CBS AND Golf
Channel analyst Nick Faldo (below) made as much news as he covered last week.
Word leaked that Faldo will work the weekend rounds of the McDonald's LPGA
Championship (June 7--10) for Golf Channel, even though CBS will be
broadcasting the PGA Tour's Stanford St. Jude Championship the same weekend.
It's a nice attention-getting coup for the LPGA major, and after all, why
should the women be spared Faldo's lacerating wit?
Faldo, who will
turn 50 on July 18, also said that he will make his Champions tour debut at the
July 26--29 Senior British Open at Muirfield, where he won the first of his six
majors 20 years ago. "A Senior Open title at Muirfield to go with my two
regular Open Championships there is certainly my goal," Faldo said. Faldo
has not won any event since the 1997 Nissan Open. He last played at Muirfield
in the 2002 British Open and finished 59th.
? DROP THE C
Scott Hoch is best known for missing a two-footer to lose the 1989 Masters and
for blowing a seven-shot Sunday lead at the '95 Shell Houston Open, after which
he famously said, "That's Hoch as in choke, and you can print it,
boys." But on Sunday, Hoch held on to his 36-hole lead for a two-shot
victory at the FedEx Kinkos Classic in Austin, his first Champions tour win.
Afterward he declared that he was glad to get a new lease on his golfing life.
"The PGA Tour was what it was," Hoch said. "This is different."
... For the first time in his 36-year pro career, Tom Kite will be absent from
qualifying for or playing in the U.S. Open. "It was really tough on me
because I always loved the Open, it was a big part of me," said Kite, the
1992 winner. "But there are too many senior events I want to play, and
Oakmont is not my absolute most favorite course for an Open."
? MORE WOE
The hard times continue for Darren Clarke, whose wife, Heather, died of cancer
last Aug. 13. Clarke has missed the weekend in his last four starts, is on his
third swing coach in six months ( Butch Harmon to Ewen Murray to David
Leadbetter), and two weeks ago he injured his hamstring playing with his son
Conor. Clarke struggled through the first round of the Wachovia, but he
withdrew after shooting a 76, hoping additional rest would allow him to get
through this week's Players.... Olin Browne headed to Sawgrass angling to
finish a tournament for the first time since last October, when he opted to
rest a torn ligament in his right hand. He attempted to return earlier this
year but WD'd from the Hope and the Buick Invitational, citing a wrist injury.
Last week Browne withdrew from the Wachovia, betting that another week off
would do the trick.
? SUGGESTED WOODS