Tiger Stealing a Move

By Associated PressFebruary 19, 2003, 5:00 pm
A fan watching Tiger Woods in his first practice round since surgery was concerned after Woods belted one big drive.
 
'Which knee did he have the surgery on?' the man said. 'I just saw him pick up his right leg like it was hurting.'
 
The surgery was on the left knee.
 
Besides, whenever Woods snaps up his right leg after a tee shot, it's a good sign.
 
That has become a signature move for Woods, replacing the fist pump that was so prevalent when he first showed up on the PGA Tour. After a pure drive, Woods twirls the club and quickly picks up his right foot as he bends over to get his tee.
 
Where did that start? From watching his good friend Mark O'Meara.
 
'I learned that from M.O.,' Woods said. 'As much golf as I play with him, I can't stop doing it now.'
 
It beats the alternative -- holding out his right arm and yelling, 'Fore!'
 
FROM THE GRILLROOM: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem says he's the boss in the kitchen whenever he's home.
 
'If there's a tournament on TV, I watch in the kitchen and time things for after the golf is over,' Finchem said in the March issue of Golf Digest.
 
Just don't call him 'Chef Finchem.' The commissioner says a chef is someone who creates, while a cook simply follows a recipe.
 
'I'm a cook,' he said. 'I will try stuff. Last year, I tried a banana cream pie from a recipe by Emeril, who has a popular show on the Food Channel. Didn't come out quite right.'
 
His favorite? Seared tuna steak with a burgundy butter sauce, the meal he had the night he was married.
 
BATTLE AT BRIDGES: The prime-time TV exhibition with Tiger Woods is moving this summer from Bighorn to The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe, a spectacular new course in the foothills north of San Diego.
 
Because The Bridges is an exclusive community, officials don't plan to sell tickets to the public. A smaller gallery won't be such a bad thing. Fans will have to navigate severe changes in elevation along the Robert Trent Jones Jr. course.
 
What's left to do is figure out who will play.
 
Local organizers would love to see Phil Mickelson in the mix, especially since he lives at The Bridges, although his comments about Woods' equipment won't help his chances.
 
One suggestion: Woods and Jack Nicklaus against Ernie Els and Gary Player .
 
Woods and Nicklaus are the defending champions, and it would bring together the top two players in the world. It also would serve as a preview of the Presidents Cup -- Nicklaus and Player will be the captains in South Africa.
 
DON'T WAIT ON A BOOK: Brad Faxon is considered one of the best putters on the PGA Tour, having had the top putting average three times in the last seven years.
 
He was No. 17 a year ago, and he thinks he knows why.
 
'I was doing all kinds of articles,' Faxon said. 'People asked me to do books and tapes. I started thinking about what I do, and it screwed me up. So, I'm not going to talk about it anymore. Some pro wrote a book on how to play golf after he won a U.S. Open , and we never heard from him again.'
 
ACHES AND PAINS: Someone saw the name one stroke out of the lead midway through the Buick Invitational and figured it was Carl Paulson , who nearly won The Players Championship last year.
 
Instead, it was Dennis Paulson -- no relation -- who has struggled on the PGA Tour while battling one injury after another.
 
'I don't think I can play through another injury,' Dennis Paulson said. 'If something else happens this year, I'll probably just pack it in, do some corporate stuff.'
 
He was 27th on the money list in 1999 and beat David Duval in a playoff at the Buick Classic the following year for his only PGA TOUR title.
 
Since then, he has battled everything from tendinitis in his arm to a bone spur in his heel. He injured his back while trying to get through q-school in December, and he consulted therapists about his shoulder while at Torrey Pines.
 
Paulson nearly made the most of his sponsor's exemption last week. One off the lead going into the weekend, he closed with rounds of 73-73. That left him two shots out of a top-10 finish, which would have earned him a spot in the field at Riviera for the Nissan Open .
 
'My golf swing is coming around,' he said. 'The whole thing is learning how to score again and being confident on all my shots.'
 
DIVOTS: Dawn Coe-Jones, a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, was selected for the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
 
Carl Pettersson became the 30th player to finish second to Woods on the PGA Tour.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Ernie Els is 100-under par in his five tournaments this year.
 
FINAL WORD: 'Hey, show me a place where I can get a 775-square-foot apartment with a washer and dryer for $700 a month, and I'll come back.' -- Arron Oberholser , who left his roots in the San Francisco Bay area to live outside Phoenix.
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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.