Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Friday, October 28, 2005
The next thing you know, they will be wanting to turn James Bond into Jane Bond. There are some things, you just shouldn't change.
Jean Van de Velde, famous for losing a British Open, says he wants to play in the women's equivalent at Royal Birkdale next year.
The Frenchman, who let slip the 1999 championship at Carnoustie by running up a triple-bogey seven at the 72nd hole, is unhappy at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club's (R & A) recent decision to allow women to qualify for the British Open.
"It's crazy that women should be allowed to try to qualify for our Open when men cannot do it for their Open," Van de Velde told reporters after struggling to a seven-over-par 78 in the first round of the Volvo Masters.
"I intend to make a stance. What kind of discrimination is this?
"I think it is a farce and those poor guys who won the British Open three or four times must be spinning in their graves."
Van de Velde intends to contact the Ladies Golf Union (LGU), governing body for the Women's British Open, to insist he gets a chance to qualify, even though he knows their rule is that any participant must be "of the female gender".
"I am definitely going to approach them (the LGU) to get an application form," he said.
Van de Velde appreciates he would have a huge golfing advantage over the women.
"I know we have an unfair advantage, so if we have an unfair advantage, let them play with themselves and let us play with ourselves."
Earlier this month, the R & A ruled that the top five women from each of their four majors will be allowed to enter regional qualifying for the 2006 British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
But Van de Velde believes the R & A have more important issues, like testing players for drugs, to address than allowing women to play in British Open qualifying.
"I definitely anticipate my entry form being accepted (by the LGU) because if it doesn't then I will definitely take advice on what I can do about it and I will see how far it can go," he said.
"If they do allow me to, I'd definitely go and play, just to make a point. I would be very happy to use the ladies' locker-room.
"Where do we draw the line? If we allow women to try to qualify for the men's Open it implies women can play with men, so why not men playing with women?"
Former Ryder Cup player Barry Lane of Britain applauded Van de Velde's stance, saying "they (the R & A) are going overboard".
Lane added: "If 100 men decided to take the same stance and they all qualified off the ladies' tees, they could take most of the Women's British Open spots."
Thursday, October 27, 2005
SOTOGRANDE, Spain -- Colin Montgomerie moved closer to winning the European Tour money title, shooting a 4-under-par 67 Thursday for a share of the first-round lead in the Volvo Masters. The Scot was tied with defending tournament champion Ian Poulter. Montgomerie holed a 111-yard wedge for an eagle on the par-5 eighth and birdied the last hole on the 6,952-yard Valderrama course. "It's always lucky," Montgomerie said. "It was a wedge of 111 yards. I hit it 112 and it backed into the hole. You intend to hole it but it's always lucky when it comes off."
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell had a 72 was 23rd in the 55-man field. Montgomerie, trying for his eighth career Order of Merit title and his first since 1999, leads Campbell by $182,000. The New Zealander is the only player who can catch Montgomerie, but must finish ahead of him here to do so. Luke Donald, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia shared third place after 68s. He struck his approach to 8 feet at the first hole and made a birdie. He gained another shot at the second hole when Campbell bogeyed from a bunker, and birdied the third from 18 feet.
English Ryder Cup player Poulter is trying to extend his streak of winning one title every year since 2000.
Montgomerie, second in the British Open and winner of the Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews last month, made a superb start to his round. "The first hole was crucial," Montgomerie said. "I was anxious, obviously. I felt anxiety which was understandable. But I got rid of that in the first three holes." He dropped two shots when Campbell birdied the long fourth hole and Montgomerie bogeyed the sixth after driving into the rough and hitting into a greenside bunker. "That was a good bogey," Montgomerie said. "When I saw the lie in the bunker with a big tree in the way, I was looking at a double. I was lucky." He immediately birdied the short sixth hole from 30 feet, and the eagle at the eighth gave him a four-shot edge on Campbell.
"It wasn't great, it wasn't brilliant," Campbell said of his round. "All credit to Monty. He played great today. "It's a very fickle golf course. I've just got to be patient the next three days and pick up some ground."
Montgomerie said Bernhard Langer's decision to pick him as a wild card for last year's Ryder Cup was responsible for his current form. "Bernhard gave me an opportunity," said Montgomerie, who sank the winning putt in Europe's 18½ to 9½ victory at Oakland Hills. "That was a crucial move on his part for my career, because it was going in one direction -- the wrong direction."
Vijay Singh +3 --- Not having a good year
Sean O'Hair +2 --- Announcers have named him Rookie of the Year
Carlos Franco +1 --- Always one to watch, he's had a good last few months
Jason Gore E --- He's on a roll
David Toms +1 --- I would feel more comfortable if he was taking it easy before his surgery
John Cook E --- Good round for a part time announcer
Justin Rose -1 --- He's had a good year, especially good last few months. Friendly to the fans
Brandt Jobe -1 --- He always seems to be in the hunt on Sunday. A good one to watch
Lucas Glover -3 --- Last week's winner. he should have a good couple of rounds.
Retief Goosen -4 --- Watch him because he's 4 in the world.
Tom Lehman -4 --- I think this might be a very good round for him.
Jeff Brehaut -6 --- Leader
Who will be there on Sunday competing for a win? It's hard to tell. Retief and Vijay would surprise me if they were there. After the year they've had, I'm not sure I can be confident about them. There are a lot of players who need good showings so it's really difficult to pick a favorite to root for.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Sergio got some practice today answering my phone. I came home to two messages. One of them was a telemarketer selling, rather ironically, satellite dishes and the other was a hang-up. I think it's absurd that I have the number for only one day and I'm getting telemarketer calls. I swear I think the phone company sells our phone numbers to these call centers.
Monday, October 24, 2005
When I get time I will get caught up on all the golf news and probably post some comments. It's good that the PGA tour saw another first time winner this past week and the Funai tournament. He called Judy Rankin "ma'am". I thought that was so cute. Those southern boys have such good manners. You know his parents and grandparents are proud :)
I do find it odd that Tiger Woods would miss a cut in a tournament that produced such low scoring.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Well, I'm off now to get an update on Michelle Wie..............
Monday, October 10, 2005
I updated the spotlight section over in the sidebar. Check it out.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Sergio did do well and ended up tied for 3rd. He could have done better but did have some really good moments, like the eagle on the 7th hole.
Colin Montgomerie was even par on the day, which was kind of surprising. I would have expected him to be at least one under on the final round.
It looks like 67 was the lowest round of the day and several people made that score, including Tiger Woods who won in a playoff with John Daly. Nike really does need to get started on those gallery helmets I mentioned in a previous post. I think that last putt that Daly missed was just a mental error. Maybe he was thinking of the next hole and didn't stop to think that if he missed that putt there wouldn't be a next hole. It was over really quickly.
Finally, I am very pleased that Henrick Stenson was 2 under on his round and ended up tied for 3rd. Yesterday I suggested he might do well today. Apparently my jinxing ability favors Furyk :)
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Tomorrow will be very exciting. I don't know if Montgomerie will have a really good round. I don't think he'll be more than 2 under. John Daly is probably in the best position. He's been 3 under pretty much every round. I don't think he would have a bad round tomorrow. As for Sergio, it doesn't seem to me like there might be a low round in him for tomorrow. I'd say if he's 1 or 2 under, that might be a good round for him.. Tiger hasn't had a really low round or a really high round yet, so he's due for one or the other. The two players to watch will be Furyk and Stenson - Furyk for his accuracy and putting, and Stenson because he's a European Tour guy and the conditions favor him.
Now that I've gone out on this limb and forecasted Sunday's round, the Golf Gods will go out of their way to make me wrong. Have at it. I'd love to be wrong about Sergio and see him win this thing :)
Friday, October 07, 2005
San Jose Mercury News
SAN FRANCISCO - Give golfer David Toms credit. In a sports world full of comebacks - from losses, slumps, injuries - he has done something much more dramatic.
At 38, Toms is returning from a literally heart-stopping health scare.
"It's really not that big a deal," Toms insisted before proceeding to nonchalantly recount the harrowing scene last month when he slumped to the ground at the 84 Lumber Classic in Farmington, Pa., his heartbeat racing out of control, fearful he was about to die.
Not a big deal?
"Well," he conceded, "it was just a really scary thing."
But Toms, who spent two days in the hospital and will have what he calls a minor surgical procedure next month, will be in the 71-player field on Thursday when the American Express Championship tees off at San Francisco's Harding Park municipal course.
And if dealing with his heart condition wasn't enough, Toms has been busy trying to help mend the broken hearts of hurricane victims in his native Louisiana. His charitable foundation has raised about $1 million to assist people ravaged by the Katrina and Rita storms.
"It's unbelievable how everybody has been affected down there," Toms said.
"Unbelievable" might also be a good description for how quickly Toms returned to the golf course. It was just three weeks ago that he was stricken.
Toms, an 11-time PGA Tour winner, has been enjoying another stellar season. He's No.4 on the money list with earnings of $3.66million. But on Sept.15, he made headlines of a different kind.
Married with two young children, Toms knew he had a rapid-heartbeat condition - he has had about a half-dozen episodes over the past four years. He also had a routine physical two weeks before the 84 Lumber tournament, and was pronounced in good health. But on the course that day, his heart began racing and wouldn't stop. He clutched his chest and dropped to one knee.
"I was scared because I didn't know what it was," Toms said. "I didn't know if I was going to be OK. I wondered if I might die. My family wasn't there. But I did have my trusty caddie by my side."
Toms said he was unsure if his caddie, Scott Gneiser, knew CPR. And he didn't want to find out, either.
"I don't think I would let him that close enough to do CPR," Toms joked.
The humor might come easy now as he downplays the incident, but at that moment the situation was deadly serious. In the ambulance, paramedics administered a drug that momentarily stopped and then restarted his heart. When he was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital, an administrator there reported erroneously that Toms' condition was critical - news that immediately was flashed around the country on ESPN. In truth, Toms was stable - but terrified.
"The doctors were at a loss about what was happening until the tests came back," Toms said. "Looking back on it, it honestly just wasn't that big a deal. It happens to people every day. I was lucky that I had good care right away."
He was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, a non-life-threatening condition that is being regulated with medication. A week later, he was playing with the victorious U.S. squad at the Presidents Cup competition in Virginia. (He set off a security alarm during a team visit to the White House because of radioactive residue in his body from medical tests.)
On Nov.17, he'll undergo a procedure at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to repair the damaged nerves that cause the rapid heartbeat. Just don't ask him too many details.
"You'll have better luck looking it up on the Internet and telling me about it," Toms said. "I'm sure I'll be a little worried about it that week because anytime somebody messes with your heart, it makes you think. But right now, it really doesn't concern me."
Maybe that's because he has so much else on his mind. Monday, he hosted a charitable golf tournament in Birmingham, Ala., for his foundation, which benefits abused, abandoned and underprivileged children. Ever since Katrina struck Aug.29, Toms, who lives in Shreveport, La., has used the foundation to raise money for the displaced.
"Helping kids is something that's near and dear to us, so we're trying to directly help families with young kids who have been affected," said Toms, who attended Louisiana State.
On the course, Toms is able to block everything out and concentrate on golf. He likes his chances this week because he thrives on courses with traditional layouts - like Harding Park.
But he's also looking forward to the season's end, getting his heart problem resolved and preparing for what he would like to be a quiet 2006.
"Hopefully next year will have less newsworthy events, other than playing good golf."
As for Tiger Woods, I just have one thing to say. He knows the cameras are always on him, so can't he find some milder cuss word to use when he misses a shot? Little kids look up to him and since kids grow up fast anyway, wouldn't it be nice to have one aspect of their lives that could actually expose them to well behaved sportsmen to teach things like fair play and grace in the face of adversity? It would be great if all these kids grew up to be successful, rich athletes, but most will end up working in offices with many different types of people. Currently where I work, we have some co-workers who use the most vile cuss words to describe customers and other co-workers in other offices. It's embarrassing to be represented by these people. I have never used a cuss word out loud at work. Not only do I think it's just plain inappropriate in an office setting, I don't think it shows respect for the co-workers who might be very religious and could be very offended by hearing those kinds of words.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
(And there is not one ounce of sarcasm in this post. All of this is absolutely sincere.)
Honolulu, HI (Sports Network) - Michelle Wie has announced her decision to become a professional golfer.
Wie, who will turn 16 years old next Tuesday, will play her first tournament as a professional at the LPGA Tour's Samsung World Championship, which starts October 13 in Palm Desert, California.
"I'm happy to say that I'm a pro as of today," Wie said in making the announcement. "I'm really excited for everything to come and for next week, as my first tournament [as a pro]. It's all very exciting."
Wie has also inked endorsement deals with both Nike and Sony, each worth a reported $5 million a year. She will wear Nike apparel and will play the company's clubs.
Sony, of course, gave her sponsor's exemptions into the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii the past two years. She will compete against men as a professional for the first time next month at the Casio World Open in Japan.
Wie missed the cut in PGA Tour events this year at the Sony Open and John Deere Classic, but had a strong LPGA Tour campaign playing on exemptions.
In seven events, she finished no worse than tied for 23rd and was the runner- up at the LPGA Championship. She also tied for 14th at the Nabisco Championship, tied for second at the Evian Masters in France and tied for third at the Women's British Open.
Despite her success, Wie still plans to continue her education.
"My first priority is school," Wie added. "I know that I am going to graduate high school and hope to achieve my goal of graduating college."
Wie cannot officially join the LPGA Tour until she turns 18 years old, but can play as many as eight events in each of the next two years on exemptions. She is also expected to continue playing against men on PGA Tour sponsor exemptions.
She has also decided to donate $500,000 to victims of the recent hurricanes.