Notes Tough Draw For Walker Cup

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The USGA doesnt need to spend much time or money promoting the Walker Cup next year because odds are not many will care.
 
The Walker Cup will be played outside Chicago on Aug. 13-14 -- the same weekend as the PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey.
 
USGA executive director David Fay said officials never bothered to check when the fourth major was being played, and it might not have mattered. Moving the Walker Cup up one week makes it back-to-back with the U.S. Amateur. To move it back a week would conflict with the U.S. Womens Amateur.
 
Great Britain & Ireland has won the Walker Cup the last three times.
 
Europe won the Ryder Cup three straight times -- 1985-89 -- and it made the 91 matches at Kiawah Island one of the biggest golf events of the year.
 
Then again, the Walker Cup doesnt get a lot of attention even when its not up against a major.
 
I wish more people were complaining about it, Fay said.
 
That would mean its stature is elevated.
 
AMERICAN PERK
Paula Creamer was not eligible for the $6,000 check by winning the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament because she competed as an amateur, turning pro only after she completed her five-shot victory.
 
However, she was eligible to get a perk that goes to the winner - one round-trip ticket anywhere in the continental United States on American Airlines. Excuse the 18-year-old if she doesnt get too excited.
 
Her father, Paul, is a pilot for American Airlines. Creamer has pretty much been flying free her whole life.
 
OLD ROOKIE
Todd Hamilton is the British Open champion and possibly the answer to a trivia question.
 
Who was the oldest player to ever win PGA Tour rookie of the year?
 
Hamilton, 39, won the award based on his major championship and winning the Honda Classic. While he has been a professional for 17 years, he had spent the last dozen seasons toiling on Asian tours.
 
Still, he wont apologize for the award, nor should be. Hamilton earned his PGA Tour card for the first time by making it through Q-school.
 
A lot of these courses I had never seen before, Hamilton said. And if I wasnt in the pro-am, I only had one chance to play the course in a practice round.
 
The second-oldest rookie of the year since the award began in 1990 was Carlos Franco, who earned his PGA Tour card at Q-school in 1998, then played in the Presidents Cup before starting his rookie season.
 
SHARK BYTES
Karrie Webb only has to play 15 tournaments next year to qualify for the World Golf Hall of Fame. She earned the required 27 points on the LPGA Tour four years ago, and now lacks only 10 years on tour.
 
She already is thinking ahead, mostly to make sure her longtime Aussie swing coach, Kelvin Haller, can make it to Florida. He was paralyzed long ago, and Webb said it will be quite a process to get him over.
 
As for the person who presents her?
 
Considering it has to be a current member in the Hall of Fame, dont rule out another famous Australian.
 
I think it would be pretty cool that I grew up looking up to Greg Norman, Webb said.
 
Webb won a junior tournament in Australia as a 17-year-old, and among the rewards was spending a week with Norman in his Florida home and following his workout and practice routine.
 
I couldnt even believe I was meeting Greg Norman and staying at his house, she said. To have him present would be pretty special. But well see what happens. I dont even know what date it is next year, if Greg is going to be around or anything like that.
 
DIVOTS
Peter Lonard will be trying to become the first player to win the Australian Triple Crown'the Australian Open, Australia PGA Championship and Australian Masters'in the same year. The Australian Masters is being held this week at Huntingdale in Melbourne, when Lonard won his first Australasian Tour event in 1997. ... Nancy Scranton gave birth to twins last week'Libby Jane and Luke, born Dec. 2. ... Among those who earned their PGA Tour cards Monday at PGA West was Sean OHair, a 22-year-old who turned pro five years ago before finishing high school.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Arnold Palmer has won $183,000 in two silly-season events this year. Thats just $1,065 short of his best year ever on the PGA Tour in 1967.
 
FINAL WORD
It was a lot more fun when it felt like I was winning every three or four tournaments.'Tiger Woods, on the increased competition on the PGA Tour.
 
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