Mark's Feed
Apr 3, 2014

A hole-by-hole look at Augusta National

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Once again, the eyes of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on Augusta National when it stages the 78th Masters in Augusta, Georgia, next week with one of its iconic images, the famed Eisenhower Tree, no longer gracing the 17th hole.

The tree, a loblolly pine believed to be at least 100 years old, had to be removed from its position on the 17th fairway, some 210 yards from the tee, after being severely damaged by an ice storm that tore through the venue in February.

Apr 3, 2014

Expect the unexpected at next week’s Masters

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – As the first of the season’s four major championships, the Masters has always been the most keenly anticipated, a veritable golfing ‘rite of spring’ that brings together the game’s leading players in Augusta, Georgia.

This year, that sense of expectation is especially heightened with the list of likely winners deeper than ever and multiple champion Tiger Woods a notable absentee for the first time in his career after having surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back.

Feb 23, 2014

Collins signs with Nets as first openly gay player

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) – Veteran NBA player Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, making him the first openly gay athlete on a team roster in any of North America’s four major professional sports leagues.

Collins, who last April revealed that he was gay in a Sports Illustrated article that was published after the National Basketball Association regular season, joined the Nets before their Sunday game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

Feb 18, 2014

Dizzying run puts Dubuisson among game’s elite

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A year ago, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson was one of several talented young players toiling away on the European Tour with almost no experience in golf’s biggest events and still seeking his first victory on the circuit.

Within the past four months, however, Dubuisson has spectacularly broken free of those shackles, his maiden win at the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in November opening virtually every door to him at the game’s highest level.

Feb 17, 2014

Italy’s Molinari targets late 2013 form, Cup spot

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Refreshed after a seven-week break and with just two tournaments under his belt this year, Francesco Molinari has his sights set on recapturing the encouraging form he displayed in late 2013 and a Ryder Cup spot.

Molinari has represented Europe in the last two editions of the biennial team competition against the United States, both times on winning teams, and he would dearly love the chance to compete in a third at Gleneagles in Scotland from September 26 to 28.

Feb 17, 2014

Once again, Johnson has to settle for second

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) – In-form American Dustin Johnson had to settle for a second successive runner-up spot on the PGA Tour after his last-day charge ended up two strokes shy at the Northern Trust Open on Sunday.

Bidding for his ninth victory on the U.S. circuit, the long-hitting Johnson closed with a five-under-par 66 in the final round at Riviera Country Club to finish alone in second at 13-under 271.

Feb 17, 2014

Golf-Watson storms home to seal two-shot win at Riviera

PACIFIC PALISADES, California, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Bubba Watson was rewarded for his impressive early season form when he stormed to his first PGA Tour title since the 2012 Masters with a two-shot victory at the Northern Trust Open on Sunday.

Four strokes off the pace going into the final round, the American left-hander seized control with five birdies in the first eight holes on the way to a flawless seven-under-par 64 at a sun-splashed Riviera Country Club.

Feb 17, 2014

Watson seals two-shot win at Riviera

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) – Bubba Watson was rewarded for his impressive early season form when he stormed to his first PGA Tour title since the 2012 Masters with a two-shot victory at the Northern Trust Open on Sunday.

Four strokes off the pace going into the final round, the American left-hander seized control with five birdies in the first eight holes on the way to a flawless seven-under-par 64 at a sun-splashed Riviera Country Club.

Feb 16, 2014

Allred’s Cinderella story not yet over at Riviera

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) – Whatever happens in Sunday’s final round of the Northern Trust Open, American Jason Allred will be able to celebrate a fairytale week of the unexpected at Riviera Country Club.

A graduate of the nearby Pepperdine University, Allred is playing his first PGA Tour event since the 2010 U.S. Open, where he tied for 47th, after earning one of four spots in the Riviera field via Monday qualifying.

Feb 16, 2014

Riviera leader McGirt ready to heed Tiger’s advice

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) – Two years ago, American journeyman William McGirt made the mistake of not once looking at a leaderboard during the final round of the Canadian Open where he was in contention for the title.

After being taken to task over that by none other than Tiger Woods, McGirt avoided a similar error last year at the same event, and he plans to follow the same policy in Sunday’s final round of the Northern Trust Open as tournament leader.