Mattiace's Burden: Len Mattiace, a fan favorite since he fell short at the Players Championship after hitting two balls into the water at 17 with his family on hand, finished 31st at the Memorial and spoke of his mother, whose lung cancer has not responded to treatment. "She's worse. I wouldn't have played this week, but I don't think she knows where I am," said Mattiace, who planned to return to his parents' house in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., after the tournament "and be with her for as long as it takes."
Reveille for Arnie's Army: After Arnold Palmer (below) shot 81-76 in the first two rounds of last week's Pittsburgh Senior Classic, his week got worse. Because he stood last in the event's 77-man field, Palmer was assigned a 7:30 a.m. tee time for Sunday. He objected to the early hour ("The fans can't get to the tournament," Palmer said) and threatened to skip the final round. In the end he relented, waking at 4 a.m. on Sunday and helicoptering to the course, where he gamely shot 72 to finish 67th, 25 shots behind winner Larry Nelson. "Now I'll go home and take a nap before I play golf this afternoon," Palmer said.
Mex and Rex: Lee Trevino, who wound up 22nd at Pittsburgh, dismissed Palmer's lengthy slump. "All Arnie has to do," he said, gesturing with an imaginary club, "is stand closer to the ball." Has he told Palmer? "What? He's the King. I worship the ground he walks on. You can't tell the King something like that," said Trevino.
'Phite the Power: Tiger Woods says the USGA should crack down on high-tech clubs. "The equipment has gotten out of hand. Guys who aren't that strong are hitting the ball over 300 yards," Woods complained last Friday. On Saturday, after launching one well over 300 yards with a graphite-shafted Titleist 975D driver he called "my new toy," he smiled and said, "I have to try to keep up."
Double Eagle: Hootie and the Blowfish will open TigerJam, a June 8 benefit in Los Angeles for the Tiger Woods Foundation. "Then Jay Leno comes on for a monologue. After that, it's Babyface and his band, then Joe Walsh and Glenn Frey from the Eagles," says Woods, delighted at the prospect of a two-eagle day.
Salty Pepper: LPGA officials went to extremes to complete last week's Wegmans Rochester International, which Rosie Jones finally won on Monday. They allowed Sunday's play to continue despite a storm that toppled a tree near a group of players and left Dottie Pepper, Helen Alfredsson and others fuming, "Blow the f—-ing horn!" Pepper said. "Get us off the course before somebody's killed."
Payne Killer: Asked how his playing partner, Payne Stewart, made a 10 on the par-3 12th hole on Sunday at the Memorial, Steve Pate said, "A hell of a two-putt."