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The Shag Bag
October 12, 1998
Faldo Solo: On the heels of his split with swing guru David Leadbetter, Nick Faldo announced at last week's Belgacom Open in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium, that he was breaking up with his 23-year-old girlfriend, Brenna Cepelak. The slumping 41-year-old then fired a first-round 65. "I made eight birdies," he said. "I don't know when I last did that. It's all a distant blur." Faldo himself was a distant blur by Sunday. Perhaps distracted by a pair of security men IMG had dispatched to shield him from paparazzi—the British tabloids were abuzz with rumors that he will reconcile with his estranged wife, Gill—he faded to 30th, 10 shots behind winner Lee Westwood.
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October 12, 1998

The Shag Bag

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Faldo Solo: On the heels of his split with swing guru David Leadbetter, Nick Faldo announced at last week's Belgacom Open in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium, that he was breaking up with his 23-year-old girlfriend, Brenna Cepelak. The slumping 41-year-old then fired a first-round 65. "I made eight birdies," he said. "I don't know when I last did that. It's all a distant blur." Faldo himself was a distant blur by Sunday. Perhaps distracted by a pair of security men IMG had dispatched to shield him from paparazzi—the British tabloids were abuzz with rumors that he will reconcile with his estranged wife, Gill—he faded to 30th, 10 shots behind winner Lee Westwood.

School of Hard Knox: With the entry fee for the PGA Tour's annual qualifying tournament jumping from $3,000 to $4,000 this year, the event will generate $4.6 million from its 1,157 entrants. After expenses of $2.5 million, including $1.2 million in prize money, the Tour will net $2.1 million from Q school.

Captain America: Judy Rankin is stepping down as captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup team, and Patty Sheehan is expected to get the nod for the year 2000. "All they have to do is call," Sheehan says.

Never on Sunday: Chip Beck leads the Tour in final-round scoring average, at 68.0. The catch: Beck, who missed 46 consecutive cuts before finally making one last month, has played only one Sunday round.

Stand-up Guy: Davis Love III on the TPA's membership fee: "The joke out here this week is, What's the difference between the new association and the old association? One thousand dollars." Nobody ever called the Tour a hotbed of comedy.

Putt for Dough: Wilson's new, limited edition Michael Jordan putter, a carbon steel blade stamped with Jordan's signature, comes with a $399 price tag.

Breaking 100: Tom Spear has a birthday this month. He'll be 102. Spear, who took up golf in the 1930s, first shot his age with a 78 in 1974. Two years ago, at 100, he fired an 86 to win a 55-and-over tournament at Tamer Valley Golf and Country Club near Calgary, where he still plays twice a week. "I've got good health and lots of desire," says Spear. "I think I might take a lesson next year."

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