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Hats Off
JIM GORANT
March 06, 2006
The Chrysler Classic goes out in style
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March 06, 2006

Hats Off

The Chrysler Classic goes out in style

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If Kirk Triplett wants to be remembered as more than a guy who wore a funny hat, he has to repeat what he did last week, when he shot a 22-under 266 to win the Chrysler Classic of Tucson. In so doing he became the last player to win the tournament during its eight-year stint (1999 to 2006) as a secondary option to another Tour event played the same week. In '07 the Chrysler Classic will be no more, and the Accenture Match Play will move to the South course at the Gallery Golf Club. The agreement ensures that the Tour will stay in Tucson--where there's been a tournament for the last 61 years--for another four years. The Conquistadors, a local charity that has run the event for 40 years, will maintain its duties, including ticket sales, which are expected to skyrocket. "If people came out to see Garrett Willis [the '01 champ], I think they'll come to see Tiger Woods," says Russ Perlich, a Conquistador. What they won't see is the tournament's unique trophy, a gilded conquistador helmet, meaning Triplett will be the last man to don the golden dome. Maybe he will be remembered for a silly hat.... Playing against John Daly in the first round of the Match Play, Phil Mickelson whipped out a 47-inch driver, which gives him an extra 15 to 20 yards off the tee, but he ditched the longer stick the next day, saying, "I'll still tinker with it, but I didn't have the control over it that I wanted."

Woodshed

When Woods beat Stephen Ames 9 and 8 in the first round of the Match Play, it was not the worst 18-hole whipping ever seen on Tour. There were two 9-and-8 beatings in the PGA Championship: In 1951 Johnny Bulla drubbed Jim Ferrier, and a year later Bob Hamilton put it on Vic Ghezzi. In a nonmajor the largest previous close-out was Jim Colbert's 8-and-7 stomping of Dave Eichelberger in the '84 Seiko Tucson--Match Play.

ALSO ...

? On Feb. 21 Greg Norman had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. ? Jerry Pate's win at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am was his first since the 1982 Players, a gap of 23 years and 11 months. Mike Fetchick waited 28 years and nine months between wins at the '56 Mayfair Inn Open and the '85 Hilton Head Seniors.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

Survey Says ...

Last week Chris Riley, in Tucson, and Tim Clark, at the Match Play, each carried five woods, a rarity on the PGA Tour. The chart above shows the number of woods carried by pros in the two events.

The Darrell Survey has tracked equipment usage at pro and amateur tournaments since 1938.

? For a new edition of Inside Golf every weekday, go to SI.com/golf.

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