The Week March 2-8

March 15, 1999

Star-Lite? Sit Tight

Just when you thought it was safe to break out the cynicism, the
soddy theater of Steve Elkington, Ernie Els and Greg Kraft saved
Doral from the clutches of college basketball. In '99 even the
Tour's "off weeks" turn interesting. For the World Match Play: a
38th-hole chip-in. For Tucson: 18th-hole disaster, followed by
sudden death. For Doral: apparent sudden death, preempted by a
pair of 18th-hole disasters. Not a bad run, without Tiger Woods
or David Duval.

PGA Steve Elkington's six consecutive birdies en route to a
one-stroke victory at Doral was the best such streak on Tour
this year. The last player to make seven straight was Kirk
Triplett, at the '96 Buick Invitational. Dewey Arnette, Bob
Goalby and Fuzzy Zoeller share the record, with eight.... Tiger
Woods ended speculation about the future of his caddie, Mike
(Fluff) Cowan, by announcing on Monday, "Fluff and I both feel
it is in our best interests to part ways." The '97 Masters champ
has hired Steve Williams, a veteran looper from Australia who
has worked for Raymond Floyd for the last dozen years and Greg
Norman before that.... Norman became the first golfer to surpass
the $12 million mark in career earnings when he won $29,000 for
finishing 19th at Doral.... David Toms, whose final-round 64 at
last year's Masters was one off the Augusta National course
record, opened his final round at Doral eagle-eagle-birdie en
route to a 67 and a tie for third.

LPGA Karrie Webb, whose new cross-handed style has vaulted her
to No. 2 in putting this year (up from 49th in '98) and helped
produce two wins, will play the next two weeks in preparation
for the March 25-28 Dinah Shore. Webb has never won a major....
Arizona State sophomore Grace Park is scheduled to play in two
of the next three events on the LPGA tour, but not this week's
Welch's Circle K Championship at Randolph North in Tucson. Park
shot 66-69-71 last month on that course to win the Arizona
Invitational, a collegiate event. Her 206 total would have put
her either in the lead or within two shots of it going into the
final round in three of the last four Welch's.

SENIOR Gil Morgan's 67-65 at Los Cabos, Mexico, in the Senior
Slam were his first sub-70 rounds since he shot a final-round 68
at the American Express Invitational on Feb. 14, but because the
event is unofficial the rounds won't help his 71.33 scoring
average (22nd on the tour), nor will the $300,000 he took home
improve his rank on the money list (21st, $101,180). Morgan won
the four-player event by two over Hale Irwin, with Larry Nelson
and Jay Sigel another five shots back.

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY JIM GUND Ticket, please To rehabilitate his surgically replaced hip, Jack Nicklaus went for a stroll at Doral to watch his son Gary play the Blue Monster.

UP and Down

18th at Doral Ernie Els, Greg Kraft
Steve Williams Fluff Cowan
Senior tour rookies PGA Tour rookies
Raymond Floyd Robert Floyd
Australians on Tour Europeans on Tour

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)