Coach Jim Harbaugh of the Stanford Cardinal will have Tiger Woods as an honorary team captain for Saturday’s “Big Game” against arch rival California. That’s a great move coach, not quite as cool as running up the score against your buddy Pete Carroll and USC, but still a good move. Don’t forget to share the love and have Michelle Wie do the honors also. After all, she won a pro tournament while still a student at Stanford and she intends to graduate.
Mr. Nice Guy, Fred Funk, has had knee replacement surgery on Monday morning. Funk has been living with knee issues for over a year and had no choice but to have the knee replaced. He hopes to return to play in 2010. Let’s hope Freddy can come back healthy to the tour as soon as he can.
The Royal and Ancient has made a rule change that will give Tom Watson an additional five year exemption into the Open Championship. After watching Watson come one stroke short of winning The Open at 59, the R & A realized that keeping those past champions that can compete with the youngsters around a little longer is a win for everyone. The R & A got this one right. Having champions like Watson continue to play is great.
Doug Barron’s request for a restraining order to let him play in the second stage of Q-School was denied. Barron is the first PGA player to be banned for failing his drug test for performance enhancing drugs. There is something wrong here. The PGA seems to be playing an unusually tough brand of hard ball here. Barron will have is day in court to try and prove that his drugs were prescribed by a doctor for a medical condition. Let him play in Q-School by adding one more slot and then wait for the hearing to determine if he should be banned.
Good News, Bad News for the LPGA. One day after the official start of The Michelle Wie Era (ha ha) the LPGA announced another new tournament on next year’s schedule. The Shop Rite LPGA Classic will be played in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The bad news: it will take place the same weekend as The U.S. Open. I guess you can’t have everything.
The European Tour’s Race to Dubai gets under way this week. Rory McIlroy leads a strong contingent of golfers into The Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates. The top golfers on the European Tour money list will look to cash in on the big payday at Dubai. McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher will do battle in the Euro’s version of the FedEx Cup. Rory is the favorite.