Tom Watson ill misses practice round at Senior Open - COPIED

By Associated PressJuly 29, 2009, 4:00 pm
CARMEL, Ind. ' Tom Watson learned two lessons during his latest trip to Britain: Finish strong and dont eat Chinese food.
 
If he follows both rules this week, the 59-year-old British Open runner-up might leave Crooked Stick Golf Course with his first U.S. Senior Open title.
 
This is the one I want the most, Watson said. Ive been pretty close a couple of times. A couple of times, Ive been right there and I sure would like to have this one.
 
Who could question the revitalized Watson after his last two tournaments?
 
He came within an 8-foot putt of winning his sixth British Open at Turnberry two weeks ago, an inspirational performance that still has Watsons colleagues offering congratulations.
 
Last week, at the Senior British Open, Watson rallied with a final round 67 to tie for eighth.
 
Now, after two weeks overseas, Watson has returned to his home country to play in a third straight major. Yes, the British performances jump-started Watsons game, but the food clearly did not. Watson skipped his first practice round Tuesday because he was ill.
 
They have a saying over there that you dont eat Chinese food in the U.K., and it didnt quite agree with me, he said. Im kind of down in the dumps right now. My body is.
 
Watson hopes to make it onto the par-72, 7,316-yard course, the longest in Senior Open history, on Wednesday though the delay has already put him at a disadvantage.
 
He arrived in Indianapolis on Monday, hoping to complete at least two practice rounds on a course that has hosted the PGA Championship, the U.S. Womens Open and the Solheim Cup in previous years. Watson played it in 1991 when John Daly won the PGA title but doesnt remember much about the course.
 
Plus, hes contending with jet lag and a sickness that have caused other complications.
 
It wouldnt be so difficult if the USGA and R&A got together and maybe had a week in between, Watson joked. With the travel schedule, that puts a burden on your body. For instance, I go over to the British Open and I go five days in advance of the first round. Thats a minimum amount of time that I like to spend get my body used to the time change. Ive been over there two weeks, and now Ive got late afternoon times here.
 
Still, Watson has been the headline attraction among a star-studded cast at Crooked Stick. Included in the 156-player field are three-time U.S. Open champ Hale Irwin, two-time Masters winners Ben Crenshaw and Bernhard Langer, two-time British Open winner Greg Norman and two-time PGA champ Dave Stockton.
 
But Watson is the fan favorite.
 
At Turnberry, he blew a chance to become the oldest major winner in golf history. After missing the putt, he wound up losing to Stewart Cink in a four-hole playoff.
 
His senior tour colleagues were more impressed by Watsons overall performance and greeted him with congratulatory remarks that Watson called pretty cool.
 
Its a shame that Tom will probably be remembered for that last putt on the 18th hole, but think of all the putts he made before he got to the 18th hole and the shots he played, said former Masters champ Fuzzy Zoeller, who lives 120 miles away from this weeks course. A man that is 59 years old and still has nerves of steel except for a little shake at that last hole? How many people would love to have been in his shoes?
 
What many want to see is how Watson responds.
 
He said he hit the ball better at the Senior British Open than he did at the British Open and is playing as well as he has in more than a decade.
 
More important, Watson may have found an answer to his putting problems Sunday. The change led to six birdies on the final 12 holes and seven in the final round, giving Watson perhaps a better finishing punch than he had in Britain.
 
Right now, Im playing well, so mentally I feel like I can do it, he said. Last week was a good week from a ball-striking standpoint, but I didnt get the putter working very well. I made an adjustment on the last day, and Im looking forward to putting that adjustment into play this week.
 
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    Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

    Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

    Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

    And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

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    Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

    By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

    The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

    The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

    ''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

    Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

    Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

    That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

    ''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

    Off the course, they're also different.

    The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

    Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

    Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

    ''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

    Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

    Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

    Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

    On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

    In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

    Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

    Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

    ''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

    The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

    ''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

    LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

    Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

    ''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

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    Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

    By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

    Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

    Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

    "Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

    At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

    Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

    "No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

    Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

    Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

    By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

    South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

    Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

    Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

    “I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

    Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

    “Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

    Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

    “We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”