Begay will be honored April 4 at the GWAA’s annual awards dinner in Augusta, Ga.
MICKELSON AT TORREY: Phil Mickelson might get a chance to redo Torrey Pines _ the North Course, anyway.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday that Mickelson has offered to waive his design fee if given a chance to refurbish the North Course. The newspaper said he met with Mayor Jerry Sanders during the Farmers Insurance Open last week and is putting together a preliminary proposal on how to renovate the 55-year-old course.
The South Course is the more famous of the two and hosted the 2008 U.S. Open. Rees Jones beefed up the South before the Open, and Mickelson _ no fan of Jones’ work _ has been among the loudest critics.
Lefty is a three-time winner at Torrey, all before the South was redone.
The North Course is about 600 yards shorter and played three shots easier during the tournament last week. But the views are just as stunning, particularly the par-3 sixth that drops straight down with the Pacific as a backdrop.
Mickelson’s first full design was at Whisper Rock in Scottsdale, Ariz.
EYE ON ELS: Ernie Els has gone to a belly putter to see if he can improve on the greens. He also went to an eye doctor.
Els, who ranked No. 181 in putting last year on the PGA Tour, has consulted with Sherylle Calder, an eye specialist who also works with the Springboks, All Blacks and England rugby teams to help with hand-eye coordination, concentration and other visual performance aids.
“We’ve been working on some good stuff to do with my eyes, and I can see a lot of positives for me at the moment,” Els wrote on his website. “To use a cliche, she has literally opened my eyes about putting again, and it has helped bring back good memories of what I used to do when I was one of the best putters in the world in the 1990s and early 2000s.
“If my putting properly comes around, I can start winning golf tournaments again.”
Els is at No. 59 in the world and has to crack the top 50 after Bay Hill toward the end of March to secure a spot in the Masters. The first step is to stay among the top 65 for two more weeks and get into the Match Play Championship.