Live Blog: Round 1 at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Sports Illustrated's Rick Lipsey live blogged the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Leaderboard | Phoenix Travel Guide | Course Profile | TV Schedule 6:00: Let's stop this blog at the top of the leaderboard: Camillo Villegas. After a major letdown in 2009 (no Ws, just four top 10s), Mr. GQ was third last week at the Match Play (his only other 2010 start), so maybe he's embarking on another torrid streak, like when he ended 2008 by winning the last two FedEx events. Ciao, and thanks for reading. Golf Magazine's Alan Bastable will be here in the Live Blog tomorrow.5:55: Looking ahead: Wonder if the seniors (and near seniors) charging at WMPO -- Couples, Lehman, Calcavecchia, Kenny Perry -- can hang tough on Friday and through the weekend?
5:50: Tour pro Twitter tweet of the day: "Bath time, starting to wind down for the night," by Christina Kim. Imagine if TW were so open with sharing his thoughts and actions? Check that: Tiger doesn't have to be so open. We have Radaronline, TMZ et. al to share what TW won't.
5:45: GC announcers discuss the Tour's kinda new "Sponsor Value Program," in which players hang out with sponsor bigwigs. GC calls it a way of giving back for the players. C'mon. Sponsors pay the bills, so schmoozing with them is really just work, and work that players should've been doing forever and on their own volition, not being dragged out by Tour mandates.5:42: It's official: my 6-year-old son's school is canceled with a snow-day for Friday. Today's blizzard in NYC has an upside for golfers: the moisture will make our courses even lusher when (if!) they ever open again.....5:39: Seeing Y.E. Yang, four under through nine holes, climbing the board makes me think of.... Tiger. No matter what Yang does for the rest of his career, I think he'll be remembered solely for one thing: that magical Tiger whipping at the 2009 PGA.5:38: Mickelson birdies 10 to get back to two-under. 5:33: Will Justin Rose, -6, FINALLY win on American soil?5:25: Alvaro Quiros of Spain is John Daly without the booze, belly, exes, gambling and other vices. Quiros also doesn't have two majors, but the hyper long-hitting and lag-addled Spaniard could well have two majors before he's done. He's one-under today and just almost flew a 3-wood tee shot to the 320-yard par 4 17th hole.5:22: With TW AWOL and in rehab, GC has found a new darling, for today anyway, in Freddie Couples. GC is showing every shot by Couples, who's still five under. 5:12: Brandel Chamblee says India's Jeev Milkha Singh is "sneaky good and snuck into the top 50." Jeev's won three Euro tour events, been a fixture for years near the top of that tour's Order of Merit leaders and was fourth at the 2009 WGC-CA. Not so sneaky, Brandel. Oh, and not in the top 50. He's 58th.5:07: Masters contender for your fantasy team: Matt Kuchar. The former Augusta boy wonder has rejuvenated his career and is now a bona-fide top-flight Tour pro. He has a third and a second this year, and shot three-under today.5:03: Hawk asks why WMPO isn't on a network this weekend, but rather on GC all four days. A PGA Tour official recently blamed the lack of network coverage partly on this being an Olympic year. Huh? Olympics aren't on CBS, FOX or ABC. Hunch here is that the PGA Tour is just no longer on an infinitely upward financial trajectory. 4:52: Fab5 comments, "Funny that there's only 1 comment for this live blog. And we don't miss Tiger?" Funny, that Tiger is (reportedly) in the Phoenix area at a sex clinic. 4:48: Arnie's Charging! Gotcha. For real, Arnie's grandson, Sam Saunders (sponsor invitation), is charging with two birdies in his first four holes.4:45: Boom Boom drains another, at 9, with his long putter, and is 5-under. 4:40: Mr. Army driver Mickelson (left, right, left, right), two-under through seven, is, shockingly, driving like Fred Funk. Mickelson has hit four of five fairways today. 4:35: Feel good story of the year is J.P. Hayes, who's 2-under. JP lost his card in '08, called a penalty on himself at Q-School and didn't have a card last year. Went back to 2009 Q-School and tied for eighth to get his card back. This year, JP has T4 and a T5 and has made almost $400,000. Good guys don't always finish last.4:29: Clarification: Boom Boom Freddie has 10 holes to go, so watch out Mr. Lehman.4:28: Fred Couples just birdied 17 to reach -4 and is challenging Lehman for low geezer.4:24: Davis Love III, -1, just flushed a nice shot to the par-3 16th. I wonder: Is Davis's cup half full or empty, what with just one career major but 20 Tour titles and a gazillion dollars?4:17: Penny (Hardaway???) asks what happened to Marc Leishman today? Well, a Snowman and a double and 33 putts are the recipe for being tied for DFL (forgive my French) at plus-six. But look at the good news: Leishman is leading the "others" stat category.4:11: Heart goes out to ASU senior Braxton Marquez (+1 through 3), whose father, Randy, died a year ago of cancer. Marquez Monday-qualified for the WMPO. His dad ran the family catering company that does lots of work at the WMPO.4:06: Former Univ. of Florida star Matt Every just finished at eight-under, one behind Villegas. The way Every built a lead early and then ran away with the Tour Championship on the Nationwide Tour last year was darn impressive.4:01 WMPO's sun drenched, lush turf is sweet to see, especially with the white-out blizzard I see outside my window here in Manhattan.3:57: Rookie Rickie Fowler, who fired a no-bogey six-under 65, definitely has the goods and is my pick to be the first newbie to win on Tour this year.3:48: WMPO field is STOCKED. No TW, of course, but Mickelson (-1) is back in action after a family vacation (during which he found time to work with Dave Pelz -- strange, no?) and so are Euro studs such as Martin Kaymer (+1) and Match Play champ Ian Poulter (E).3:45: The Golf Channel is thrilled to have "all four days" of the WMPO telecast, but Tim Finchem can't be so happy to have one of his Tour's premier events AWOL from the big networks. 3:35: Welcome aboard, fellow hackers, for an afternoon of rollickin' good fun with the Phoenix.... FBR.... Um, oh yeah, they changed the name again, Waste Management Open. Young stud Camilo Villegas is leading with a nine-birdie, no bogey 62, but how 'bout some high-fives for Mr. 50-something Tom Lehman's 66?