Doral-Ryder Open, Doral Golf Resort and Spa. Miami
Colin Montgomerie makes his 1998 Tour debut, Greg Norman his second appearance
Qatar Masters, Doha Golf Club, Qatar
Costantino Rocca, Ian Woosnam and Senors Ballesteros and Olaz�bal top the marquee
Greater Austin Open, the Hills Country Club, Austin
Casey Martin mania: Requests for media credentials have jumped from 29 in '97 to 167
Another Makeover For the Monster
The grumbling began in 1993 when Greg Norman finished a tournament-record 23 under par at Doral's 7,125-yard Blue Course (above). The Blue Monster, as it was called, was starting to resemble the kindly Cookie Monster. Enter three-time Doral champ Raymond Floyd and his design partner, Ted McAnlis, who spent most of 1996 feeding the Blue Monster heaping portions of Hazard Helper. Floyd and McAnlis added 18 bunkers, bringing Big Blue's total to 127, and trimmed the rough between the greens and water hazards, inviting errant shots to roll into the drink. Result: The field at the '97 Doral-Ryder Open averaged 72.8 strokes per round, third highest among the nonmajors last year, and not everybody loved Raymond. So Doral officials underwrote still another makeover, including the removal of seven traps and the return of the rough between six greens and their respective water hazards. Six of the top 10 players in the World Ranking have committed to Doral; Norman makes his first U.S. appearance since the Mercedes Championships.
? CBS, SATURDAY-SUNDAY, 4 PM
Q: Would You Play This Event?
Of all the tournaments on all the tours, the Qatar Masters offers the best Scrabble score this side of the Quad City Classic. Alas, such trivial distinctions are all sunny Qatar can offer in its inaugural year. The tournament not only runs opposite Doral, but it also is located just 675 miles from a real hot spot, Saddam Hussein's Baghdad.
?GOLF CHANNEL, SATURDAY-SUNDAY, 9 AM
This Circuit's Lone Star Rides Again
The Martinizing of golf continues in Texas, where Casey Martin makes his posttrial debut at the Nike Greater Austin Open. Martin will try to do as well in cart as he did in court. Don't be surprised if his wheels elicit jealous stares from other players—the terrain at the Hills Country Club is described by the Golf Course Superintendents Association in three words: Texas hill country.
?GOLF CHANNEL, SATURDAY-SUNDAY, 1:30 PM
The Hills Is Alive with The Sound of Music
The European tour has Qatar, but the Nike tour has guitars. This week's Greater Austin Open boasts a new attraction: After each of the first three rounds an Austin band will play a short set in a tent on the grounds of the Hills Country Club. Fans can use their tournament ticket stubs to segue directly from the country club to the country, classic rock and Texas swing music of Jerry Jeff Walker (Thursday night), Duck Soup (Friday) and Grammy Award winners Asleep at the Wheel (Saturday). " Austin is known for its live music. We figured we'd bring some to the Hills," says tournament chairman Scott Gidley. Duck Soup, the unofficial band of the PGA Tour, is a regular at the Phoenix Open. "We're also the Flounders of Jake Trout and the Flounders," says lead singer Sam Irwin. Call it drive-time music for Nike tour hero Casey Martin.