Big Play

May 18, 2008

WHO: SergioGarcía

WHAT: Wedge tofour feet

WHERE: 137-yardpar-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass

WHEN: Firstplayoff hole at the Players

WHY
Great putting usually wins trophies, but García prevailed because of ballstriking. On the greens García ranked 69th among the 74 players who made thecut, yet he was first in greens hit in regulation. His knockdown shot, withHogan-like lag in the downswing, was perfect for the wind and hardpan, as heshowed with his gem at 17. But García will have to improve on the greens if heintends to beat Tiger Woods.

TOM'S TIP
Heed Seve's Three Knockdown Keys

Seve Ballesterosonce shared with me these elements of using the knockdown wedge:

BALL POSITION
The further back of center, the lower the ball will go.

SWING LENGTH
The less you go back, the less speed in the swing, the less the ball spins; theless the ball spins, the lower and shorter it will fly.

LEVER LENGTH
The more you grip down on the shaft, the lower and shorter the ball will fly.(This is the key that's most often neglected.)

Tom Patri is thedirector of instruction at Friar's Head in Baiting Hollow, N.Y.

...AND ANOTHER THING

"Bernhard Langer, who rivals Tiger Woods as golf'stoughest player mentally, should be a captain's pick for this year's RyderCup."

Hall Monitoring

Last week Pete Dye (left), the 82-year-old golfarchitect who designed the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass as well as HarbourTown Golf Links, the Ocean course at Kiawah Island and more than 120 others,was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla. (He'll beinducted on Nov. 10.) Dye joins a group of 19 Hall of Famers enshrined foroff-the-course achievements. How well do you know the nongolfers in theHall?

1. Other than Dye, there are only four coursearchitects in the Hall. Who's been left out?

A) Robert Trent Jones Sr.
B) Charles Blair Macdonald
C) Alister MacKenzie
D) Donald Ross
E) A.W. Tillinghast

2. These frequent movie costars and PGA Tourtournament hosts are both in the Hall. Who was inducted first?

A) Bing Crosby
B) Bob Hope

3. Who is the only person in the Hall primarily forhis work as a teacher?

A) Claude Harmon
B) Harvey Penick
C) Old Tom Morris
D) Paul Runyan

4. Who is the only Hall member to have beenknighted?

A) James Braid
B) Michael Bonallack
C) Old Tom Morris
D) Henry Picard

5. Which golf administrator in the Hall is creditedwith inventing color-coded leader boards?

A) Deane Beman
B) Fred Corcoran
C) Joe Dey
D) Clifford Roberts

ANSWERS: 1-E; 2-A (CROSBY, 1978; HOPE, 1983); 3-B;4-B; 5-B

GOLF MAGAZINE TOP 100 TEACHERS POLL

Who will be the LPGA's player of the year?

Lorena Ochoa 80%

Annika Sorenstam 20%

"Ochoa has more fire, is injury-free and has fewoutside interests to interfere with her quest for greatness."
—GERALD MCCULLAGH, LES BOLSTAD GOLF COURSE

PHOTOCOURTESY OF NBC (GARCIA) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BACKGROUND) TWO PHOTOSERICK W. RASCO (PATRI) PHOTOAL MESSERSCHMIDT/WIREIMAGE.COM (DYE) PHOTOMICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (OCHOA)

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)