Greater Milwaukee Open, Brown Deer Park Golf Course, Milwaukee
In the last three GMOs, Scott Hoch (below) has two wins, Loren
Roberts a win and a second
Safeway Championship, Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland
1997 U.S. Open champ Alison Nicholas has won two of her three
LPGA titles in Portland
Emerald Coast Classic, The Moors Golf Club, Milton, Fla.
Nobody coasts at the Emerald--playoffs have determined the winners
of all three Classics
Canon European Masters, Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Course,
Defending champion Costantino Rocca knows every cranny of the
Cheesy State Of the Game
Golf has gone Wisconcentric. Edgerton's Steve Stricker nearly won
the PGA, while Milwaukee native Skip Kendall tied for 10th.
Madison's Sherri Steinhauer took home the trophy at last month's
Women's British Open and earned a spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup
team. Now the state's fans have badgered two-time U.S. Open champ
Andy North, also of Madison, into coming down from the Senior
tour's TV booth to play in the Greater Milwaukee Open. Other
favorite sons on hand will be Madison's Jerry Kelly--whose wife,
Carol, gave birth to a son, Cooper Patrick, during the PGA--and
Appleton's J.P. Hayes, who tied for third at Pebble Beach. Barry
Cheesman? Sorry, he's from Illinois.
ABC, SATURDAY, 1:30 PM; SUNDAY, 4 PM
No Safe Way to Follow Up a Banner Year
Chris Johnson birdied the final two holes to win last year's
Safeway Championship and its $82,500 first prize. That
performance and her triumph at the '97 LPGA Championship helped
push her earnings for the year to $722,330, more than three times
what she had made in any of her other 18 seasons on tour. This
year, however, Johnson has returned to earth. Though she made the
Solheim Cup squad, she is winless and stands 20th on the money
list. A successful defense at Columbia Edgewater might rejuvenate
the 39-year-old Johnson's career, but to bag the Safeway she will
have to contend with Se Ri Pak and Karrie Webb, whose combined
age is 43.
Here's Where Aoki Proved He's A-O.K.
Isao Aoki, runner-up to Jack Nicklaus at the 1980 U.S. Open, had
finished second five times on the Senior tour in '97 when he
arrived at the Emerald Coast Classic. A first-round 71 left him
eight strokes off the lead, but he responded with a tour-record
60 the following day and closed with a 65 on Sunday. That was
just enough to force a sudden-death playoff with Gil Morgan,
which Aoki won with a par on the second extra hole. Watch Aoki,
Morgan and red-hot Hale Irwin reel off more birds this weekend at
the Moors, where par is fast becoming an endangered species. Last
September the oldsters set a Senior tour scoring record there by
averaging only 69.4 strokes per round.
GOLF CHANNEL, SAT., 5:30 PM; SUN., 2:30 PM