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Ginn Dandy
JIM GORANT
May 08, 2006
The LPGA's newest event is a hit
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May 08, 2006

Ginn Dandy

The LPGA's newest event is a hit

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After five years without a full-field event in Florida, the LPGA tour strolled back into the Sunshine State as if it were Rick's Caf´┐Ż Americain. Last week's Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open, won by Mi Hyun Kim with a 12-under 276, drew a stellar field thanks to its location near Orlando, where many pros live, and its $2.5 million purse, the second largest on the women's circuit. The weekend action was aired live on CBS, and the early rounds grabbed a boatload of attention because of exemptions for Dakoda Dowd, a 13-year-old whose mother is dying of cancer, and Andia Winslow, the niece of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. The truth is that the tournament didn't need either of those extracurricular storylines to establish itself. "A brand-new event coming in at $2.5 million--we're pretty excited," said Karrie Webb, who tied for second at 278. "The hospitality has been great, and the course was in great shape as well. I hope this is a long-term deal. I think it will be the start of a great relationship." Indeed, the Ginn Open has a four-year contract, so here's looking at you, kid.

Acting His Age

Two weeks after missing the cut at the PGA Tour's Heritage Classic, Jay Haas, 52, won his second straight Champions tour event on Sunday with an 11-under 205 at the FedEx Kinko's Classic in Austin. Haas planned to return to the under-50 scene to play with his son Bill at this week's Wachovia Championship in Charlotte and at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, May 18--21. Still, Haas isn't considering a full-time return to the PGA Tour. In 20 senior starts he's had 13 top 10s, including four wins, and earned $2,396,308, or an average of $119,815 a start. "I enjoy being in contention out here," he said after the FedEx.

ALSO ...

? Tom Kite tied for second at the FedEx, two shots short of completing a bizarre numerological feat: Kite won the 600th and 700th events in Champions tour history. The FedEx was the 800th. ?During his post-Masters break Phil Mickelson teed it up--and played barefoot--with Texas football coach Mack Brown in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. ? Chris Couch is the first Tour player since such records started being kept in 1970 to go from last to first in the third round and hang on to win.

? Jim Gorant's Power Rankings appear every Wednesday at SI.com/golf.

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