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Right on Schedule

Nov. 01, 2004
Nov. 01, 2004

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Nov. 1, 2004

SCORECARD
Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus
CATCHING UP WITH
SI Players: Life on and off the field
SI Players
SI PLAYERS
The World Series
Pro Football
  • With supreme confidence and accuracy,do-it-all Daunte Culpepper is threatening NFL passing records and putting the Vikings on a fast track to the playoffs

  • DAUNTE CULPEPPER isn't the only NFL quarterback on the brink of a career season. Here are three other passers who, although at very different stages in their development, are having notable starts in 2004.

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Right on Schedule

Rookie Ryan Palmer's first Tour victory is more evidence that the old school is still in session

Earlier this year Ryan Palmer stayed at a buddy's house in Orlando during the Bay Hill Invitational. After Chad Campbell, a mutual friend, won the tournament, the victory party was held at the house. During last week's Funai Classic, Palmer flopped at the same place, and in a performance reminiscent of Campbell's title-clinching 61 at the 2003 Tour Championship, Palmer fired a bogey-free, 10-under-par 62 in the final round to win for the first time on the PGA Tour.

This is an article from the Nov. 1, 2004 issue Original Layout

The connections to Campbell don't end there. Like Campbell a year ago, the 28-year-old Palmer is a fearless player from West Texas who's largely unknown outside Tour circles. In fact the two (and their caddies) played high school golf in the same conference and have been friends for years. "He goes at a lot of pins too," Palmer says of their similarities. "We also took the same route to get here."

That route has been the traditional path to the Tour--slowly working one's way up through lesser levels of competition. Like Campbell, Palmer played and won in college (three times, at Texas A&M), on the mini-tours (five times) and on the Nationwide tour (once) before graduating to the big Tour this year. "I've been through it," Palmer says. "I've won on every level, so I knew I could come in here and do it."

This old school approach has fallen from favor since the meteoric rise of Tiger Woods, after which golf became obsessed with finding the next young phenom (from Sergio García and Adam Scott to Charles Howell and Ty Tryon).

Palmer, though, is happy to follow Campbell's footsteps. "I love being talked about in the same breath as him," Palmer says. He must be thrilled then that they'll be compared in another way: Palmer's victory party was to take place in the same house as Campbell's Bay Hill soiree. "For [Campbell's] party we bought all the beer at the Hess gas station," says Palmer's caddie, James Edmondson. "Tonight we're going to empty that Hess station again."

Trust Me
If Isabelle Beisiegel could compete, her efforts as the first woman to play at PGA Tour Q school would be seen as more than a stunt.

Up & Down

[Up]

Mark McNulty

A week after winning by eight, he comes from behind to take the Schwab Cup Championship.

Chrysler Championship

Ernie Schmernie. The last full-field event of the year features six of the world's top nine players.

Nicklaus and Altace

The Bear promotes this cardiovascular drug through his Heart and Stroke Challenge.

[Down]

Tom Lehman

He's in first after 54 for the third straight tournament but can't close the deal in a single one.

Ernie Els

As his dispute with the Tour heats up, Els pulls out of the Chrysler with a sudden hand injury.

Nicklaus and Vioxx

Jack has no ties to the troubled painkiller, as erroneously reported in the Oct. 11 SI.

COLOR PHOTOANDY LYONS/GETTY IMAGES (PALMER)ROLE MODEL Palmer, 28, had won at every level before reaching the Tour, same as Campbell.COLOR PHOTO ROBERT BINDER (MCNULTY)COLOR PHOTOAL MESSERSCHMIDT/WIREIMAGE.COM (LEHMAN)COLOR PHOTO WARREN LITTLE/GETTY IMAGES (ELS)COLOR PHOTOSCOTT HALLERAN/GETTY IMAGES (NICKLAUS)