No Joke Professional Golfer Beaten By Clown

By Mercer BaggsMarch 10, 2001, 5:00 pm
You might know Chris Smith as the first, and thus far only player to earn a 'battlefield promotion' from the Buy.Com Tour to the PGA Tour.
You might know Smith as the record holder for the longest drive in PGA Tour history - a 427-yard blast in the final round of the 1999 Honda Classic.
Smith would prefer you recognize him for those accomplishments and not the embarrassing incident that took place in 1997 at a Charity Skins Game in South Dakota - when he lost to a clown.
That's right, the 31-year-old former Buy.Com Player of the Year lost to a clown.
'He was in full clown garb,' Smith recalled. 'He had the big shoes on. He had everything, the red nose, the wig, the baggy outfit, everything. I think he got every skin but one.'
His name was Divot the Clown, a trick-shot artist from Port St. Lucie, Fla., named Kevin Compare. Smith was playing with Mark Carnevale and Joe Daley - the three top money winners at the time on the Buy.Com Tour.
The event was for charity, so it began light-heartedly. Then the clown started winning - and winning and winning. And that's when the fun subsided.
'He's hitting in the middle of the greens and making these bombs across the green, and I'm like, `This can't be happening,'' said Smith.
But it was.
'And another bad thing was that he wouldn't talk. He was one of those clowns that wouldn't talk. And when he's making putts, he's honking his horn, and I'm just like, `This is not right. This can't be happening,'' Smith said.
But it was.
'He was loving it. It was making me mad. And I was bitter. I tell you, I was bitter at Divot the Clown.'
After the match, reporters interviewed Smith. His response was a bit trite. 'I'm sorry. I've got to go practice. I just got beat by a clown.'
The practice paid. Smith went on to win that week and the week after, earning his way onto the PGA Tour. Three victories in one season equals the coveted 'battlefield promotion.'
Smith managed to stay on the big tour in 1998 and '99. He slipped back down to the developmental circuit in 2000, but responded with five runner-up finishes and a sixth-place finish on the money list.
This year, Smith has garnered a couple of top-10 finishes and entered this week's Honda Classic 42nd in earnings. Once again, Smith is in contention in Coral Springs, Fla. He stood just three shots off the 36-hole lead.
The way things are going, Smith may soon be known as a PGA Tour winner. But for now, he's still trying to live-down that dreadful South Dakota afternoon in 1997.
In two weeks, his son, Cameron, will turn four years old. Odds are there won't be any clowns at the party.
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Two-time major champ Pettersen pregnant

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 7:14 pm

PHOENIX – Suzann Pettersen is pregnant with her first child.

Pettersen’s husband, Christian Ringvold, confirmed the news with Golf Channel’s Jerry Foltz.

Pettersen, 36, who married Ringvold in January of 2017, is due in the fall. The 15-time LPGA winner and two-time major champion has yet to make her first start this year. She’s an eight-time Solheim Cup veteran.

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Watch: Woods rips iron from sand, makes birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 17, 2018, 6:10 pm

Tiger Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Luckily, it wouldn't take him long to get that stroke back. One hole later, at the dogleg-left, par-4 third, Woods ripped a 2-iron off the tee, hit a less-than-stellar approach long and right, and poured in this 38-footer for birdie to get back to even par on the day.

He followed with another at the par-5 fourth, smoking a drive 313 yards uphill, short-siding himself with his second shot, and playing this deft pitch to set up a tap-in 4.

After a par save from the bunker at 5, Woods missed the fairway right at the par-5 sixth, laid up with his second, spun a wedge to 15 feet with his third, and rolled in this third birdie of the day to move to 6 under for the week.

Woods' momentum was slowed by a bogey at 8, the product of an errant tee shot, and a missed birdie try at 9 left Tiger to make the turn in 1 under-35, minus-5 for the week.

He quickly returned to 6 under for the championship when he hit an approach from 186 to inside 10 feet at the par-4 11th and walked in the putt:

Following four straight pars, Woods for the second day in a row made an unlikely birdie at the par-5 16th after missing the fairway to the right and declining to layup.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

It was a 3-under 69 on Saturday for Tiger Woods for a 7-under total through three rounds. We tracked him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.