DiMarco one back at Reno-Tahoe Open

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2010, 6:57 am

Reno-Tahoe OpenRENO, Nevada – If Chris DiMarco keeps playing like this, his 14-year-old son may have landed a permanent job as his caddie.

The three-time winner on the PGA Tour who hasn’t finished in the top-10 since 2008 shot a 5-under-par 67 with Cristian DiMarco on his bag for the first time at the Reno-Tahoe Open on Thursday, good enough to be a stroke behind first-round leader Matt Bettencourt.

Will MacKenzie, the 2006 Reno champ, and Craig Bowden were two shots off the pace with 68 at Montreux Golf & Country Club on the edge of the Sierra Nevada. A group of more than a dozen golfers at 69 included Steve Elkington, Woody Austin, Mark Hensby, J.J. Henry and former UNLV star Chad Campbell.

DiMarco’s son helped read the tricky mountain greens and even called him off of using his driver when the 2-iron proved to be the perfect choice on the 464-yard, tree-lined No. 8 that drops 138 feet from an elevated tee.

“It’s about the coolest thing I’ve ever done on a golf course having my son there sitting right next to me making birdies and playing well,” said DiMarco, 41, who has made 10 of 15 cuts this year but only had one top-25 finish and barely $200,000 in earnings. “He’s a 3 or 4 handicap himself, so he can read greens.”

Bettencourt, who won the 2008 Nationwide Tour Championship but has no PGA wins, hit his drive 355 yards on the par-5 17th, knocked a 4-iron 260 yards to within 3 feet and made the eagle before bogeying No. 18.

The 35-year-old Northern California native said he probably played nearly 100 rounds of golf in the neighboring Reno area while growing up, including a couple dozen trips to Montreux the past decade.

“My confidence is building. I feel real comfortable,” he said. “I feel really acclimated to the elevation.”

“The whole game is about confidence. I think that’s what Tiger (Woods) has bred so well over his career. I mean, he’s so much more confident than everybody else. We all believe in ourselves. You know, it’s just the matter of getting on a hot streak.”

DiMarco, who birdied the last three holes in his bogey-free round Thursday, has earned more than $20 million in his 16 years on tour. A former member of the U.S. Ryder and Presidents cup teams, his best year was 2005 when he finished seventh on the money list and lost the Masters by two strokes to Woods in a playoff.

He also was the runner-up to Woods in the 2006 British Open, but ended that season early to have surgery on his left shoulder and has been working his way back since. His last PGA win was the 2002 Phoenix Open.

“Obviously, I think I can still win out here,” DiMarco said. “My confidence is slowly but surely coming back. I’m starting to get comfortable on the golf course again.”

That might have something to do with the help on the home front, which he solicited this week after giving his regular caddie a break. He said he won on the European Tour at Abu Dhabi in 2006 with his wife, Amy, on the bag and the 2001 Buick Challenge with his brother, Mitch, caddying.

“I have had a lot of success with family on the bag,” he said. “I don’t know if it relaxes me, if it makes me more comfortable, whatever it is.”

John Rollins, the defending champ who matched the course record with a 62 in last year’s second round, shot a 71 on Thursday but “played a lot better than I scored.”

“Last year on Friday I had a great round, so hopefully the golf gods will be the same with me tomorrow,” he said.

MacKenzie also felt he should have scored better, making only one putt outside 10 feet.

“I’ve been playing like crud this year,” said MacKenzie, who has missed six of 13 cuts with his best finish a tie for 12th at the Honda Classic. “I need to shoot a low one to get my confidence back.”

MacKenzie lost his ball in the sage brush and took double bogey when his drive hit a tree on the 518-yard, par-5, No. 4, often a birdie opportunity.

“There’s two spotters over there and we all look voraciously for 5 minutes – if that’s a word – and couldn’t find it,” he said. “It was not even that bad of sage over there. I was really amazed that we lost that ball. It was a bummer.”

Getty Images

High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

Getty Images

Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

A post shared by ETPI (@etpi_performanceunit) on

Getty Images

Arizona captures NCAA DI Women's Championship

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 11:56 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – Turns out this match-play format provides fireworks. Almost always.

In the four years since the women’s NCAA Championship has switched from the stale, 72-hole stroke-play format the championship matches have been pure magic.

This year, for the third time in the past four years, the final outcome came down to the last match and Arizona took home its third title with a 3-2 victory over Alabama on Wednesday when junior Haley Moore defeated senior Lakareber Abe on the 19th hole.

The Wildcats also won NCAA titles in 1996 and 2000, the latter when current Arizona coach Laura Ianello was on the team as a player.

“Arizona is my home, it is where I went to school and [the championship] needs to be back home,” Ianello said. “So I am so proud to be the coach to bring it back.”

Two days ago, Arizona was in the midst of an epic collapse. The Wildcats were safely in the third position after 54 holes of stroke play and needed only to be inside the top eight after 72 holes to advance to the match-play portion of the event.

But they played the worst round of the day and were on the outside looking in with one hole remaining when junior Bianca Pagdanganan made eagle on the par-5 18th hole. That propelled the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor that they ultimately won.

On the first day of match play, Arizona continued to ride the wave of momentum by defeating Pac-12 rivals UCLA, the top seed, and Stanford, a match-play stalwart the past three years.

Next up for Arizona was Alabama, the top-ranked team in the country and the second seed this week after stroke play.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a hell of a ride,” Ianello said, attempting to take pressure off her team, which, on paper, looked like an underdog.

But you know the saying, anything can happen in match play, and often does.

Alabama coach Mic Potter put out his three first-team All-Americans in the first three spots hoping to jump out to an early lead. Junior Lauren Stephenson played poorly in the opening match and lost, 4 and 3, to freshman Yu-Sang Hou.

Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight dispatched Wildcats Gigi Stoll and Pagdanganan easily in the second and third matches.

Arizona’s Sandra Nordaas beat Angelica Moresco, 1 up, in the fourth match meaning the fifth and final match, which was all square after 16 holes, was going to decide the NCAA title.

Lakareber lost the 17th hole when her approach shot sailed well short and right of the green in thick, gnarly rough. She attempted to advance the ball but could not and headed to the final hole 1 down.

With seemingly every golf fan in Stillwater on site, including several men’s teams here to participate in next week’s championship, Abe hit a laser second shot into the par-5 18th hole setting up a 12-foot look for eagle. Moore missed her birdie putt and Abe won the hole to set up extra holes to decide the championship.

In the extra frame, Moore was left of the green in two shots and Abe was short in the greenside bunker. Moore chipped to 4 feet and Abe’s bunker shot was 6 feet away. Abe missed, Moore made and Arizona walked away with the hardware.

“It means so much, it’s actually like a dream,” Moore said. “I’m just so happy for my team right now.”

Potter has been a head coach for 35 years – at both Furman and Alabama – and finally was able to collect his first NCAA Championship in 2012. Being so close to a second one will sting for quite a while but he will be able to live with the outcome for one simple reason.

“They fought their hearts out all year,” Potter said. “I just want to congratulate them for the way they battled, not only today, but in match play. Everyone gave their best on every shot - that’s all we can ask.”

Arizona def. Alabama, 3-2

Yu-Sang Hou (AZ) def. Lauren Stephenson (AL), 4 and 3

Kristen Gillman (AL) def. Gigi Stoll (AZ), 4 and 3

Cheyenne Knight (AL) def. Bianca Pagdanganan, 4 and 2

Sandra Nordaas (AZ) def. Angelica Moresco (AL), 1 up

Haley Moore (AZ) def. Lakareber Abe (AL), 19th hole

Getty Images

Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.