5 Things: Making a difference in Africa
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Stacy Lewis was recently in Rwanda with her mother, Carol, as part of Betsy King’s Golf Fore Africa project. She joined King and LPGA teaching pros Suzanne Strudwick and Susie Corona in aiding the genocide survivors of Rwanda and the AIDS orphans of Lesotho.
“Something (called me) to go there,” Lewis said. “I don’t know why.”
Last week in southern Rwanda, they visited the Uwinkingi Medical Clinic, which was built in 2010 with Golf Fore Africa donations. Her mother, Carol, who is a nurse, imparted her expertise to those who work at the clinic.
In Lesotho, King and company delivered 1,000 AIDS Caregiver Kits and visited the homes of AIDS patients. Lewis brought soccer balls and a pump to the children, sharing her love of sport with those who could use a distraction.
Juli Inkster, Katherine Hull and Reilley Rankin have joined King in Rwanda in the past. More than 60 LPGA players have donated to King’s mission since it began in 2007. Together they have raised over $1.2 million.
It is one of the annual rites of PGA Tour Q-School – the media guide questionnaire. Golf360 sifted through the bios of all 166 finalists, including Bi-o Kim. They are chock full of nuggets, oddities and belly laughs – some intentional and some, well you decide. The question “Not many people know that. . .” is the sweet spot of this exercise in esoteric knowledge.
NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT: Craig Barlow’s cousin is musician Brandon Flowers of the band The Killers. Or that Billy Horschel is a believer in Bigfoot and UFOs. Zack Sucher, who grew up in Mobile, Ala., was the sixth-grade checkers champion. Blake Trimble revealed that his nickname is “Red Dragon.” Chris Epperson can do the robot, and Casey Crain gets pedicures. Ty Tryon is a huge metal music fan and a vegetarian.
Rahil Gangjee wanted to be a jockey (he’s 5’5”). Josh Geary has a mark on his chest “that looks suspiciously like a third nipple.” Eric Onesi never would’ve played golf if not for a blood disorder he was diagnosed with in 1999. Joe Affrunti has a shoe fetish and Travis Hampshire color coordinates his closet. James Hahn? He can fix anything, “even the U.S. economy.”
And Todd Fischer wrote, “I’m not as grumpy as I look.”
Julieta Granada has seen instant change in her golf game since becoming a student of Sean Foley three months ago. Granada, a former U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, had missed nine consecutive cuts this season before joining forces with Foley. In her first tournament as his student, the P&G NW Arkansas Championship, Granada shot a second-round 66 en route to a tie for 32nd.
“Everything that I have sort of been trying not to do my whole life, he tells me go ahead and do it,” Granada said. “It’s nice to just let loose.”
Granada entered the LPGA Tour Championship 104th on the money list, and was double-booked for the Ladies European Tour’s season finale in Dubai and LPGA Q-School last week. But she jumped to 95th on the money list after a 22nd in the LPGA finale, securing the same status that a top-20 finish at Q-School would merit.
With the ability to play Dubai, her sixth event on the LET, Granada also could keep her card in Europe.
European Tour chief executive George O’Grady might be imitating Tom Cruise in the movie “Jerry MaGuire.”
O’Grady might be saying “show me the money” quite a bit next year as he seeks a new sponsor for the tour’s end of season championship.
For the last two years, the Dubai World Championship has provided an exciting finish to the European Tour. However, next season is the last installment after Dubai World decided to pull out two years early of a five-year deal.
Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy went head-to-head in 2009 for the Order of Merit title, while Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell provided the excitement this year. O’Grady needs to cash in on two successful years to attract the sort of blue-chip sponsor fitting of a tour championship.
It seems ages ago that Phillip Price stood tall in world golf.
In 2002 the Welshman played a huge part in helping Europe defeat the United States in the Ryder Cup. Price took down Phil Mickelson in singles play at The Belfry to help Sam Torrance’s team win.
Eight years later and Price isn’t looking like much of a world-beater. The 44-year-old has averaged 139th on the European money list over the last five seasons, and hasn’t won since 2003. He has taken his place on the European Tour courtesy of being in the top 40 on the career money list but no longer fits in that category.
He finished 100th in Europe this year, and starts this season hoping to get his career back on track.