Kroger Seniors Discount Par
Jay Sigel averaged fewer than 25 putts a round at the '97 Kroger Classic, filling the jars in Mason, Ohio, with birdies. This year, Kroger officials hope to satisfy golf-hungry fans with a field featuring David Graham, Terry Dill and two bergers, Dave Eichelberger and Al Geiberger. The event also stars one of Ohio's favorite sons—sponsor's exemption Johnny Bench, who will be playing in his third event and looking to increase his '98 earnings of $1,767. Japan's Isao Aoki, however, is a far better bet than Pete Rose's old teammate. A second-place finisher in two of the past three Krogers, Aoki has been heating up lately, and the Kroger champ is always hotter than hot. Every winner in the tournament's eight-year history has broken 70 in all three rounds.
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Putting on a Show
The pros prefer 90-compression balata-covered balls, but that's where similarities between the PGA Tour and the Professional Putters Association end. More than 150 contestants will roll into Orlando on Friday and Saturday to test the green-felt carpets at the $20,000 National Putt-Putt Championship. They'll play two classic 18-hole par-36 courses set amid lush gardens and waterfalls. The 18th at Orange Lake No. 1, one of the toughest finishing holes in the game, features a green that slopes as severely as any at Augusta National. Cincinnati's Kevin Lacey, who had 17 aces in one round to win a tournament in May, and Randy Reeves of Montgomery, Ala., who aced 72 of 144 holes to win the '97 National, are among the favorites to take home the $3,500 winner's check and the NPPC trophy, a plate of etched glass that's almost as slick as a downhill Putt-Putt putt.
Daniel in the Lionesses'Den
Beth Daniel didn't need a club to fire the most famous shot of her Solheim Cup career. Having helped the U.S. thrash Europe in the inaugural Solheim Cup, in 1990, Daniel was certain that she and her fellow Americans would win again in '92. "You could put any one of us on the European side and make it better," she said. Her words were bulletin-board fodder for Europe's team, a 6-to-1 underdog. In the leadoff match in Edinburgh, Laura Davies and Alison Nicholas scratched out a one-up win over Daniel and Betsy King. Europe led 4�-3� after two days of pairs matches, and in Sunday's singles the home team cruised, coasting to an 11�-6� victory. "This is our answer to Beth Daniel," said Helen Alfredsson. "It's a great scalp to put on the wall for Europe."