Walker Cup Reversal
Spankin' the Yanks
It wasn't enough that Great Britain and Ireland had the NCAA and Pac-10 champs, a pet tiger named Eldrick and the look of a favorite. No, the lads of GB&I also had to steal the Yanks' fashion mojo—wearing polo necks under their sport shirts, a distinctly American wrinkle—at the Walker Cup at Nairn, Scotland, last week Said one fan, eying GB&I's layered linksters, "They look more American than the Americans."
That was just it. The U.S. players got a fair glimpse of their former selves as they were shelled 15-9, the most lopsided U.S. loss in Walker Cup history, at the 6,602-yard, par-71 Nairn Golf Club. In a 77-year-old series that the U.S. led 31-4-1, GB&I won in what had been typical American fashion, by plucking its stars from atop the U.S. collegiate ranks, adding a few cagey veterans and owning the singles matches. Luke Donald of Beaconsfield, England, and the NCAA champ from Northwestern, went 4-0 for GB&I. Ditto Paul Casey of Burhill, England, the Pac-10 champion from Arizona State. All told, four of the 10 GB&I golfers have played college golf Stateside, and a fifth, Philip Rowe, will start at Stanford next week after a 3-0 mark at Nairn.
"There are a lot of good players outside America, and people like me have proved that," said Donald. "More people from England and Europe are going over to America because they are finding out the system is so good there, and American coaches are only too happy to receive them."
GB&I, down 7-5 after the first day, took 10 of the remaining 12 points on Sunday to win for the third time in the last six biennial matches. The scene was grim for the Americans. Matt Kuchar of Georgia Tech sat during the Saturday singles, lost to Rowe one up on Sunday and finished 0-3. Kuchar's Tech teammate Bryce Molder was 0-3-1. Western Amateur champion Steve Scott also went 0-3. Only Public Links champ Hunter Haas (3-1) won as many as three points for the U.S., while four players did so for GB&I. Gary Wolstenholme (3-0) upset U.S. Amateur champ David Gossett one up, but then Wolstenholme, 38, also defeated Tiger Woods in the '95 Walker Cup. To commemorate that W, Wolstenholme has a tiger headcover that he calls Eldrick. Memo to the boys in red, white and blue: You've lost your stripes.
Business Golf 101
College Kids On Grass
Last January, when Charles Barkley signed a contract with the Houston Rockets between the 9th green and 10th tee at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, he broke one of the fundamental rules of the businessman's on-course code. According to Dan Weilbaker, the David Leadbetter of duffer dealmakers, Barkley should've signed at the 19th hole.
That's one of the basics of Business Golf 101, a not-for-credit seminar conducted by Northern Illinois sales professor Weilbaker in which students sit for a 90-minute lecture and then practice what they've learned during an 18-hole round. Weilbaker tells students to use all 18 holes to negotiate and not to let the client win, which might foster distrust.
At the third annual seminar last week at the Indian Lakes Conference and Resort Center in Bloomingdale, Ill., 47 students sat for the lecture, then played golf with 97 Chicagoland business professionals (recruited by Weilbaker) with whom they applied the lessons by selling themselves for internships or jobs.
Heather McLindsay last year found herself in a group with Chuck Howlett of Eli Lilly and Company. "At the end of the day he asked for my resume and arranged an interview," McLindsay says. Four months later she got a job as a sales representative. McLindsay played poorly that round, but no matter. In Business Golf 101, you can lose on the course as long as your sales pitch is a winner.