News for Friday, June 30, 2006

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2006: South Africa stuns competition at home

To say it’s a new era in South African women’s golf isn’t saying enough.

2006: Sim a day late, but not $90,000 short

Michael Sim wasn’t about to rush himself when he had a chance to win the Nationwide Tour’s PalmettoPride Classic.

2006: Han just keeps winning

Quick, name the only golfer not named Annika Sorenstam to finish in the top eight on the LPGA money list each of the past three years. If you said Hee-Won Han, you’d be correct.

2006: Practice turns Hack into contender

Picture a top male junior golfer and a vision leaps to mind: Broad shoulders, 28-inch waist, flies it 300 yards, if a little crooked. In short, a Tiger Woods wannabe.

2006: Perserverance personified - Joe Durant

A dominating Sunday performance led Joe Durant to a four-shot triumph and some playful posing with Mickey Mouse on the 18th green at the Funai Classic, and darkness was descending by the time he finally arrived to the interview room at Walt Disney World.

2006: A World of potential - World Golf Village

World Golf Village courses, spa whet the appetite, but dining options fail to please the palate

2006: Potter pursuing perfection

Jessica Potter’s game is anything but ugly. When the sweet-swinging junior at the University of San Francisco practices, perfection is the only option.

2006: Potter pursuing perfection

Jessica Potter’s game is anything but ugly. When the sweet-swinging junior at the University of San Francisco practices, perfection is the only option.

2006: A polished life - Carol Mann

Mann isn’t just another employee at the Hall; she’s a full-fledged member, having been inducted in 1977 after a sometimes brilliant 22-year LPGA career that delivered 38 victories, including the 1965 U.S. Women’s Open.

2006: Preview victory shows Gators still have bite

After losing three All-Americans and having only two sophomore starters returning from last year’s NCAA runner-up team, Florida coach Buddy Alexander knew he would have work to do.

2006: Rising Stars - Golfweek's best new courses

Golfweek’s Best New Courses: Find out why everyone wants to play them.

2006: Na dominates in PGA warmup

Local resident Kevin Na was planning to use the Mark Christopher Charity Classic only as a tune-up. Instead, he turned it into a victory celebration.

2006: Deja vu for Harrington

Four years ago, Padraig Harrington left St. Andrews with the Dunhill Links Championship trophy following a European victory at the Ryder Cup.

2006: Mexico throws fiesta

No matter what the calendar says, thanks to Lorena Ochoa, Oct. 8 was a national holiday in Mexico.

2006: The LPGA’s ‘Miss Personality’ - Marilynn Smith

Marilynn Smith is a lover of words. Indefatigable – a mouthful of an adjective that means incapable of being fatigued – happens to be her favorite. It’s fitting for the LPGA pioneer.

2006: From Fiji To Fame - Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh’s journey to the World Golf Hall of Fame has been long, difficult and so improbable as to resemble fiction.

2006: Davis Love III bounces back

Just seven weeks after being passed over as one of Tom Lehman’s captain’s picks, Davis Love III bounced back in impressive fashion Oct. 8 at Forest Oaks Country Club.

Tease photo

Club-fitting series: Loft and lie

Lofts and lies, if set correctly, form a reliable progression – creating consistent distance gaps between clubs and producing the same shot direction on all normal swings. And no one has a more influential voice in the process than Ed Mitchell.

2006: Courses undergo restorations and renovations

In fits and starts, and sometimes in great leaps, American golf courses are adapting to changing times

2006: Byron Nelson - Golf’s true gentleman

Legends get your attention because they are legends. Kind legends get more than your attention. They get your affection. Byron Nelson was that way.

2006: Revered player, respected mentor - Henry Picard

World Golf Hall of Fame voters must consider not only a player’s competitive record, but also his or her contributions to the game.

2006: Tyler Brewington - Crash course

Tyler Brewington’s story begins in late August with all the potential for tragedy.

2006: Larry Nelson - Late bloomer overlooked no more

As Hall of Fame careers go, Nelson took something of a serpentine path to golf’s most coveted locker room.

2006: Emily Hoeper - Denver eyes spring dance

Emily Hoeper is trying not to get too excited. You can hear it in her voice. The Denver senior knows that this is her last chance to get to the Big Dance

2006: All-time money leader

It often is said that golfers fortunate enough to earn a living on the PGA Tour should never miss an opportunity to thank Arnold Palmer for all he did to make the circuit such a popular and lucrative enterprise. But those fellows also would be wise to express their gratitude to the late Mark H. McCormack.

2006: A Year of Losses

As we cover The Year in Golf 2006 in sheets of shiny wrapping paper and prepare to affix a bright red velvet bow, we close a year that has been defined by great loss.

2006: Golf's Highest - World Hall of Fame

McCormack, Nelson, Picard, Singh and Smith join vaunted roster of game’s stars

2006: Wie’s crossroad: books or links?

Once again, teenage whiz Michelle Wie was sensational but failed to win a tournament and proved she cannot compete against men.

2006: Ochoa relishes success

In a time when so many of golf’s superstars are weary of all that accompanies fame, Ochoa is a refreshing alternative.

2006: Steel going

Debate continues over cast vs. forged irons, but both are better than ever

2006: Woods’ ’06- scary good

In most ways, Tiger Woods’ 2006 season wasn’t quite as good as his spectacular 2000.

2006: Jim Rutledge - Finding his focus

Jim Rutledge is Canadian like maple leafs and cheap meds. Quiet, friendly and unassuming, almost to a fault. After only five minutes with him you have to resist the urge to ask if he knows Bob from Winnipeg, and you realize that, above all else, Rutledge is honest.

Three fall victories have Alabama rising in the ranks

The Crimson Tide men’s golf team has reached heights never before reached in the program’s 55-year history.

2006: LPGA’s Trump card needs a few tweaks

It’s no coincidence that the LPGA’s first million-dollar prize was handed out in Trumptown, where everything that’s anything is over the top.

2006: Furyk shines in Sun City for the second time

Jim Furyk has found a place to pick up some sure-fire extra spending money for the holidays.

2006: Julieta Granada - Million Dollar

Two days after turning 20, Granada shows her worth with LPGA’s biggest prize.

2006: Langers master Father/Son again

Stefan Langer is only in high school, but he now has two victories against some pretty elite fields.

2006: Service lags setting at Torrey

Minutes from smoke-choked Interstate 5 stands a smiling young man in a Tartan kilt, announcing your arrival at the Lodge at Torrey Pines. That faint whispering you hear is the Pacific Ocean.

2006: Green’s final round worth the wait

Sitting and waiting can be a golfer’s worst nightmare. At the Blue Chip New Zealand Open Dec. 3, Nathan Green did plenty of it – thanks to a dream finish.

2006: The lure of retirement

The Adams Golf founder, whose Tight Lies fairway woods created a frenzy among the golfing populace a decade ago, seems utterly at peace in retirement, casting a shrimp fly with a 6-weight fly-rod to a Lucite-smooth pool by a gnarly set of mangrove roots.

2006: Martinez, Mackenzie pairing epitomizes Q-School’s ups and downs

Maru Martinez fist-pumped her way to the finish line Dec. 3 at the final stage of LPGA Q-School.

2006: Barbados Golf

Golf is not the national sport of Barbados, but none of this is to say that Barbados isn’t a fine place to tee it up. After all, this prosperous land, 166 square miles in size, has four 18-hole courses and a pair of nine-holers.

2006: Anthony Kim’s swagger and talent stands out

The dawn of great careers seldom can be pinpointed on a calendar.

2006: Mad science

Craig Bowden’s persistent willingness to experiment has him PGA Tour bound again – with confidence.

2006: U.S. ingenuity helps Holland topple powers

There are 270,000 golfers in the Netherlands, compared with 26 million in the United States. Holland has perhaps 70 regulation golf courses, about the same as New Mexico.

2006: Adam Scott - Into the light

Once haunted by near misses, Adam Scott stepped out of his competitors’ shadows at the Tour Championship.

2006: Island hopping

The perilous par-3 island 17th at TPC Sawgrass, listed somewhat skimpily at 137 yards and playing as short as 123 yards in the third round, took its usual toll at The Players.

2006: A clean car and a lot of class

Englishman Greg Owen noticed something a little different at The Players Championship last week.

2006: From desert Oasis, an organic rebirth

The development team at a southwestern New Mexico golf course believes its organic practices could revolutionize course construction and maintenance. Critics of the project, however, say claims of drastic water savings might be pie in the sky.

2006: Coyote Springs’ plans test the limits

If the developers of Coyote Springs have their way, there soon will be a new city rising in the desert 55 miles north of Las Vegas. With any luck, it will become not only a booming residential area, but also a major golf destination, including a western center for the PGA of America.

2006: Kiawah Island biologist balances needs of golf and government with wildlife

As the first rays of morning sun illuminate Kiawah, there is a flurry of activity by the native inhabitants to stake claims to prime areas along the fringes of the barrier island’s seven luxury golf courses.

2006: Stephen gets even

Some golfers are defined by two numbers. Byron Nelson, 18 and 11. Jack Nicklaus, ’86 and 18. Tiger Woods, a fluid 48 and 10. Jean Van de Velde, 7 and fore.

2006: Wetlands an undervalued resource

Think about the swampy, nondescript areas on golf courses that are marked as water hazards even though they have little or no water in them. Such wetland areas are among the most important, yet most undervalued and least understood parts of the natural environment.

2006: On the road to better fitting equipment

Hot Stix Golf may represent the future of the game, but founder Mark Timms laughs about the first time he heard the name Hot Stix.

2006: The view from ‘The Shack’ - Golf & Environment

It was a beautiful fall day in central Wisconsin, and rather than play golf, I was off with my wife in search of an obscure cabin in the woods.

2006: Call of the Wild - Golf & Environment

While superintendents have long sought to boost wildlife presence on golf courses, the effort did not gain serious national attention until the 1990s with the inception of such programs as the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses and the USGA’s Wildlife Links Program.

2006: Financial revelations for Torrey Pines outrage residents

Soap opera isn’t a term generally associated with golf courses. But San Diego’s high profile Torrey Pines is proving to be an exception to the rule.

2006: Freshman race could go to wire

Brian Harman entered his college career as the most-heralded recruit in the 2005-06 freshman class, and was considered by many to be a virtual lock for NCAA Freshman of the Year honors.

2006: LPGA Million-dollar baby

Julieta Granada stood on the practice green at Trump International and talked about how difficult it can be for international players to get sponsors on tour.

2006: Hidden historical gems dot southeastern Scottish coast

There’s no quibble that six Open Championships were held here, the last in 1889, when the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers pulled up stakes and moved a wee bit east to a little place called Muirfield.