Peter's Party revived in Portland; all the cool kids showed up

By Associated PressAugust 28, 2011, 8:51 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. – For his spot-on impression of Craig Stadler, Peter Jacobsen filled his shirt with a box of golf balls and walked heel-to-toe to the laughs of the large gallery at Portland Golf Club.

The ever-affable Jacobsen used to entertain crowds with his many impersonations as the host of a charity golf tournament that was affectionately known as Peter’s Party.

On Sunday, the parodies returned in the Umpqua Bank Challenge, Jacobsen’s revival of his popular tournament that was a fixture in his hometown for 17 years until 2002.

This year’s incarnation of the event opened with a “clinic” for fans that included very little instruction. On Monday and Tuesday Jacobsen and several fellow former and current pros play a two-man team better-ball event for a $750,000 purse.

Among those in the field for the Umpqua Bank Challenge are Arnold Palmer, John Cook, Ben Crenshaw, Jay Haas, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Mark O’Meara, Nick Price, Fuzzy Zoeller, Steve Elkington and Scott McCarron.

McCarron was a last-minute addition to the field. Ben Crane of Beaverton, Ore., was a “maybe” but claimed a spot into this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston.

“Peter Jacobsen has really been like my big brother on the PGA Tour,” McCarron said. “I’ve done a lot of events with him and anytime he asks me to do anything I’m right there ready to go.”

McCarron is paired with hunting buddy Elkington on Monday.

Peter’s Party, known in later years as the Fred Meyer Challenge, ended in 2002 when it lost sponsorship. Jacobsen instead turned to luring the Tradition, a major on the Champions Tour, to Oregon. That annual senior circuit tournament played for several years at a club west of Portland and later in central Oregon.

Then the Tradition fell victim to the economic downturn and lost title sponsor Jeld-Wen, an Oregon-based window and door manufacturer. The event moved to Birmingham, Ala., this year.

The loss left a void in Oregon for golf fans. The only high-profile tournament was the LPGA Safeway Classic held each year at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Jacobsen said he hopes the Umpqua Bank Challenge will be the first of many.

“It feels like coming home again, which, of course, it is,” he said.

Jacobsen turned pro in 1976 and won seven times on the PGA Tour. Popular with fans because of his genial personality, Jacobsen has also won two tournaments on the Champions Tour, both majors.

On Sunday he played master of ceremonies at his clinic.

“Good to be back, isn’t it?” he asked the crowd to a big cheer.

In addition to Stadler, Jacobsen also imitated buddy Arnold Palmer, Raymond Floyd and Lee Trevino, complete with his crooked cap and the occasional “Whoo!”

The chummy feel of Peter’s Party was evident beforehand when P.J. Carlesimo, a former Trail Blazers head coach and current assistant for the Toronto Raptors, was seen having an animated discussion with Casey Martin, a former PGA Tour pro and now coach of the Oregon Ducks golf team. Former Blazers Brian Grant and Terry Porter signed autographs.

Former Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington lent a hand, even though he couldn’t play in the pro-am because of a serious bike accident about three weeks ago. He was hospitalized for three days after being hit by an SUV, and broke his collarbone and several ribs.

Singer Huey Lewis poked fun at the Oregon-centric guests.

“I personally don’t give a damn about Oregon,” he joked. “It rains here all the time anyway, doesn’t it?”

Jacobsen and Curtis Strange finished the inaugural Peter’s Party in a tie with Greg Norman and Gary Player. Norman and Brad Faxon won the event as a team three times.

The Fred Meyer Challenge raised some $13 million for charity. The 36-hole Umpqua Bank Challenge will benefit the Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation-Oregon.

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Bjorn adds four Ryder Cup veterans as vice captains

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has added a quartet of vice captains for the biennial matches this fall in Paris.

Bjorn had already named Robert Karlsson as his first assistant, and he announced Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship that his group of advisors will also include major champions Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, and former world No. 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Westwood is among Europe's most decorated Ryder Cup players, and his addition in this role signals he likely won't participate as a player in the matches for the first time since 1995. The Englishman has spoken openly about his desire to captain the European squad at Whistling Straits in 2020, but he's been quiet on the course in recent months, with a missed secondary cut at the Houston Open his only start since mid-February.

Harrington is seen as another possible captain for the 2020 matches, and he'll don an earpiece for the third straight Ryder Cup, having represented Europe as a player on six straight teams from 1999-2010.

Donald played on four Ryder Cup teams from 2004-12, with the Europeans winning each time he was on the roster. This will mark his first stint as a vice captain, as Donald announced last month that he would be sidelined indefinitely while recovering from a back injury.

At age 38, McDowell will be the youngest vice captain in the room, having holed the winning putt eight years ago at Celtic Manor. He won the French Open in both 2013 and 2014 at Le Golf National, site of this year's matches, and will also be making his debut as a vice captain.

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Bidder pays $50,000 to caddie for Woods

By Grill Room TeamMay 22, 2018, 12:28 pm

Someone has paid $50,000 to caddie for Tiger Woods at this year’s Hero World Challenge.

An unnamed bidder paid for the opportunity at an auction Saturday night at Tiger Jam, where monies are raised to support the Tiger Woods Foundation.

The Hero World Challenge will be contested Nov. 29-Dec. in Albany, Bahamas. The pro-am is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:28 am

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 have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals 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.


TV Times (all times ET):

11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Arizona grabs last spot with eagle putt, playoff win

By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 3:18 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – With her team freefalling in the standings, Arizona coach Laura Ianello was down to her last stroke.

The Wildcats began the final round of the NCAA Championship in third place, but they were 19 over par for the day, and outside the top-8 cut line, with only one player left on the course.

Bianca Pagdaganan had transferred from Gonzaga to compete for NCAA titles, and on the 17th hole Ianello told her that she needed to play “the best two holes of your life” to keep the dream alive.

She made par on 17, then hit a 185-yard 6-iron out of a divot to 30 feet. Not knowing where she stood on the final green, Pagdaganan felt an eerie calm over the ball. Sure enough, she buried the eagle putt, setting off a raucous celebration and sending the Wildcats into a play-five, count-four team playoff with Baylor at 33 over par.

Their match-play spot wasn’t yet secure, but Ianello still broke down in tears.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

“Bianca is such an inspiration for all of us,” she said. “She’s the kind of kid that you want to root for, to have good things happen to.”

Arizona prevailed on the second playoff hole. As the 8 seed, the Wildcats will play top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals Tuesday at Karsten Creek.

Though the finish had plenty of drama, no teams played their way into the coveted top 8 on the final day of stroke-play qualifying.

Baylor came closest. The Bears barely advanced past regionals after a mysterious stomach virus affected several players and coaches. They competed in the final round with just four healthy players.

On Monday, Gurleen Kaur put Baylor in position to advance, shooting 68, but the Bears lost by three strokes on the second extra hole.

Arkansas finished one shot shy of the team playoff. The second-ranked Razorbacks, who entered NCAAs as one of the pre-tournament favorites, having won seven times, including their first SEC title, couldn’t overcome a 308-300 start and finished 10th. Player of the Year favorite Maria Fassi finished her week at 19 over par and counted only two rounds toward the team total.