Golf Notes December 11
Masters champion Mike Weir says Canadian beer will be flowing at the Champions Dinner at Augusta National next April.
As for the food? That remains undecided.
``I've been kicking around a few ideas,'' Weir said. ``My mom cooks some awesome Italian food. My wife is Mexican and I love that. But Italian food and Mexican food is probably not a good combination. I'll probably have to pick one or the other.''
The U.S. Women's Open will finally get another crack at a course best known for it's men's championships.
The USGA announced this week that the 2010 Women's Open is going to Oakmont, where Jack Nicklaus won the first of his 18 professional majors in the 1962 U.S. Open, and where Ernie Els won his first major in the 1994 U.S. Open.
Oakmont, regarded as one of the toughest U.S. Open sites, earlier this year held the U.S. Amateur. It also will host the 2007 U.S. Open.
Patty Sheehan won the 1992 U.S. Women's Open at Oakmont in a playoff over Juli Inkster, but that was the last time the women played on what traditionally is a men's U.S. Open course.
The women are going to Cherry Hills in 2005, although that hasn't been part of the U.S. Open rotation since Arnold Palmer's famous charge to win his only U.S. Open in 1960.
CHAMPIONS AT PEBBLE
Wal-Mart has signed on as a major sponsor of The First Tee, with plans of bringing together kids and seniors at Pebble Beach.
The cornerstone of the two-year deal is a Champions Tour event Sept. 3-5 called The First Tee Open of Pebble Beach, in which First Tee junior participants will partner with 78 seniors in a 54-hole tournament.
Three scores will be kept -- each of the 78 pros, the pro-junior team, and the pro, junior and two other amateur partners. The first two rounds will be played at Pebble Beach and Bayonet, one of the toughest courses on the Monterey Peninsula.
The top 22 pro-junior teams, and all 78 pros, will advance to the final round.
The First Tee, in conjunction with Wal-Mart and the Champions Tour, will conduct regional qualifying tournaments for juniors (ages 13-18) to determine who gets to play.
During a year in which seven women competed on men's tours around the world, one of the most impressive feats came from Yuri Fudo.
She captured her fourth straight money title on the Japanese LPGA Tour this year. What makes her accomplishment notable is that Fudo earned more money than Toshi Izawa, who won the money title on the men's Japanese tour.
It was the first time in Japan that a woman earned more than a man for one season.
Fudo won 10 of 24 tournaments to make more than 149 million yen ($1.38 million). Izawa won two of the 22 events he played, and his worldwide earnings were just over 135 million yen ($1.26 million).
``It's not because of me that this happened,'' Izawa said. ``Ms. Fudo deserves a warm round of applause for winning 10 tournaments.''
Mark O'Meara was sporting a new look on the greens Tuesday -- the claw putting grip. O'Meara, one of the best putters in golf, had been struggling with the yips the past few months. ... Robert Allenby's victory in the Australian Masters improved his career record to 8-0 in playoffs. That includes three of his four PGA Tour victories.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Tiger Woods had a career-high 299.5 yards in average driving distance, but this was the first year he finished out of the top 10.
``I don't look at it as last place. I look at it as fourth.'' -- British Open champion Ben Curtis, who finished fourth among the four major winners at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
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