After five yearswithout a full-field event in Florida, the LPGA tour strolled back into theSunshine State as if it were Rick's Café Americain. Last week's Ginn Clubs& Resorts Open, won by Mi Hyun Kim with a 12-under 276, drew a stellarfield thanks to its location near Orlando, where many pros live, and its $2.5million purse, the second largest on the women's circuit. The weekend actionwas aired live on CBS, and the early rounds grabbed a boatload of attentionbecause of exemptions for Dakoda Dowd, a 13-year-old whose mother is dying ofcancer, and Andia Winslow, the niece of former San Diego Chargers tight endKellen Winslow. The truth is that the tournament didn't need either of thoseextracurricular storylines to establish itself. "A brand-new event comingin at $2.5 million--we're pretty excited," said Karrie Webb, who tied forsecond at 278. "The hospitality has been great, and the course was in greatshape as well. I hope this is a long-term deal. I think it will be the start ofa great relationship." Indeed, the Ginn Open has a four-year contract, sohere's looking at you, kid.
Two weeks aftermissing the cut at the PGA Tour's Heritage Classic, Jay Haas, 52, won hissecond straight Champions tour event on Sunday with an 11-under 205 at theFedEx Kinko's Classic in Austin. Haas planned to return to the under-50 sceneto play with his son Bill at this week's Wachovia Championship in Charlotte andat the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, May 18--21. Still, Haas isn't consideringa full-time return to the PGA Tour. In 20 senior starts he's had 13 top 10s,including four wins, and earned $2,396,308, or an average of $119,815 a start."I enjoy being in contention out here," he said after the FedEx.
May 7, 2006
• Tom Kite tiedfor second at the FedEx, two shots short of completing a bizarre numerologicalfeat: Kite won the 600th and 700th events in Champions tour history. The FedExwas the 800th. •During his post-Masters break Phil Mickelson teed it up--andplayed barefoot--with Texas football coach Mack Brown in Cabo San Lucas,Mexico. •Chris Couch is the first Tour player since such records started beingkept in 1970 to go from last to first in the third round and hang on towin.
• Jim Gorant'sPower Rankings appear every Wednesday at SI.com/golf.
Survey Says ...
Mi Hyun Kim, who won the Ginn Clubs & ResortsOpen, was one of seven LPGA pros carrying six woods in her bag (above) duringthe event. Kim's set also included three wedges and a putter, leaving room foronly four irons.
The Darrell Survey has tracked equipment usage at golftournaments since 1938.
Michelle Wie plays with men at the SK Telecom Open in South Korea
[300-YARD DRIVES * DESIRE TO BEAT MEN] + HERITAGE +MARKETING * APPEARANCE FEE = WIE AT THE SK TELECOM
"There was talk of a dress code on the LPGAtour." --PEPPER MILL, PAGE G12
Kim's win snapped a 103-tournament victory drought.