
Another rookie, Bud Cauley, is among three players tied at 6 under through 14 holes at La Quinta. Also in that group are Brandt Snedeker and Kevin Sutherland, both of whom are playing the Nicklaus Course and are through 12 and 13 holes, respectively.
Our list of Players to Watch for 2012 continues Sunday with five proven PGA TOUR champions – in fact, all five won last year.
Jhonattan Vegas was the talk of the TOUR early in the 2011 season, winning as a rookie in what is now the Humana Challenge. He was the TOUR’s first Venezuelan-born winner.
Veterans Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose and Steve Stricker all added to their win totals in 2011 in impressive fashion. Snedeker won in a playoff over Luke Donald at the RBC Heritage, Rose won in the PGA TOUR Playoffs at the BMW Championship en route to a fifth-place FedExCup finish, and Stricker had one of the year’s top shots in winning a third consecutive John Deere Classic.
Below is a link to each of the 5 players who were revealed on Sunday. PGATOUR.COM will countdown the players for the rest of December, with No. 1 unveiled on Dec. 30.
Be sure to check out this year’s new addition of the Three Wise Men – Chris DiMarco, Arron Oberholser and Craig Perks, who offer their takes on each of the players on the list.
Let’s us know how you think these players will perform in 2012 and whether we ranked ‘em too high, too low or just right.
No. 21: David Toms
No. 22: Jhonattan Vegas
No. 23: Brandt Snedeker
No. 24: Justin Rose
No. 25: Steve Stricker
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE ARCHIVE PAGE/SCHEDULE FOR THE TOP 100 PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2012
MELBOURNE, Australia -- David Toms won the first hole and never looked back as he handed Robert Allenby a 7 and 5 defeat.
Toms posted a 3-1 record, winning twice with Hunter Mahan as a partner, as well as picking up his third Singles win in four Presidents Cups. Allenby only won one hole Sunday as he went winless in four matches this week.
The point put the Americans within two of a win at the Presidents Cup. The U.S. leads 16-12.