COMEBACKS KEEP COMING
Ben Hogan would have appreciated the '99 season. First, Steve
Elkington wins at Doral a year after nasal surgery, then Jose
Maria Olazabal (feet) and Greg Norman (shoulder) go one-two in
the Masters. Now we get a tripleheader of comebacks: Jack
Nicklaus debuts his bionic hip, Beth Daniel (rotator cuff) fires
a record nine straight birdies, and Olin Browne, coming off
surgery on his left arm, conquers Colonial.
PGA Browne won despite ranking 38th in putting with an average
of 1.77 putts per green hit in regulation, the worst numbers in
that statistical category by a winner this year. For the season
Browne is 178th of the 183 players listed in the stat.... In his
previous six years on Tour, the longest Phil Mickelson has had
to wait for his first win was seven starts. He is 0 for 13 in
'99.... The low round of '98 was 62. Last week's
course-record-tying 61 by Greg Kraft was the fourth round of 61
or better this season.
LPGA Japanese rookie Akiko Fukushima's first tour win, at the
Philips Invitational in Austin, came one year after Se Ri Pak of
South Korea won the first title of her rookie season, the LPGA
Championship.... For the first time in her life, Daniel had to
go through qualifying to get into next week's U.S. Open at Old
Waverly in West Point, Miss.
SENIOR Tom Jenkins, who made the Bell Atlantic Classic outside
Philadelphia his first Senior title, got his lone victory on the
regular Tour at the '75 IVB-Philadelphia Open.... Nicklaus has
not won in 38 months, since the '96 Tradition. His longest
streak without a victory is 48 months, from the '86 Masters to
the '90 Tradition.
ALSO NCAA champ Grace Park of Arizona State, whose Sun Devils
tied for second with Georgia behind Duke in the race for the team
title, is the fourth non-American to win the individual crown in
the last five years.... Tiger Woods, winner of the Deutsche Bank
Open in Heidelberg, Germany, has as many victories on the
European tour since 1998 (two) as he has on the PGA Tour.
UP and Down
Andrew Magee Brian Watts
Deutsche Bank Open MasterCard Colonial
Casey Martin Ford Olinger
Duke Arizona State
Dale Reid Pia Nilsson