The Week

June 15, 2003

TRUST ME
Milwaukee is abuzz with talk that Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan
are going to buy the Bucks, because it might get Tiger to tee it
up again at the Greater Milwaukee Open.

Dialed In on Sunday
Two majors plus the PGA Tour made for a blissful day of TV

Sunday was every dimplehead's dream come true. In one delirious
afternoon there were telecasts on three networks, including major
championships for the LPGA and Champions tours. Throw in a
compelling Nationwide event on the Golf Channel, and the intrepid
viewer, equipped with fresh batteries for the remote control and
a strong bladder, could pretend that, blessedly, nothing else in
the world was happening but golf.

It was a dizzying experience, traveling between the worlds of
Fuzzy and Duffy and Grace, to say nothing of Watson and Nicklaus
(Gary, that is, who was playing the Nationwide's LaSalle Bank
Open).

Our tour guides on this journey spoke in exotic tongues, from Ian
Baker-Finch's Aussie accent to David Feherty's Irish brogue to
Curtis Strange's Virginia drawl. The players offered an endless
variety too, from Grace Park's ravishing beauty to Craig
Stadler's lumbering charisma to Suzann Petterson's Norwegian
expletives. (She was caught on camera spewing singsong oaths
after missing a series of putts down the stretch.) In the course
of an afternoon Bobby Wadkins got the yips and Annika Sorenstam
chunked a couple of chips, while Rosie Jones bunted 182-yard
three-woods and Victor Schwamkrug pounded drives that easily went
twice as far.

All this golf was a welcome change from the day before, when the
only action was on the Weather Channel. Because of the storms
that drenched the Eastern Seaboard, the LPGA and the Champions
had to squeeze in the better part of two rounds on Sunday, while
the PGA Tour's FBR Capital (ne Kemper) Open, which was doomed to
a Monday finish, offered only its third round. With a leader
board dominated by a mechanical Swede (Niclas Fasth) and an
intense South African expat hiding behind Matrix-style sunglasses
(Rory Sabbatini), the PGA Tour was only the fourth-best show.

Sorenstam cemented her status as the biggest star in the
game--this minute--with a tense playoff victory over Park. The
always exciting Schwamkrug (Golf Plus, May 5, 2003) led for most
of the LaSalle Bank, but his free-swinging ways caught up with
him on the back nine, and Andre Stoltz stole the win with five
birdies over the final six holes. At the Senior PGA swashbuckling
John Jacobs got the final word in a field that featured five TV
announcers. (Gary McCord was low talking head, coming in 40th.)
For Jacobs, 58, the Senior PGA was by far the biggest victory of
his career. He played the PGA Tour from 1968 to '80, failing to
win a tournament, and spent much of the '80s in self-imposed
exile on the Asian tour. His final-round 68 at Aronimink, outside
Philadelphia, was highlighted by clutch putting and endless
emoting. "I was a nervous wreck," Jacobs said on Sunday evening.
"I could hardly keep the tears out of my eyes."

There was more crying on Monday, by Sabbatini's wife, Amy, after
her hubby had shot a 68 to earn his second Tour win. This
otherwise anticlimactic finish only reinforced how super the
Sunday was that preceded it. After trudging through 34 holes in
tough conditions under intense pressure, Sorenstam reflected on
her fifth career major championship victory. "It was really hard
work," she said, "but, wow, it's worth it."

Those of us who spent Sunday channel-surfing can relate, sort of.

THE NEW MATH No live golf on TV during Super Saturday

COUNTDOWN TO 300 + TRIPLE CROWN + STANLEY CUP FINALS +
STORMY WEATHER = [NO LIVE GOLF ON TV DURING SUPER SATURDAY]

O. B.
Big Hitters, Big Drama

Last week the proverbial irresistible force met some immovable
objects, as a handful of regulars from the Long Drivers of
America tour played the Pines course at the International in
Bolton, Mass., which bills itself as the world's longest course.
From the gold tees the par-73 Pines plays 8,325 yards, including
a 715-yard par-6, a 656-yard par-5 and a 270-yard par-3. The
course scored a decisive victory when Mike (Lava) Moulton, the
2000 LDA champion, tussled with the par-6 5th hole. Overswinging
as if he were trying to drive the green, Moulton blew his first
drive into the forest that lines the right side of the fairway,
then had his reload bounce off a tree back into the fairway. He
hit his fourth shot, a three-wood, into the trees, punched out,
punched out again, pitched onto the green and two-putted for a 9.
However, the long drivers' honor was restored when Ryan Gearhart,
a 27-year-old from Phoenix, aced the 412-yard par-4 8th hole,
blowing a driver over the towering trees protecting the inside of
the dogleg left.

Tony Navarro, Greg Norman's caddie since 1992, packed for Lorena
Ochoa at the LPGA Championship, his second consecutive tournament
working for the 21-year-old rookie. Navarro insists that Norman
remains his primary employer, but he will continue to moonlight
for Ochoa as his schedule permits.

John Jacobs, 58, is not the oldest winner of the Senior PGA--that
would be Jock Hutchinson, who was 62 when he won the event in
1947--but Jacobs is the oldest player to win a major since the
seniors inaugurated their tour in 1980. He is also the 15th
player to win in 15 tournaments this year, the longest streak
without a multiple winner in Champions tour history.

THE POLL
VOTE AT GOLFONLINE.COM

THIS WEEK: Does Olympia Fields deserve another U.S. Open?

LAST POLL: Of the following four players, who is your pick to win
the U.S. Open?

Tiger Woods .....60%
Mike Weir ........21%
Vijay Singh .......13%
Kenny Perry ......6%

--Based on 4,434 responses to our informal survey

COLOR PHOTO: PAT BENIC (SABBATINI) MATINEE IDOLS A click of the remote separated a strainedSabbatini (above left), a smoking Jacobs and a chipper Park. COLOR PHOTO: SCOTT HALLERAN/GETTY IMAGES (JACOBS) [See caption above] COLOR PHOTO: DAVID BERGMAN (PARK) [See caption above] COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER (CLEMENS) COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES (FUNNY CIDE) COLOR PHOTO: DOUG MACLELLAN/NHL/AP (TROPHY) COLOR PHOTO: MICHAEL SCHUMACHER/ENID (LIGHTNING) B/W ILLUSTRATION

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)