Paul Azingerarrived at Walt Disney World wondering if he was continuing a career orstarting a very long vacation. Azinger entered the week sitting at No. 122 onthe money list ($672,675), barely clinging to a spot on Tour for 2007. At thesame time, the 1993 PGA Championship winner has been coming to grips with thesurprising demise of his once-promising TV career. His employer, ABC, put onone of its last golf telecasts, and while his partner, Nick Faldo, has becomethe king of TV golf, taking over next year as lead analyst for both CBS and theGolf Channel, Azinger remains unsigned. With his options dwindling, holding onto his Tour card has taken on greater urgency. But as Joe Durant shot a25-under 263 for his fourth career win, Azinger went 72--71 to miss the cut byfour. Lucky for Azinger, no one passed him, so he remains 122nd and will have achance to control his own destiny at this week's Chrysler Championship. Nomatter what happens, he'll have at least partial status next year (forfinishing in the top 150), and he may soon find a way to fill up any free time.Along with Cory Pavin and Fred Couples, Azinger is considered one of theleading candidates to captain the 2008 Ryder Cup team. His appointment wouldprovide a tasty undercurrent to the event; Faldo will lead the Euros.
While Fred Funkwas winning the AT&T Championship by shooting a 12-under 201 for his firstChampions tour title in only his third try, the rest of the field looked as ifit were getting ready for Halloween, with golfers rising from the dead all overSan Antonio's Oak Hill Country Club. Chip Beck, 50, who hasn't won anythingsince the 1992 Freeport-McMoran Classic, finished second, at 202. Ben Crenshaw,54, equaled his best senior finish ever, tying for fourth alongside long-silentRaymond Floyd, 64, who had a chance to become the oldest winner on any majorU.S. pro tour. Scary.
MacKinzie Kline,the 14-year-old with a congenital heart condition who was allowed to use a cartin this year's U.S. Women's Amateur (TEEING OFF, Aug. 14), underwent asuccessful procedure to fix a hole in her heart and is now playing--without acart--for the girls' team at La Costa Canyon High in Carlsbad, Calif. • A bogeyon the 72nd hole dropped Troy Matteson into a tie for second at the Funai,costing him $92,000 and possibly a place in the Masters. The top 40 on thefinal money list go to Augusta. Matteson, who would have jumped to 36th with apar, is 42nd. He's scheduled to play in the Chrysler Championship.
[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Survey Says ...
Cord grips(above), which have cord woven into the rubber, are much more popular with menthan women. Here's the percentage of cord and noncord use on the PGA and LPGAtours in 2006.
|¬†||LPGA Cord / Non||PGA Cord / Non|
Darrell Survey has tracked equipment usage at golf tournaments since 1938.
A lakeside course in Texas that's also a greatcatch
WHAT The Links at Land's End
WHERE Yantis, Texas
COST $3.95 million
HOOK Thanks to nine holes along the water, thiscourse--complete with undeveloped real estate--was named third best in thestate in its category by The Dallas Morning News in 2006.
FRINGE BENEFIT The course cuts into Lake Fork, one ofthe country's foremost bass-fishing sites, where a state-record 18.18-pounderwas caught in 1992.
"When it comes to golf, there is a crueltwist."--MY SHOT, PAGE G14