Stories for August 2005
Wednesday, August 31
The Hall of Fame election process for Tour players smacks of more of a popularity contest than the vote for class officers at a junior high school.
At an April 20 news conference announcing his election into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Vijay Singh made it clear that this was no time to rest on his laurels.
Duke, UCLA and Auburn are top-seeded teams for the three NCAA Division I Women’s Regionals, the NCAA announced April 25.
Hooters Tour and Gateway Tour officials say the most crucial issue for WCLGT owner Mark Canevari was the concept of guaranteed money in each tournament purse.
Those who say there’s no challenge left for the world’s best players should look to Harbour Town Golf Links, a diabolical gem that still manages to confound whatever modern technology throws its way.
At first blush, it appears the U.S. Golf Association deserves kudos for its efforts to engage manufacturers in the golf ball tradition vs. technology debate. But we’re withholding praise, for two reasons.
When it comes to how golfers evaluate a golf course, bunkers are the second-most important element they consider, yet the way bunkers have come to be maintained has created a race of heightened maintenance expectations.
Greywalls, a new course in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, makes the golfer might feel like he is battling fire-breathing dragons, armored knights and monsters from the netherworld.
Ball makers contemplate how to respond to a USGA request that many of them privately abhor: Roll back technology and create reduced distance golf ball prototypes.
With three consecutive rounds of 2-over-par 290 for a 6-over 870 total, Oklahoma State captured its fifth title of the season April 17 and solidified its No. 1 standing in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
Ward, sporting a fresh, can-do mindset, held off a charging Lorena Ochoa by two strokes April 16 to win the Takefuji Classic at Las Vegas Country Club
After making birdies on four of his first five holes to reach 14 under for the tournament and take a four-shot lead, Clarke went 9 over the rest of the way at Harbour Town Golf Links to hand Lonard his first PGA Tour title.
Golf’s friendliest little major turned into an intense, exciting, don’t-dare-to-even-run-to-the-fridge-to-get-a-cold-beer showdown.
It was an extraordinary Masters, on several counts.
We love drivers, we hate drivers. We can’t live without them, we are very emotional about them, we believe they will change our lives. Maybe they will.
Clay Smith’s job is to help retailers find the best available real estate for new stores. And the real estate doesn’t get much better than the plains just north of Dallas – particularly, it seems, if you’re selling golf equipment.
As painful as this free fall might have been, this year's Masters wasn’t Thomas Bjorn’s most glaring failure at a major.
Five weeks before what was perhaps Jack Nicklaus' final Masters, 17-month-old Jake Nicklaus, son of Steve and wife Krista, died in a hot-tub accident.
Billy Casper, the 73-year-old two-time U.S. Open winner said, “I’m ready to play, man. Ready to play.”
For all the knowledge Langer imparted during Donald's Tuesday practice round, it’s not likely either anticipated Donald’s eventful finish to his maiden Masters.
A couple of weeks prior, world No. 6 Padraig Harrington wasn’t sure he was going to play the Masters.
A mini-tour opportunity for women opened in Florida, two days before a separately owned developmental circuit for women on the West Coast shut down.
Ryan Moore's summer included victories at the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Public Links, NCAA Championship and Western Amateur.
I keep listening to people talk about golf balls, and a whole lot of them are not telling the whole truth.
Trevor Immelman beat defending Masters champ Phil Mickelson by one shot – and at least 10 inches.
Former Masters champions Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh may have looked as if they wanted to pulverize each other over spike marks, but eventually they made peace.
At the 69th Masters, Tiger Woods brought a bit of everything to the table.
Jack Nicklaus announced he likely had competed for the last time at a place where he made an impact like no other player.
More golfers used Nike irons than any other brand at the Masters.
Viewers missed out on the second round because of rain, then didn’t see live coverage of Tiger Woods lapping Chris DiMarco on the back nine of the third round Sunday morning.
The Masters turned into something of a rules clinic for fans who closely followed Tiger Woods.
The inevitable march of time demands we start planning for a PGA Tour P.F. That’s Post Finchem.
Because of a computer malfunction, tournament officials had difficulty determining pairings and starting times for Round 3, and in communicating that information to contestants.
I loved the fact that Mr. Short and Straight Fred Funk won The Players Championship.
Ireland: Warm welcome, wonderful golf.
The Masters television sponsors are back, only this time there is a different lineup.
New chief streamlines for eventual sale.
The BellSouth Classic featured 25 players who were entered in the Masters, and 11 of those made it to yet another Monday finish.
Few people look through their sliding-glass doors and envision the 12th hole at Augusta National just beyond their pool. Jerry Tucker did.
John Crooks will lead both his women's and Campbell men's teams into conference championship play over the next two weeks.
The closing holes at Oitavos Golf Club turned the Portugal Open into the tournament no one seemed to want.
Louis Panesi got so upset with the poor quality of range balls available at the club where he was a member that he resigned – then sued for breach of contract.
The U.S. Golf Association has informed equipment makers it is studying three “research areas” that potentially could result in rules changes.
Just when golf’s longest year was being wetted down by golf’s longest tournament, the rain stopped and the wind started.
With adequate time, planning and budget, a club history can be an ideal way to commemorate a club’s past while helping to forge its identity for the future.
Regional development has brought new homes, shopping malls and Starbucks virtually leapfrogging past the golf grounds of Southern Highlands.
Equipment representatives from small and mid-sized companies chase the Tour hoping to get one or two clubs in play to validate their brands with consumers and retailers.
Cleveland Golf soon will have a new corporate parent.
Monday, August 29
The 58th Azalea Invitational at the Country Club of Charleston turned into a showdown between two California youngsters and the weatherman.
Ryan Moore will be back at Augusta National Golf Club to give the Masters another whirl before turning professional sometime this summer.
Amateurs have produced memorable finishes.
Ben Crenshaw, the man who always has been a brilliant putter ranks 22nd in putting, and is 44th in driving accuracy.
Golf’s spring training tune-up season has ended, and the major season – Tiger Season – is upon us.
Recent alterations to the par 5s have achieved preservation of the original strategy of the holes while adjusting to new conditions of championship play.
Phil Mickelson is even better equipped to succeed at the Masters than he was when he won a year ago.
Wake Forest currently is No. 9 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, and at one point rose as high as No. 5.
Hietala plays out of the Le Triomphe Country Club and made it pay off with a one-stroke victory over Sean O’Hair March 27 at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
Wiratchant finished at 25 under and became the second Thai player to win on the PGA European Tour.
Sorenstam doesn’t receive the recognition she deserves for her consistent domination of the LPGA tour.
Focused and content, Sorenstam wins Nabisco by 8 to climb farther from LPGA pack.
Mark Hensby caught a good deal of grief when he failed to finish the first round of the Bay Hill Invitational March 18.
Even with back problems, Mark Calcavecchia made the cut at The Players Championship.
Fellow professional Fred Funk playfully exclaimed, “Steve Jones? Where did he come from?”
Funky weather works for Players’ champion.
The decision to restart the second round of the Players Championship Saturday morning did not satisfy everyone.
Colin Montgomerie insists his game is worthy of a Masters invitation.
The PGA Tour’s two biggest tournaments might be on the move in 2007.
After eight years as South Florida’s premier mini-tour, the Golden Bear Tour folded its operations into the first-year Beach Series.
Sunday, August 21
You should know this about Paul Davis: He is obsessed with golf tees.
Manufacturers’ innovations soon will spur the USGA to mediate a contentious party
In an earlier life, Michael Bonneau played a pioneering role in the field of interventional cardiology.
Corporate entities and leading golf organizations aren’t the only ones that will be contributing financially to The First Tee this year. Uncle Sam also will continue to play a role.
Louisville coach Mark Crabtree has questioned himself and his tactics numerous times during his six years at the helm of the Cardinals men’s program.
Roberto Castro sounded a bit confused Feb. 19 as he walked away from the scoring table outside the clubhouse at Ocean Forest Golf Club.
Steven Bowditch can attest to the fact that one event can change one’s life.
Mark James came through when it counted at the Champions Tour’s Ace Group Classic.
Thongchai Jaidee made history on several different fronts in the Malaysian Open. But then again, the 34-year-old former paratrooper is used to setting new standards in Kuala Lumpur.
Teen phenom Paula Creamer struts onto the LPGA stage brimming with confidence and full of high expectations
Vijay Singh smiles after making birdie on the first hole of the PGA playoff. In the end, it was his mammoth, 330-yard drive on that hole that was key to his victory.
Saturday, August 20
The Nissan Open was all about wet and weird. The playoff winner, Adam Scott, declared himself fresh and hardly taxed, not typical after a duel for big cash.
The years advance, the scrapbooks fray at the edges, but the enduring snapshot is practically interchangeable.
But as the Champions Tour begins another season, the here-and-now dovetails quite nicely with the warm nostalgia of days long gone.
The golf industry’s thin ranks of women executives became thinner still as Donna Orender – one of the PGA Tour’s top officers – announced Feb. 15 she was leaving to become president of the WNBA.
Paul Casey was contrite at the Nissan Open and said he wanted to enjoy golf again. Then he went out and missed the cut.
What does the future hold for Annika Sorenstam?
Friday, August 19
It was a wonderful PGA Merchandise Show. It was upbeat and full of optimism.
The slow rain that fell on Day 2 of the PGA Merchandise Show may have dampened spirits of some who trudged between the Orange County Convention Center and nearby hotels.
It’s 5 p.m. on the first day of the PGA Merchandise Show, and Boccieri has been on his feet since the show opened eight hours earlier, subsisting on just a half bottle of water.
Louise Stahle may start baking apple pies and humming the “Star Spangled Banner” before too long in Tempe, Ariz.
When Pablo Martin arrived in Stillwater, Okla., for the first time six months ago, he immediately knew life was going to be different.
Veazey opened the 2005 Nationwide Tour season Jan. 30 with a victory in Panama, not to mention a check for a career-high $94,500.
The official records will read that Nick Dougherty captured his first PGA European Tour event on Sunday, Jan. 30.
When the Champions Tour shows up to Turtle Bay each year, the drama usually centers on who will finish second.
ustin Leonard was beginning to wonder when that next victory was going to come. Now that it has – a little earlier than expected – he wants more.
Where the PGA of America failed, the PGA Tour apparently has succeeded.
At age 75, Arnold Palmer says he feels like a kid again after marrying fiancee Kathleen “Kit” Gawthrop Jan. 26 in an intimate beachside ceremony on Oahu’s North Shore.
The speech has been made before, but it’s being delivered more emphatically: The golf industry needs to embrace women.
Burrows Golf made some of the loudest noise at the 2004 PGA Merchandise Show with a splashy news conference touting its product introductions and a 9,600-square-foot booth that was as busy as it was big.
Thursday, August 18
As if he were mired in some bad movie, Pete Oakley stood on the 17th green at Hualalai Golf Club in the opening round of last week’s MasterCard Championship not believing what he was seeing.
So, you’ve left your perfectly tuned swing at the practice range and can’t find it on the golf course. Happens to everyone. There’s a way out of this common problem, however.
"Marriott doesn’t do resort golf.” That’s how Bob Waller, CGCS, director of grounds for Marriott Golf, explains his company’s refusal to dumb-down its golf courses for the tourist trade.
An unfailingly gracious host. An accomplished player. Unflappable under pressure. Bob Ford is the consummate pro.
Having finished first, second and first in his past three trips to the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai Golf Club, Dana Quigley says there simply is something about the Big Island’s Kona coast that “boils my blood.
Tim Clark has taken quite a liking to Durban Country Club. When the South African Open last was played at Durban in 2002, Clark won the event in his home country.
The Buick Invitational, which used to be a sleepy start to the season, had the look and zeal of a major with top-ranked players as common as the ubiquitous fog banks that hugged the Pacific coast all week.
New PGA European Tour executive director George O’Grady is going to need more announcements like the one he made Jan. 19 in order to stop an exodus of his top players to the PGA Tour.
Three weeks after Ty Votaw announced he will resign as LPGA commissioner at the end of the year, the search for his replacement is taking shape – with one top prospect already pulling her name from consideration.
The 26th Champions Tour season began beneath blue skies in tropical paradise at Hualalai Golf Club, but a dark cloud loomed.
Tuesday, August 16
There is something really strange about the game of golf.
Bandon Dunes pro offers tips on playing in gruff conditions.
Grant Rogers is not your average teaching professional. The worse the weather, the better he likes it.
The PGA Tour has entered into a licensing agreement with WireImage, naming the New York-based photo agency as its exclusive provider of Tour players’ images for commercial use.
Pete Sanchez, president of Fujikura Composites, recalls the first few times he sat in front of customers and informed them that the price for his company’s Speeder shafts would be more than $300.
Price compression is creating unprecedented bargains for consumers, but equipment makers are feeling the squeeze
Attention NCAA Division I players: Don’t feel sorry for Charlotte Campbell.
As Steve Jones made his way to the locker room after finishing his second round at the Sony Open, he stopped momentarily to watch Vijay Singh tee off at the first hole.
The popular local passion play, “Michelle Wie: Sony Open Sequel,” didn’t turn out as well as the 2004 original for the lead character.
Two weeks into the newly minted PGA Tour season, the game’s hottest player was right back where he finished 2004, hoisting yet another trophy and sitting atop the earnings list.
Meadowbrook Golf Group Inc. has failed to follow through on its deal to buy five Tournament Players Club courses for $40 million, a PGA Tour spokesman said.
The Paula Creamer bidding war is over and the path is cleared for her to concentrate solely on her LPGA rookie season.
My playing partner had not teed it up for a couple of months, and it showed.
The next time you think bungalow getaway, think Saddle Creek.
From Kramden to Lauren, Myrtle Beach’s quality catches up to its quantity
A heated bankruptcy dispute has broken out between the company that holds the U.S. license for the Slazenger brand and its business partner.
Tech transfer: Styx club-leasing program borrows from computer business
Bridgestone Golf executives are debuting their Japanese brand in the United States, promoting its rollout during a self-titled “Coming to America” tour.
Standing on the third tee with a commanding seven-stroke advantage, Morgan Pressel appeared primed to win the Harder Hall Invitational in her first attempt.
Some say it was the best season by an amateur since the days of Bobby Jones. Certainly, it was the most impressive showing in the modern era of amateur golf.
The 2005 PGA Tour season began here in paradise with considerable promise. As if on Ponte Vedra’s cue, star power picked up where it left off: High on the marquee all week.
The man who led the 2004 PGA Tour in putting (Stewart Cink) has changed putters.
Talk about baby gifts. The newborns of Princess Grace, Princess Di or Royal Princess Whomever didn’t get a haul like this.
Two veteran golf course designers died during the holiday season.
It was in a bar the other night that I found the elixir for golf’s participation problems, and the difficulty in bringing young people into the game. It came from a couple of college graduates who insisted on buying me a drink.
Mountain lifestyle includes first-class golf
Last year, Angus Moir, global business director for Wilson Golf, talked about 2004 being a time to “steady the ship” and return the struggling equipment maker to profitability.
Through its first year of operation, the PGA Trade-In Network has signed about 1,600 golf courses and stores as members.
David Boardman, a top executive at push cart maker The Bag Boy Co., couldn’t be happier about the news he has been receiving lately.
As Nathan Lashley stood in the fairway at Arizona National Golf Club’s par-5 18th hole, he looked to his right and saw his older sister Brooke.
Not many players include “snowy winters” on their checklist for prospective colleges. Then again, not many NCAA athletes hail from Nakhabino, Russia.
Last year, O’Hern had six top 5s – including three consecutive tournaments – yet didn’t manage a single PGA European Tour victory.
Phil Mickelson moved from here back to the San Diego area three years ago, but you’d never know it from the high decibels at the TPC of Scottsdale.
News flash from the annual meeting of the U.S. Golf Association: The USGA inspection team has been unable to discover any weapons of mass destruction embedded in the modern golf ball.
As Ty Tryon will attest, there’s no substitute for winning.
Initiatives abounded at the Feb. 5 annual meeting of the U.S. Golf Association.
Ty Votaw was not yet 30 years old in 1991 when he began working for the LPGA.