Tiger Phil Skip Grand Slam Pro-Am

By Associated PressNovember 21, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 PGA Grand Slam of GolfWith Tiger Woods laid up with a virus and Phil Mickelson traveling, fans waiting to catch a glimpse or snap a photo of one of golf's glamour foursomes had to settle for half the field of the exclusive PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Woods, a five-time winner at the Grand Slam, had a stomach virus and withdrew from Monday's pro-am. Mickelson, the defending champion, wasn't even on the island yet.
That left Vijay Singh and Michael Campbell at the oceanside Poipu Bay Golf Course to schmooze with 60 pro-am participants, ranging from business executives to popular island chefs.
Campbell, who earned an invite with his stunning win at the U.S. Open, seemed right at home in the islands. He was a local favorite, and dozens of flag-waving fans from his native New Zealand, enduring occasional downpours, followed him every hole.
'I think it's the Polynesian connection,' said Campbell, the first Kiwi to win a major since Bob Charles won the British Open in 1963. 'I have a lot of support here and it's wonderful.'
Campbell was honored with a traditional New Zealand haka dance, complete with chanting by a half-dozen men, before the pro-am.
'It was very special for me to come all this way and see this welcome,' he said.
Life hasn't been the same for Campbell since he held off Woods at Pinehurst No. 2. A few years ago he considered giving up the game and selling golf balls. A year ago at this time, he was 'sitting on the couch watching TV.'
'It changed my whole life, obviously,' he said. 'It made me believe in myself more. Every time I tee it up now, I believe I can win.'
Campbell doesn't consider himself a major underdog, even against the top three players in the world golf rankings.
'I've proven it to the world that I can do it. I can win major tournaments, so there's no reason why I can't do this one either,' he said.
Tournament officials said they expect both Woods and Mickelson to play in the 36-hole event for winners of this year's majors.
Mickelson, the PGA Championship winner, was at home in San Diego attending to 'family obligations,' but was scheduled to arrive Tuesday morning before his round, PGA of America spokesman Julius Mason said.
It was the second pro-am Mickelson skipped this month. He also withdrew from the Tour Championship.
Last year, Mickelson capped his spectacular season with a 13-under 59 to win the Grand Slam by five strokes over Singh. He barely missed a 9-foot eagle putt on the final hole that would have given him a 58.
Woods, fresh from a successful defense of his title at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan, was treated by a local doctor Monday for a stomach virus. He was given antibiotics and told to rest all day.
He was also taking an extra day to rest a sprained ankle, which he twisted on his tee shot during a playoff in Japan.
Woods, who won six times on tour this year, including the Masters and British Open, last qualified for Kauai in 2002, when he earned his fifth straight Grand Slam title by beating Davis Love III and Justin Leonard by 14 strokes.
Woods led the money list this year with $10,628,024 and was followed by Singh ($8,017,336) and Mickelson ($5,699,605).
Singh, the oldest of the foursome at 42, kept his usual grueling practice routine at the range and green while his opponents were away. He even outlasted many fans.
With Woods claiming two majors this year, Singh earned a berth based on his major finishes. He tied for fifth in the Masters, shared sixth in the U.S. Open, tied for fifth at St. Andrews in the British and tied for 10th at the PGA.
He entered the year ranked No. 1 and finished with four wins and 18 top-10 finishes.
'On paper, it's very good. People would die to have a year like this, but I was disappointed because of the season I had last year,' said Singh, who had nine victories and won more than $10 million on tour in '04. 'Also disappointing because I didn't win a major.'
Singh finished second at Poipu in 1998, 2000 and last year.
All four players will go home richer. The Grand Slam winner will earn $400,000, while the fourth-place finisher will get $150,000.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - PGA Grand Slam of Golf
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.  

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.