US Open champ doesnt want career to be single act

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2010, 8:40 pm
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Editorial director Jay Coffin sits down with U.S. Open Winner Graeme McDowell

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Life sure has changed since Graeme McDowell’s surprise victory at the U.S. Open last month.

He can’t begin to count how many congratulatory e-mails, voice mails and text messages he’s gotten, and one of Greg Norman’s people just asked for his number so the Shark can give him a shout. He’s already shaken enough hands at the British Open to have a future career as a politician – and it’s only Tuesday.

But all this love can come at a price. While a few first-timers have gone on to quickly add another major title (see: Padraig Harrington), the list of those who’ve done little else of significance is much, much longer.

“I’m very aware of the pitfalls – complacency, expectation levels, really trying to change my game now that I’m a major champion, there’s all kinds of mistakes that guys have made in the past,” McDowell said. “I feel like I’ve got some good processes and some good work ethics going on, and it’s important that I do that.

“It’s difficult to put Pebble Beach behind me, and I don’t want to put it behind me because I’m enjoying every second of it and it’s been an amazing experience,” he added. “But I’ve got to look forward to the rest of the season. I’ve got some big goals I want to achieve.”

Pick which of the many young, talented Europeans would win a major, and McDowell’s name probably wouldn’t have been first on the list. The 30-year-old has spent most of his time on the European Tour since turning professional in 2002, and the closest he came to a win on the PGA Tour before the U.S. Open was a tie for second at Bay Hill in 2005.

He just made it onto the automatic exemption list for Pebble Beach by cracking the top 50 in the world – No. 49, to be exact, after finishing tied for 28th at the BMW PGA Championship in England.

But McDowell played solidly at Pebble Beach, and was steely enough to hold off some of the world’s best; Ernie Els finished third, while Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods tied for fourth.

“His game is suited really well for the majors, anyway,” said Rory McIlroy, McDowell’s good friend and fellow Northern Irishman. “He doesn’t do anything wrong. He makes a lot of pars, gives himself lots of chances. And he’s got a great short game. … I had sort of viewed winning majors as this higher level, and it just made me realize that it wasn’t. You just needed to play well in the right week, and have a few things go your way.”

If McDowell is to win another major, a British Open would seem to suit him best. He opened with a 66 to take the first-round lead at Royal Liverpool in 2006, and was two shots out of the lead going into the weekend at Royal Birkdale in 2008. (He then blew up with an 80 in the third round.) In his only British Open at St. Andrews, McDowell tied for 11th and shot par or better for all but one round.

At the 2004 Dunhill Links, he shot a 62 on the Old Course.

Oh, McDowell also happens to be from Portrush, a city on Northern Ireland’s northern coast where the weather is very similar to St. Andrews. The gorgeous, sun-kissed skies that have lingered above the Old Course the last few days were expected to give way to rain and wind later Tuesday, with the weather staying miserable through the weekend.

“When the wind blows and it starts raining, people always say to me, ‘Geez, you must love this.’ I hate it the same as everyone else does,” McDowell said. “But yeah, I grew up in it, and maybe I’ve got the kind of game that can deal with it a little bit more.”

McDowell got to brush up on his British Open game last weekend at the Scottish Open, where he tied for 21st.

“I was hitting balls in the rain last week at Loch Lomond thinking, this could stand me in good stead for next week,” he said. “Obviously the forecast is pretty changeable around here, you never know to expect on a day-to-day basis, but you’ve got to be prepared for anything this tournament can throw at you.

“I’ve got all kinds of wet gear and cashmere and woolly hats and mittens, and we’re ready for anything the course is going to throw at us this week.

Not to mention all those distractions that go along with his newfound celebrity.

“My preparation remains exactly the same,” McDowell said. “Obviously coming here as the U.S. Open champion is a special feeling. (But) I think it’s important that I remain the same guy.”

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High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

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Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

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Arizona captures NCAA DI Women's Championship

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 11:56 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – Turns out this match-play format provides fireworks. Almost always.

In the four years since the women’s NCAA Championship has switched from the stale, 72-hole stroke-play format the championship matches have been pure magic.

This year, for the third time in the past four years, the final outcome came down to the last match and Arizona took home its third title with a 3-2 victory over Alabama on Wednesday when junior Haley Moore defeated senior Lakareber Abe on the 19th hole.

The Wildcats also won NCAA titles in 1996 and 2000, the latter when current Arizona coach Laura Ianello was on the team as a player.

“Arizona is my home, it is where I went to school and [the championship] needs to be back home,” Ianello said. “So I am so proud to be the coach to bring it back.”

Two days ago, Arizona was in the midst of an epic collapse. The Wildcats were safely in the third position after 54 holes of stroke play and needed only to be inside the top eight after 72 holes to advance to the match-play portion of the event.

But they played the worst round of the day and were on the outside looking in with one hole remaining when junior Bianca Pagdanganan made eagle on the par-5 18th hole. That propelled the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor that they ultimately won.

On the first day of match play, Arizona continued to ride the wave of momentum by defeating Pac-12 rivals UCLA, the top seed, and Stanford, a match-play stalwart the past three years.

Next up for Arizona was Alabama, the top-ranked team in the country and the second seed this week after stroke play.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a hell of a ride,” Ianello said, attempting to take pressure off her team, which, on paper, looked like an underdog.

But you know the saying, anything can happen in match play, and often does.

Alabama coach Mic Potter put out his three first-team All-Americans in the first three spots hoping to jump out to an early lead. Junior Lauren Stephenson played poorly in the opening match and lost, 4 and 3, to freshman Yu-Sang Hou.

Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight dispatched Wildcats Gigi Stoll and Pagdanganan easily in the second and third matches.

Arizona’s Sandra Nordaas beat Angelica Moresco, 1 up, in the fourth match meaning the fifth and final match, which was all square after 16 holes, was going to decide the NCAA title.

Lakareber lost the 17th hole when her approach shot sailed well short and right of the green in thick, gnarly rough. She attempted to advance the ball but could not and headed to the final hole 1 down.

With seemingly every golf fan in Stillwater on site, including several men’s teams here to participate in next week’s championship, Abe hit a laser second shot into the par-5 18th hole setting up a 12-foot look for eagle. Moore missed her birdie putt and Abe won the hole to set up extra holes to decide the championship.

In the extra frame, Moore was left of the green in two shots and Abe was short in the greenside bunker. Moore chipped to 4 feet and Abe’s bunker shot was 6 feet away. Abe missed, Moore made and Arizona walked away with the hardware.

“It means so much, it’s actually like a dream,” Moore said. “I’m just so happy for my team right now.”

Potter has been a head coach for 35 years – at both Furman and Alabama – and finally was able to collect his first NCAA Championship in 2012. Being so close to a second one will sting for quite a while but he will be able to live with the outcome for one simple reason.

“They fought their hearts out all year,” Potter said. “I just want to congratulate them for the way they battled, not only today, but in match play. Everyone gave their best on every shot - that’s all we can ask.”

Arizona def. Alabama, 3-2

Yu-Sang Hou (AZ) def. Lauren Stephenson (AL), 4 and 3

Kristen Gillman (AL) def. Gigi Stoll (AZ), 4 and 3

Cheyenne Knight (AL) def. Bianca Pagdanganan, 4 and 2

Sandra Nordaas (AZ) def. Angelica Moresco (AL), 1 up

Haley Moore (AZ) def. Lakareber Abe (AL), 19th hole

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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.