Notes Rankin Recovering No Age Limit for Monty

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Judy Rankin sounded as upbeat as ever Tuesday, hopeful the hard part of cancer surgery was behind her. She cooked dinner for the first time, and even had the strength to take her dogs for walk at home in Midland, Texas.
 
But the ABC Sports golf analyst doesn't quite have the strength to go to the British Open next week.
 
'It's the hardest week I have and the one I love the most,' said Rankin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two months ago. 'But I'm not quite up to that. I'm trying hard to get to the Women's British Open. Nothing is a definite yet, but it looks very possible.'
 
Rankin had planned to go to Toledo, Ohio, this weekend for the LPGA Tour event. Her family is talking her out of it, however, not wanting her to return too early and have a setback.
 
'I think I would be quite capable of sitting and talking for two hours,' she said with a laugh. 'It's the trip that's hard, and that's not an easy place to get to. What I need is my own airplane.'
 
Then came more laughter.
 
'Maybe I'll go to the British if Tiger will take me,' she said.
 
The Women's British Open is Aug. 3-6 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and Rankin remained optimistic she could make it.
 
'This has been hard, I must say,' she said. 'But I think I'm well through the worst of it now.'
 
AGE LIMIT
Colin Montgomerie says he feels 10 years younger than 43 because of his practice routine. Monty has one of the most beautifully repeating swings in golf, a swing that hasn't changed since he was a lad. That means he doesn't spend countless hours on the range finding a fix, which he believes has added longevity to his career.
 
'I haven't worn out my body bashing balls,' Montgomerie said last week in Ireland. 'Actually, I can prolong my career longer than others because I haven't bashed myself up.'
 
Monty said he hits about 150 balls during a typical round -- assuming he shoots around 70. He said Sky Sports sent a reporter to count how many balls Vijay Singh hit in a typical day at the U.S. Open.
 
'Just short of 1,000 in the day,' Montgomerie said. 'That included 400 putts after he finished. He's older than me by four months. But he's unique. He is one end of the scale, and I am the other. That's a 700- or 800-ball difference in a day. You multiply that by six days' play in a week. He does very well.'
 
Using that math, Carlos Franco is 41 and probably feels 12.
 
CHERRY PICKING
USGA executive director David Fay made it no secret that he would like to see the U.S. Women's Open return to Cherry Hills, and that he expects the Denver club to ask for it again.
 
If that's the case, expect to see one minor change.
 
Fay said it struck him watching the Women's Open last year that few of the women -- Sophie Gustafson and Laura Davies being the exception -- tried to reach the par-5 17th green in two. The green is small and guarded by a stream in front.
 
'When we return, we'd like to see the 17th play different,' Fay said.
 
He said plans were to build a forward tee that would tempt the women to go for the green. No telling what that would mean for the big-hitting Gustafson, who reached the green one round using a 6-iron.
 
IRISH DIPLOMACY
Padraig Harrington did not take the bait from British reporters last week who asked about the potential of the United States having so many rookies on the Ryder Cup team.
 
One reporter suggested that the reason Europeans don't know them is they don't have passports, alluding to Euro-bashing that Americans don't travel well.
 
Your thoughts, Padraig?
 
'If you live in the States, you don't need a passport to go to the Caribbean. You don't need a passport to go to Canada. You don't need a passport to go to Mexico,' he said. 'You can get a lot of places and go on a lot of holidays and visit a lot of nice places without a passport.'
 
Then it was suggested they never have been to Europe.
 
'They are going to look forward to an incredible experience coming to Ireland,' he said, 'and choosing a great country to come to Europe first.'
 
DIVOTS
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman didn't mince words when asked about John Daly's chance of being picked. 'He really hasn't done anything to warrant a second look at this point,' Lehman said last week in Ireland. Daly is the only double major winner to have never played in the Ryder Cup. ... Catrin Nilsmark will return as European captain, this time for the Junior Solheim Cup team. Her varsity squad won in Sweden and lost at Crooked Stick. ... The winner of the Senior Players Championship this week will get an extra perk -- a spot in the field next year at The Players Championship. The change was approved by the PGA TOUR policy board and is consistent with other senior majors. The leading money winner on the Nationwide Tour from the previous season also will get into The Players Championship. ... Kenny Perry tied for 12th at the Western Open and earned enough money to become the 10th player to surpass $20 million in career earnings. Jack Nicklaus is still stuck on $5.7 million.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Jeff Maggert at the St. Jude Classic and Geoff Ogilvy at the U.S. Open are the only players who have shot over par in the first round and gone on to win on the PGA TOUR this year.
 
FINAL WORD
'No. There's another Open.' -- Ben Curtis, asked if he would be playing the B.C. Open, held the same week as the British Open.