Thursday March 14, 2013
ZACH Johnson will lose a distinction in May when he plays the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea. Johnson in the only American from the top 50 in the world ranking who has not played anywhere overseas except the British Open over the last two years.
And he was aware of that.
“I haven’t gone overseas that much,” Johnson said. “It fits in my schedule. It’s a good opportunity and I want to do more of it. I don’t want to be labelled as the guy who won’t leave the country. For one, it’s inaccurate.”
Johnson said the one European Tour event he has always wanted to play is the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
“But it’s the same week as Colonial, and I can’t not play there,” he said. Johnson is defending this year at Colonial, a tournament he has won twice.
PADRAIG Harrington has been wearing glasses for the last month, and now he’s wearing them on the course. The most peculiar part of this look is that the three-time Major champion technically doesn’t even need glasses.
“I’ve got 20/20 vision without glasses,” he said. “But I have struggled for a number of years with reading the greens. What I see and what it is are not the same thing.”
Harrington’s eyes are too dry to wear contact lenses, so he’s opted for eye glasses. He was on his fifth pair at Doral, and he’s getting closer to the right frame.
The trouble for Harrington is that he grew up with a slight right-to-left bias with how he reads. After a number of laser surgeries, his bias is now left-to-right.
Els not hip
REIGNING British Open champion Ernie Els said on Tuesday he has withdrawn from this week’s US$5.5mil Tampa Bay Championship because of nagging soreness in his right hip.
The 43-year-old South African said in a blog posting on the PGA website that his only outing of the week will be a Tuesday trip to Augusta National for a “gentle walk” around the Masters course ahead of next month’s first major of the year.
“Other than that I’ll have to pretty much rest-up for most of this week,” Els said. “Doctors orders, as they say.”
Els failed to qualify for last year’s Masters, missing the event for the first time since 1993, but ensured his return last year by capturing the British Open after a collapse down the stretch by Australian Adam Scott. — Agencies