Like a Hole In the Head: While practicing at Iowa City's Finkbine Golf Course, supermarket manager Christian Owen (below) paid special attention to the 8th hole, where a hole in one during a tournament later that day would be worth a 1998 Toyota RAV4, and the 13th, where acemakers could win $1,000. Owen aced both holes during his practice round-a 363-million-to-one prospect according to an Iowa math professor-only to go aceless in the tournament.
Ford Motors: Golf's rulemakers lost another cart fight last week when Ford Olinger, an Indiana pro with a bone ailment that makes walking difficult, won a temporary injunction allowing him to ride during a U.S. Open qualifier, where he shot 83.
Wonder Woman: Lisa Hackney, the 1997 LPGA rookie of the year, hit the range at last week's LPGA Championship affixed to the Wonderstick, a gizmo that she believes can improve a golfer's address, timing and swing plane. "People may think I look silly, but I don't care," says Hackney, who won $104,666 for her second-place finish. "The Wonderstick works."
Wrongly Clubbed: Chuck Hoersch, Kris Tschetter's caddie, was mugged last Friday night in Wilmington, Del., and hospitalized with a fractured arm, separated shoulder and several broken teeth. Yet when Tschetter and her husband, Kirk Lucas, sped to his side, the caddie's main worry was how Lucas would do as his replacement. "Here's Chuck with blood all over him, and he's pulling out his yardage book and telling Kirk about pin placements," says Tschetter.
Proactive: Brad Elder, the Texas senior who was the '97 NCAA player of the year, makes his pro debut at this week's MasterCard Colonial.
His Prices Are Insaa-ane! When Ely Callaway announced last week that his firm would slash prices on metal woods, tour pros took notice. Many Callaway endorsers are paid in stock and stock options. "I'm not even with them anymore, and I care," says one player, "because I've still got the stock."
No Quit in Merten: Lauri Merten, the 1993 U.S. Open champion, has yet to play in an LPGA event this season but says she's contemplating teeing it up in the July 2-5 U.S. Open and may enter the Shop Rite Classic in Atlantic City as a tune-up.
Oops-terhuis: Moments after fans sang "Happy Birthday" to Peter Oosterhuis at the Saint Luke's Classic pro-am, the Senior rookie stepped to the 1st tee and topped his drive all of 70 yards. Oosterhuis would finish 24 shots behind winner Larry Ziegler.
Thanks, but No Thanks: Future baseball Hall of Famer George Brett caddied for his chum Ziegler, who won despite three closing bogeys that had his looper feeling less than super. "Sure, I was nervous," said Brett. "You should see my drawers."