British Am Champ Honoring Va Tech

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Drew Weaver was standing around in his socks, waiting to get his spikes repaired at the hotel that looms over Carnoustie's 18th hole, when Zach Johnson came strolling by.
 
'How was your day?' the Masters champion asked.
 
'It was great,' Weaver replied, breaking into a wide-eyed grin.
 
The smile only got bigger when Weaver's dad stepped forward with the next day's practice arrangements: Two more major champions, Davis Love III and Justin Leonard, had signed up to play with 20-year-old Drew in their last tuneup for the British Open.
 
'That's awesome,' the youngster said, a tinge of disbelief in his voice.
 
Strange how life works out.
 
Three months ago, Weaver was strolling away from a managerial accounting class at Virginia Tech when he noticed a horde of police officers gathered at the building next door. One of them darted toward Weaver with a look of panic, telling him to run away as quickly as possible.
 
At first, Weaver reacted with the expected nonchalance of a college student with the world at his feet. He headed the other way with his roommate, but there was no real sense of urgency in their steps. Then came that awful sound from inside Norris Hall.
 
Pop. Pop. Pop.
 
Pop. Pop. Pop.
 
Weaver fled across a field and took cover at the university library, wondering what in the world was going on. Then came the awful news: 32 people had been gunned down by a deranged student, who then took his own life.
 
It would go down as the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Weaver had a class scheduled in the very same building, at the very same time, the very next day.
 
Flash ahead to Thursday. Weaver will tee off in one of golf's premiere events, a college junior-to-be who earned his treasured spot in the field just 3 1/2 weeks ago by becoming the first American since 1979 to win the British Amateur title.
 
'It's something I'm really proud to be able to do,' Weaver said. 'I'm able to represent my country and my university overseas in such a great setting for golf. There's so much history over here. It really means a lot.'
 
More than one could ever imagine, unless you happened to be a college student who saw a madman turn his campus into a killing ground. Weaver is playing the Open with a bag carried by his father and adorned in those distinctive Hokie colors, maroon and burnt orange -- a poignant reminder that life does indeed go on, even if it's never going to be quite the same.
 
'It was one of those experiences,' Weaver said, 'that will stick with me forever.'
 
He still gets choked up, his eyes filling with potential tears, every time he talks about that awful day. But his father notices a new resolve in his only child, a previously untapped reservoir of strength that might just carry this youngster to even greater heights than were already expected.
 
Weaver has always been a fierce competitor and brilliant student, making nothing but A's until he got to college. When it became apparent his perfect mark would end at Virginia Tech, he sulked home to prepare his parents.
 
'He basically asked us permission to make a B,' his father, John Weaver, recalled, shaking his head at the thought of someone so young being so driven to succeed. 'He was like, 'Oh, I can't believe this, blah, blah, blah.' I had to say, 'But son, it's OK. It's a B. That's still good.''
 
The father wondered how the shooting would affect Drew, even though he didn't know any of the victims. Would his motivation waver? Would bitterness set in? Would be start searching for some deeper meaning to life?
 
'I still think it's deep inside of him,' John Weaver said. 'But I don't think it's eating him up. In a way, it's kind of a neat thing. I think he's turning it into a positive energy. He's lucky. He has some golf ability ... and he's used some of this to fuel his drive.'
 
After playing poorly in the early spring, Weaver suddenly turned things around. Just days after the shootings, he returned to the course to help the Hokies pull off a huge upset in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, where they shared the championship with heavily favored Georgia Tech.
 
Everyone on the Hokies team played over their heads that final day, teaming up to shoot 8 under on the back nine. Weaver did his part, sinking a 35-foot putt at the last hole, then joined his teammates for an emotional trophy presentation.
 
'It was really a special weekend,' he remembered. 'We had so many people pulling for us. We just went down there and had an incredible performance.'
 
The seasons changed, but Weaver didn't let up. After being turned down by a couple of major amateur tournaments in his own country, he was accepted into the British Amateur. He figured it would be a good experience, a chance to play true links golf for the first time in his life.
 
He never expected to become the first American to reach the final since 1983. He never expected to be the first to win it all since Jay Sigel in 1979.
 
'It's my style of golf,' Weaver said. 'I think a lot about different shots. The creativity demanded over here by these golf courses was something that just elevated my game. I don't normally hit shots that I can hit over here. There's so many different shots I have to figure out or maybe even try for the first time.
 
'It's really neat.'
 
And it's really neat to play with some of the game's most recognized pros. On Tuesday, Weaver joined Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry for a practice round, listening intently as the two PGA Tour regulars passed along some of their secrets. How to play different shots. How to prepare. How to avoid getting burned out on a game that requires countless hours of practice beyond the public eye.
 
'This is something he'll remember forever, he and his dad out here together,' Henry said. 'I call him the Dream Weaver.'
 
As the threesome strolled up to the 16th green, Cink blurted out, 'Did you ever hear what happened to Tom Weiskopf at Loch Lomond?'
 
Nope, Weaver replied. Well, here goes: While designing the course -- which Weaver played last weekend, missing the cut in the Scottish Open -- Weiskopf slipped into a quicksand bog. He was soon trapped up to his chest but managed to escape the scary predicament with help from a tree root.
 
'That was a pretty crazy story,' Weaver said.
 
He out-drove both pros on the final hole, finding a safe spot between the meandering Barry Burn, then wandered over to the ropes to sign a few autographs.
 
'You're making it look too easy,' one fan commented through a thick Scottish brogue. 'Keep it up.'
 
Weaver smiled again and said thanks. Then he kept going, a youngster who knows how good life can be when you've seen it at its worst.
 
'It's definitely changed the way I think about things. It's only so bad when you hit a bad shot or have a bad round,' he said. 'It's not the end of the world.'
 
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    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

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    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

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    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


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    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

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    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

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    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

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    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

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    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

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    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

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    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

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    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: