Loopy Swing: How do you explain this year's West Coast swing? First Tiger Woods fires a Sunday 64 to lose the Mercedes. His college roommate, a kid with a disease so rare there may be only 1,000 cases worldwide, rides a cart to a Nike tour victory and Tiger-topping celebrity. Fred Couples hits a ball OB to lose the Hope-correction, clangs one off NBC announcer Roger Maltbie's cart and wins the Hope. A madcap Swede with pumice breath gets his first Tour win, at Phoenix. Pebble Beach gets tsunami'd out. Greg Norman's guesthouse is said to be a love nest for Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. There's a drought in Hawaii, where John Huston, winless since '94 but now wearing hidden magnets, breaks the Tour's scoring record. David Duval triple-bogeys his way to victory at rainy Tucson, and Billy Mayfair outduels Tiger at the Nissan. Coincidence—or clever conspiracy to make U.S. golf look ridiculous? Seve, we're on to you.
Seve's Empty Feeling: Ballesteros, playing well at last week's Dubai Desert Classic, barely blinked after someone stole shirts, pants and six sets of underwear from his luggage. "Think on the positive side," said Seve of his nearly empty bags. "If whoever opened my suitcase left something for me, he must be a nice person, no?"
L.A. Daly News: "I feel better than I have in a long while," says John Daly (above), who tied for fourth at the Nissan and credits an "awesome father-son relationship with Ely Callaway" for much of his recent improvement. Daly's dream foursome: himself, Fuzzy Zoeller, Fred Couples and Craig Stadler.
Who's the Dude with Fluff? A security guard at the Nissan Open stopped Woods and demanded I.D. After Tiger grinned and complied, the guard said, "Gosh, am I embarrassed."
Tooling Around: On March 10 Payne Stewart plays himself on TV's Home Improvement. "It was fun but nerve-racking," says Stewart. "When I first heard, 'Roll 'em,' I could not form a sentence. I hope they don't show my outtakes."
News from Jupiter: Pollsters at the' National Golf foundation in Jupiter, Fla., say that golf is less popular and more populist than people think. The game's not booming, says the NGF: Rounds played in the U.S. have held steady since 1991-And while golf here is often thought to be a country club pursuit, 65% of it is played on public courses.
Forget Fore, Say Timber: Players at England's Maesteg Golf Club were shocked one morning to see that dozens of trees had been chopped down overnight. Then it got worse. "We have now lost more than 350 mature trees. Someone has a grudge against us," says club secretary Keith Lewis. As for suspects, he's stumped.