Notes Outpouring of love for Perry mind-boggling

By Doug FergusonApril 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share

 
2007 Zurich ClassicNEW ORLEANS ' Kenny Perry never took pity on himself for losing a two-shot lead with two holes to play in the Masters. Everyone else did that for him.
 
Among the first to call when Perry returned home to Kentucky were Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson, who know from experience what its like to lose a major. He also got a call from Scott Hoch, one of his best friends on tour, who 20 years ago missed a 3-foot putt that would have won the Masters.
 
Among the letters was one from former President George W. Bush.
 
It was just incredible the outpouring of support, Perry said. I had so many people just proud of the way I handled the loss.
 
Perry, who returns to the PGA Tour this week at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, would have been the oldest major champion at 48. It could be that his popularity soars even more by the gracious way he handled his playoff defeat to Angel Cabrera.
 
He answered every question with brutal honestly. He didnt make excuses. And he didnt beat himself up.
 
The amount of fan mail he received was reminiscent of when Greg Norman blew a six-shot lead in the final round of the 1996 Masters. The Shark was revered for handling the loss, and was inundated with fan mail the following week.
 
I received almost 600 e-mails. I received hundreds of cards and letters. People who genuinely cared, Perry said in a conference call Tuesday from New Orleans. And the letters all started out, Ive never written a letter like this, but I just felt compelled to write to you.
 
Its been tough, and its been hard, he said. But the outpouring of fan support was mind-boggling to me. It really was very uplifting.
 
Perry said he went over the final two holes during a reflective drive home to Kentucky, especially the chip that he bladed on the 17th hole, and even the three-putt par on the 13th hole.
 
He figures the turning point came during the walk from the 16th green to the 17th green, after a tap-in birdie to build a two-shot lead. Perry told himself he was two pars away from winning the Masters, instead of concentrating on only his next shot, which he had been doing the previous 70 holes.
 
I stuck my neck out, thought I was going to win, he said. But I just came up a little bit short. As an athlete, or a player, thats all you can ask of yourself.
 
The emotions came from his family, particularly his oldest daughter. And he had a quiet chat with his 85-year-old father. But he didnt shed any tears of his own, except when he was reading the letters.
 
That was more emotional to me than me just sitting and reflecting on what went on, what was happening, Perry said. It was the outpouring of love and support from everybody that was really more emotional to me than anything.
 

 
LEES ROAD: Some U.S. Amateur champions wait a full year before turning pro so they can take exemptions to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open. Others turn pro immediately and try to earn enough money from seven exemptions to avoid Q-school.
 
Danny Lee is taking a different route, which might turn out to be the best route of all.
 
Lee remained an amateur so he could play in the Masters, then announced he was turning pro. He will make his debut this week at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, one of seven sponsor exemptions the 18-year-old is allowed.
 
By turning pro now, Lee has plenty more opportunities.
 
He also will play the Memorial and AT&T National, which award exemptions to the U.S. Amateur champion even if he turns pro. Those will not count against the maximum seven sponsor exemptions. And while Lee gave up his spot in the U.S. Open, he is exempt into the final stage of qualifying the day after the Memorial.
 
If he gets into the U.S. Open, he will have 10 tournaments to earn $537,958 ' the equivalent to 150th on the money list last year ' to get special temporary membership and get all the exemptions he wants.
 
To earn his card, Lee will have to make the equivalent of 125th on the money list for 2009.
 
Unlike others who have tried before him, Lee has one other advantage. By winning the Johnnie Walker Classic on the European Tour in February, he is eligible for the $8.5 million Bridgestone Invitational, a World Golf Championship event that has no cut.
 
His other sponsor exemptions are for Quail Hollow, the Byron Nelson Championship and the Colonial, meaning he would have three left.
 
Meanwhile, Lee signed an endorsement contract Tuesday with Callaway Golf.
 

 
BIG GAME ANGEL: Angel Cabrera has not been the steadiest performer on the PGA Tour, but he sure shows up in the big events.
 
Over the past four years, the Argentine has only six top 10s on American soil, and his only two victories were the Masters and the U.S. Open two years ago at Oakmont.
 
He lost in the quarterfinals of the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2008. And in 2006, his only top 10s were fourth place in the Bridgestone Invitational, seventh place at the British Open and a tie for eighth at the Masters.
 

 
TEMPORARY MEMBERS: At least one European player has taken up special temporary membership on the PGA Tour.
 
Ross Fisher of England, who lost in the semifinals of the Accenture Match Play Championship, has earned $588,575 in tournaments sanctioned by the PGA Tour and now can take unlimited exemptions to try to finish the equivalent of the top 125 on the money list.
 
The more famous European, Rory McIlroy, has earned $588,691 but declined his offer of temporary membership. The 19-year-old from Northern Ireland plans to stick to a European Tour schedule this year.
 
McIlroy failed in his bid to become the youngest PGA Tour winner in history, but he had a strong showing during a pair of three-week stints in America. He made the cut in all six starts, and his tie for 58th at Hilton Head was the only time he failed to finish in the top 20.
 

 
DIVOTS: Phil Mickelson has finished ahead of Tiger Woods in all three tournaments they have played this year. Former British Open champion Tom Lehman makes his Champions Tour debut this week by teaming with Bernhard Langer in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga. It took Woods nearly three years to return to the top of the PGA Tours standings for consecutive cuts made. Robert Allenby had been leading until missing the cut at Hilton Head. Woods streak is at 33 tournaments, which is all he has played since the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.
 

 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Three of the past four winners at the Verizon Heritage did not play the previous week at the Masters.
 

 
FINAL WORD: I turn 50 next year, so Im doing stuff probably most people shouldnt be doing. Im very thankful for it. ' Kenny Perry.
 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Zurich Classic of New Orleans
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end

    By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 8:39 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.

    “I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”

    Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.

    Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.

    The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.

    “I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

    Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.

    Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.

    “She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”

    Geoff Ogilvy and family at the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play. Getty Images

    Notes: Ogilvy moving family to Australia

    By Doug FergusonMay 22, 2018, 6:55 pm

    Geoff Ogilvy's immediate future involves fewer golf tournament and longer flights.

    Ogilvy has been contemplating in the last few years moving back home to Australia, and after discussing it with his Texas-born wife, Juli, they plan to return to Melbourne shortly after Christmas.

    Their daughter, Phoebe, turns 12 in October and will be starting the seventh grade in Australia. They have two sons, Jasper (10) and Harvey (8). The Ogilvys figured that waiting much longer to decide where to live would make it tougher on the children.

    ''We just talked about it, for lots of reasons, and we kept making pros and cons. Juli was strong on it,'' Ogilvy said. ''We're excited. I'm at the point where I'm not going to play 27 times a year. It's going to be brutal to play from there. But you've got to choose life.''

    Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and he counts three World Golf Championships among his eight PGA Tour victories. He also has won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship and has reached No. 3 in the world.

    His last victory was in 2014, and Ogilvy has slipped to No. 416 in the world.

    He has been dividing some of his time with a golf course design business with projects that include Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, Texas, (including a ''Little Nine'' course that opened last year), a renovation in China and a 36-hole course called Peninsula Kingwood in Melbourne.

    Ogilvy, who grew up at Victoria Golf Club, still has a home on the 14th hole of the West Course at Royal Melbourne. If he didn't move back home, Ogilvy figured he would be spending six months in Melbourne and six months in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    ''It's a feeling more than anything,'' he said. ''Scottsdale is dreamy. We live a great existence. I know what I'm getting there. If we didn't move back, we'd be a six-and-six family. The kids get out of school, and they're bounced back and forth. It's not good for continuity.''

    As for golf?

    Ogilvy narrowly kept his full PGA Tour card last year and this season has been a struggle. He hasn't sorted out what kind of schedule he would keep, understanding it would involve long trips from Sydney to Dallas.

    The immediate goal would be to play a heavy fall schedule and miss most of the West Coast swing to get acclimated to the move.

    ''And then we'll start working it out,'' he said.


    US OPEN QUALIFYING: The U.S. Open likes to consider its championship the most democratic of the majors, and it has it just about right again this year. With the addition of 23 players who became exempt by being in the top 60 in the world ranking, 77 players in the 156-man field are exempt from qualifying. That number could go up slightly with another cutoff for the top 60 the Sunday before U.S. Open week.

    The U.S. Open is the only American major that does not offer automatic exemptions to PGA Tour winners. Five such winners from this season still face qualifying, including Patton Kizzire, who has won twice (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Sony Open). The others are Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise.

    Kizzire is at No. 63 in the world, followed by Wise (66) and Landry (69). All have three weeks to crack the top 60.

    Until 2011, the U.S. Open offered exemptions to multiple PGA Tour winners since the previous Open. It leans heavily on the world ranking, as do the other majors. It also awards recent major champions and top finishers from the previous U.S. Open, along with the Tour Championship field from the previous year, to reward a consistently strong season.

    ''All of the tours around the world have bought into the official world golf ranking rankings,'' said Jeff Hall, the USGA's managing director of rules and open championships. ''And this provides just the right place for us to be with exemptions. We don't have to get into the weighting of one tour over another, this championship versus that event, a week-to-week event. We focus on the official world golf rankings and it seems to get us the right players for our championship.''



    FICKLE GAME: Careers can change quickly in golf. No one can attest to that as well as Michael Arnaud.

    The 36-year-old Arnaud had never finished better than a tie for fifth in his 49 starts on the Web.com Tour, and that was three years ago. His career earnings were just over $130,000. He had only made it into one previous event this year, and he wasn't in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina last week until Kent Bulle withdrew on the eve of the event.

    Arnaud tied the course record with a 60 in the second round. He closed with a 63 and won by five shots.

    He won $126,000 and moved to No. 13 on the money list, giving him a reasonable chance to reach the PGA Tour if he finishes the season in the top 25.

    ''A lot of people kept pushing me when I wanted to step away from it,'' Arnaud said. ''My wife was one of those that told me to take the chance and go. Low and behold it really paid off.''


    SHINNECOCK SAVANT: Rory McIlroy is excited to get back to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open, a course he already has played a few times.

    Equally excited is his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, who knows the course on New York's Long Island better than McIlroy.

    O'Flaherty spent two summers as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills.

    He went to college at Trinity in Dublin, had friends in the Hamptons and came over during the summer months in 2002 and 2003 to work as a caddie.

    ''I got to know a lot of members,'' O'Flaherty said. ''I can't wait. To me, it's the best course in the world.''


    DIVOTS: Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic on Feb. 25 at No. 4 in the world. No one from the top 10 in the world has won a PGA Tour event since then, a stretch of 12 tournaments. ... Guy Kinnings is leaving IMG after nearly 30 years to become the deputy CEO and Ryder Cup director of the European Tour. He will report directly to European Tour chief Keith Pelley. ... The LPGA tour will play in China during its fall Asia swing at the Buick LPGA Shanghai at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. The tournament will be Oct. 18-21, one week before the men play the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. ... Alice Chen of Furman has been selected for the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to top college women who excel in golf, academics and work off the golf course. ... The Irish Open is going to Lahinch Golf Club in 2019, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley serving as the tournament host.


    STAT OF THE WEEK: Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein and Jhonattan Vegas are the only players to compete in all five Texas events on the PGA Tour this year.


    FINAL WORD: ''The sum of his shots seems to add up to slightly less than the sum of the shots from another guy.'' - Geoff Ogilvy on Jordan Spieth.

    Getty Images

    Arizona's run continues, knocks off top seed to reach semis

    By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 6:35 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 1 seed in match play has still never won the women’s NCAA Championship.

    That dubious distinction continued Tuesday at Karsten Creek when Arizona knocked out top-seeded UCLA on the final hole of the final match.

    With the matches tied at 2 apiece, the anchor match between Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan and UCLA freshman Patty Tavatanakit was tied on the 18th hole, a par 5 that’s reachable in two shots by many.

    Tavatanakit was just short of the green in two and Pagdanganan, the Wildcats’ hero from Monday when she made eagle on the last hole to give her team a shot at match play, blasted her second shot onto the green. Tavatanakit failed to get up and down – missing a 4-footer for birdie – and Pagdanganan two-putted for birdie to give Arizona the victory.


    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

    NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage


    “We’re lucky to be in match play,” Arizona coach Laura Ianello said. “Let’s ride the highs. Why not?”

    Arizona will now face Stanford in the semifinals. The Cardinal, the 2015 champion and 2016 runner up, has qualified for match play in each of the past four seasons. They beat Northwestern, 3-2, in the quarterfinals to advance.

    USC will face Alabama in the other semifinal, meaning three Pac-12 teams have advanced to the Final Four. The Crimson Tide had an easy go of it in their quarterfinal match against Kent State, winning 4-1. The decisive victory gave Alabama extra rest for its afternoon match.

    USC beat Duke, 3-1-1, in the other quarterfinal, pitting teams that have combined to win nine NCAA titles in the past 20 years. But neither team has had much success in the past four years since the championship turned to match play. Not only has neither team won, neither has even reached the championship match.

    Duke’s Leona Maguire won the first match and the second match was halved, but USC swept the last three matches with Gabriela Ruffels, Alyaa Abdulghany and Amelia Garvey all winning to propel the Trojans into the semifinals.

    Alabama (2) vs. USC (3)

    2:30PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (A) vs. Jennifer Chang (USC)

    2:40PM ET: Kristen Gillman (A) vs. Amelia Garvey (USC)

    2:50PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (A) vs. Allisen Corpuz (USC)

    3:00PM ET: Lakareber Abe (A) vs. Alyaa Abdulghany (USC)

    3:10PM ET: Angelica Moresco (A) Gabriela Ruffels (USC)


    Stanford (5) vs. Arizona (8)

    3:20PM ET: Emily Wang (S) vs. Gigi Stoll (A)

    3:30PM ET: Shannon Aubert (S) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (A)

    3:40PM ET: Mika Liu (S) vs. Haley Moore (A)

    3:50PM ET: Albane Valenzuela (S) vs. Sandra Nordaas (A)

    4:00PM ET: Andrea Lee (S) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (A)

    Getty Images

    NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

    The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

    After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals were contested Tuesday morning with semifinals in the afternoon. The finals are being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

    Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

    Scoring:

    TV Times (all times ET):

    Tuesday
    4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

    Wednesday
    4-8PM: Match-play finals