Steve Marino fell just short of his first PGA Tour win on Sunday, but Ferd Lewis at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser said Marino has Michelle Wie to thank for helping him settle into the pressures of playing golf at the highest level. Back in 2007, Marino, a rookie just out of Q-school, was paired with Wie at the Sony Open.
It was an experience that, at the time, he had compared to being "kind of thrown into the lion's den."
But for all his trepidation and taut nerves, Marino not only survived it, finishing in a tie for 34th, but won points with the gallery for the aplomb with which he handled the pairing. He joked with her, encouraged her and, in the process, steadied his own nerves.
Looking back, Marino was able to say, "In a way I think that actually helped me, my first event on the PGA Tour, getting paired with Michelle Wie. There were so many people around, I think it was good for me to experience something like that right off the bat, and it gave me some confidence to realize that I handled it well and I made the cut and I didn't get overwhelmed by the situation. So, yeah, I think it was definitely a good thing for me. That was a big confidence booster for me."
Harrington keeps tinkering
This week's European Tour event in Abu Dhabi marks the debut for most of the top players in the world. It also marks the debut of Padraig Harrington's new swing, according to Brendan O’Brien at the Irish Examiner.
By his own reckoning, the man from Stackstown has made anything up to 20 nips and tucks over the last four weeks. Most of them are minor alterations and he couldn’t quite remember them all but he gave it a hell of a good old rattle.
Here’s just a taster…
He has changed his choice of grips, weakened his grip, lowered his hands on the club, altered his routine for practising putts and changed his ‘trigger’ which, for him, was two big ‘waggles’ before he hit his shot.
Of all his latest experiments, the trigger is the big one — a mental nuance rather than a physical one — a tricky procedure which other players have addressed with varying degrees of success in the past.
I'm not going to be an armchair swing instructor, but at 39, Harrington better hope his swing changes take hold fast. He's quickly running out of time while trying to fix a swing that was good enough to win three majors in two seasons.
But this little nugget from O’Brien should give Harrington fans hope that he can regain his major-championship form:
It was also interesting to hear Harrington say that, contrary to popular belief, he first began to pick at his game five years ago and not just after he won his third major in the space of 18 months, the 2008 US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
Clark on the DL?
We're only two weeks into the PGA Tour season and there are already several players dealing with injuries. Geoff Ogilvy cut his finger on a piece of coral and withdrew from Kapalua. Zach Johnson smashed his toe before the season opener. Now Golfweek's Alex Miceli reports Tim Clark, who tied for second at the Sony Open, might be out for this week's Bob Hope after dealing with a painful blister on his toe during Sunday's 36-hole marathon finish.
Clark, who shot 66-64 in the 36-hole finish at Waialae Country Club, was limping with a blister on his left little toe late Sunday while practicing on the range for a possible playoff. That didn’t happen, as Mark Wilson sealed his third PGA Tour victory with a 16-under 264 score in the rain-delayed Sony.
Clark plans to fly to La Quinta, Calif., site of the Hope, and then decide whether he can play.
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IanJamesPoulter: Just watching the Pats vs the Jets in the bar. I need to get into this football.