Phoenix Open notes: Leather the fashion choice in battling cold - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Phoenix Open notes: Leather the fashion choice in battling cold

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Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 6:45 pm

It was all about the leather for many of those who attended Thursday's first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Whether it was gloves, boots or jackets, leather was one of the most common insulators for those folks who endured one of the coldest days in tournament history.

Of course there was plenty of individuality as well with one man even sporting flip-flops as he walked the TPC of Scottsdale grounds.

Play began at 11:40 a.m. on Thursday after four hours of delay. The temperature when play began was 39 degrees.

"It was freezing out there," Chris Couch said. "Nose was running the whole time. I tell you, if I was in the crowd I'd be drinking more because of this weather, but that's just me."

This weather is nothing compared to what Tom Lehman played in while living in Minnesota. He remembers a high school player who broke his hand playing golf and it was so cold he couldn't tell anything was wrong until he thawed out while warming up indoors after the round.

Bubba needs a break

Last week is taking its toll on Bubba Watson. The long-hitting lefty won his second career tournament at last week's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. The grind got to him. So has this week's weather and constant delays. Watson opened the tournament with a 1-under-par 70.

"I just don't feel good," Watson said. "I need a rest."

That doesn't mean Watson is ready to bail on this week's tournament.

All he says he needs is a good night's rest.

The 16th hole

The skyboxes surrounding the par 3, 16th hole were jam packed on Thursday. The bleacher seating, however, was not.

Plenty of seating was available for the loudest hole in golf.

They even got under the skin of Alex Prugh who, after missing a short putt for bogey, heard something he didn't like coming from one of the skyboxes. After shooting a dirty look up to those in the box, Prugh made his putt for double bogey.

Super Bowl representation

It is still early, but observations say it is clearly a Pittsburgh Steelers crowd in attendance rather than a Green Bay Packers. Steeler gear was much more prevalent than Packers gear.


Players dealt with the cold-weather delays in different ways on Thursday. Chris Couch stayed warm in the locker room and exercised his mind with crossword puzzles.

"I kept myself busy," Couch said.

Couch stayed focused the entire day and finished his round at 5-under-par 66.


Of the four co-leaders midway through the first round, Tom Lehman stands out because of his age. At 51-years-old, he spends most of his playing days in the Champions Tour. It is where, in his first start of the year in Hawaii, Lehman finished second.

Playing on a sponsor's exemption, Lehman is one of five Champions Tour players in the field with Fred Funk, Kenny Perry, Fred Couples and Mark Calcavecchia.

Friday's late start

Play has been pushed back to a scheduled start of 9:30 a.m. on Friday due to Frost on the golf course. Only half the field was able to complete Thursday's first round.

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