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Dropping In on the LPGA

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While doing play-by-play for the LPGA event last week in Tucson, I went looking for a piece of the true Southwest. Ended up eating dinner at Outback Steakhouse. America's so frighteningly homogeneous these days, Macaroni Grill passes as Little Italy in most every city; P.F. Chang's as Chinatown.
 
In any event, I do admire the skill level on the LPGA. But the tour suffers from a shortage of buzz. Crowds are relatively small so the noise level's minimal.
 
Meanwhile, the best thing about golf play-by-play is that with a syrupy, Vin Scully elocution, you get to say things like, 'Let's go down to 14 ... Becky Iverson ... for paaaaarrrr.'
 
It's important, too, to keep the viewer interested. 'Annika Sorenstam, with a 17-shot lead ... keep in mind if she falls into the lake at 16 and Se Ri Pak finishes eagle, eagle, albatross ... we might have a barnburner. Now let's go back to 15 ... Hee Won Han for paaaaarrrr.'
 
By the way, Sorenstam's very, very good. The swing's simple, fluid and repeatable. And her distance control is exquisite.
 
When asked how SHE played so well, wacky Swede Helen Alfredsson once told The Golf Channel's Kay Cockerill, 'You know us girls, we're good at faking it.'
 
Trying to bring back my kids a bit of the culture from my travels, I scored a $5 cowboy hat magnet. It was either that or the talking cactus tree. If there's anything I can't stand it's a mouthy cactus tree.
 
Donna Caponi, who possesses a wealth of knowledge as the color analyst, played Tucson when they used to chase rattlesnakes off the tees. If it's me, I'm not doing any chasing. I'm doing some sprinting. To the clubhouse.
 
Imagine the call back then: 'Now to the 11th tee ... winds crossing, water left, rattlers right ... very difficult hole'
 
2000 Rookie of the Year Dorothy Delasin grew up without much money. The daughter of Filipino immigrants, she played and played and played San Francisco munis. Her dad, Sonny, maintained carts at Lincoln Park. Father and daughter used to get up before dawn. He'd work. She'd play. When he had time, he molded her swing. When she won last year, she made the down payment on a home for her parents as a way of saying thanks. Her caddie is her sister, who someday hopes to play the Tour as well. Golf balls don't ask how much money you make, do they?
 
I admire some of the British golf announcers for their minimalist approach. Missed three-footer or a 3-wood to three feet and they can use the same phrase - 'My, my.'
 
Bit hungry as I write this award-winner at 11:35 at night, waiting for the redeye out of Tucson. Does Taco Bell qualify as authentic Mexican?