Notes: Haney's book sales go through the roof

By Doug FergusonMay 2, 2012, 12:06 am

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Hank Haney's book, ''The Big Miss,'' has been anything but that for Crown Publishing.

The book on his six years as the swing coach for Tiger Woods reached No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list on April 15 for combined print and ebooks. It reached as high as No. 2 for two weeks under hardcover nonfiction and has only fallen to No. 5 this week.

While Crown does not disclose sales figures, it says the book has gone back to press seven times, and there are 228,000 copies in print.


STRANGE YEAR: Lucas Glover already has been through a lot this year, even if the calendar shows the first week in May.

He injured his left knee when he slipped off a paddle board in the Pacific Ocean the weekend before the season opener in Kapalua, and it wound up keeping him out of golf until the middle of March. Then, he suffered a rib injury at the Masters but played through it the next week at Hilton Head, the only PGA Tour event in his native South Carolina.

He is the defending champion at the Wells Fargo Championship. It will be only his sixth tournament this year.

''I think any time you come somewhere you've had success, it gives you that little bit of confidence - even if it's been a strange year for you,'' he said.

Strange, indeed.

The paddle board incident was a fluke fall, and Glover didn't grasp how serious it was. He went to the practice range the next week in Honolulu, thinking he might be able to play and walk on a flat golf course. He didn't realize he would be out two months.

More peculiar was the rib injury. He said he pulled an intercostal muscle on his left side.

''If it had been any other week but Augusta, I don't think I would have played,'' he said. ''But it's pretty hard to withdraw from that one, so I played through it and just got it fixed and feel pretty good.''

Glover said he feels as good as he has since he paddled out to the ocean the weekend before Kapalua. He has made three cuts, though his best finish was last week in New Orleans, when he tied for 66th. Even so, he expects to make a strong title defense at Quail Hollow.

''You guys wrote about Freddie (Couples) at Augusta, you expect him to drive through those gates and play well, and he loves it there,'' Glover said. ''And that's how I am here. I was here last Sunday and played with some friends, and it was probably the best round I've played all year. And I know it was practice, and I know it doesn't matter and nobody cares, but just being here, there's something about it for me.''


JACK AND THE TREE: One of the famous stories from Pebble Beach is a tree that got in the way of Arnold Palmer trying to win in 1967. One shot behind in the final round, his approach to the par-5 14th hit the tree and went out of bounds. Palmer reloaded, and the same thing happened. He wound up making a 9.

The next day, a fierce storm uprooted the tree.

Turns out Jack Nicklaus has his own tree story.

Nicklaus was a 21-year-old amateur in the 1961 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills, and he was one shot behind, playing the par-5 12th as he made a run at Gene Littler. That's when he ran into an elm tree that wasn't even in the way. Nicklaus said he nailed a 3-wood, and it was headed for the green when a gust of wind blew the elm toward the fairway, in the path of the ball, and knocked it down.

''I felt like it was going to be on the green,'' he said. ''It dropped it straight down. I made a 6 instead of a 4. And then I three-putted the 17th.''He tied for fourth, then won his first U.S. Open a year later at Oakmont.

As for that tree?

''That tree is gone,'' Nicklaus said.


U.S. OPEN: Ernie Els was on the U.S. Golf Association’s radar screen when it comes to special exemptions for the U.S. Open. That won't be necessary now. Even though he lost in a playoff at New Orleans, it was enough to move the two-time U.S. Open champion to No. 40 in the world.

In a change this year, the U.S. Open will take the top 60 in the world on May 21 (after the Colonial), which makes Els a lock for The Olympic Club. Vijay Singh at Pebble Beach in 2010 was the last player to receive a special exemption, and with Els safe, there doesn't appear to be any candidates this year.

That decision will come later.

USGA executive director Mike Davis said any special exemption would be offered before sectional qualifying fields are established.

''We've always been very stingy on these special exemptions,'' he said. ''In general, we don't want to give up any special exemptions unless there's a compelling reason.''


DIVOTS: Charles Howell III made a hole-in-one in the final round at New Orleans, his second ace on Tour this year. He also had a hole-in-one on the seventh hole of the final round at the Honda Classic. ... Se Ri Pak has a slight tear in her left labrum from slipping on stairs last week. She will be out indefinitely, though she said the next two months would be important for her recovery. ... No one has made 50 consecutive cuts on Tour since Tiger Woods' record streak ended at 142 in 2005. Steve Stricker has made 49 consecutive cuts going into The Players Championship next week. ... Greg Norman is making a rare appearance on the Champions Tour when he plays the Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel outside Pittsburgh at the end of June.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods has won or finished second 100 times in his Tour career - or 38 percent of the time as a pro.


FINAL WORD: ''If I'm being compared to him, I'm doing something right.'' - Rory McIlroy, on comparisons with Tiger Woods.

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Salas capitalizes on Park gaffe to take Indy lead

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2018, 2:07 am

INDIANAPOLIS – Lizette Salas waited patiently for Sung Hyun Park to make a rare mistake Saturday.

When the South Korean mishit her approach shot into the water on the par-4 16th, Salas capitalized quickly.

She rolled in her birdie putt then watched Park make double bogey – a three-shot swing that gave Salas the lead and the momentum heading into the final round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship. Salas closed out her 8-under 64 with a birdie on No. 18 to reach 21 under – two shots ahead of Park and Amy Yang.

“I have been striking the ball really well, and I just had to stay patient,” Salas said. “And yeah, putts dropped for sure. I just really felt comfortable.”

If she keeps it up one more day, Salas could be celebrating her first tour win since the 2014 Kingsmill Championship and her second overall. With five of the next six players on the leader board ranked in the world’s top 30, Salas knows it won’t be easy.

The changing weather conditions weather might not help, either. If the forecast for mostly sunny conditions Sunday holds, the soft greens that have kept scores at near record-lows through the first three rounds could suddenly become quicker and less forgiving.

But the 29-year-old Californian seems to have the perfect touch for this course, which weaves around and inside the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

She shot three sub-par rounds and finished tied for fifth last year here. This year, she has three more sub-par rounds including a course record-tying 62 on Thursday and has been atop the leader board each of the first three days.

“I have been so confident the whole year,” Salas said. “I have a different mentality, I’m a different player. So I’m just going to go out and play as if I’m behind.”


Full-field scores from Indy Women in Tech Championship


Salas’ toughest challenge still could from Park, who spent most of Saturday flirting with a 54-hole scoring record.

She birdied the last four holes on the front side and made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to reach 21 under with a chance to become the sixth LPGA player to ever finish three rounds at 23 under.

The miscue at No. 16 changed everything.

She never really recovered after dropping two shots, settling for par on the final two holes for a 66 after shooting 68 and 63 the first two days. Yang finished with a 65 after going 68 and 64.

“I was a little weary with right-to-left wind,” Park said. “I think a little bit of weariness got to me, but overall, it’s OK.”

Defending champion Lexi Thompson was five shots back after completing the final nine of the second round in 2 under 34 and shooting 64 in the afternoon.

She made up ground despite being assessed a one-stroke penalty after hitting her tee shot on No. 10 into the sixth fairway and lifting the ball without authority. Rules officials had implemented the preferred lies rule because more than an inch of rain had doused the course.

Thompson still made her par on the hole though it temporarily broke her momentum after making six birdies on the front nine in her first appearance since taking a monthlong break to recover from physical and mental exhaustion.

“Twenty-seven holes, I definitely had a few tired swings toward the end,” said Thompson, who finished each of the first two rounds with 68s. “But overall, a lot of positives. I hit it great. I made some really good putts.”

Three players – Nasa Hataoka of Japan, Jin Young Ko of South Korea and Mina Harigae – were tied at 15 under. Ko started the third round with a share of the lead but had three bogeys in a round of 70.

Now, all Salas has to do is cash in one more time.

“I’ve been knocking on the door quite a bit in the last four years, haven’t been able to get it done,” Salas said. “I’ve got good players behind me, I’ve just got to play my game.”

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Bradley leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open into final round

By Associated PressAugust 19, 2018, 12:28 am

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Michael Bradley shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the PGA Tour Champions' Dick's Sporting Goods Open.

The 52-year-old Bradley had five birdies and a bogey in the rain-delayed round to reach 11-under 133 at En-Joie Golf Club. A four-time winner on the PGA Tour, he's seeking his first victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Bart Bryant and Marco Dawson were tied for second. Bryant, the 2013 winner at En-Joie for his lone Champions title, had a 67. Dawson shot 70.


Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open


Wes Short Jr. (65), Clark Dennis (70) and Tom Gillis (69) were 9 under, and Kenny Perry (69) was 7 under with first-round leader Doug Garwood (73), Mark Calcavecchia (69), Woody Austin (71), Jerry Haas (68) and Scott Parel (68). Perry won the 3M Championship two weeks ago in Minnesota.

Bernard Langer, the 2014 winner, was 5 under after a 69. Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 71 to get to 1 under. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, was 6 over after rounds of 73 and 77.

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Snedeker still in front on Day 3 of suspended Wyndham

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2018, 11:21 pm

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Brandt Snedeker held a three-stroke lead Saturday in the Wyndham Championship when the third round was suspended because of severe weather.

Snedeker was 16 under for the tournament with 11 holes left in the round at the final event of the PGA Tour's regular season.

Brian Gay was 13 under through 12 holes, and Trey Mullinax, Keith Mitchell, C.T. Pan and D.A. Points were another stroke back at varying stages of their rounds.

Thirty players were still on the course when play was halted during the mid-afternoon with thunder booming and a threat of lightning. After a 3-hour, 23-minute delay, organizers chose to hold things up overnight and resume the round at 8 a.m. Sunday.

When things resume, Snedeker - who opened with a 59 to become the first Tour player this year and just the 10th ever to break 60 - will look to keep himself in position to contend for his ninth victory on Tour and his first since the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open.


Wyndham Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Current FedExCup points list


The 2012 FedEx Cup champion won the tournament in 2007, the year before it moved across town to par-70 Sedgefield Country Club.

Snedeker's final 11 holes of the round could wind up being telling: In seven of the 10 previous years since the tournament's move to this course, the third-round leader or co-leader has gone on to win.

And every leader who finished the third round here at 16 under or better has wound up winning, including Henrik Stenson (16 under) last year and Si Woo Kim (18 under) in 2016.

Snedeker started the day off strong, rolling in a 60-foot chip for birdie on the par-4 second hole, then pushed his lead to three strokes with a birdie on No. 5 that moved him to 16 under. But after he sank a short par putt on the seventh, thunder boomed and the horn sounded to stop play.

Gay was 12 holes into a second consecutive strong round when the delay struck. After shooting a 63 in the second round, he had four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole. He placed his 200-yard second shot 10 feet from the flagstick and sank the putt.

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Lexi charges with 64 despite another penalty

By Randall MellAugust 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Lexi Thompson ran into another awkward rules issue while making a bold charge at the leaders Saturday at the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

She hit a speed bump at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course when she was assessed a penalty for violating a preferred-lies local rule.

Five shots off the lead at day’s start, Thompson birdied six of the first nine holes, making the turn in 30 to move two off the lead, but that’s where she got her second education this season on the implementation of local rules.

At the 10th tee, Thompson blew her tee shot right, into the sixth fairway. With preferred lies in effect, Thompson picked up her ball, cleaned it and replaced it within a club length before preparing to hit her second shot at the par 5.

According to Kay Cockerill, reporting for Golf Channel’s early live streaming coverage, LPGA rules official Marty Robinson saw Thompson pick up her ball and intervened. He informed her she was in violation of the preferred lies rule, that she was allowed to lift, clean and place only when in the fairway of the hole she was currently playing. She was assessed a one-shot penalty and returned her ball to its original spot, with Robinson’s help. The local rule was distributed to players earlier in the week.

Cockerill said Thompson handled the penalty well, shaking her head when realizing her mistake, and chuckling at her gaffe. She then crushed a fairway wood, from 215 yards, up onto the green. She two-putted from 50 feet and walked away with a par.


Full-field scores from Indy Women in Tech Championship


“Thankfully, Marty intervened before she hit her next shot,” Cockerill reported. “Otherwise, she would have been hitting from the wrong spot, and it would have been a two-shot penalty. So, in a sense, it saved her a shot.”

Thompson is making a return to golf this week after taking a month-long “mental break.” A year ago, she endured heartache on and off the golf course, with her competitive frustration having much to do with being hit with a controversial four-shot penalty in the final round of the ANA Inspiration. She appeared to be running away with a victory there but ended up losing in a playoff.

Earlier this year, Thompson got another education in local rules. She was penalized in the second round at the Honda Thailand after hitting her ball next to an advertising sign. She moved the sign, believing it was a moveable object, but the local rules sheet that week identified signs on the course as temporary immovable obstructions. She was penalized two shots.

In her pretournament news conference this week, Thompson shared how difficult the ANA controversy, her mother’s fight with cancer and the death of a grandmother was on her emotionally. She also was candid about the challenge of growing up as a prodigy and feeling the need to build a life about more than golf.

Saturday’s penalty didn’t slow Thompson for long.

She made back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th holes to post a 64, giving her a Sunday chance to win in her return.


Statement from the LPGA

While playing the third round of the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson incurred a one-stroke penalty for breach of the preferred lies local Rule (Appendix IA Part 3b Course Conditions).

The Committee adopted the preferred lies local Rule due to the turf conditions of the golf course after receiving over an inch of rain.  The LPGA, under the local Rule, restricts the player from preferring her lie when her ball lies in a closely-mown area of a hole other than the one being played. 

During the play of hole #10, Thompson’s tee shot came to rest in the fairway of hole #6. As Thompson’s ball lay on the fairway of hole #6, she was not entitled to prefer her lie. 

She preferred her lie in breach of the local Rule but prior to playing her stroke from a wrong place (Rule 20-7), she was questioned by a Rules official regarding her actions.  As she had not played her stroke from the preferred spot, she did not receive the general penalty of two-strokes under the local Rule. However, she did incur a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 for lifting her ball at rest without authority.

LPGA Rules Committee