PHOENIX, Arizona, January 30. MICHAEL Phelps and Masters golf champion Bubba Watson teed off earlier today in the Annexus Pro-Am golf tournament here in Phoenix, and our correspondent Tiffany Elias is on the course following the two through all 18 holes. As we taped this show, Phelps was getting through the eighth hole, and shooting well. During the downtime, Phelps took the time to sign some autographs, including a Phoenix Swim Club cap handed to him by a fan. This is the first time Swimming World has covered a golf tournament, but when Phelps is involved, we're happy to do it. You can track how Phelps is doing by going to swimmingworld.com.
Back to swimming news, New Zealand will get some help from renowned coach Bill Sweetenham, who will be working as interim high performance director there for a month. The country's previous high performance director, Mark Regan, resigned a couple of weeks ago, and while the swimming federation searches for a full-time replacement for Regan, Sweetenham will step in. Sweetenham worked as Australia's national youth coach from 1995 to 2000, ushering such swimmers as Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett to the elite international scene. After that, he worked as national team director, bringing that country back into the international swimming spotlight. We'll see how one month with the Kiwis will shape their performance in 2013 and beyond.
Earlier today Down Under at the Australian Open tennis tournament, Sloane Stephens lost in the semifinals to number one seed Victoria Azarenka after defeating Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. Stephens, the 29th seed in the tournament, has been doing well in the tennis scene lately, and it turns out she has a swimming connection. Her mother, Sybil Smith, was a standout swimmer for Boston University in the late 1980s. According to Boston University, Smith was the first black female swimmer to earn NCAA Division I All-America status, doing so in 1988. Stephens' father, John, was a pro football player for six seasons from 1988 to 1993, and died in a car accident in 2009.