Archer plans to play on the tour for at least two more years. Meanwhile, he has been counseling other seniors on the procedure. "Jack [Nicklaus] made a point to ask me about it," says Archer. "I told him he's got big old legs, so it wouldn't be any problem."
Putting Woes Put Monty Back on the Rack
Colin Montgomerie recently spent seven weeks in the U.S. hoping to discover what he must do to win major championships. What he learned is that he has to improve his short game, and he returned to Scotland determined to work on it. Trouble is, he took a case of the yips with him.
Montgomerie, who has led the European tour's money list the past four years, ranks 42nd this season, mainly because of horrible putting. He hit bottom two weeks ago at the Benson & Hedges International in Thame, England, five-putting a green in the final round and finishing 59th, 23 strokes behind winner Bernhard Langer. Last week Montgomerie was 12th at the English Open, in Ware, England. The event was won by Per-Ulrik Johansson of Sweden.
Desperate for a cure, Montgomerie has been using a drill called the Rack that he learned in his college days at Houston Baptist from coach Dave Mannen. As part of his daily practice routine, Montgomerie must make 100 two-foot putts in a row before he calls it quits. "I shall be doing it until the end of the U.S. Open," says Montgomerie. "I owe it to myself to try to win that tournament."
Tiny Methodist Forges A Division III Dynasty
Nothing sounds sweeter to Methodist College senior Mike Adamson than the grumbling of a beaten opponent, especially one from a Division I school who's unaware that Methodist, a Division III college with an enrollment of 1,900 in Fayetteville, N.C., is a golf powerhouse. "Lots of Division I teams have never heard of us, and they get mad when we beat them," says Adamson, the 1996 Division III player of the year who ended his collegiate career last weekend by helping Methodist win its seventh NCAA title in the last eight years. "They don't like explaining how a Division III team beat them."
Such explanations had to be made often this season. In 10 tournaments Methodist won six times, came in second twice and had a pair of thirds. The Monarchs defeated 25 of the 26 Division I opponents they faced in those events and 57 of the 60 Division II foes. Their overall record: 146-6. In the Division III final, at the Medallion Club in Westerville, Ohio, opposing players and coaches speculated not on Methodist's chances of winning a third straight title, but on the margin of victory. It was a massacre. The Monarchs shot 1,191 for four rounds, 39 over par, to beat runner-up Greensboro ( N.C.) College by 35 shots. The only surprise was that Adamson, who had won two events in '97 and had a team-best 73.0 scoring average, didn't win the individual crown. He three-putted the last hole to finish a stroke behind teammate Brion McLaughlin, a freshman from Anderson, Ind., who shot 297.
"I'm addicted to winning," says Methodist's coach, Steve Conley, 34, a three-time national coach of the year. "Once you're at the top, anything less isn't the same." Conley needn't worry about a drop-off. Although Methodist doesn't offer athletic scholarships, its golf management program, which prepares students majoring in business administration to be golf professionals, draws top talent from across the country and beyond. This year there were 222 students in the program, including 18 women, from 32 states as well as Canada, Ireland, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Competition for spots on the men's golf team is fierce. Whereas 25 players would be a lot for try-outs at most colleges, 175 showed up for the first day of practice at Methodist last fall. The women's team has also benefited, winning 10 of the last 12 national championships. Led by senior Jennifer Cieslak, the 1996 and '97 Division III player of the year, the Lady Monarchs were second this season. "A lot of the big boys used to not know where Methodist was," Conley says, "but most of them know us now. We've earned their respect."