Posts Tagged ‘Buick Invitational’

Nick Watney Wins Buick Invitational

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

It just wasn’t meant to be for John Rollins this weekend, but it was for Nick Watney. With a 4 under par 68 Nick Watney secured a spot at the Master’s in April. It was really the 2 stroke swing on the par 3 16th that made the difference. The birdie on 18 secured it though. An exciting finish for the last group as Camilo Villegas had the chance for an eagle missing by perhaps an inch and having to settle for birdie and an even round of 72, Rollins setting about 12 feet from the cup needed the birdie putt to drop to secure a playoff that wasn’t meant to be, with Watney having an uphill 3 footer for birdie and the outright win. The leaderboard was Watney 1st, Rollins 2nd, Villegas and Glover T3 and Matt Jones 5th (shooting a very impressive 64), Mathew Goggins 6th and four players at T7 that included fan favorites Charley Hoffman, Bubba Watson, Ben Crane and Luke Donald.

Several players had good rounds today, those included; Matt Jones with his 64, Hunter Mahan 66, Bubba Watson’s 67, Nick Watney, Lucas Glover, Padraig Harrington, and Tag Ridings with 68’s, Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, Ted Purdy, Dustin Johnson and Ryuji Imada all sub 70 at 69.

When is Phil Mickelson going to make a move? Today’s round included 5 bogeys and 2 birdies to card a 3 over par 75. He is scheduled for next weeks AT&T Classic at Pebble Beach, wouldn’t hurt none to go up a day early and get some practice, has a two time winner of the event I’m sure the course would welcome him.

Buick Invitational 3rd Round

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

It’s John Rollins securely in the lead after 3 rounds of play. Many golfers believe that certain courses fit their eye better than others. John Rollins seems to have found one of his in the South Course at La Jolla, Ca’s Torrey Pines. From sun to rain back to sun to heavy rain and back to sun again it didn’t matter to Mr. Rollins. Shooting a 70 for 2 under par and a 3 stroke lead it is now his tournament to lose. He has led to begin the final round 3 times but failed to shoot under par twice. A dubious trend but one that should leave him little doubt should be broken Sunday. Camilo Vilegas is in sole possession of 2nd place shooting a 2 over par 74 today leaving himself 4 shots back, while Nick Watney is in 3rd alone at -7, 5 strokes behind the leader. Luke Donald and Paul Goydos are 6 strokes back at -6. Charley Hoffman had an interesting day, beginning with a triple bogey 7 on the 1st, a birdie on 3, a nice eagle on 6, another bogey on 12 during which his ball got stuck in a tree and was unplayable and ending with a bogey on 18. Still after all that he was only 2 over at 74, but that leaves him T6 with Lucas Glover and Charles Warren 7 strokes back. Phil Mickelson failed to produce yet again and is in a logjam at T20 which is 1 under par and 11 strokes behind the leader.

Hat’s off to Jason Gore, who does not have unconditional status on tour this year, playing with back spasms and after having been asked twice if he needed a doctor finally accepted a lidocaine patch and finished his round. He has to finish tomorrow to get a check and I believe he will gut it out. He needs to finish in the top 125 on the money list to gain unconditional status for next year.

Keep an eye on Charley Hoffman who has been quietly collecting Fed-ex Cup points and currently stands in 6th place. He should make a considerable gain this week with Johnson, Perry and Ogilvy all not playing.

Uneventful Day at the Buick Invitational?

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Unless your name was John Rollins, round 2 proved to be a day of “just hold on”. Playing on the South Course John Rollins shot 7 birdies, an eagle and only 1 bogey for an 8 under par 64, Camilo Vilegas after a bogey on the 1st shot a 2 under par 70 to hold onto the lead by one stroke. Davis Love III carded 6 bogeys to drop from contention with a 77, while fellow contender Aaron Baddely shot a 76 including a nasty double on 14. Phil Mickelson had a roller coaster ride with 4 bogeys and 4 birdies but did make the cut which was set at +2.

Notables missing the cut included: Tom Lehman, Bob Tway, Rory Sabbatini, Brad Faxon, Briny Baird, Corey Pavin, Charlie Wi and John Merrick. Merrick was listed by several sports writers as a contender at La Jolla but failed to produce.

The tournament is far from over at this point, but it looks like it may come down to Camilo Vilegas and John Rollins unless someone digs deep to come from behind.

Buick Invitational Round 1 Update

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Camilo Vilegas leads the way with a career tying 63, 9 strokes under par, playing on the North Course at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Ca. Very impressive indeed, with Davis Love III and Aaron Baddely in the club house at -6, Camilo was -6 on 13 and left little doubt in many minds that he was going to go lower, playing nearly error free golf. His only stumble for the day came on #7 with the only bogey on his card. Stuart Appleby leads a trio at -4 who are tied for 4th. Nine players, are T7 at -3 those include; Watney, Crane, Goggin, Day and Frazar.

Everyone on the “first page” of the leader board played the easier North Course today. Only Mathew Goggin and Scott Sterling out of those players at T7 or better played on the tougher South Course, and at -3 they are 6 strokes back. At one point the South Course was playing nearly 4 shots harder and at the end of the day it was 3.5 shots. Since those that played the North today play the South tomorrow and vice versa, an argument can be made that the 6 stroke advantage by Vilegas is nil. Then there is the weather which is supposed to be bad tomorrow. The Golf Channel reporting was angling that those who played the North Course today had a considerable advantage due to that fact. My contention is that those players will face the tougher South Course in the same weather conditions that the players will face on the easier North, so I’m not so sure I buy it.

Phil Mickelson played better than he did last week. He does have the new driver in the bag, but he was still an abysmal T91 in Greens in Regulation. That may sound bad; however, nobody and I mean nobody was reaching the par 5’s in 2 on the tougher South Course today. Freddy Couples may have been the closest and still had a 45 yard wedge to the green for his 3rd. So don’t count Phil out yet, he still managed to card a 2 under 70 and that with 3 bogeys on his card. He plays the easier North Course tomorrow so weather being a factor or not he has a better than average chance of evening things up with Camilo.

Buick Invitational Torrey Pines Feb 5th-8th

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

This week the PGA Tour will head back to Torrey Pines for the Buick Invitational. Feb 5th-8th. The course will be more forgiving than when we last saw it as the site of the 2008 U.S. Open. Both courses (North and South) will be utilized although the South course traditionally plays tougher than the North and was ranked 3 out of 54 in difficulty in 2008 while the North course was ranked 34 out of 54.

The original architect was Billy Bell and designed in 1956, it was redesigned by Rees Jones in 2001. Par is 72 and it has played to 7,568 yards since 2002. Don’t be surprised to hear a lot of talk about the Poa Annua greens, basically it is player preference but usually a player either likes Poa or hates it. Like most courses several different types of grass is found at Torrey; Bermuda grass; Poa annua (tees); Kikuyu grass (fairways); Poa annua (greens); Perennial rye grass; Kikuyu grass; Poa annua (rough) all make up the course.

There are 80 sand bunkers and 1 water hazard. The course record is held by Tiger Woods who shot a 62 during the 3rd round in 1999.

There have been 12 aces recorded on the south course at the Buick Invitational; 6 at #3, 4 at #8 and 1 a piece at #’s 11 and 16.

In 2008 the most difficult hole was the par 4 7th which plays 462 yards; there were 0 eagles, 10 birdies, 145 pars, 116 bogeys, 13 double bogeys and 13 “others” while the easiest hole was the par 5 6th which plays 560 yards and saw 9 eagles, 127 birdies, 130 pars, 20 bogeys, 1 double bogey and 0 “others”.

During last years U.S. Open the par 5 6th was played as a par 4 and par for the course was 71 vice 72.

North Course

Course architect William Bell in 1956 and has not been redesigned (at least not professionally) (William passed away in 1953 and it was his inspiration to design Torrey Pines, his son actually completed both courses). Par is 72 and plays to 6,874 yards. The grass is Kikuyu grass over seeded with perennial rye grass (tees, fairways, rough); creeping bent grass/Poa annua (greens). There are 60 sand bunkers and 2 water hazards.

The course record is 61 set by Mark Brooks during the 2nd round in 1990 and tied by Brandt Snedeker in the 1st round of the 2007 tournament.

There have only been 4 aces recorded on the north course during the tournament 3 of them on #3 and 1 on the 12th.

In 2008 the most difficult hole was the par 3 12th which plays 190 yards and saw 0 eagles, 5 birdies, 110 pars, 37 bogeys, 3 double bogeys and 0 “others”. While the easiest hole was #1 which saw 0 eagles, 64 birdies, 84 pars, 6 bogeys, 1 double bogey and 0 “others”.

About the field: Rocco Mediate had to withdrawal after the deadline and Brian Gay withdrew prior to the deadline. Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey was added with a sponsor’s exemption. Top Ten players in Fed-Ex Cup point standings include: Pat Perez, Charley Hoffman and John Merrick. In official world golf ranking top 10 positions we will see Padraig Harrington and Phil Mickelson. Past tournament champion less the aforementioned Phil Mickelson that will be playing is Davis Love III. Majors winners less those mentioned before include Retief Goosen, Lee Janzen, Ben Curtis, Rich Beem, Todd Hamilton, Freddy Couples, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Bob Tway.

International players include James Nitties, Jason Day, Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling, Camilo Vilegas, Luke Donald, Ryuji Imada, Charlie Wi, Martin Laird, Rory Sabbatini, Carl Peterson, Frederick Jacobson, Daniel Chopra, Jesper Parnevik and Brendon de Jonge to name a few. Also look for Americans Webb Simpson, Kevin Sutherland, Billy Andrade, Nick Watney, J.B. Holmes, Hunter Mahan, Charles Howell III, Kevin Stadler, Leif Olsen and Ryan Moore. This is by no means a complete list and as always there will be changes. For complete and up to the minute changes go to PGATour.com.

I’m going to wait until Phil Mickelson gets his new driver approved (or disapproved) before making my final selections for this week’s fantasy league; However, I look for some of the big names who did not make the cut last week to save some face this week with a good showing, guys like Phil Mickelson, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell III and Camilo Vilegas. Some of the veteran players like Retief Goosen, Lee Janzen or a Fred Couples could always break out the pack while young guns waiting in the wings and ready to make a move to the winners circle are Webb Simpson, James Nitties and Ryuji Imada. Retief has been playing in the desert across the pond the past couple of weeks and has been looking good.