Notes Palmer had a swing to last a lifetime

By Doug FergusonMarch 24, 2011, 3:24 am
Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. – Tiger Woods is going through his fourth swing change in his 15 years on the PGA Tour.

Arnold Palmer played a half-century without changing his swing once.

“I really did not make any swing changes in my career,” Palmer said Wednesday. “I started with a pattern when I started playing the tour, and I stuck with it until today. And I will go with it today in the pro-am, and hope to hell I can hit it in the fairway, and hope I can hit it longer than what I’ve been hitting it.”

These are different times, indeed.

Jack Nicklaus used to have his longtime mentor, Jack Grout, take a look at his swing at the start of a season and rarely called him the rest of the year. Palmer’s only coach was his father, Deacon.

“I saw him at least once a year for about 70 years,” Palmer said. “And he never changed anything. He watched me for five minutes and went home. He put my grip on the club and my hands on the golf club when I was 6 years old and he said, ‘Boy, don’t you ever change it.’ Well, I haven’t changed it.”

Palmer said he was surprised that Woods is changing his swing again, although he doesn’t know what he’s trying to do with it. Palmer recalls the first time he played with Woods, at the Masters during a practice round when Woods was an amateur, and he thought Woods was doing everything just right.

Palmer and Nicklaus figured that Woods might win as many green jackets as both of them combined – 10. Woods has four.

“So changing? Well, that’s up to Tiger,” Palmer said. “I don’t want to inject anything into something I don’t really know enough about to talk about.”

Oddly enough, Woods mentioned his father as the coach he ever had for his putting. Part of Woods’ struggles lately have come on the greens, which is why he hasn’t seriously contended.

“I went back to all of my old stuff that my dad and I used to work on,” Woods said. “And that’s when I felt that my stroke started becoming more sound, more solid, my speed became better. I don’t know what that dude saw in my game, but he really knew putting and he knew my stroke. My dad really knew my stroke.

“I miss him for a lot more reasons than just the putting, but as far as bouncing ideas off of him and what I was feeling and what he would say, I do miss that, certainly.”


RANKING: The Arnold Palmer Invitational is the final tournament for players not already eligible to get into the top 50 in the world and earn a trip to the Masters. This is an unusual year, for most everyone around the bubble is already in.

But there are two who stand the best chance without winning (which comes with an automatic exemption).

Matteo Manassero, the 17-year-old Italian, is No. 55 in the world. At the very least, Manassero would have to finish no worse than 24th place alone to have any chance. J.B. Holmes is at No. 59 and faces tougher odds. Holmes would need at least seventh place alone to get into the top 50.

In both cases, it might take a little more than that to account for players behind them picking up points, too.


FAN FAVORITE: Tiger Woods rarely answers questions that put him in a position of playing favorites, but he didn’t hesitate Wednesday when asked which of the young players he would make a point of watching.

Ryo Ishikawa.

“For me personally, I would go watch Ryo,” Woods said. “I like how he plays. I like how he goes about his business, just his demeanor on the golf course. I really like his putting stroke – it a pretty pure stroke. But just the way he plays, how he manages himself around the golf course is pretty good for a person still in his teens.”

It probably doesn’t hurt that Ishikawa has won nine times, dating to when he was a 15-year-old amateur.

Woods played against the Japanese star at the Presidents Cup two years ago in team competition, and last fall he spent a day in Japan doing an exhibition and a clinic with Ishikawa.

The Japanese media mentioned this to Ishikawa late in the day, and the kid was fired up. He read the transcript and said to them, “I think I’ll keep this one.”


ARNIE APPAREL: Even at 81 and retired from competition, Arnold Palmer still is appealing as a marketer.

His latest endeavor is a clothing line called “Arnie” that was launched Wednesday as a golf and lifestyle apparel line inspired by the looks and fabrics the King wore during the peak of his career.

The “Arnie” clothing line will have three deliveries next year – the 1950s collection in February, the 1960s collection in April and the 1970s collection in July.

“The Arnie line of apparel represents the styles of clothing that are as popular today as they were in the earlier part of my career,” Palmer said. “It’s been a real thrill to see some of my signature pieces come back to life.”

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Hataoka leads Minjee Lee by one at LPGA Volvik

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:54 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After losing in a playoff last weekend, Nasa Hataoka is making another bid for her first LPGA Tour victory.

Hataoka shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, and the Japanese teenager led by one stroke over Minjee Lee after the second round of the Volvik Championship. Hataoka, who is coming off the first two top-10 finishes of her LPGA career, made seven birdies at Travis Pointe Country Club. She began her round on No. 10, and her best stretch came toward the end, when she birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

''I'm really comfortable playing the LPGA,'' the 19-year-old Hataoka said through a translator. ''I've really got confidence now.''

Hataoka made the cut nine times in 17 starts as a rookie in 2017, and she has made significant strides of late. She tied for seventh at last month's MEDIHEAL Championship and nearly won a week ago at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.

Hataoka finished the second round in Michigan at 9 under. Lee (69) was also solid Friday. Gaby Lopez (68), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (70) and Lindy Duncan (70) were a stroke behind Lee in a tie for third.

Hataoka did not make a single bogey in last week's three-round tournament, and she didn't have any in the first round in Michigan. She finally made a few Friday, but that didn't stop her from taking sole possession of the lead.

''I kind of feel like not really perfect, but I just kind of try to (be) aggressive,'' she said.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lee, who lost by one stroke on this course last year, is in contention again.

''I guess the fairways are pretty generous and I think the greens are a little bit on the trickier side to read,'' Lee said. ''As long as your iron shots are pretty solid, I think you're going to be in good position around this golf course.''

Lee birdied the first two holes, and the only blemish on her scorecard Friday came on the par-5 14th. After missing the fairway to the right, she hit an aggressive shot out of the rough that went straight toward a water hazard well in front of the green. She settled for a bogey after taking a drop.

''I thought the ball was sitting OK in the rough, but it must have been a bit funny, or underneath it,'' she said. ''I made a mistake. I thought it was good enough to hit 3-wood there.''

Lee lost last year in Michigan to Shanshan Feng, but Feng will have some ground to make up in her attempt to repeat. She shot 69 on Friday but is still eight strokes behind the leader.

Ariya Jutanugarn was 6 under after a second consecutive 69.

Lopez made only six pars in the second round, tied for the fewest of the day, but her eight birdies and four bogeys put her near the top of the leaderboard.

''It was a little bit of an up and down,'' she said. ''There's so many opportunities out here to make birdie, that the most important thing to do is just to be patient, to be in the moment and not to get ahead of yourself. I think I came back from a couple mistakes that I did.''

In contrast to Lopez, Brittany Lincicome parred all 18 holes Friday and made the cut at 1 under. Paula Creamer (71) triple bogeyed the par-4 13th. She followed that with an eagle on the very next hole but missed the cut by a stroke.

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Childhood rivals share Sr. PGA lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 12:00 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron have been rivals since their junior golf days around Sacramento, California. The two old friends were back at it Friday at the top of the Senior PGA Championship leaderboard.

''It's honestly, nothing new for us,'' said Sutherland who played in the third-to-last group and birdied his last two holes for a 5-under 66 to match McCarron at 8 under.

McCarron had a 68 in the morning wave to emerge from a championship record group of six tied for the first-round lead.

Sutherland was last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner with his only senior win coming in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, while McCarron has six PGA Tour Champions wins, including a major at the 2017 Senior Players Championship.

''We are both (Northern California) guys, played in high school, junior golf, on tour and it seems like a lot on the Champions Tour,'' Sutherland said. ''We were in the last group on Sundays a lot last year. Scott played so well and had an incredible year, and I had a great year, too.''

Sutherland's lone PGA Tour victory came at McCarron's expense in 2002 at La Costa in the Accenture Match Play Championship, when he beat McCarron 1 up in the 36-hole final. As youngsters they played on opposing high school teams located about an hour apart and met often in state tournaments as well as on the California junior circuit.

''It's been happening for 30 years, wait 35 years now, I guess,'' Sutherland said. ''Playing together on a Saturday is a little different. We're both still trying to get in position to win.''

Jerry Kelly shot a 65 to join Tim Petrovic (69), Chris Williams (68) and Joe Durant (67) at 7 under. Durant tied for second last week in the Regions Tradition, also a major championship.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron feels like he is just starting to warm to the task this year. He had to replace his clubs, including a favored putter damaged beyond repair in air transit two months ago.

''I've been putting with a back-up putter I had, but it just didn't feel quite right,'' he said. ''I changed last Sunday at the Regions Tradition and started putting better on Sunday. So I'm using this one again this week and seem to be putting pretty good with it.''

McCarron said the Harbor Shores course played a little tougher in light winds in the second round. He made six birdies and three bogeys.

''I would just like to have a couple of those bogeys back,'' he said. ''But we're in a good position going into the weekend.''

McCarron came to the press center after his round and walked in on a press conference where course-designer Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were being honored by sponsoring KitchenAid with the establishment of a local college scholarship program in their name.

McCarron, who said he has idolized Nicklaus since his youth, played media and asked Nicklaus what he ate when he was near the lead going into the weekend of a major championship.

Nicklaus said if you play well one day, eat the same thing the next day.

''But no hamburgers, or you will play like hamburger,'' he said.

Stuart Smith, the Reno, Neveda, club pro who was tied for the lead after the first round, missed the 36-hole cut with a second-round 83.

''I'll take the 66, 83 and enjoy the 66 yesterday,'' he said. ''You put this one down to just plain old golf. It's a nasty game we play sometimes. Glad I have a day job.''

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Wise, Simpson both miss cut at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 25, 2018, 11:34 pm

The two most recent winners on the PGA Tour, Aaron Wise and Webb Simpson, missed the cut at the Fort Worth Invitational on Friday.

Wise and Simpson both came up short of the 2-over total by a shot following rounds of 70-73.

Wise was safely inside the number before playing his last four holes in 4 over par with two bogeys and a closing double following a trip into the water at the par-4 ninth.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Simpson, making his first start following his Players triumph, similarly struggled coming home, bogeying three of his final six holes.

Other notables who won't be around for the weekend at Colonial include Xander Schauffele (+4), Jason Dufner (+5), Patrick Cantlay (+6), Smylie Kaufman (+13), and Sam Burns (+13).

This is Kaufman's 11th consecutive MC and his 15th in his last 16 starts.

Jason Seaman and Kristi Hubly Seaman

Sr. PGA caddie learns of nephew's heroism in school shooting

By Tim RosaforteMay 25, 2018, 10:33 pm

Tracy Hubly caddied for her husband, club pro Chris Starkjohann, on Friday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA and learned after their round that her nephew was credited with helping stop the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana.

Jason Seaman, a 29-year-old science instructor and seventh grade football coach at the school, took three bullets but survived as what his aunt called a hero.

“You hear the stories about these shootings and I think about Parkland and the officer that was trained but didn’t go into the school,” Hubly said. “It’s really shocking to think it comes close to your family, but it does."

It’s not unusual for Hubly to caddie for her husband, a teacher at Carlsbad Golf Center and coach of a PGA Junior League program in Southern California. Hubly, who works in the pro shop at Emerald Island Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif., was on the bag when he was low golf professional at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship held at Canterbury GC. 

Starkjohann, 61, missed the cut at Harbor Shores with rounds of 76-79—155 and was heading to the Colorado State Open.

 “I didn’t hear about it until after my round was done,” Starkjohann said. “Everything happened after I got in.”