If Kirk Triplettwants to be remembered as more than a guy who wore a funny hat, he has torepeat what he did last week, when he shot a 22-under 266 to win the ChryslerClassic of Tucson. In so doing he became the last player to win the tournamentduring its eight-year stint (1999 to 2006) as a secondary option to anotherTour event played the same week. In '07 the Chrysler Classic will be no more,and the Accenture Match Play will move to the South course at the Gallery GolfClub. The agreement ensures that the Tour will stay in Tucson--where there'sbeen a tournament for the last 61 years--for another four years. TheConquistadors, a local charity that has run the event for 40 years, willmaintain its duties, including ticket sales, which are expected to skyrocket."If people came out to see Garrett Willis [the '01 champ], I think they'llcome to see Tiger Woods," says Russ Perlich, a Conquistador. What theywon't see is the tournament's unique trophy, a gilded conquistador helmet,meaning Triplett will be the last man to don the golden dome. Maybe he will beremembered for a silly hat.... Playing against John Daly in the first round ofthe Match Play, Phil Mickelson whipped out a 47-inch driver, which gives him anextra 15 to 20 yards off the tee, but he ditched the longer stick the next day,saying, "I'll still tinker with it, but I didn't have the control over itthat I wanted."
When Woods beatStephen Ames 9 and 8 in the first round of the Match Play, it was not the worst18-hole whipping ever seen on Tour. There were two 9-and-8 beatings in the PGAChampionship: In 1951 Johnny Bulla drubbed Jim Ferrier, and a year later BobHamilton put it on Vic Ghezzi. In a nonmajor the largest previous close-out wasJim Colbert's 8-and-7 stomping of Dave Eichelberger in the '84 SeikoTucson--Match Play.
• On Feb. 21 GregNorman had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee at University of PittsburghMedical Center. • Jerry Pate's win at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am was hisfirst since the 1982 Players, a gap of 23 years and 11 months. Mike Fetchickwaited 28 years and nine months between wins at the '56 Mayfair Inn Open andthe '85 Hilton Head Seniors.
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Survey Says ...
Last week ChrisRiley, in Tucson, and Tim Clark, at the Match Play, each carried five woods, ararity on the PGA Tour. The chart above shows the number of woods carried bypros in the two events.
The Darrell Surveyhas tracked equipment usage at pro and amateur tournaments since 1938.
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There was more to the Fields Open than Meena Lee'splayoff win
TWO LEES + LATE CHARGE + RAW EMOTIONS + CONTROVERSY =Meena Lee A BIG WEEK ON THE LPGA TOUR
"The fuming has just begun." --THE PEPPER MILL,PAGE G26
Triplett earned the final Tucson gold helmet.