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Golf Notes October 12

John Daly goes to his Olympics this week.

Daly is the only American with two major titles who has never played in a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup, and the odds of him making one of those teams are about the same as Jack Nicklaus winning a seventh green jacket.

Thank goodness for the Dunhill Cup.

"It's my only chance of ever representing the United States in any type of golf," said Daly, who will join Tom Lehman and Larry Mize this week at St. Andrews. "It's a great honor to represent the U.S. in any fashion. Plus, it's my favorite course.''

Daly hasn't won since the 1995 British Open at St. Andrews, and lately he hasn't come close. But organizers had a hard time finding Americans because the Presidents Cup is next week.

Daly was a natural fit.

He has lost only once in two previous Dunhill Cup appearances. Two years ago, he was the only American to go undefeated in his stroke-play matches, on a team that included reigning British Open champion Mark O'Meara and Tiger Woods.

A return to the Old Course could be the shot of confidence Daly needs.

"I'm just waiting it out," he said. "I think some good things are goingto happen."


A year ago, after Tiger Woods closed out the season with four consecutive PGA Tour victories and became the first player since 1974 with eight wins in a season, he said he had not had time to reflect on his year.

A month after his record-shattering victory in the U.S. Open, he said it had not yet sunk in. He then went out and won two more majors.

On Monday, when he was asked whether he had assessed his place in history, Woods gave a similar response.

"At times I look at it, but I really don't take a serious look at it," said Woods, who at 24 already has won 24 times on the PGA Tour, including five majors, and became the youngest player to complete the career Grand Slam. "That's not who I am.

"I'd rather do that towards the end of my career,'' he said. "I'm just getting started, and I'll have plenty of time to reflect on what I've accomplished. Right now, I'm enjoying what I do.''


Don't blame Fred Couples if he thinks twice before taking a bet. In the November issue of Golf Digest magazine, he related a story about running into the late tennis hustler Bobby Riggs at Palm Beach Polo Club.

Riggs wanted to play a money match with no strokes. The only provision was that he get one "throw'' on each hole. Couples figured he could whip him even with two throws, so he took the bet.

Big mistake.

"On the first hole, I hit my approach shot to 15 feet," Couples said. "Meanwhile, it took Riggs four shots to reach the green. But just as I got set to putt, Riggs walked over, picked up my ball and threw it out-of-bounds."

Couples said Riggs laughed and refused to take his money.

"You've heard the lesson before, but here it goes again," Couples said. "If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is."


The Evian Masters in France is not a major championship, but it is becoming a major event on the LPGA Tour schedule.

The total purse will be $2.1 million for next year, an increase of $300,000 and second only to the U.S. Women's Open in prize money. First place will be worth $378,000.

"Our goal is to have the Evian Masters attain the same status and prestige for the women that The Masters in Augusta has for the men,'' tournament chairman Franck Riboud said Monday.

The Evian Masters will be played June 13-16, one week before the LPGA Championship.


Tiger Woods can go over $10 million in earnings for the year by winning his final three tournaments -- National Car Rental Classic at Disney World, the Tour Championshipm and the American Express in Valderrama.

Money is rarely a motivator for Woods, but perhaps this is: He has a chance to tie Byron Nelson for highest winning percentage in a year.

Three more victories would give him 12 in 20 events, a winning rate of 60 percent. Nelson won 18 of 30 in 1945.

It also would be six victories in a row for Woods, equaling the second-longest streak in PGA Tour history behind Nelson's 11 in a row in 1945. Woods won six straight from the NEC Invitational last year through the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February.


After the third round of the Michelob Championship, someone pointed out to David Duval that the leaders had a combined 12 victories -- 12 for Duval, 0 for everyone else.

"That's what you can say about our World Cup team -- three majors among us this year,'' Duval replied with a laugh.

The U.S. World Cup team will be Duval and Tiger Woods.

Then there's the National Car Rental Classic at Disney World, which reports that its field will include the winners of all four major championships for the first time since 1971. That would be Woods and Vijay Singh.


Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N.Y., has been chosen for the 2002 U.S. Women's Amateur. ... National Car Rental has decided to extend its title sponsorship of the tournament at Disney World through 2002, the last year before the new television contract begins. ... The U.S. Open at Southern Hills sold out, at 35,000 tickets a day. It's the 15th consecutive U.S. Open sellout, dating to the '87 Open at The Olympic Club. ... Jesus Amaya and Gustavo Mendoza of Colombia won the Nations Cup in Jamaica, and qualified for the World Cup in Argentina. Also getting into the field were Germany and Finland. ... Kelli Kuehne, bypassed for the Solheim Cup, had eye surgery last week. ... Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus will play an 18-hole exhibition Nov. 15 at The Kingand The Bear, the course they designed together at the World Golf Village.


Beth Daniel was 0-3-1 in the Solheim Cup, the worst record by a captain's pick in an international team event since Curtis Strange was 0-3 in the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill.


"They can't get things right -- and they've got an eraser.'' CBS Sports analyst Ken Venturi, on television critics.




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