Six months afterPGA Tour pro Arjun Atwal was involved in a high-speed auto incident nearOrlando that resulted in the death of John Noah Park, 48, of Windemere, theFlorida Highway Patrol is nearing completion of its investigation and mayforward a final report including recommended charges to the state attorney'soffice as soon as this week. An FHP spokesman confirmed that investigators havedetermined that Atwal was driving at "excessive speed," which itdefines as 20 mph or more over the speed limit, and that a charge of vehicularhomicide remains a possibility. The inquiry stalled for several months whilethe FHP attempted to retrieve information from the black box in Atwal's 2006BMW M6, but it was unable to connect with the right personnel through BMW inGermany despite repeated attempts. (A spokesman for BMW in the U.S. had noknowledge of the situation and referred SI to a counterpart in Germany, who hadnot responded to questions as of press time.) On Sept.¬†7 FHP said it wasmoving forward "the old-fashioned way," examining such factors as skidmarks and car damage to complete their investigation. The state attorney is notobliged to follow the recommendations of the FHP. After the accident, on March10, eyewitnesses claimed that Atwal's car and Park's Mercedes CLS 55 AMG wereracing along a curving road not far from Disney World when both drivers lostcontrol. Atwal skidded to a stop on the shoulder, but Park's car went off theroad and hit a tree. Atwal has denied that the men were racing. Since theaccident he has appeared in six Tour events, making the cut twice and earning$49,651, and in 12 Nationwide tour events, where he's made 10 cuts andcollected $98,741.
Anytime you plan agolf tournament, you hope it doesn't rain. And if it does rain, you hope thereisn't a major international event scheduled for the following week. The LPGA'sinaugural NW Arkansas Championship struck out on both counts last week. By lastSaturday evening lengthy rain delays meant that 32 players were still waitingto finish their first round, and officials announced that the event would bereduced to 18¬†holes, the first time that's happened at an LPGA tournament.As it turned out, the weather was fine on Sunday and passable on Monday--so didthe LPGA jump the gun, perhaps influenced by the 11 Solheim Cup players in thefield who were due in Sweden on Tuesday? Maybe not. The Sunday and Mondayforecasts called for more rain, and LPGA officials say that was their onlyconsideration. The big loser was the winner, Stacy Lewis. The Arkansas seniorshot a first-round 65 to earn first place. But because the tournament wasdeemed unofficial, Lewis was not awarded the three-year LPGA exemption thatnormally goes to the victor. Said a disappointed Lewis, "It's one goodround of golf, and that's really all you can take from it."
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Tiger Woods's Tour earnings ($75,319,376), the mostever.
September 16, 2007
"Guys will be puking their guts out onFriday."--MY SHOT, PAGE G10
U.S. Walker Cuppers lifted Jonathan Moore in celebration after he eagled thefinal hole to win his match and secure a 12 1/2-11 1/2 victory for the visitorsat Royal County Down in Ireland.