Cosmonaut Drives Ball into Space

By Associated PressNovember 22, 2006, 5:00 pm
WASHINGTON -- Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin was late for his tee time in space Wednesday, but he still managed to launch a super-lightweight golf ball into orbit -- even if he shanked his shot.
Tyurin hit the golf ball 77 minutes behind schedule after delays to fix an overheating spacesuit and a stuck exterior hatch.
Using a gold-plated 6-iron and an American astronaut in the role of caddie and safety holder, Tyurin hit the drive from a spring-like tee outside the international space station, 220 miles over the northwest Pacific Ocean. The shot, which veered a little to the right, kicked off a planned six-hour spacewalk.
'I can see it as a little dot moving away from us,' Tyurin said.
But just how far did that baby go?
As in any golf story, it depends on who you talk to.
That drive went a billion miles -- or will by the time it eventually comes down in a couple years -- said Nataliya Hearn, the president of Element 21 Golf Company. The Toronto firm is paying the cash-starved Russian space agency an undisclosed amount for the golf stunt to promote its new golf club that includes a space-program-derived metal.
That's a huge exaggeration, according to NASA's lead spacewalk flight director, Holly Ridings. She said NASA's calculations are that golf balls would only stay up two to three days, which would put the drive closer to a mere million miles.
Just how far the golf ball travels won't be known until the ball burns up and enters Earth's atmosphere. The ball weighs 3 grams, only about 1/15th the weight of a normal golf ball. It weighs less to minimize any damage should it actually strike something.
Like many golfers, Tyurin spent several minutes trying to get comfortable addressing the ball, but unlike his Earth-bound counterparts, at times he was upside down. He was tethered to the space station and had astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria holding on to him.
With Moscow Mission Control deliberating on how to position the ball on the tee, Tyurin, a veteran spacewalker but rookie golfer who was already more than an hour late, was cranky about the advice.
'The ball is the least of our concerns,' Tyurin said. 'It's me that is supposed to be positioned properly.'
NASA spacewalk commentator Rob Navias, who was not broadcasting in golf's traditional hushed tones, noted that Tyurin's shot sliced to the right. An agitated Tyurin opted not to take a planned second or third shot.
For a few tense minutes it looked like Tyurin might miss his tee time and spacewalk entirely when his space suit overheated and the bulky hatch door got stuck.
Tyurin told flight controllers in Moscow that his spacesuit was too hot, probably because of an excessively kinked cooling hose. Eventually, the suit started cooling, Tyurin got back in, and the tee time was a go.
After Tyurin's golf shot, Tyurin and Lopez-Alegria were slated to install science experiments, retract a stuck antenna on an attached cargo ship, and check out some bolts.
Tyurin's shot was not the first in space. Astronaut Alan Shepard took a swing on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.