Notebook: Watney hooked on surfing, can't wait to catch his next wave

nick watney
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Nick Watney plans to head out the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii early just so he can get in some surfing.
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | 11:43 p.m.

Nick Watney has no plans to leave Las Vegas for the North Shore, but one venture into some rather tiny waves was all it took for him to get hooked on surfing.

Watney was at The Players Championship in May when he tried surfing with his caddie, Chad Reynolds, and Adam Scott. Reynolds lives in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

"I caught about 10 waves," Watney said, as proud of himself as if he had just won a tournament. "It could have been they were just being nice to me, but they said I did good for my first time."

In October, his wife bought him a surfboard for their first anniversary. Watney still had a flyer of the surfboard in his bag at the Australian Open. The name of the board: The Dominator.

Watney can't wait for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. He plans to go out to Hawaii early and catch some waves, although he hasn't lost his common sense. He'll start small and work his way up.

"It's not like I'm going to the Pipeline or anything," he said.

ASHES TO AUGUSTA: Jason Day said he plans to speak to officials at Augusta National about spreading some of his father's ashes over the home of the Masters. Alvyn Day, who gave Jason his start in golf, died of cancer when Day was 12, and one of his final requests was that his son spread some of his ashes at Augusta National if Day were to ever play there.

The 24-year-old Day tied for second this year in his debut at the Masters, but he was not able to consider his father's request because the ashes were at his mother's home in Brisbane.

"It's a plan but obviously if I don't get clearance from Augusta, I am not going to do it," Day said last week at the Australian PGA Championship. "That was one of my dad's wishes and if I was allowed to do it, that would be great. Obviously, I know how the rules are at Augusta, it would be probably very unlikely, but we will see how it goes."

RYDER CUP MEMORIES: It didn't take long for Jose Maria Olazabal to get a taste of the Ryder Cup nerves, or what to expect from Seve Ballesteros as his partner.

Olazabal, the European captain for 2012 matches, recalls his first Ryder Cup in 1987 at Muirfield Village and "pretty much shaking like a leaf" on the putting green.

"Seve approached me and said, `Jose, you just play your game, I will take of the rest.' And you know," Olazabal said, "that somehow calmed me down a little bit."

It took only one day for him to understand what Ballesteros meant.

Olazabal said they were playing a fourballs match against Curtis Strange and Tom Kite. On the opening hole, Olazabal hit to the middle of the green, while Ballesteros went at the back left flag and missed the green. Olazabal ran his putt about 4 feet by the hole. Ballesteros asked Olazabal to putt first to get par, freeing him up for an aggressive chip.

"So I'm looking at the line and Curtis approached me and said, `Ollie, by the way I think you better not putt that one,'" Olazabal said.

Strange said Olazabal would be standing in his line if Strange were to knock his putt by the hole, so the Spanish rookie turned to Ballesteros and explained the situation. Ballesteros handled the situation as Ballesteros always seemed to do.

"He looked at me and said, `Don't you worry, I'm going to make it anyway,'" Olazabal did. "He chipped it in."

DIVOTS: The McGladrey Classic has signed a three-year extension as title sponsor of the Fall Series event at Sea Island. McGladrey has signed on through 2015. ... The LPGA Tour’s season-ending Titleholders Championship will move to TwinEagles Club in Naples, Fla., next year and be played Nov. 15-18, the week after the PGA Tour's official season ends at Disney. TwinEagles also holds the ACE Classic on the Champions Tour. ... Ginger Howard, a 17-year-old who reached the final stage of Q-School, is trying to become only the fourth black player on the LPGA Tour. She has signed a management contract with IMG. ... Bo Van Pelt and Gary Woodland were added to the field at the Chevron World Challenge, replacing David Toms (fatigue) and Dustin Johnson (knee surgery).

STAT OF THE WEEK: By the end of the year, Luke Donald will have held the No. 1 ranking for the longest stretch of any player besides Tiger Woods since 1995.

FINAL WORD: "The better you play, the less offseason you have." -- Bill Haas, the FedExCup champion who got into a World Golf Championship in China, the Presidents Cup and the Chevron World Challenge.