Whaley Bill Clinton More
Whaley was 16 when she qualified for the 1986 U.S. Women's Open at NCR Country Club in Ohio. While most women played their practice rounds early, Whaley signed up for a slot at 3 p.m. to stay out of the way.
If only it had been that easy.
'JoAnne Carner walked up on the tee and told me that she was playing with me, and I thought I would die,' Whaley said.
Carner was her hero. Whaley had a poster of 'Big Momma' on her bedroom wall, along with a scorecard that Carner had signed.
'I said, 'No, no, please, Miss Carner, you go first,'' Whaley recalled. 'She said, 'No, I signed up with you. Let's go, put the tee in the ground and hit it.' I hit it airborne, pop-flied it about 100 yards down the middle of the fairway. She said, 'Way to go. You hit it.'
'It was probably one of the best days of my life,' Whaley said. 'She treated me unbelievably and was a very classy lady.'
Now it's up to the guys on the PGA TOUR to do the same. Whaley qualified for the Greater Hartford Open by winning a PGA of America sectional from a forward set of tees.
While Annika Srenstam was invited to play in the Bank of America Colonial two months earlier, Whaley is the first woman to qualify for a PGA TOUR event since Babe Zaharias in 1945.
Bill Clinton finally found a golf course to join.
Golf World, citing an unidentified source, said the former president has joined Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.
Clinton moved to Westchester County after leaving office, but he's had a tough time joining a golf club in his new neighborhood because of long waiting lists, hard feelings over his politics or the hassles of having a former president in their midst.
Trump National, owned by real-estate tycoon Donald Trump, has drawn comparisons to Winged Foot. Its signature hole is a 102-foot waterfall behind the 13th green that pumps 5,000 gallons a minute.
PLAY GOLF AMERICA
More than 4,200 golf professionals are ready to give free 10-minute golf lessons this month in the annual 'Play Golf America' initiative sponsored by the PGA of America and Golf Digest magazine.
Last year, PGA of America teaching pros gave 74,923 lessons at 3,773 golf facilities across the country.
'The month of May has become a tradition for PGA professionals to dedicate their time to providing free lessons to help reach new golfers and improve the skills of those amateur golfers already playing the game,' PGA president M.G. Orender said.
The roster of teaching pros involved in the program, and where to get the free lessons, can be found at www.pga.com, www.golfdigest.com, www.golfforwomen.com and www.TheGolfChannel.com.
In his first tournament since winning The Masters, Mike Weir is grouped with runner-up Len Mattiace.
Phil Mickelson, Tom Lehman and Fred Funk are among the Americans who will play in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond the week before the British Open. It will be the first appearance by Mickelson at Loch Lomond since 2000.
Vicki Fergon, 47, won on the Futures Tour last week and became the first woman to win on all three women's tours in the United States -- the Futures Tour, the LPGA Tour and the Women's Senior Golf Tour.
Don't count Davis Love III among those at the Bank of America Colonial. Although it's one of his favorite stops, Love is skipping the tournament this year because his daughter has a horse show.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Peter Jacobsen, Curtis Strange and Jay Haas are the only players at the Wachovia Championship who also played in the 1979 Kemper Open, the last time the PGA TOUR stopped in Charlotte.
'If you're Greg Norman , that's a full schedule for the year.' -- Davis Love III, on playing 13 times before the U.S. Open.
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
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