Poised for Success

A players are looking to breakout and have a strong finish to the 2005 year. Here are a couple may surprise you.

The Numbers GameNow that the majors are done with a lot of the focus now is on the second-tier players to finish strong, secure cards, and possibly make a name for themselves. For these reasons, most of these tournaments in the next couple months will be quite important for guys you probably have not have heard of. This week, I want to look a bit closer at a couple players that I believe are on their way up and going to have some success.

State Farm Classic a Solheim Cup Tune-Up

The LPGA rolls into Illinois for the State Farm Classic. Both Solheim Cup Team captains will be in attendance for a ceremonial “send-off” event.

LPGAFor the past thirty years the Labor Day weekend has been a special time for the LPGA Tour. In 1976 the first Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Classic was held at the Rail Golf Club, yearly site of the State Farm Classic. This golf course was newly completed and without clubhouse, trees, or even a parking lot. But Patty Berg and the LPGA saw both beauty and challenge in the course and the co-owners were interested in donating to worthwhile charities so the LPGA went ahead and placed it on their tour calendar.

Fast forward to 1993 when Nancy Lopez was the defending champion of the newly renamed State Farm Classic. The addition of television cameras and notable increases of the purse to $500,000 made the Classic one of the hottest venues on the tour.

Interview Columnist Needed!

We’re looking for someone to write an interview column. Could you be the next Sand Trap staff member?!

The Sand Trap .com is looking to add a columnist to our staff. Specifically, we’re looking to add an interviewer to complete a weekly interview with someone in the golf world (we’ve got a good number of contacts). The column would be published on Saturdays and would be read by hundreds of thousands of readers from all over the globe.

If you’re interested, contact me at my AIM screen name (“iacas”) or via email. My email address is listed on the Staff Page. Please, yes, you must know English fairly well. If you IM, please introduce yourself with more than “hello.” 🙂

Gore to the Rescue?

Jason Gore is already very well-known around the golf world, but is he worthy of all the attention he is getting? Nah, not quite.

Thrash TalkWhen the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst began, I didn’t really have a clue who Jason Gore was. After the U.S. Open was over, however, I think everyone and their dog knew who Gore was. Seriously, the television crew took us into Gore’s personal life, both at home and on the road. We all got to see his wife and son, as well as the kind of car he drove.

Jason Gore did play great golf at Pinehurst for three days. He probably deserved all the media attention, and it’s no secret the media enjoys covering the underdogs in sports. Gore found himself in the final group on Sunday with a legitimate chance to win the United States Open Championship right? Not exactly. A final-round 84 left Gore in a very modest tie for 49th.

What the Real Golfers Are Playing

You’ve heard of the Darrell Survey? Well, this is the Donald Survey, also known as “what the people I played with on my vacation had in their bags.” It’s enough to make a few people in Carlsbad cry.

Bag DropThe big-name golf equipment manufacturers spend millions of dollars every year to promote their wares. But how much of what the average golfer plays can be considered “brand-name” or “pro-line” equipment? Even on vacation, The Bag Drop never stops working for you. Read on to see what my extremely non-scientific survey discovered about what’s really in the bags of some very average golfers.

Volume Twenty-Four

Take a few minutes to browse this week’s links. As always, there’s nine of them waiting for you.

Hittin' the LinksI’ve never played so much golf in my life. In three days, I played a total of 104 holes of golf. We played 45 on Thursday and Friday and 14 on Saturday (we were rained out the last four holes). My hands are sore, I think I strained my sternum, and my right butt cheek hurts from bending over to pick up my ball out of the cup and tee up my driver. But to be honest, I would do it all over again tomorrow. Man, I love this game.

Now, it’s time for the links.

Cristie Kerr Claims Second Victory of 2005 at Wendy’s

Cristie Kerr beats out a slumping Paula Creamer and a resurgent Annika Sorenstam to win her second title of 2005.

Cristie KerrPaired with third-round leader Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr played catch-up today at the Wendy’s Championship for Children. Annika Sorenstam had already finished her round and was sitting comfortably in the clubhouse watching the action. Today Annika enjoyed the euphoria of a bogey-free round dotted with six birdies, her first one dropping in at the first and concluding with a fist-pumping birdie on eighteen.

Paula Creamer didn’t seem to be as confident as she normally appears, but with only a one-stroke lead separating the top golfers in the world she had work to do. Two bogeys opened the door for veteran Cristie Kerr to step in and take the trophy away from both the number one and two players on the money list. A fist-pump also came from Kerr at the final hole. With only one bogey on the back nine Kerr finished one-stroke ahead of a very strong leaderboard, securing her second win on the LPGA Tour this year with a 3-under-par 69.

Faxon Captures Buick Championship in Playoff

Brad Faxon prevails over South African Tjaart van der Walt in a playoff to capture his first victory in 125 events on the PGA Tour.

Brad FaxonBrad Faxon fired a career- and tournament-low 61 on Sunday to seemingly lock up the Buick Championship until Tjaart van der Walt finished birdie-birdie to force a playoff. Tjart’s drive on the first playoff hole found the fairway while Faxon found the bunker. Tjaart’s approach ripped through the flag and came to rest six feet away. Faxon’s came to rest two feet away. When Tjaart missed and Faxon made his center-cut, the all-Titleist playoff was over, and Brad Faxon – who has not won in 125 starts on the PGA Tour – captured his eighth PGA Tour victory.

USGA Revises Rules of Amateur Status

Are you a scratch player who could kick butt in amateur competitions but you and your family don’t have the funds?

USGA LogoThe USGA recently revised their rules of amateur status. Starting January 1, 2006, amateur golfers of all ages will be able to accept reimbursement for tournament expenses from sources outside of their family. Tournament expenses include transportation (airfare, rental car, extremely over-priced gasoline), hotel, meals, the entry fee, and caddie fees. This is a major change from the current section of the USGA’s Rules of Amateur Status that only allows junior golfers to accept help from outside sources for tournament expenditures.