Notes Katrina Relief Beems Car Lottery
The first contribution was shared by Louisiana-based foundations of PGA TOUR members Kelly Gibson, Hal Sutton and David Toms. A year ago, Mickelson's donation helped build two new homes in the Lower Ninth Ward. This year's pledge has not been earmarked.
Mickelson said he could not play New Orleans because of the revamped schedule; he plans to play three straight events, starting with the Byron Nelson Championship next week in Dallas.
A CAR FOR THE CADDIE:
When last seen at Riviera, former PGA champion Rich Beem was sprawled atop the roof of a Nissan Altima after making a hole-in-one on the 14th hole in the third round of the Nissan Open.
What to do with the sports car became a problem.
He first offered it to his caddie, Billy Heim, who was stunned by the offer, but then thought the better of it.
``I said, 'You better talk to your wife,''' Heim said at the Masters.
That didn't solve anything, so Beem decided to turn it into a lottery. He took six pieces of paper and wrote down the names of Heim, Beem's mother, his mother-in-law, the maid, a charity and cash option. He put the crumpled pieces of paper in a hat, then asked his daughter, 20-month-old Bailee, to draw one out.
``He called me and said, 'You won,''' Heim said. ``I said, Won what?' He told me Bailee picked my name out of a hat, and I get the car. I asked Sarah (Beem's wife) if it was legitimate, and she told me it was. So I figured I'll take it.''
Better news is he doesn't have to worry about the cleat marks Beem left on the car when he climbed on the trunk and onto the roof.
``I'm assuming I can pick a new one,'' Heim said.
A SQUIRE'S WATCH FOR SALE:
In the April 26 sale at Christie's under ``Important Pocket Watch & Wristwatches,'' Lot 342 might hold some interest for golf fans - a rare Patek Philippe given to Gene Sarazen in honor of winning the 1922 U.S. Open.
Adding to the value is an inscription on the back that reads, ``Presented to Gene Sarazen by the Apawamis Club where he started his golf, July 24, 1922.'' Sarazen once caddied at Apawamis, and he won the first of his seven majors that summer at the U.S. Open.
The auction estimate is $25,000 to $35,000.
``It's got this historical background that makes it interesting,'' said Doug Escribano, a specialist in Christie's watch department. ``Anyone who has a sense of golf history knows Gene Sarazen. That's what gives it the value.''
Escribano said the watch comes with a handwritten letter from Sarazen dated Nov. 3, 1992 in which he tells the story behind the watch.
Lot 342 will be up for auction in the afternoon session. The morning session also has two golf-related watches.
Lot 20 is an Audemars Piguet limited edition with the signature of Nick Faldo, made under his name after he won his first British Open. The auction estimate for that is $8,000 to $12,000. Lot 21 is an Audemars Piguet that comes with a set of Mizuno irons. That auction estimate also is $8,000 to $12,000.
A young woman and her friend showed up unannounced last week at the World Golf Hall of Fame, paid their money and took the tour. They were particularly impressed with the special exhibit honoring Gary Player, who has spent six decades traveling the world and two weeks ago competed in his 50th Masters.
Only when a worker thought the visitor look familiar did Hall of Fame officials realize it was Lorena Ochoa.
There was speculation the Ryder Cup would change to four days, which would create more flexibility in starting times and allow fans one more day of golf.
But European Tour chief George O'Grady said the matches will stick with the three-day format.
``We debated going to four days at great length, and yes, we would have got more money in the short term,'' O'Grady told The Daily Mail. ``But would we have destroyed the beauty of the Ryder Cup in the process? The great thing about the current format is that the contest has to be alive going into the final day, even when there is a blowout like the last two matches.
``At the end of the day, there are just sound golfing reasons for staying the same.''
The European Tour is offering a $1.35 million bonus to the player to wins the Irish Open and the BMW PGA Championship in successive weeks next month. Along with prize money, the payout would be nearly $3 million. ... Libba Galloway has been named deputy commissioner of the LPGA Tour. First hired as the chief legal officer, Galloway most recently was executive vice president. ... The Champions Skins Game will move to the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course next year. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson are the defending champions. ... Juli Inkster and Natalie Gulbis will take part in the CVS Charity Classic this summer, the first women to play in the popular two-day event hosted by Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade. The tournament will be held a week before the U.S. Women's Open.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Americans have won five of six events on the LPGA Tour this year. Americans won only six times last year.
``I'm trying to understand it, but I ain't figured it out yet.'' - Boo Weekley, when told he moved into the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.
Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.
The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:
The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.
For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.
But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.
Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":
Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.
Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.
The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.
“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.
In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.
“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”
Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.
“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.
Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.
There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.
Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.
“I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.
In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.
“It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.
“That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”