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July 31, 2003
Volume II, Issue 13
Fringe Clippings
AARP? My Arse!
The youth movement on the PGA TOUR took an ego blow the past two weekends. On deck for the Champions Tour next season, 49 year old Peter Jacobsen achieved his first tour victory since 1995 at the PGA Tour's Greater Hartford Open this past weekend. Champion Tour member and part-time "walrus fill-in" at the Sea World exhibit, Craig Stadler, won two weeks ago in the B.C. Open. Jacobsen and Stadler both outlasted fields of would-be up-and-comers. Experience really does shine some times.
Ahoy there, Bernhard
Bernhard Langer has been named captain of the European Ryder Cup team. The Ryder will be held at Oakland Hills Country Club outside Detroit in September 2004. Langer was chosen for his knowledge of American golf courses and his steely Ryder Cup record. Only Nick Faldo has more appearances and wins than the German born champion. Langer was chosen over European Tour stalwarts Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle.
Coulda, shoulda, woulda, oh darn...
Thomas Bjorn almost won the British Open. By most accounts he should have, but a costly "grounding of the club" penalty when he was in a bunker during the opening round added two strokes to his score. Combine that with his two failed attempts to get out of the bunker on Sunday, and he entered the Van De Velde Disaster Zone.
The all-time best "temp" job
Andy Sutton did not know his boss. When the phone call came from IMG to caddy for one of their clients for the British Open, he had no idea who this Ben Curtis guy could be. Curtis wanted someone with experience to carry the bag around the links style course. Andy Sutton's regular gig with European player John Bickerton was on hold because Bickerton was not playing the British. Not a bad destiny, huh?
Club sales are down, blame it on the simulator!
Rich Beem stopped by the merchandise tent before the Open Championship started to help one of his sponsors sell their clubs. When he hit his first drive in the simulator and it came back as reading his drive at 260 yards, Beem remarked, "That felt like 280." Beem averages 290.3 off the tee on tour.
Paralysis by Analysis
Summer essentials, Part Deux
Last year we recommended several items that golfers bring with them to the course. These items were a bit out of the ordinary from the normal but essential nonetheless. Here are this year's recommendations for those of you seeking the edge.
  1. Pepto — Invariably you had to go with melted cheese sauce on your chilidog supreme. Those last four holes can get a bit tummy turning so be sure to keep some handy. You're gonna need this, I promise.
  2. Kava Kava — For those of you whose swing is as syrupy as Molasses in the wintertime, disregard this advice. Kava Kava is a natural calming agent and steadies the nerves. You can pick it up at any health food or vitamin store or at the supermarket mixed into your favorite decaf tea. As with any ingested supplements, take the normal precautions. Check with your doctor, be sure to not overdose, and of course never, under any circumstances, chase the Kava Kava with, Sake Bombs! DON'T ASK!
  3. Koozie — It's summertime! You need a Koozie on the course. You know, one of those little slip around your beer can ... oops ... water bottle sleeves. You can pick them up at your local grocery store or quicky mart.
  4. Spray Bottle — Sorry, no clever anecdotes here, just good, straightforward advice. Use the spray bottle to wet down your clubs in between shots. Once you spray it, however, it becomes necessary to wipe the clubs down so as to keep those blades clean! Also, use the spray bottle to wet down your face to stay cool. Once you spray it, however, it is not necessary to wipe your face down. In fact, don't. The evaporation of the spritz will help cool you.
  5. Water Wings — We all get a little crazy about losing a ball in the drink, right? Simply load on your water wings before splashing in after your lost orb and, voila, no chance of being mistaken for an impulsive ball-hocking moron! You are a well thought out, ball-hocking moron!
With all respect to the everyday advice extolled in locker rooms, golf magazines and water coolers, what I have bestowed upon you is essential to competing at the highest level. Or at the very least, defining your golfing experience!
Reading the Line
Knee slappin' good times!
The British (Open, that is) ... fish and Chips, Haggas dishes, and Ben Curtis wishes. In the immortal words of announcing great Keith Jackson, "WHOOOAAA Nelly!"

Let's start simple and work our way up:
  1. Ben Curtis: PGA Tour rookie wins his first tournament, The Open. 1913 was the last time this happened. His caddy didn't know who he was until the week before they were betrothed to one another for the championship. And by the way, he was ranked 396th in the world and is now 35th!
  2. Tiger Woods: Human beings create their own realities for their lives. Tiger has created a reality of epic proportions. He has not won a major yet this year and there is only one left. Tiger played well in this Open; it simply did not choose him as its winner.
  3. Vijay Singh: If this guy is not the Darth Vader of all sports! Like some Jedi mind trick, Vijay is now trying to say to the press that Ben Curtis was the only one he feared in the final round of the British Open — and they are buying it! Vijay Singh is a great golfer; the proof is in the body of work. But much like Barry Bonds is a great baseball player — period — Vijay is a great golfer — period. I am just glad he did not win this one.
  4. Greg Norman: Did anyone know this guy was still a golfer? This was his third competitive endeavor this year!
  5. David Duval: Err ... um ... well ... yeah.
  6. Nick Faldo: Impressive showing for sure with a closing 70, Nick finished tied for 8th place. His ambition from here? Faldo wants to make another Ryder Cup team. Smart money says, no problem.
  7. Thomas Bjorn/Davis Love III: I would just love — as I am sure the faithful readers know — to rip these guys apart for choking. They didn't choke. The golf course choked them.
  8. Mark Roe: No words can describe the injustice carried out last Saturday. Mark Roe being disqualified for signing the wrong score card (along with playing partner Jesper Parnevik) was one of the saddest disasters in golf history. His class and strict adherence to the rules of the game (regardless of their insanity) should be required behavior for all human beings. Except golf writers, of course!
In short, the British Open was without equal for its compelling competition. There was never a moment during the tournament where the picture became clear as to which player had seized any advantage over the golf course. The course simply would not allow that to happen. Congratulations to the R&A for superior course set up and to all the golfers for keeping our Lay-Z-Boys in business this weekend.
Remove all suicide implements before watching
Will someone please advise ABC and the Lincoln Financial Group that these Monday night golf exhibitions need some extra pep! Like how about the guy with the shortest drive has to take a shot of Jagermeister? And if you three putt, the boss from Happy Gilmore (you remember that nail gun, right?) gets to beat you with your own putter? Any more suggestions? Send them to me and I will lobby to have them implemented for next year as well as work on having Curtis Strange tarred and feathered for each time he mispronounces Seve Ballesteros.
The Suzy Whaley story was anticlimactic by the time the Greater Hartford Open started last week, but it was still historical. David Duval still has not given cause for his withdrawal from the G.H.O. after his opening round 83, ouch! From the Fringe to Mr. 59, put the clubs down and go fishing for the rest of the year. Rich Beem won't have any excuses now; his wife gave birth to Michael Waide Beem last week. Congratulations, proud parents! Beem will be able to defend his title at Oak Hill this year for the PGA Championship. Congratulations also to Tom Watson on winning the Senior British Open. His putting this year in the majors has been the difference in his game, and once again he has to thank his irrepressible caddy, Bruce Edwards, for the success. Edwards was the one who suggested that he switch to the old putter that he has been using this year. Edwards, incidentally, did not make the trip to Europe with Watson.
Thanks for the memories
Bob, you were the best! A class act, heck no. You were the real thing, no acting involved! Just pure class and a real gentleman.

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