There is understandable anticipation for the Masters this week, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves because the first major of the season will be played a week ahead of the proceedings at Augusta National with the ANA Inspiration set to get underway Thursday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. It isn’t unrealistic to think that some fireworks could be set off by Brooke Henderson, who has five consecutive LPGA Tour top 10s, six if you count a Ladies European Tour event, including her T10 at the just-concluded KIA Classic, topped off nicely by a final round, six-under 66. Henderson tied for 26th, not bad for a 16-year-old amateur at the time, at what was the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, the predecessor to the ANA Inspiration, and went on to tie for 10th at the U.S. Women’s Open that year. Henderson didn’t play the ANA last year as she chased tour membership, which she received after her win in Portland in August, but she did have T5 finishes at the U.S. Women’s Open and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, both majors … Henderson, by the way, went up one in the world rankings to seventh place in 30 events as of this week … Henderson is also second among LPGA players with five in six starts, but In Gee Chun, the leader, has only played two events … Martha Burk has gone away since Augusta opened its doors slightly to female members, but women wouldn’t be out of line for requesting that we specify when we make general statements such as the Masters being the first major of the season rather than the ANA Inspiration. For years, Mike Weir was referred to as the first Canadian to win a major after he took the 2003 Masters. The first Canadian major winner was Sandra Post, who won the 1968 LPGA Championship … Post won the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle, another predecessor of the ANA, in 1978-79. It became a major in 1983 … While the Masters champ gets a green jacket, the winner of the ANA gets a white robe after the traditional dip in greenside Poppie’s Pond on the 18th hole … Henderson will be joined in the field this week by Hamilton’s Alena Sharp … Tributes to the late Larry Ungerman continue after his passing on Sunday, including this one from Canadian Junior Golf Association co-founder Earl Fritz and these thoughts from Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Lorne Rubenstein. You can leave a message for the family here … I spent nearly 15 years as golf columnist for Sun Media and my column appeared across the country in dailies in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and countless other newspapers within the chain, but I reported to 333 King St. East, the home of the Toronto Sun for 41 years until last weekend when it moved uptown to the offices of Postmedia, which purchased Sun Media’s English language properties last year. Although I didn’t work day to day on King St., there will always be fond memories of a place once surrounded by parking lots since replaced by condos and names such as Jim “Shaky” Hunt and Rick Fraser – both covered golf and have since left us – and Scott Morrison, known better in hockey circles, but a follower/player of golf and the sports editor who hired me. Melancholy is how I feel about the move, even though I’m sure the feelings are much stronger for those who worked there day to day despite the happy face stamped on it by Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey.“There will be great opportunities for Sun Media and Postmedia to work together, to plan stories together, and to ultimately work as a team,” said Godfrey, using pointless positive spin. Call it what it is, that being cost cutting and another example of the sorry state of media … Graham DeLaet, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Nick Taylor and Mike Weir are in the field for this week’s Shell Houston Open in Humble, Tx., the last stop before all eyes turn to the Masters where Weir is the only Canadian scheduled to play as of today … The Web .com resumes this week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Canadians Albin Choi, Brad Fritsch, Mackenzie Hughes, Taylor Pendrith, Ben Silverman, Roger Sloan, Adam Svensson and Ryan Yip will tee it up at the Brasil Champions. Eugene Wong of North Vancouver is an alternate … Rod Spittle is the only Canadian in Biloxi to play the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic on the Champions Tour … As time goes on, the outsourcing of PGA tournaments in Canada may become a common practice, if last week’s poll is any indication. About two-thirds, or 66 per cent of respondents, expect that to be the case, but 34 per cent said no … This week’s poll asks readers how they’re feeling about how they’re feeling about their financial security these days and 52 per cent say they’re concerned, while 17 per cent add that they’re downright scared. On the positive side 31 per cent said they’re feeling confident about their finances. You can cast your vote on the GNN home page.
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