Check out the January nominees for PGA TOUR Player of the Month presented by Avis.
Avis Rent A Car and the PGA TOUR have redesigned the PGA TOUR’s Player of the Month award program for 2012. The monthly honor will now be determined by a fan vote via PGATOUR.COM.
On the first Tuesday of each month, fans can vote online at PGATOUR.COM for one of four players nominated for their outstanding play the previous month by a panel of national media.
Stricker won the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Wagner won the Sony Open in Hawaii. Wilson won the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. And Snedeker won last week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
The voting ends on the following Sunday, and the player with the most votes will be named the PGA TOUR Player of the Month. In addition, Avis, the “Official Rental Car Company” of the PGA TOUR, will present the winner with a $50,000 check payable to his charity of choice.
Results will be posted next Tuesday on PGATOUR.COM
And if you want to state your case for why your favorite player should win the January award, just fill out the form below and let us know.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
The world of putting on the PGA TOUR became an itty-bitty less interesting this season.
That’s because Robert Garrigus has shelved his itty-bitty putter.
Garrigus is one of the longest hitters on TOUR but also gained notoriety in recent years for his 28.5-inch putter, which looked pretty funny in the hands of a 5-foot-11 pro. Seemingly more suited for a junior’s bag, Garrigus’ putter instead helped lift him to a win at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in 2010 and a 74th-place FedExCup finish in 2011.
Alas, the long putter revolution has picked up another believer as Garrigus had a belly putter in play last week at the Humana Challenge, where he finished T2.
Garrigus used a 46-inch Scotty Cameron Big Sur – 17.5 inches taller than his old putter.
“I would have never in a million years been like, ‘oh, I think I need to go to a belly putter,’” Garrigus said after the final round at La Quinta, Calif.
His coach, Jim Ahern, encouraged him to simply try it out.
“I putted with a few different styles, the belly, I tried the chest, and the chest ended up being perfect,” Garrigus said. “It was 46 inches, which is three inches shorter -- kind of fitting, because my other putter was about seven inches shorter than everybody else's. But I started rolling it, I started getting confident with it, and about five or six days before I came out (to Humana), I found the perfect grip for my putting stroke, and it took all the tension out of it. Man, I tell you what, I haven't rolled it this good in quite a long time.
“It's so easy to take it back and take it through. I hit so many good putts this week, it was the straight putts I always had problems with, I always pulled them, now those are starting right on line and it's just awesome. I'm just very, very excited about the year.”
TYPICAL PHIL: Phil Mickelson came to the Humana Challenge not wanting to make any changes in his bagfrom last year. If you know Phil, you knew that vow would have limited shelf life.
“The first day, of course, I hit two (drives) out of bounds and I kind of bagged that idea,” Mickelson said.
After that opening-round 74, he replaced his Callaway FT Tour driver for a RAZR Fit that he had worked with over the offseason. Sure enough, his next three rounds in the desert were 69-66-69.
As for the putter, last year’s belly experiment appeared to be just that. He used a conventional-length Odyssey blade that brought back old vibes.
“I think that as I looked back at these last couple months, the way I putted best over the years, it was when I was an amateur and early in my career where I putted very free with a blade,” Mickelson said. ”So I went back to the putter I used growing up as a kid. Odyssey, identical specs, I’m rolling it much like I did when I was younger, and it feels really good.
TRANSACTIONS: As expected, Rickie Fowler made it official with Cobra Puma Golf. He already wore Puma’s clothes, now he’ll play Cobra clubs including the orange-accented AMP driver. … After eight years with Yonex, Colin Montgomerie is returning to Callaway, the company with which he won five consecutive European Tour money titles. … Ross Fisher signed with Nike Golf.
NEW STUFF: Mark Wilson, not cut from the Mickelson mold of club tinkering, tweeted after winning the Humana Challenge, “I went out of my comfort zone this year, putting new Ping i20 Driver and i20 irons into play cuz they felt so good. Apparently, a good call”. Indeed. For the rest of us, those clubs will be available in late February. … Camilo Villegas put a TaylorMade Ghost Manta belly putter into play at Humana, shooting an opening-round 63 and finishing T19. He finished T39 for the event in Strokes-Gained Putting; he was 141st for the 2011 season. … Luke Donald is taking new Mizuno MP59 irons and MP-R12 wedges to Abu Dhabi.
WINNER’S BAG: Wilson at the Humana
Driver: Ping i20 8.5 degree (Grafalloy Tour X shaft)
3-wood: Cleveland HiBore XLS, 13 degrees
Hybrids: Ping i15, 17 and 20 degrees
Irons: Ping i20 4-PW
Wedges: Ping Tour, 52, 60 degrees
Putter: Ping Karsten Anser
Ball: Titleist ProV1x
Mark Wilson is a player that is comfortable in his own shoes and certainly knows how to get the most out his game. Wilson is not a real long hitter or a flashy player, but one of those guys that when you add them up in the clubhouse, it’s another 67 or 66.
Although there are many things we could learn about Wilson’s overall game, it was his putting stroke that took center stage this week. Heading into the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, Wilson discovered a very specific thought when putting: Keep your head still.
Sometimes the challenge to putting is just learning to keep things quiet or passive through impact, whether it’s your hips, weight, hands or that dreaded head movement. It’s just so easy to want to peek and have the head move to soon as the putterhead moves through impact.
To help quiet things down this week in California, Wilson made a dot on his golf ball and focused on that as the putterhead made moved through impact to quiet down the eyes and the urgency to peek. Such a simple thing can be so effective to help keep the head still.
Another tip that can lead to keeping the head still when putting is to get the mind to think more past impact to what we call the “end point” at the TOUR Academies. A simple cadence to follow is A-B-C. Allow “A” to be the backstroke and “B” to be the end point. Focus on the putterhead coming to a complete stop at the end point and then allow “C” to occur where you turn and track the ball with your trail eye.
Again, a very simple cadence but yet when focusing on it can really provide structure to the putting stroke allowing the head to remain still during the stroke leading to more trust and consistency.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- OK. So the Green Bay Packers won't be returning to the Super Bowl.
But golfers from Wisconsin have certainly given their fellow cheeseheads something to cheer about this year.
Two of the first three PGA TOUR events have been won by golfers from Wisconsin with Steve Stricker capturing the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Mark Wilson taking a one-stroke victory Sunday at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
Not to mention, Dan Forsman, who was born in Rhinelander, Wisc., captured the Champions Tour opener at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship on Sunday.
Stricker, who was born in Edgerton and now lives in Madison, has won three times in the last 13 months. Ditto for Wilson, who hails from Menomonee Falls and famously wore a "Cheesehead" hat last year during his victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
No one else on TOUR has that many victories in the same time frame. Small wonder that Wilson and Stricker rank Nos. 2-3 in the FedExCup standings, too.
Who will be the next winner from Wisconsin? Give us your vote below.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Everyone was making birdies. Just not Mark Wilson.
Luckily, though, he had started the day with a three-stroke advantage -- and when Wilson finally got that first birdie putt to drop, there was no stopping him as he played his final eight holes in 4 under on Sunday to win the Humana Challenge by two strokes.
With a flair for the dramatic, Wilson sealed the victory with a
10-foot birdie putt in near darkness on the 18th hole to beat
Robert Garrigus, John Mallinger and Johnson Wagner by two strokes.
After making the turn 1 over, Wilson closed with a 69 to earn the
fifth victory of his PGA TOUR career.
"It was a challenge," Wilson said as he talked about the difficulty of staying patient when birdies were flying all around him. "But I guess my experience helped me in this situation knowing that, Hey, there's a lot of golf left, maybe I want it make my birdies at the end of the round, and thankfully that's what I did this time."
Wilson regained the lead for good when Garrigus missed a 6-footer for par at the 17th hole. Both then went for the green in two at the par-5 18th with Wilson's 2-hybrid running through to the back fringe some 68 feet away and Garrigus' 5-iron coming up 28 feet short.
Wilson putted first, and his ball stopped 10 feet to the left and short of the pin. Then Garrigus' first putt went 9 feet past. When Wilson made his birdie putt, though, the victory was his.
"I felt like Robert and I really had a good time, and Zach (Johnson, their playing partner) for that matter," Wilson said. "But Robert and I were kind of going back and forth. We enjoyed that. Both making the putts on 16, and then, yeah, it just came down to 18. I didn't want to give him a chance to make that putt to tie me. So thankfully I rolled mine in and got it done."
Garrigus had started the Humana Challenge on the back nine of the Palmer Course and he was 6 over as he played the 18th hole that Thursday. But he shot a 61 in the wind-delayed third round and played his final 64 holes in 28 under to have a chance to win.
“Just because of the what we are thinking of on the 18th fairway on Thursday to what I was thinking of on the 18th fairway today, I'm like, Can you believe we actually have a shot to win this thing if I make this eagle putt?’ Garrigus said. “It was just, it was exciting and that's what we live for. And I got a lot of guts, and I don't like to lay down very easily. So it was a blast.
“We had so much fun this week, and especially the 61. It could have been 54. I was making everything and anything that didn't go in just hit the lip. It was a blast. I'll never forget it.”
Mark Wilson has won the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation for his fifth career PGA TOUR victory and his third in 13 months. Want to send your congratulations? Leave a note in our comments section and we'll send it to him!
LA QUINTA, Calif -- With the shadows settling over the Palmer Course at PGA West, Mark Wilson drained a 10-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to win the Humana Challenge by two strokes.
Robert Garrigus, who had bogeyed No. 17 to fall out of a tie for the lead with his playing partner, had a chance to finish solo second. But he missed a 9-footer for birdie that would have separated him from John Mallinger and Johnson Wagner, who won the Sony Open in Hawaii last week.
The victory was the fifth of Wilson’s career. Three of them have now come in the first five events of the last two seasons – Wilson won the Sony Open last year and will defend his title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in two weeks.
Wilson closed with a 69 and didn’t make a birdie until the 11th hole in the final round. He played his final eight holes in 4 under to seal the victory.
Mark Wilson holes a 49-foot bunker shot on the par-3 12th hole for a birdie two.