Brown Deer a Thinking Mans Course

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2005, 4:00 pm
US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeMILWAUKEE -- As usual, the US Bank Championship didnt attract the worlds greatest golfers.
History has shown, however, that some of the best golf in the world might be seen this week at Brown Deer Park even without Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.
The par-70 course with notoriously thick rough measures 6,759 yards, one of the shortest on the PGA Tour, so it puts a premium on iron play and putting. Brown Deer includes doglegs, thick rough and a creek that dissects four of the par-4s, all of which serve to neutralize long hitters'Woods finished 60th here in his pro debut in 1996.
Yet, golfers have to attack the fairways because there are so many birdies to be had, especially with the rainstorms that drenched the course Wednesday.
The public course attracts old-school golfers who prefer the thinking mans game of golf, as well as those who consider Milwaukee an even-playing field with some of the Tours top money winners staying home.
Its an old-style golf course that has a lot of Northeastern feel to it, Brad Faxon said. I dont think its a bombers paradise that you see so often on Tour now. Tough rough around the greens. I just kind of like it. A lot of these tournaments that have a homespun, I hate to say small town because Milwaukees not a small town, but theres a lot of personality to it, the fans really get behind it.
Faxon even spoke up for the rough, which he said was the thickest on tour last summer.
It was off the fairways, too. You just kind of hacked it out with a wedge, he said. Typically, Im not a big fan of that on the big courses we play on. But when you have courses like this, lets make it important to hit them down the fairway or decide. Decisions are gone in the modern game now.
Thats the other thing Milwaukee offers: rewards for strategy and skill, not just strength and length.
Faxon said too often on the Tour today, its pull a driver out of the bag and swing as hard as you can. Rather than, Boy, do I want to chance hitting the driver here because if I miss this fairway, its going to cost me. I would love to see strategy become a part of the game again.
Scott Verplank couldnt agree more. He loves the thick rough that keeps things interesting at Brown Deer Park.
It puts an absolute premium on hitting the ball in the fairway, he said. I enjoy that a lot more than standing up and having all these young guys hit it 340 yards in the air, bomb and driver every hole and being OK. Id rather play a course where you still have to have control of your golf ball.
Equipment and course conditions have conspired to drive out the strategist nowadays, not entirely but enough to bother players who honed their craft at places like Brown Deer Park, Verplank suggested.
Its taking a lot of the skill of shot-making out of it, not all of it, but its definitely changed a lot from when I started playing 20 years ago, Verplank said. So, yeah, its kind of nice to come to a place where theres a lot more yardage variance. A couple holes you hit driver and try to hit it as hard as you can; other holes you play to a position and try to get the best angle or the best yardage you can to the pin.
Verplank played Brown Deer last year to get Ryder Cup points. This time, hes here to earn Presidents Cup points. And he said hes just like the rest of the field: confident hell do well this week.
Ive got to be honest, almost every tournament Ive played in this year has got Tiger Woods and Vijay and Ernie and Retief Goosen, Verplank said. Not that this is not a competitive field ... but I thought if there was a place to add points for the Presidents Cup team, this place fits me.
Like I said, if I play well, I would expect that I would have some sort of chance at a high finish.
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    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.

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    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.