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Notebook
Gary Van Sickle
June 25, 2001
Matt Gogel's HomecomingA Local's Knowledge
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June 25, 2001

Notebook

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Numbers

Woods's scoring average in the last five major championships far surpasses that of any other player, but it is only a shade higher than his average in other Tour events over that span. Here are the players with the lowest averages in those majors and their Tour averages.

Tour Events

Majors

1. Tiger Woods

68.18

68.30

2. Phil Mickelson

69.31

70.50

3. David Duval

69.87

70.63

4. Paul Azinger

70.00

70.80

5. M. Calcavecchia

69.82

70.81

6. Chris DiMarco

70.09

70.86

7. Ernie Els

70.71

71.10

8. J.M. Olaz´┐Żbal

71.05

71.22

9. Thomas Bjorn

71.31

71.28

10. Stewart Cink

70.09

71.33

Matt Gogel's Homecoming
A Local's Knowledge

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Matt Gogel finished 12th at the U.S. Open. Best known as the hit-and-run victim left behind as Tiger Woods charged from seven back with seven holes to play to win last year's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Gogel, 30, caddied at Southern Hills during the summer of 1988 and learned to play on a lighted par-3 course at nearby LaFortune Park.

Gogel was 12 when his family moved to Tulsa from Lawrence, Kans., and he and his older brother, Mike, became regulars at LaFortune Park "LaFortune was our babysitter," Gogel says. "We moved here in July, too late to join a baseball team. You could play all day at LaFortune for $2. My dad would drop us off on his way to work, and my mom would pick us up later. We had a blast."

Gogel, who ranked 164th on the Tour's money list before the Open, went on to win the state high school championship in 1989 and the Oklahoma Amateur in 1990. He was a star at Kansas, winning the Big Eight title in '91 after having transferred from Oklahoma following his freshman year. He has fond memories of LaFortune's par-3 course, on which no hole is longer than 177 yards and the lights stay on until 11 p.m. "They used to have stairs on the 8th hole so you could climb the fence and go to the convenience store to get something to drink," Gogel says. "The first time we played there, my mom was with us, and I hit a shot that bounced off a bridge and onto the green."

In addition to the par-3 layout, LaFortune Park has a full-sized 18-hole course, a grass range and two putting greens, all part of a complex that includes tennis courts, baseball diamonds and jogging trails. During the Open, the par-3 course was hacking-room-only, making it one of Tulsa's most popular spots. The TV in the snack bar was tuned to the Open, but there was little talk of LaFortune's most famous alum, who now lives near Kansas City, Mo. "I don't think anybody here remembers him," says assistant pro David Bridges. Adds Gogel, who hasn't visited LaFortune since he was a teenager, "I'm sure they don't have my picture on a wall."

Controversies
Janzen, Duval Upset by Rulings

Two rules incidents on Southern Hills's 9th fairway had a couple of Tour players seeing red last Saturday. One involved two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, whose two-stroke penalty for improving his lie in the first round was assessed 24 hours after the infraction and caused him to miss the cut by one. The other had to do with David Duval, who angrily confronted USGA officials after being denied a drop from a crosswalk on the 9th fairway.

Janzen was at three over par last Thursday and getting ready to hit his approach to the 9th hole when rain delayed the round. After returning to the 9th fairway to resume play on Friday morning, he noticed that mowers had swerved around the marker he had left in the turf. Instead of hitting from what he called a "big glop of dew," Janzen toweled off the fairway before replacing his ball. James Halliday, the Royal Canadian Golf Association rules committee chairman, who was working his first U.S. Open, witnessed Janzen's actions but said nothing. It didn't occur to Halliday that Janzen might have broken a rule until Saturday morning, when he literally sat up in bed at 5:30, reached for the rule book in his black-leather briefcase and determined that Janzen had indeed broken Rule 13-2 for improving his lie and, more specifically, Decision 13-2/25 from the Rules of Golf for wiping away the dew.

By that time Janzen had completed two rounds in five over and thought he had made the cut by a shot. He was getting dressed to go to the course for the third round when USGA director of competition Tom Meeks called to tell him that the two-shot penalty had pushed him over the cut line. "This is our fault," Meeks said.

Halliday, 53, said he was only doing his job. "I don't feel guilty," he said. "It was unfortunate that I didn't catch it earlier, but Mr. Janzen breached the rules." Still, Janzen was upset that he wasn't informed of the mistake when it happened. "At least I would have had the opportunity to rectify my position," he said.

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