Notes Lehmans Passion Tigers British Digs
He won the '96 British Open, and there has never been a U.S. captain without a major championship. Lehman, however, won only four other PGA Tour events and played in just three Ryder Cup matches. Other candidates, such as Mark O'Meara and Larry Nelson, had won more majors, played in more Ryder Cups and were eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame.
'Do you have to win a lot of tournaments to be a good captain? That would be my criticism of the criticism,' Jim Furyk said.
Lehman never felt as though he had to apologize for not winning more, or explaining why he was chosen.
But when he hosted an informal cookout at the Wachovia Championship for prospective Ryder Cup players earlier this month, he openly discussed his record as a way of showing that his chief asset as captain was his passion for the matches.
'I'm not pretending to be someone I'm not,' Lehman said in an interview a week after the cookout. 'I know who I am as a player. I could tell them who has been ranked No. 1, who has won majors. There are other players who have won more and could have been captain. I'm well aware of that, and I have respect and admiration for those who were not selected.'
Lehman said he does not feel less worthy as a captain because he has only five trophies, including a claret jug. And he understands why some would question his selection over someone like O'Meara (16 wins, two majors, five Ryder Cup teams), Nelson (10 wins, three majors) or even Fred Couples (14 wins, one major, five teams).
'I'm a realist,' he said. 'I'm not living with my head under a rock. I can completely see why that would be said, and it would be a mistake not to understand that way of thinking.'
What he feels he brings as captain is desire, which he believes will rub off on his team.
'There's no way you can inspire somebody unless you're truly inspired yourself,' Lehman said. 'Nobody loves the Ryder Cup more than I do. I promise you, nobody loves it more.'
Furyk says Lehman made his point perfectly clear.
'All Tom was trying to say was that he was really passionate about the Ryder Cup, it's one of his favorite events and he was proud to be the captain,' Furyk said. 'He wanted that to reflect on us. He wants to do everything to help guys win.'
Which guys that will be remains a work in progress. Tim Herron climbed into the top 10 this week by winning Colonial. The player in 42nd place in the standings -- Joe Durant -- is one victory away this week from moving into the top 10.
TIGER'S BRITISH DIGS
Tiger Woods' return to golf remains uncertain after the May 3 death of his father, although he at least has rooms booked for the British Open -- a lot of rooms.
According to a British tabloid, Woods has paid about $265,000 to book the entire Hillbark Hotel for five nights. The hotel has 19 luxurious rooms, is located among 250 acres and has its own helipad. The executive suite has panoramic views of the Dee Estuary and North Wales. One hotel source told The Mirror that the hotel also has a fleet of luxury cars available to the guests.
The British Open will be held at Royal Liverpool for the first time since 1968.
TREVOR TAKES CHARGE
Trevor Immelman of South Africa received a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour when he was a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup. Turns out he didn't even need it.
Immelman earned $614,867 last year and became a special temporary member. But that money list did not reflect his earnings from two World Golf Championships ($112,000), which gave him more than enough to be the equivalent of the top 125 and get his card for 2006.
With runner-up finishes at the Wachovia Championship and Byron Nelson Championship in consecutive weeks, the 26-year-old is 16th on the money list with nearly $1.7 million and is assured of keeping his PGA Tour card for 2007.
'There were two great weeks,' he said. 'I think I'm playing the best golf my career so far. I've got to just keep plugging away and doing what I'm doing and eliminate a few of those errors, and hopefully pick up a couple of trophies along the way.'
Val Skinner raised another $500,000 to fight breast cancer by staging a pro-am involving 16 players from the LPGA Tour. In seven years, she now has raised $3.5 million from the LIFE Event, which she started as a tribute to Heather Farr, a former LPGA Tour member who died of breast cancer.
Skinner presented $250,000 checks Monday to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
'It's hard to believe that we've been coming together for seven years already, but we have,' Skinner said. 'We continue to lose women we love to this disease, and we continue to raise funds to fight it. One day, together, we will beat it.'
RETURN TO OAK HILL
Oak Hill is returning to the major championship landscape, landing the Senior PGA Championship in 2008 and the PGA Championship in 2013.
Oak Hill previously has held the U.S. Open three times, the PGA Championship twice and the 1995 Ryder Cup. The last time a major was held there, Shaun Micheel clinched the 2003 PGA Championship with a 7-iron that stopped 2 inches from the cup for a tap-in birdie and a two-shot victory over Chad Campbell.
The Senior PGA Championship will put Oak Hill in rare company. It will join PGA National, Laurel Valley and Valhalla as the only courses to host the three biggest events organized by the PGA of America -- the PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship and Ryder Cup.
The Honda LPGA Thailand has been added to the 2006 schedule, a $1.3 million event that will push prize money over $50 million for the first time in LPGA Tour history. The tournament will be played Oct. 20-22 at Amata Spring Country Club near Bangkok, the start of three straight tournaments in Asia. ... Dean Wilson tied for 12th at the Colonial and now has $763,644, the earliest he has secured his card in four years on the PGA Tour. ... Donald Trump finally got a USGA championship to one of his golf courses. The U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls Junior Amateur will be held at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey in 2009.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Lorena Ochoa has two victories and four runner-up finishes in her last six starts.
'If you're not in the Ryder Cup when you play the level I play at, you're not playing the right sort of golf.' -- Thomas Bjorn.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
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.
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 Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
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