PGA Tour wives tee it up for charity

By Associated PressMarch 3, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. ' Bob Estes was 140 yards from the hole, standing over a pink ball and wearing a sombrero.
 
As if that wasnt daunting enough, his wife and three other women wearing short white skirts and knee-high Argyle socks were jumping nearby and yelling Hole it, hole it, hole it!
 
He did not hole it.
 
Not even close, actually, although that hardly mattered.
 
Tuesday was Ladies Day at PGA National, site of this weeks Honda Classic. They played the PGA Tour Wives Classic, where 37 spouses and significant others of tour pros played a nine-hole, four-woman scramble, with the husbands wearing pink-trimmed caddie bibs and being drafted to play mulligans.
 
By days end, nearly $100,000 was raised for charity.
 
Were on the road 30 to 35 weeks a year and the road becomes our home, said Amy Wilson, the wife of 2007 Honda champion Mark Wilson and the president of the PGA Tour Wives Association. The PGA Tour gives so much back through each tournament through charities, and we get to mirror that and help in our own way too. And through the connections we have through our husbands, we can open doors.
 
Former LPGA player Angie Oberholser was the tournament director, and she spent nearly a full year organizing everything. There were gift bags for everyone and specially made hats designed by Vicky Waldorf, the wife of longtime tour pro Duffy Waldorf.
 
Oberholser is pregnant and said she wasnt sure if good-golfer Angie or pregnant Angie would be on the first tee. Good-golfer Angie was there; she drilled her opening drive perfectly down the fairway, drawing applause from about two dozen PGA National members who showed up to watch.
 
This tournament is a lot of work, said Oberholser, who threatened to fire her caddie and husband Arron last year, but had Matt Kuchar on her bag Tuesday because her spouse is recovering from surgery. But I really enjoyed it.
 
The wives association donated more than $246,000 to charity last year, plus had members volunteer time at soup kitchens, building sites, schools, hospitals and with childrens programs.
 
Indeed, the fundraising side was taken extremely seriously.
 
The golf, not so much.
 
When caddie David Duval was digging a ball out of some muck on the first tee, fellow caddie Brad Faxon jumped out of his cart to take a picture. Alli McKenzie nearly whiffed a tee shot when she learned that the par-3s hole-in-one prize was a $500 gift card from Saks. (Not only did any of the women in her foursome hit the green, none even cleared the cart path 75 yards ahead of them.)
 
Im not listening to my caddie anymore, Liz Estes said after that hole.
 
And by the fourth hole of the day, Leot Chen ' with Vaughn Taylor as her caddie ' showed off an unusual one-handed grip on a 40-yard pitch: Wedge in the right hand, cocktail in the left.
 
So it goes when the final instruction before the shotgun start reminded players that we will have margaritas for you out there.
 
This is so much fun, Brenda Calcavecchia said. Everybody gets involved in it. We do events all year long, but this is kind of the big thing for us. Its probably the biggest fundraiser we do and its just fun. People get so excited about it.
 
Her husband, Mark Calcavecchia, has a bit of an obsession about changing putters often. She hasnt changed hers in nearly a decade, even though she once hit a putt 100 feet past the hole ' some 30 yards back up the fairway ' when she had an opportunity to play Augusta National a few years back.
 
Hows Mark as a caddie?
 
Depends on how many beers, she said. He sees things differently than I do. He doesnt see the water and the sand. I see the water and the sand. And my nickname is Golden Tee, because he has to line me up. Little left, little right, right there.
 
Calcavecchia took about a half-dozen swings on the driving range, slicing just about everything. She thought the dangling bracelet on her left wrist was the problem, but fortunately, the caddie delivered good advice. Aim left and swing harder, her husband Mark said.
 
There was a lot of tips like that Tuesday.
 
The scene couldnt have been more laid-back. They posed for pictures on just about every hole, cheered like crazy when topped 75-yarders from the fairway happened to roll up on the greens, and more than a few freely acknowledged they didnt know what was on their scorecard ' nor did they care.
 
My wife has high expectations on every shot, with a very low amount of work put into her game, Mark Wilson said. To see all the other players and their wives in a setting like this, and we dont have to hit a shot, theres no pressure on us at all. So this is so much fun.
 

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  • Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


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    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


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    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.

    Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

    By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

    Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

    ''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

    Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

    ''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

    Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

    ''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''


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    J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

    ''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.

    ''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the Web.com more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

    He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

    ''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

    Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

    ''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''