THREE YEARS agoScott Piercy played a round of golf at the Bear's Best in Las Vegas with a fewmembers of the 13-man syndicate that was sponsoring him in the Big Stakes golftournament. His caddie that day was Ken Jarner. On June 8 Piercy, 28, andJarner, 43, met again: this time, in the final round of the Ultimate Game with$2 million going to the winner. Jarner, who is a caddie at the Wynn Las Vegas,which hosted the event, jumped to a three-shot lead through 12, but it wasn'tenough. Piercy, who plays on the Hooters tour and has Monday-qualified forthree PGA Tour events this year, birdied five of the last six holes to comefrom behind and win by three shots. "In the Big Stakes we had Scott andEric Axley," says Bobby Kahan, the leader of the syndicate. "Eric wenton to make it on Tour and win the Texas Open, and now Scott has won theUltimate Game. It's very gratifying and great fun." As for Piercy, who getsa 50-50 split with the sponsors after they recoup the $50,000 entry fee, it'sback to the Hooter's tour and Monday qualifiers, although there's one bigdifference. "It makes the money [situation] easier," he said. Nokidding.
• THE WAIT is overfor Se Ri Pak (right), who burst onto the LPGA in 1998 by winning two majors inher rookie year. After seven years on tour she had earned enough points toqualify for induction to the World Golf Hall of Fame with 22 wins, includingfour majors. But to get into the Hall she needed to be a tour member for 10years, which she accomplished after the first round of the LPGA Championship.More than her record, though, Pak will be remembered for inspiring a slew ofSouth Korean girls to pursue LPGA stardom, in a sense creating a tour that nowhas 45¬†Korean members. Some day the Hall may be known as the House ThatPak Built.
• MOST GOLFERSwould jump at the chance to play with Tiger Woods, but Bob Ford said no. Fordis the head pro at Oakmont, and he did play 18 holes with Tiger in May butpassed on a second round to try qualifying for the Open himself. When the eventcame to Oakmont in 1983, Ford not only qualified, he finished 26th. Ford, whohas played in three Opens, didn't make it when the event returned to Oakmont in'94 and he didn't make it this year, either. No worries: He should get anotherchance in a decade or so. . . . The Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., isgetting ready for Woods and the AT&T National (July 5-8) by offering up anew cocktail called the TigerTEEni. The drink is a mix of vodka and SunnyD,which is not a commentary on Tiger's personality. Rather, according to thehotel, the orange drink is a Woods favorite. No word on how they know that, butthey do accept American Express, and that's definitely a Woods fave.
• SUGGESTED WOODSBABY NAME Oakmont.
June 17, 2007
For live U.S. Opencoverage, go to GOLF.com.
Annika Sorenstam's world ranking after being passed byKarrie Webb.
An Italian villa with nine holes so good, you can tastethem
Near Siena, Italy
The property contains eight buildings, including a chapel, a stone farmhouse, abarn and the 15th-century villa with 14 bedrooms. Besides the nine-hole course,there's a tennis court and a swimming pool. The entire complex can be convertedto a resort.
On-site groves mean you'll never run out of olive oil while doing all that fineItalian cooking.
"She came across as an unapologeticbrat."--PEPPER MILL, PAGE G16
On Monday afternoon spectators were already filling the grandstands aroundOakmont's 18th hole, where they could watch players fine-tune this week's gameplan during early practice rounds.