SIX FOR THE SHRINE: Six people were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last Monday night in St. Augustine, Fla. The group included architect Pete Dye; long-time amateur sensation Carol Semple Thompson; Australian legend Bob Charles; late major champions Craig Wood and Denny Shute; and the late great writer, Herbert Warren Wind.
There weren't any real 'headliners' in this group, but it was interesting that Davis Love III won on the eve of the induction ceremony. Love has 20 PGA Tour wins, including one major and two Players Championships. Is that good enough for future enshrinement? We say he needs another major to earn a Hall-of-Fame resume. As far as Dye's enshrinement is concerned ' who among us has not dreamed of stepping to the tee box on the 17th at Sawgrass?
SO CLOSE: Erik Compton posted a 1-over-par 73 on the final day of PGA Tour second-stage Q-School to fail to advance by a single stroke. A late bogey caused the two-time heart-transplant patient to now have to rely on sponsor's exemptions for the 2009 season.
What a tough ending for what has undoubtedly been a tough year for the 29-year-old Compton. But at the same time, what a great year for a young man who has twice been declared dead. Taking the glass is half-full approach was his instructor Jim McLean, saying afterwards, 'He didnt miss. Its more like a phenomenal win.' We agree ' whole-heartedly.
NO. 1 ON NO. 44: Tiger Woods spoke to CNBC this past week on the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Woods said it was a dream come true to see a man of color ascend to the White House.
Like Woods, Obama is multi-racial. And like Woods, we at Backspin appreciate the significance of his election. Maybe Woods, soon to be 33 and a father of two, will become more outspoken on events outside the world of golf.
HORSESHOES AND HAND GRENADES: Annika Sorenstam was oh-so-close to getting into a playoff at the inaugural Lorena Ochoa Invitational, but instead finished a single stroke behind Angela Stanford, a now two-time winner on the LPGA this season.
Annika's putt on the final hole Sunday did a near 360 before finishing on the lip of the hole. It was disappointing to the thousands of fans on hand who were there celebrate not only the near-end of Annika's great career, but also their favorite golfing daughter, host Lorena. The one question we have is: Did Angela not get to read the revised version to the ending of this script?
LET ME CHECK MY SCHEDULE: The PGA Tour released its 2009 schedule, at least through the FedEx Cup playoffs. Of significance was the fact that purses were raised more than $8 million. Also, the Valero Texas Open was moved out of the Fall Series and into the position of the now defunct Atlanta event to create a three-tournament Texas Swing in May.
Speaking of the Fall Series, that part of the schedule is still up in the air. It's amazing that in these economic times that Finchem and company could secure full sponsorship for the season (based on what they've released thus far). The Backspin staff sponsored a tournament once, but it only included four people and was played on a par-3 course. We tried to get Tiger to play, but could only come up with $12.22 for an appearance fee. We used that money for beer instead.
GOT MILK(HA)?: Some big names were halfway around the world this past week for the Barclays Singapore Open. And lo-and-behold Mr. Singh took home the title over the likes of Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.
When we say 'Mr. Singh,' we of course mean Mr. Jeev Milkha Singh. Which begs the question: With a middle name like 'Milkha' how long before we see Jeev on the pages of Sports Illustrated in a 'Got Milk?' ad campaign? OK, probably never.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The team Jay Haas, Fred Funk and Nick Price won the Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge for the Champions Tour. ... Ian Poulter pulled out of the Singapore Open after his driver was stolen and he couldn't find a proper replacement.
The senior trio split $500,000, while the LPGA team of Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis and Helen Alfredsson, and the PGA Tour team of Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry and Rocco Mediate each split $250,000 apiece. ... Isn't it amazing that the average golfer uses any number of drivers off the rack and a professional ' who actually has talent ' can't use anything without perfect specifications?