Step 1: Call your shot. Step 2: Drain it. (Geoff Shackelford)

Hunter Mahan says the Byron Nelson Championship is too easy for him (Devil Ball)

Inside the field at the Byron Nelson (PGA Tour)

A look at TPC Four Seasons in Irving, TX (PGA Tour)

Power Rankings, the Byron Nelson edition (PGA Tour)

My boy Fred Couples had some lesions removed (PGA Tour)

For the first time in 14 years, Tiger is out of the top 10 in the WGR (Golf)

Some rumors to help pass your Tuesday (Golf)

10 rules to hit more greens (Golf Digest)

For Ill… 2011 Hot List: Hybrids (Golf Digest)

Sergio Garcia’s current streak of 47 straight major appearances looks like it will end at the British Open (Wei Under Par)

Europe’s best players honor Seve (Wei Under Par)

Jose Maria Olazabal offers his thoughts on Seve (BBC)

Tiger drops to 12th and Ryo jumps to 49th in the WGR (Devil Ball)

Golf and politics (Geoff Shackelford)

How to play golf Pt. 5 (Golf Digest)

Here is your score update for our national championship, as we head into the third round:

Leaders:

  • Greame McDowell -3
  • Phil Mickelson -1
  • Ernie Els -1
  • Ryo Ishikawa -1
  • Dustin Johson -1
  • Jerry Kelly E
  • Paul Casey E
  • Brandon de Jonge E
  • Alex Cejka E
  • K.J. Choi +1

As for the Tuna Golf staff picks:

  • Phil Mickelson -1
  • Lee Westwood +3
  • Tiger Woods +4
  • Nick Watney +5
  • Zach Johnson +7
  • Tom Watson +8

On another note, the course seems extremely fair this year, and it looks like we’re now firmly in the era of the kinder, gentler U.S. Open.  Except, of course, for the green complex at number 14.  It’s been a bloodbath there so far this week.  Paul Casey, Kenny Kim, Ian Poulter, and Y.E. Yang all carded an 8 there, while Zach Johnson posted a 9.  Absolutely brutal.

Eventful day at Pebble as conditions were firm and very fast and scoring wasn’t exactly easy.

Lets start with the headliners…Tiger struck the ball beautifully today but failed to capitalize on his scoring opportunities thanks to a balky putter and some uncharacteristic miscues with the wedges.  As for Phil?  It was classic Lefty with a bunch of stupid mistakes and loose play that doesn’t exactly bode well for the coming days.  Still, sitting at +3 and +4 respectively, they’re not out of it by a longshot.

Who was impressive today?  Three guys stood out…Brandon de Jonge, Shaun Micheel and Ryo Ishikawa.  de Jonge and Micheel sit atop the leaderboard after the first round along with the steady Paul Casey and were the sources of two of the sparse highlights.  On 14, de Jonge holed out from the fairway with a sick spinner and Micheel had a couple of excellent wedges after playing a fantastically sound strategic game.

Ryo is one of the most impressive young players in a studded crop, standing out with Rickie Fowler, AK and Rory as the kids with the serious game to capture the serious hardware, and I have a feeling this might just be his “hello world” weekend.  Just spectacular ballstriking all afternoon long from the 18 year old kid who carries a deuce in the era of hybrids and jacked up fairway woods and just has this beautiful motion through the hitting area.  It’s easy to dismiss this kid who’s dominated in Japan, but the minute you watch him strike his irons, you realize this kid has some SERIOUS game, regardless if he looks like Hello Kitty out there.

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hanikami As you no doubt have seen and heard this week, an extremely talented 17 year old is playing his PGA tour debut at The Northern Trust Open. Ryo Ishikawa is a teen golf phenom from Japan who has just begun his second stretch of golf in the States. He  played here in 2007 in the Junior World Championship where he finished 23rd. So in honor of this superb young talent I’m going to throw around some interesting facts you might not know thanks to the wonderful PGATOUR.com.

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So there were a ton of clips of this kid on YouTube, but so many of the titles were written in Japanese I just didn’t even bother. Maybe when I get bored at work I’ll adventure.

The Northern Trust Open will be played this weekend at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Pallisades, CA, and one of my favorite video game courses play at a par 71 and 7298 yards.  With a purse of $6,300,000 with the winner will taking home a smooth $1,134,00, and with that kind of coin on the line you’re going to have a nice field.

Last year Phil Mickelson took home the top prize, finishing with a score of -12. His second round -7/64 was the low round of the tournament. Schneid’s recent man crush, Paddy Harrington, finished tied with Luke Donald at -7. K.J. Choi, Steve Stricker, J.B. Holmes and Stuart Appleby also earned  top 10 money by finishing T7/-5. I can definitely see the top scores staying in the same general range (-10 to -12 for the winner) as last year with the usual big names making some noise. This year we will get to see the Japanese prodigy Ryo Ishikawa make his PGA Tour debut. This kid is only 17 and he is the youngest player ever to enter the top 100 Official World Golf Rankings. Some of this year’s other notables: Jim Furyk, Mike Weir, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, and Retief Goosen.

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