Notes OMeara playing despite uncertain future of father

By Doug FergusonJuly 15, 2010, 10:11 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Mark O’Meara didn’t come to the British Open expecting to hit the ball this well. Nor did he expect to feel such a strong sense of peace.

It was hard to tell which was more surprising.

O’Meara wasn’t even sure whether to play at St. Andrews this year because his 81-year-old father, Robert, took a turn for the worse from an infection that his attacking a heart valve. His sisters are with him, and urged O’Meara to join them.

“It was touch and go,” O’Meara said after opening with a 69. “I love my father dearly, and if I get the call, I’ll go home. But I believe my dad would have wanted me to play.”

O’Meara, was in Ireland at the start of last week for the J.P. McManus charity pro-am. When he arrived in St. Andrews on the weekend, he cried when he talked about his Dad. Some 20 years ago, before O’Meara won the claret jug at Royal Birkdale in 1998, they took a golf vacation together to St. Andrews.

“He shot 89, birdied the last hole,” O’Meara said, smiling at the memory. “I filmed his whole round. We hired two local caddies, and couldn’t understand them. I know what this place means to him.”

O’Meara said he is unable to call because the intensive care unit does not have phones in the room, but his father is alert enough to hold his sister’s hand and “I hope he can see what I shot today.”

“I feel very much at peace,” he said. “I’ve got to celebrate my father’s life. I’m can’t say, ‘Woe is me,’ because my father is sick.”

While he is trying to provide inspiration for his father, O’Meara is finding inspiration from the past two Opens – Greg Norman leading after 54 holes at Royal Birkdale, and Tom Watson nearly winning last year at Turnberry.

“If you’re hitting the ball solidly … I know it’s a cliche, but the golf ball doesn’t know how old you are,” he said. “Power helps you around here, but you can play a lot of different shots.”

For that, he pointed to the 348-yard 12th hole. Most players were hitting driver to within 10 yards of the green. O’Meara hit 5-iron to stay short of the bunkers, and he cut a 6-iron into about 10 feet.


WORTH THE TROUBLE: Steven Tiley is trying to get his European Tour card through the developmental Challenge Tour, and he wondered if it was worth even trying to qualify for the British Open.

His manager talked him into it, and it proved to be the right move.

Tiley earned one of three spots out of 94 players in local final qualifying earlier this month, earning his first trip to the British Open since he was an amateur at Royal Troon in 2004. Then, he played without a bogey for a 66.

“I’m pleased I took his advice,” Tiley said.

His professional career has been a bit rocky. Tiley went to college at Georgia State – where he played with Mark F. Haastrup of Denmark – and has been struggling to get by on the Asian Tour and smaller circuits in Europe.

But he won the Egyptian Open last year, and hopes better days are ahead.

“It just happened that a couple of putts dropped and I hit some lovely shots, and you don’t go out thinking that you’re going to play well,” said Tiley, who grew up on links golf at Royal Cinque Port in England. “You just do the same things every day and see what happens.”


EARLY WAKEUP: Paul Lawrie is believed to be the first British Open champion to strike the opening shot of the championship.

The 1999 winner at Carnoustie was in the first group that went off Thursday at 6:30 a.m. The Royal and Ancient noted that Lawrie woke up at 5 a.m. to get ready for the first round. Playing with him was Steve Marino, who awoke a tad earlier.

“I got up at 3:30,” Marino said. “I have a habit of waking up three hours before my tee time. It’s nice to be done with it now. I’ve got the whole day to relax.”

He and Lawrie each shot a 69, which seemed like a reasonable score at the time.


TIGER TALES: The London tabloids were tame when it came to Tiger Woods on the opening day of the British Open.

The papers, which have been avidly chronicling the sex scandal that tarnished Tiger Woods’ reputation, focused more on golf Thursday.

Still, they managed to feature him prominently on the back pages with references to his on-course conduct problems.

“Don’t screw up again, Tiger,” said the headline in The Sun, referring to comments by three-time Open champion Nick Faldo and R&A chief Peter Dawson.

“The world No. 1 has been slammed for turning the air blue, spitting and hurling his clubs around after wayward shots,” the paper said.

The Sun said Woods had not endeared himself to fans at the Old Course by skipping the No. 1 and No. 18 holes during practice.

“He needs to give something back to the sport,” Faldo was quoted as saying. “You give to them and they will give back, simple as that.”

The Daily Mirror also carried Faldo’s comments on Woods under the headline: “Troubled Tiger needs support of the Open crowd, now more than ever.”

The Mirror also ran a story quoting Terry Matthews, owner and chairman of the Celtic Manor resort in Wales that will host the Ryder Cup in October, saying the sex scandal had actually boosted Woods’ level of global fame.

“Those people who didn’t know about him before, know about him now,” Matthews was quoted as saying. “And more people will want to see him play golf. It is better to have coverage, whatever it is for, than no coverage.”

Most British papers focused on Faldo’s prediction that an English golfer will win the Open.

“Faldo: It’s the Brits Who’ll Storm In … Not Tiger,” said the Mirror’s backpage headline, playing off the awful weather conditions that plagued Wednesday’s practice.


ROAD HOLE MISERY: The Old Course didn’t have much bite? Try telling that to Anders Hansen.

The Danish golfer knocked his approach shot at No. 17 – the famed “Road Hole” – into the treacherous pot bunker left of the green. Then it took him four tries to get out, and he wound up taking a quadruple-bogey 8.

With his ball lodged up against the lip, Hansen first attempted to get out going to his left. When that failed, he took two swings straight at the flag, only to be foiled each time. Finally, he turned toward the right – actually facing back toward the tee box – and was able to get the ball onto the green.

A two-putt from there left him shaking his head and putting a snowman on his card.

Hansen, a regular on the European Tour, bounced back with a birdie at the final hole, but he still finished with a 5-over 77 on a day when most players were able to go low because of benign conditions. He’ll need a huge comeback Friday to avoid missing the cut for the fifth time in eight Open appearances.

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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

A post shared by ETPI (@etpi_performanceunit) on

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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.