WHAT: 108-yard sand wedge to eight feet to set up a birdie
WHERE: 397-yard par-4 15th hole at Pebble Beach
WHEN: Final round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Oberholser proved that you don't have to be a monster blaster to dominate.Despite a piddling 259.9-yard driving average (64th best), he won by fivestrokes because he played within himself. During a shaky final nine hemaintained his rhythm and preshot routine, which helped him overcome a poordrive at 15 with a gorgeous wedge. Oberholser's cool mien is ideal for U.SOpens: He tied for ninth last year and will contend at Winged Foot in June.
Put Feet Together For Better Balance
Maintaining goodbalance from start to finish is essential for a smooth swing like Oberholser's.To improve balance, stand with your feet together and, with a mid-iron andteed-up balls, hit full shots. Be sure to hold your finish until the ball hitsthe ground, and check that your feet are still together. If you fall offbalance, you're probably muscling the ball.
Steve Bosdosh, aGolf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, works at the Members Club at Four Streams inBeallsville, Md.
... AND ANOTHERTHING
"Tour playersare selfish and don't respect tournament sponsors. Milwaukee and John Deeregave Tiger Woods two of his first exemptions as a pro, but he has neverreturned to those events."
BACK AND BETTERThis season has the potential to be the LPGA's most exciting ever. AnnikaSorenstam, 35, (left) continues her assault on the record books (66 wins in 12seasons). Young guns Paula Creamer, Christina Kim and Lorena Ochoa have figuredout that winning is very cool. Veterans such as Cristie Kerr and Juli Inksteraren't ready to concede. And the rookies, including Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazatoand Julieta Granada are good-looking, fearless, hungry and may be the bestclass ever.
This could also bea breakout year for Natalie Gulbis. She got a taste of victory at the SolheimCup, has a new management team and has put her reality series behind her.Putting has been an issue, but if she's merely decent on the greens, she'llwin. And I look for Creamer to take a major. The Kraft Nabisco (March 30--April2) offers her the best chance because she drives the ball very well and won'tbe fighting the fatigue of those later-season corporate responsibilities.
My sleeper pick isLouise Stahle (right) of Sweden. Last year's college player of the year, she'sa two-time Ladies British Open Amateur champion who tied for eighth at the '05Women's British Open. She's under the radar now but won't be for long.
BITING THE HANDMichelle Wie (right) has entered the new LPGA event on Oahu, the Fields Open,next week but not the season-opening SBS Open, also on Oahu. Michelle's father,B.J., said it would be "awkward for [Michelle and me]" not to supportthe Fields Open. Let's see: Michelle is a Hawaii resident, SBS gave her asponsor's exemption in '05, and SBS has ties to the PGA Tour's Sony Open, whereshe's received three exemptions. Skipping the SBS may not be awkward, but itdoes show poor decision-making and lack of appreciation.
DICK HARMON Golflost a great man last Friday when Dick Harmon (below), the son of 1948 Masterschampion Claude Harmon and brother to PGA pros Butch, Billy and Craig, diedunexpectedly at 58 at Eisenhower Medical Center near Palm Springs, Calif., dueto complications from pneumonia. A devoted family man, Dick was a phenomenalteacher who embodied everything that is great about the sport.
Will Tiger Woodswin the Nissan Open to go 3 for 3 in 2006?
"At Riviera,with its hard, small greens and wicked pin positions, you can't play out of therough and win."
--T.J. TOMASINANTUCKET GOLF CLUB
DAVID WALBERG (PEPPER); DARREN CARROLL (SORENSTAM); BOB MARTIN (STAHLE); FRED VUICH (WIE); PAM FRANCIS (HARMON); COURTESY OF CBS (OBERHOLSER); ERICK W. RASCO (BOSDOSH, 2); JIM GUND (BACKGROUND)
ROBERT BECK (WOODS)