Recari shows strength in battling eating disorder

By Randall MellApril 2, 2013, 2:37 pm

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Beatriz Recari never participated in the running of the bulls while growing up in Pamplona, Spain.

She knows what it’s like, though, to fear a dangerous threat bearing down on her.

She escaped the potential ravaging effects of an eating disorder that briefly threatened her promising golf career.

When Recari won the Kia Classic last weekend, her triumph resonated beyond her inner circle. It was another triumph of hope for the new cause she’s representing. Her victory is an inspiration for young girls who struggle with anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorders.

Just a little more than a week before winning her second LPGA title, Recari, 25, was introduced as an ambassador for The Alliance of Eating Disorders Awareness. Recari heads into the Kraft Nabisco Championship this week with momentum and a larger purpose.

“If I can help just one person, it will be huge,” Recari said. “I think the importance of my experience is that I’m healthy now, everything is fine, I have a good mindset, I’ve learned a lot, and I just really want to give back and share what I’ve learned.”

At the 2007 Finnair Masters on the Ladies European Tour, Recari’s health failed. She got caught up in something larger than herself. She became so weak going without eating that she struggled to walk the golf course. She was down to 100 pounds and losing her hair.

“I physically could not finish 18 holes,” Recari said. “I called my dad, and I said, `I need help, I can’t do this. I have such high goals for myself as a golfer, and I’m going against them. I need help.’ So my dad and a friend of his who is a doctor came to that tournament.”

Recari, her LET privileges secure for the following year, left the tour to address her issues and recover.

“You are in denial,” Recari said. “It’s your goal to stay on that path and keep getting thinner and thinner ... Part of this is depending on people telling you that you look great. It’s all about being skinny and being beautiful. You have to quit depending on what other people say.”

Recari’s recent victory elevates her profile and her platform. She heads to Kraft Nabisco looking to make some history in trying to become the first Spaniard to win a women’s major championship. She’s becoming an outstanding driver of the ball, a skill she believes suits her game for Mission Hills’ Dinah Shore Course.

Recari tied for 26th at last year’s Kraft Nabisco, which equals her best finish in the 12 major championships she has played.

“I was pretty happy with my performance in the majors last year,” Recari said. “I was leading after the first round of the LPGA Championship; I was bogey free in the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open and was just a shot or two off the lead.

“Last week’s win was definitely a confidence booster. I’m looking forward to Kraft because I think it fits my game with it being really important there to drive the ball straight.”

As she makes her way on tour, Recari is beginning to hear from women who face the health issues she once faced. She first went public with her struggles when she designated The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness as her charity recipient for winnings at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup two years ago.

“For us, at the Alliance, it means so very much to have a pro athlete come out and be willing to use her experience to help others,” said Johanna Kandel, founder and executive director of the Alliance. “So often, when it comes to eating disorders, there is still a lot of shame surrounding it. So, although many athletes have struggled, they are very hesitant to share. By her not only sharing her experience, but telling people it’s OK to talk about it and that there is help and there is hope and people do recover, it’s so significant, coming from her.”

According to the Alliance, eating disorders affect 25 million Americans alone with women making up 75 percent.

“There is tremendous courage in Beatriz stepping forward, sharing her story and supporting our cause.” Kandel said. “Eating disorders have the highest lethality rate of all psychological disorders. By coming forward, she is already getting feedback from people who are struggling, who have reached out to her.”

Kandel is a former professional dancer who founded The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness after recovering from a 10-year battle with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder. She has been recovered for 13 years.

“The biggest impact Beatriz will have is giving people hope and spreading the message that there is help and people do recover,” Kandel said.

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.