Notes A handshake with Palmer leads to IMG history

By Doug FergusonDecember 29, 2010, 12:41 am

A handshake with Arnold Palmer led to the creation of IMG. It also produced thousands of boxes containing letters, memos and other documents that help explain how the late Mark H. McCormack built the largest sports management company in the world.

Todd McCormack describes his father as a “pack rat to the first degree.”

Turns out that’s not such a bad thing.

Those boxes, sitting in a Cleveland warehouse since his death in 2003, have been given to the University of Massachusetts to be used for research and education at the Isenberg School of Management.

“There’s a wealth of knowledge in the entire collection,” said Lisa Masteralexis, the associate professor who helped secure the McCormack archives. “You can see how the man was thinking beyond his books.”

McCormack also was the author of the popular “What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School” series.

That handshake with Palmer in 1960 is what started IMG, and McCormack soon signed Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, Derek Jeter and a host of other athletes and celebrities all the way through Tiger Woods.

Along the way, McCormack kept meticulous records and had a unique way of keeping track of them. They are referred to as the “Chron Files” – short for chronology – and include memos, letters, business schedules, agendas and everything else in a certain month and year. Masteralexis said he would send them to his children to read so they could understand the business.

His vast archives will now be housed at the renamed Mark H. McCormack Department of Sports Management at Isenberg in honor of the family’s support. The family also has given $1.5 million to endow an executive-in-residence program and an international partnership program, both named after McCormack.

Just how big is the collection?

Masteralexis estimates up to 48,000 boxes were stored in Cleveland, and the staff will start sorting through them early next year. A big part of the project – and another reason UMass was selected for the gift – is to digitalize as much as it can through the university’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Some of the files are duplicates – a memo from May 1974 might also be stored in a file devoted to Palmer. When it all gets compiled, Masteralexis believes it will amount to some 16,000 linear feet of material.

“There will be a museum piece down the road,” said Mark Fuller, dean of the Isenberg School. “There’s also some video, audio and interviews with him, as well as memorabilia. It’s quite an exciting life he lived. Part of the agreement with the family is to pull that all together. Our goal down the road is using this as a platform to educate people around the world.”

McCormack had no connection with UMass. His son contacted the Sports Business Journal with the idea, and it gave him the names of some of the top programs, including the Isenberg School. Instead of splitting up the collection, the various schools submitted proposals.

Fuller described the archives as one of the last examples of a true paper trail, especially in this era of technology.

“Mark was all about keeping records, and I think he knew he was onto something,” Fuller said. “You can see a life live through documents. I saw the first meeting minutes – Mark, Jay LaFave and their two wives at a kitchen table. To go through and see the behemoth we know of IMG, with 80 offices in 35 countries is impressive.”

Not all the correspondence and such material will be made public, especially related to clients. Masteralexis said there are privacy issues, and that no document can be published without the permission of whomever is involved.

LOUIS TO AFRICA: The 2011 golf season begins next week with as many major champions at the Africa Open as the Tournament of Championship on Maui – one each.

British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen had booked a room at Kapalua to begin his PGA Tour season, until deciding the travel might be too much so early in the season. Instead, he will play in the Africa Open in his native South Africa.

The Africa Open, which is part of the European Tour schedule, also features defending champion Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel.

“I decided not to go and play the two tournaments in Hawaii because that won’t leave me with enough off time before the start of the new season,” Oosthuizen said on a story posted on the European Tour’s website.

That leaves U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell as the lone major champion at Kapalua. It will be the fourth time in the last six years that the PGA Tour’s season opener had only one current major champion. That’s mostly a product of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson not playing, and Padraig Harrington taking time off.

SURPRISE VISITOR: The PGA Tour already was expecting not to have several players at the season-opening Tournament of Champions. Rory McIlroy decided not to renew his membership, while Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer are not PGA Tour members, and they did not want it to count against the minimum events they can play.

Louis Oosthuizen is staying home to play the Africa Open, and Phil Mickelson stopped coming to Kapalua in 2002.

Only recently did tournament officials get a surprise entry – Francesco Molinari of Italy. He qualified by winning the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, which is not an official PGA Tour victory unless won by a tour member. The tour still grants entry to the Tournament of Champions no matter who wins.

Molinari does not need to worry about it counting against his minimum starts on the U.S. tour because he rarely players in America except for the majors, World Golf Championships and The Players Championships.

The only other “regular” tour event he played was the Reno-Tahoe Open in 2009, a week before the PGA Championship.

DIVOTS: Ending an already strong year on a high note, the PGA Tour announced a marketing deal with InterContinental Hotels Group. Among its brands is Crowne Plaza, which has extended its title sponsorship of Colonial through 2015. That gives the tour 18 title sponsors signed at least for the next four years. … Only six players who opened the year at Kapalua return next week for the Tournament of Champions – Geoff Ogilvy, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and Heath Slocum.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Six players who started the year outside the top 100 in the world ranking have finished inside the top 50. All of them primarily played on the PGA Tour except for K.T. Kim.

FINAL WORD: “People know what he’s doing and they’re watching. They’re watching what he does, whether he thinks so or not. But I think he knows.” – Arnold Palmer on Tiger Woods.

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Arizona caps an improbable journey with a title

By Ryan LavnerMay 24, 2018, 3:49 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Five hours before the final match at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Arizona coach Laura Ianello sat cross-legged on a couch in the Holiday Inn lobby and broke down four times in a half-hour interview.

It’s been that kind of exhausting season.

From poor play to stunning midseason defections to a stroke-play collapse, Ianello has felt uneasy for months. She has felt like she was losing control. Felt like her carefully crafted roster was coming apart.

So to even have a chance to win a NCAA title?

“I know what this team has gone through,” she said, beginning to tear up, “and you don’t get these opportunities all the time. So I want it for them. This could be so life-changing for so many of them.”

A moment that seemed impossible six months ago became reality Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Arizona continued its magical run through the match-play bracket and knocked off top-ranked Alabama to capture its third NCAA title, with junior Haley Moore – who first rose to fame by making the cut at an LPGA major as a 16-year-old – rolling in a 4-footer to earn the clinching point in extra holes.

All throughout nationals Arizona was fueled by momentum and adrenaline, but this was no Cinderella squad. The Wildcats were ranked ninth in the country. They won twice this spring. They had four medalists. They were one of the longest-hitting teams in the country.

But even before a miracle end to NCAA stroke play, Arizona needed some help just to get here.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring

On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, texted Ianello that she was turning pro. It may have been a gift to her parents, for their years of sacrifice, but it was a lump of coal in Ianello’s stocking.

“I was absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “It was devastating.”

Even more bad news arrived a few weeks later, when junior Gigi Stoll told Ianello that she was unhappy, homesick and wanted to return to Portland, Ore. Just like that, a promising season had gone off the rails.

Ianello offered her a full release, but Stoll looked around, found no other suitors and decided to remain with the team – as long as she signed a contract of expected behavior.

“It was the most exhausting two months of my life,” Ianello said. “We care so much about these freakin’ girls, and we’re like, Come on, this is just a small, little picture of your life, so you don’t realize what you’re possibly giving up. It’s so hard to see that sometimes.”

Stoll eventually bought in, but the rest of the team was blindsided by Quihuis’ decision.

“We became even more motivated to prove we were a great team,” said junior Bianca Pagdanganan.

It also helped that Yu-Sang Hou joined the squad in January. The morale immediately improved, not least because the players now could poke fun at Hou; on her fourth day on campus she nearly burned down the dorm when she forgot to add water to her mac-and-cheese.

Early on Ianello and assistant Derek Radley organized a team retreat at a hotel in Tucson. There the players created Oprah-inspired vision boards and completed exercises blindfolded and delivered 60-second speeches to break down barriers. At the end of the session, they created T-shirts that they donned all spring. They splashed “The Great Eight” on the front, put the state of Arizona and each player’s country of origin on the sleeves, and on the back printed their names and a slogan: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

“I can’t think of anything else that better embodies this team,” Radley said.

This spring, they rallied together and finished no worse than fourth in a tournament. Through three rounds of stroke play here at the NCAA Championship, they used their distance advantage and sat third in the standings. Then they shot 17 over par in the final round, tumbling outside the top-8 cut line.

They were down to their final chance on the 72nd hole, needing an eagle to tie, as Pagdanganan lined up her 30-footer. She dramatically drained the putt, then gathered her teammates on the range.

“This means we were meant to be in the top 8,” she said. Less than an hour later, they beat Baylor in the team playoff to earn the last match-play berth.

Ianello was so amped up from the frenetic finish that she slept only three hours on Monday night, but they continued to roll and knocked off top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals, beating a pair of Player of the Year contenders, Lilia Vu and Patty Tavatanakit, in the process. In the afternoon semifinals, they jumped all over Stanford and won easily.

It was a cute story, the last team into the match-play field reaching the final match, but a stiffer challenge awaited the Wildcats Wednesday.

Alabama was the top-ranked team in the country. The Tide were a whopping 110 under par for the season, boasting three first-team All-Americans who were so dominant in their first two matches that they trailed for only two of the 99 holes they played.

Ianello already seemed to be bracing for the result on the eve of the final match.

“Win or lose,” she said, “this has been a hell of a ride.”

But their wild ride continued Wednesday, as Hou won four holes in a row to start the back nine and defeat Alabama’s best player, Lauren Stephenson, who had the best single-season scoring average (69.5) in Division I history.

Then sophomore Sandra Nordaas – the main beneficiary after Quihuis left at the midway point of the season – held on for a 1-up victory over Angelica Moresco.

And so Arizona’s national-title hopes hinged on the success of its most mercurial player, Moore. In the anchor match against Lakareber Abe, Moore jumped out to a 2-up lead at the turn but lost the first three holes on the back nine.

By the time Radley sped back to help Moore, in the 12th fairway, she was frazzled.

“But seeing me,” Radley said, “I saw a sense of calm wash over her.”

Moore played solidly for the rest of the back nine and took a 1-up lead into the home hole. She didn’t flinch when Abe hit one of the shots of the entire championship – a smoked 3-wood to 12 feet to set up a two-putt birdie and force extras – and then gave herself 4 feet for the win on the first playoff hole. She sank the putt and within seconds was mobbed by her teammates.

In the giddy aftermath, Ianello could barely speak. She wandered around the green in a daze, looking for someone, anyone, to hug.

The most trying year of her career had somehow ended in a title.

“At some moments, it felt impossible,” she said. “But I underestimated these young women a little bit.”

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Pac-12 continues to dominate women's golf

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2018, 3:04 am

Arizona's national women's golf championship marked the fourth consecutive year in‌ which the women's Division I national title was won by a Pac-12 Conference team. All four championships were won by different schools (Stanford, 2015; Washington, 2016; Arizona State, 2017; Arizona, 2018). The Pac-12 is the only conference to win four straight golf championships (men or women) with four different schools.

Here are some other statistical notes from the just-concluded NCAA Div. I Women's Golf Championship:

• This is the second time that Arizona has won the national title the year after rival Arizona State won it. The last time was 1996.

• Arizona now has three women's golf national championships. The previous two came in 1996 and 2000.

• Arizona is only the sixth school to win three or more Div. I women's golf championships, joining Arizona State (8), Duke (6), San Jose State (3), UCLA (3) and USC (3).

• Arizona's Haley Moore, who earned the clinching point on the 19th hole of her match with Alabama's Lakareber Abe, was the only Arizona player to win all three of her matches this week.

• Alabama's Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight also went 3-0. Gillman did not trail in any match.

• Since the match-play format was instituted in 2015, Arizona is the lowest seed (8) to claim the national title. The seeds claiming the national championship were Stanford (4) in 2015; Washington (4) in 2016; and Arizona State (3) in 2017.

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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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