Notes Special celebration Big Easy a bit irate - COPIED

By Doug FergusonMarch 9, 2011, 7:28 pm

WGC-Cadillac ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. – Martin Kaymer celebrated his rise to world No. 1 without ever leaving America.

The 26-year-old German has a home in Scottsdale, Ariz., which is where he spent last week after his runner-up finish in the Match Play Championship that allowed him to replace Lee Westwood atop the ranking.

His brother and a friend flew in from Germany, only to tell him the next day they were leaving for the airport. Kaymer couldn’t figure out why they were going home so soon, but he found out when they got to the airport.

They were there to pick up Kaymer’s father, Horst, who joined the celebration.

“He says, ‘Next time in Germany, who knows if you’re still No. 1, so I just wanted to take the opportunity to say congratulations,”’ Kaymer said. “And yeah, the next day he flew out again in Germany. Not a lot of parents do that, and it was nice. I was a 30-hour trip for pretty much 24 hours he was there.”

Kaymer could have lost the No. 1 ranking had Westwood finished third at the Honda Classic, and the battle for No. 1 figures to continue all the way through to the Masters. Westwood again will have a chance to get back the top spot at Doral.

“I really don’t care,” Kaymer said. “I’ve been No. 1 in the world at least for seven days. No one can take it away from me.”

The celebration went beyond family.

Kaymer said he received a call last week from two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer, who was No. 1 when the world ranking made its debut in 1986. Langer lasted three weeks at the top and never returned.

“He just said he’s very proud of how he kept everything together, that I have a very good family and people around me who keep everything in line, that I never really lose my focus on things,” Kaymer said.

He said Langer told him that not many athletes have good people around him, and to keep his circle as small as possible. They also talked about playing a practice round at Augusta National.


TOUR DEPTH: Europe has the top four players in the world ranking. The strength of the PGA Tour might come from the likes of Mark Wilson, D.A. Points and Aaron Baddeley.

The PGA Tour still has the strongest fields, according to how many ranking points are allocated. Through two months, only twice has a European Tour event offered more points – Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Another statistic that might show depth of the PGA Tour comes from its winners.

Seven of the 10 winners were ranked out of the top 100 in the world. The exceptions were Bubba Watson (No. 33 when he won Torrey Pines), Luke Donald (No. 9 when he won the Match Play) and Wilson, who was No. 91 when he won the Phoenix Open. Wilson had been No. 237 when he first won this year at the Sony Open.

On the European Tour, all but two of its winners were ranked outside the top 50 – Thomas Bjorn (No. 134 when he won the Qatar Masters) and Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (No. 497 when he won the Avantha Masters in India).

“I think the fields are so deep nowadays,” Rory McIlroy said. “And the difference between the top 10 players and the top 200 players … there’s not that much difference. If you lined everyone up on a range, you couldn’t tell the difference, really.”

It could be a case where Europe has strong fields among the top two dozen, while the PGA Tour is strong all the way to the bottom.


TIGER’S NEW DIGS: Tiger Woods says he is close to moving into his new home in south Florida, and it sounds as though the most exciting part of that is his practice facility.

“It’s phenomenal,” Woods said on his website.

His design team built a short-game practice area that features four greens, six bunkers of various depths and sand, along with a video center and a putting studio.

Without any wind, the longest club he can hit is a 7-iron. Woods also said he can hit shots from his studio on the second floor.


ERNIE’S DILEMMA: Ernie Els was fitted for a Presidents Cup uniforms two weeks ago at the Match Play Championship, although he still hasn’t decided where he will be playing Nov. 17-20.

The South African Open, where he is the defending champion, has been moved to the same date as the Presidents Cup in Australia, leaving Els uncertain, along with being a little irate.

Els said is spoke to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem last week, and that Finchem is meeting with European Tour chief George O’Grady and South African chief Gareth Tindall.

“It’s basically in their hands and it’s a bit of an issue to resolve,” Els said. “Somebody is going to have to move a date or something.”

But he at least recognizes the problem of such a crowded schedule at the end of the year.

The European Tour wants to end its season with the Dubai World Championship, which already has been pushed back because of the Presidents Cup. Previously, two South African events were held in December and were considered the start of the next season.

The top five players in the International team standings are South African, and all played in the South African Open last year.

“It could be quite something,” Els said.


LOCAL CADDIE: Alastair Presnell hired a local caddie for the Nationwide Tour event in Panama two weeks ago, and it became somewhat of a distraction in the final round.

The Australian Associated Press reports that the caddie’s cell phone rang five times during the first seven holes, and Presnell’s patience finally ran thin.

“On the eighth tee, Alastair told his caddie to throw it in the bush,” said Mathew Goggin, who played in Presnell’s group. “So the caddie literally threw it in the bush and walked off.”

Goggin wound up winning by one shot over Presnell and Darron Stiles.


DIVOTS: David Barrett has won the USGA’s Herbert Warren Wind Book Award for his “Miracle at Merion: The Inspiring Story of Ben Hogan’s Amazing Comeback and Victory in the 1950 U.S. Open.” … Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera is playing this week in the Puerto Rico Open with his son, Federico, who received a sponsor’s exemption. … Graeme McDowell has played in two PGA Tour events this year and has tied the course record at both – a 62 on the Plantation Course at Kapalua in the Tournament of Champions and a 64 on the Champion Course at PGA National in the Honda Classic.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Of the four major champions from 2009, Y.E. Yang is the only player to qualified for the World Golf Championship at Doral.


FINAL WORD: “When will I win again? Whenever it happens, it happens. I’m just going to keep trying to progress.”– Tiger Woods.

Marc Dull (Florida State Golf Association)

Golden: Dull rude, caddie 'inebriated' at Florida Mid-Am

By Ryan LavnerMay 25, 2018, 1:03 am

Jeff Golden has offered more detail on what transpired at the Florida Mid-Amateur Championship, writing in a long statement on Twitter that Marc Dull’s caddie was “inebriated” before he allegedly sucker-punched Golden in the face.

In a story first reported by GolfChannel.com, Charlotte County Police responded to a call May 13 after Golden claimed that he’d been assaulted by his opponent’s caddie in the parking lot of Coral Creek Club, where he was competing in the Mid-Am finals. Golden told police that the caddie, Brandon Hibbs, struck him because of a rules dispute earlier in the round. Hibbs denied any involvement, and police found no evidence of an attack.

Golden posted a 910-word statement on the alleged incident on his Twitter account on Thursday night. He said that he wanted to provide more detail because “others have posed some valid questions about the series of events that led to me withdrawing” from what was an all-square match with two holes to play.

Golden wrote that both Dull and Hibbs were rude and disruptive during the match, and that “alcohol appeared to be influencing [Hibbs’] behavior.”

Dull, who caddies at Streamsong Resort in Florida, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I’ve never seen an opposing caddie engage in so much conversation with a competitor,” Golden wrote. “On the eighth hole I had become extremely frustrated when my opponent and caddie were talking and moving. I expressed my disappointment with their etiquette to the rules official in our group.”

On the ninth hole, Golden informed the official that he believed Hibbs had broken the rules by offering advice on his putt. Golden won the hole by concession to move 2 up at the turn, and Hibbs removed himself from the match and returned to the clubhouse.

Golden wrote that after the penalty, the match “turned even nastier, with more negative comments from my opponent on the 10th tee.” He added that he conceded Dull’s 15-foot birdie putt on No. 10 because he was “sick of the abuse from my opponent, and I wanted the match to resemble what you would expect of a FSGA final.”

Though there were no witnesses to the alleged attack and police found little evidence, save for “some redness on the inside of {Golden’s] lip,” Golden wrote that the inside of his mouth was bleeding, his face was “throbbing” and his hand was also injured from bracing his fall. X-rays and CT scans over the past week all came back negative, he said.

Golden reiterated that he was disappointed with the FSGA’s decision to accept his concession in the final match. He had recommended that they suspend the event and resume it “at a later time.”

“The FSGA has one job, and that’s to follow the Rules of Golf,” Golden wrote. “Unfortunately, there’s no rule for an inebriated ‘ex-caddie’ punching a player in a match-play rain delay with no witnesses.”

Asked last week about his organization’s alcohol policy during events, FSGA executive director Jim Demick said that excessive consumption is “highly discouraged, but it falls more broadly under the rules of etiquette and player behavior.”

Dull, 32, was back in the news Wednesday, after he and partner Chip Brooke reached the finals of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship. They lost to high schoolers Cole Hammer and Garrett Barber, 4 and 3.

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D. Kang, M. Jutanugarn in four-way tie at Volvik

By Associated PressMay 25, 2018, 12:50 am

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Amy Olson crossed paths with her coach, Ron Stockton, on her walk to the 18th tee at the Volvik Championship.

''Make it another even $20,'' Stockton said.

The coach was already prepared to give his client $35 for making seven birdies - $5 each - and wanted to take her mind off the bogey she just had at 17.

Olson closed the first round with a 6-under 66, putting her into the lead she ended up sharing later Thursday with Moriya Jutanugarn , Caroline Masson and Danielle Kang.

Do small, cash incentives really help a professional golfer?

''Absolutely,'' said Olson, who graduated from North Dakota State with an accounting degree. ''He'll tell you I'm a little bit of a hustler there.''

Olson will have to keep making birdies - and petty cash - to hold her position at Travis Pointe Country Club.

Jessica Korda, Minjee Lee, Nasa Hataoka, Lindy Duncan, Morgan Pressel, Megan Khang and Jodi Ewart Shadoff were a stroke back at 67 and six others were to shots back.

Ariya Jutanugarn, the Kingsmill Championship winner last week in Virginia, opened with a 69.

The Jutanugarn sisters are Korda are among six players with a chance to become the LPGA Tour's first two-time winner this year.

Moriya Jutanugarn won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles.

''What I feel is more relaxed now,'' she said. ''And, of course I like looking forward for my next one.''

Olson, meanwhile, is hoping to extend the LPGA Tour's streak of having a new winner in each of its 12 tournaments this year.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


She knows how to win. It just has been a while since it has happened.

Olson set an NCAA record with 20 wins, breaking the mark set by LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, but has struggled to have much success since turning pro in 2013.

She has not finished best finish was a tie for seventh and that was four years ago. She was in contention to win the ANA Inspiration two months ago, but an even-par 72 dropped her into a tie for ninth place.

If the North Dakota player wins the Volvik Championship, she will earn a spot in the U.S. Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama. If Olson finishes second or lower in the 144-player field, she will enjoy an off week with her husband, Grant, who coaches linebackers at Indiana State.

''I'll make the best of it either way,'' she said.

Olson was at her best in the opening round on the front nine, closing it with four birdies in a six-hole stretch. Her ball rolled just enough to slowly drop in the cup for birdie on the par-3, 184-yard 13th. She had three birdies in five-hole stretch on the back, nearly making her second hole-in-one of the year at the par-3, 180-yard 16th. A short putt gave her a two-stroke lead, but it was cut to one after pulling and misreading a 6-foot putt to bogey the 17th.

Even if she doesn't hold on to win the tournament, Olson is on pace to have her best year on the LPGA Tour. She is No. 39 on the money list after finishing 97th, 119th, 81st and 80th in her first four years.

''Two years ago, I started working with Ron Stockton and whenever you make a change, it doesn't show up right away,'' Olson said. ''That first year was tough, but we've turned a corner and I've just found a lot of consistency in the last year. And, it's a lot of fun to go out there and play golf a little more stress free.''

Stockton helped her stay relaxed, walking along the ropes during her morning round.

''Maybe some people feel a little more pressure when their coach is there,'' she said. ''I'm like, 'Great. If he sees the mistake, he knows what can go wrong and we can go fix it.' So, I like having his eyes on me.''

Getty Images

Club pro part of 6-way tie atop Sr. PGA

By Associated PressMay 25, 2018, 12:04 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Nevada club professional Stuart Smith shot a 5-under 66 on Thursday for a share of the first-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship.

Smith closed his morning round with a double bogey on the par-4 18th, and Scott McCarron, Tim Petrovic, Wes Short Jr., Barry Lane and Peter Lonard matched the 66 in the afternoon.

One of 41 club pros in the field at Harbor Shores for the senior major, Smith is the director of golf at Somersett Country Club in Reno.


Full-field scores from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship


McCarron won the Senior Players Championship last year for his first senior major.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer is skipping the event to attend son Jason's high school graduation, and Steve Stricker is playing the PGA Tour event in Texas.

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Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2018, 11:10 pm

Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole of the first round of the Fort Worth Invitational on Thursday.

Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the ninth green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

"I'm not," Harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from the grandstand, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.