Friday, February 11, 2011

Knock, Knock, Knockin' on the DoorLast year at the Masters, I stood on the 10th tee and watched Steve Marino blast a drive down the fairway. After watching his effortless power, I was left wondering why in the world hasn't this guy won a tournament?
It's not like he hasn't been close. Marino has already tied for second this year at the Sony Open, and he finished tied for fourth last year at Pebble Beach. It's no surprise then that he's back on top of the leaderboard after firing a bogey-free 65 at Spyglass Hill. So is this the week that Marino will finally break through and get his first win? There are still three rounds to play, but Marino says he's carrying a better attitude this year, which he thinks might help get him over the hump.
"I just was excited about playing this year," Marino said. "I did not play well for the majority of last year; towards the end of the year last year I started to play a lot better. I was just real excited to come out this year and start playing. Had a great tournament in Hawaii; had a pretty good tournament at the Hope; not so great in Torrey Pines. But I am just really excited to be playing good golf again, and I'm having fun out there. It's a blast." Weir's ComebackIt's always strange to see former champions struggle to keep their card. It's even more puzzling to see former major champions struggle to stay on the PGA Tour. But that's the reality facing 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir. After struggling with swing changes and an injured elbow, Weir, who last won at the 2007 Fry's Electronics Open, is playing on a major medical extension. Having earned $559,092 last year, Weir needs to make $227,885 in five starts to equal the 125th spot on the 2010 money list. 
After a 4-under 68 Thursday at Spyglass Hill, Weir is off to a solid start in a tournament where he's had plenty of success. In 13 starts, Weir has seven top 10s at Pebble Beach. A high finish would secure his playing privileges for the rest of the year. If he doesn't earn enough scratch in five events, Weir will have to fall back on his past champion status. Not Done YetComing off two-straight winless seasons, former World No. 1 Vijay Singh, 48, has been largely forgotten with the emergence of several young faces on the PGA and European tours. But after a T3 finish in Phoenix and an opening 3-under 69 Thursday at Pebble Beach, Singh is showing he still has plenty of game. It was his sixth-consecutive round in the 60s and 17th-straight round at par or better dating back to last season.

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