Long Slog

Carnoustie could be a wet one
July 15, 2007

AS THE OLD jokegoes, Scotland has only two seasons: winter and July 21. Anyone who tried towatch sports from the U.K. last week saw weather that was not only cool butalso wet. Wimbledon faced near-record delays, and to complete play, officialsat the European tour's Smurfit Kappa Open had to alter the course. Things havenot been much better at Carnoustie, in Scotland. The weather has been so coldand wet that starting in early June the club required players to hit off matsbecause it could not be sure divots would regrow in time for the Open; onJuly¬†2 the course was shut down. The forecast for the days leading up tothe event is better but not great. The area is expecting occasional showers andpassing thunderstorms, but temperatures probably won't reach 70°. There is onebright spot: The third round of the Open is scheduled for July¬†21.

WHEN THE seasonbegan, Champions tour officials gushed about this year's crop of rookies, butthings haven't panned out as hoped. Nick Price has played 10 times but blew offthe U.S. Senior Open, as did Seve Ballesteros, who teed it up once thendisappeared. Mark O'Meara (right) made it to the Open, but it was only hisninth start of the year. Nick Faldo (50 on July 18) will play the SeniorBritish (July 26-29), but his TV schedule will keep him from doing much more.Bernhard Langer (Aug. 27) has won more than $1 million already thisyear on the PGA Tour, which should sap his desire to join the creaky crew,while John Cook (Oct. 2) has been out with an injured shoulder. Thatleaves Jeff Sluman (Sept. 11), who's made only six cuts in 18 starts onthe regular Tour, as the only guy who's likely psyched about senior play. Whatgives? O'Meara might have said best: "Once you get to a place wherefinancially you're somewhat secure, there are other things besides playingprofessional golf."

AMONG THE freshmenreporting for orientation at South Carolina last week was Patrick DiMarco, thenephew of the Tour's most outspoken Florida Gator, Chris. Not only willPatrick, a recent graduate of Lake Brantley High in Altamonte Springs, Fla.,attend his uncle's SEC rival, but the 6' 1" 224-pounder will also playfullback for the Gamecocks. Besides Uncle Chris, both of Patrick's parents andtwo other uncles attended Florida, but alas, the Gators did not offer him ascholarship. South Carolina is led by former Florida coach Steve Spurrier. . .. The USGA announced that communications director Marty Parkes "willrelinquish his duties" after 16 years on the job. He's the secondsenior-level executive to part ways with the organization in the last threeweeks. Director of championship agronomy Tim Moraghan had his positioneliminated following this year's U.S. Open after 21 years on the job.

For Sale
A reclamation project 150 miles from Vegas that reeks of money

What
Conaway Ranch

Where
Rainbow Canyon, Nev.

Cost
$16.86 million

Hook
Howard Hughes once planned a resort for this property, but like the SpruceGoose, it never got off the ground. Another developer built a golf course andinstalled some infrastructure but ran out of money. Today the 592-acre parceloffers a blank canvas.

FRINGEBENEFIT
Hughes was a pretty picky dude, and if it was good enough for him. . . .

KEY STAT

1

Tour caddies who are members at Congressional (FluffCowan).

"Give us a Sunday champ, not a Mondayhangover."--PEPPER MILL, PAGE G28

David Feherty's Fly on the Ball appears atGOLF.com.

PHOTOPETE FONTAINE/ICON SMI (MONTGOMERIE) SHORTWALK Wet conditions forced officials to convert the K Club's par-5 18th into apar-3, where Colin Montgomerie finished off a Sunday 65 to win the SmurfitKappa Open, his first W since the 2005 Hong Kong Open. PHOTOCOURTESY OF COLDWELL BANKERRainbow Canyon PHOTOGREGORY SHAMUS/GETTY IMAGES (O'MEARA)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)