Notes Ogilvy dumbfounded OU-UF rivalry

By Associated PressJanuary 6, 2009, 5:00 pm
PGA TourKAPALUA, Hawaii ' Geoff Ogilvy is one of the most articulate players on the PGA Tour, but even he was verbally challenged when talking about changes to the Titleist golf ball.
Titleist is involved in an ongoing dispute with Callaway over patents applied to the popular Pro V1 ball. Two courts have ruled in favor of Callaway, and Titleist is appealing. Before the latest court ruling, Titleist converted the Pro V1 to be outside the patents in question.
So what does that mean for PGA Tour players, the majority of whom use Titleist?
Some are using the modified ball. Others are using the new Pro V1, which carries two small dots in the side stamp. Steve Stricker used a similar ball at the Chevron World Challenge last month with a plus in the stamping, but that was for testing purposes (although still approved by the USGA). The name of the ball is still Pro V1.
As for Ogilvy?
The new-new one, Im not going to use this week, he said. Im going to play these two weeks with the new version of the old one, and then do a bit more testing. There are good reports about the new-new one. So Ive got a whole month in Phoenix to test them all out. They never make a bad ball. Theyre always pretty good.
Asked to clarify, things really got entertaining.
Theres a new-old one, and theres a new-new one, which is the new one, which is the model in front of the old one, Ogilvy said, grinning as he spoke. The other one is a 2007 ball, and this is a 2009 ball. Theres a version of the 2007 ball, but it doesnt breach the patent. So Im using the non-patent breaching version of the 2007 ball these two weeks.
Thankfully, players only have to put a number on their scorecard.
BIG RIVALRY: The Mercedes-Benz Championship typically makes first-round pairings based on the chronological order of when players won their PGA Tour events to qualify for the event. This year, the Tour decided to based pairings on the final FedEx Cup standings, putting the defending champion at Kapalua (Daniel Chopra) with the FedEx Cup champion (Vijay Singh).
That allowed for quite the rivalry in the opening round beyond golf.
In front of them will be Camilo Villegas, who graduated from Florida, and Anthony Kim, who spent two years at Oklahoma. They tee off about two hours before the BCS Championship game between the Gators and the Sooners.
Im going to be thinking more about that game than my round, because Ive got three more days to make up ground, but the Sooners need every minute, Kim said. Its going to be very fun playing with Camilo.
Villegas is from Colombia and doesnt have quite the grasp of American football as Kim does, although he loved going to Gators game.
Im not a Chris DiMarco that knows the name of every player and knows the stats up and down, but I would love watching the game, Villegas said. Ill be pulling hard.
Kim took a recruiting trip to Oklahoma, not intending to play golf. The trip included a football game against Alabama, which the Sooners won in the rain. He was sold on the Sooners that day.
After the football game, I knew that was the school for me, Kim said.
TIGER ODDS: Tiger Woods has not played since winning the U.S. Open on June 16, and even he doesnt know when he will return. But British-based William Hill already has installed him as the 9-to-4 favorite to win the Masters.
The bookmaker lists Phil Mickelson at 10-to-1 winning the Masters, followed by Sergio Garcia at 12-to-1 and Padraig Harrington, going for his third straight majors, at 14-to-1.
One other betting option on Woods is how many majors he will win in 2009. William Hill offers 2-to-1 odds that Woods will win at least one major, 11-to-4 that he will win two majors, 14-to-1 that he will win three and 33-to-1 odds that he will win them all. In other words, the odds of Woods winning the Grand Slam are equivalent to Adam Scott winning the Masters.
William Hill also has 11-to-10 odds that Woods will not win any major this year. All of this is predicated on him playing the Masters.
DEFENSE OF DALY: John Daly made news for smashing a fans camera against a tree at the Australian Open, written off as more bad behavior from golfs wild thing. Geoff Ogilvy played the event, and said it could have happened to anyone.
I think every player on tour would have snapped, putting up with what he was having to put up with, Ogilvy said. There was a guy with a flash less than 3 feet from his face for 20 minutes just going, Bang, bang, bang, bang, right in his face, trying to get him to snap. And he did. I think a lot of guys might have grabbed the camera and thrown it in a marsh or something.
Ogilvy is the second player to defend Daly over the incident. Robert Allenby also blamed tournament officials for allowing the fan to bring a camera and continually take pictures so close to Daly.
The Australian tour didnt even fine him (Daly) because the guy wasnt supposed to have a camera in the tournament, and he was flashing and trying to wind him up, Ogilvy said. I dont blame him at all.
DIVOTS: Anthony Kim has a Nike bag, but no deal. Kim said his contract expired last year, but he declined to discuss negotiations for a new deal. The 16th green at the TPC Scottsdale apparently wasnt rowdy enough for the FBR Open. Tournament organizers have added general admission bleachers for about 3,000 fans to the right of the 162-yard hole, making it fully enclosed by bleachers and corporate boxes with capacity up to 20,000 people. Jack Nicklaus will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Golf Coaches Association of America. Nicklaus is the namesake for the GCAA players of the year in all three NCAA divisions, and he invites the winners to the final round of The Memorial to present them their awards. Carl Pettersson was No. 49 in the world after the Tour Championship. He played three times in the Fall Series, made all three cuts, and fell to No. 62. I came to hate Monday, Pettersson said, referring to when the weekly world ranking was published.
STAT OF THE WEEK: The European Tour has more members from the top 50 in the world than the PGA Tour.
FINAL WORD: It was a great finish to the year. But on Thursday, we start from zero.'Camilo Villegas, who won the final two PGA Tour Playoff events.

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    With baby on the way, Piller WDs from Zurich

    By Ryan LavnerApril 26, 2018, 2:45 pm

    AVONDALE, La. – With wife Gerina set to give birth to their first child, Martin Piller figured he’d need to check his phone every few holes at the Zurich Classic.

    He didn’t even make it that far.

    Piller withdrew before the start of the first round Thursday.

    Piller’s partner, Joel Dahmen, who only got into the field because of Piller’s status as the team’s A player, was allowed to remain in the event.

    Piller was replaced in the field by Denny McCarthy. The new team of McCarthy-Dahmen will tee off at 2:36 p.m. ET.

    The format change at the Zurich should make things easier for the new teammates. The first round is now best ball, not alternate shot.

    The only event that Gerina, a three-time U.S. Solheim Cupper, has played this season was the Diamond Resorts Invitational in January. The couple’s baby was due May 3, and she said that she plans to take off the entire year.

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    China's Jin (64) leads by one in Beijing

    By Associated PressApril 26, 2018, 12:28 pm

    BEIJING – Daxing Jin took a one-stroke lead at the China Open after shooting an 8-under 64 Thursday in the first round.

    Jin's bogey-free round at the Topwin Golf and Country Club included six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 eighth. The 25-year-old Jin is playing in only his eighth European Tour event and has made the cut only once.

    Matt Wallace (65) had an eagle-birdie finish to move into a tie for second with Nino Bertasio, who also produced a bogey-free round. Alexander Bjork and Scott Vincent (66) were a further stroke back.

    Defending champion Alexander Levy, who won last week's Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, is in a large group five shots off the lead at 3 under.

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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)