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The Shag Bag
September 28, 1998
Gates Crasher: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is reportedly itching to join Augusta National but may not be invited because he's a lousy golfer. The 42-year-old Gates, who sports an unsightly 26 handicap, may have impressed CEOs John Reed of Citicorp and Jack Welch of General Electric and billionaire Warren Buffett—all Augusta members—with his Callaway ads, but his loopy swing has its own Amen Corner.
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September 28, 1998

The Shag Bag

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Gates Crasher: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is reportedly itching to join Augusta National but may not be invited because he's a lousy golfer. The 42-year-old Gates, who sports an unsightly 26 handicap, may have impressed CEOs John Reed of Citicorp and Jack Welch of General Electric and billionaire Warren Buffett—all Augusta members—with his Callaway ads, but his loopy swing has its own Amen Corner.

Rose to the Occasion: Justin Rose, 18, who hasn't made a cut or a shilling in his eight weeks on the European tour, needed a top 10 finish last week at Chart Hills Golf Club in Maidstone, England, to qualify for the tour's upcoming Q school. In Thursday's third and final round, Rose fired a five-under-par 67 to finish ninth.

Charity Classic: As he lined up a birdie putt on the 5th hole at the Golf Center at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, last Sunday, Harold Henning was nine under par and leading the Kroger Senior Classic. Then a storm washed out Sunday's round. Henning, who turns 64 next month, could have become the oldest champion in Senior history; instead he settled for sixth, a shot behind second-round coleaders Hugh Baiocchi, Bob Charles, Frank Conner, Larry Nelson and Bruce Summer-hays, who played off for the title. A dejected Henning passed the hat around the locker room. "I got an extra $50," he said. "There wasn't a dry eye in the house." Baiocchi won the playoff for his second straight victory.

Mission Statement: "Golf owns you; it knows it, too," Johnny Bench (above) said a bit weirdly after shooting a career-best 68 in die second round of the Kroger. "Golf is like a missionary—it visits, then it leaves." Bench finished 56th and has earned $4,022 in three Senior starts. "I idolize him," said Chi Chi Rodriguez, who brought a baseball and glove to the course after heating he'd be paired with Bench.

Tag Team: European Solheim Cup captain Pia Nilsson arranged her players alphabetically for the opening ceremonies. That put frosty siblings Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam side by side. "That's die closest die Sorenstam sisters have been in years," said an LPGA insider.

The Happy Couples: With 55 friends and family members in attendance, Fred Couples wed Thais Bren on Sept. 12 in die Couples couple's backyard in Brentwood, Calif.

Buy Her a Round: Se Ri Pak, the toast of Korea, turns 21 on Sept. 28.

Two Sh-t Penalty: The Gastonia, N.C., city council has heard so many complaints about profanity at Gastonia Municipal Golf Course that the council has imposed an anticursing rule. Players who cuss repeatedly will be kicked off die course.

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