Steve Marino overshadowed on a memorable day at the Open

By Associated PressJuly 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
135th Open Championship TURNBERRY, Scotland ' Who was on base when Bobby Thomson hit his famous homer? Who doled out all those assists the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points?
 
They could probably relate to Steve Marino.
 
The unheralded American got into the British Open as an alternate, had to fly his dad to Florida to send along his passport and found himself with the 36-hole lead at golfs oldest major.
Steve Marino
Steve Marino celebrates after holing an eagle putt on the 17th during round two of the 138th Open Championship. (Getty Images)
Great story, right?
 
No doubt.
 
But it barely got noticed Friday.
 
Marinos second straight round in the 60s ' and this one was really impressive the way the wind was whipping around Turnberry ' was overshadowed by two other developments of some interest. Fifty-nine-year-old Tom Watson rolled in two long putts to tie Marino for the top spot, and Tiger Woods headed home after missing the cut.
 
Watson became the oldest player ever to lead a major at the end of a round. Woods missed the cut in a major for only the second time in his pro career. And Marino likely became the obscure answer to some future trivia question.
 
Of course, he could change all that by playing well enough over the next two days to get his name engraved on the claret jug.
 
Obviously, its an advantage to have experience, the 29-year-old Marino said after shooting a 2-under 68 that left him tied with Watson at 5-under 135. But it can be an advantage to not have experience.
 
Someone pointed to Ben Curtis, who won the Open on his first attempt at Royal St. Georges in 2003.
 
I havent really experienced any nightmares over here yet, knock on wood, Marino said. But you know, watching it on TV my whole life, Ive seen some crazy things go on. And Ive got it in my head that some crazy things might happen to me, both good and bad.
 
There was a lot of good in the second round, as Marino pulled off one improbable shot after another. He holed out a sand wedge from 116 yards at No. 3, and did the same from a bunker for another birdie at the sixth. There also was a 30-footer for birdie at No. 5, not to mention a 20-footer for eagle at the 17th.
 
It was probably one of the best scoring rounds Ive ever had, Marino said. There were points in the round where I felt I was one-putting every hole. I really dont think I could have shot one stroke less today, to be honest with you.
 
And lets give a few props to his father for sending along that passport. Without it, Marino wouldnt be here.
 
I had to fly my dad down to Florida so he could get my passport and FedEx it to me, he said. I wasnt even expecting to play in this tournament.
 
When Marino thought he might get into the Open, his father dashed from Virginia to Florida (his sons home), sent the passport to his son playing in the John Deere Classic in Illinois, then flew back home ' all in the same day. When Shingo Katayama withdrew from the Open last weekend because of an injury, Marino hopped on a charter flight to claim the spot.
 
Though he had never played on a true links course, Marino felt his game was suited to a style of golf that requires imagination and low ball flight.
 
I would consider myself a feel player, he said. I kind of see shots before I hit them. I dont really hit the same shot every time. Over here, you kind of have to be that way a little bit and hit some low shots and some high shots and bounce them in there and use the slopes.
 
Marino, a former standout at the University of Virginia, where he was teammates with fellow PGA Tour player James Driscoll, has certainly paid his dues. He worked his way up through the mini-tours ' once shooting a 59 ' and claimed a spot on the Nationwide circuit through Monday qualifying and strong finishes. Finally, five years after leaving Virginia, he earned his PGA Tour card at Q-school.
 
Marino earned more than $1 million as a rookie, had a runner-up finish his sophomore year and nearly won in May at Colonial, losing to Steve Stricker in a playoff.
 
Hes a great kid and had a ton of talent, said Mark Calcavecchia, who was just one stroke behind the co-leaders heading into the weekend. Hes really kind of figured it out in the last couple of years. He hits it far, really doesnt have any weaknesses in the game that Ive seen the few times that Ive played with him. Its great to see him playing well. Its just a matter of time before he wins.
 
He could win this tournament. Theres a whole bunch of people that could. But hes going to win soon, and it may even be this week.
 
Related Links:
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    Alabama faces 'buzzsaw' Arizona for NCAA title

    By Ryan LavnerMay 23, 2018, 2:00 am

    STILLWATER, Okla. – There was no way Laura Ianello could sleep Monday night, not after that dramatic ending at the NCAA Women’s Championship. So at 12:15 a.m., the Arizona coach held court in the laundry room at the Holiday Inn, washing uniforms and munching on mozzarella sticks and fried chicken strips from Sonic, her heart still racing.

    Ianello got only three hours of sleep, and who could blame her?

    The Wildcats had plummeted down the team standings during the final round of stroke-play qualifying, and were 19 over par for the day, when junior transfer Bianca Pagdanganan arrived on the 17th hole.

    “Play the best two holes of your life,” Ianello told her, and so Pagdanganan did, making a solid par on 17 and then ripping a 6-iron from 185 yards out of a divot to 30 feet. There was a massive leaderboard positioned to the right of the par-5 18th green, but Pagdanganan never peeked. The only way for Arizona to force a play-five, count-four playoff with Baylor and reach match play was to sink the putt, and when it dropped, the Wildcats lost their minds, shrieking and jumping over the ropes and hugging anyone in sight.

    Watching the action atop the hill, Alabama coach Mic Potter shook his head.

    “I was really glad we didn’t win the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed,” he said, “because they’re a buzzsaw with a lot of momentum.”

    Given new life, Arizona dispatched Baylor by three strokes in the playoff, then turned its attention to top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.


    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


    Facing two first-team All-Americans, the Wildcats beat them, too, continuing the curse of the medalist. In the afternoon, worried that the adrenaline would wear off, Ianello watched her squad make quick work of Stanford, 4-1.

    “They’ve got a lot of great momentum, a lot of great team energy,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “They thought they were going home, and now they’ve got a chip on their shoulder. They’re playing with an edge.”

    After a marathon doubleheader Tuesday at Karsten Creek, Arizona now has a date with Alabama in the final match of this NCAA Championship.

    And the Wildcats better rest up.

    Alabama looks unstoppable.

    “They’re rolling off a lot of momentum right now,” Ianello said. “We know Alabama is a good team. But they’re super excited and pumped. It’s not the high of making it [Monday]; now they’ve got a chance to win. They know they have to bring it.”

    Even fully rested, Arizona will be a significant underdog against top-ranked Alabama.

    After failing to reach match play each of the past two years, despite being the top overall seed, the Tide wouldn’t be stopped from steamrolling their competition this time.

    They roughed up Kent State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then frontloaded their lineup with three first-team All-Americans – Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight – in their semifinal tilt against Southern Cal.

    Potter said that he was just trying to play the matchups, but the move sent a clear signal.

    “It gets pretty tedious when you never miss fairways and hole a lot of putts and your opponent knows that you’re not going to spray it,” Potter said. “That’s tough to match up against.”

    They breezed to the first three points, draining any drama out of the semifinals. Of the 99 holes that Bama’s Big 3 played Tuesday, they trailed after only two.

    “We’re always consistent,” Stephenson said, “and that’s exactly what you need in match play. Someone has to go really low to beat us.”

    That Arizona even has that chance to dethrone the Tide seemed inconceivable a few months ago.

    The Wildcats had a miserable fall and were ranked 39th at the halfway point of the season. On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, sent a text to Ianello that she was turning pro. Once she relayed the news, the team felt abandoned, but it also had a newfound motivation.

    “They wanted to prove that they’re a great team, even without her,” Ianello said.

    It also was a case of addition by subtraction: Out went the individual-minded Quihuis and in came Yu-Sang Ho, an incoming freshman whom Ianello described as a “bright, shining light.”

    Because incorporating a top-tier junior at the midway point can be intimidating, Ianello organized a lively team retreat at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, where they made vision boards and played games blindfolded.

    They laughed that weekend and all throughout the spring – or at least until Pagnanganan made that last-ditch eagle putt Monday. Then tears streamed down Ianello’s face.

    Folding uniforms after midnight, she regaled Alabama assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel with stories from their emotional day on the cut line, not even considering that they might face each other two days later for a national title. She was too delirious to ponder that.

    “I feel like a new mother with a newborn baby,” Ianello said. “But we’re going off of adrenaline. This team has all the momentum they need to get it done.”

    Yes, somehow, the last team into the match-play field might soon be the last team standing.

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    Pairings, tee times set for championship match

    By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 1:02 am

    STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

    Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.

    “We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”

    Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.

    Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.

    Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.

    “Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.


    Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)

    3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)

    3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)

    3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)

    3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)

    4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)

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    Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

    By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

    Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

    Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.


    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


    Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

    Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

    Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

    “I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

    Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

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

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 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 and semifinals were contested 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 finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

    Scoring:

    TV Times (all times ET):

    Wednesday
    4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)