That's Chuasiriporn's goal, too, but the similarities between the two end there. While Chuasiriporn will play the LPGA tour this season on sponsors' exemptions—she has accepted invitations to play the Jamie Fair, Michelob Light and JAL this summer—and enter only a few Futures tour events, Park's place is the Futures. The erstwhile Sun Devil says she'll play the next four Futures events, take a week off, then play four more Futures events in hopes of cracking the top three on that tour's money list and getting her LPGA tour card. "If I get hot, anything can happen," says Park, whose second-round 67 left her only three shots off the lead at the halfway point, and who earned an automatic invite to next year's Open with her top 20 finish. "I know that half the season is gone. I have a lot of catching up to do."
The Open's Augusta Roots
Bikini Wax and Pinehurst No. 2
Take the wavy greens at Pinehurst No. 2, add a pinch of Augusta National's lightning-fast surfaces, and what do you have? A lot of three-putts in next week's U.S. Open.
When Pinehurst creator Donald Ross molded No. 2's steep greens in 1901, he did so knowing that their relatively shaggy bermuda grass would keep them playable. This year, however, Pinehurst is hosting the Open in large measure because in 1996 it resurfaced its greens with a new bent-grass strain called Penn G-2. This heat-shielded bentgrass, which was discovered on Augusta National's par-3 course a decade ago, isn't supposed to wilt in the hot summers that have historically kept the Open above the Mason-Dixon line. Greenkeepers predict that the players are more likely to wilt when they see this slick new grass; there's even talk of keeping the greens long to slow them down.
When Bobby Jones selected rival Alister Mackenzie to design the home of the Masters, Ross felt passed over. While the putts are rolling off his greens next week, Ross may be rolling over in his grave.
—John F. Lauerman
Allen Doyle's Painful Win
Back at It; Rookie Wins Again
Sometimes you've got to play hurt. At last week's Cadillac NFL Golf Classic at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J., Allen Doyle made like an NFL tough guy—or in his case, an NHL tough guy—and ignored back spasms to beat Joe Inman with a par on the fourth hole of sudden death. He didn't suffer alone. Southern Mississippi golfer Erin Doyle, 19, lugged her dad's clubs for 54 holes despite a stress fracture in her left arm, which she had gotten from beating balls.
Doyle and daughter were quite a sight. Erin, whose injury put a major crimp in her amateur tournament plans this summer, wore an elbow-length black cast on her arm; Allen wore a pained expression as he gingerly played the back nine on Sunday. "I could see at impact on his tee shot at 10 that he was hurting really bad" Erin said. "I was worried for him on every shot after that. It hurt him just to bend over and pick up the tee."
Doyle made 15 birdies in the first and second rounds, but was in such pain on Saturday night that he said he might be birdied out. Actually, he was bogeyed out. He made just one birdie on Sunday, but that and 17 pars were enough to get him into a playoff—his worst nightmare—with Inman, who fired a 66. Doyle trudged on, with his daughter alongside. Four more pars, and he was a winner.
"I saw what Joe was doing, but on the back nine [I was feeling so bad] there was nothing I could do about it," said Doyle, whose third victory of '99 vaulted him to the top of the Senior tour money list ($1,036,364), ahead of Bruce Fleisher. "I just kept making par after par and hung in there. Par was my friend."