Notes Youth is served Tiger US Open favorite

By Associated PressApril 13, 2011, 4:08 am

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The last four major champions are noteworthy in part because of their passports. It’s the first time since the Masters began in 1934 that four non-American players have won golf’s four biggest events.

It’s also worth paying attention to their birth certificates.

The old man in the group is Graeme McDowell, who was 30 when he won the U.S. Open last summer at Pebble Beach. The last three major champions were all in their 20s – Louis Oosthuizen (27), Martin Kaymer (25) and Charl Schwartzel (26).

It’s the first time since 1997 that three straight major champions were in their 20s, when Tiger Woods won the Masters at 21, Ernie Els won his second U.S. Open at 27 and Justin Leonard won the British Open at 25.

“It’s a bright future, obviously,” said Jason Day, the 23-year-old Australian who tied for second at Augusta. “There’s a lot of good, solid young players coming up now, and it seems every year, they are getting younger.”

Whether the last four majors represent a changing of the guard remains to be seen. Woods showed signs that his game was improving with his tie for fourth at the Masters, while Phil Mickelson won a week earlier at the Houston Open.

The fact the last four major champions captured a Grand Slam event for the first time – the longest streak of first-time major winners in seven years – shows how tough it is to win.

“When Tiger came along, he pretty much changed the game,” Day said. “Everyone turned into athletes. We’re not flag slobs anymore. He has pretty much changed the game for the good.”


 

NELSON HONORED: Three-time major champion Larry Nelson, who didn’t take up golf until he returned from the Vietnam War, will receive the PGA Distinguished Service Award.

Nelson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, will be honored Aug. 10 during the PGA Championship. It’s being played at Atlanta Athletic Club, where 30 years ago Nelson won his first major at the PGA. He also won the 1987 PGA Championship at PGA National, and the 1983 U.S. Open at Oakmont.

He also played on three Ryder Cup teams, and went 5-0 as a rookie in 1979 at The Greenbrier.

“It’s quite an honor, and I’m very humbled by it,” Nelson said. “I have been very blessed in my career, and have been fortunate that golf has allowed me to meet many around the world, develop special friendship and serve others.”

What made Nelson such an inspiration was his late start in the game. He spent two years in Vietnam with the Army, and didn’t start playing golf until he was out of the service. He read Ben Hogan’s book, “The Five Fundamentals of Golf,” broke 100 the first time he played and broke 70 for the first time within nine months.

“Larry Nelson is one of golf’s consummate champions, who performed at the highest level on many of the game’s grandest stages and has carried himself with dignity and grace to become one of the sport’s most respected ambassadors,” PGA of America president Allen Wronowski said.

The PGA Distinguished Service Award, which began in 1988, honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf.


 

ASIAN TOUR ON TV: The Asian Tour has reached broadcasting agreements with Golf Channel that will shows its tournaments in North America, Latin America and Japan.

The addition of those territories will bring the Asian Tour’s dedicated TV programming to 130 countries and more than 420 million households around the world.

“The standard of the Asian Tour has increasingly grown over the years, and we look forward to giving golf fans in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Japan the opportunity to watch Asia’s elite golfers,” Asian Tour chairman Kyi Hla Han said.


 

ON A ROLL: Camilo Villegas isn’t off a very good start this year. His best finish in nine tournaments is a tie for 35th in the Cadillac Championship. He has missed three cuts, been disqualified from one tournament and withdrew from another.

After starting the year at No. 37 in the world, he already has fallen to No. 50.

Put him in a major championship, though, and the Colombian seems to manage.

Even though he finished last at the Masters, Villegas made the cut for the 12th consecutive major, the longest current streak of those who have played them all. Phil Mickelson has a streak of 13 successive cuts made, although he skipped the 2009 British Open after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.


 

U.S. OPEN ODDS: A breathtaking Masters was not even a day old when bookies began compiling odds for the next major.

One website, www.Bodog.com, has Tiger Woods listed as a 6-to-1 favorite for the U.S. Open, which is still 10 weeks away at Congressional. Woods tied for 19th in the 1997 U.S. Open at Congressional, although he won the AT&T National there two years ago.

Phil Mickelson is the second choice at 10-to-1. Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy were listed at 16-to-1, followed by world No. 1 Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald at 20-to-1.

Winning the Masters has only made Charl Schwartzel a 33-to-1 favorite. Those are the same odds for defending champion Graeme McDowell, who missed the cut at the Masters.


 

DIVOTS: Tiger Woods has finished no worse than sixth in his last seven trips to the Masters. … Lee Westwood (No. 2) and Ernie Els (No. 14) are the only players in the top 20 in the world who have yet to record a top-10 finish this year. … Rory McIlroy was praised for the gracious manner in which he handled his final-round 80. The 21-year-old continued to show class when he posed for a photo with Charl Schwartzel in the green jacket on their flight to Malaysia. He posted it on Twitter and said, “Glad one of us has a green jacket on!!!” … The top five players who have earned the most world ranking points through the Masters are Schwartzel, Luke Donald, Nick Watney, Martin Kaymer and Mark Wilson. … With his tie for fourth in the Masters, Tiger Woods is leading the U.S. Ryder Cup points list for 2012.


 

STAT OF THE WEEK: In the last three majors, Rory McIlroy has shot par or better in all but two rounds. The exceptions were an 80 at St. Andrews and the same at Augusta National.


 

FINAL WORD: “I didn’t think I was going to put on a green jacket before him.” – Masters champion Charl Schwartzel on Ernie Els. Schwartzel was a toddler when his father and Els won a club competition in South Africa.

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Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 8:39 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.

“I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”

Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.

Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.

The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.

Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.

“She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”

Geoff Ogilvy and family at the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play. Getty Images

Notes: Ogilvy moving family to Australia

By Doug FergusonMay 22, 2018, 6:55 pm

Geoff Ogilvy's immediate future involves fewer golf tournament and longer flights.

Ogilvy has been contemplating in the last few years moving back home to Australia, and after discussing it with his Texas-born wife, Juli, they plan to return to Melbourne shortly after Christmas.

Their daughter, Phoebe, turns 12 in October and will be starting the seventh grade in Australia. They have two sons, Jasper (10) and Harvey (8). The Ogilvys figured that waiting much longer to decide where to live would make it tougher on the children.

''We just talked about it, for lots of reasons, and we kept making pros and cons. Juli was strong on it,'' Ogilvy said. ''We're excited. I'm at the point where I'm not going to play 27 times a year. It's going to be brutal to play from there. But you've got to choose life.''

Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and he counts three World Golf Championships among his eight PGA Tour victories. He also has won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship and has reached No. 3 in the world.

His last victory was in 2014, and Ogilvy has slipped to No. 416 in the world.

He has been dividing some of his time with a golf course design business with projects that include Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, Texas, (including a ''Little Nine'' course that opened last year), a renovation in China and a 36-hole course called Peninsula Kingwood in Melbourne.

Ogilvy, who grew up at Victoria Golf Club, still has a home on the 14th hole of the West Course at Royal Melbourne. If he didn't move back home, Ogilvy figured he would be spending six months in Melbourne and six months in Scottsdale, Arizona.

''It's a feeling more than anything,'' he said. ''Scottsdale is dreamy. We live a great existence. I know what I'm getting there. If we didn't move back, we'd be a six-and-six family. The kids get out of school, and they're bounced back and forth. It's not good for continuity.''

As for golf?

Ogilvy narrowly kept his full PGA Tour card last year and this season has been a struggle. He hasn't sorted out what kind of schedule he would keep, understanding it would involve long trips from Sydney to Dallas.

The immediate goal would be to play a heavy fall schedule and miss most of the West Coast swing to get acclimated to the move.

''And then we'll start working it out,'' he said.


US OPEN QUALIFYING: The U.S. Open likes to consider its championship the most democratic of the majors, and it has it just about right again this year. With the addition of 23 players who became exempt by being in the top 60 in the world ranking, 77 players in the 156-man field are exempt from qualifying. That number could go up slightly with another cutoff for the top 60 the Sunday before U.S. Open week.

The U.S. Open is the only American major that does not offer automatic exemptions to PGA Tour winners. Five such winners from this season still face qualifying, including Patton Kizzire, who has won twice (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Sony Open). The others are Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise.

Kizzire is at No. 63 in the world, followed by Wise (66) and Landry (69). All have three weeks to crack the top 60.

Until 2011, the U.S. Open offered exemptions to multiple PGA Tour winners since the previous Open. It leans heavily on the world ranking, as do the other majors. It also awards recent major champions and top finishers from the previous U.S. Open, along with the Tour Championship field from the previous year, to reward a consistently strong season.

''All of the tours around the world have bought into the official world golf ranking rankings,'' said Jeff Hall, the USGA's managing director of rules and open championships. ''And this provides just the right place for us to be with exemptions. We don't have to get into the weighting of one tour over another, this championship versus that event, a week-to-week event. We focus on the official world golf rankings and it seems to get us the right players for our championship.''



FICKLE GAME: Careers can change quickly in golf. No one can attest to that as well as Michael Arnaud.

The 36-year-old Arnaud had never finished better than a tie for fifth in his 49 starts on the Web.com Tour, and that was three years ago. His career earnings were just over $130,000. He had only made it into one previous event this year, and he wasn't in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina last week until Kent Bulle withdrew on the eve of the event.

Arnaud tied the course record with a 60 in the second round. He closed with a 63 and won by five shots.

He won $126,000 and moved to No. 13 on the money list, giving him a reasonable chance to reach the PGA Tour if he finishes the season in the top 25.

''A lot of people kept pushing me when I wanted to step away from it,'' Arnaud said. ''My wife was one of those that told me to take the chance and go. Low and behold it really paid off.''


SHINNECOCK SAVANT: Rory McIlroy is excited to get back to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open, a course he already has played a few times.

Equally excited is his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, who knows the course on New York's Long Island better than McIlroy.

O'Flaherty spent two summers as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills.

He went to college at Trinity in Dublin, had friends in the Hamptons and came over during the summer months in 2002 and 2003 to work as a caddie.

''I got to know a lot of members,'' O'Flaherty said. ''I can't wait. To me, it's the best course in the world.''


DIVOTS: Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic on Feb. 25 at No. 4 in the world. No one from the top 10 in the world has won a PGA Tour event since then, a stretch of 12 tournaments. ... Guy Kinnings is leaving IMG after nearly 30 years to become the deputy CEO and Ryder Cup director of the European Tour. He will report directly to European Tour chief Keith Pelley. ... The LPGA tour will play in China during its fall Asia swing at the Buick LPGA Shanghai at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. The tournament will be Oct. 18-21, one week before the men play the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. ... Alice Chen of Furman has been selected for the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to top college women who excel in golf, academics and work off the golf course. ... The Irish Open is going to Lahinch Golf Club in 2019, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley serving as the tournament host.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein and Jhonattan Vegas are the only players to compete in all five Texas events on the PGA Tour this year.


FINAL WORD: ''The sum of his shots seems to add up to slightly less than the sum of the shots from another guy.'' - Geoff Ogilvy on Jordan Spieth.

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Arizona's run continues, knocks off top seed to reach semis

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 6:35 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 1 seed in match play has still never won the women’s NCAA Championship.

That dubious distinction continued Tuesday at Karsten Creek when Arizona knocked out top-seeded UCLA on the final hole of the final match.

With the matches tied at 2 apiece, the anchor match between Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan and UCLA freshman Patty Tavatanakit was tied on the 18th hole, a par 5 that’s reachable in two shots by many.

Tavatanakit was just short of the green in two and Pagdanganan, the Wildcats’ hero from Monday when she made eagle on the last hole to give her team a shot at match play, blasted her second shot onto the green. Tavatanakit failed to get up and down – missing a 4-footer for birdie – and Pagdanganan two-putted for birdie to give Arizona the victory.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


“We’re lucky to be in match play,” Arizona coach Laura Ianello said. “Let’s ride the highs. Why not?”

Arizona will now face Stanford in the semifinals. The Cardinal, the 2015 champion and 2016 runner up, has qualified for match play in each of the past four seasons. They beat Northwestern, 3-2, in the quarterfinals to advance.

USC will face Alabama in the other semifinal, meaning three Pac-12 teams have advanced to the Final Four. The Crimson Tide had an easy go of it in their quarterfinal match against Kent State, winning 4-1. The decisive victory gave Alabama extra rest for its afternoon match.

USC beat Duke, 3-1-1, in the other quarterfinal, pitting teams that have combined to win nine NCAA titles in the past 20 years. But neither team has had much success in the past four years since the championship turned to match play. Not only has neither team won, neither has even reached the championship match.

Duke’s Leona Maguire won the first match and the second match was halved, but USC swept the last three matches with Gabriela Ruffels, Alyaa Abdulghany and Amelia Garvey all winning to propel the Trojans into the semifinals.

Alabama (2) vs. USC (3)

2:30PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (A) vs. Jennifer Chang (USC)

2:40PM ET: Kristen Gillman (A) vs. Amelia Garvey (USC)

2:50PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (A) vs. Allisen Corpuz (USC)

3:00PM ET: Lakareber Abe (A) vs. Alyaa Abdulghany (USC)

3:10PM ET: Angelica Moresco (A) Gabriela Ruffels (USC)


Stanford (5) vs. Arizona (8)

3:20PM ET: Emily Wang (S) vs. Gigi Stoll (A)

3:30PM ET: Shannon Aubert (S) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (A)

3:40PM ET: Mika Liu (S) vs. Haley Moore (A)

3:50PM ET: Albane Valenzuela (S) vs. Sandra Nordaas (A)

4:00PM ET: Andrea Lee (S) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (A)

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals were contested Tuesday morning with semifinals in the afternoon. The finals are being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals