Daniel Ponders Retirement

By Associated PressJuly 7, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 BMO WomenNIAGRA FALLS, Ontario -- Beth Daniel has far greater concerns than defending her title at the Canadian Women's Open this week. Frustrated by her performance this year, the 47-year-old Hall of Famer is contemplating the possibility of retiring at the end of this season, her 26th as a professional.
'This year has just not been good at all,' Daniel said Wednesday. 'And it would be very, very easy for me to walk away from it at the end of this year if I continue playing this way.'
Daniel's comments came during a news conference attended by just four reporters, perhaps a sign of how far she's fallen.
The Canadian Open is scheduled to begin at the Legends on the Niagara course on Thursday.
While Daniel remains candid, this is not the same confident person that punched the air in victory following a final-hole birdie putt to win last year's Canadian Open at Vancouver, British Columbia, and, at 46, become the oldest woman to win an LPGA Tour event.
The win - the 33rd of her career - capped a strong season in which she had eight top-10 finishes.
But last year's success is a distant memory for Daniel, who has not finished better than a tie for 22nd in the 10 tournaments she's entered this season. And it's no fun being ranked 57th on the money list with just over $103,000.
'As long as I felt like I could really compete out there, I would stay,' Daniel said. 'But, you know, if I finish even 50th on the money list, then it's not worth it for me. You know, `I've had my career, give somebody else a chance.'
'I have a nice home in Florida. I have no problem staying at home and just enjoying things.'
Asked if this Canadian Open might be her last, Daniel said: 'I can't answer that.'
Smiling, she added, 'Who knows, maybe I'll win this year and I'll come back.'
Daniel is part of a patchwork field - minus top players such as Annika Sorenstam and Grace Park - that's vying for a share of the $1.3 million purse and taking on an unknown, 3-year-old course.
With its wide-open fairways and large, undulating greens that offer a wide array of challenging pin placements, Legends stresses accuracy on approach-shot and putting.
The field is led by U.S. Women's Open champion Meg Mallon and features only 11 of the top 20 players on the season's money list.
Other notables competing include Cristie Kerr, Se Ri Pak, Lorena Ochoa, and Paula Creamer, who finished tied with Michelle Wie as the low amateur at the Women's Open.
Then there's Aree and Naree Song, the 18-year-old Thai-born twin sisters, who are competing together in an LPGA event for only the second time after participating in the Sybase Classic in May. Aree is a tour rookie, who ranks 20th on the money list, while Naree is a member of the Futures Tour.
There's also a 19-member Canadian contingent, led by Lorie Kane, that's attempting to end a 31-year drought since the last Canadian - Jocelyne Bourassa - won the event in its first year.
Daniel's concerns about her game come at a time when there appears to be a resurgence among the tour's more experienced players, and follows Mallon's impressive victory last weekend.
The 41-year-old Mallon discounted questions about age being an issue.
'The golf course does not know my age,' she said. 'I don't know what 41 feels like because it doesn't feel any different than when I was 28, except that I have an awful lot of history behind me.'
Daniel said she's already broached the subject of retirement to some former players, such as Donna Caponi and Judy Rankin.
'I asked them, 'When did you know?' And for every one of them it's different,' Daniel said. 'I think it will be different for me, too. I'm not really the retiring type. Just one day, I'll probably walk away and that will be it.'
Related Links:
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    Langer not playing to pass Irwin, but he just might

    By Tim RosaforteJanuary 16, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Bernhard Langer goes back out on tour this week to chase down more than Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions record of 45 career victories. His chase is against himself.

    “I’m not playing to beat Hale Irwin’s record,” Langer told me before heading to Hawaii to defend his title at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. “I play golf to play the best I can, to be a good role model, and to enjoy a few more years that are left.”

    Langer turned 60 on Aug. 27 and was presented a massage chair by his family as a birthday gift. Instead of reclining (which he does to watch golf and football), he won three more times to close out a seven-win campaign that included three major championships. A year prior, coming off a four-victory season, Langer told me after winning his fourth Charles Schwab Cup that surpassing Irwin’s record was possible but not probable. With 36 career victories and 11 in his last two years, he has changed his tone to making up the nine-tournament difference as “probable.”

    “If I could continue a few more years on that ratio, I could get close or pass him,” Langer told me from his home in Boca Raton, Fla. “It will get harder. I’m 60 now. It’s a big challenge but I don’t shy away from challenges.”

    Bernhard Langer, Hale Irwin at the 1991 Ryder Cup (Getty Images)

    Langer spent his off-season playing the PNC Father/Son, taking his family on a ski vacation at Big Sky in Yellowstone, Montana, and to New York for New Year’s. He ranks himself as a scratch skier, having skied since he was four years old in Germany. The risk of injury is worth it, considering how much he loves “the scenery, the gravity and the speed.”

    Since returning from New York, Langer has immersed himself into preparing for the 2018 season. Swing coach Willy Hoffman, who he has worked with since his boyhood days as an as assistant pro in Germany, flew to Florida for their 43rd year of training.

    “He’s a straight shooter,” Hoffman told me. “He says, 'Willy, every hour is an hour off my life and we have 24 hours every day.'"

    As for Irwin, they have maintained a respectful relationship that goes back to their deciding singles match in the 1991 Ryder Cup. Last year they were brought back to Kiawah Island for a corporate appearance where they reminisced and shared the thought that nobody should ever have to bear what Langer went through, missing a 6-footer on the 18th green. That was 27 years ago. Both are in the Hall of Fame.

    "I enjoy hanging out with Hale," Langer says.

    Langer’s chase of Irwin’s record is not going to change their legacies. As Hoffman pointed out, “Yes, (Bernhard) is a rich man compared to his younger days. He had no money, no nothing. But today you don’t feel a difference when you talk to him. He’s always on the ground.”

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    McIlroy: Ryder Cup won't be as easy as USA thinks

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 1:18 pm

    The Americans have won their past two international team competitions by a combined score of 38-22, but Rory McIlroy isn’t expecting another pushover at the Ryder Cup in September.

    McIlroy admitted that the U.S. team will be strong, and that its core of young players (including Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler) will be a force for the next decade. But he told reporters Tuesday at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship that course setup will play a significant role.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said, referring to the Americans’ 17-11 victory in 2016. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    At every Ryder Cup, the home team has the final say on course setup. Justin Rose was the most outspoken about the setup at Hazeltine, saying afterward that it was “incredibly weak” and had a “pro-am feel.” 

    And so this year’s French Open figures to be a popular stop for European Tour players – it’s being held once again at Le Golf National, site of the matches in September. Tommy Fleetwood won last year’s event at 12 under.

    “I’m confident,” McIlroy said. “Everything being all well and good, I’ll be on that team and I feel like we’ll have a really good chance.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that. The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.” 

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    Floodlights may be used at Dubai Desert Classic

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 16, 2018, 12:44 pm

    No round at next week’s Dubai Desert Classic will be suspended because of darkness.

    Tournament officials have installed state-of-the-art floodlighting around the ninth and 18th greens to ensure that all 132 players can finish their round.

    With the event being moved up a week in the schedule, the European Tour was initially concerned about the amount of daylight and trimmed the field to 126 players. Playing under the lights fixed that dilemma.

    “This is a wonderful idea and fits perfectly with our desire to bring innovation to our sport,” European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said. “No professional golfer ever wants to come back the following morning to complete a round due to lack of daylight, and this intervention, should it be required, will rule out that necessity.”

    Next week’s headliners include Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson. 

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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.