Here are some thoughts on the tournament:
David Duval: Duval finished last year tied for runner-up with JB Holmes (one stroke behind winner Dustin Johnson) stirring up fan memories of his past playing abilities that led him to win the 2001 British Open. It would be great to seeÂ Davie back in form for the start of the 2011 season.
John Daly: John Daly is in the field this week (paired with Dallas Cowboyâ€™s Tony Romo). Daly, struggling with his game, losing his tour card, and seeing his earnings shrink, will be toting a new golf bag that looks like something straight outÂ Caddyshack. The bag sports a loud red pattern that matches the trousers he wears on the golf course and has a built-in flat screen television that will run ads – another needed money maker for Daly. All it’s lacking is the beer tap and clubs that shoot out of the bag.
Michael Bolton: Indiaâ€™s Arjun Atwal will be playing alongside singer Michael Bolton. Wednesdayâ€™s 3MÂ Celebrity Challenge brought inspiration to everyone, but it was actor-comedianÂ Anthony Anderson who felt Boltonâ€™s presence the most. Anderson burst into song Wednesday (suddenly and loudly) on the 18th green – his timing seemed suspicious. “When a maaa-an loves a woo-man …” Anderson bellowed semi-melodically as Michael Bolton stood over a 5-foot putt worth $19,000 in charity money. Bolton stepped away from his ball with a cocked eyebrow, waited for the laughter to subside, then refocused and rolled the putt into the cup to win the biggest chunk of the cash in the match.
For the easy-listening fans out there, musician Kenny G is paired with South Korean K.J. Choi. G won the 2001 pro-am with Phil Mickelson in 2001.
Cell Phones: Cell phones will be allowed for the first time in years, provided they are put on silent and users arenâ€™t yapping near the ropes or taking pictures, two big no-noâ€™s (photos are allowed during practice rounds). A public service video from tournament chair Clint Eastwood will remind arriving fans of the new rule as they board shuttle. Paring sheets this year they are available as an app at the Android Market, iPhone App Store, or iTunes.
Business as Usual: As usual, Tiger Woods will skip the Pro-Am as he has done since 2002, playing this week in the Dubai Desert Classic (who wouldnâ€™t choose 135 degree heat over the cool breezes of the California coast?)