Michelle Wie, John Daly and the Masters were all in the headlines last week,
but what really made news was the weather. The PGA, Champions, Nationwide and
LPGA tours experienced a variety of rain-related difficulties, ranging from
delays to conditions necessitating lift, clean and place. The SK Telecom Open
in South Korea, in which Wie made her first cut in a men's pro event, was
shortened to 54 holes. Early-May rain is not noteworthy in itself, except that
the Players Championship was moved to the second week of the month starting in
2007 at least partly to escape the wet weather that had plagued it in March.
The deluge of drippy golf last week is a bad omen. Trevor Immelman, who shot a
soggy 70 in the final round of the Wachovia Championship before losing to Jim
Furyk in a playoff, said it best: "Nobody wants to play in the rain."
The forecast for Jacksonville this week calls for a chance of showers, but the
Tour has 12 months to negotiate with Mother Nature before next year's
Players.... Furyk's last five wins have come on classic courses and at events
in which he finished in the top 10 in driving accuracy.... With the win Furyk
knocked Ernie Els from the top five in the World Ranking.
The Bryants are
taking turns. Earlier this year Brad won the Champions tour's Toshiba Classic.
Last week he made up three shots on the last three holes to win the Regions
Charity Classic with a 17-under 199. Last year Brad's brother, Bart, won twice
on the PGA Tour, taking the Memorial and the Tour Championship. Before that,
the two brothers had one win between them (Brad at the '95 Disney). But not all
is well with the Bryants. Kobe was eliminated from the NBA playoffs the day
before Brad's triumph.... At the Regions, Brad Bryant missed only one green--by
? Vijay Singh's 81
at Wachovia on Sunday was only his sixth score of 80 or above in 1,243 Tour
rounds. ? David Duval shot a one-under 287 to finish 22nd, his best showing
since 2004. ? Francesco Molinari, brother of reigning U.S. Amateur champ
Edoardo, became the first native to win the Italian Open since 1980. ? At this
week's EDS Byron Nelson Championship the 94-year-old Nelson will receive a Navy
citation for his service doing exhibitions during World War II.
? Alan Shipnuck's
Hot or Not appears every Tuesday at SI.com/golf.
Steel remains the shaft of choice for irons on the PGA Tour, while graphite has
taken over in shafts of fairway woods and drivers. Here are the percentages of
steel and graphite shafts at the Wachovia Championship.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Survey has tracked equipment usage at golf tournaments since 1938.