1. Daniel Chopra. Two wins in his last three starts on Tour, plus a playoff loss in Australia. Yes, he’s the hottest player in golf…until San Diego, when Tiger Woods returns to action.
2. Steve Stricker. Apparently deer-hunting and ice-fishing are great preparation for the golf season.
3. Michelle Wie. She is getting her first good press in eons. Unfortunately, it is merely for making the sensible decision not to play any men’s events in 2008.
4. Tim Finchem. The PGA Tour commish took some shrapnel for skipping the Mercedes, but what does he care? Sports Business Journal just reported that he made $5.2 million last year.
5. The Grand Slam. Tiger writes on his website that winning all four majors this year is “…easily within reason.” Let the hysteria begin.
1. Golf writers everywhere. Rory Sabbatini announced last week he will no longer be talking to the press. So what on earth are we supposed to write about?
2. The Mercedes Championship. It used to be an exotic start to the year, but all the top players now take a pass. It would be completely unwatchable but for the Plantation Course’s wild shot values.
3. Mike Weir. Hoping to build on his strong fall, he had the 54-hole lead in Maui but coughed it up with an awful start on Sunday. He could blame the bad weather at home, but that doesn’t account for Stricker’s hot start.
4. Boo Weekley. One of golf’s great characters made a serious mistake en route to Hawaii, getting nabbed by airport security for unwittingly checking a bag that had a couple of stray bullets left over from a hunting trip. This guy is a reality show waiting to happen.
5. The Classic Club. Phil Mickelson hates this new venue so much he is skipping the Bob Hope for the first time in years. Is this any way to sell real estate?