Death, taxes and spring golf covers

As certain as death and taxes is the guarantee Canada’s golf mags will place the new Canadian on the PGA Tour on their covers for their first issue. Last year it was David Hearn � and we all know how well that worked.
This year, it is Jon Mills. Mills shows a lot of promise — he averaged 311 off the tee on the Nationwide Tour last year — and he managed the make the cut in Hawaii, though a poor 78 meant he missed the cut this week at the Hope.
Anyway, golf rags aren’t the only ones keeping up with Mills. Former Maclean’s writer, James Deacon, reports on Mills for the Toronto Star yesterday.
Mike Weir has nice things to say:

Tellingly, he won at every level and he earned his PGA Tour card by finishing fifth last year on the Nationwide, an achievement built on season-long excellence. “That should bode well for him,” Weir says of Mills’ consistency, adding: “In terms of predicting success, I would say it’s a better barometer” than if Mills had qualified through one week’s play at Q-school.

Anyway, wait for Golf Canada, Score and all of the other mags to come out with Mills as their predictable cover. Of course the problem is that all the dailies have already written about him, leaving the monthlies in their dust.

David Duval watch: Shoots 64 on Saturday � makes another cut. Looks like three in a row, if you count his fine showing in Japan at the end of last year.

Golf season in Canada doesn’t start until the Masters � on the PGA Tour it doesn’t start until Tiger shows up. Apparently that will be this week. Ernie Els will show up at Doral, which should be worth watching.

Is Bubba Watson all that? Apparently SI’s Chris Lewis thinks so. I have a hard time taking anyone named Bubba seriously, but this guy puts John Daly to shame when it comes to bombing it. He hit one 398 in Hawaii. Maybe Thundering Waters in Niagara Falls should ask Watson to take over as “consulting architect.” Maybe he can hit it over the falls.

Oh, and as the media continues to proclaim the new Canadian Open date a disaster, Score magazine’s Bob Weeks jumps in with a column entitled “A Mid-Summer Nightmare.” Weeks quotes Stephen D. Ross as saying:

“We’re sure to get good weather,” said Ross. “There will be no conflict with the NFL as there is now. The kids won’t be back at school, which has always impacted our volunteers. We’re in the heart of the PGA Tour season, rather than at the end as we are now. And the players will be earning Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and FedEx Cup points.”

Let’s hope that’s not just wishful thinking on Stephen D’s part.

Weeks isn’t the only one dumping on the new date. Writers are lining up to take a shot at this one. John Gordon, longtime fan of the Royal Canadian Golf Association, had this to say in his Sportsnet column:

On that day, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that, starting in 2007 and running for the six-year duration of the new TV contract, our Open will be played in what arguably is a worse spot. The marquee players will not be thrilled with flying back from Britain to Ontario or Quebec. Needless to say, even fewer will endure the additional time changes if the RCGA wants to have our Open in Western Canada, let alone back in British Columbia.

Don’t hold back John � tell us how you really feel.

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Jeff Lancaster

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • The Duval watch should be an interesting one this year and I will be a part of it. Really he only had one bad round this week and the rest were quite good.

    I guess there may also be a bit of a Weir Watch going on, at least early in the season and so far it is good. Nice to see him play well and hopefully this will mean good things for him this season.

  • I thought it had been Week’s article on the Canadian Open that was interesting but in looking back it was the one from Rubenstein. I took note of the idea that Canada Day would have been a great time for the event and instead we get the Buick Open – as Ross had noted, the PGA Tour has a big contract with Buick. That really does suck.

    I took a look at the winners and history of the Buick Open and it only began in 1958 and was never won by Palmer or Nicklaus (though the same can be said of the Canadian Open in the fact that Nicklaus never won it, but not for lack of trying!)

    To me the slam in the face for the Canadian Open is that it didn’t get this kind of date, nicely in between the US and British Opens and much more of a ‘must play’ event.

    I think I have seen it mentioned somewhere, but maybe the RCGA needs to start negotiating with the European Tour as it may fit better with them – they already play all over the world.

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