The first contribution was shared by Louisiana-based foundations of PGA TOUR members Kelly Gibson, Hal Sutton and David Toms. A year ago, Mickelson's donation helped build two new homes in the Lower Ninth Ward. This year's pledge has not been earmarked.
Mickelson said he could not play New Orleans because of the revamped schedule; he plans to play three straight events, starting with the Byron Nelson Championship next week in Dallas.
A CAR FOR THE CADDIE:
When last seen at Riviera, former PGA champion Rich Beem was sprawled atop the roof of a Nissan Altima after making a hole-in-one on the 14th hole in the third round of the Nissan Open.
What to do with the sports car became a problem.
He first offered it to his caddie, Billy Heim, who was stunned by the offer, but then thought the better of it.
``I said, 'You better talk to your wife,''' Heim said at the Masters.
That didn't solve anything, so Beem decided to turn it into a lottery. He took six pieces of paper and wrote down the names of Heim, Beem's mother, his mother-in-law, the maid, a charity and cash option. He put the crumpled pieces of paper in a hat, then asked his daughter, 20-month-old Bailee, to draw one out.
``He called me and said, 'You won,''' Heim said. ``I said, Won what?' He told me Bailee picked my name out of a hat, and I get the car. I asked Sarah (Beem's wife) if it was legitimate, and she told me it was. So I figured I'll take it.''
Better news is he doesn't have to worry about the cleat marks Beem left on the car when he climbed on the trunk and onto the roof.
``I'm assuming I can pick a new one,'' Heim said.
A SQUIRE'S WATCH FOR SALE:
In the April 26 sale at Christie's under ``Important Pocket Watch & Wristwatches,'' Lot 342 might hold some interest for golf fans - a rare Patek Philippe given to Gene Sarazen in honor of winning the 1922 U.S. Open.
Adding to the value is an inscription on the back that reads, ``Presented to Gene Sarazen by the Apawamis Club where he started his golf, July 24, 1922.'' Sarazen once caddied at Apawamis, and he won the first of his seven majors that summer at the U.S. Open.
The auction estimate is $25,000 to $35,000.
``It's got this historical background that makes it interesting,'' said Doug Escribano, a specialist in Christie's watch department. ``Anyone who has a sense of golf history knows Gene Sarazen. That's what gives it the value.''
Escribano said the watch comes with a handwritten letter from Sarazen dated Nov. 3, 1992 in which he tells the story behind the watch.
Lot 342 will be up for auction in the afternoon session. The morning session also has two golf-related watches.
Lot 20 is an Audemars Piguet limited edition with the signature of Nick Faldo, made under his name after he won his first British Open. The auction estimate for that is $8,000 to $12,000. Lot 21 is an Audemars Piguet that comes with a set of Mizuno irons. That auction estimate also is $8,000 to $12,000.
A young woman and her friend showed up unannounced last week at the World Golf Hall of Fame, paid their money and took the tour. They were particularly impressed with the special exhibit honoring Gary Player, who has spent six decades traveling the world and two weeks ago competed in his 50th Masters.
Only when a worker thought the visitor look familiar did Hall of Fame officials realize it was Lorena Ochoa.
There was speculation the Ryder Cup would change to four days, which would create more flexibility in starting times and allow fans one more day of golf.
But European Tour chief George O'Grady said the matches will stick with the three-day format.
``We debated going to four days at great length, and yes, we would have got more money in the short term,'' O'Grady told The Daily Mail. ``But would we have destroyed the beauty of the Ryder Cup in the process? The great thing about the current format is that the contest has to be alive going into the final day, even when there is a blowout like the last two matches.
``At the end of the day, there are just sound golfing reasons for staying the same.''
The European Tour is offering a $1.35 million bonus to the player to wins the Irish Open and the BMW PGA Championship in successive weeks next month. Along with prize money, the payout would be nearly $3 million. ... Libba Galloway has been named deputy commissioner of the LPGA Tour. First hired as the chief legal officer, Galloway most recently was executive vice president. ... The Champions Skins Game will move to the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course next year. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson are the defending champions. ... Juli Inkster and Natalie Gulbis will take part in the CVS Charity Classic this summer, the first women to play in the popular two-day event hosted by Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade. The tournament will be held a week before the U.S. Women's Open.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Americans have won five of six events on the LPGA Tour this year. Americans won only six times last year.
``I'm trying to understand it, but I ain't figured it out yet.'' - Boo Weekley, when told he moved into the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings.
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