The 85° heat wasn't the only thing that made LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley boil over last Friday at the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic in Sylvania, Ohio. Bradley, after shooting a four-over-par 75 to miss the cut, confronted Dale Jones, the veteran caddie of playing partner Dale Eggling, grabbed him by his shirt collar and accused him of coughing during her backswing. "Don't ever do that again!" witnesses said Bradley told Jones.
Bradley, who in March was named captain of the 2000 U.S. Solheim Cup team, could not be reached by SI. Barb Trammel, the LPGA director of operations, confirmed an altercation but declined to speculate on the consequences. "The only thing I can tell you," she said, "is that the matter is being looked into and handled internally and confidentially."
Record LPGA Playoff
Se Ri Survives A Six-Pak
Kelli Kuehne obliterated the 35-mph speed limit racing back to Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania on Sunday for the record six-player playoff in the Kroger Classic. Having finished her round 2½ hours earlier and thinking that her eight-under total would fall short, Kuehne left the course for a bite to eat. Big mistake.
While Kuehne was picking up takeout chicken at Boston Market, leader Carin Koch was coming undone on the 18th hole. She made a double-bogey 7 to fall back to eight under. Several players still had a chance to win, but a playoff involving Kuehne looked possible, if somebody could find her.
LPGA officials and Kuehne's caddie, Tracy Phillips, began frantically dialing. Messages were left, but by the time Kuehne finally noticed she had one on her cell phone, she and her boyfriend, Jay Humphrey, were 12 miles from the course, on their way to the hotel to chow down and then check out. She reversed direction, heading for the course at 90 mph. "I let her do the driving," said Humphrey. "I wasn't going to get the ticket." Meanwhile, four-other golfers who could have won with a birdie on the par-5 18th came up short. Mardi Lunn, Sherri Steinhauer and Karrie Webb all missed birdie putts before Se Ri Pak, in the final group, two-putted from the fringe for par. Pak was playing 18 when Kuehne came roaring up to the club.
The first six-way playoff in LPGA history never got past the first hole, the par-5 18th, which all of the players reached in regulation. Pak, the defending champ, was closest to the pin at 12 feet, and she had to wait until all of the others had missed their birdie tries to stroke hers.
Pak had missed a putt from about the same spot last year, when she came within a stroke of breaking the LPGA's single-event scoring record. "I remembered that it never broke," Pak said, "so this time I played it inside the hole and hit it perfectly."
O'Connor's First Senior Win
A Happy Day, A Sad Memory
Christy O'Connor Jr. spent more than 30 years on the European tour trying to get out of the shadow of his legendary uncle, Christy O'Connor Sr., and although he won an epic match over Fred Couples in the '89 Ryder Cup, stiffing a two-iron on the 18th hole at the Belfry to help Europe keep the Cup, he never quite made it.