Notes Howells Augusta Blues Ryder Cup Quest

By Associated PressMay 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
Charles Howell III is the latest player to weigh in about the rules at the Masters, although the Augusta native isn't talking about the way the tournament is run.
 
Howell thinks he needs to ditch the unwritten rules about how to play Augusta National.
 
Three weeks after he went 80-84 at the Masters to finish last among 91 players, Howell still doesn't have an explanation for what went wrong.
 
'I don't know what to say about the Masters -- not that I don't want to talk about it, I just don't know what to say,' he said. 'I didn't leave there hanging my head. In a weird way, it might have been the best thing that could have happened to me.'
 
The problem? Howell said he has held the Masters in such high regard that he followed a script on how to play the golf course, such as not going at the flag on No. 12 when it's to the right, or when to go for the green on the par-5 13th and 15th holes.
 
'When you grow up in Augusta and you've watched every Masters in person since 1987, there comes a list of rules in the back of your head,' he said. 'You're supposed to have that rule book laid out before you stick a tee in the ground. It becomes a bigger deal that it is. When you've got a nice number and you can see the shot and you're swinging it well ... why not?'
 
Howell said he has been too uptight at the Masters, in part because he grew up five miles away, and in large part because of the 'unwritten rules' on how to play. His goal next year is to feel more free and treat it like other majors played on courses he has never seen.
 
And playing two days with good friend Bubba Watson at the Zurich Classic helped.
 
'I need Bubba's personality -- just let it fly,' Howell said.
 
ON THE RISE
Making the Ryder Cup is such a priority for Lucas Glover that he won't even refer to it by name.
 
Glover missed an 8-foot birdie putt on his last hole at the Zurich Classic and had to settle for a 63, clearly disappointed because every shot counts. He didn't have a chance to win, but he wanted to finish as high as possible to earn Ryder Cup points.
 
'I was trying to get in as low as I could, but I put the steering wheel on,' Glover said of his final round at English Turn, where he was 9 under through 13 holes and finished with five pars. 'I thought I needed that putt for some ... other stuff.'
 
Go ahead and say it, Lucas: Ryder Cup points.
 
He tied for seventh, earned 50 points and moved up to No. 9 in the standings.
 
Of the potential newcomers to this U.S. team, Glover merits plenty of attention. A winner at Disney last year, Glover started 2006 by making bogey on his first four holes at Kapalua. He eventually finished sixth, and while he hasn't won this year, Glover has five top 10s and finished one shot out of a playoff at Torrey Pines.
 
His worst stretch came in two of the biggest tournaments, when the 26-year-old thought too much about the Ryder Cup and what kind of impression a good week would leave with U.S. captain Tom Lehman. He missed the cut at The Players Championship and the Masters.
 
'I put a lot of pressure on myself at Augusta and at TPC because of the field, and because that's where Tom is going to look,' Glover said. 'I could have lightened up on myself a little bit preparing and playing.'
 
ON THE SLIDE
Chris DiMarco started the season No. 3 in the Ryder Cup standings, and had high hopes after winning at Abu Dhabi, his first victory of any kind in four years. But a slow start to the year, followed by a rib injury while skiing, has him sliding.
 
DiMarco went 67-77 to miss the cut in New Orleans, the third time in his last four cuts he has missed the cut. His only top 10 on the PGA Tour this year is an eight-way tie for ninth at the Match Play Championship, where he was beaten in the third round.
 
He got injured when he fell down wearing a back pack, and either a cell phone or sunglasses case pressed into his ribs. How bad the injury is remains a mystery. DiMarco said at the Masters he was 90-95 percent. But he said last week at New Orleans that he was only about 50 percent healthy at the Masters.
 
'More than anything, it just kept me out of getting in a rhythm,' he said. 'I'm one of those guys that plays real well when I'm playing each week and I'm making cuts.'
 
ON THE MEND
Former U.S. Women's Amateur champion Virada Nirapathpongporn finally made it to the LPGA Tour, then spent a month watching what she could from home after a freak eye accident.
 
She was using an elastic band for a stretching exercise when it came loose and popped her in the eye. There were immediate concerns about a full recovery, but the 24-year-old Thai 'listened to every word my doctors said' and made a fully recovery in two weeks.
 
'It's probably given me the best perspective, watching TV coverage from the couch and seeing all my friends doing so well,' she said, removing her sunglasses to show eyes that look normal again. 'Seeing how great it really is out there, that really inspired me.'
 
The former Duke star tied for 12th at the Orlando tournament.
 
And does she still use the elastic band for her stretching?
 
'No,' she said. 'My coach asked if I'm back doing my exercises, and I just said, 'Coach, just looking at that thing makes me sick right now. Let me stay off it for a while.' I'll find other ways.'
 
DIVOTS
These girls rock, as long as they don't carry a U.S. passport. Americans have won only one tournament on the LPGA Tour this year, with South Koreans having captured four of the eight tournaments. ... The Masters has given $3.4 million to charity from this year's tournament, bringing to more than $29 million its donations over the last nine years. ... Chris Couch has never played in a major championship, and the winner of the Zurich Classic might have to wait until August. Couch said he forgot to turn in his entry to the U.S. Open. The only way to get to Winged Foot is to win one of his next four tournaments, or play well enough to get into the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list or the top 50 in the world ranking after the Memorial. ... Ai Miyazato said her biggest concern playing the LPGA Tour is watching how much she eats. 'I'm surprised about the size of the food that they serve over here,' said the 5-foot-1 dynamo from Japan.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak all finished in the top 10 last week on the LPGA Tour, the first time that has happened since the season-ending ADT Championship in 2003.
 
FINAL WORD
'Of all the things we've done, I think the best thing he's done for me is get me going back to church.' -- Charles Howell III on his new swing coach, Bryan Mogg.
 
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    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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.