Sorting through the golf scene:
- Ernie Els is booked to play eight PGA Tour events starting this week at the Honda Classic through The Players Championship in mid-May (unfortunately, the Wachovia Championship is not on his schedule this year). It will be interesting to see if Els can finally win another tour event here. He’s in the second year of what he called a three-year plan to overtake Tiger Woods at No. 1. How’s that working out so far? Els hasn’t won a PGA Tour event since 2004 and he’s had a handful of serious meltdowns in events around the world. There are serious questions about whether he can still get it done like he once could. He may be asking those questions himself.
- The LPGA couldn’t have asked for a better start than having Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer win its first two events this year. It would be fun to see Sorenstam seriously challenge Lorena Ochoa for the No. 1 spot in the world again. If she can get back to No. 1, it would be as impressive as anything Sorenstam has done.
- With Fred Couples and Greg Norman as Presidents Cup captains in 2009, the event gave itself a nice PR boost. Now years past his prime, Couples remains a remarkably popular figure with fans – equally so with the players he’ll be leading – and Norman is an enormous personality who can’t help but attract attention. The Couples captaincy isn’t nearly as surprising as Norman agreeing to sign on to anything that has Tim Finchem’s hand involved. The Shark’s disagreements with the PGA Tour commissioner, which came to a boil after Finchem shot down Norman’s world tour idea then created the World Golf Championships, were thought to be too fractured for him to play the Presidents Cup game. But Norman made the right call when he accepted the invitation. Everybody wins.