Ever since golf was invented hundreds of years ago, golfers have been looking for an advantage. But when it came to using an anchored putting stroke, golf's governing bodies put their foot down.
Two weeks ago, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in Europe and the U.S. Golf Association banned the use of putters "anchored'' to the body. In these cases, the butt end of the putter is stationary against the upper body or abdomen....
ST. PETERSBURG — There's no sleeping in on Saturday mornings for the Admiral Farragut Academy baseball team.
Instead, the varsity players head to Azalea Little League to assist the Challenger league. On this particular morning, Blue Jacket players pop out of the van as soon as it halts, making their way to one of two fields, then immediately exchange high-fives with a group of 25 players. ...
Rob Wenning tries to play his home course of Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club about four times per week. He could play it every day for the rest of his life and never have a round like he did on April 3.
While practicing for the annual member/guest tournament, Wenning aced the par 3, second hole. Then he did it again on the par 3, 13th hole.
Two holes-in-one in the same round. The odds of doing that are about 67-million-to-1....
Kevin Streelman could have gotten caught up in the moment when he stood on the 18th tee of Innisbrook's Copperhead Course with a two-shot lead in the final round of the Tampa Bay Championship. He could have thought about the time in 2002 when he ran out of money playing the Gateway Tour and had to caddy and scrub clubs at two courses in Scottsdale, Ariz., to make ends meet.
Or the time in 2003 when he just missed out on becoming the assistant golf coach at Duke, his alma mater. Or the three cars he blew out traveling from tournament to tournament on the minitours....
PALM HARBOR — At the start of Saturday's third round of the Tampa Bay Championship, a mix of grizzled veterans and PGA Tour newcomers topped the leaderboard. By the end that remained the case, but they were different players.
Justin Leonard, Kevin Streelman and George Coetzee grinded their way around Innisbrook's Copperhead Course to grab the third round lead at 6-under 207. Streelman shot the round of the day, 6-under 65, that vaulted him from even to tied for the lead. Leonard shot 67 and Coetzee 68....
Number of the day
77 Players who survived the 36-hole cut. The cut was 2-over 144, three shots higher than last year.
Shot of the day
K.J. Choi's second on the par-5, 560-yard No. 1 was a fairway wood from 263 yards that settled 16 feet from the pin. He eagled to move from 2 under to 4 under. He finished tied for second at 6 under.
. fast facts...
PALM HARBOR — By his own admission, Shawn Stefani didn't hit the ball very well in Friday's second round of the Tampa Bay Championship. But when it came to getting the ball in the hole, he did just fine.
Stefani, the first-round leader, teed off in the morning and shot 1-under 70 for a two-day total of 7-under 135. That was one shot better than Adam Scott and K.J. Choi and two shots ahead of Harris English, Brian Harman, Peter Tomasulo and Jason Dufner....
PALM HARBOR — John Daly draws big crowds because anything is possible when he tees it up.
That was the case once again Friday when he made 10 on the par-4, third hole at the Tampa Bay Championship.
He hooked his drive into the trees but decided to try to chip out, which proved costly.
His second shot hit a tree and buried in some bushes.
"As soon as you make that decision," he told the Associated Press, "you can't go back to the tee."...
PALM HARBOR — On a day wind and cold kept scores high, one of the more unlikely players in the field to go low did on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course to grab the first-round lead of the Tampa Bay Championship on Thursday.
PGA Tour rookie Shawn Stefani shot 6-under 65 to take a two-shot lead over second-year pro Brian Harman.
"It was a good day for me," Stefani, 31, said. "I hit some really good shots. I love the golf course. It fits my eye."...
PALM HARBOR — Temperatures in the upper 40s and a strong breeze greeted players who had morning tee times at the Tampa Bay Championship on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course, and the weather didn't get much better throughout Thursday.
That's not how it usually is in Tampa Bay in mid March, and some players weren't prepared.
"It was freezing," said Tag Ridings, who teed off at 7:50 a.m. and shot 3-under 68, good for third, three shots behind leader Shawn Stefani. "I'm underpacked this week. I've got no sleeves. I had a short rain vest that really wasn't warm enough."...
PALM HARBOR — Jim Furyk is right where he wants to be this week. As a 42-year-old winner of 16 PGA Tour events, including the 2003 U.S. Open, Furyk doesn't enter any tournament unless he wants to be there.
"If it's a place where you can tee it up 4 inches and rear back and let it fly, go find it and hit it again, it's probably a place where I'm going to take the week off," Furyk said. "Not my style."...
PALM HARBOR — A PGA Tour tournament will be held on the Copperhead Course in 2014, if Innisbrook Resort owner Sheila Johnson has anything to do with it.
There has been a PGA Tour event in Palm Harbor since 2000, but this year's tournament doesn't have a title sponsor; EverBank in Jacksonville came on at the last moment to be a presenting sponsor. No title sponsor has been secured for 2014, either. If one isn't signed by the end of this year, it could mean the end of the tournament....
PALM HARBOR — Larry Packard was 45 years old when he had a chance to design his first golf course. That was 1957, well before any of the players in this year's Tampa Bay Championship were born.
"I didn't know which end of the club to grab onto back then," said Packard, who helped design airports before tackling golf courses.
Packard, who turned 100 in November, figures he has designed 350 golf courses and redesigned another 250 around the world. One of the championship courses he takes most pride in is the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, home to this week's PGA event....
PALM HARBOR — Fresh off a tie for 50th at the Puerto Rico Open on Sunday, crowd favorite John Daly was on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course on Monday for the Chi Chi Rodriguez Pro Am. A Clearwater resident who is playing on a sponsor's exemption, Daly is the unofficial host of this week's Tampa Bay Championship.
He is a member at Belleair Country Club but plays the Copperhead several times a year....