Notes Euros More Fun Million Dollar Baby

RSS

CARMEL, Ind. -- Europe has dominated the alternate-shot format in the Solheim Cup the last three matches with a 14-6-4 record, including a 5-0-3 mark two years ago in Sweden. Laura Davies had a simple explanation Tuesday.
 
European girls have more fun.
 
``They've done really well, but we are very good,'' Davies said. ``We get on so well. I'm sure the American team is good fun, but you won't find the same atmosphere we have. I think it shows in the first two days of competition.''

Davies, the only woman to play in every Solheim Cup, was asked why the United States doesn't mix as well.
 
``They don't seem to have the fun we have,'' she said. ``Maybe they do. On paper, they're a better team, and we still dust them the first two days. It has to be something we do right leading up into the foursomes.''
 
Karen Stupples of England, a rookie in these matches, suggested the record had more to do with experience. She noted that juniors from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales play a series of matches each year.
 
All of this came as news to some of the Americans.
 
Several players have said this is the closest group they've had in years, a camaraderie that started when captain Nancy Lopez chartered a motor home to drive from Ohio to Crooked Stick two weeks ago for a practice round.
 
``We don't know what they're doing,'' Natalie Gulbis said. ``But we're having a great time.''
 
MISSISSIPPI OPTIONS
Dean Wilson and Steve Stricker were among those talking about their schedule for the rest of the year as they try to finish in the top 125 on the money list to secure their PGA Tour cards. Both said they would play in the Southern Farm Bureau Classic in Mississippi.
 
But there are concerns about the Oct. 6-9 event at Annandale Golf Club because of Hurricane Katrina.
 
``They have over 1,000 trees down on the golf course,'' Henry Hughes, director of operations for the PGA Tour, said Tuesday. ``They had disease in some of the greens, and they were going to re-sod four greens, which is obviously delayed now.''
 
Hughes said he spoke Monday night with tournament director Robert Morgan, and another problem is where to stay. With everyone in the Gulf area evacuating to the north, hotels are full.
 
``They are reviewing what the options are for the Southern Farm Bureau tournament, which is scheduled in five weeks. And we're going to be reviewing options as to what we can do,'' Hughes said.
 
Hughes said they could decide to move the tournament, play it on a different date or attempt to keep it on schedule. The Southern Farm Bureau Classic is held opposite the American Express Championship in San Francisco. It used to be held opposite the Tour Championship at the end of the season.
 
``We haven't talked about specific dates,'' Hughes said.
 
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Jason Bohn can expect a nice paycheck Oct. 1 even if he doesn't play Greensboro.
 
Bohn, whose victory in the B.C. Open and runner-up finish in the Deutsche Bank Championship took him over $1 million, might not be where he is today without a hole-in-one 13 years ago that continues to pay off.
 
He was a redshirt freshman at Alabama when he took part in a fund-raiser that offered $1 million for an ace. Bohn hit a 9-iron from 135 yards into the hole. He gave up his amateur status to accept the prize, which is paying him $50,000 every Oct. 1 for 20 years.
 
That meant giving up his college career, although he stayed at Alabama and earned his degree.
 
``I knew I wasn't Tiger Woods,'' he said. ``Without that money, I would have never been able to chase my dream.''
 
The next check is on its way.
 
``I look forward to every Oct. 1,'' he said. ``It's a fun day.''
 
EQUIPMENT CHECK
It was strange to see an extra fairway metal in Tiger Woods' bag during a practice round at Firestone last month -- a 7-wood, no less. Whether it gets into a tournament remains to be seen.
 
Woods said the difference between how far he hits his 2-iron and his 3-wood can be as much as 30 yards, the largest gap in his bag. He probably could have used another fairway metal at the PGA Championship, especially on Saturday when he tried to take something off a 3-wood for his second shot into the 650-yard 17th.
 
``I've asked Rick Nichols at Nike to see what I can do to bridge the gap, to maybe put a 5-wood or 7-wood in the bag,'' Woods said. ``But I have a problem with having to be able to flight the golf ball with those clubs.''
 
He laughed as soon as he made contact with the 7-wood at Firestone because the ball had just a high trajectory.
 
``I love hitting my 2-iron off tees and hitting it down there low and controlling it,'' he said. ``Then again, sometimes I'm having a hard time into the par 5 of throwing the ball in the air.''
 
He noted that Vijay Singh carried a 7-wood that was bent to work like a 5-wood. Still, it sounded as though Woods would keep the same 14 clubs for a while.
 
``I have a hard time with that club now,'' he said.
 
BELLY UP
Fred Couples has been using the belly putter the past few years, and there's no going back now. He tried using a conventional putter at the Masters, and it hurt his back so much he almost couldn't play.
 
Couples played a practice round with David Duval, who had an extra putter with him. But he found himself stooped over enough to cause discomfort, and when the tournament started, Couples said his back went out.
 
``The thing at Augusta was a joke,'' he said. ``When I bend over, that's when I get a little bump. I would rather go back to the conventional (putter), but the two days I really worked hard at doing it, I could feel a little stress. I just don't think I can go back to that putter.''
 
DIVOTS
Laura Diaz, playing the Solheim Cup as she enters her sixth month of pregnancy, says she has heard from Juli Inkster, Tammie Green and Pat Hurst, who also played with child. The best news she has heard? ``The five-month mark is really, really good on your golf game, you have a lot of energy and they've all putted really well,'' she said. ... Stuart Appleby has four of the 20 longest drives on the PGA Tour this year. ... Only seven players have played the par 4s under par on the PGA Tour this year, including the top six players on the money list. The seventh is Richard Johnson of Sweden, who checks in at No. 94.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Jason Bohn earned more money from his runner-up finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship ($594,000) than for his victory two months ago in the B.C. Open ($540,000).
 
FINAL WORD
``He thought I was insane. It took me three bottles of wine one night to talk him into it. He drank most of it.'' -- Olin Browne, on telling his father he wanted to be a professional golfer.
 
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.