Perry Refocuses at FedEx

By Associated PressMay 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Kenny Perry knows he has a serious problem. Sure, he blew away the field last week by seven strokes in winning the Colonial despite a case of nearsightedness so bad he couldn't read his eye doctor's chart less than 24 hours later. But vision wasn't his dilemma Wednesday as he prepared for the St. Jude Classic.
'I've got to somehow regroup. I shot a couple over today in the pro-am. ... My head wasn't quite in it. I was out in space. I'm thinking too much in the past. I've got to refocus, get back in the present and get ready to play golf,' Perry said.
Perry certainly has shown that he can remain focused in consecutive weeks. The last time he won Colonial in 2003, he followed up with a victory at Memorial the next week.
But he said Wednesday he doesn't know exactly how he came down off the high to win those tournaments, and he thinks his second victory this year and ninth career was much more emotional because of how special Colonial is to him.

'Somehow, I've got to come back to Earth here,' Perry said.
That shouldn't be much of a problem because Perry has very few good memories at the TPC at Southwind. He hasn't played there since 1999, partly because he hasn't fared very well on the course with five missed cuts, including his last two visits in 1998 and 1999.
He was third in 1996 for his only top 10 finish.
Perhaps in a lucky stroke for Perry, the golf course is very different from last year when David Toms won the tournament sponsored by FedEx for a second straight year.
Work began the day after Toms finished off a routine six-stroke victory in 2004. The grass on the greens was stripped with champion Bermuda replacing the original bentgrass, and tee boxes were pushed forward or back to add 141 yards.
Par is a stroke lower at 70 on the 7,244-yard course. The par-5 No. 5 was changed to a 485-yard par 4, with the tee moved forward. Sticking a shot on the green that slopes to the back won't be easy.
Toms said he has heard a couple people mention the changes were made to protect the course from him. He went 20 under in 2003 and 16 under in 2004 when the greens were soft enough that golfers could shoot right at the pins, knowing their balls would stick close.
Shooting low has been the key since the tournament moved to this course in 1989, including John Cook's 26 under in 1996.
'I'm anxious to get started (Thursday) to see how I do, see how everybody else does on the redesign just because I think there's some unknowns about exactly how it's going to play,' Toms said.
Toms will try to become the first player to win this event three straight years, which would make him the first since Tiger Woods to win a PGA Tour event three consecutive times. Woods won Bay Hill four straight years from 2000-2003.
Toms feels he is playing well enough to do just that after finishing tied for third at Colonial with four straight rounds in the 60s. That followed a stretch in which 13 of his 14 rounds were 70 or higher, and Toms credited good memories and strengthening his left hand on his grip.
'Obviously, it would be big for me to be able to do it three times. You don't get that opportunity very often. Certainly, I don't, and this is my one chance. I look forward to the challenge. There's no reason why I can't play well again,' Toms said.
Well, there is the changes on the course.
Tom Lehman loved most of the alterations, especially on the greens he called firm and very smooth. But he thinks they turned the par-4 10th into the toughest on the course thanks to a new tee box and more rough down the left side that he thinks takes away options to play left or lay up on the 465-yard hole.
'Now it's back there where you have to hit driver, and you're hitting right at a bunker. You can't carry the trees. There's high rough left. You've made a difficult hole even worse,' Lehman said.
Perry, who has had Lasik surgery twice, said a new pair of glasses won't be ready until Monday to help him putt better than he did Wednesday. Fortunately, the man who leads the tour in total driving statistics still sees a course that prefers straight and accurate hitters.
'So I kind of like that,' he said.
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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.