Notes Former Catcher Caddies for Former Pitcher

By Associated PressMay 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Senior PGA ChampionshipEDMOND, Okla. -- Once competitors on the baseball diamond, former major leaguers Rick Rhoden and Mickey Tettleton now are partners on the golf course.
Rhoden, who earned a conditional playing card for the Champions Tour last November, is in the field for the Senior PGA Championship this week at Oak Tree Golf Club. Tettleton, an Oak Tree member who lives in nearby Norman, is caddying for Rhoden during the tournament.
Rhoden pitched for 15 years in the majors, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and Houston Astros, and was an All-Star in 1976 and 1986. His career dovetailed with that of Tettleton, a catcher and first baseman who retired in 1997 after 14 seasons with the Oakland A's, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers.
The players shared the same agent and became friends through golf, Rhoden said. Tettleton said he was honored when Rhoden asked him to caddy.
'He kind of knows if he gets upset he can bark at me and it's not going to bother me,' Tettleton said.
Not that that happens too often.
On the course, 'he's too big to argue with, so you know, I'm not going to be arguing with him,' Rhoden said. 'It's just like pitching -- the catcher suggests the pitch, you have the final decision. Same as golf. I'll ask him what he thinks and the final decision is mine. So if I do something wrong, I'm the one with the club, so I'm the one at fault.'
Jay Haas is staying in the home of Oak Tree resident and PGA TOUR veteran Bob Tway during the tournament. On Tuesday, during a windy practice round, Tway followed Haas around and offered tips on how to play the course, which Haas said came in handy Thursday as he fired a 3-under-par 68.
'There are some holes he points out, 'Go at the chimney here, go at the flag here, the satellite dish on this hole,' all that stuff,' Haas said, smiling. 'Yeah, it pays off. It sure does, to kind of focus in on certain points. He only went 12 or 13 holes with us, though, so I'm on my own those last five.'
Haas said even Tway was surprised when the wind gusted above 30 mph, as it did during Tuesday's practice round. Tway told Haas that when the wind blows that hard, local pros just play the back nine, because those holes are 'mostly in the trees. He said they don't even venture out to the front nine. We probably shouldn't have either,' Haas said.
At 47, Tway isn't yet eligible to play on the 50-and-over Champions Tour, so he's missing the opportunity to play in a major on his home course, as he did in the 1988 PGA Championship.
'I don't think he's envious,' Haas said. 'He's a pretty laid-back guy.'
There's talk that a PGA TOUR major could return to Oak Tree in 2014, by which time Tway will be on the Champions Tour. But Tway's son, Kevin, won the 2005 U.S. Junior Amateur championship. Someone mentioned to Haas that Kevin Tway could be on the PGA TOUR by 2014.
'That's right,' Haas said, 'and (Bob) could caddy for Kevin.'
After shooting a 2-under-par 69, Dana Quigley opened up to reporters about his decision almost 16 years ago to give up alcohol. Quigley made $92,298 on the PGA Tour -- playing mostly from 1979 to 1982 -- but while alcohol-free, he's made about $12.5 million on the Champions Tour.
Quigley said that twice running his car into a tree in 1988 didn't change his behavior. A friend convinced him to go into treatment for his addiction, but Quigley remained dry for only a few months before he resumed drinking.
'I was breaking everyone's heart but my own because I was too drunk to worry about it,' Quigley said.
He said that late in 1990, he was driving from a course in Florida to a restaurant for some drinks when 'a light dawned on me' and he pulled his car off the road and headed home.
'I haven't had a drink since,' he said.
'It's still a problem every day. I would love to have a six-pack of beer right now. It would be perfect after this heat,' he said. 'But I can't do it, so it's something that I don't deal with. I don't feel like I have an option to deal with it, so I don't even worry about it. ... It's a widespread problem in the world and I was just really lucky.'
Scott Simpson had an up-and-down round, recording back-to-back bogeys twice but also stringing together birdies on No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9. He finished with a 1-over 72. ... John Chillas of Scotland withdrew from the tournament Thursday because of a bout of flu, opening a spot for Rocky Thompson of Houston. Chillas was the 13th player to withdraw. ... Club professional James Blair of Ogden, Utah, began his tournament with an eagle on Oak Tree's par-4, 437-yard No. 1, hitting a pitching wedge from 139 yards on his second shot. It's Blair's second Senior PGA Championship appearance.
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    Goal for new world No. 1 Koepka: Stay healthy

    By Will GrayOctober 21, 2018, 1:38 pm

    Last season Brooks Koepka bagged a pair of majors en route to the PGA Tour's Player of the Year award. He started the new wraparound season with an emphatic win at the CJ Cup to reach world No. 1 for the first time.

    But amid the best form of his career, Koepka has a simple goal in mind as he gets ready to turn his attention to the new year.

    "Stay healthy," Koepka told reporters. "That's been the big thing. I need to be healthy to be able to play all these events, play all the majors."

    Koepka's breakthrough year comes despite the fact that he missed four months in the spring, including the Masters, while recovering from a wrist injury. He hit the ground running once he returned, with strong finishes at TPC Sawgrass and Colonial preceding wins at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

    Now Koepka has added a third trophy after cruising to a four-shot win in South Korea on Sunday that allowed him to move past Dustin Johnson at world No. 1.

    "I'm 1-for-1 this year, which is nice," Koepka joked about his undefeated record in the new wraparound season.

    Koepka will be in the field next week in China for the WGC-HSBC Champions before putting the clubs on the shelf. With Justin Thomas paving the way by making the goal-setting process more public in recent years, Koepka explained that even after summiting the world rankings he plans to wait until 2019 to adjust his expectations for himself.

    "I keep the same goals through the calendar year," Koepka said. "On Jan. 1 I go to the beach in the morning and go write down my goals and figure them out for the calendar year, but I just need to finish this year off. I've got next week and I would like to, coming out the first week as No. 1, I'd like to play well."

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    Birdie binge for Woodland comes up short at CJ Cup

    By Will GrayOctober 21, 2018, 12:52 pm

    Gary Woodland mounted an impressive rally at the CJ Cup, but in the end even 11 birdies weren't enough to catch Brooks Koepka.

    Woodland started the final round in South Korea five shots behind the new world No. 1, but he made the biggest move of the day amid chilly conditions on Jeju Island. With six birdies over his first nine holes, including four in a row on Nos. 6-9, he briefly caught Koepka at the top of the leaderboard.

    But Woodland bogeyed No. 10, and even with five more birdies coming home to finish a 9-under 63 he still finished alone in second, four shots behind Koepka who closed with a bogey-free 29 to put the trophy out of reach.

    "Yesterday I didn't get any putts to go in, and today I saw a lot of putts go in," Woodland told reporters. "Brooks with the lead, not much fazes him. So you knew you had to make a lot of birdies, and I made a lot today. But I was just too far behind."

    It's the second straight strong performance from Woodland to start the new wraparound season, as he tied for fifth at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia after holding a share of the 54-hole lead. A closing 63 would have gone a long way last week, but he was still pleased to be able to make Koepka sweat a little on a day when even the bad holes resulted from good shots.

    "I made two bogeys on the back and I said, 'Be right' on both shots," Woodland said. "I was just maybe a little too amped up, a little excited. I hit them both perfect. All in all, I would have liked for a couple more putts to go in yesterday and been a little closer going into today."

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    Kang (69) wins Buick LPGA Shanghai by two

    By Associated PressOctober 21, 2018, 9:11 am

    SHANGHAI - Danielle Kang shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to win the LPGA Shanghai by two strokes for her second career title.

    Kang, who started the final round one stroke off the lead, offset a lone bogey on the par-5 fourth hole with four birdies after the turn to finish at 13-under 275 and hold off a late charge by Lydia Ko, who had the day's lowest score of 66.

    ''I hope I win more,'' Kang said. ''I did the best I can. I'm going to keep working hard and keep giving myself chances and keep putting myself in contention. I'll win more. I'll play better.''

    Ko, who had seven birdies and a lone bogey, tied for second at 11 under with a group of seven players that included Brittany Altomare (71), Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and overnight co-leader Sei Young Kim (72).

    Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos

    Carlota Ciganda, who also held a share of the lead after the third round, shot a 73 to fall into a tie for ninth with Bronte Law and local favorite Lu Liu.

    Paula Creamer carded three birdies against a pair of bogeys for a 71 to finish in sole possession of 12th place.

    The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

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    New world No. 1 Koepka already wants more

    By Nick MentaOctober 21, 2018, 8:48 am

    If there is a knock on Brooks Koepka, it’s that he’s a little too cool.

    Gary Woodland, who threw 11 birdies at Koepka on Sunday and still finished four shots back, inadvertently captured that exact sentiment after Saturday's third round.

    “You know," he said, "Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much."

    In context, Woodland meant that there was little anyone in the field could do to rattle the 54-hole leader. (He proved himself right, by the way.)

    And out of context, the comment speaks to the general narrative surrounding Koepka. That he’s just detached enough for fans to have trouble attaching themselves to him. That he’s just a jock here to cash checks and collect trophies, to kick ass and chew bubblegum.

    But for a few moments Sunday in South Korea, it became clear that Brooks Koepka does care. Crouched on the 72nd green with some time to stop and think as Ian Poulter lagged a bit behind, Koepka finally let a moment get to him. Cameras caught the three-time major champion appearing unusually emotional.

    Of course, less than a minute later, those same cameras caught him yawning. The contrast was almost too perfect. It was as if he knew he had just been found out and needed to snap back into character – which he did.

    He promptly poured in an eagle putt to cap off a final-round 64, to win the CJ Cup by four, and to ascend to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.

    Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

    CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

    “To be world No. 1 is something I dreamed of as a kid,” Koepka said on the 18th green, moments after closing out his fifth PGA Tour victory and third this year. “I don't think this one's going to sink in.”

    What is beginning to sink in is that Koepka now unequivocally belongs in the conversation, the one golf fans and analysts have been having over and over since Tiger Woods fell from golf's greatest heights.

    Who’s the best at their best?

    In the two years between his first PGA Tour win and his first U.S. Open victory, Koepka was touted as having the kind of talent to compete with the game's elites. It took a little while for him to get here, but Koepka has taken over as the latest player to look like he’ll never lose again. Just as it was for Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas before him, this is Koepka's moment. This is his run of dominance.

    It’s a run that will have to end at some point. Every one of the guys just mentioned did cool off eventually. Koepka will, too. Maybe it will be fatigue, maybe it will be injury, and maybe it’ll just be golf. This talent pool is simply too deep for anyone to remain on top for too long.

    But what Koepka has done this year – in defending his U.S. Open title, in staring down Tiger at the PGA, in claiming the Player of the Year Award, in ascending to the top of the world rankings – is put his name at the forefront of the conversation. If he was unappreciated at times before, those days are behind him. He's already accomplished too much, proven himself too good to be overlooked any longer.

    And he’s far from done.

    “For me, I just need to keep winning,” the new world No. 1 said Sunday. “I feel like to win a few more regular Tour events and then keep adding majors. I feel like my game's set up for that. I've gotten so much confidence off winning those majors where, it's incredible, every time I tee it up, I feel like I really have a good chance to win whether I have my A-game or not. It's something I'm so excited [about] right now, you have no idea. I just can't wait to go play again.”