Japans Okamoto Elected to World Golf Hall of Fame
'Ayako's playing record, both internationally and on the LPGA Tour, make her eminently qualified for golf's highest honor,' said LPGA Commissioner Ty M.
Votaw. 'Her inclusion in the World Golf Hall of Fame will further her status as the most popular female player in Japan.'
Okamoto has compiled 62 worldwide titles in her career, including 44 on the LPGA of Japan, 17 on the LPGA Tour and one on the Ladies European Tour. Her best year on the LPGA Tour was in 1987 when she won four times, topped the money list and earned Rolex Player of the Year honors, becoming the first international player to win the award.
'It is hard to express in words my joy in becoming a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame,' said Okamoto upon learning of her election. 'I never dreamt the choices I made during my 30-year career would lead me to join the ranks of the most respected players in the history of golf.'
This marks the third consecutive year a Japanese player will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame, following Hisako 'Chako' Higuchi in 2003 and Isao Aoki last year.
'Ayako Okamoto is an established champion around the world, and her contributions in her native Japan continue to influence the sport,' said Jack Peter, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Hall of Fame. 'The World Golf Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome her alongside the other greats of the game.'
Okamoto received the 1987 Japanese Prime Minister's Award for her contribution to encouraging and developing sports in Japan. Additionally, she was recognized during the LPGA's 50th Anniversary in 2000 as one of its top-50 players and teachers.
Okamoto was chosen on 52 percent of the returned ballots. Jumbo Ozaki (48 percent), Sandy Lyle (29 percent), Kel Nagle (percent) and Ian Woosnam
(percent) rounded out the top-five vote getters.
Okamoto joins Vijay Singh as a member of the Class of 2005. Singh's election on the PGA TOUR/Champions Tour ballot was announced at this year's Shell Houston Open in April, where he went on to become the first person to successfully defend that title.
Additional members of the 2005 Class of Inductees will be announced at a later date. The World Golf Hall of Fame's annual Induction Ceremony is scheduled for November 14.
Lewis fires 61, two behind Herbert in Portugal
VILAMOURA, Portugal – Tom Lewis came within two shots of tying English countryman Oliver Fisher's European Tour record on another day of low scoring at the Portugal Masters on Saturday.
Lewis returned a 10-under 61 in the third round, just 24 hours after Fisher carded the first 59 on the circuit. Lewis moved to two strokes behind leader Lucas Herbert of Australia.
Lewis acknowledged the thought of another 59 crept into his mind: ''It's something I noticed with three holes to go. I wasn't that bothered at the end of the day.
''I'm pleased that I shot 10 under par. I can only continue to make birdies and see what happens tomorrow.''
Herbert, who is playing off invites this season as he looks to earn his full tour playing privileges, shot a 64 for a 19-under total of 194.
Fisher took 10 more strokes than he did on Friday and was in a group on 14-under 199.
Sergio Garcia of Spain, trying to find form ahead of next week's Ryder Cup, was on 204 after a 68.
Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship
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Highlights: Tiger birdies six of his first seven
Tiger Woods entered Saturday tied atop the board and wasted little time taking the outright lead at East Lake.
Woods moved clear of the field with this birdie at No. 1, whipping the Atlanta crowd into an early frenzy.
Following a 4-foot par save at the second, Woods moved ahead by two and reached 9 under par when he played this approach from 144 and sank this 8-footer for birdie at the third.
One hole later, Woods reached double digits at 10 under par when he poured in a bending 21-footer that just crept over the lip.
He made it four birdies in his first five holes when he bombed a 320-yard drive, wedged to 7 feet, and converted again.
He looked in danger of not capitalizing on his first crack at a par-5 after he came out of a fairway wood on his second shot, but a splash from the bunker and a make from 6 feet gave him his fifth circle in six holes.
He went Vintage Tiger at the seventh, playing this fairway bunker shot from 172 yards to 5 feet, setting up his sixth birdie in his first seven holes and advancing him to 13 under, five clear.
Iowa State honors Arozamena before football game
AMES, Iowa - Iowa State honored slain golf star Celia Barquin Arozamena with an elaborate ceremony ahead of the Cyclones' game against Akron on Saturday.
Iowa State's band used a formation that spelled out Barquin's initials, and both teams wore a decal on their helmets in her memory.
A tribute to Barquin played on a video screen before a moment of silence, and fans were also asked to wear yellow, one of Iowa State's main colors and a nod to Barquin's Spanish roots. Most of the roughly 60,000 fans in attendance complied with yellow and with golf shirts on a chilly morning in central Iowa.
"I think it's fantastic. The tribute is amazing. But ultimately, it would have been perfect if she could have been here for her tribute, which was going to happen anyway." said Ed Hamilton, a retired police officer from nearby Ankeny, Iowa.
Barquin, the Cyclones' first conference champion in 25 years, was finishing up her degree at Iowa State and working toward her ultimate goal of becoming a professional golfer.
A memorial honoring Celia Barquin Arozamena at Jack Trice Stadium. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
Barquin competed in the U.S Women's Open earlier this summer, and coach Christie Martens said she was approaching "the pinnacle of her career."
"Iowa State fans are very loyal. We haven't had too many winning football teams over the years. Yet the fans turn out. There's a great loyalty here -- but it spills into other sports as well," said Iowa State fan Kent Hollrah of Denison, Iowa.
Collin Richards, also 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in Barquin's death. Police said Richards stabbed Barquin and left her body in a pond on the course, where it was found after other golfers noticed her abandoned bag.
Cyclones coach Matt Campbell also wore an Iowa State golf hat on the sideline to show solidarity with his colleagues.
"Be with all of us today Celia, your legacy will forever live on & we are forever grateful for your impact. Much love from your Cyclonitas," Iowa State linebacker Willie Harvey tweeted earlier Saturday, using the nickname that Barquin had for her teammates.