BIG PLAY

February 28, 2005

WHO: Mark James

WHAT: 161-yard eight-iron to within 23 feet

WHERE: Par-4 18th, TwinEagles

WHEN: Final round of the ACE Group Classic

WHY

James has survived cancer, won a senior major and starred in the Ryder Cup, so you'd think an eight-iron to win a Champions tour event would be easy. But even seasoned pros battle nerves, and after flicking at flies and removing imaginary mud from his club, James won the fight by maintaining perfect posture throughout the shot.

MIKE'S TIP

Two Steps to Perfect Posture

To learn proper posture, hold a club against your torso with the left hand pressing the grip against your chest and the right hand holding the shaft against your belt buckle. Flex your knees; then lean far enough forward at the waist so that the clubhead extends behind your legs. Tilt your shoulders to the right until the shaft touches the inside of your left thigh (inset). Let your arms hang straight down, grip the club and hit. Practice by hitting from a hillside with the ball above your feet.

Mike Perpich teaches at RiverPines Golf in Alpharetta, Ga., and is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher.

... AND ANOTHER THING

"If Greg Norman and Tim Finchem don't resolve their differences, the Champions tour will be the big loser, because Norman will play only a limited schedule."

TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Now that Annika Sorenstam, a 56-time winner, has split up with husband David Esch, is she more or less likely to break Kathy Whitworth's LPGA record of 88 victories?

More 77%

Less 23%

"Annika will surpass the record, and she'll do it within five years."

--LAIRD SMALL

Pebble Beach

COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF THE GOLF CHANNEL (JAMES) COLOR PHOTOERICK W. RASCO TWO COLOR PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONSERICK W. RASCO (PERPICH, 3); JOHN BIEVER (BACKGROUND) COLOR PHOTOROBERT B. STANTON/WIREIMAGE.COM (SORENSTAM)

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)