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Let the Florida Swing begin! Honda Classic preview

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By Michael Williams

Special to GolfWRX

The PGA Tour begins its Florida Swing with the 2012 Honda Classic at PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Defending Champion Rory Sabbatini will be joined in the field by past winners Camilo Villegas, Y.E. Yang, Mark Wilson and Justin Leonard. Six of the eight players who share the single-round record 64 (Padraig Harrington, Anthony Kim, Justin Rose, Stephen Ames, Mike Weir and Greaeme McDowell) will also bring positive memories to the 7,158 yard, par-70 layout. The stellar field also includes Tiger Woods for the first time in his storied career, along with major champions Rory McIlroy and Keegan Bradley competing for a $1 million first prize and 500 FedEx Cup points.

There have been plenty of fireworks on Tour so far, and the sparks flew early this week in the pre-tournament interviews. Woods had a testy exchange with Golfweek senior writer and Golf Channel contributor Alex Miceli, who asked Woods about a passage in Hank Haney’s new book about his time as Woods’ instructor. The terse words seemed to reflect the frustration that Woods has experienced in the young season, failing to close multiple opportunities to win with less than stellar performances on Sunday. Woods has especially been plagued by poor putting, missing more meaningful 5 –footers in the past month than he would miss in entire past seasons.

One of the keys to victory will be the ability to make the transition to the Bermuda grass that is prevalent in the courses in the Southeast United States.  That fact, in addition to learning greens that he is competing on for the first time, are obstacles facing Woods as he sets out to garner what would be his 72nd PGA title. For his part, Woods feels that he is close to a solution, estimating that the fix would take “a day.”

“I had to go back to putting in the reps, and I did,” Woods said. “I worked on just going back to my old basics with my dad, and some of the things that he taught me.”

McIlroy will also be seeking a bit of redemption, having been denied the World’s No. 1 ranking due to his loss to Hunter Mahan in the finals of the WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship last week. McIlroy didn’t have his most consistent week of golf but managed to put together bunches of birdies at the right times to oust his opponents. His most dominant moment came in his semi-final victory against Lee Westwood, where he birdied seven out of the last 10 holes. In his press conference, McIlroy discussed handling the pressure of being in the spotlight week after week in his quest to be No. 1.

“The friends that I have, have known me my whole life,” McIlroy said. “That’s what you need, someone who has a sense of humor [about you].”

McIlroy also put his own sense of humor on display, describing a chance meeting with three-time Honda Classic winner Jack Nicklaus, who was not wearing his glasses and couldn’t initially recognize McIlroy. Nicklaus has praised McIlroy as being “humble when he needs to be humble and confident when he needs to be confident.” McIlroy commented that, “It’s very nice to hear the kind words, but you still have to go out and play some good golf.”

Other players to watch in the field include Johnson Wagner, Mark Wilson and Kyle Stanley, all having already notched victories in the 2012 campaign.

Play will be televised by The Golf Channel on Thursday – Friday, with coverage moving to NBC for the weekend.

Check local listings for air times.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum

Michael Williams is the contributing editor of Newschannel8 Capital Golf Weekly and Bunkershot.com, as well as a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.

You can follow Michael on twitter — @Michaelontv

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Williams has a reputation as a savvy broadcaster, and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Williams has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world. He is currently working with a wide range of outlets in traditional and electronic media, and has produced and hosted “Sticks and Stones” on the Fox Radio network, a critically acclaimed show that combined coverage of the golf world with interviews of the Washington power elite. His work on Newschannel8’s “Capital Golf Weekly” and “SportsTalk” have established him as one of the area’s most trusted sources for golf reporting. Williams has also made numerous radio appearances on “The John Thompson Show,” and a host of other local productions. He is a sought-after speaker and panel moderator, he has recently launched a new partnership with The O Team to create original golf-themed programming and events. Williams is a member of the United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America.

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Aaron Wise’s Winning Outfit: 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson Invitational

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The 21-year-old Aaron Wise pulled off a three-shot victory at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson Invitational — his first win on Tour. If you want to see the clubs he used, click here.

In addition to our Winning WITB series, where we show the clubs, shafts and specs from the winning player every week, we will also highlight the apparel they wore in our all-new Winning Outfit series. This is the first edition, and we hope you enjoy!

GolfWRX’s Resident Fashion Expert Jordan Madley says:

“First off congrats to Aaron Wise on his first win on Tour, but even more on his outfit choice for the final round. From a lady’s perspective, if you train hard, show off the hard work! Aaron, a Nike athlete neck to toe, showed off his lean physique in a Nike Zonal Cool polo, their slim-fitting flex pant, a stretch woven belt and finished it off with Lunar Command 2 kicks. The dark tones meant he was ready for war on Sunday and it worked!”

GolfWRX’s non-fashion-expert (but occasional fashion designer) Editor Andrew Tursky says:

“Wise went pretty conservative for his Sunday outfit. He was probably a little nervous trying to get his first victory and didn’t want to be too loud. Don’t get too fancy when it’s winning time; a good lesson for the folks at home. That’s not to say this outfit wasn’t sharp, though. White hat and white shoes is a great look, especially paired with the grey shirt and black pants/belt. Hits of white on the shirt with the Nike Swooshes bring it all together. Solid look here.”

Aaron’s Winning Outfit

Hat: Callaway Tour Authentic

Polo:  Nike Zonal Cooling Polo Framing (unreleased)

Belt: Nike Stretch Woven

Pants: Nike Flex Pant Slim

Shoes: Nike Lunar Command 2 Boa

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10 interesting photos from Monday at the Fort Worth Invitational

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GolfWRX is on the ground at Marvin Leonard’s famed pet project, Colonial Country Club, peeking into players bags and taking in the action on the driving range.

In addition to a gallery of photos from Misery Hill, we have WITB looks at Chad Campbell, Sung Kang, and Si-Woo Kim’s golf bags.

While you’ll want to take a trip through the buffet line, we’ve made you a plate of some of the tastiest morsels.

Welcome to the silver side, Maverick McNealy.

Only appropriate for their to be Hogans at Colonial. J.J. Henry does the honors.

Colonial stalwart Keith Clearwater with an Acculock Ace putter in the bag.

Si-Woo Kim’s driver has an “under construction” aesthetic. Love it.

Abraham Ancer may have the only grafitti-inspired bag font on Tour.

Tidy stuff.

Sung Kang: Going dual drivers this week or testing Tensei Orange vs. Tensei White?

A.B.C. How about this new Odyssey putter cover?

Chad Campbell is still rocking the TaylorMade Burner TP 5-wood!

…and Adams Idea Black irons with a strip of lead tape. Swoon.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Monday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

 

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Monday’s Photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational at Colonial

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club (par 70; 7,209 yards). The event has now been hosted here for 73 straight years.

Headlining the field this week are Jordan Spieth, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Jon Rahm (No. 4), Justin Rose (No. 5) and Rickie Fowler (No. 6). Joining them are notables Webb Simpson, who’s coming off his win at The 2018 Players, as well as Wesley Bryan, Jason Dufner, Bryson DeChambeau, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Pat Perez, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker, and last week’s champion, Aaron Wise.

Last year, Kevin Kisner captured the second PGA Tour victory of his career after shooting a final-round, 4-under 66.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Monday’s Photos

Special Galleries

 

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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