- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Humana Challenge evolves for well-being
Question of the Day
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) - The perfect weather, mountain views and low scores remain. Little else at the Humana Challenge resembles the event’s glory days.
The old Bob Hope Classic was Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, T-bone steaks and late-night cocktails. The Humana Challenge - actually, the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation - is corporate executives, carrot sticks and early morning power walks.
“Let’s not forget that Bob Hope lived to be 100. He walked every day of his life,” tournament executive director and CEO Bob Marra said Wednesday.
“We take the health and well-being mission of the tournament very seriously. We have a Fortune 500 company, Humana, that is dedicated to this. That’s what they do. The Clinton Foundation, the same thing, a worldwide organization that helps people with a big focus on health and well-being. … We want to make this clearly the healthiest sports event in the world. You have to walk the walk when you say that.”
The tournament has done away with the celebrity portion of the pro-am field, though actor Craig T. Nelson, singer Michael Bolton, Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely and Golf Channel’s Holly Sonders are playing as “special guests.”
“We feel like it’s more important to have high-profile people - still celebrities in their own right - who are aligned with the tournament philosophy than to have a field of celebrities,” Marra said. “There aren’t many absolute, no-question A-list celebrities who play golf and play to a level where they don’t harm the tournament. A super-hot celebrity who is smacking the ball all over the place and causing a ruckus hurts.”
The pro-am players paid from $25,000 to $29,000 to play alongside the professionals for the first three days of the tournament, and six of them will advance to the final round. By eliminating the roughly 20 slots given to celebrities, the event cut expenses and generated more than $500,000.
“There was only so much you could do with celebrities,” Marra said. “It was a neat part of the past, but I like it better now.”
The regular field also is thin on star power, with Kapalua winner Zach Johnson the top-ranked player at No. 6. No. 14 Brandt Snedeker, No. 20 Webb Simpson and No. 22 Keegan Bradley are the only other top-30 players. Phil Mickelson, the headliner last year, is skipping the event to play in Abu Dhabi.
“This is one of my favorite events,” Snedeker said. “Obviously, the weather is perfect. The golf courses, I feel like, set up really well for me.”
Snedeker tied for 11th two weeks ago in the Tournament of Champions in his first start since injuring his left knee jumping off a Segway scooter in China in early November.
“Self-inflicted, stupidity injury,” Snedeker said. “Luckily, it was not very serious. It boiled down a deep bone bruise and a sprain in my ACL and is a hundred percent healed.”
Snedeker will begin play Thursday at La Quinta Country Club in a group with Rickie Fowler. Johnson is paired with Bradley. They also will open at La Quinta before shifting to PGA West for rounds at the Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer private courses.
Last year, Brian Gay won his fourth tour title, closing with a 9-under 63 and beating Charles Howell III on the second hole of a playoff. David Lingmerth was eliminated on the first extra hole.
The 43-year-old Gay is fighting neck pain.
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- ORTEL: Note to Janet Yellen: The American bubble is popping
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq