Notes Golf 912 to benefit 911 memorial funds

By Doug FergusonDecember 15, 2010, 5:12 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – A year ago on Sept. 11, the eerie timing of a friend’s death made Johan Immelman wonder if time was eroding memories of the terrorist attacks on America and how the citizens rallied behind one another the day after.

Ultimately, that brought together an eclectic mix of major champions, Super Bowl champions and military leaders Tuesday at Lake Nona Golf Club to officially launch a program called “Golf 9/12.”

The idea is for golfers who take part in the program to tee it up at their local clubs on Sept. 12 next year in what is being billed as the largest multi-course golf event in the world.

Immelman, former commissioner of the Sunshine Tour and father of Masters champion Trevor Immelman, said his “big, hairy, audacious goal” is for 220 golf courses and 220,000 golfers to take part in the inaugural day.

“Golf 9/12” after next year would be held the first Monday after Sept. 11.

Why the focus on Sept. 12?

Rich Davies, a North Carolina developer and co-founder of the program, said it was a day of “pent-up enthusiasm to connect with one another.” And what better way to do that than through golf? Another founder is retired Col. Ray Horoho, whose wife was working in the Pentagon when it was struck by a hijacked plane.

Trevor Immelman and U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover also are involved, along with PGA champion Davis Love III and Masters champion Larry Mize. Also pitching in are former NFL players Dan Marino, Wesley Walls, Jim Stuckey and Steve Marino, centerfielder Johnny Damon and former coach Lou Holtz.

Johan Immelman said he was moved when a friend died in a private crash last year on Sept. 11 on his way to New York. The coincidence was so jarring that he met with Davies and they began concocting a plan to remember Sept. 11 and the feelings it inspired. The buzz words of the program are “Remember, Unite and Engage.”

Mobile technology is the key behind “Golf 9/12.” Everyone participating at various golf courses will be connected through live mobile scoring using a custom phone application.

Players would pay an additional $12 for the round, with money going to the Pentagon Memorial Fund, the 9-11 Memorial, Flight 93 Memorial, local First Responders, Armed Forces Charities and Friends of Freedom Charities.

Golf courses and players can register at

“It’s not all polished,” Davies said. “We’ve put this together on a shoestring budget. But that’s the beauty of it. This is a grassroots effort. We look forward to people saying, ‘I’d like to be a part of this.''

G-MAC ATTACK: U.S. Open champion and Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell has won the Golf Writers’ Trophy for 2010, which the Association of Golf Writers presents to the top European performer. This was one year when the ballot was loaded.

With a record number of votes cast, the AGW said McDowell narrowly beat out the winning Ryder Cup team. Martin Kaymer, who won the PGA Championship and captured the Order of Merit, finished third. He was followed by Lee Westwood, who became the first European in 18 years to be No. 1 in the world.

McDowell and Kaymer were co-players of the year on the European Tour. Kaymer won four times on the European Tour along with the money title, while McDowell won three times and the decisive match in the Ryder Cup.

“What a treasure chest our members had to choose from this year,” AGW chairman Bill Elliott said. “But in the end, I suspect that abiding image of an exhausted Graeme McDowell clinching the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor just tipped it in his favor.”


CADDIE CHANGE: Mike Weir is looking for a new caddie. Sean O’Hair found one.

Weir’s caddie and longtime friend, Brennan Little, has decided to go to work for O’Hair in 2011. Little worked for O’Hair at the Chevron World Challenge and decided to make the switch. Weir is recovering from an elbow injury that kept him out the last three months of the season.

“I couldn’t be happier for him,” Weir said on his website Tuesday. “I know that he has to look after his family, and my situation, while I remain confident, is certainly not all that stable at the moment.”

O’Hair parted with his caddie, Paul Tesori, last month.


NICKLAUS AWARD: Jim Furyk was voted PGA Tour player of the year by his colleagues, and making it even more meaningful was the image on the trophy. The official title of the honor is the “Jack Nicklaus Award.”

Furyk’s three biggest golfing heroes were Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer and Nicklaus. He had the best relationship with the latter. Furyk played college and amateur golf against Gary Nicklaus. He once played a practice round with the 18-time major champion, and the acquaintance became even stronger through the Memorial and the Presidents Cup, with Nicklaus the captain of four teams on which Furyk played.

But what really helped is whom Furyk married.

“He’s always had a special place for me because of my wife being a Buckeye,” Furyk said with a grin. “That was my in. He liked me because my wife was from Ohio State. But he’s always treated us great.”

Furyk referred to Nicklaus as “to this date, the best there ever was.”

“That’s why that trophy is there,” he said. “There’s many things that make the whole thing special for me, but obviously with him being on the trophy – him being the trophy – is pretty cool for me.”


DIVOTS: Annika Sorenstam announced that she is pregnant with her second child. … The silly season is dwindling with world ranking points now available at various tournaments, but there was nothing too silly about the Shark Shootout for Chris DiMarco. He teamed with Anthony Kim to tie for third and each player earned $125,000. DiMarco’s largest paycheck on tour this year was $69,000 for a tie for 10th in Reno. … British-based Ladbrokes is offering 5-4 odds that Tiger Woods will not win a major next year. The betting agency also lists him as the 3-1 favorite to win the Masters. … The Bob Hope Classic is donating 25,000 tickets to nine charitable organizations and nine area schools, which can will sell the tickets at a slightly discounted rate. The plan is to help raise up to $625,000 for charities.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Rickie Fowler is only $50,130 behind Lee Trevino on the PGA Tour’s career earnings list.


FINAL WORD: “In my 24 years as a member of the European Tour, never, ever have we had the success we have had this year. We have completely dominated the world of golf in 2010.” – Colin Montgomerie.

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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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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, again, the title came down to the last match and Arizona took home its third title with a 3-2 victory over Alabama when Haley Moore defeated Lakareber Abe by making a birdie on the 19th hole. The last time the Wildcats won the NCAA Championship was in 2000, when coach Laura Ianello was on the team.

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.

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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.''