Six inducted into Golf Hall of Fame

By Randall MellMay 8, 2012, 1:29 am

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – If laughs were birdies, the World Golf Hall of Fame’s 2012 class might have set some scoring records during Monday’s induction ceremony.

With Dan Jenkins and Peter Alliss delivering brilliant speeches that rivaled stand-up comic acts, the night ranked as one of the most entertaining in this Hall’s history.

Phil Mickelson was no slouch, showing off his clever storytelling abilities, and Sandy Lyle and Hollis Stacy delivered poignant moments.

Nights like this can sometimes drag, but not this one, not with Alliss making sure nobody will ever forget his appearance. He pulled off the trickiest of closing statements. He somehow managed to leave the audience roaring in approval as he thrust his middle finger to the heavens as an exclamation point to one last story.

Here are highlights of the five inductees’ speeches in the order they appeared:

Dan Jenkins and tombstones . . .

Jenkins, the author/writer, wowed the audience with statistics.

He reviewed all 141 names in the Hall of Fame and came up with these stats: “I have known 95 of these people when they were living. I've written stories about 73 of them. I've had cocktails and drinks with 47 of them, and I played golf with 24 of them. So I want somebody else to try and go up against that record.”

Jenkins set a lively tone with some terrific lines.

“I am particularly pleased to be taken in as a vertical human,” he said.

Jenkins joins Bernard Darwin and Herbert Warren Wind as the only writers in the Hall of Fame. Darwin and Wind were both inducted posthumously. Jenkins said he knows what his tombstone will say when he passes: “I knew this would happen.”

Jenkins has covered 211 major championships.

“As for all those majors I've covered, it's obviously a record that'll never be broken, because one day there's not going to be any more magazines and newspapers, and, for that matter, there's not going to be any more people. There's just going to be vampires and text messages and some voice saying, `turn left now.’

Sandy Lyle and dead Scots . . .

Lyle recalled the hard climb that came before he broke through to win the British Open in 1985, before he became the first international player to win The Players Championship in '87 and before he became the first British winner of the Masters in '88.

“I remember winning Tour school,” Lyle said. “It doubled my bank balance to about 300 pounds.”

Lyle is the 11th Scot to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, the first who wasn’t inducted posthumously.

“At least I’m alive,” Lyle said.

Hollis Stacy’s love story . . .

Her induction was a love story. She recounted her love of family and her love of the game.

“There were never enough hours in the day, enough days in the week, enough weeks in the year to play golf,” Stacy said.

One of 10 children growing up in Savannah, Ga., Stacy won 18 LPGA titles and four majors. She was delighted to have 30 family and friends in attendance, including six of her siblings and her 84-year-old mother, Tillie. She lost her father and a brother, but her sister, Martha Leach, presented her. Leach won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, making them the second sisters to win U.S. Golf Association events.

“I had some great teachers, but the intangible that separated me was growing up in a large family,” Stacy said. “My nine brothers and sisters were my biggest fans, my fiercest competitors and my best friends. I learned to live in chaos and handle things that weren’t in my control . . . I dedicate everything I’ve done to my family.”

Peter Alliss and Mrs. Weymouth . . . 

Alliss rivaled Jenkins with his comic timing.

His closing won’t soon be forgotten, ending with a crude gesture to the heavens that brought the house down as an exclamation point to his final story.

Alliss, the Englishman who played in eight Ryder Cups before becoming a popular BBC commentator, told the story of the stern education he received from Mrs. Violet Weymouth, a chunky Welsh headmistress at Crosby House.

“You didn’t mess about with Mrs. Weymouth, I can tell you that,” Alliss said. “I remember the last report she sent back to my parents, and it went something like this:  `Peter does have a brain, but he's rather loathe to use it.  His only interests appear to be the game of golf and Violet Pretty,’ a girl I liked. 'I fear for his future' were the last words she wrote on my report.”

Alliss closed saying if there is a heaven, and his parents are looking down, he hopes they’re pleased.

“And Mrs. Weymouth, if you’re there . . .”

Alliss didn’t finish the sentence, instead, thrusting his middle finger skyward.

Phil Mickelson and  . . .

Mickelson poked fun at a few folks, including himself.

He told the story of how he developed his competitive skills and his girth while working as a range picker as a kid.

“I would have putting matches with the other coworkers, and we would putt for a soda and a candy bar,” Mickelson said. “Unfortunately I was somewhat successful.”

Mickelson shared loving stories about his wife, Amy, and his three children and how they’ve come to mark time with memories of their children at majors. He also gave special thanks to Steve Loy, his agent, and his long-time caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay.

“He's a great caddie,” Mickelson said. “He's a most loyal friend.  In the mid '90s we were playing a tournament in Las Vegas and there was an earthquake at 2 in the morning.  The chandelier was swaying from side to side hitting the ceiling.  His roommate told me the next day that Bones leaped out of bed, grabbed the clubs and ran outside.  He didn't want anything to fall on them and hurt them.”

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Ko part of 5-way tie for Mediheal lead

By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:20 am

DALY CITY, Calif. - Lydia Ko was back on top at Lake Merced.

Ko shot a 4-under 68 on a chilly Thursday morning at the LPGA Mediheal Championship for a share of the first-round lead. Jessica Korda, Caroline Hedwall, In-Kyung Kim and Su Oh joined Ko atop the leaderboard in the LPGA's return to Lake Merced after a year away.

''This is a golf course where you need to drive the ball well and putt well,'' said Ko, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic winner at the course in 2014 and 2015.

Ko eagled the par-5 fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. The New Zealander has 14 LPGA wins, the last in July 2016.

''It's nice to come back to a place where you feel super-welcomed,'' Ko said. ''It just brings back a lot of great memories. ... My family and friends are here this week, so I'm hoping that I'm going to continue the solid play.''

She turned 21 on Tuesday.

''I don't think I feel a huge difference, but I know turning 21 is a huge thing in the U.S.,'' Ko said, ''So, I'm legal and I can do some fun things now.''

Korda, playing alongside Kim a group ahead of Ko, also eagled the fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. Korda won in Thailand in February in her return from reconstructive jaw surgery.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship

''The score says one thing and my hands say another,'' Korda said. ''It was really cold out there today, so it was good that I stuck to kind of my process. ... Actually, this is still some of the nicer conditions that we've played in compared to the past. I'll take the cold as long as there's no rain.''

Hedwall and Kim each had five birdies and a bogey.

''I just love the city. It's really nice,'' said Hedwall, from Sweden. ''It's sort of a European-style city with all the shopping going on downtown and stuff. I love it here. I even like this weather, suits me really well, too.''

Oh had a bogey-free round. The Australian was the only one of the five players tied for the lead to play in the afternoon.

''It was cold and pretty windy out there and, because it's got a lot of elevation, it kind of swirls in the middle like in the low areas, so it was tough,'' Oh said. ''I hit the ball really solid today. Then the ones I missed, I made really good up-and-downs.''

Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull and Celine Herbin shot 69.

''This course is very challenging, especially when the wind picks up,'' the third-ranked Thompson said. ''It's chilly, so it's a little longer of a course. Some of the par 5s are reachable, so you try to take advantage of that, but pars were good and just take the birdie chances as you can get them.''

Moriya Jutanugarn, the winner Sunday in Los Angeles for her first LPGA title, had a 71 playing with former Stanford student Michelle Wie and ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg. Wie had a 74, and Lindberg shot 79. Ariya Jutanugarn matched her sister with a 71, playing in the group with Ko.

Top-ranked Inbee Park matched playing partner Brooke Henderson with a 72. The third member of the afternoon group, second-ranked Shanshan Feng, shot 73.

Juli Inkster shot 72. The 57-year-old Hall of Famer grew up in Santz Cruz, starred at San Jose State and lives in Los Altos. She won the last of her 31 LPGA titles in 2006.

Stacy Lewis had a 74 after announcing that she is pregnant with a due date of Nov. 3. She plans to play through the Marathon Classic in July and return for a full season next year.

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Glover, Reavie share Zurich lead with Chinese pair

By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:04 am

AVONDALE, La. - Chez Reavie had quite a few good moments at TPC Louisiana on Thursday. So did teammate Lucas Glover.

In best-ball format, the most important thing was those moments came on different holes.

Reavie and Glover teamed to shoot a 12-under 60 for a share of the Zurich Classic lead with China's Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng.

''Chez started well and I picked it up in the middle of the back nine,'' Glover said. ''He closed it off and then we both played really well on the front. Just kind of ham and egged it, I guess, as they would say.''

Reavie and Glover each had six birdies in the best-ball format, pushing through soggy weather early in the round before conditions cleared at TPC Louisiana. Six teams are two shots back in a tie for third after shooting 62.

''We were just rolling,'' Reavie said. ''I think we're comfortable. We like to laugh and have a good time when we're playing golf, and it definitely helps.''

Zhang and Dou birdied four of their final five holes. Dou made a 31-foot putt on No. 9 to cap the impressive rally and jump into the lead with Reavie and Glover.

Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos

Tony Finau-Daniel Summerhays, Chris Paisley-Tommy Fleetwood, J.J. Henry-Tom Hoge, Michael Kim-Andrew Putnam, Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown and Troy Merritt-Brendon de Jonge shot 62. Jason Day and Ryan Ruffels shot 64.

It's the first time since last year's Tour Championship that the reigning champs of all four majors have been in the same field. None of them were among the leaders after the first round.

Masters champion Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay had a 65, and British Open winner Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer were at 66.

''I didn't feel like there was really any rust,'' Reed said. ''I felt like I hit the ball all right today. I felt I hit some good quality putts. A couple of them went in, a couple of them didn't.''

This is the second year that two-player teams have competed at the Zurich Classic. The unusual tournament features best-ball play in the first and third rounds and alternate shot in the second and final rounds.

U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Marc Turnesa shot a 67. PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley shot a 70.

There are 80 teams in the tournament and the top 35, along with ties, will make the cut after Friday's second round.

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Lewis says she's expecting first child in November

By Randall MellApril 27, 2018, 2:18 am

Stacy Lewis is pregnant.

The 12-time LPGA winner confirmed after Thursday’s first round of the Mediheal Championship that she and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, are expecting their first child on Nov. 3.

Lewis learned she was pregnant after returning home to Houston in late February following her withdrawal from the HSBC Women’s World Championship with a strained oblique muscle.

“We're obviously really excited,” Lewis said. “It wasn't nice I was hurt, but it was nice that I was home when I found out with [Gerrod]. We're just really excited to start a family.”

Lewis is the third big-name LPGA player preparing this year to become a mother for the first time. Suzann Pettersen announced last month that she’s pregnant, due in the fall. Gerina Piller is due any day.

Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship

Piller’s husband, PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, withdrew from the Zurich Classic on Thursday to be with her. Piller and Lewis have been U.S. Solheim Cup partners the last two times the event has been played.

“It's going to be fun raising kids together,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, they're best friends and they hang out. But just excited about the next few months and what it's going to bring.”

Lewis, a former Rolex world No. 1 and two-time major championship winner, plans to play through the middle of July, with the Marathon Classic her last event of the year. She will be looking to return for the start of the 2019 season. The LPGA’s maternity leave policy allows her to come back next year with her status intact.

“This year, the golf might not be great, but I've got better things coming in my life than a golf score.” Lewis said. “I plan on coming back and traveling on the road with the baby, and we'll figure it out as we go.”

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Coach scores in NFL Draft and on golf course

By Grill Room TeamApril 27, 2018, 1:47 am

To say that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio had a good day Thursday would be an understatement. Not only did his team snag one of the top defensive players in the NFL Draft - Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith, who the Bears took with the eighth pick of the first round - but earlier in the day Fangio, 59, made a hole-in-one, sinking a 9-iron shot from 125 yards at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis.

Perhaps the ace isn't so surprising, though. In late May 2017, Fangio made another hole-in-one, according to a tweet from the Bears. The only information supplied on that one was the distance - 116 yards.