Notes Young Tom Morris vs Wie Curveball for Tiger

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Young Tom Morris just got a little bit older.
 
That still doesn't change anything for Michelle Wie, the 16-year-old from Hawaii who must win the Women's British Open this week at Royal Lytham & St. Annes if she wants to become golf's youngest major champion. The record belongs to Morris, who was 17 when he captured the first of his four British Open titles in 1868.
 
For years, it was thought Young Tom had been born in St. Andrews on May 10, 1851.
 
'Up until somebody went looking for it, everybody had only found his baptismal certificate, not his actual birth certificate,' said Peter Lewis, who manages the British Golf Museum at St. Andrews.
 
Lewis said a friend who is writing a book on the Morris family located Young Tom's birth certificate at the New Register House in Edinburgh, Scotland. The actual date of birth is April 20, 1851.
 
That means Young Tom was 17 years, five months and three days when he made the first ace in Open history on his way to a two-shot victory over Robert Andrew at Prestwick on Sept. 23, 1868.
 
All it means is that records now can be updated.
 
'It's a good discovery, and a helpful one,' Lewis said Monday. 'But in the great scheme of things, it doesn't change anything dramatically. It tidies stuff up. It's a nice bit of historical completeness.'
 
Young Tom died on Christmas Day in 1875 at age 24.
 
Wie has been a serious threat to win a major the last two years, finishing no worse than a tie for fifth in the last four majors. She will be among the favorites this week at Lytham, her final major championship this year.
 
She turns 17 on Oct. 11, and the next major isn't until the Kraft Nabisco Championship next year, which ends April 1. By then, Wie will be 17 years, five months and 21 days old.
 
CURVEBALL
Tiger Woods probably thought he had heard every question until the second round of the British Open.
 
As the interview ended, a reporter introduced himself as being a tennis writer from Italy. He said Nick Faldo had compared Woods with Bjorn Borg because of the way Woods controlled his emotions.
 
'What do you know about Bjorn Borg? What do you know about tennis?' the reporter asked. 'And what do you know about Italy?'
 
Once the laughter subsided, Woods knocked out the answers one at a time.
 
He's an avid tennis fan and watches all the time. He was flattered by the comparisons with Borg.
 
As for Italy?
 
'I've never been to Italy,' Woods replied diplomatically. 'I've always wanted to do.'
 
IMG agent Mark Steinberg walked over to Woods to escort him to his next interview and quipped, 'Negotiations are now under way for the Italian Open.'
 
THEY'RE WAITING
Hal Sutton turned 48 this year, which did not escape the folks at the Champions Tour.
 
'They sent me a birthday card,' Sutton said, bursting into rich laughter. 'It said, 'We recognize that you will be eligible for this in a few years, and we'd love to see you.' That struck me as funny.'
 
Sutton has played only one tournament this year, missing the cut at Riviera, so it's hard to imagine him getting off his horse, so to speak, to play against the 50-and-older group.
 
But considering his 3-year-old son, Holt, has never seen him play, he might change his mind.
 
'In a few years, he'd be old enough to know what I was doing,' Sutton said. 'From that perspective, I might play a little bit.'
 
STRONG KICK
Too bad every hole is not the last one for Brandt Snedeker.
 
In his last five Nationwide Tour events, Snedeker has gone eagle-birdie-eagle-eagle-eagle in the final hole of regulation. The first eagle got him into a playoff, which he lost. In the third tournament during this amazing stretch, Snedeker made eagle to get into a playoff at the Scholarship America Showdown in Minnesota.
 
Snedeker, the 2003 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, has moved from No. 93 to No. 7 on the money list and is in good shape to finish in the top 20 and earn his PGA Tour card for next year.
 
END OF A TRADITION
As traditions go at the British Open, this doesn't date as far as the claret jug.
 
Four years ago, press officer Stewart McDougal began asking all Open champions to sign the table used each year in the interview room. It had the names of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Curtis and Peter Thomson.
 
The most comical moment occurred when Colin Montgomerie came by for his pre-tournament interview a few years back, saw the names on the table and grabbed a pen. McDougal had no choice but to stop him and say, 'Sorry, that's only for champions.'
 
Alas, the table is no more.
 
The company that supplied it went into bankruptcy, and while selling off its assets, put the table for sale on eBay. McDougal said a Glasgow man bought it for about $1,800.
 
The man then called McDougal and offered to provide the table at Royal Liverpool, with a caveat. It was his understanding that McDougal would arrange for more Open champions to autograph the table.
 
And that's where McDougal drew the line.
 
'It wasn't meant for that,' he said.
 
He thought about starting over on the table supplied by the new company, but figured it wasn't worth the trouble.
 
DIVOTS
Jack Nicklaus has signed a deal to build his first golf course in Chile. ... Greg Norman is branching out his business by introducing a luxury brand of Australian beef to the U.S. market. According to a news release, Norman is no stranger to the beef industry as 'he has been ranching most of his life.' And you thought he spent most of that time on the driving range. ... If Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or Geoff Ogilvy win the PGA Championship, Jim Furyk would be first alternate for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii. ... The world ranking will slightly tweak its system, gradually reducing the value of points each week instead of taking off 25 percent every 13 weeks over two years. ... Starting next year, the Curtis Cup will be spread over three days instead of two.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Tom Lehman's two assistant captains won tournaments last week, Corey Pavin at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, Loren Roberts at the Senior British Open.
 
FINAL WORD
'Golf isn't like a sitcom, where problems are presented in the first five minutes, then solved in the last five minutes.' -- Olin Browne, whose victory in the Deutsche Bank Championship last year ended a six-year drought on the PGA TOUR.
 
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