PGA Tour pro Bill Haas comes from a golf family. His dad, Jay, has been a longtime member of the PGA Tour, winning nine times on the regular Tour and 16 times on the Champions Tour. Dad never won the Masters, but son has put himself in a good position after the first round of golf’s first major tournament.
Bill Haas shot a four under 68 Thursday to take a one-shot lead over three players – defending champion Adam Scott, former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, and 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson, who all carded three under 69s.
There’s a group of seven golfers, led by first-time players Kevin Stadler, Jonas Blixt of Sweden, and Jimmy Walker, who shot two under par 70 Thursday.
And, at one under par 71, you’ll find some familiar names, such as former champion Fred Couples, Rory McIlroy, and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
As for Friday’s tee times, which are all in the Eastern time zone, here are some of the notables:
American Nick Watney, who’s four shots back at even par, will tee off at 8:29 a.m.
Louis Oosthuizen, who is part of a threesome with Matt Kuchar of the US, will tee off at 8:51 a.m.
Former two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer of Germany, who’s also at even par after the first round, starts his second round at 9:24 a.m.
Bubba Watson, playing with Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald, tees off the first hole at 9:57 a.m.
Phil Mickelson hopes to play better on Friday, after shooting a four over 76. He tees off at 10:30 a.m.
Kevin Stadler’s group, which includes former Masters winner Ian Woosnam, will start at 11:03 a.m, followed by Jonas Blixt’s threesome at 11:14 a.m.
Fred Couples will tee off with his effortless golf swing at 12:42 p.m.
Jimmy Walker, paired with Ricky Fowler and Graeme McDowell, go off the first hole at 12:53 p.m.
Haas, the first round leader, is in a threesome with Jimenez and the young Italian star, Matteo Manassero. This group will tee off at 1:15 p.m.
Scott, the defending champion, is playing alongside Jason Duffner and Matthew Fitzpatrick, the US Amateur champion. This threesome will start their second round at 1:48 p.m.
Again on Friday, ESPN will have second round coverage, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern time. You can also go to Masters.com to find live streaming video to check out from your computer or wireless device, starting at 10:45 a.m.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan weighed in Friday on Golf Digest’s provocative cover featuring Paulina Gretzky.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed and frustrated by the editorial direction (and timing) Golf Digest has chosen with the announcement of its most recent magazine cover,” Whan said in a statement at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the tour’s first major tournament of the year.
“If a magazine called Golf Digest is interested in showcasing females in the game, yet consistently steers away from the true superstars who’ve made history over the last few years, something is clearly wrong. … ‘Growing the game’ means a need for more role models and in these exciting times for women’s golf, the LPGA is overflowing with them.”
The cover photo shows Gretzky in skintight capris and a bra.
Known for provocative pictures on her social media accounts, Gretzky is former hockey star Wayne Gretzky’s daughter and PGA Tour player Dustin Johnson’s fiancee.
Former LPGA Tour star Lorena Ochoa in 2008 was the last female pro to appear on the magazine’s cover. Golf Digest featured Golf Channel’s Holly Sonders in May 2013 and model Kate Upton posed with Arnold Palmer for the December issue.
“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” third-ranked Stacy Lewis said. “It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been. We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines. But at the same time you’d like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”
Jerry Tarde, Golf Digest’s editor in chief, released a statement about the cover.
“Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine’s beginning,” Tarde said. “Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game.”
The largest show on Broadway opened in New York on Wednesday, January 29th when the city turned over a 3/4 mile stretch of Midtown for a “Super Bowl Boulevard” street fair, drawing thousands of locals and visitors.
The event, part of the build-up to Sunday’s National Football League championship game, gave football fans and the simply curious a chance to see players, try their luck at kicking a field goal in Manhattan’s intense wind or ride a 60-foot-high (18-meter-high) toboggan run. (REUTERS)
The National Football League is down to its version of the ‘Elite Eight’ as we approach this weekend’s divisional playoff round. Four teams each from the American and National conferences will try to take another step closer to Super Bowl XLVIII Feb. 2.
Saturday’s contests include Seattle hosting New Orleans in the first NFC semifinal. From a playoff history perspective, these two teams met back on January 8, 2011 in an NFC wild-card game. Sporting a 7-and-9 won-loss record to capture the NFC West that season, the Seahawks won a wild contest, 41-36, which included an incredible 67-yard touchdown run by Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch.
Fast-forward to this season and the Seahawks had their way with New Orleans, beating Drew Brees and the Saints, 34-7, on Dec. 2.
Despite that outcome, the Saints have some momentum coming into this game. They finally won a road playoff game last Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, Seattle’s 12th man – the home crowd – and some opportunistic defense on the part of the top-rated Seahawks will be enough to prevail in this playoff contest.
Saturday’s game will be televised on Fox beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
The New England Patriots will play host to the Indianapolis Colts in Saturday’s nightcap. The last time these two franchises met in the playoffs, Peyton Manning was still quarterbacking the Colts and led them to a come-from-behind victory over New England in the 2006 AFC championship game in Indianapolis.
Now second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is the field general in Indy. Luck cemented his place in Colts lore after leading Indianapolis to a wild-card win over the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend. The Colts overcame a 28-point second half deficit to advance in the AFC.
Like the Saints, Indianapolis benefits slightly from having played a game last weekend. But New England head coach Bill Belichick and his staff have had the time to game plan for the Colts. The Patriots have developed a solid running game – namely LeGarrette Blount – that can handle poor weather conditions, which are expected Saturday night. Thus, Tom Brady and the Pats get the pick here.
CBS will televise the Patriots and Colts, beginning at 8:15 p.m. Eastern time Saturday.
Sunday starts off with the San Francisco 49ers traveling to Carolina to take on the Panthers in an NFC Divisional round game.
Earlier this season, Carolina edged the Niners in San Francisco, 10-9. The Panthers defense shut out San Francisco’s offense in the second half of the game.
This will the first time these former NFC West division rivals have met in the playoffs. The Panthers lead the overall series, 11-7.
Expect a few more points to be scored this time around with both Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers and the Panthers’ Cam Newton creating some offense with their arms and legs. According to NFL.com stats, both teams are good at running with the football and stopping the run. So, this one will come down to passing. Carolina All-Pro receiver Steve Smith is injured while the 49ers Michael Crabtree returned last weekend to help them beat the Packers. San Francisco will edge out the Panthers for a second road playoff victory in two weeks.
The Panthers-49ers contest will air on Fox, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern time Sunday.
The final game of the weekend will be the third installment of an AFC West Division rivalry as the Denver Broncos host the San Diego Chargers. These teams split the two regular season meetings with the road team winning each game.
Peyton Manning has led the Broncos offense this season to record-breaking heights. Manning threw for 5,407 yards and 55 touchdown passes this season, besting Tom Brady’s mark of 50 set back in 2007. Denver’s offense also scored the most points in a season in the history of the NFL, with 606.
The Chargers have been playing their own version of ‘Survivor’ at the end of this current season. On the final Sunday of the regular season, San Diego had to hope two other teams would lose, then beat the Kansas City Chiefs in their finale just to have a shot at the postseason.
Then, San Diego traveled to chilly Cincinnati last weekend and defeated the Bengals in an AFC wild-card playoff game. There should be no shortage of confidence for the Chargers as they get set to meet the No. 1 seed in the AFC. However, with Manning at the controls of a potent Broncos offense, Denver should advance to host the AFC championship game on Jan. 19.
The Denver-San Diego AFC divisional playoff game will be broadcast by CBS, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.