Notes Toms return to Pebble Honest Hayes

By Associated PressFebruary 10, 2009, 5:00 pm
2007 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmPEBBLE BEACH, Calif. ' David Toms returned to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the first time in seven years, partly because of a change in the schedule that put Pebble a week after his annual ski trip to Colorado with his family.
 
The other reason?
 
Toms is at No. 66 in the world ranking, and this is his last chance to qualify for the 64-man field in the Accenture Match Play Championship, where he is a past champion and has a nine-year streak of never losing in the first round.
 
He started the year at No. 116 in the world ranking, and already has moved up 50 spots on the strength of his tie for second at the Sony Open and a tie for fourth in the FBR Open.
 
Ive been able to play well knowing that I needed to, Toms said Tuesday. So thats been very encouraging. I know if I go out and play well, that will take care of itself.
 
It could be entirely up to him this week.
 
Of the dozen players on the bubble, the only ones playing this week are Pat Perez (No. 60), Dudley Hart (No. 63), Toms and D.J. Trahan (No. 70). Among those not playing anywhere in the world are Ryo Ishikawa, the 17-year-old from Japan who is at No. 64.
 
Only when the final field is set at Pebble and the Malaysian Open will it be clear what Toms needs to do.
 
Some players have not played the week of a qualifying deadline because it could help their ranking. Toms said he was told by the Ttour that his divisor would be reduced by one if he skipped Pebble, allowing for him to possibly move up. But that would depend on how other players performed ahead and behind him.
 
I think there would be an outside chance if I didnt play this tournament that I could make the top 64, he said. I dont really know the scenarios. But I know if I play this tournament and I play well, Ill get in.
 
If Tiger Woods decides not to return at Match Play, the top 65 will qualify for the $8.5 million event. If he does play, and Toms gets the last spot at No. 64, that would be quite a first-round match.
 
I just need to get in the field, Toms said.
 

 
HONEST HAYES: J.P. Hayes was celebrated in the world of golf for his honesty late last year when he essentially disqualified himself in the second stage of Q-school upon discovering he might have used a golf ball that was a prototype and not on the approved list.
 
He already had lost his card, and by notifying officials of the mix-up, assured himself of losing his job.
 
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a story that soon reached millions. Hayes found himself getting interview requests on national radio and television shows, along with every major print outlet.
 
I always thought that the next phone call was going to be the last, but it never stopped ringing for three days, said Hayes, who estimated he took 300 phone calls. I would say the response was overwhelming ' a little bit embarrassing to be honest with you.
 
Hayes was simply doing what he felt most players would have done.
 
There were some benefits. He immediately received sponsor exemptions from the John Deere Classic, U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he is making his 2009 start. Hayes also said he received exemptions to the HP Byron Nelson Championship and the Crowne Plaza Colonial.
 
But his greater act of honesty might have come during the media frenzy.
 
He said several businesses offered him money to speak to various groups on what he went through, money that would come in handy for a guy who lost his Tour card last year.
 
I was very careful to say no to a lot of things where I might have profited from this, he said. I dont think it was right. I dont think Im a spokesperson on ethics. People saw it for more than it was ' more than for what I saw it.
 

 
NOW ON THE TEE: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem will be making his debut as a player this week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, playing in the foursome with Davis Love III, Hunter Mahan and AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson.
 
David Toms can see one benefit from the commissioner stepping inside the ropes.
 
It might be the only chance we have for this tournament to be moved to October, Toms said with a laugh, referring to weather issues that have occasionally plagued Pebble.
 

 
LPGA PUBLICITY: The LPGA Tour gets under way this week in Hawaii, where Michelle Wie makes her debut as an LPGA member on her home island at a course where she tied for second as a 15-year-old.
 
According to the Sports Business Journal, the LPGA will not promote her any differently from the other 20 rookies. The commissioner, Carolyn Bivens, said Wie and the rookies will be promoted through varied media outreach, primarily local newspaper stories.
 
Wie had at least a share of the lead on the back nine of three majors in 2006, but injuries and poor scheduling sent her into a massive slump from which she finally recovered last year, earning her card with ease.
 
The Sports Business Journal said neither Nike or Sony are featuring their endorsement client in advertising. The Golf Channel, meanwhile, will use Wie to promote its live coverage of the tournament.
 
Meanwhile, the LPGA Tour has decided not to publish a media guide this year, saying it made a strategic decision to transfer the content online. By going to cyberspace, the tour said it could provide more updated information in a timely manner.
 
In an informal meeting two years ago, the Golf Writers Association of America objected to Bivens plan to do away with a media guide, citing the inability to get information when the Internet was not available, or the timeliness when the connection was slow.
 

 
DIVOTS: About the only championship site not announced at the USGA annual meeting last week was when the U.S. Womens Open would be played at Pebble Beach, although course officials believe 2014 is the most logical year. U.S. Womens Amateur champion Amanda Blumenherst has declined her invitation to the Kraft Nabisco Championship, wanting to save her six exemptions for later in the year with hopes of avoiding Q-school.
 

 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Webb Simpson, a 23-year-old rookie, was the oldest player in his group during the third round of the Buick Invitational. He played with Jason Day (21) and Gregor Main (19), an amateur qualifier from UCLA.
 

 
FINAL WORD: It was the first players meeting I ever attended that no one brought up pace of play. ' Kevin Sutherland, on a mandatory players meeting at Torrey Pines where the topic was sponsor and media relations.
 
Related Links:
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    Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

    Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

    ''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

    Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

    Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

    Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

    ''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


    Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

    ''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

    Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

    ''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

    Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

    Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

    Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

    ''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

    In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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    Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

    ''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

    McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

    Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

    ''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

    Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

    ''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

    Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


    Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


    McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

    ''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

    McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

    McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

    McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

    Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

    ''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

    Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

    ''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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    Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

    The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

    Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

    Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.


    Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

    Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


    Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

    Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

    This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

    Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

    Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

    By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

    Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

    Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

    “You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

    It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

    Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

     “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”