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Friendship Double-Parked

If you detected a chill in the Minnesota air last Saturday when Inbee Park and Angela Park played in the same grouping'by the way, theyre not related'it was not just your imagination.
Inbee Park would win the U.S. Womens Open the next day. Angela Park would finish in the top three for the second straight year. But afterward Don Brown, Angela Parks coach, said that, sadly, Inbee and Angela are no longer best golfing friends.
Seems there was a falling out'between Angelas parents and Inbees parents and it developed into something of a family feud that dragged the daughters into it. What was a very tight relationship between Angela and Inbee has suffered as a result.
When I asked Angela Park about this after the tournament, she was clearly uncomfortable with the subject. It has been hard, she said. You never want to lose a friend. I have nothing against Inbee. Were still young.
When I asked Angela if their friendship could be restored in the future, she said she hoped so. Lets hope so, too. Both women are just 19 years old.
Meanwhile, Mickey Wright, who Ben Hogan once said owned the best golf swing of all time, told me she agrees with NBCs Johnny Miller that Angela Park has the best move in womens golf today.
When I asked her to name a few of her other favorite actions, she mentioned world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa and South Korean Mi Hyun Kim.
The 5-foot-1 Kim, Wright said, plays clubs that look longer than she is but hits it straight every time and is always aggressive.
Overall, Wright told me, her biggest disappointment with women players today is that they dont practice the short game shots enough.
Let that be a word to the wise.
Asked earlier this week if he might visit his teammates at the Ryder Cup matches in September to help provide inspiration, Tiger Woods made his position quite clear.
Well, Im not part of the team, unfortunately, said Woods, recovering from knee surgery. Because of my procedure, Im not on the team. Its about those 12 guys, its not about me. Im not part of that crew.
Fair enough. Woods doesnt want to be a distraction. But Im not ruling out a guest appearance by Woods in the team room Saturday night before the final days singles matches.
If he arrives unannounced, it wont be a distraction. And even if its just for a Ping Pong game with rival Phil Mickelson, I dont see any bad karma involved.
Meanwhile, Im all for Rocco Mediate, Woody Austin, Kenny Perry, Paul Goydos et al. making the American Ryder Cup squad. Great guys in the team room.
I know, I know, nobody makes any putts or stiffs any irons in the team room. But if the Americans are going to lose, Id like to see them do so with a loose bunch of personalities.
You never have fun losing. But Ive seen a few American teams (it was a long time ago) that were so uptight about playing the Europeans, they didnt even have fun winning.
Woody Austin is self-deprecating. Paul Goydos may be the driest wit on TOUR. Kenny Perry is Aw Shucks. And Rocco is a motormouth.
All of which covers up the fact that all of those guys are very good players who have delivered very good stretches of golf this year.
When Craig Barlow holed a long putt for eagle on his first hole of the final round of the Buick Open last Sunday it was a really long. The Shotlink measurement was 111 feet and five inches, which made it the longest recorded putt on TOUR this year. The previous longest was a 76-footer by Justin Rose. . . . Kenny Perry now has 11 career wins and seven of them have come in just three events'The Memorial, the Buick Open and the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial..J.B. Holmes carries his tee shots an average of 302.3 yards. Corey Pavins average carry is 233.3.
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