Tiger, Phil, Rory, Bubba and J.B. Holmes Tee It Up

by Jeff Skinner

I’m glad to see that PGA Tour stars make the most of their time off.  Bubba Watson spent some time and money this week at The Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auction and didn’t come home empty handed.  The self proclaimed ‘good ol’ boy’ took home the epitome of good old boys transportation.  Watson laid down $110,000 for the original General Lee, that is the car made famous in the old television series “The Dukes of Hazzard.”  Bubba likes to have fun and earning millions of dollars each year allows him to treat himself to what he calls his “dream car.”  You have to love Bubba, he likes to have fun.

The fans at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be treated to plenty of great players this week as five of the top ten golfers in the world play in the desert.  The power pairing of the first two rounds consists of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald.  Tiger is the biggest draw in sports.  Rory McIlroy may be the second biggest draw as he is neck and neck with Phil Mickelson.  And Luke Donald is just the number one player in the world.  That’s not a bad group to follow.  The luckiest man in the field is world number two Lee Westwood.  Westwood is paired with Sergio Garcia and world number four, Martin Kaymer and won’t have to deal with the circus that surrounds Woods on the course.  That may be worth a half a stoke and at least plenty of aggravation as the players paired with Woods have to endure during each round.

Even with Tiger Woods passing on The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines it will still be an interesting week in San Diego.  Hometown boy Phil Mickelson will try to win again at home.  He has won there three times when this was called the Buick Invitational.  But since Rees Jones revamped the South Course for the U.S. Open his best finish was second last year.  Dustin Johnson is the highest ranked player in the field at number nine and will be once again testing that surgically repaired knee which caused him to withdraw last week.  Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and David Duval will be trying to get their games in shape and show that they still have something left in the tank.  Young studs Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler will be there with Fowler playing with new Cobra clubs for the first time.  Maybe that will be the change that earns him his first PGA Tour victory.

What is the story with that clubhouse at The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.  It’s in the shape of a falcon but it looks like it could have been used in an old James Bond 007 movie or maybe an Austin Powers movie.  That thing is crazy.

All of us want to see some great golf this week and with all the big names playing we won’t be disappointed.  But if J.B. Holmes doesn’t get the biggest cheers of any golfer playing this week than something is wrong in this world.  The long hitting Holmes is back playing for the first time since he had brain surgery.  He had “brain decompression” surgery in September and is looking to get back to playing golf again.  Here’s hoping that Holmes can remain healthy and work his way back to the player he was.



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