Lehman to Captain U.S. Ryder Cup Team

Tom Lehman is expected to be announced as the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup captain tomorrow.

tom_lehman2.jpgGolf World is reporting that Tom Lehman has been selected as the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup captain and will be announced as such Wednesday at Amelia Island where the PGA of America is holding its 86th annual meeting.

The PGA of America has a tradition of selecting captains who fit a certain profile – a major champion in his 40s with Ryder Cup experience. Lehman certainly fits this profile. He is a five-time winner on the PGA Tour including the 1996 British Open and was voted PGA Tour Player of the Year in 1996. He made the Ryder Cup three straight times, starting in 1995, compiling a 5-3-2 overall record and a 3-0 singles record.

“I’d be honored if they choose me,” Leman said two weeks ago at the Funai Classic at Disney. “But I don’t think it’s anybody’s place to lobby for that position.”

Satterfield Surprise

Kirk Satterfield of Manhasset, N.Y., became the second member of the Deepdale Golf Club staff to win the TaylorMade-adidas Golf PGA Assistant Professional Championship on Sunday. Satterfield roared from eight shots back to defeat V.J. Trolio by a shot.

Kirk SatterfieldKirk Satterfield of Manhasset, N.Y., fired a 6-under-par 66 in Sunday’s final round to capture the TaylorMade-adidas Golf PGA Assistant Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club. Satterfield entered the round eight strokes back in a tie for seventh at 4-under 212 before leapfrogging the competition, winning by one stroke over V.J. Trolio of West Point, Mississippi. V.J., it seems, could not play like Vijay.

“I knew that I needed to play well and I felt that if I put some pressure on the field early, then I had a chance to make a move,” said Satterfield, assistant pro at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, NY. “I am happy with my round, especially since I played a bogey-free final round.”

Seve Accused of Assault

Seve Ballesteros has been accused of assault by a European Tour official, but details are nonexistent.

Seve BallesterosThe European Tour is investigating Seve Ballesteros, accused of assaulting a Spanish golfer off the golf course during an amateur tournament last month. Ballesteros was a spectator at the over-35 event in Pedrena, Ballesteros’ home town. Jose Maria Zamora, a tournament director on the European Tour and amateur player, is the reported victim.

Zamora penalized Ballesteros for slow play at last year’s Italian Open. Ballesteros refused to adjust his card and was later fined by the tour. The European Tour has said that they’re investigating but is declining to comment. No other details are available, and we imagine that suing someone in Spain is just as easy as it is in the United States, so what constitutes “assault” can be left to the imagination of the readers. Was it a prod with a forefinger on the shoulder to accentuate a point, or was it an attack?

We will simply go with “innocent until proven guilty.” Especially given the fact that it is the European Tour doing the investigating and not the local police.

HSBC World Matchplay – Round up

Ernie Els wins his 6th HSBC World Match Play Championship, along with the £1 million prize cheque on his 35th birthday.

Els with trophyErnie Els continued his amazing record in the HSBC World Match Play Championship with his 6th victory in the event. He beat Lee Westwood in the 36-hole final by 2&1, and in doing so eclipsed the record of five wins in the event previously held by himself, Seve Ballesteros and Gary Player.

Neither Els nor Westwood played their best golf in the final, but both players contributed to a tense and exciting match; such is the beauty of match play. Two down playing the 33rd hole, Westwood stiffed his approach shot to move within one of Els, but three-putt bogeyed the next to hand the advantage back to the South African. Els closed out the match in now typical fashion, holing a 15 footer to halve the 35th hole and take the match.

For the first in the event’s history, the losing semi-finalists did not play off for 3rd and 4th places. Instead, the players were separated by a bad haircut competition, Jiménez’s curly mullet narrowly beating Harrington’s dodgy bleach.

HSBC World Matchplay, Round 2

Bernhard Langer pulled off an impressive win over World No. 1 Vijay Singh at the HSBC World Match Play.

Well, yesterday’s predictions didn’t go too badly; 5 out the seven remaining matches called correctly, with one of mis-calls going to the 37th hole. That match was won by Bernhard Langer, pulling off an impressive victory over world number one Vijay Singh.

Today’s matches are being played to an excellent standard. Jimenez played the first 18 holes of his match with Bernhard Langer in 63 shots (an approximate score, since all putts aren’t necessarily holed in match play), and finished the eighteenth 3 up. Padraig Harrington also went round in 63, and although he was 6 up on Thomas Levet after 18, he was pegged back to 2 up after losing four holes in a row. Whatever the Frenchman had for lunch, I want some of it.

Read the extended entry for my predictions for the rest of the second round. Post yours in the comments.

US Coast Guard Boards Tiger’s Yacht

The US Coast Guard boards Tiger’s yacht “Privacy.”

CNN reports that armed officers of the Coast Guard boarded the couple’s new mega-yacht Privacy in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The crew apparently was not aware they had to file advance notice of arrival. Doh!

HSBC World Matchplay, Round 1

The first round of the HSBC World Matchplay remains unfinished due to rain delays. Retief Goosen was the day’s only winner, thrashing Jeff Maggert 12&11.

goosen_hsbc.jpgWho says it never rains in England? Well, no-one, frankly, and with good reason. The first round of the HSBC World Match Play Championship was heavily disrupted by rain, which meant that only one match out of the eight 36-hole first round matches was settled before the close of play, with US Open champion Retief Goosen crushing Jeff Maggert 12&11. Goosen was 8 up after the first 18 holes, and only required a further 7 holes to complete the rout and set a new record for the largest margin of victory in the event.

The delay has given me the opportunity to make some predictions for what’s left of the first round, and I’ll do the same for the remaining rounds. Post your predictions on here too, and we’ll see who comes out tops!

Read the extended entry for my predictions.

Tour Roundup

A roundup of this past week’s tour events.

In Las Vegas on the PGA Tour, Andre Stolz shot a 5-under 67 to win the Michelin Championship by a shot over Tom Lehman, Harrison Frazar, and Tag Ridings. Ridings, who began his final round on the back nine, shot a 29 on the front and tied the course record with a final-round 61 to just barely come up short.

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher won for the first time on the European Tour, beating Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell on the first playoff hole Sunday at the dunhill links Championship. Ernie Els and Fred Couples finished five strokes back and Vijay Singh finished eight strokes back.

On the Senior Tour, Larry Nelson shot an 8-under 64 to come from behind and beat Hale Irwin with a birdie on the first playoff hole at the Administaff Small Business Classic.

Liselotte Neumann won her first LPGA Tour title in six years, holding off a late charge by Grace Park for a three-stroke victory at the LPGA Asahi Ryokuken International Championship on Sunday.

And finally, on the Nationwide Tour, 22-year old Chris Nallen chipped in on the 72nd hole and sealed the win on his Nationwide debut at the Gila River Golf Classic at Wild Horse Pass Resort. Nallen went wire-to-wire and won easily by eight strokes.

US World Cup Team Announced

The 2004 US World Cup team: Scott Verplank and Bob Tway.

The US World Cup team has been announced: Scott Verplank and Bob Tway will team together November 18-21 in Seville, Spain. Scott Verplank, the #21 player in the world, waited for six years for this chance and is the highest ranked American who accepted the invitation to play in this two-man-teams 24-country competition. Nine players above Verplank, including Tiger Woods and Todd Hamilton, declined to play.

Verplank and Tway are best friends and neighbords at Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Oklahoma. This is the first year the qualifying player has been allowed to choose his teammate so long as the teammate is in the top 100 in the world. Said Verplank, “we should make a good team” before adding “I doubt we’ll sell many tickets.”