Hooper Chosen by USGA as Joe Dey Award Winner

By Usga News ServicesOctober 17, 2005, 4:00 pm
FAR HILLS, N.J. -- Dr. Bob Hooper of Hockessin, Del., one of the original members of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship Committee, has been chosen to receive the USGA Joe Dey Award.
 
Given since 1996, the Joe Dey Award recognizes an individuals meritorious service to the game of golf as a volunteer. Hooper will receive the award at the USGAs Annual Meeting Feb. 4 in Atlanta. The award is named in honor of the late Joe Dey, who served as USGA executive director for 35 years, from 1934 to 1969, and was later commissioner of the PGA Tour.
 
Mr. Dey was a good friend and to be associated with an award that has his name attached to it is beyond comprehension, said Hooper. Its just truly humbling to have my name associated with his. Its just amazing.
 
The 72-year-old Hooper was overwhelmed when informed by USGA Executive Committee member James Hyler at the 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur that he was receiving the award.
 
It was a very emotional time for me, said Hooper. Over the years, I received about a dozen letters from Joe and he always offered fantastically sage advice.
 
Hoopers interest in the Rules of Golf came about after losing the Newark (Del.) Country Club mens club championship because he didnt know a Rule that would have won him the title. That led Hooper to attend USGA workshops on the games Rules and his success caught the attention of officials within the organization.
 
A retired dentist, he worked the inaugural U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1981 and then the 1982 U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open. He has worked as a Rules official at every Open since. He has also done 22 Senior Opens, along with a number of U.S. Amateurs, including the 2005 championship at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. In all, Hooper has worked 83 USGA championships as a Rules official.
 
In 2002, Hooper and his wife, Carolyn, also a longtime USGA volunteer, were involved in a unique situation with the USGA. Bob officiated the morning 18 of the 36-hole U.S. Mid-Amateur final at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn., while that same day Carolyn officiated the final of the U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.
 
Carolyn joined the USGA as a volunteer in 1989 as a member of the newly formed Womens Regional Affairs Committee. She served on the Womens Mid-Amateur Committee from 1992-97 before being asked to join the USGA Womens Committee in 1998, a capacity she still holds. This year, Carolyn and Bob each worked as Rules officials at the U.S. Mid-Amateur at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn.
 
She has consistently scored higher on the [USGA Rules] tests than me, said Bob Hooper with a laugh. Ill have friends call and tell me that theyve had a ruling problem, and theyll ask if Carolyn is available.
 
Hooper has watched the U.S. Mid-Amateur grow since its birth 24 years ago. The first event at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis drew 1,638 entries and had 150 competitors at the championship proper. Today, the Mid-Amateur routinely receives more than 4,000 entries and comprises a field of 264 contestants, making it the second-largest USGA championship behind the U.S. Amateurs 312 competitors.
 
I remember back at Cherry Hills [in 1983] when we couldnt have any walking [Rules] officials until the semifinals because it was just me and Frank Parr, said Hooper. Weve come a long way since then.
 
Previous winners of the Joe Dey Award include: Charles Eckstein (1996), John Staver (1997), Joe King (1998), Frank Anglim (1999), Jack Emich (2000), Bill Dickey (2001), Clyde Luther (2002), John Hanna (2003), Adele Lebow (2004) and Pearl Carey (2005).
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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.