Former Stanford teammates Martin, Woods back together

By Jason SobelJune 12, 2012, 2:13 am

SAN FRANCISCO – Time embellishes all tales. Years go by and the mundane becomes interesting, the interesting becomes outrageous, the outrageous becomes exceedingly unbelievable.

The following story sounds easily amplified, enhanced for the benefit of dinner-table conversation and back-room banter.

And it could be, except for one little detail: There remains concrete evidence – or at least a pretty telling paper trail.

Eighteen years ago, two college kids played on the same golf team. Separated by three years, they may not have been the best of buddies, but the relationship quickly took on mentor-mentee proportions. One was a senior; he walked with a limp, but also carried a mercurial short game. The other was a freshman; skinny yet super-talented and armed with a cool nickname.

Video: Casey Martin news conference

Video: Dennis Miller news conference

Their common bond was one of competitiveness. It showed in their matches against other schools, sure, but really reared its head during intrasquad putting matches after practice. Camped out on the green next to the 10th hole at their home course, the senior always enlisted one of his brethren as a teammate while the freshman partnered with a fellow underclassman.

Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the seniors swept a large majority of the matches. And perhaps it’s hardly noteworthy all these years later, but the freshman paid up – even once to the tune of a $190 check.

No, this would all be just a footnote in the annals of history – a lively story for the parties involved, free of any embellishment – until it’s revealed that the main characters of this tale competed for Stanford University.

The senior was Casey Martin. The freshman was Tiger Woods.

And yes, there’s proof.

“One day we had a match,” Martin recalled Monday. “We were leaving the next day on a trip. And [Tiger] says, ‘I'll come out and let me try to earn it back.’ He might have been down 40 bucks or something.

“Well, I putted very well, and he kept trying to push the envelope and I kept winning and I think I won $190, which is a lot for a college kid. And he brought me a check. And it says: ‘To Casey Martin from Tiger Woods, $190.’ So I Xeroxed it, sent it home. My mother cashed it, but then she put it in the scrapbook, so it's official. You can come track it down. It happened.”

The story remains relevant so many years later, as Martin and Woods have taken clearly divergent paths to reach the same destination this week, both competing in the 112th U.S. Open Championship at The Olympic Club, not far from their Stanford roots.

Martin, of course, tried to make it as a touring professional, famously winning a Supreme Court case which allowed him the use of a cart during competitive rounds because of the effect Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome has incurred on his right leg. Meanwhile, Woods’ career has become the stuff of legend, as he’s compiled 73 career PGA Tour victories and 14 major championship titles at the age of 36.

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Until this week, they hadn’t seen each other in years, the University of Oregon coach rarely getting a chance to catch up with the jetsetting pro. It’s the nature of a truly “open” championship, though, in which for one week two men with distinctly opposite journeys can stand on equal footing in the same spotlight.

“It’s amazing how it’s panned out,” said Conrad Ray, the current Stanford head coach who usually served as the underclassman teammate to Woods in those post-practice putting contests. “It’s pretty surreal. I think there are a lot of common threads. Even though they’ve gone down different paths, I still think the common thread is that they’re both ultimate competitors. They want to win and they usually do. You can see that in whatever Casey has done and whatever Tiger has done, too.”

“They both have established tremendous precedence and taken on the establishment in different regards,” added Notah Begay, a PGA Tour pro and the fourth member of those matches. “Tiger in the way he plays and the fact that he’s African-American and has brought so many people to the game. Casey in that he’s taken one of the most powerful institutions to the U.S. Supreme Court and won.”

Perhaps that’s why, so many years later, there remains such mutual admiration between the two men. Time may have eroded the friendship slightly, as it does to so many contemporaries from college. But time hasn’t embellished their tale, hasn’t added conjecture or hyperbole to the good ol’ days.

This week, they will play at least one practice round together. One more chance for Casey and Tiger to relive their college days before starting on equal footing as fellow competitors once again.

The mentor has other things in mind, too. He wants some more of his mentee’s money, although he understands it may be a bit trickier than when he was a wide-eyed Stanford freshman.

“The word on street is it's hard to get,” Martin said with a laugh. “He doesn't like to pay. Don't say that; this is probably live, so don't tell him that. But I know that it's tough to get that wallet out. At least that's what I've been told.”

He should take solace armed with the knowledge of one point of information: Tiger Woods does know how to write a check.

Casey Martin owns the proof.

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Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”