Notes Ochoa Gets Club Endorsement

By Associated PressJune 26, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 U.S. WomenSOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Lorena Ochoa might have been the only No. 1 player in golf without an equipment deal, although it was not as simple as signing on the dotted line.
 
The Mexican star already had endorsement deals that occupied the front of her hat (Banamex), her golf bag (Aeromexico) and her shirt (LaCoste), three of the best billboards for a golfer. Ping still managed to work out a deal Tuesday.
 
Ochoa, who has been playing Ping equipment for the last 10 years, finally will get paid to use it under a multiyear agreement that varies slightly from most Ping contracts. Terms were not disclosed.
 
Ping usually gets its logo on the hat and the bag. In this case, Aeromexico remains the dominant logo on the golf bag, with seven Ping logos built around it.
 
'This is different for us,' said Chance Cozby, director of tour operations for Ping. 'We're at a point where we can use her in our marketing message, and she had a lot of global exposure. We had to go outside the box to create a unique deal.'
 
Ping requires its staff players to use at least 11 clubs, with the driver and putter mandatory. The Phoenix-based company will give Ochoa whatever time she needs to find the right putter. The rest of the equipment already was in place.
 
'They've been really loyal to me. I've been loyal to them,' Ochoa said. 'Every time I got to Ping in the offseason, they always take care of me. If there's some company that I'd like to represent, it would be them.'
 
The deal took root in April at the Golf Writers Association of America annual dinner, where Ochoa was honored as female player of the year. John Solheim, chairman and CEO of Ping, was in the audience that night and was moved by Ochoa's classy acceptance speech.
 
'He came back to the house and said, 'Let's get moving on this,'' Cozby said.
 
GOING TO THE DOGS:
The final major on the LPGA Tour might be the biggest of the year. For the first time, the Women's British Open will be held on the Old Course at St. Andrews, the home of golf.
 
Along with playing the historic links where Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods each hoisted the claret jug, the women will be allowed in the Royal & Ancient clubhouse, which had been off limits.
 
'It's something everyone has been talking about for the last year, trying to get accommodations,' Karrie Webb said. 'You never plan that far in advance for any tournament. I don't think there will be anyone who has a bad time that week.'
 
Annika Sorenstam played the Old Course as an amateur, and called it a 'big step for women's golf,' especially considering the sign she recalls seeing at the amateur event.
 
'There was a sign out there that said, 'No dogs or women allowed,'' she said. 'Hopefully, they'll take it out for the week. I think it's going to be great for women, for us to go play there. I'm looking forward to that.'
 
BACK IN TIME:
Karrie Webb won by eight shots the last time the U.S. Women's Open was held at Pine Needles, a performance so inspiring that she recently watched it on videotape.
 
That took some work, as it was only available on VHS.
 
'I just changed my whole entertainment unit,' Webb said. 'I don't have a VCR anymore, so I had to get someone to bring it over to the house, and then it was a process of plugging it into one of the TVs.'
 
IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY:
For all the promotion about FedExCup points this year, money means more to someone like Jay Williamson. He lost in a playoff in Hartford last week and didn't improve his standing in the FedExCup.
 
It's still at zero.
 
The FedEx Cup race is only for players who start the year with full membership on the PGA TOUR. Williamson, who was 221st on the money list last year, is playing the Nationwide Tour and got into the Travelers Championship on a sponsor's exemption. The good news is that the $648,000 he earned is enough to get special temporary membership. And his runner-up finish got him into the Buick Open. But he still isn't eligible for FedExCup points unless he becomes a full member this year, which would require a victory.
 
Now comes the decision.
 
Williamson is No. 8 on the Nationwide money list -- the top 25 get their cards -- or he can try to get into more PGA TOUR events and try to finish the equivalent of No. 125 on the PGA TOUR money list and have a fuller choice of events to play.
 
'There's a lot of stuff going on that I need to educate myself on and just make sure that I make the right decision,' he said.
 
RADIO MAN:
Chris DiMarco has joined the world of radio talk-show hots.
 
A sports nut and lifelong Florida Gators fan, he last week started 'Opinionated with Chris DiMarco,' which airs every Tuesday at 7 a.m. on the PGA TOUR Network on XM radio. He is the first professional golfer to host a satellite radio show.
 
'We're going to take people behind the scenes to talk about what's really happening in the game of golf,' DiMarco said. 'The channel is all about golf, and our show will definitely be focused on the sport, but we're going to steer the conversation off the course from time to time.'
 
DIVOTS:
Ernie Els is featured in the latest batch of FedExCup commercials, although his promotion sounded different in a news conference last week in Germany. Asked about his schedule, Els said he would play Loch Lomond and the British Open, take a week off and 'start off on the FedExCup thingy.' Once the laughter died, he said, 'Yeah, exactly.' ... Hunter Mahan became the youngest winner on the PGA TOUR this year at 25 years, one month and seven days. ... Jay Haas has earned $5.7 million in 49 starts on the Champions Tour. He earned $14.4 million in 796 starts on the PGA TOUR.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Foreign-born players outnumber Americans in the U.S. Women's Open for the first time.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

    Getty Images

    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”

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    After 36, new Open favorite is ... Fleetwood

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 7:49 pm

    With a handful of the pre-championship favorites exiting early, there is a new odds-on leader entering the third round of The Open at Carnoustie.

    While Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner share the 36-hole lead, it's England's Tommy Fleetwood who leads the betting pack at 11/2. Fleetwood begins the third round one shot off the lead.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

    Tommy Fleetwood: 11/2

    Zach Johnson: 13/2

    Rory McIlroy: 7/1

    Jordan Spieth: 8/1

    Rickie Fowler: 9/1

    Kevin Kisner: 12/1

    Xander Schauffele: 16/1

    Tony Finau: 16/1

    Matt Kuchar: 18/1

    Pat Perez: 25/1

    Brooks Koepka: 25/1

    Erik van Rooyen: 50/1

    Alex Noren: 50/1

    Tiger Woods: 50/1

    Thorbjorn Olesen: 60/1

    Danny Willett: 60/1

    Francesco Molinari: 60/1