The 6'2", 165-pound Doom, with her gangling yet explosive delivery, was the most spectacular performer on a U.S. team that won all nine of its games en route to the gold medal. With Michelle Granger contributing a no-hitter and Lisa Fernandez winning five and saving another, U.S. pitchers allowed three runs and 13 hits in 60 innings.
Doom is no stranger to perfection. A 1986 UCLA graduate, she pitched five perfect games as a Bruin. In her third start, against Cuba last Friday, Doom threw four shutout innings before handing off to Fernandez. For the gold medal game on Sunday, the two switched, with Fernandez starting against Canada and Doom finishing the 14-1 rout.
Earlier in the week, on a sight-seeing expedition, several team members stopped to buy hand-rolled cigars. "Just for souvenirs," said Fernandez with a grin. Doom bought none. "I don't know anyone who smokes," she said.
No matter. She now has a couple of Cuban perfectos of her own.
Tee in China?
A scholar claims chuiwan is the forerunner of golf
Golf was invented in Scotland, aye? Um-ho, according to Ling Hongling, professor of physical education at Northwest Normal University (Old NNU) in Lanxhou, China. In an article published in the latest issue of the Australian Society for Sports History Bulletin, Ling writes that the ancient game of chuiwan is almost "identical in content" to golf. Because chuiwan—chui means "hitting," wan means "ball"—appeared in Chinese literature as far back as 943 A.D., that would give it historical precedence over the first mention of "golfe," in a 1457 Scottish statute, which is the basis for the claim that the bonny sport was invented in Scotland. What's more, Ling theorizes, the game was imported to Europe by traders who traveled to China during the Middle Ages.
Needless to say, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland, is not happy with the article. "It's a hoax," says Bobby Burnet, the R&A's historian. "It's an academic joke." Burnet says that many other writers have discovered "some sort of club and ball game" and concluded that they had found the origin of golf. "The distinguishing feature of golf is the hole," says Burnet. "You putt the ball into a hole."
In fact, Ling points out that "when playing [chuiwan], the competitors would drive the ball into each of a series of pits dug in the ground." That certainly sounds familiar. The editor of the Sports History Bulletin, Braham Dabscheck, is disappointed in the response by the R&A. "I hoped they might have thought the theory was worth investigating instead of just knocking it straight away," says Dabscheck. "It might provide an opportunity to develop the game in China and provide a bridge between East and West. I thought golfing authorities would be interested in doing that."
There's more bad news for the Royal & Ancient. Professor Ling says that chuiwan was a favorite sport of Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). That would mean that the Chinese forerunner of golf is ancient and royal.