Tags: Tom | Watson | Lorena | Ochoa

Golf Talk: Watson on Top, Norman's Return, Ochoa's Rise

Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008 11:39 AM

By Anthony Pioppi

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Watson Back on Top in Florida

Tom Watson ended a 0-39 Florida streak two years ago by winning the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am title for his first victory in the state either on the PGA or Champions Tour.

He did it again Sunday, even though he made bogey on the final hole. “I’ve got to buy a house down here,” Watson said.

Scott Hoch brought back memories of his 1989 Masters loss to Nick Faldo, the result of a missed 30-inch putt on the first playoff hole.

Sunday, he could have tied Watson on the final green but missed from just outside four feet. "I just hit a terrible putt," Hoch said. "I had not been putting all that good, but I haven’t missed anything like that."

Greg Norman, Still Swinging

In recent years, former world No. 1 Greg Norman has made more news with his contentious divorce from former wife Laura and the fact that he was dating and is now engaged to tennis great Chris Evert. But, yes, he is still golfing.

In a surprise move, Norman is scheduled to play in the European Tour’s Asian Open in Shanghai this week.

“I feel good about my game,” said Norman who has — understandably — taken up tennis lately. “I very much enjoy the challenge of learning a new sport and improving my game.”

Ochoa Hits Her Stride as a Golf Great

If the LPGA Tour was worried about lack of draw while former No. 1 Annika Sorenstam was on the mend from an injury suffered in 2007, the fears should be allayed by the presence of Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa.

The 26-year-old became the second LPGA player ever, and the first in 45 years, to win four tournaments in four consecutive weeks. Sunday she won the Ginn Open in Reunion, Fla., by three-over rookie Yani Tseng for her fifth victory in six starts this year.

Afterwards she sounded more like a Zen priest than a professional athlete. “I'm very grateful. It's been a blessing, you know," Ochoa said. "But I know that bad times will come. It's just the way life is.”

Mickey Wright won four LPGA events in four weeks in 1962 and 1963. Kathy Whitworth (1969) and Sorenstam (2001) also won four consecutive events, but both had a week off during their runs.

Happy as she was to win, Ochoa told The New York Times that the tournament prevented her from realizing her dream of seeing the Pope. “As a Catholic, one of the things I really want to do in my life is to see him. Hopefully in the future I can have a trip to Rome and have the opportunity there to meet him.”

Wie Lost in the Shuffle

With Ochoa thrusting herself to the top of the golf world and Danica Patrick becoming the first female winner in IndyCar history with her victory in Japan Saturday, Michelle Wie is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

Ochoa is by far the best female golfer and Patrick is sexy and successful, a combination Madison Avenue cannot resist.

Oh yeah, and she doesn’t have overbearing parents — like Wie.

Wie is finishing up her freshman year at Stanford University and has accepted a sponsor's exemption to play in the LPGA State Farm Classic July 14-20. Does anyone care?

Boo Weekly: Regular Guy, Rising Golfer

You can’t help thinking after hearing Boo Weekly talk that this guy would be more comfortable drinking warm beer in the parking lot of a demolition derby — not playing professional golf.

Yet, on Sunday, Weekly won his second consecutive Verizon Heritage.

If Weekly stays hot, he could find himself as a member of the Ryder Cup team this September. Jim Furyk, for one, thinks Weekly’s style would work nicely inside the American locker room, known for being uptight.

“He’s definitely a guy who would keep you loose. He doesn’t get hot and bothered and too upset by things. He would liven up the team room. He has a funny way of putting things,” Furyk said.

Finally, Golf Commentators Get Real

Television golf announcers spend more time sucking up than a vacuum cleaner at a 24-hour car wash — and CBS sports anchor Jim Nantz leads the pack.

Occasionally, though, they stop fawning long enough to at least entertain. During Sunday’s broadcast of the Verizon, Gary McCord called Anthony Kim’s shot that buried in a bunker “subterranean nonsense.”

How’s that for reality TV?

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