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May 14, 2004
Volume III, Issue 4
 
Fringe Clippings
 
Made for TV....
 
What will you be doing on August 2nd, a Monday night? Tiger Woods knows what he'll be doing. Tiger along with Hank Kuehne will team up against John Daly and Phil Mickelson in a best ball match. The venue, an ABC made-for-TV Monday Night Golf "show" at the Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe. A year ago, Woods and Ernie Els lost to Mickelson and Sergio Garcia in the Monday night "show."
 
Shooting his age will not cut it...
 
Local qualifying for next month's U.S. Open began this week at more than 100 venues around the country. One of the more interesting entrants trying to qualify for the June 17-20 Open at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island is Dick Lynch, a pro from Milwaukee. Lynch is 81 years old and among the 8,726 golfers who have entered.
 
Ask me again and I'll hit you with a puck...
 
Master's winner Phil Mickelson will soon be seen in some interesting Ford ads. In one of the ads Mickelson appears with country music star Toby Keith and sings his own rendition of the singer’s single “Who’s Your Daddy?” Another ad has Lefty on the ice with hockey great Wayne Gretzky.
 
Even when bad, he is still very good...
 
Woods was two strokes ahead through two rounds of the Wachovia Championship despite being tied for 115th in the field in greens in regulation and 113th in fairways hit. Those kinds of numbers usually mean a weekend off for most golfers. But Woods incredibly made every one of his putts inside of 10 feet for the first two rounds, 32 of them to be exact. Amazing! Of course his erratic play caught up with him on the weekend when he shot a third-round 75. He rebounded with a Sunday 68 to finish third. It was the first time in 19 tournaments that Woods failed to win after holding the 36-hole lead.
 
He can't be teeing them up...
 
David Ogron broke his own Guinness World Record of most golf balls hit in one hour. At the BellSouth Classic on April 3rd, he hit 2,272 balls. He had to hit the balls within a 30% arc and at least 100 yards. In case you were wondering, that's 37.866 balls per minute for 60 minutes.
 
 
Paralysis by Analysis
 
Repair the course, of course!
 
In recognition of the divot-ridden fairways at golf courses around the world, we dedicate this instruction article to our good friends in the maintenance shed! They are up at three o'clock every morning trying to keep our fairways lush and inviting (not that we ever use the fairway).

"If I have told you once, I have told you a million times: replace your divots!" Does this sound like anyone you know?

Well, they may be a loud mouth but at least he/she knows how to take care of the course. It's relatively simple course etiquette. It takes just a few moments to adjust the real estate you have marred.

Here are some simple tips for you to remember. (For those with a tendency to forget, write them down!)
  1. After striking your ball off the tee or ground, be sure to:
    • Replace the divot you chunked up
    • Pick up your tee
  2. After striking a shot out of the fairway, rough, hazard or other solid ground on which your shot may have fallen, replace your divot with the sand provided, and using your foot, firm up said sand and flatten it to level ground.
  3. When hitting from a sand trap, bring the rake out of your cart, use the rake in the bunker or at the very least brush the sand even with your spikes. Bad karma will come back to haunt you if don't live cleanly!
  4. Put a divot tool in your pocket before each round. If you don't have one, then borrow one. Your marks on the green, should you hit it, are the most virus-prone part of the golf course. They will also interrupt putts and increase greens fees should you leave them and force the golf course staff to deal with them.
Of course, these little tips are not the beginning and end of golf course maintenance, but if you have these down pat while you are on the course, then at least you're a leg up on Joe Duffer. Don't forget, though, that your responsibility is not limited to you but extends to every golfer in your group. So when you start to shake your head because someone has not raked a bunker, bring the rake to your partner! If he refuses, express your disgust and rake the stinking bunker for him. Then, when he is not looking, loosen his bag from the accommodating straps on the back of your cart so his clubs can fall in peril on the next inclined path.

Perhaps the guilty party will get the hint. If not, they are probably too brain dead to waste your time explaining it to them. Next time play with a woman. An informal survey of golf pros reveals that women seem to care and acknowledge these little nuggets of golf course maintenance wisdom better than men, on the whole.
 
 
Reading the Line
 
Sometimes a stiff upper lip just isn't enough...
 
You just know the tabloids are having fun with this one. Colin Montgomerie, long the whipping boy of the Tabloid media, announced recently that he and his wife, Eimear, have separated "with a view to divorce." One British report cited Eimear's friendship with actor Hugh Grant as a reason for the split. Hugh has been a former pro-am partner with Monty who has had his own celebrated liaisons.

Monty, 40, is easy to pick on, but this is a particularly sad story. He's been stellar at the Ryder Cup, and has been a tough-luck loser at a few major championships. Last weekend's British Masters was particularly difficult, as news of the break up spread and tabloid reports followed. "I always knew that I could play under pressure, but this was a different type of atmosphere and situation," he said. Monty finished 6 under, tied for 16th place.
 
I just love stupid money...
 
Fourteen years is a long time between wins. That's how long it had been between Joe Sindelar's 1990 Hardee's Classic win and his win last week at the Wachovia Championship. For his 1990 win, he earned $180,000. That same year the leading PGA Tour leading money-earner, Greg Norman earned $1,165,477 for the entire year. How times have changed. The Wachovia win paid out $1,008,000. "That's a stupid amount of money, no matter what you do," Sindelar admitted. Glad to hear someone in sports say that at the highest levels they often earn ridiculous sums.
 
Truth or sour grapes?
 
"I hate to say this, but Vijay's got $20-million in the bank, so if he makes a few bogeys it doesn't cost him much. Money does come into play." So said Joe Ogilvie after his recent runner-up finish behind Vijay in the HP Classic in New Orleans. Vijay's winning's were $570,000 higher than Ogilvie's $448,000 second place. This was Joe's highest ever paycheck.

Maybe Ogilvie is right, the top players on the PGA Tour don't become preoccupied on the difference one stroke can mean to their bank account. It may be one of the reasons they are successful. The cash doesn't cloud their vision.
 
If she bets on the game, will she still be considered a Rose, oops, I mean Pearl?
 
Her Michelob Ultra tournament victory qualified 26 year old Se Ri Pak for The LPGA Hall of Fame. Once one of the toughest Halls in which to gain entrance, requiring 30 tournament victories, the rules were changed several years ago, lest the Hall become an empty chamber. The LPGA now requires a player to earn 27 points for Hall inclusion. You get one point for a tournament win, two points for winning a major, one point for having the low scoring average for the year or earning player of the year honors. Pak now has 22 victories, including four majors (26 points) and a low scoring average title. She has not been a member of the LPGA Tour for 10 years, the latest requirement for induction. All she has to do is show up for a few more seasons to meet the 10 year rule and she's in.
 
Gone to tee up with Payne Stewart...
 
The man you have all come to know simply as "The Editor" has been promoted to glory. The concept, format and edgy writing style of Off the Fringe were products of the creative genius of Rick Abrams. Rick was a terrific combination of responsibility and mischievousness, all rolled up into a handsome, charismatic, energetic, golf-loving young man. Rick passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on Easter Sunday. He no doubt was dreaming of golf. May all his future drives be long and his putts true.

Rick Abrams, golf writer and so much more.
August 16, 1973 - April 11, 2004

Rick, you were like the son I never had but always imagined. We will all miss you, until we meet again.

— Bob Kennedy, CEO, GolfCpons / Off the Fringe
 
 
 

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