Elway hits the links with the seniors

By Associated PressSeptember 1, 2010, 9:44 pm

DENVER – John Elway pulled an Elway on the Elway hole.

“Seven on 7,” the Hall of Famer said sadly after carding an even-par 72 Wednesday in his first senior golf tournament since turning 50 in June.

Elway’s blunder came about when he played the wrong ball and ended up with a triple-bogey on the par-4 seventh hole at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, site of the HealthOne Colorado Senior Open.

Elway hit a TaylorMade Penta 2 ball from the rough only to realize when he reached it again on the fairway that it wasn’t his.

So, he called himself for a two-stroke penalty.

“It was the same exact ball and it was buried. I could barely see the ball and it was a TaylorMade 2, which is what I was hitting,” Elway said. “I didn’t mark the ball. … I just figured it was the same lie, same everything, so I didn’t check it for sure. I was happy to find it, actually.

“And after I hit it and I got up in the grass, I looked at it and I said, ‘Aw, that’s not my ball.’ So, we went 10 yards farther and there was my ball, and it was in much better shape than the one I hit.”

This golf ball is relatively new, so that made it all the odder to Elway that two nearly identical balls would be so close together to trip him up.

“I was a little bit unlucky, but I also should have checked it. It was in a big tuft of grass and I could only see about that much of it,” Elway said, holding his thumb and forefinger to make a hole about the size of a dime. “And it was a TaylorMade with a 2. So, I should have picked it up to make sure it was mine.”

There were only two fans watching, along with an Associated Press reporter and an AP photographer, who were far enough away that Elway and his caddie, Jeff Nickless, could have kept quiet and nobody would have known about the blunder.

Elway did the honorable thing, though, went back and played his ball.

Now, the two-time Super Bowl winner can add “honest golfer” to his resume.

“And I counted my scorecard seven times there because I wanted to make sure I didn’t write down a wrong score, either,” Elway said. “It was disappointing but I was able to come back and I actually played really well. So, it was just a mistake.”

Otherwise, Elway played pretty consistently, never needing a three-putt.

“I was glad I came back after that 7 because it bothered me, razzed me a little bit,” Elway said. “And I actually hit a good shot on the next hole, had about a 6-footer for birdie and I missed it. And I made birdie on the next hole.”

Elway was the low amateur finisher among the group that went off in the morning.

Another round like this and Elway should easily make the cut Friday when the field of 156 amateurs and pros is trimmed to the top 55 scores plus ties.

“My thought was I couldn’t win it today, I could just lose it,” said Elway, who tied for second at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada in July. “So, I played probably a little bit safer that I probably would if I was chasing somebody.

“If I can play like I did today tomorrow and eliminate the big hole, then maybe I can sneak back into it.”

Aside from working on his golf game, Elway has spent part of his summer dipping his toe back into the NFL with some marketing and corporate projects for the Denver Broncos

It’s the first time he’s been involved with his former team since retiring in 1999 after winning back-to-back Super Bowls. He’ll help them promote their game in London next month against the San Francisco 49ers.

“It’s kind of a perfect situation with what I have going on right now,” Elway said. “So, I’ll go to London with them and kind of see what happens. But it’s nice to just be close, back with the Broncos.”

Elway also has attended a couple of coach Josh McDaniels’ practices this summer. He said he’s impressed with quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow, the former Florida star whose popularity recalls the days of Elway’s arrival in Denver in 1983.

And what does Elway make of Tebowmania?

“Tim’s a popular guy. He won the Heisman his sophomore year in college, and then they won the national title, so we’ve heard about Tim for three years,” Elway said. “I mean, he’s just a popular guy and not only for what he does football-wise but for what type of person he is.

“I think now that we get into the regular season the mania may cool down a little bit and we start talking about wins and losses, and I’m sure Tim’s anxious to get going with the season, too.”

Like many NFL observers, Elway said he’s “curious to see how they’re going to use him in certain situations. But all the young guys will see things turned up a notch once they get into the regular season.”

While Orton has a stranglehold on the starting job, Elway said he believes the Broncos will find ways to get Tebow on the field.

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.