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March 2, 2010 10:41 AM

Talking Trash, and Other Golf Garbage

Babe-Didrikson-Zaharias.jpgIt is starting to feel like golf season as I type away here on the terrace of the Grill Room.
March the Lion has sauntered in like a lamb, but the weather changes fast around these parts, so I'll wait a week or so before pulling the trigger on that first tee time of the year.

I can tell you that plenty of us are still waiting for Phil Mickelson to take to the course this year, too. What's that? He's played in four events already?
Well, of course he has...

If you tried to tell me a couple of months ago that Mickelson would have exactly one top-10 finish to his credit this year, we would have had a strenuous disagreement, and preferably over a cold one.
Everything, but two things in particular, (his family's health and Tiger Woods' absence) seemed to be pointing toward a big year for Lefty.

Streaky as he is, there's still more than enough time for him to make a bunch of noise this year, but it is a little troubling how quiet he has been thus far. 
The PGA Tour begins its Florida swing this weekend, so maybe getting Phil out of his home time zone will goof him up just enough to get him knocking down pins again.

Mickelson is not in the field, though, for this weekend's Honda Classic at the tough Champions Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., but will certainly be around the following week to defend his title at Doral's Blue Monster.
If Phil stays quiet there, something's wrong.

Congratulations to Hunter Mahan for hanging on for his second career victory Sunday, and apologies for it being in something called the Waste Management Open. I wish I was making that one up.

The tournament better known as the (insert your old sponsor here) Phoenix Open before guys like Bernie Madoff took control of one-fifth of the economy, now has a garbage-recycling company as a sponsor.
What's next? You know what, don't tell me...

And a prediction: Mahan will win at least a couple of more tournaments this year. His iron game is ridiculously good.

Because sometimes it sort of seems like we are the only ones not ignoring the LPGA Tour, this bit of news: For the first time in 44 years the same player has won the first two events of the year. For a chance to win your very own glimpse of the LPGA schedule this year, name that player...

Phew, didn't think you could do it, and the last thing we want is people knowing where the ladies are occasionally playing these days.

Japan's Ai Miyazato made it two-for-two this year when she won the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Again with the names...
The HSBC Women's Champions...what? That's it, the HSBC Women's Champions...

Anyway, Miyazato held off American Cristie Kerr by a pair of shots for her third-career victory on the tour. Miyazato is a regular winner on the competitive Japanese Tour, with 15 titles to her credit.

And this from the Associated Press: Marilynn Smith was last player to win the first two events in a season, accomplishing the feat in 1966. Babe Zaharias (1951), Louise Suggs (1952) and Mickey Wright (1963) also swept season-opening events.

Zaharias (pictured), Suggs, and Wright, eh? Not too shabby, Ai. Not too shabby at all... 
And just for being a good sport, here's the 2010 LPGA schedule. Yer welcome.

Finally, a sad note.
Greg Rita, who was on the bag for Curtis Strange when he won his two U.S. Opens in 1988 and '89, and for John Daly when he won the Open Championship at St. Andrews in 1995, passed away Saturday.
Rita finally succumbed to a long battle with brain cancer on the day of his 54th birthday. Condolences to Rita's family.  

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