News for Saturday, June 8, 2002

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Players will find Bethpage no walk in the park

The Black Course – ranked No. 26 in Golfweek’s America’s Best Classical Course list – is the best-known of a five-course state facility that annually plays host to 280,000 rounds. It opened in 1936, designed by A.W. Tillinghast in conjunction with longtime park superintendent Joseph H. Burbeck. It quickly gained a reputation for being the toughest course on Long Island.

Par-70 layouts have kept Tiger Woods in check at major championships

Tiger Woods has won six of the last 10 major championships, and because of that dominance, winning a Grand Slam tournament never has been so difficult for the rest of professional golf. He has been a one-man roadblock.

Zach Johnson tops new mini-tour rankings

Zach Johnson is living the dream. No, the 26-year-old graduate of Drake (Iowa) University is not hot on the tail of Tiger Woods for the PGA Tour’s money title. Nor is he fending off sponsorship offers or being touted as a top player to watch at next week’s U.S. Open. In fact, Johnson won’t even be at Bethpage State Park.

Colin Montgomerie has reason to smile after Ryder Cup

On a late September morning atop an old, plushly grassed-in potato farm here in the British Midlands, two clear signs made one attentively aware the long day ahead at the 34th Ryder Cup would be nothing short of extraordinary.

Gary Hallberg back in winner’s circle

Success has been an infrequent visitor to Gary Hallberg through five Buy.com Tour events, and a 10-shot deficit in the final round of the Northeast Pennsyl-vania Classic didn’t seem to be a welcome mat for victory.

Footwear’s big brands stride ahead

Golf executives rarely agree on anything, but on one issue, there’s little dissent: Consolidation is coming. For Jim Connor, it’s already arrived.

Spalding slots Strata in new niche

With the introduction of the Hogan Apex Tour ball this summer, it was only a matter of time before Spalding redefined its Strata brand. The multilayer product was the equipment maker’s primary tour ball and also its lone entry in the premium market.

A marriage made in Golf Heaven

As you might expect from a good Scottish pub, there is a wide variety of Scotch whiskey on the shelves behind the bar at the Dunvegan Hotel. But on the top row, down the line from bottles in a section labeled “Very Fine,” the keen observer will note two small urns that share space with the single malts.

Justin Rose revels in memorable season

Justin Rose, a young Englishman with a worldful of expectations heaped his way four years ago, is in the process of formulating a season for British fans to remember.

Annika Sorenstam to make run for LPGA Grand Slam

These days, there’s Annika Sorenstam, and there’s the rest of the LPGA. And Sorenstam most definitely is winning.

Water jugs on course can be hazardous to your health

If you’re thinking about taking a sip out of a freestanding container during a round, it could be hazardous to your health.

Bettinardi Golf raises bar, price on putters

If Bob Bettinardi didn’t raise the bar, he certainly raised the price. When he started his little putter company, Bettinardi Golf, in 1999, his putters carried a suggested retail price of $275 to $325. Today his range is $275 to $500. Can the $1,000 putter be far behind?

Ken Venturi, 71, signs off at CBS one final time

Has it really been 37 years since Ken Venturi stood on the final green at Congressional Country Club outside the nation’s capital and dropped his putter in sheer exhaustion and jubilation after winning his first and only major, the 1964 U.S. Open?

Andy Miller wins Buy.com Tour’s State Farm Open

If Johnny Miller wanted to witness a victory he could truly enjoy, he should have stayed on this side of the pond.

Loren Roberts edges Fred Couples, Fred Funk

Loren Roberts was facing a pair of fellow 40-somethings just as hungry for a return to the winner’s circle. But instead of making late mistakes like Fred Couples and Fred Funk, Roberts started living up to his nickname.

Austin Eaton beaten, but only after ‘amazing week’

Austin Eaton’s Cinderella coach finally was turned back into a pumpkin when he lost his quarterfinal match at this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.

George Zahringer, 49, becomes oldest U.S. Mid-Am winner

For more than two decades, George Zahringer has been one of the leading amateur golfers in the Metropolitan Golf Association and the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area.

Mid-Am Championships encourage golfers to extend competitive careers

The two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships, one for men and the other for women, make up one of amateur golf’s great success stories.

Ryder Cup makes Paul McGinley national hero

On the Emerald Isle, Paul McGinley suddenly is a national hero. All because he had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time.

Phillip Price, Paul McGinley emerge as unlikely heroes

European Ryder Cup victories have a habit of identifying unlikely heroes. Eamonn Darcy in 1987, Christy O’Connor Jr. in 1989, Philip Walton in 1995, Costantino Rocca in 1997. Add Phillip Price and Paul McGinley.

Lee Westwood responds with style at Ryder Cup

Sergio Garcia’s success at the 34th Ryder Cup surprised no one. The Spaniard went 3-1-1 in his Ryder Cup debut in Brookline, Mass., three years ago and was expected to lead the European team at The Belfry.

Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer rock solid at Ryder Cup

Not many people expected Sam Torrance to play Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer, his two most serious campaigners, together again on Saturday morning. But then Torrance did a lot of things in this Ryder Cup that came straight out of left field.

U.S. rookies make big contribution at Ryder Cup

Curtis Strange made good on his promise that everyone on the American side would see action Friday. The U.S. captain was paid back in kind during the afternoon foursomes when his team won two matches, fought back to halve another and trimmed the European lead to one point.

Europe dominates opening session of Ryder Cup

Europe took its first 3-1 Ryder Cup lead since 1971. In doing so, it improved its four-ball dominance over the United States to a 421⁄2-251⁄2 record since 1985.

Sam Torrance tilts course to his side at Ryder Cup

Early-week tabloid fodder included Sam Torrance’s decision to play The Belfry’s 10th hole all the way back and Tiger Woods’ dawn-patrol practice round on Thursday.

Europeans blast Americans at the The Belfry

Best thing you can say about the Americans’ performance on the final day of the Ryder Cup is this: They sure can play out of that left bunker at 18. Other than that, Europe did the blasting.

Peacock pushes Ryder Cup patriotism

If you caught any of the advance stories on the Ryder Cup anywhere on TV in September, you would have heard such simmering rhetoric as to make you think the matches were nothing less than an opening salvo on Iraq.

Joe Louis Barrow Jr. bikes for bucks in PGA Tour ride

Joe Louis Barrow Jr., executive director of The First Tee program, gained respect for Tour de France cyclists after the 16th annual PGA Tour MS 150 Bike Tour Sept. 21-22.

Martha Burk ‘gratified’ by talk of Augusta compromise

Martha Burk is convinced her campaign to get Augusta National to admit its first female is one step closer to fruition.

Prohibition should be Ryder Cup tradition

Recent history has had a sobering effect on the Ryder Cup Matches. In 1999, belligerent crowd behavior at Brookline, Mass., convinced Ryder Cup organizers that they needed to rethink policies on alcohol sales.

Pipeline to pump life into Scottsdale golf course projects

Scottsdale’s unofficial moratorium on new course projects has been lifted for at least two proposed developments, thanks to a soon-to-be-built privately funded water pipeline that will feed the courses.

Women’s clubmaker still awaiting boom in equipment sales

A few years ago, Doug Buffington had reason to smile. The widespread belief among golf experts then was that the game’s growth would be fueled by women.

Wilson poised to unveil 425cc Deep Red driver

As the debate over hot clubs continues, Wilson Golf is set to introduce the newest member of its Deep Red line, an oversized driver that boasts a 425cc head and conforms to current U.S. Golf Association limits for COR (coefficient of restitution).

COR testing machines offer some an unexpected boon

And the newest growth segment in the golf industry is – envelope please – golf-test machines.

Gopher walk-on Matt Anderson posts career round

Matt Anderson once skipped his calculus class at Edina (Minn.) High School to watch the 1999 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in nearby Chaska. He dreamed of the day he could play in the event as a Golden Gopher.

Georgia Tech's Troy Matteson finishes hot spring in style

What the Yellow Jackets program lacked was an NCAA Division I Championship medalist. Not any more. Georgia Tech junior Troy Matteson took care of that June 1 when he shot a final-round, 4-under 67 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.

Local golfers will watch 2002 U.S. Open on home turf

The layout the Open was being contested on was the same place they had been playing for years, the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y.

More public courses may make U.S. Open rotation

Hundreds of courses want to play host to the U.S. Open. All are required to send letters of invitation to the U.S. Golf Association.

2002 U.S. Open first national championship held at public golf course

Once upon a time, private clubs dominated the American golf landscape. Golf was viewed suspiciously as a game for rich, white males. Deservedly so.

Retief Goosen enjoys quiet life despite U.S. Open fame

The scene is an Italian restaurant in Munich, Germany. It’s late August 1999, two years before Retief Goosen would take the golf world by storm by winning the U.S. Open at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.

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