The Week In Golf News 1231 - 105

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 5, 2001, 5:00 pm
Sunday - Dec. 31, 2000
 
PGA Championship winner Lionel Herbert dies at 72

 
Lionel Herbert, who won the 1957 PGA Championship, died early Saturday at his home in Lafayette, La. He was 72.
 
Herbert won six PGA Tour titles, highlighted by his 2-and-1 victory over Dow Finsterwald in the '57 PGA Championship at Miami Valley in Dayton, Ohio.
 
Lionel and his late brother Jay, who captured the 1960 PGA Championship, were the most successful brother duo in Tour history.
 
Upon retiring, Herbert worked as a golf instructor. He served twice as national vice president of the PGA and as chairman of its Tournament Committee in 1962-63 and 1972-73.
 
The family has requested contributions in Herbert's name be made to the Kidney Foundation of Louisiana and the American Diabetes Association.
 

 
Tuesday - Jan. 2, 2001
 
Sutton Threatened by Back Injury

 
Hal Sutton is on the verge of retiring from competition at the Match Play Championship after injuring his back. The mishap occurred a week ago when he was getting out of his car.
 
Sutton played just five holes of practice at the Melbourne, Australia, course after arriving from a 33-hour journey from home. If he is unable to compete, he will be replaced by Peter O'Malley, who would assume his position as No. 2 man in the 64-player draw.
 
'I don't think I would be doing the tournament any good if I couldn't compete,' said Sutton.
 

Webb to Play Four of the Men
 
Karrie Webb will take on four of the world's best-known male golfers one-by-one in a 'Battle of the Sexes' series.
 
Nick Faldo, Stuart Appleby, Michael Campbell and John Daly are in negotiations for the matches set on courses around the world in the million-dollar series. The contests are being promoted by Greg Norman's manager, Frank Williams. Webb would hit off the men's tees while the men would play off the champions' tees.
 
Williams approached Faldo and Appleby at the Australian Open and both indicated a high degree of interest. Faldo could play Webb in Europe in August, Appleby in the Hope Islands around Christmas and Campbell in New Zealand at a similar time. No time was mentioned for the Daly match.
 
Ian Baker-Finch is pro-Webb if she plays off a forward tee. 'I think that Karrie can beat the men,' he said. 'She is that good. I think a lot of people would be very interested to see her take the men on.'
 

Kiwi Becomes First to Complete a Round in New Millennium
 
A New Zealand doctor, Ant Gear, teed off at midnight for the second year in a row to become the first person to compete a round in the new millennium.
 
'I wanted to make sure I had (both years) covered, in case someone gets picky about which is the true millennium,' said Gear.
 
Gear, who played with a 3-iron, a luminous golf ball, and a light strapped to his head, played the North Island Manawatu Golf Club in 114 strokes. His wife, Rosemary, stood in the middle of each fairway with a torch to give Gear a target.
 

Dickey Chosen for Dey Award
 
Bill Dickey, the man credited with starting the National Minority Junior Golf Scholarship Association, has been chosen by the United States Golf Association to receive its 2001 Joseph C. Dey Award.
 
The 72-year-old Dickey, a resident of Phoenix, Az., has been a leader in southwest golf for more than 30 years. The Dey Award is given in recognition of meritorious service to the game as a volunteer. It will be presented Feb. 3 at the association's annual meeting in New York.
 

Dale Reid Awarded O.B.E. Honor
 
Scotland's Dale Reid has been awarded Officer of the British Empire in the Queen of England's New Year's Honors list.
 
Reid was given the honor in recognition of her success as captain of last year's European Solheim Cup squad. Europe defeated the United States at Loch Lomond in Scotland.
 
Reid has been reappointed captain for the 2002 defense of the trophy at Interlachen near Minneapolis, Minn.
 

 
Wednesday - Jan. 3, 2001
 
Westwood Wins European Writers' Award

 
England's Lee Westwood has won the Association of Golf Writers - a European group of golf journalists - award for 2000.
 
Westwood dethroned Colin Montgomerie at the top of the European Tour's money list. He defeated the European Solheim Cup for the honor.
 

LPGA Founders to Receive Commissioner's Award
 
The 13 founding members of the LPGA will be given the Commissioner's Award Jan. 8th in ceremonies in Orlando, Fl.
 
Alice Bauer, Patty Berg, Bettye Danoff, Marlene Hagge, Betty Jameson, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Louise Suggs will represent the 13 at the ceremony. Others include deceased members Helen Dettweiler, Helen Hicks, Opal Smith, Sally Sessions and Babe Zaharias.
 
'The LPGA is a phenomenal success story, but one that would never have been written if not for the pioneering spirit of our founders,' said LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw.
 

The Hooters Tour Sees Number of Events and Purses Grow
 
The Hooters Tour plans to increase its 2001 schedule to 25 events and its total purse to $3.2 million.
 
Formally known as the National Golf Association's Professional Golf Tour, presented by Naturally Fresh Foods and Hooters Restaurants, the Tour presents four major tournaments worth at least $140,000 - the Tour Championship in Fayetteville, Ga., the Kandy Waters Memorial Classic in North Augusta, S.C., a tournament in Decatur, Ala., and one in Lakeland, Fla.
 

Tom Watson Says He Will Only Play 15 Senior Tour Events
 
Tom Watson told PGATour.com that he will play only about 15 events the upcoming year.
 
Watson played in only 13 Senior events in 2000 despite saying he would play 20 prior to the season. But the death of his father and a cracked bone in his foot curtailed those plans.
 
'I'll play one or two more. That will be about it,' he said.
 

Tom Lehman Has One Caddie Too Many
 
Tom Lehman found himself first with no caddie, then with one caddie, and finally two caddies prior to the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
Two days before he was to leave for the tournament, Lehman's caddie for a number of years, Andy Martinez, announced he was unable to go to Australia. So Lehman, desperate for a replacement, left a message offering employment to Graham Courts. Courts is an Australian who caddies for American Kevin Wentworth.
 
Courts didn't get the message right away and didn't call Lehman. So Lehman frantically placed another call, this time to Australian touring pro Glenn Joyner at the advice of Aussie Stuart Appleby. Joyner agreed to carry the bag for Lehman.
 
Lehman had made the call at Appleby's New Year's Eve party, but when he returned to his hotel, Courts had returned his call and agreed to caddie. Lehman was in a real dilemma, but finally decided his first obligation was to Courts. He told Joyner of his snafu, then played the first round with Courts on his bag.
 

Jack Nicklaus May Not Play in 2001 Masters
 
There is a possibility that Jack Nicklaus may miss the Masters. The six-time winner said his performance prior to the tournament will be the deciding factor.
 
'I'll play in a couple of tournaments before the Masters,' he said. 'If I get to the Masters and think I can compete, I'll play. If I don't, I won't play.'
 
The Masters is scheduled April 5-8.
 

A Blond-Haired Woods in Bahamas with A-Rod, Michael Jordan
 
While much of the golf world is focused on the match play tournament in Australia, Tiger Woods was recently seen with baseball star Alex Rodriguez at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla. In any other circumstance, not much talk would be stirred of the occurrence, yet it certainly did this time, as Wood's hair was dyed blond.
 
Prior to this, the now-golden-haired celebrity was seen in Paradise Island in The Bahamas with Rodriguez and Michael Jordan. The trio was spotted in the Atlantis Resort New Year's Eve, Woods having just dyed his hair. He played a few rounds at the Ocean Club golf course with Jordan, Rodriguez and Ahmad Rashad, where Jordan will have his Celebrity Invitational tourney Jan. 11-14.
 
The blond-haired Woods has been scuba-diving, and he attended a New Year's Day party on movie producer Ted Fields' yacht. He also gave an impromptu golf clinic to approximately 50 people.
 

 
Thursday - Jan. 4, 2001
 
Allenby and Solheim Honored by GWAA

 
Robert Allenby and the late Karsten Solheim were both recipients of awards this year from the Golf Writers Association of America.
 
Allenby was awarded the Ben Hogan Award, which is given annually to a player who has continued to play golf despite a physical handicap or illness. Allenby won twice on the 2000 PGA Tour, coming back in great style from a serious car accident which had hampered his play in 1996.
 
Solheim, a now-legendary pioneer in golfing technology, was awarded the William D. Richardson Award for contributions to golf. Founding the Karsten Manufacturing Corp. and Ping Golf early in his career, Solheim was the first to develop perimeter-weighting in clubs, a design that has become a standard in today's golf industry.
 
Unfortunately, Solheim passed away earlier this year, in February, due to Parkinson's disease.
 

Costner to Play in Tucson Pro-Am
 
Actor Kevin Costner will play in next week's Bank of America Celebrity Pro-Am as part of the Touchstone Energy Tucson Open.
 
Coster's appearance in Tucson coincides with the 'Field of Dreams,' a new Little League complex built to accommodate children with disabilities. Coster played a starring role in the movie of the same name.
 
Also appearing at the Touchstone event will be Casey Martin, who has been given a special sponsor's exemption by the tournament.
 

 
Friday - Jan. 5, 2001
 
'99 U.S. Open Signs to be Auctioned

 
Due to a great demand, the state of North Carolina has decided it will auction 50 highway signs remaining from the 1999 U.S. Open held at Pinehurst. The signs will be auctioned off to the highest bidder through the Surplus Property Agency, starting on Jan. 23, and spanning out over nine weeks.
 
The venue was the site of what many people believe to be one of the greatest U.S. Open Championships in the event's history, certainly the best in recent years. Furthermore, it was the late Payne Stewart who won the event. A most popular champion, Stewart claimed the title with a dramatic birdie on the 72nd hole. Tragically, he passed several months later in a plane accident.
 

Sacramento man Convicted in Woods Case
 
Anthony Taylor was convicted Thursday in the Sacramento Superior Court of stealing professional golfer Tiger Woods' identity and using his name to apply for credit cards, charging some $17,000 in unpaid expenses.
 
Taylor has prior robbery convictions from 1992 and will likely be sentenced on Monday following final arguments.
 
Upon discovery of the incidents, Tiger Woods had testified in mid-December that he had not been responsible for the charges, which included the purchases of televisions, a used luxury car and the rental of a truck in the Sacramento area.
 

South African Masters Gets Fresh Start
 
Mark McNulty and Retief Goosen top off a quality field for the return of next week's venerable South African Masters at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club.
 
Over the last three years, the Masters has only been contested once, with no play in either 1998 or 2000 due to a lack of sponsorship. However, under the funding from Nashua Nedtel Cellular, the Masters returns full of hope and promise that it will return to the same status that it has held over the last 80 years.
 
Considered one of the 'majors' of the Sunshine (South African) Tour, the Masters has been home to many a great South African champion over the years. Gary Player won the event a record ten times in his younger days, and other stars from the region have championed here as well, including Nick Price, David Frost, Hugh Baiocchi and Ernie Els.
 
Likewise, for McNulty, the event holds in its annals many of his fondest golfing memories, as he has captured the title on four separate occasions. In addition, he has won five tournaments in his professional career that have been contested over this same Wild Coast Sun course, making him a serious favorite in this upcoming week.
 
While Goosen has yet to claim the title in several attempts, another young star from Australia will be playing the event for the first time. Trevor Immelman, who at 19, became the latest of a crop of young stars to win professionally (at December's Vodacom Players' Championship) will be competing here for the first time ever.
 
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Stock Watch: Ko-Leadbetter feud getting juicy

By Ryan LavnerApril 24, 2018, 12:40 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Moriya Jutanugarn (+9%): The older Jutanugarn couldn’t be more different than her free-wheeling, big-hitting, wide-smiling and more famous sister, but Mo has plenty of game, too. She held off a strong leaderboard on a historic course to win for the first time in 156 starts.

Andrew Landry (+7%): Nothing has come easily to this gritty, undersized Texan, so his breakthrough Tour victory perfectly encapsulated his career.

Alexander Levy (+6%): The happiest person watching the Trophee Hassan II? Thomas Bjorn, who has to be salivating at the prospect of having an in-form Frenchman teeing it up in a home Ryder Cup.

Joaquin Niemann (+5%): Any questions about how his skills would translate to the Tour level were erased with weekend 67s in his pro debut. The 19-year-old was the top-ranked amateur for 48 weeks, so results like these are just another reflection of how strong amateur golf is these days.

Kirk Triplett (+2%): Doesn’t matter how old you are – holing out from the bunker is a baller way to win.


FALLING

Shanshan Feng (-1%): Three top-5 finishes this season, and she still lost her No. 1 ranking to Inbee Park. It’s competitive out there.

Beau Hossler (-2%): It was another Sunday to forget, as his closing 79 sent him tumbling down the Valero board. He’s had a solid rookie season despite ranking 178th in final-round scoring average (72.9).

Sergio (-3%): Seems like this new dad could use some rest. Garcia made a 13 at the Masters, clapped back at jokesters on Twitter and then had a temper tantrum in San Antonio, hurling his driver into the wilderness en route to his second MC in a row. Oy.

TPC Louisiana (-4%): If this year’s field is any indication (10 of the top 14), the Zurich is close to a must-play for today’s stars. The only piece missing is a venue change, to Bayou Oaks at City Park, because another forgettable TPC away from downtown New Orleans excites exactly no one.

Lydia Ko-David Leadbetter feud (-6%): Unhappy with how he was portrayed in a recent magazine article regarding Ko’s struggles, Leadbetter is now firing back, citing Ko’s father and fatigue as the key issues in her year-long slump. This is getting juicy.

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Rosaforte Report: Koepka returns strong and energized

By Tim RosaforteApril 24, 2018, 12:29 pm

If his ball speed, bench press reps, and recent scores posted on his home clubs mean anything, U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka hasn’t lost much in the three months he didn’t touch a club.

Instructor Claude Harmon III monitored Koepka’s swing this past weekend at The Floridian on Trackman, posting for all to see on Twitter. Harmon described the numbers as, “pretty much like they always are.” For the overpowering Koepka, that means ball speeds cruising in the high-170s and low-180s. “I was absolutely blown away at how good it was,” Harmon said.

So was performance coach Joey Diovisalvi in his gym when Koepka ripped off 10 reps with 225 pounds on the bar, and another 17 reps at 135 pounds. “The guy’s a powerhouse,” Diovisalvi said. “He’s strong as an ox right now.”

If there’s a difference in Koepka, it’s an increased appreciation for the game after being away from competitive golf this long. Keep in mind that the 27-year-old was hoping to return for the Masters. He was never one to watch golf on TV. But he was “glued” to the flat screen, watching the final round at Augusta. To prove his attentiveness, Koepka went through a shot-by-shot replay of the back nine with Harmon.



“I’m so ready to play golf,” he told Harmon.

That opportunity begins Thursday, when Koepka buddies up with Marc Turnesa in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for his first official round in 109 days. Koepka finished T-5 in last year’s two-man team competition with younger brother Chase, who is following his sibling’s footsteps by playing his way up the world rankings through the European Tour. The reigning U.S. Open champion would have repaired with his brother, but didn’t know until last Wednesday that the tendon injury to his wrist would respond to tournament stress. By all accounts, it will.

“I told him the first call I’d made was to (Ryder Cup captain) Jim Furyk to tell him you were going to be ready for Paris,” Harmon said. Based on his 3-1-0 record in his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine in 2016, those are words Furyk was hoping to hear. Koepka dropped from first in the point standings after winning the National Open at Erin Hills last summer to seventh, so the Ryder Cup points on offer this week are added motivation.

There are, however, no world ranking points available at TPC Louisiana. The tradeoff of the two-man team event is that it represents a decompression chamber compared to 72 holes of stroke play at a regular Tour event.

But Koepka has said he feels like he can win right away and to do that he may need to carry Turnesa, who has played only one event on the PGA Tour this year, is ranked 1,929th in the world, and is pursuing a career in real estate.

Koepka called Turnesa last Wednesday, asking, “What are you doing next week? Do you want to go play New Orleans?”

The 40-year-old Turnesa, the last of the Turnesa family still somewhat involved in competitive golf, responded by saying, “I don’t know, I’ve got real estate going on. You know, I haven’t played any golf at all.” Koepka said, “Well, start practicing.”

Thinking about it further, Turnesa realized, “The reigning U.S. Open champion is asking me to play an event with him.”

So he called back Koepka, wanting to make sure he wasn’t returning too soon, that his health was the important thing. They were scheduled to fly into New Orleans via private jet on Tuesday.

“Amazing gesture,” Turnesa said. “I’m glad I committed, but he had to scroll pretty far down the alternate list to see my name.”

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Club apologizes for calling cops on black women members

By Associated PressApril 23, 2018, 11:07 pm

YORK, Pa. - A golf club in Pennsylvania has apologized for calling police on a group of black women after the co-owner and his father said they were playing too slowly and refused requests to leave the course.

“I felt we were discriminated against,” one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”

Sandra Thompson and four friends met up Saturday to play a round of golf at the Grandview Golf Club, where they are all members, she told the newspaper.

At the second hole, a white man whose son co-owns the club came up to them twice to complain that they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play. Thompson, an attorney and the head of the York chapter of the NAACP, told the newspaper it was untrue.

On the same hole, another member of the group, Sandra Harrison, said she spoke with a Grandview golf pro, who said they were fine since they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them.

Despite that, the women skipped the third hole to avoid any other issues, she said.

It’s part of golf etiquette that slow-moving players let groups behind them play through if they are holding things up, and often golf courses have personnel who monitor the pace of play, letting golfers know when they are taking too long.

The five are part of a larger group of local women known as Sisters in the Fairway. The group has been around for at least a decade, and all of its members are experienced players who have golfed all over the county and world, Thompson said. They’re very familiar with golf etiquette, she said.

After the ninth hole, where it is customary to take a break before continuing on the next nine holes, three of the group decided to leave because they were so shaken up by the earlier treatment, the women told the paper.

Thompson said the man from the second hole, identified as former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister, his son, club co-owner Jordan Chronister and several other white, male employees approached the remaining two women and said they took too long of a break and they needed to leave the course.

The women argued they took an appropriate break, and that the men behind them were still on their beer break and not ready to tee off, as seen in a video Thompson gave the newspaper. The women were told that the police had been called, and so they waited.

Northern York County Regional Police arrived, conducted interviews and left without charging anyone.

“We were called there for an issue, the issue did not warrant any charges,” Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said. “All parties left and we left as well.”

A phone listing for Steve Chronister rang busy on Monday. He told the York Daily Record he didn’t have time to comment on Sunday.

Jordan Chronister’s wife and co-owner of the club, JJ Chronister, said Sunday she called the women personally to apologize.

“We sincerely apologize to the women for making them feel uncomfortable here at Grandview, that is not our intention in any way,” she told the newspaper. “We want all of our members to feel valued and that they can come out here and have a great time, play golf and enjoy the experience.”

She said she hopes to meet with them to discuss how the club can use what happened as a learning experience and do better in the future.

Thompson said she’s not sure a meeting is what needs to happen.

“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” she said.

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Randall's Rant: Augusta has the power to strengthen LPGA

By Randall MellApril 23, 2018, 9:57 pm

Augusta National Golf Club is turning women’s golf upside down.

If you care about the LPGA, that should be your hope, anyway.

Your hope should be that the investment made in the new Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship announced at the Masters three weeks ago will eventually filter up the women’s ranks.

While the new amateur event comes with significant challenges for the women’s tour - with its first major (the ANA Inspiration) in a tough spot the same week as the Augusta National Women’s Amateur - there is LPGA seed money being planted in Georgia

There’s an investment that may grow the women’s game beyond fueling new interest among girls.

“I just hope corporations start recognizing the value of investing in the women’s game, the way Augusta National does,” two-time major champion Cristie Kerr said. “There are so many corporate sponsors in the men’s game who don’t invest a single dollar in the women’s game. Obviously, that’s their prerogative, but we have a lot of value as a tour.”

And there’s your hope.

Augusta National is a collection of power brokers, CEOs and leaders now invested in growing the women’s game.

They’re taking a special interest in watching these young female amateurs emerge, and it’s only natural to expect they’ll become emotionally invested in where these young players go.

And a lot of these young players will go on to the LPGA.

The LPGA is thriving under commissioner Mike Whan’s leadership, with Whan seeing opportunities where others didn’t. He saw Asian interest in the tour as an asset, not the liability so many thought a decade ago.

The LPGA had withered to 23 events in 2011 with $40 million in total prize money. This year, it's up to 34 events with a tour-record $68 million in prize money. Whan did that with a lot of Asian backing.

Of the 10 tour events the LPGA has staged so far this year, including this week’s tournament in San Francisco, nine have Asian-based title sponsors. Even the LPGA’s domestic events are thriving on Asian money. 



All six of the U.S. events staged so far this year have Asian-based title sponsors. You have to move into May and next week’s Volunteers of America Texas Classic before finding an American corporate title sponsor of an American LPGA event.

That starts changing with summer approaching, but overall there will be 17 Asian-based companies or organizations as title sponsors of LPGA events this year, with 14 American-based entities sponsoring or owning events.

Whan says that’s a good thing.

“The diversity of sponsorship on the LPGA makes us a stronger business,” Whan said. “Since I’ve been in office, we’ve worked through recessions in different parts of the world. None of those recessions were crippling to our overall schedule, because we have so many sponsors on board, from so many different places.”

Whan says American corporate interest is growing considerably, with more American marketing partners joining the LPGA this year. The next steps players would like to see are increased purses and endorsement opportunities for women.

The winning two-man team at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic this week will take home a combined $2,073,000. This week’s LPGA Mediheal Championship features a $1.5 million purse for the entire field.

“The income gap in golf is as much a concern to me as the corporate income gap is to working women,” 12-time LPGA winner Stacy Lewis wrote in an essay earlier this year for the World Economic Forum.

U.S. Solheim Cup captain and LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster started wearing a San Francisco Giants cap this year with no endorsement deals on her bag or shirt. She has become more outspoken about the lack of corporate support for all female golf pros.

“I'm going to say it right now, and I probably shouldn't say it, but I just don't understand how all these companies get away with supporting PGA Tour events and not supporting the LPGA,” Inkster said at the last Solheim Cup. “It makes me a little upset, because I think we've got a great product. We deserve our due.”

With Augusta National investing in young amateur women, it may only be a matter of time until corporate America significantly steps up support. The game’s greatest power brokers appear ready to grow with the young women they will begin investing in next year. That should be the hope for anyone who cares about the LPGA.