This Teed-Off Shot Was Out of Bounds
Is there anyone else who thinks that Augusta National could have handled the situation with the National Council of Women’s Organizations just a little better?
Clearly, the time is coming when there will be female members at Augusta, everybody knows that, but what transpired this week isn’t going to speed the process any.
All right, so a respected women’s group believes the private club needs to start inviting women to become members and says so in a letter to the club. Fair enough, it’s a position, whatever.
But instead of simply responding with a “Thanks for your letter
Club chairman Hootie Johnson let off some major steam.
Johnson, whose anger in his three-page statement released to the media was obvious, turned a medium-sized issue into a giant one. It has no chance to go away now and little chance to be smoothed over.
Johnson even went so far as to list points of a campaign that he could expect to see over the issue. Tongue in cheek, Martha Burk of the NCWO thanked Johnson for the blueprint.
Bogey for Hootie.
That’s Just Grand
It’s the third leg of the Tour de Slam for Tiger Woods, but even if he wins the British Open next week at Muirfield in Scotland, it’s not that big a deal--according to Jack Nicklaus.
“For all intents and purposes, he’s already done it,” Nicklaus said Wednesday. “He didn’t do it in one year, so now you want him to do it in one year. All I know is, he had all four of them at the same time.”
But isn’t a true Grand Slam all four majors in the same calendar year?
“I think it’s insignificant,” Nicklaus said. “You [reporters] want to make a big deal out of it.”
Well, actually it is sort of a big deal, basically because it has never been done before.
For his part, Woods considers holding all four major titles at the same time to be a Grand Slam and everything else is just quibbling. The record shows that Woods did hold all four of the major professional titles at one time--the 2000 U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship and the 2001 Masters.
In Nicklaus’ opinion, that was more difficult to accomplish than a calendar year slam might be.
Or maybe not. What if Tiger does pull off the Grand Slam, with victories at Muirfield and then the PGA Championship at Hazeltine in August?
“That would be not only unbelievable, but super unbelievable,” Nicklaus said.
He is 51 and he hasn’t played a PGA Tour event in three years, but Mac O’Grady will be making a comeback--sort of--when he tries to qualify next week at the B.C. Open.
Of course, O’Grady will try it in his noted free-spirited style.
“I come from the other end of the galaxy,” he said.
O’Grady will play left-handed and says he intends to play under the name Mac O’Grady II.
“Because I want to start all over again,” he said.
But that’s not all. O’Grady also wants to try to get into the field in the past champions’ category--he won twice on the PGA Tour--and hopes to also play right-handed as Mac O’Grady.
“Tell me I’m not weird,” said, well, presumably O’Grady I.
In his dream, O’Grady I and O’Grady II will wind up in the same pairing--one person, two names.
“Wouldn’t it be delightful?” said O’Grady, who has been through two previous name changes, from Phil McGleno to Phillip McClelland O’Grady to Mac O’Grady.
“Everybody knows I have multiple personalities.”
When he told the PGA Tour of his intentions, officials laughed, but said only one entry would be possible. O’Grady I and II say they are considering litigation.
Where’s Tiger? He left Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday and supposedly is fishing in Ireland, possibly on the river Moy near Ballina.
According to the Associated Press, ESPN inquired about whether Woods might attend Wednesday night’s ESPY awards and was told the chances of getting him were “less than zero percent.”
What a Player
News item: Gary Player, 66, who will try to qualify for his 46th consecutive British Open, begins every day with 1,000 sit-ups.
More numbers: He’s a three-time champion. Let him in.
A Trophy House
The quote of the week is from Juli Inkster, who won the U.S. Women’s Open on the very same Prairie Dunes course in Hutchinson, Kan., where she had won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1980.
Said Inkster, “I think I’m going to have to buy a condo.”
The second quote of the week is from Michael Campbell, who managed to win the European Open by one shot last week and had to explain afterward how he’d bogeyed the last four holes: “I was preparing my acceptance speech.”
U-Turn City, Baby
As it turns out, if Campbell hadn’t made his 18-inch bogey putt at the last hole, he wouldn’t have been nearly as embarrassed as Retief Goosen. A miss by Campbell would have meant a five-player playoff with Campbell, Padraig Harrington, Bradley Dredge, Paul Lawrie and Goosen, who had already left for the airport.
Western Open champion Jerry Kelly on his ultra-competitive, golf-playing mother, Lee: “I’m lucky she didn’t eat me when I was younger.”
It took a record-tying low closing round by Inkster to beat her, but Annika Sorenstam can probably find solace somewhere: Her $315,000 payday made her the LPGA’s first $10-million woman.
News item: The U.S. Women’s Open gets a 2.2 overnight rating for its last round, compared to the 2.1 rating for the last round of the Western Open on the PGA Tour.
Reaction: LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw likes to say that you can’t compare the LPGA to the PGA Tour and that the LPGA must be compared to other women’s sports. OK. The women’s singles final at Wimbledon had a 4.6 overnight rating.
That fan who yelled “Choker!” at Davis Love III in the last round of the Western Open didn’t make him one bit happy.
Said Love, “I don’t like going to the ropes and yelling at people, but it seems like I do it every week now.”
He says that fans are overstepping their bounds, that they’re not supposed to yell.
But Kelly said that’s where golf is headed.
“You know, every other sport gets heckled but golf,” Kelly said. “You know the heckling is coming. I’m sorry, you’re going to have to have some thick skin to play this game from now on because New York [the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black] just opened a nice, big can of worms. It’s going to be different.”
It’s the oldest event on the Senior PGA Tour, having begun in 1978 as the Legends of Golf, the brainchild of the late Fred Raphael. And next year, the venerable Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf gets its seventh home in 26 years and its fifth in the last seven years.
The Legends tournament is moving to the Westin Savannah Harbor in Savannah, Ga., for 2003-2006. Previous sites: King & Bear Course at St. Augustine, Slammer & Squire Course at St. Augustine, Amelia Island, PGA West at La Quinta, Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, and Onion Creek in Austin.
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Senior Players Championship
Where: TPC of Michigan (6,876 yards, par 72), Dearborn, Mich.
Purse: $2.5 million. Winner’s share: $375,000.
TV: ESPN (today and Friday, noon-2 p.m.) and Channel 7 (Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m.).
2001 winner: Allen Doyle.
PGA, Greater Milwaukee Open
Where: Brown Deer Park Golf Course (6,759 yards, par 71), Milwaukee.
Purse: $3.1 million. Winner’s share: $558,000.
TV: The Golf Channel and Fox Sports Net (today and Friday, 12:30-3 p.m.), and Channel 7 (Saturday, 3-5 p.m., delayed; Sunday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.).
2001 winner: Shigeki Maruyama.
Jamie Farr Kroger Classic
Where: Highland Meadows Golf Club (6,365 yards, par 71); Sylvania, Ohio.
Purse: $1 million. Winner’s share: $150,000.
TV: ESPN (Friday, 10 a.m.-noon; Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m.).
2001 winner: Se Ri Pak.
Where: Loch Lomond Golf Club (7,050 yards, par 71), Scotland.
Purse: $3.4 million. Winner’s share: $566,000.
TV: The Golf Channel (today-Friday, 7-10 a.m.; Saturday, 6-9 a.m.; Sunday, 5:45-8:45 a.m.).
2001 winner: Retief Goosen.
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