Category: Torrey Pines

September 17, 2013

Mickelson unveils his Torrey Pines North redesign

Posted at 1:23 PM by Scooby Axson


(The 18th green at Torrey Pines' South Course. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

There was a major uproar about the proposed renovation of Torrey Pines North Course when the entire San Diego City Council voted against the project in 2005 especially after the South Course was dramatically altered. 

Fast forward eight years, and a third meeting with the public seems to have changed some minds, especially after a hole-by-hole presentation of the renovated North, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The renovation is estimated to cost $7.8 million with a completion date of summer 2015. The changes are supposed to include a modernization of the greens and bunkers, which will make the course more playable for the average golfer.

There will also be an elimination of 22 acres of plant material to create more “natural” terrain on the edges of the course.

The eighth hole would become a par 5 with the green tucked closer to the canyon, while the ninth would be made into a long par 4. 

More proposed changes include:

- Creating two short, drivable par-4 holes at Nos. 2 and 16.

- Removing the two ponds on the par-3 17th hole.

- Re-introducing a pine tree to the middle of the fairway on the par-5 14th; the original tree was diseased and had to be removed.

- Reversing the nines to create a more “memorable” finish.

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January 30, 2013

Tiger Woods and caddie talked about Kobe Bryant at Torrey: Truth & Rumors

Posted at 10:42 AM by Mike Walker

Tiger_lacavaWith the Torrey Pines South course backed up on Monday, Tiger Woods and his caddie Joe LaCava did what most golfers do when facing long waits: they talked about sports.

According to Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times, Woods and LaCava passed the time -- nearly four hours to play 11 holes -- talking about the Los Angeles Lakers, specifically Kobe Bryant.

So how did he spend his time while standing on various tees and fairways, waiting to hit while players in front of him dawddled along?

"We talked a lot about Kobe [Bryant]," said Woods' caddie, Joe LaCava. "He loves Kobe and he couldn't believe he had 14 assists the other night. He was stoked about that."

Bryant had 14 assists in the Lakers' win Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Woods has long claimed the Lakers, the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Dodgers as his favorite pro sports teams; he's never expressed much interest in hockey.

[Photo: Tiger Woods and Joe LaCava wait on the 17th hole at Torrey Pines South on Monday. Getty Images]

January 28, 2013

2013 Farmers Insurance Open Live Blog: Round 4

Posted at 9:20 AM by

Mark Dee made his 2013 live blog debut on Monday afternoon as Tiger Woods completed his eighth pro victory at Torrey Pines. Here's a recap of the action below.

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January 22, 2013

Phil Mickelson apologizes for tax comments

Posted at 7:54 AM by Ryan Reiterman

PhilA day after Phil Mickelson said he was considering "drastic changes" because of recent tax increases on the wealthy, the four-time major winner apologized for his comments.

(Live at noon: Debate Phil's tax comments and more in PGA Tour Confidential Live)

In a statement released by his spokesman, T.R. Reinman, Mickelson said, "Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."

Mickelson made an estimated $60.8 million in 2012, according to, but he said Sunday that federal and California tax hikes had him considering a change. "I'm going to have to make some drastic changes," Mickelson said. "I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes."

(Related Gallery: Phil Mickelson's Life in Pictures)

Did that mean he would move his family from his home state of California to a more tax-friendly state like Florida? Or could it mean he would play fewer tournaments and semi-retire, like Steve Stricker?

Mickelson said Sunday that he would elaborate on his plans during his scheduled press conference Wednesday ahead of this week's Famers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which is near his home in Rancho Sante Fe., Calif.

But Lefty changed his mind and apologized. Here is Mickelson's full statement:

"I know I have my usual pre-tournament press conference scheduled this week but I felt I needed to address the comments I made following the Humana Challenge now.

"I absolutely love what I do. I love and appreciate the game of golf and the people who surround it. I'm as motivated as I've ever been to work on my game, to compete and to win championships.

"Right now, I'm like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws. I've been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions. I certainly don't have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family.

"Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."

(Related Article: How Mickelson betters the lives of a wide variety of people)

(Photo: Thomas Lovelock/SI)

January 20, 2013

Mickelson plans 'drastic changes' in response to tax hikes

Posted at 10:38 PM by Mike Walker

Phil Mickelson and his caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay, at the Humana Challenge in Palm Springs on Saturday. (AP)

Phil Mickelson said he will be making "drastic changes" because of recent tax increases, including California's new, highest-in-the-nation income tax on the wealthy, and he suggested that the tax was one of the reasons he withdrew from the investment group that purchased the San Diego Padres.

"There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now," Mickelson said after his T37 finish at the Humana Challenge in Palm Spring, Calif. "So I'm going to have to make some changes."

Unlike most of his fellow PGA Tour players who live in tax-friendly states like Florida and Texas, Mickelson chooses to live in high-tax California, his home state, where residents voted in November to raise tax rates to 13.3 percent from 10.3 percent for those making more $1 million.

Mickelson had mentioned politics earlier in the week when he was asked about Steve Stricker's "semi-retirement." Stricker, 45, is just three years older than Mickelson.

"I think that we're all going to have our own kind of way of handling things, handling time in our career, our family, handling what's gone on the last couple of months politically, I think we're all going to have to find things that work for us," Mickelson said earlier in the week. "And it's not surprising at all, it makes perfect sense for a number of reasons, not just the ones that he gave about spending more time at home. I totally get it."

Asked Sunday to elaborate on what he meant, Mickelson said, "It's been an interesting offseason. And I'm going to have to make some drastic changes. I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes."

Mickelson was also asked if these changes were the reason he withdrew his interest in the San Diego Padres ownership group. His response, "Absolutely."

However, Mickelson stopped short of saying what those changes would be; he added that he would likely talk in more detail about the issue this week at Torrey Pines, which is just minutes from his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

"I'll probably be in the media center, and I'll probably be a little more open to it because San Diego is where a lot more things, it's where I live, it's where the Padre thing was a possibility, and it's where my family is," Mickelson said. "And it just seems like a better fit than right here off of 18 on Palm Springs."

In addition to the state tax increase, Mickelson is also looking at a higher federal income tax. Under the new federal tax law just passed, married couples making more than $450,000 will pay a federal income tax rate of 39.6 percent, up from 35 percent.

"If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent," Mickelson said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."'s Fortunate 50 estimated Mickelson's 2012 income at $60.8 million.

January 16, 2013

Phil Mickelson's plans for Torrey Pines North take shape: Truth & Rumors

Posted at 9:08 AM by Samantha Glover

Phil Mickelson's detailed plans for holes Nos. 1, 2, and 3 at Torrey Pines North were revealed to the public last week, according to a The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Photos and drawings, displayed at the future media site for this year's Farmer's Insurance Open, showed fewer bunkers, wider fairways, and shorter distances from several tees.

At the par-5 first, current fairway bunkers that are closer to the white tees will be eliminated, with new bunkers requiring carries of 278 and 310 yards for the pros. Where most amateurs would land, the fairway would be widened and raised to provide better views of the ocean. The green would be lowered by 8 feet to show off more water.

The short, par-4 second could become more interesting with the white tees moved up to 280 yards and the blacks playing at 320. Mickelson’s challenge to his peers: Go for it.

The par-3 third, at 108 yards from the whites, in the shortest hole on the course. Mickelson’s thought was to move the green left so that it hugs the canyon more, but he’s providing a more forgiving collection area on the right to give golfers a larger bailout.

Mike Angus, director of golf design and development for Phil Mickelson Design, said that it is important to the team to consider the wishes of the public, adding that they are designing in a way that won't force a hike in greens fees.

“We’re not going out there and blowing up this golf course,” said Mike Angus

“We’re really subtly changing it and hoping to prove that to everybody, so that 10 years from now they will say, ‘Gosh, why didn’t’ we do this sooner?"

December 20, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Mickelson presents plans for redesign of Torrey North

Posted at 12:35 PM by Samantha Glover

Phil Mickelson presented part of his plan for the renovation to the North Course at Torrey Pines this week in front of nearly 75 of San Diego's municipal golfers.

The extensive plans, which include rebuilding all 18 greens and bunkers, the addition of full cart paths, and replacing the current irrigation system, are budgeted at more than $7 million, according to U-T San Diego's Tod Leonard.

“I do believe,” Mickelson said, “that modern-day architecture is the single-most reason why play and participation in golf has decline. It’s just too hard. It’s not fun.”

Among Mickelson’s ideas for the North: fairways and greenside areas that will feed shots toward the hole, not repel it away; chipping areas that will challenge better players but allow higher handicappers to putt from off the green; greenside bunkers placed to the sides and not the front of greens; at least one driveable par-4 on each nine; shorter holes for women and juniors.

More specific plans for holes 1-3 are set to be released Jan. 10, 2013, according to the report.

November 21, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Tiger plans to open '13 PGA Tour season at Torrey

Posted at 11:56 AM by Mark Dee

Beck_2008_buickTiger Woods at the 2008 Buick Invitation in January 2008. (Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated)

Mark your calendars: Tiger is coming back to Torrey.

According to a report by San Diego's 10News, Woods will begin his 2013 PGA Tour season at the Farmers Insurance Open, held -- that's right -- at the site of his last major triumph, Torrey Pines.

Sources said Woods is expected to make just his second appearance at the Farmers Insurance Open since he won his most recent major championship at Torrey Pines -- the U.S. Open in 2008.

Woods is not expected to officially enter the tournament until January, but sources close to both Woods and the Farmers Insurance Open have been told to prepare for his appearance at the event, which would mark his 2013 PGA Tour debut.

Woods has only been back once since winning the 2008 U.S. Open in a playoff over Rocco Mediate. He finished 44th in the 2011 event, but has a strong history in La Jolla: Tiger has won the Torrey tourney six times, including four straight from 2005 through 2008.

In 2012, Woods skipped the even in favor of the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi. This year, that tournament will take place a week earlier, allowing Woods to fly to California in time for the Farmers.

January 30, 2012

Robert Garrigus on Kyle Stanley: I wish I had his number

Posted at 11:49 AM by Cameron Morfit

Kyle-StanleyRobert Garrigus was nowhere near the scene of the accident when presumed Farmers Insurance Open champion Kyle Stanley [right] triple-bogeyed the 18th hole at Torrey Pines South on Sunday to fall into a playoff with Brandt Snedeker. (Not surprisingly, Snedeker won on the second extra hole.)

Garrigus, who triple-bogeyed the last hole to fall into a playoff he would eventually lose at Memphis in 2010, had struggled on Torrey's poa annua greens and bogeyed his last two holes to miss the cut at the Farmers, so he was back home in Scottsdale, Ariz., watching the back nine at Torrey on TV. 

"I left to go get a massage at 3:30 or 4 o'clock," he said by phone Sunday night. "I saw Kyle make a five-footer on 15 for par. I thought it was a lock; Brandt made bogey on 17. It was a four-shot lead with three holes to play."

Alas, just as Garrigus had buckled under the pressure of trying to win his first tournament in 2010, the enormity of what the winless Stanley was about to accomplish seemed to hit him all at once. He spun a wedge off the green and into the water, hit his fifth shot on the green and three-putted. 

"I saw what happened and thought, 'I'm one of the only guys in the United States who can relate to how he feels,' because I've been there and it's brutal," Garrigus said. "He'll win. It's not the end of the world, but it sure feels like it at the time."

Garrigus won at Disney at the end of 2010 and dedicated the victory to Tony Kornheiser, the co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, who had suggested fans might never hear from Garrigus again.

"He didn't know what he was saying," Garrigus said. "I got some good pub out of it. It was a lot of fun."

Similarly, he believes the first win for the shell-shocked Stanley might not be far off.

"I wish I had his number because I would call him," said Garrigus, who tied for third at the U.S. Open last summer and will make his first Masters start in April. "I'm sure I'll see him soon. I'll tell him, 'You've got to get there to blow it.' That's what Chris DiMarco said to me: 'You've got to get there to blow it, and you'll be there again. Don't worry about it. It's just golf.'"

(Photo: Kohjiro Kinno/SI)

January 09, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Elin's termite infestation, Trump's sweetheart deal

Posted at 12:10 PM by Mick Rouse

The former Mrs. Tiger Woods has received much criticism for purchasing a $12.3 million mansion, only to tear down all 17,000 square feet of it. Turns out, Elin had good reason to demolish the Seminole Landing estate—termites.

Workers found extensive damage from termites and carpenter ants in the six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, kitchen and other areas in the two-story home with two elevators. County records show the home was built in 1932.

Don’t think that Elin just tossed away all of the mansion’s assets, either. According to Bill DiPaolo of the Palm Beach Post, Ms. Nordegren teamed up with Habitat for Humanity, allowing the non-profit organization to raid the estate, donating anything still salvageable.

Habitat workers removed cabinets, brick driveway pavers, five sub-zero refrigerators, chandeliers, 14 vanities, controlled-temperature wine coolers called EuroCaves, dozens of doors and one gas range, said Bobbi Blodgett, the director of deconstruction for the non-profit organization that builds homes for the needy.

"What a wonderful thing for (Nordegren) to do. She could have tossed this stuff in the trash. The negative publicity toward her has been very unfair," Blodgett said.

"No wonder she tore the place down. The infestation was all over. You could put your fingers right through the wood.”

The items removed are being priced and will be sold by Habitat for Humanity. Blodgett guesses Nordegren's donations will bring in at least $30,000, which will help fund future home building projects. According to Blodgett, aside from a hotel, Elin’s mansion will have the largest payoff for the non-profit organization.

Trump's super discount

Geoff Shackelford cites a New York Post report that real state mogul Donald Trump will receive a deep discount from the city on his new Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the Bronx.

“We are paying [$184 million for] the project. Trump is getting a gift from a fellow billionaire, the mayor,” said Geoffrey Croft, of watchdog group NYC Park Advocates. “It’s unheard of that you don’t pay any money for four years.”

By year five, Trump will have to pay only 7 percent of the gross receipts, or a minimum of $300,000. And by year 16, he pays just 10 percent, or $420,000, to the city.

The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee is set to approve the deal today.

Overton pleads guilty

Last month, Jeff Overton was arrested for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement while in Bloomington, Ind. While Overton originally stated he planned to fight the case, Ryan Ballengee reported that he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct—the charges of resisting law enforcement and public intoxication were dismissed. Overton’s lawyer, Sam Shapiro, isn’t exactly thrilled with his client’s decision to plead guilty, though.

“It's hard to be too loud before an Indiana-Kentucky game. I would have liked to take this case to trial, but Jeff believed it was better for him to get this behind him.” 

Overton was probably right on that front. All in all, he was given a slap on the wrist—30 hours of community service and $165 in administrative costs. Even without a PGA Tour win to his name, Overton should be able to scrounge up the cash.

DJ’s Return

Dustin Johnson is set to make his return at Torrey Pines late this month at the Farmers Insurance Open, reports Alan Blondin of The State. Johnson is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee that has plagued him since July. According to DJ’s Twitter, his rehab #KNEEhab is in the rearview mirror.

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