Ogden Ready to Defend US Publinx Title

By Associated PressJuly 9, 2006, 4:00 pm
USGABREMERTON, Wash. -- Clay Ogden fully accepts the fact that few in golf would know his name if not for Michelle Wie.
In fact, Ogden is more recognized for his win over Wie in the quarterfinals of last year's U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship than his stirring rally to win the actual title a day later.
'She's probably the best thing ever to happen to me in my golf career,' Ogden said as he prepared to defend his title. The 2006 Public Links is being played at Gold Mountain Golf Club -- about an hour west of Seattle by ferry -- beginning Monday.
In last year's championship, Ogden barely made it out of stroke play, earning the 63rd of 64 spots. But in match play, the senior-to-be at BYU found his putting stroke to the dismay of his opponents.
Ogden won close matches in the first two rounds, then beat Andrew Black 3 and 2 to set up a date with Wie in the quarterfinals.
Playing in front of the biggest crowd he'd ever seen, Ogden birdied four of the first five holes and never let Wie into the match. He cruised to a 5-and-4 victory. Wie was the first female to play in a men's championship conducted by the United States Golf Association.
'For some weird reason I don't get that nervous in front of people or in front of crowds,' Ogden said. 'I was just a little country boy who never had an opportunity to do that before, so I thought it would be fun more than nerve-racking.'
Ogden continued his stellar play and earned an invitation to the Masters by beating Garrett Jones in the semifinals and rallying to defeat Martin Ureta of Chile 1-up in the final. At the Masters, Ogden played practice rounds with the likes of Mike Weir and Chris DiMarco, and played the first two rounds with Trevor Immelman and former champion Ben Crenshaw.
'It's unbelievable the respect they give former champions there,' said Ogden, who shot 83 in the first round and 76 in the second and didn't come close to making the cut.
For officials at Gold Mountain, there was disappointment when Wie announced she was turning pro. Last year at Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio, Wie's presence turned the amateur championship into a big media event. With every victory during match play, the crush of attention on Wie, then 15, grew exponentially.
Ogden couldn't help but marvel at the scene. During the first two rounds of stroke play, Ogden and Wie teed off at the same time, but started on opposite sides of the course. Ogden remembered trying to traverse crowds of 3,000 or 4,000 following Wie as he tried to make the turn.
'I turned to my dad and said I thought it'd be kind of funny if I got matched against her,' Ogden said. 'When it happened, I just kind of chuckled about it.'
Even without Wie this year, Ogden won't entirely be the center of attention. Among the 156 participants is 15-year-old Tadd Fujikawa, who last month became the youngest qualifier in U.S. Open history. Jones and Ureta also are back, and will be joined by Florida sophomore Billy Horschel, who was the low amateur at the U.S. Open.
'All we want now is as large a gallery as we can get,' said Scott Alexander, director of golf at Gold Mountain.
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Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

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Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

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Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

“There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

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Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.