By the time JayHaas shot a 15-under 201 to win the individual title at the Liberty MutualLegends of Golf and collect $395,000, Doug Ford had already been home in PalmBeach, Fla., for four days. The 1957 Masters champ and his fellow olderold-timers are now relegated to the event's Demaret (over 70) Division, a teamcompetition on Monday and Tuesday of tournament week. The only person to playin the Legends every year since its inception in 1978, Ford, 83, is not happyabout the early-week tee times and other changes. "They got a bunch ofhamburgers playing in it now, guys who haven't won anything, not legends,"he says. "And back in '78 they guaranteed $10,000 per player. Now, 20 yearslater, it's $5,000. They've got all the money at the top." Ford does enjoyseeing his old buddies and says if he could change one thing, he'd make theLegends strictly a team event again since "that's the original format,which made the senior tour." Still, he never considers skipping. "I'llgo until I die, but they don't appreciate us as much as they used to," hesays. "We made the damn tournament, and now they're pushing us out thebackdoor."
The second BigStakes, the high-risk match-play event in which two-man teams put up $100,000for a chance to collect the largest winner's purse in golf, $2 million, hasbeen postponed for more than a year and will undergo a series of changes. Thenew version, called the Ultimate Game, will feature an expanded field of 160golfers anteing up $50,000 each. The first five rounds of match play willeliminate 150 players, and the remaining 10 will advance to a two-day, 36-hole,winner-take-all showdown at Wynn Las Vegas Golf Course. Organizers say thefinal, June 6-8, 2007, will appear on network TV.
April 30, 2006
• Sung Ah Yim wonthe Florida's Natural Charity Championship with a 16-under 272 when 54-holeleader Annika Sorenstam shot a final-round 75. In her career Sorenstam has ledor co-led going into the final round 67 times and won 46 of those events. •Underwhelmed with the new Tournament course at Redstone and the event's '07move to the week before the Masters, former champ Vijay Singh says this mighthave been his last Houston Open.
• For fresh golfcolumns every day, go to SI.com/golf.
Survey Says ...
Utility irons, the long irons with wide soles and moreweight on the back of the clubhead, are popular on the LPGA and Japan PGA toursbut not on the PGA Tour--yet. Last week 31 utility irons were in play on theLPGA and 26 on the Japan PGA, while only 10 made it to the PGA Tour. On theLPGA 26 of the utility irons used were Pings.
The Darrell Survey has tracked equipment usage at golftournaments since 1938.
"I cried a lot, but it was great to remember."--MY SHOT, PAGE G16
Tiger Woods drives in a race to benefit the Steve Williams Foundation
[CELEBRITY CADDIES + BAD ATTITUDE - DISTRACTIONS] * MR.PAYDAY = CADDIE WITH HIS OWN FOUNDATION