5 Things: In the name of love

Martin Kaymer and girlfriend Allison Micheletti after he won the 2010 PGA Championship.

Martin Kaymer withdrew from this week’s Chevron World Challenge just after winning the European Tour money title Sunday in Dubai. He cited fatigue, but maybe he figured he had enough cash to count than to travel to California for the $5 million event hosted by Tiger Woods.

Or perhaps, it was love.

The PGA Championship winner is in Spain to caddie for his girlfriend, Allison Micheletti, as she goes through a pre-qualifier on the Ladies European Tour.

Micheletti, from Arizona, shot an opening-round 89 on Monday without Kaymer on the bag, but fared a bit better with a 76 on Tuesday when he took over duties. Currently tied for 62nd after a 75 Wednesday, Micheletti doesn’t appear to be heading to the final stage in December, though.

After Thursday’s final round, the top 35 players and ties will advance. Caroline Hedwall of Sweden leads the event at 11-under 206.

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Peter O’Malley

Australia’s Peter O’Malley says a new technique is helping him on the greens. Let’s just say it requires a bit of trust.

O’Malley used an eyes shut approach to win the New South Wales Open last week, and plans to continue using the approach at this week’s Australian Open.

“I started practicing with my eyes closed to get some good feel,” O’Malley said. “I thought I’d just try it on the short putts just to take away a bit of the visual anxiety.

“Long-range (putts) have never been an issue for me. But just the short-range sort of stuff from probably five feet in. I just close my eyes, and just try and keep my head still and listen for it to go in.”

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Andrew Butterfield

This is a case of the haves and have-nots.

England’s Andrew Butterfield capped a miserable season when he missed his European Tour card recently at the second stage of European Tour Qualifying.

The Englishman had to return to Q-School after a season he would like to forget. While Martin Kaymer topped the European Tour with €4,461,011, averaging €202,773 from 22 tournaments, Butterfield was considerably worse.

The 38-year-old Englishman finished 296th on the European Order of Merit with just €4,950 from 27 events. That’s an average of €183 per event. The entire €4,950 actually came in one tournament, the Hassan II Trophy. He missed the cut in his other 26 tournaments.

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Stuart Appleby is a car enthusiast so it was with some satisfaction on Friday in Melbourne that he was able to out race a Lamborghini – using a Callaway Diablo Octane driver.

In the promotional event, the Lamborghini, from a rolling start, accelerated from 100 km/h to 220 km/h in 3.7 seconds as it chased Appleby’s drive down the Sandown dragstrip. The golfer barely took the honors.

“I actually thought I’d win quite easily, but it was a borderline call,” Appleby told the Australian.

Appleby knows a thing or two about the famed car – he has one in his garage.

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Skip Kendall during the 2010 Puerto Rico Open.

Skip Kendall, who is competing this week in his seventh PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, really detests the pressure-cooker event. In fact, he can’t even bare to watch Q-School coverage on TV.

Said Kendall bluntly: “I don’t want to be near it.”

That doesn’t mean the tournament, which started Wednesday in Orlando, isn’t good television drama. Viewers get to see raw emotions as players achieve long-time dreams or suffer heartbreak.

Just don’t expect Kendall to watch it. He distances himself from the event anyway he can.

“Even the times when (Q-School) was in Orlando, and I live here, I wouldn’t go to the course,” Kendall said. “I wouldn’t even come to the equipment trailers if they wanted me to come out to do some testing. I’d say, ‘You have to come to me. I don’t want to be anywhere near the place.’ It just gives you the heebie-jeebies.”

Q-School used to not be the media spectacle that it is today. Sure, it used to attract some local newspaper writers. Then the Golf Channel started televising the event in 1995. Now, thanks to the Internet and sites such as Twitter, followers can get constant, real-time updates on all the successes and failures that make Q-School so dramatic.

As if there wasn’t enough stress.

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