Notes Jones to Put Retirement Plans on Hold

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CARMEL, Ind. -- At a time when Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have tried to figure out how to retire from tournament golf, Rosie Jones thought she had it made.

She has said this would be her final year on the LPGA Tour, and it appeared to be a perfectly scripted farewell. Jones was competitive enough to be runner-up at a major championship and earn a spot on the Solheim Cup, where she went 1-0-2 as the United States won.

But it's no longer that simple.

'I don't know how clean of a break it's going to be,' Jones said as she left Crooked Stick.

Part of the problem is that Jones, 45, tied for 19th in the U.S. Women's Open. The top 20 are exempt from qualifying, so Jones will play next year at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island.

'I'll probably play a few tournaments in the summer to get ready,' Jones said. Then pausing, she added, 'The question is how much am I going to dedicate myself to play.'

She said she now might play 10 times, but not a full schedule. She will not set any goals, such as trying to earn Solheim Cup points or finishing in the top 30 to get into the ADT Championship.

'I'm going to go out slower than I anticipated,' Jones said with a smile.

FAXON ON THE MEND
Brad Faxon won the Buick Championship two weeks ago, and while his plan all along was to have knee surgery at the end of the year, he suddenly found himself facing other opportunities.

He loves Kapalua, home of the winners-only Mercedes Championships. The victory moved him into the top 30 on the money list, and if Faxon held his position the rest of the year, he could have qualified for a World Golf Championship, the Tour Championship and secure a spot in the Masters.

But coming off the course at the Deutsche Bank Championship a week later, it wasn't that simple.

As Faxon peeled off two pair of socks, he told a doctor friend that the bottom of his feet felt numb, and that his quadriceps were tight. This was from torn ligaments in his left knee nearly two years ago.
 
That's why his decision to have season-ending surgery on Tuesday wasn't terrible surprising.

'I am disappointed to have to end my season, but my knee has been bothering me for the better part of the year,' Faxon said in a statement. 'My ultimate goal is to play in the major championships next year and to qualify for the 2006 Ryder Cup, and by having surgery now, I can strive to meet this goal.'
 
MALLON ON THE MEND
The Americans didn't celebrate quite the way they wanted at the Solheim Cup, not after watching Meg Mallon get loaded into an ambulance for what the LPGA Tour initially described as overheating.

Mallon, whose 6-foot par putt on the 16th hole clinched the cup, remained hospitalized Tuesday in Indianapolis while going through a number of tests to determine the cause and treatment.

The tour said her heartbeat was as high as 266 a minute after the closing ceremony Sunday afternoon. It said Mallon was resting comfortably and in good spirits.
 
STATE PRIDE
European players have a flag of their home country on their golf bag at the Solheim Cup, along with the European flag under which they compete -- blue with 12 gold stars in a circle for each country.

In a move the Ryder Cup should consider, the U.S. team showed they also have some diversity. Each bag had the Stars & Stripes, the player's name, and the state flag from their home.

Six players had the California Republic flag and its brown bear -- Juli Inkster, Paula Creamer, Pat Hurst, Christina Kim, Natalie Gulbis and Rosie Jones. Other flags were Florida (Laura Diaz, Cristie Kerr), Texas (Wendy Ward), South Carolina (Beth Daniel), Minnesota (Michele Redman) and Michigan (Meg Mallon).

Inkster used to jokingly disown Creamer for having left Northern California to attend a golf school in Florida, but she let her off the hook during their two matches.

'I've given her enough stick already,' Inkster said.
 
NEXT IN LINE
Greg Johnston has been as much a brother as a caddie for Juli Inkster, on her bag as she captured two U.S. Women's Opens, two LPGA Championships and played her way into the Hall of Fame.

His next job figures to come with more attention.

Johnston will take over as the caddie for Michelle Wie, who many believe will turn pro at the Samsung World Championship next month.

'He's like a brother to me, and I'll always love him,' Inkster told Golfweek magazine. 'It's what he wants to do, and I hope it works out for him.'
 
KATRINA RELIEF
The PGA Tour is stepping up its support of hurricane relief efforts by asking players at the 84 Lumber Classic to donate a portion or all of their tournament earnings to the U.S. Golf Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

PGA champion Phil Mickelson was quick to reply, saying he would give his earnings or a minimum of $250,000, along with appearing in public service ads to support the fund.

Officials also will collect donations at the tournament, which starts this week, from spectators, volunteers and tournament staff at the Nemacolin Woodlands resort.

Maggie Hardy Magerko, the president and owner of 84 Lumber and the golf resort, will match every dollar up to $500,000. Beyond that, she will donate an amount equal to half the money won by defending champion Vijay Singh and John Daly, both of whom are sponsored by 84 Lumber.

That could put the total contribution at well over $1 million.

'We have several stores in the affected Gulf Coast region and hundreds of associates whose lives were significantly impacted,' Hardy Magerko said. 'Our first order of business was to take care of our associates and their families with shelter, food, clothing and other basic necessities and to get our stores open. Now we want to turn our attention to raising significant funds to assist all of those affected by this unprecedented disaster.'
 
DIVOTS
On his second-to-last day on the job, former LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaw received the Patty Berg Award from the LPGA to recognize his contributions to women's golf. ... CBS Sports has signed a new six-year deal giving it the rights to televise the PGA Championship through 2011. ... Lee Trevino returns to the Champions Tour this week in the Constellation Energy Classic. Trevino has not played since January because of back pain. He had minor surgery in May. ... Retief Goosen, the first alternate for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii, has decided not to play. He was replaced by Vijay Singh for the Nov. 21-22 event.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
The scoring average at the Canadian Open was 72.533, second only to the U.S. Open (74.166) in degree of difficulty this year on the PGA Tour.

FINAL WORD
'All I know is I have the car pool tomorrow.' --
Juli Inkster, asked about her future on the LPGA Tour.