Notes Agent Mess Wie Debut

By Associated PressJanuary 15, 2008, 5:00 pm
HONOLULU -- Kenny Perry has an ambitious goal of playing the Ryder Cup in his home state of Kentucky.
 
Chad Campbell wants to get back into the top 50 in the world, if not higher.
 
Shaun Micheel hasn't won since his PGA Championship four years ago and is trying to get his game on the right track.
 
One thing they have in common is a contractual mess with their agent.
 
They are -- or were -- represented by David Parker of Links Sports Management Group in Plano, Texas. Perry said Parker informed them by e-mail last year that he was getting out of the business.
 
Still to be decided is what payment Parker has coming, and that's where it gets messy.
 
'My attorney is trying to meet with Dave's attorney and they're trying to come to a common ground,' Micheel said. 'Thus far, we haven't found that -- not really close. It's a tough way to start the year, but I'll just let my lawyer handle it and try to play good golf. I haven't spoken with Dave. I'm not sure I'll ever speak to Dave again.'
 
Parker could not be reached for comment. The phone at Links Sports and his mobile phone are no longer in service.
 
Perry said he has five years left on a deal with TaylorMade and three years with Hartford Life. In most cases, Links Sports would be entitled to a fee each year until the contract expires.
 
'I told Dave I'd pay him all the contract money, but he wants it all up front,' Perry said. 'I said, 'When I get paid, you'll get your percentage.' He offered me a buyout deal, which was probably 95 percent of the contract. I could write him a huge check.'
 
However, Perry said he had a contract with a company that went bankrupt, and he didn't receive anything.
 
'What if I write him a big check and something like that happens?' he said.
 
Campbell did not want to discuss the situation, other than to say it was disappointing.
 
'I'm just trying to get everything settled with him and get on my way,' Campbell said.
 
Parker once boasted that in 2004 he had more Ryder Cup players than any other agency, a roster that included David Toms.
 
In 2005, Toms filed a lawsuit against Parker which eventually was settled out of court.
 
'I was the first guy with him. I got him in the business,' Perry said. 'I should have known a red flag was up when David Toms sued him.'
 
Dennis Harrington, who worked with Parker, resigned from Links Sports in September and reached a non-compete settlement. Harrington started his own company, Orasi Sports, a few months later and is helping Campbell and others as a liaison.
 
'I just hope that Dave and the players can work something out,' Harrington said. 'It doesn't look very good.'
 
WIE DEBUT:
Michelle Wie did not play the Sony Open for the first time since 2003, and swing coach David Leadbetter said last month the plan was to play one or two LPGA events in Hawaii.
 
Looks like it will only be one at the most.
 
The LPGA Tour gets under way Feb. 14 with the SBS Open at Turtle Bay on Oahu, but a tournament official said last week all the sponsor exemptions already are taken. That leaves Wie only the Fields Open at Ko Olina, where she finished third in 2006.
 
CUT CLEANUP:
The Player Advisory Council considered four options before approving the proposal that only the nearest number to 70 play on the weekend if the cut includes more than 78 players. The proposal passed by a 75 percent margin.
 
The other options were top 60 and ties; top 65 and ties, as is done in Europe; the nearest number to 70 regardless of how many players finishing top 70 and ties; and a Saturday cut of top 70 and ties which Jeff Sluman has advocated for years.
 
One PAC member who favored the change was Rich Beem, who finished 119th on the money list in 2007, the final year of his five-year exemption from winning the PGA Championship.
 
'If this rule hurts anybody, it hurts me,' Beem said. 'Go look at my record. I live on the cut line.'
 
Brad Faxon won Hartford in 2005 after making the cut on the number, although under the new policy, he would have kept playing because 77 guys made the cut. His concern is that in a situation like the Sony Open, some players are denied a chance to move up.
 
'But if you know the rule before you start, make sure you're not on the cut line,' Faxon said.
 
The most bogus complaint of the weekend was that players didn't know about the new policy. That's their fault. The tour sent an e-mail when the change was approved in November. It was in the 'green sheet' report they get in the mail and in lockers. It was available on 'Tour Links,' the players' web site. And it was attached as a cover sheet to the 2008 regulations everyone received.
 
'It's going to happen to everybody once or twice, and they'll be upset about it,' Faxon said. 'All I know is if you're out there for greatness, it's not going to be a big issue.'
 
EASY DOES IT:
Ernie Els disliked soggy La Costa Resort, where he never got past the second round and didn't play the Accenture Match Play Championship the last two years it was there.
 
Don't look for him in Arizona, either. Els, eliminated in the first round last year, does not include the first World Golf Championship on his 2008 schedule posted on his Web site.
 
The Big Easy is not expected to make his PGA Tour debut until the Honda Classic, the start of playing six times in seven weeks through the Masters. One wrinkle in the schedule is he plans to play every week before a major.
 
That means he will be at the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tenn., but will skip the Memorial.
 
DIVOTS:
Stewart Cink at No. 24 is the highest-ranked player at the Bob Hope Chrysler Championship... Greg Norman plans to play the Mayacoba Golf Classic, the first time since 2004 he plays more than one regular PGA Tour event. Norman also will be at Pebble Beach... The LPGA Tour filled a 'TBA' on its schedule by announcing the Bell Micro LPGA Classic to be held Sept. 11-14 on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Mobile, Ala. It will be a full-field event... Jim Furyk once was asked in a magazine article for his dream foursome, and it included former President Bush. Imagine his surprise when he received a letter in the mail from the 41st president. 'He said, 'Thanks for including me.' And he said his game was horrible,' Furyk said.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK:
If the Nationwide Tour did not award world ranking points, Brandt Snedeker would be No. 20 in the world instead of No. 46.
 
FINAL WORD:
'I have got two years left of my original plan. I have got to start winning tournaments, fast.' -- Ernie Els, in the second year of this three-year plan to become No. 1 in the world.
 
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Putting prepared Park's path back to No. 1

By Randall MellApril 26, 2018, 12:13 am

Inbee Park brings more than her unshakably tranquil demeanor back to the top of the Rolex Women’s World Rankings this week.

She brings more than her Olympic gold medal and seven major championships to the Mediheal Championship on the outskirts of San Francisco.

She brings a jarring combination of gentleness and ruthlessness back to the top of the rankings.

Park may look as if she could play the role of Mother Teresa on some goodwill tour, but that isn’t what her opponents see when she’s wielding her Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball mallet.

She’s like Mother Teresa with Lizzy Borden’s axe.

When Park gets on one of her rolls with the putter, she scares the hell out of the rest of the tour.

At her best, Park is the most intimidating player in women’s golf today.

“Inbee makes more 20- and 30-footers on a regular basis than anyone I know,” seven-time major championship winner Karrie Webb said.

All those long putts Park can hole give her an aura more formidable than any power player in the women’s game.

“A good putter is more intimidating than someone who knocks it out there 280 yards,” Webb said “Even if Inbee misses a green, you know she can hole a putt from anywhere. It puts more pressure on your putter knowing you’re playing with someone who is probably going to make them all.”

Park, by the way, said Webb and Ai Miyazato were huge influences on her putting. She studied them when she was coming up on tour.

Webb, though, believes there’s something internal separating Park. It isn’t just Park’s ability to hole putts that makes her so intimidating. It’s the way she carries herself on the greens.

“She never gets ruffled,” Webb said. “She says she gets nervous, but you never see a change in her. If you’re going toe to toe with her, that’s what is intimidating. Even if you’re rolling in putts on top of her, it doesn’t seem to bother her. She’s definitely a player you have to try not to pay attention to when you’re paired with her, because you can get caught up in that.”


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


Park has led the LPGA in putts per greens in regulation five of the last 10 years.

Brad Beecher has been on Park’s bag for more than a decade, back before she won her first major, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open. He has witnessed the effect Park can have on players when she starts rolling in one long putt after another.

“You have those times when she’ll hole a couple long putts early, and you just know, it’s going to be one of those days,” Beecher said. “Players look at me like, `Does she ever miss?’ or `How am I going to beat this?’ You see players in awe of it sometimes.”

Park, 29, won in her second start of 2018, after taking seven months off with a back injury. In six starts this year, she has a victory, two ties for second-place and a tie for third. She ended Shanshan Feng’s 23-week run at No. 1 with a tie for second at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open last weekend.

What ought to disturb fellow tour pros is that Park believes her ball striking has been carrying her this year. She’s still waiting for her putter to heat up. She is frustrated with her flat stick, even though she ranks second in putts per greens in regulation this season.

“Inbee Park is one of the best putters ever,” said LPGA Hall of Famer Sandra Haynie, a 42-time LPGA winner. “She’s dangerous on the greens.”

Haynie said she would rank Park with Kathy Whitworth, Mickey Wright and Nancy Lopez as the best putters she ever saw.

Hall of Famer Joanne Carner says Park is the best putter she has seen since Lopez.

“I thought Nancy was a great putter,” Carner said. “Inbee is even better.”

Park uses a left-hand low grip, with a mostly shoulder move and quiet hands.

Lopez used a conventional grip, interlocking, with her right index finger down the shaft. She had a more handsy stroke than Park.

Like Lopez, Park prefers a mallet-style putter, and she doesn’t switch putters much. She is currently playing with an Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter. She won the gold medal with it two years ago. She used an Oddysey White Ice Sabertooth winged mallet when she won three majors in a row in 2013.

Lopez hit the LPGA as a rookie in 1978 with a Ray Cook M1 mallet putter and used it for 20 years. It’s in the World Golf Hall of Fame today.

“I watch Inbee, and I think, `Wow, that’s how I used to putt,’” Lopez said. “You can see she’s not mechanical at all. So many players today are mechanical. They forget if you just look at the hole and stroke it, you’re going to make more putts.”

Notably, Park has never had a putting coach, not really. Her husband and swing coach, Gi Hyeob Nam, will look at her stroke when she asks for help.

“When I’m putting, I’m concentrating on the read and mostly my speed,” Park said. “I don’t think mechanically about my stroke at all, unless I think there’s something wrong with it, and then I’ll have my husband take a look. But, really, I rely on my feel. I don’t think about my stroke when I’m out there playing.”

Hall of Famer Judy Rankin says Park’s remarkably consistent speed is a key to her putting.

“Inbee is definitely a feel putter, and her speed is so consistent, all the time,” Rankin said. “You have to assume she’s a great green reader.”

Beecher says Park’s ability to read greens is a gift. She doesn’t rely on him for that. She reads greens herself.

“I think what impresses me most is Inbee has a natural stroke,” Beecher said. “There’s nothing too technical. It’s more straight through and straight back, but I think the key element of the stroke is that she keeps the putter so close to the ground, all the time, on the takeaway and the follow-through. It helps with the roll and with consistency.”

Park said that’s one of her fundamentals.

“I keep it low, almost like I’m hitting the ground,” Park said. “When I don’t do that, I miss more putts.”

Beecher believes the real reason Park putts so well is that the putter brought her into the game. It’s how she got started, with her father, Gun Gyu Park, putting the club in her hands as a child. She loved putting on her own.

“That’s how she fell in love with the game,” Beecher said. “Getting started that way, it’s played a huge role in her career.”

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Teams announced for NCAA DI women's regionals

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 25, 2018, 10:50 pm

Seventy-two teams and an additional 24 individuals were announced Wednesday as being selected to compete in the NCAA Division I women's regionals, May 7-9.

Each of the four regional sites will consist of 18 teams and an extra six individual players, whose teams were not selected. The low six teams and low three individuals will advance to the NCAA Championship, May 18-23, hosted by Oklahoma State at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

The four regional sites include Don Veller Seminole Golf Course & Club in Tallahassee, Fla., hosted by Florida State; UT Golf Club in Austin, Texas, hosted by the University of Texas; University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis., hosted by the University of Wisconsin; TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif., hosted by Stanford University.

Arkansas, Duke, UCLA and Alabama are the top seeds in their respective regionals. Arizona State, the third seed in the Madison regional, is the women's defending champion. Here's a look at the regional breakdown, along with teams and players:

Austin Regional Madison Regional San Francisco Regional Tallahassee Regional
Arkansas Duke UCLA Alabama
Texas USC Stanford Furman
Michigan State Arizona State South Carolina Arizona
Florida Northwestern Kent State Washington
Auburn Illinois Oklahoma State Wake Forest
Oklahoma Purdue North Carolina Vanderbilt
Houston Iowa State Colorado Florida State
Miami (Fla.) Virginia Louisville Clemson
Baylor Wisconsin N.C. State Georgia
Texas A&M Campbell Mississippi Tennessee
BYU Ohio State Cal UNLV
East Carolina Notre Dame San Diego State Kennesaw State
Texas Tech Old Dominion Pepperdine Denver
Virginia Tech Oregon State Oregon Coastal Carolina
UTSA Idaho Long Beach State Missouri
Georgetown Murray State Grand Canyon Charleston
Houston Baptist North Dakota State Princeton Richmond
Missouri State IUPUI Farleigh Dickinson Albany
       
Brigitte Dunne (SMU) Connie Jaffrey (Kansas State) Alivia Brown (Washington State) Hee Ying Loy (E. Tennessee State)
Xiaolin Tian (Maryland) Pinyada Kuvanun (Toledo) Samantha Hutchinson (Cal-Davis) Claudia De Antonio (LSU)
Greta Bruner (TCU) Pun Chanachai (New Mexico State) Ingrid Gutierrez (New Mexico) Fernanda Lira (Central Arkansas)
Katrina Prendergast (Colorado State) Elsa Moberly (Eastern Kentucky) Abegail Arevalo (San Jose State) Emma Svensson (Central Arkansas)
Ellen Secor (Colorado State) Erin Harper (Indiana) Darian Zachek (New Mexico) Valentina Giraldo (Jacksonville State)
Faith Summers (SMU) Cara Basso (Penn State) Christine Danielsson (Cal-Davis) Kaeli Jones (UCF)
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Leach on grizzlies, walk-up music and hating golf

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 25, 2018, 10:47 pm

He's one of college football's deepest thinkers, and he has no time to waste on a golf course.

Washington State head football coach Mike Leach created headlines last week when he shared his view that golf is "boring" and should be reserved for those who, unlike him, need practice swearing. The author and coach joined host Will Gray on the latest episode of the Golf Channel podcast to expand on those views - and veer into some unexpected territory.

Leach shared how his father and brother both got bitten by the golf bug as he grew up, but he steered clear in part because the sport boasts an overly thick rule book:

"First of all, the other thing I don't like is it's pretentious. There's a lot of rules. Don't do it this way, don't do it that way. You walked between my ball and the hole. This guy has to go first, then you go after he does. I mean, all these rules, I just don't understand."

Leach also shared his perspective about what fuels the vibrant fashion choices seen on many courses:

"You can tell there's a subtle, internal rebellion going on with golf, and where that subtle, internal rebellion manifests itself is they really liven up the clothes. I mean, they're beaten down by all the little subtle rules, so they really liven up the clothes. Maybe have knickers, maybe they'll have a floppy hat or something like that."

Leach on the advice he would sometimes offer when friends explained their rationale for hitting the links: 

"They say, 'Well I don't go there to golf or go to take it seriously. When I go golf, I just like to have some beers.' And I'm thinking, 'You know there's bars for that? There's bars for that, and at those bars they have, often times, attractive women and music going on?'"

Leach is heading into his seventh season at Washington State, and he also described a unique hazard that can sometimes pop up at the on-campus course in Pullman, Wash.:

"In the spring the grizzlies come out, and the grizzly preserve is right across the street from the golf course. So they’ll be out, you’ll see them running around on the hills inside the preserve there. But there is this visual where, all of a sudden you drive up this hill on your golf cart, and you’re at the tee box and you’re getting ready to hit, and on the hill just opposite of you it’s covered with grizzly bears. And as you’re getting ready to hit your ball, it occurs to you that the grizzly bears are going to beat you to your ball."

Other topics in the wide-ranging discussion included Leach's proposal for a 64-team playoff in NCAA Division I football, his chance encounter with Tiger Woods before a game between the Cougars and Woods' Stanford Cardinal, his preferred walk-up music and plans for "full contact golf."

Listen to the entire podcast below:

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Post-Masters blitz 'exhausting' but Reed ready for return

By Ryan LavnerApril 25, 2018, 8:24 pm

AVONDALE, La. – After briefly suffering from First-Time Major Winner Fatigue, Patrick Reed is eager to get back inside the ropes this week at the Zurich Classic.

The media blitz is an eye-opening experience for every new major champ. Reed had been told to expect not to get any sleep for about a week after his win, and sure enough he jetted off to New York City for some sightseeing, photo shoots, baseball games, late-night talk shows, phone calls and basketball games, sitting courtside in the green jacket at Madison Square Garden next to comedian Chris Rock, personality Michael Strahan and rapper 2 Chainz. Then he returned home to Houston, where the members at Carlton Woods hosted a reception in his honor.

With Reed’s head still spinning, his wife, Justine, spent the better part of the past two weeks responding to each of the 880 emails she received from fans and well-wishers.

“It’s been a lot more exhausting than I thought it’d be,” he said Wednesday at TPC Louisiana, where he’ll make his first start since the Masters.

It’s a good problem to have, of course.

Reed was already planning a family vacation to the Bahamas the week after Augusta, so the media tour just took its place. As many directions as he was pulled, as little sleep as he got, Reed said, “We still had a blast with it.”


Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


There are few places better to ease into his new world than at the Zurich, where he’ll partner with Patrick Cantlay for the second year in a row.

Reed wants to play well, not only for himself but also his teammate. After all, it could be an important week for Cantlay, who is on U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk’s radar after a victory last fall. That didn’t earn him any Ryder Cup points, however – he sits 38th in the standings – so performing well here in fourballs and foursomes could go a long way toward impressing the captain.

“There’s maybe a little extra if we play well,” Cantlay said, “but I’m just trying to play well every week.” 

Reed got back to work on his game last Tuesday. He said that he’s prepared, ready to play and looking forward to building off his breakthrough major.

“A lot of guys have told me to just be careful with your time,” he said. “There will be a lot of things you didn’t have to do or didn’t have in the past that are going to come up.

“But first things first, you’ve got to go out and grind and play some good golf and focus on golf, because the time you stay and not focus on golf will be the time you go backward. That’s nothing any of us want. We all want to improve and get better.”