Paying Tribute

By Mercer BaggsJune 29, 2009, 4:00 pm
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FRIENDS LIKE FAMILY: Nationwide Tour players honored Chris Smith, who lost his wife on Father's Day in a car accident, by having their caddie's wear bibs with Smith's name (and nickname) on them. Numbers were also adorned on some of the caddie bibs. Smith, whose favorite number is 15, believes golfers are athletes, and athletes wear numbers.
 
Backspin Golf Channel's Jerry Foltz reported that 126 of the 144 players in the Nationwide Tour Players Cup field opted to use the bibs. Amazingly it wasn't 100 percent participation. Even if you've never met Smith, the proper thing to do is show your respects.
 

 
GLOVER THE CELEBRITY Newly minted major champion Lucas Glover made the celebratory rounds in New York following his U.S. Open triumph on Long Island. Aside from the numerous TV interviews, he and his wife posed atop the Empire State Building. He also read David Letterman's Top 10, a staple for major champions (except Tiger Woods).
 
Backspin No. 1 on the Letterman list ' a repeat from when Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters ' was, 'Even I have never heard of me.' That's Glover, which almost rhymes with duller. Yes, Glover is duller than a rice cake, but give him credit for being a stand-up guy. Unlike most major champions, Glover did not pull out of the following week's tournament. In fact, he will be playing every week through the Open Championship, not wanting to skip the AT&T National ' because that's one of the Tour's biggest sponsors ' or the John Deere, because the tournament's been 'very good to me' over the years. Most people only dream about where a major championship can take them. Glover's not forgetting what helped lead him to the major.
 

 
GLOVER THE GOLFER: Glover was back to his day job Thursday at the Travelers. For the week, he recorded three rounds of 65 (and a second-round 1-over 71) to finish in a tie for 11th at 14 under.
 
Backspin Glover's obviously playing very well right now. If he doesn't wear himself out, he's got a shot at Player of the Year honors. He'd have my vote right now.
 

 
OLD MAN RIVER: Kenny Perry earned his second PGA Tour victory of the season, shooting 63 Sunday at TPC River Highlands to claim the Travelers Championship. The 48-year-old has now won 14 times on Tour, 11 of which have come since crossing over into his 40s.
 
Backspin You could tell by Perry's reaction, after putting out on the 72nd hole, that this win was very important to him. He dropped his putter and threw his hands in the air like he'd just won the Masters ... sorry, bad reference. This was Perry's first victory since his Augusta flop. After he blew the '96 PGA, it took him five years to again find the winner's circle on Tour. This time it took him two months. It's good to see that a good man has put behind him a bad experience.
 

 
INSOMNIAC THEATER: Tiger Woods took to promoting the release of his new video game in New York by playing a three-hole match on the simulated Bethpage Black Course against comedian and talk show host Jimmy Fallon. Fallon schooled Woods in Times Square Thursday, but Woods beat him in a one-hole rematch when he appeared on Fallon's 'Late Show' later that day.
 
Backspin Woods won with a bogey in Part Deux - or Part Oh-Thank-God-I-Didn't-Stay-Up-And-Watch-This-Live. You can view it below. But be warned: You will never get back these 5 minutes and 52 seconds of your life.
 

 

 
THE MIGHTY SHIN: Jiyai Shin won her second LPGA event of the year, and her fifth tournament in 11 months, capturing the Wegmans LPGA. The 21-year-old South Korean finished seven shots clear of Yani Tseng and Kristy McPherson.
 
Backspin Shin now leads the LPGA money list, the Player of the Year rankings and the Rookie of the Year standings. The last item is bogus, seeing as she won three times last year ' including the Women's British Open, but the first two are legit. Has Shin overtaken Lorena Ochoa for the best player on the LPGA? Not yet. Not until she finishes the year atop those first two lists.
 

 
WHAT'S IN A NAME?: Cheyenne Woods missed the cut in her LPGA debut, shooting 75-74 to finish at 5 over par at the Wegmans LPGA, four off the cut line.
 
Backspin Cheyenne might as well legally change her name to: Tiger Woods' Niece. No one will expect her to be the LPGA's version of Tiger, should she ever play there full time. But, she'll never escape her uncle's solar eclipse shadow. Hopefully her last name will prove more beneficial (as it was in getting a sponsor's exemption this past week) than burden.
 

 
DOUGH BOY: Nick Dougherty fired a final-round 8-under 64 to come from behind and win the BMW International Open. It was the Englishman's third career European Tour victory.
 
Backspin Dougherty started the day trailing Retief Goosen by three, but had opened up a four-shot lead with three holes to play. As it turned out, he needed everyone of those strokes as Rafa Echenique holed a 3-iron from 243 yards for an albatross (double eagle) on the final hole. Dougherty was able to par 16, 17 and 18 to secure the win.
 

 
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Players on the PGA and Champions tours wore green ribbons to show their support for Ken Green, who lost his girlfriend, his brother, his dog, and his lower right leg in a recent automobile accident. ... Vijay Singh offered to help pay the $500,000 bond for former sponsor Allen Stanford, who is accused of bilking investors for over $7 billion. ... Lonnie Nielsen won on the Champions Tour, Tom Gillis on the Nationwide Tour, and Jennifer Song at the Women's Public Links.
 
Backspin The PGA Tour is doing more than just showing suport; they're providing it as well. And so can you. Special contributions to help Green's financial burden can be made to: Ken Green Trust, P.O. Box 1811, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32004. ... Singh's agent said the golfer is remaining loyal to Stanford, who reportedly gave him an $8 million endorsement deal, since he has not yet been proven guilty. No truth to the rumor that Singh offered up his digs to Bernie Madoff when he was placed under house arrest. ... Congratulations to all.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Travelers Championship
  • Full Coverage ' Wegmans LPGA
  • Full Coverage ' BMW International
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