Banging a few bunker shots while waiting for the Masters to start:
- The PGA Tour isn’t in the habit of making public the penalties it hands players for throwing a club or being too profane during an event but it wouldn’t hurt to let it be known what, if any, penalty Sergio Garcia gets for spitting in the cup at Doral last week, just to make the point that such behavior isn’t tolerated. Garcia didn’t help himself by snapping at reporters Sunday when he was asked again about the incident. He can be charming but he can also be churlish. He should have been contrite in this case.
- The LPGA’s first major championship is this week and it could use a star-powered shootout. The early season has flown under the national radar, but that could change this weekend if Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer and a couple of other familiar faces are in the chase.
- The Masters is likely to reinstitute the rule that awards PGA Tour winners with a spot in the tournament but it will be too late for Mark Wilson and Charley Hoffman, both of whom have wins this year but didn’t qualify for Augusta. With the shortened tour schedule, it’s easier to include an Augusta invite with a winner’s check. Bringing it back will be a good move.
- You can get an extra hour of Masters coverage each tournament day this year by using the Masters Extra on the official website, www.masters.org. It will provide one hour of play-by-play coverage in advance of television coverage each day. That means you can go on-line at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday and see what’s happening (2:30 on Saturday, 1:30 on Sunday).
- Did you hear about the day Paige James had at Charlotte Country Club Tuesday? She aced the par-3 third hole - her first hole-in-one - then she topped that by holing a 5-wood second shot for a double eagle at the par-5 (for women) 13th hole. In the space of an hour, she had a nice career.
- Have you caught Fed Ex Cup fever yet? Didn’t think so.
- For those of you into horticulture, early word out of Augusta is the dogwoods and azaleas are blooming around the clubhouse and ready to pop on the course. It will, no doubt, be as beautiful as ever.