A diverse U.S. team used guts and giggles to win back the Curtis
This is an article from the Aug. 10, 1998 issue
Jenny Chuasiriporn and Beth Bauer were the newsmakers going into
the 30th biennial Curtis Cup match between America's best female
amateurs and a team from Great Britain and Ireland, but the kids
weren't the story. Cup vets Kellee Booth and Brenda Corrie Kuehn
led a 10-8 U.S. victory that brought the Cup stateside for the
first time since 1990, giving the U.S. a 21-6-3 lead in the
The home team at the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis was a
mismatched set, a combination of seasoned amateurs and
youngsters like Chuasiriporn and Bauer. Four players were 33 or
older; the other four were under 23. Last month her teammates
voted to postpone a four-day practice to stay in Wisconsin and
root for Chuasiriporn in her U.S Open playoff. Her sunny,
why-worry take on golf set the team's attitude. "The Open was
great," she says. "Se Ri Pak and I were polite to each other,
but we didn't talk until the end, when I said, 'Jump in the
water.' I was going to jump in if I won, but Se Ri wouldn't do
"With four young players and four mature ones, we were a good
fit," said Carol Semple Thompson, 49, when the Cup was won. "I
didn't intimidate them." As if. Even the veterans were so loose
that Corrie Kuehn, 33, said, "I laughed and giggled all week."
Chuasiriporn and Bauer, the 18-year-old U.S. Junior champ who
will join Jenny at Duke this fall, didn't live up to their
clippings. "It's tough when you have everyone in your face,
saying, 'Win it for us, win it for us,' Chuasiriporn said. She
and Bauer went a combined 1-4-1, dropping both of their matches
as a team in the foursomes competition. They were benched on
Sunday, but when Corrie Kuehn knocked in a four-footer to clinch
the Cup, the first embrace she got was a strange four-armed one.
It was Chuasiriporn and Bauer, striking for a simultaneous
victory hug, their best team-up all week. --Bobby Cuza
Watch L.A. Liaw
The number is 12. That's how far under par Henry Liaw (rhymes
with pow) went at the par-70 Alhambra (Calif.) Golf Course
during a junior tournament on July 14. Twelve is also his age.
Henry, who hails from Rowland Heights, a Los Angeles suburb a
few strip malls from Tiger Woods's boyhood home in Cypress,
clouts 260-yard drives and chases birdies like a Tiger cub. Two
weeks after his 58 broke the course record at Alhambra, he fired
a course-record 65 on the Babe Zaharias Course at Industry
Hills, a track so tough that Tom Watson once said amateurs
shouldn't be allowed to play there. "I try to hit it straight
like Justin Leonard. He's my favorite," says Henry, who won his
age bracket at the Junior World Championships in San Diego last
month. So fearless is he that during his 58, he kept score by
shouting "That's eight!" and "That's nine!" as his birdies piled
Henry's father, Nick, who owns an auto-parts warehouse, came to
the U.S. from Taiwan with wife Cindy in 1978. Nick, who doesn't
play golf, calls the game "good for kids because it trains them
to be patient and to respect others." He also believes that "the
green of the grass protects their eyes." His 5'5", 130-pound
son, whose training table holds plenty of burgers and strawberry
ice cream, had his eyes and putter working last Friday in
Pasadena. Henry won the Eaton Canyon Junior Tournament, the
latest of his 30-plus junior titles. Of the inevitable
comparisons to Woods, Henry says, "He's better than me." So far.
In business as in golf, the penalty for signing an incorrect
scorecard can be stiff. Jack Nicklaus learned that lesson last
week when shareholders sued his publicly traded company, Golden
Bear Golf Inc., for misstating its 1997 earnings. The suit was
filed in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach, Fla., on July
28, the day after New York's NASDAQ exchange suspended trading
in Golden Bear stock (symbol: JACK). Golden Bear touched off the
crisis when it issued a restatement of its '97 earnings. Instead
of a $2.9 million loss, as originally reported, the company now
says it lost $24.7 million. Its stock, which traded at $22.50
four days after the firm went public in 1996, dipped to $4
before trading of it was halted.
The crisis doesn't mean that the Bear is broke. Nicklaus's
private company, Golden Bear International, retains his
endorsement income and his profitable course-design business.
But he owns 54% of his public company's approximately 5.6
million shares. The arthritic hip that has hampered Nicklaus
lately may hurt less than the roughly $50 million on paper that
his tumbling stock has cost him since '96. Most painful of all,
perhaps, is the wound to his immense pride. Still, the business
of rehabilitating his business has begun. "All the bad news is
out," says a Golden Bear executive.
THE SHAG BAG
Long Gone: John Daly (below) went OB-DQ-AWOL last Saturday at
the TPC at Southwind, where he owns a house and where he drew
the lion's share of the FedEx St. Jude Classic's galleries. On
the 17th hole Daly hit a five-iron out-of-bounds, missed the
green with his next ball, then snapped his five-iron in half. He
double-bogeyed the hole, doubled 18 and stormed away without
signing his scorecard. He was disqualified.
Shooting 32: "Anger doesn't work in golf," says the host of last
Monday's Jim Brown Celebrity Classic in Bel-Air, Calif. Brown
shot 115 when he first played golf in 1957, his rookie year in
the NFL. He quit football in '66 because he "wanted more mental
stimulation," but the veteran of 35 films, most recently Spike
Lee's He Got Game, is overstimulated on the course. "I am
exhausted after a round--it takes so much concentration to putt
well," says Brown, who now breaks 80 and calls Mark O'Meara a
role model. "He's calm and unassuming. We should all be like him."
He's Dune Fine: John Maginnes won last week's Nike Dakota Dunes
(S.Dak.) Open, which featured a $325,000 purse, the tour's
biggest ever, and left Maginnes festooned with $58,500 in Dunes
doubloons. Casey Martin, who missed the cut, has fallen to 25th
on the money list, which is led by Joe Ogilvie. Sunday's win
boosted Maginnes from 34th to fifth.
Green Days: Bob Green, the longtime AP golf writer who covered
more than 1,000 tournaments, died of cancer last week. He was 66.
Bench Mark: Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench came in 72nd
behind winner Gil Morgan at the Utah Showdown, his first start
on the Senior tour. Bench hit for the cycle last Friday,
touching every number from 2 through 7 during one six-hole
stretch. "I think I can bring a lot to a tournament," says
Bench, who brings his scoring average of 77 to this week's
Burnet Senior Classic.
Draft Notice: Donnie Hammond was bending to take his ball from
the cup on the 11th green at Southwind when, he says, "I heard a
big sound that was not a good sound." His pants had ripped wide
open. "It made me feel a little cooler, though." Hammond
apologized to his gallery and breezed to a 50th-place finish.
Starr to Seek Grass Stains: Taking a break from the Sexgate
scandal, Bill Clinton played the Atlantic Golf Club in
Bridgehampton, N.Y., last Saturday. After spending the night at
Steven Spielberg's house, the President reportedly made two
birdies during his round, then zipped off in a limo. His
motorcade halted when Christie Brinkley stepped out of her Sag
Harbor house to wave. The First Golfer paused to pose with the
supermodel and her infant daughter. "Baby's first photo op,"
Brinkley's husband, Peter Cook, called it.
Luckless Landlords of Sahalee
Roger Nakanishi's deck overlooks Sahalee Country Club in
Redmond, Wash. Nakanishi planned to rent his house for
$50,000--tickets, parking, catering and maid included--during
next week's PGA Championship, but has had no takers. "If I can't
get at least $15,000, I won't rent it," says Nakanishi, a
dentist. "I've got friends, family members and patients who'd
love to see the PGA." About a dozen players will rent houses at
Sahalee next week, but according to the community association,
none will pay more than $4,000. Homeowners "had dollar signs in
their eyes," says PGA coordinator Diane Seppa, "but most of the
players booked hotels." Real estate agent Pam Bain at least
learned an intriguing bit of trivia. "It's amazing how many of
the golfers or their immediate families are allergic to cat
hair," says Bain. Top cat Tiger Woods is expected to curl up at
the gated estate of his buddy Ken Griffey Jr.
JACK NEWTON, a.k.a. Newt the Beaut, was the hard-drinking Aussie
who drained a 15-foot birdie putt in sudden death to beat Mike
Sullivan in the 1978 Buick Open. It was his first and last Tour
victory. On July 24, 1983, Newton and friends were at Sydney
Airport when he walked into the propeller of a small plane.
Newton lost his right arm and right eye. Jack Nicklaus, Gary
Player and others made a get-well video and held a fund-raiser
for Newton, who spent three days in a coma and eight weeks in
intensive care. In the end he did more than survive. He learned
to write with his left hand and covered sports for Australian
newspapers. He founded a junior golf foundation, became a TV
golf commentator and is now the chairman of the Australasian PGA
Tour--all without losing sight of his beloved Newcastle Knights
rugby team, whose emblem is etched in the pupil of his glass eye.
The 12-man Presidents Cup teams will be chosen in early November.
David Duval 1 Ernie Els
Tiger Woods 2 Nick Price
Jim Furyk 3 Greg Norman
Mark O'Meara 4 Jumbo Ozaki
Justin Leonard 5 Vijay Singh
Scott Hoch 6 Steve Elkington
Fred Couples 7 S. Maruyama
Davis Love III 8 Stuart Appleby
Lee Janzen 9 Carlos Franco
Phil Mickelson 10 Frank Nobilo
M. Calcavecchia 11 F. Minoza
Tom Lehman 12 Mark McNulty
These players lead the race for spots on the 12-woman U.S. and
European teams at the Sept. 18-20 Solheim Cup.
Kelly Robbins 1 H. Alfredsson
Donna Andrews 2 T. Johnson
Chris Johnson 3 A. Nicholas
Pat Hurst 4 Laura Davies
Dottie Pepper 5 M. de Lorenzi
Brandie Burton 6 L. Fairclough
Juli Inkster 7 Maria Hjorth
Betsy King 8 J. Morley
Tammie Green 9 A. Sorenstam
Meg Mallon 10 R. Carriedo
Rosie Jones 11 P.M. LeBouc
Barb Mucha 12 Lisa Hackney
Top 10 finishes by Mark O'Meara in his 15 tries at the PGA
Championship. O'Meara has missed seven PGA cuts; his best showing
is a tie for sixth in 1995.
What do these players have in common?
Davis Love III
They are the only players to win the PGA Championship by five or
more strokes. Nicklaus won by seven in 1980, Price by six in '94
and Love by five in '97.