Remembering Julius

By Randall MellApril 11, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Sometime Sunday morning, Armen Boros will polish the replica of the Wanamaker Trophy she keeps in her den in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
 
Her beloved late husband, Julius, claimed the prize when he won the PGA Championship at Pecan Valley Country Club in 1968.
 
Julius was 48 years, four months and 18 days old when he won the last of his three major championships.
 
He became the oldest player to win a major that day in San Antonio.
 
Forty-one years later, Boros is still the oldest player to win a major.
 
Kenny Perry will try to change that when he tees it up Sunday with Angel Cabrera as co-leaders at the Masters.
 
If Perry wins the green jacket, hell do so at 48 years, eight months and two days old.
 
Ill be watching with my family, Armen said. Weve got a big day planned with Easter dinner and the Masters.
 
Masters week would be an emotional time for Armen even if Perry werent vying to supplant her husband as the oldest major championship winner.
 
On Saturday, Armen celebrated what would have been the couples 54th wedding anniversary.
 
Julius and Armen eloped the day after the Masters back in 1955, exchanging vows in Aiken, S.C.
 
Though they married after just three dates, theirs was a long romance. They were together almost 40 years when Julius quietly slumped in his golf cart under a willow tree beside the 16th green at Fort Lauderdales Coral Ridge Country Club, a heart attack taking him so gently that the first threesome that passed believed he was only napping.
 
Armen still lives in their home along the fairways at Coral Ridge. The pond aside the 16th green was Julius favorite place, a shady spot where he liked to watch golfers play through. He was 74 when he died in 1994.
 
Julius presence remains strong in the Boros home. Armen makes sure of that.
 
Step through the front door, and theres an oil painting of Julius Boros. Hes playing golf, of course, hitting a shot out of a sand bunker. Theres a lifelike portrait in the living room. Step into the family room, and he's everywhere.
 
Photos, paintings, old trophies and golf memorabilia are arranged shrine-like.
 
They mean a lot to us children, said Nick Boros, 58, the oldest of the seven Boros children. It means a lot to us when dads name comes up like it is now at the Masters. It makes you feel good that people are reminded what a great player he was.
 
Whenever Julius name comes up like it is this week, Armen will get to polishing trophies. She knows what the treasures mean to her children and what theyll mean to the grandchildren.
 
Julius Boros was raised in Fairfield, Conn., the son of Hungarian immigrants. He was an accountant who was nearly 30 when he turned pro. He made his name in golf with a sweet, effortless swing that delivered machine-like accuracy as he racked up 18 PGA Tour titles.
 
A good but unspectacular putter, Boros was the king of hitting fairways and greens. Its what made him a regular contender in major championships.
 
Famed golf writer Herbert Warren Wind once offered this picture of Boros in the New Yorker:
 
Boros is a man of considerable sophistication ' he moves his cigarette and his phrases around in a way that recalls Humphrey Bogart ' but you would never know that watching him in competition. Poker-faced, laconic, a bit on the dour side, he is an efficient rather than an arresting golfer, but his colleagues have long respected the smooth, relaxed tempo of his swing and his penchant for being at his best in the big, rich tournaments.
 
Armen likes that golf fans will remember her husband as Perry tries to win the Masters.
 
After tending to the trophies Sunday morning, Armen will be off to the kitchen to throw a 26-pound turkey and large ham in the oven.
 
Shes got big day planned.
 
Theres dinner for her seven children and their families, which includes 19 grandchildren.
 
Then theres the Masters.
 
If anyones going to break dads record, I would like for it to be Kenny Perry, said Guy Boros, 44, winner of the PGA Tours 1996 Greater Vancouver Open. Ive played a lot of golf with Kenny, and hes a good man.
 
Were all proud of dads record, and were all going to hate to see one of his records broken, but nothing lasts forever.
 
When Perry won the FBR Open two months ago, he supplanted Julius Boros as the oldest winner of that event. Julius was 46 when he won it in 1967.
 
It wasnt shocking at all when my dad won the PGA Championship, said Nick, a teaching pro in Hollywood, Fla. In fact, it was like he was in his prime. He didnt turn pro until he was 29 or 30.
 
At 55, Julius lost in a playoff to Gene Littler at Westchesters PGA Tour event.
 
A lot of fond memories will come flooding back for Armen as she watches Perry try to win the Masters today.
 
If Kenny Perry wins, we will be happy for him, and we will call him and congratulate him, Armen said. Hes a wonderful fellow, and Id like to see him win a major.
 

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  • South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

    By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

    South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

    Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

    Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

    So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

    Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

    The fourball results:

    LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

    LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

    LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

    KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

    LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

    LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

    NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.

     

    Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

    By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

    In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

    Made Cut

    The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

    Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

    “I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

    Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

    Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

    This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

    Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

    Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

    The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

    Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

    Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

    The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

    First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

    “You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

    A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

    “The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

    For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

    Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

    “I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

    Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

    “Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

    Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

    Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.


    Missed Cut

    Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

    Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

    “That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

    Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

    While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

    Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.


    Here are some other social media posts that have surfaced:


    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''