Lady Vols Win Mercedes-Benz
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In a sudden death playoff, the University of Tennessee won the 2006 Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Golf Championship title today at Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville. Tennessee and Georgia were knotted at 887 after 54-holes to force the playoff at hole number one, a 386-yard par four. In the first team playoff in the 10-year history of the tournament, the Lady Vols won by two strokes.
'This is a huge win for us. We always invite a really strong field to come play in this tournament, and it's tough to win against such a strong field. I'm so proud of my team today,' said UT head coach Judi Pavon. 'We knew we were within range, and with the greens the way they are, we knew we had a chance if we played well. I'm really, really proud of our team for hanging in there and believing in themselves and then going out in that playoff. 'Georgia is the number one team in the country, so beating them is a tremendous lift for us.'
Freshman Angela Oh, who was leading the Lady Vols coming into day three, birdied the playoff hole (No. 1) to clinch the win for Tennessee. 'It was really a pressure putt,' Oh said. 'I just thought that if I couldn't get it in the hole, I needed to get it close because we still had a chance. But the ball went in the hole so I'm really happy. I just wanted to get off to a good start for the team on the first playoff hole.'
Georgia recorded three pars, but was one-over in the playoff, and finished with runner-up honors. Auburn, after leading the field through the first two rounds, finished third at 889.
Jenny Suh of Alabama claimed medalist honors with a pair of one-under 70s on the last two days after carding a 74 in round one. Her three-day total of 214 goes in the record books as a tie for the fifth-lowest score in the 10-year Mercedes-Benz history. The senior from Fairfax, Va., ended the weekend on a stellar note by making four birdies over the last five holes. Suh had nine birdies during the tournament. 'I'm a little surprised, I didn't expect it,' Suh said of the tournament victory. 'I knew I was four shots back. My putter came through when I really needed it. I wasn't hitting the ball very well at the beginning of the week, but gradually I got better and better. This is a very challenging course so you never know who would win this type of tournament.'
Oh was the Lady Vols' top finisher. She recorded a five-over-par 218 tournament total to put her in a tie for fifth with Michigan's Brianna Broderick and Arkansas' Stacy Lewis. The Maple Shade, N.J., native carded four birdies on the final day and 10 for the tournament.
UT junior standout Marci Turner finished with a 224 to tie for 19th. The 2005 All-America honoree shot a three-over-par 74 in the final round. Freshman Diana Cant shot 225, taking home 21st-place, her highest finish of the season by 16 spots.
Sophomore Nicole Smith battled back from a round-one 80 to a two-under-par 69 on day three, placing her 23rd. The Riverside, Calif., native finished the tournament strong with an eagle on No. 17 and a par on the difficult 18th. Smith's eagle and four birdies led the Lady Vols for the day. Playing in the Mercedes-Benz tournament for the final time, senior Holly Cantwell carded a two-over 74 to bring her total to 229, good enough for a tie for 33rd.
Tennessee's Mercedes-Benz victory was its first in the 10-year history of the event. The Lady Vols previously claimed second in 2004 and 2000.
Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball
Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.
In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.
"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’
Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.
“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.
“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’
Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.
The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving
Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.
The major championships I'm certainly proud of, but Barbara, the kids and my grandkids are the best things to ever happen to me. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! pic.twitter.com/wkma1Q9LlK— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) November 23, 2017
GC Tiger Tracker:
Mixing Thanksgiving and waiting for a week from today. pic.twitter.com/u9m9WxQNYx— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) November 23, 2017
Happy thanksgiving to everyone! Hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. #Thankful— Steve Stricker (@stevestricker) November 23, 2017
Was reading about Thanksgiving. Originally they ate waterfowl, venison, ham, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. Seems a bit tastier than Turkey!— Frank Nobilo (@FrankNobiloGC) November 23, 2017
Literally food for thought.
Tyrone Van Aswegen:
Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017
Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.
Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan
Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.
Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.
Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:
“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”
Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.
“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”
Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.
“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”
Best Greg story: coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes “Yep, caddied for her, her, her and her” Legend— Matthew Galloway (@matthewgalloway) November 23, 2017
In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.
“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”
Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.
“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”
The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time Tour caddie, Greg Sheridan. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP pic.twitter.com/QKy0YdK249— LPGA (@LPGA) November 22, 2017
Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.
“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.
Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:
Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:
Sad to hear the passning of Greg Sheridan. This photo brings back many memories. Always respected his caddy skills and devotion to womens golf. @natalie_gulbis @LPGA #RIPGreg pic.twitter.com/lHU3Ixz9Vk— Annika Sorenstam (@ANNIKA59) November 23, 2017
LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:
Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:
Professional caddies are often overlooked and underrated. But they're just as often the unsung MVP of a player's success. We just lost a great one. RIP Greg Sheridan. He was the 1st to welcome me to my LPGA assignment years ago. He will be missed eternally.— Jerry Foltz (@JerryFoltzGC) November 22, 2017
Rest with the Angels now, Greg Sheridan. ❤️— Christina Kim (@TheChristinaKim) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:
RIP Greg Sheridan. One of the most successful and great caddies of World Golf, period.— Shaun Clews (@shaunclews1973) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:
Sad to here that long time tour caddy Greg Sheridan has passed away! RIP Greg, you will be missed. — Jonny Scott (@stixy76) November 22, 2017
LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:
The world is a sadder place today without our buddy Greg Sheridan, a caddy and a friend for lifetimes...Godspeed buddy— Kevin Casas (@TheKevinCasas) November 23, 2017
LPGA pro Jennie Lee:
So sad to hear the news of long time LPGA caddie Greg Sheridan. I️ remember sitting next to him on the plane from Walmart to the US Open one year and he gave me the best words of wisdom on player/caddie chemistry. He will be missed greatly. Thinking of you @natalie_gulbis ❤️— Jennie Lee (@JennieLeeGolf) November 23, 2017