Davies Missing Major
She takes her golf all over the globe like Gary Player and Ernie Els, winning every year on some continent since her first full season as a pro in 1985. Last year alone, Davies won in Europe, Japan, Australia and the United States.
She hammers the ball like John Daly.
The statistics don't bear that out, because Davies has a bit of 'Wild Thing' in her and usually hits irons off the tee to keep the ball in play. Still, only a limited number of players could reach the par-5 10th hole in two shots at Pine Needles last year in the U.S. Women's Open. Davies got home with a 1-iron and a 3-iron.
She practices about as much as Bruce Lietzke, spending her time away from golf working in her vegetable garden at home in England, where she has a soccer field in the backyard and often invites friends over for a game.
At the Kraft Nabisco Championship this week, she'll be like Greg Norman at the Masters.
'This tournament always haunts me,' Davies said of the only major championship keeping her from winning the career Grand Slam.
'This course should be perfect for me. The fact I haven't won is a bit of a mystery.'
Only five women have won the career Grand Slam on the LPGA Tour. The latest additions to the most exclusive club in women's golf were Juli Inkster in 1999, and Karrie Webb last year at the LPGA Championship.
Davies figured to be among them by now, especially after winning the U.S. Women's Open at age 24 in 1987, and adding the LPGA Championship and the now-defunct du Maurier Classic just as she was coming into her prime.
There have been collapses on the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills Country Club, although nothing like what Norman has experienced at Augusta National.
In 1994, perhaps her best chance to win, Davies had a one-stroke lead over Donna Andrews going to the 526-yard 18th hole with an island for a green. She played for par, hitting a 4-iron off the tee. It went into the rough, and after an 8-iron to some 60 feet from the hole, she three-putted for bogey.
Andrews hit her approach to 6 feet, made birdie and walked away a winner.
A victory this week not only would give Davies a full complement of major titles, but also enough points to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame. That's only an afterthought.
'Winning Nabisco, if I had to say which is the most important, it would have to be that one,' she said. 'It would be nice to get into the Hall of Fame, but we don't have anything like that in England, so it's not something high on the priority list. To win all four majors is total satisfaction. I would love to get all four.'
Despite a brilliant career ' 63 victories around the world, 20 on the LPGA Tour ' Davies has heard suggestions that she should travel less and practice more.
Davies hardly touched a club during her nine-week break. Tournament weeks aren't much different. She is more likely to be found at casinos or a mall than on the practice range, especially if the range is not within walking distance.
'If I can't see the range, I won't go to the range,' she once said.
Annika Sorenstam swims, lifts weights, runs and even does a little kickboxing to stay in shape and keep her competitive edge.
Davies goes shopping.
'It works for me,' she said. 'It wouldn't necessarily work for others. I don't just think about golf 24 hours a day. I don't practice day in and day out. If I'm playing well, I'll leave well enough alone ' the pro-am, hit a few balls, play tournament rounds.
'It's an obsession for some, and that's fine. Some people do really well. How long they last is another thing.'
This is her 18th season as a pro. At 38, she doesn't know how much longer she can stay competitive, although she is quick to point out that not a year has gone by without her winning somewhere around the world.
Only once in the past 10 years has she failed to win on the LPGA Tour.
Still, mention the 'Big Three' on the LPGA Tour and her name is not on the list. The focus in women's golf is on Sorenstam, Webb and 24-year-old Se Ri Pak, who also can claim the career Grand Slam with a victory this week.
'If I could transport my brain to the course, I would be as good as them,' Davies said. 'I'm looking into the trees, and not down the fairway. It's been a bit of a mental struggle.'
Davies says she might have 10 more cracks at the Nabisco, and it means enough to her that she has been working harder at her game. Just two weeks ago in Phoenix, she spent three hours hitting balls.
'I got blisters,' she said. 'And they hurt.'
Full Coverage of the 2002 Kraft Nabisco Championship
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
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.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18