Notes Seve 2010 Memorial Honoree Deja Vu

By Doug FergusonJune 7, 2009, 4:00 pm
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DUBLIN, Ohio ' Each year the Memorial Tournament singles out players or contributors for their achievements in and gifts to the game.
In 2010 it will honor one of the most colorful and beloved international stars, Seve Ballesteros.
Ballesteros, fighting a cancerous brain tumor, won a record 50 times on the European tour, including three British Open championships. The first European to win the Masters, in 1980, the Spaniard twice won the green jacket and was the youngest winner at Augusta until Tiger Woods first victory in 1997.
His 1988 British Open victory featured his usual wizardry around the greens, capped by a chip from behind the 18th green that finished inches from the cup.
I knew at the time I won the Open in 1988 that I had reached some sort of peak, that it was a round of golf that I would think fondly about for the rest of my life, he said.
He will be invited to come to Muirfield Village the week of the Memorial. If his health allows him to make the trip, it will be his first time at the course since he won four points for the winning European side in the 1987 Ryder Cup matches.
This years honorees were JoAnne Carner and Jackie Burke Jr.

DEJA VU (AGAIN): One highlight that gets shown more than others at the Memorial is Tiger Woods chip-in for par from behind the 14th green in 1999, his first of four wins at Muirfield Village. Maybe some have seen it too much.
He was in deep rough behind the 11th green Sunday, facing a slick green that ran away from him.
A Memorial Tournament official walked by a TV screen as Woods stood over the chip and said, Oh, is this the one he chips in?
Woods took a chop at it, with a one-handed follow-through and the ball dropped for eagle.
Yep, the gentleman said as he walked away.

CATCHING A PLANE: Scott McCarron, playing as a single and the first player off the tee, raced around Muirfield Village in 2 hours, 9 minutes ' what his caddie Bradley Whittle was told was an unofficial Memorial speed record.
Know how the contenders say it takes time to look over putts on the fast greens at Muirfield Village? McCarron, who shot a 71, said he had his best putting day of the week and barely glanced at them.
I took absolutely no time on the greens, he said. The only time I actually took some time was on 8 and I four-putted.
He wished he had concentrated a bit more on holes 8, 9 and 12, where he was a combined 15 over for the week; on the other 60 holes he was 2 under.
McCarron needed to step on the gas. He had a 12:15 p.m. flight to Memphis where he was scheduled for two quick practice rounds later Sunday on the courses where hell play in Mondays U.S. Open sectional qualifier.
Ill play 54 holes today in two states ' and fly commercial, he said, laughing.

BEARS BIGGEST SHOT: Each of the medalists at the national collegiate tournaments are annually presented Nicklaus awards by their namesake on the final day of the Memorial Tournament.
Nicklaus did the honors on Sunday, handing over the trophies to Matt Hill of North Carolina State in Division I, Valdosta States Brent Witcher (Division II), Mitchell Fedorka of La Verne (Division III) and Sam Cyr of Point Loma Nazarene (NAIA).
The NCAA Division I tournament used a new format this year, starting with three stroke-play rounds to determine the individual medalist and top eight teams, and then two days of team match play to decide the national champion.
Nicklaus had advocated introducing match play at the college level because he said it would toughen up players who needed to make shots under pressure down the stretch, in major championships but particularly in international team competitions such as the Ryder and Presidents cups.
Then he gave an example of what it would mean from his own illustrious career.
He played the nations top amateur at the time, Charles Coe, in the 1959 U.S. Amateur final of match play.
I ended up at the last hole having to make a birdie to win. I holed that 8-footer, Nicklaus said. That was probably the most important putt I ever made in my career, because it gave me the confidence to know that head-to-head at the finish of a tournament that I knew I could do it. It wasnt I thought I could do; it was something I did. It was a big, big factor in my career.

DIVOTS: A spectator crashed Woods post-tournament news conference to ask for an autograph. Nicklaus, impressed with the fans guts, asked for his patrons badge and signed it. So did Woods ' but only after police had escorted the man away. It was the first time Woods won on the PGA Tour when not playing in the final group since the 2007 Buick Invitational. In his 400th career start on tour, Jim Furyk finished second for the 21st time. The victory was Woods 10th win in Ohio, trailing only California (13) and Florida (12). Dustin Johnsons drive on the par-4 17th was measured at 382 yards. The tournament has not had a playoff since 1992, when David Edwards defeated Rick Fehr with a par on the second playoff hole ' the longest span without extra holes of any stop on tour. Reinier Saxton, the 2008 British Amateur champion, finished tied for 53rd. Furyk led the tournament in driving accuracy (50 of 56, 89 percent) with Woods second (49 of 56, 88 percent). The par-4 18th hole played the toughest all week, yielding a 4.343 average. The par-5 seventh hole played the easiest at 4.698.
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

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    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

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    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''