Notes New Baby Toms Mallons Beginning
Sonya Toms gave birth to their second child on Monday, a daughter they named Anna Camille, who weighed in at 6 1/2 pounds. Toms manager, Adam Young, said mother and daughter were doing well. He said he wasnt sure when Toms would return to the PGA Tour, although hed like to play once before the British Open.
Toms was five shots out of the lead at Pinehurst No. 2, but closed with a 77 to finish nine shots behind.
If it was a losing battle with Pinehurst, he didnt fare much better with his wife on the middle name of their daughter. Toms said at the Memorial earlier this month that they had a name picked out, but its a fight over the middle name.
Ill lose, too, Toms said at the time. I can probably go ahead and tell you what its going to be, because I know its going to be what she wants it to be.
Young said Toms told him the middle name was Camille but added, Were just calling her Anna.
Meg Mallons hero as a kid was Babe Zaharias, more because of her Olympic feats than her three U.S. Womens Open titles. The LPGA Tour wasnt on television much when she was growing up, and Mallon didnt see her first tournament until she was 16.
And boy, was she disappointed.
Her father took her to the 1979 Ladies Strohs Open in Dearborn, Mich., where Nancy Lopez was in her second full season and was the best thing going in golf. Mallon wanted to watch another future Hall of Famer, Beth Daniel.
I had just read an article in Golf Digest about this woman who swings like a man, a rookie on tour, whose name was Beth Daniel,
Mallon said. Were out there and my dad says, Dont you want to go watch Nancy Lopez? And I said, No, Dad, I want to go watch Beth Daniel. Shes supposed to have a great golf swing and a really bad temper.
They caught up with Daniel on a par 5 that could be reached in two. Daniel pulled out a fairway wood and Mallon was eager to see the golf swing she had read so much about it.
She dribbles it about 40 yards down the fairway, Mallon said, and Im like, Oh, good, I get to see the temper. She started laughing and walks down the fairway. I said to my dad, Lets go watch the leaders. And that was my first introduction to womens professional golf.
Michael Campbell stuck around to celebrate his U.S. Open title, celebrating into the late night at Pine Needles, where he stayed during the tournament.
After finishing up all his interviews, Campbell returned to Pine Needles about 9:30 p.m. Sunday and was given an impromptu champagne party by Peggy Kirk Bell, the renowned teacher and former LPGA star.
We had a great time, marketing director Holly Bell said. We drank champagne out of the championship trophy and toasted our friend, the new champion.
About 40 people, including Campbells caddie, attended the celebration.
In the days leading up to the U.S. Open, several players said the key statistic to watch was greens in regulation. Pinehurst No. 2 required a lot more than that, and Tiger Woods is the perfect example.
He led the field with most greens hit when he won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2000 and at Bethpage Black two years later. Woods again was at the top of the list at Pinehurst, hitting 75 percent of his greens.
Then again, he was second-to-last in putting.
Ultimately, the only statistic that meant anything was scoring.
Charles Howell offered one of the more refreshing ideas for the world ranking that the PGA Tour might do well to consider.
Some argued last year that the divisor'the number of tournaments played over two years'should be capped at 50 so Vijay Singh and others who like to play a lot of events would not be penalized. Howell suggested making 50 the minimum amount of tournaments that count in the ranking.
Thats only 25 tournaments a year -- 27 weeks off, Howell said.
Among other things, it would make it difficult for Tiger Woods to stay atop the world ranking unless he played in more tournaments. Woods usually plays no more than 21 times a year.
Two other players in the top 10 have played fewer than 50 tournaments in the two-year cycle'Phil Mickelson (49) and Sergio Garcia (46).
TRY, TRY AGAIN
Cristie Kerr said intimidation wasnt a factor when she lost in a playoff to Annika Sorenstam at the season-ending ADT Championship last year. It was just the wrong shot'but not by much.
Kerr had 188 yards from a sidehill lie in the fairway, and her 7-wood just went into the water right of the green, leading to double bogey. That allowed Sorenstam to play it safe and win with a bogey.
About two weeks later I was down there playing, said Kerr, a member at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Fla. I dropped about 10 balls and aimed more left. And I hit seven out of the 10 balls into the water hitting it solid. I think I hit a good shot in the playoff. Its the kind of lie that if you aim more and more left, it will star more and more right. It was just a tough break.
Chris DiMarco is the only player among the top 20 in the world ranking who has not won in the last three years. DiMarco is ranked No. 9. ... NCAA champion James Lepp has been given a sponsors exemption to the Canadian Open on Sept. 8-11. Lepp is a two-time Canadian Junior champion who went to Washington. ... One of the major players in the equipment industry, Callaway Golf finally has its first major champion on the PGA Tour. Michael Campbell was the first player on the Callaway tour staff to win, capturing the U.S. Open with a full line of products at Pinehurst No. 2.
STAT OF THE WEEK
For the second straight year, the Masters champion was runner-up at the U.S. Open'Phil Mickelson in 2004, Tiger Woods in 2005.
A lot of people think Im beautiful. A lot of people think Im sexy. I dont view myself that way because I was the other way a while ago.'Cristie Kerr, who went from a size-16 to a size-4 while dropping 60 pounds.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas
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.
Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?
Memo to the golf gods:
If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?
Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?
It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.
With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.
It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.
We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.
We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.
Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.
Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line. Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.
We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors.
In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.
While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.
Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.
Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.
Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.
While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.
Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.
So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?
McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever
With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.
The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.
Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.
"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."
McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.
But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.
"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."
What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire
Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.
Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft
Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft
Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x