Freeport-McDermott Classic, English Turn Golf & Country Club,
Tom Lehman and Eurostars Jose Maria Olazabal and Lee Westwood
should set the pace
Longs Drugs Challenge, Twelve Bridges Golf Course, Lincoln, Calif.
Annika Sorenstam and Pat Hurst lead the chase for $600,000 in
The Tradition, Desert Mountain Country Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Gil Morgan won by a record six shots in '97. He'll be favored
again in the year's first Senior major
FREEPORT CAN MEAN A FREE PASS TO AUGUSTA
First-prize money at the Freeport-McDermott Classic is almost
secondary, for the winner gets more than an oversized check for
$306,000. He gets a first-class ticket to Augusta. The Masters
is an invitation-only event, and if you aren't already in,
there's only one way to join the march to Georgia--win the
battle of New Orleans. With many top players taking the week off
to prep for Augusta, this week's field is unimpressive. Still,
don't dismiss the man who masters New Orleans's 7,116-yard,
par-72 English Turn course. Davis Love III won the 1995 Freeport
to nab a last-minute Masters invite, then finished second at
Augusta, one stroke behind Ben Crenshaw. Scott McCarron won here
in '96 and went on to place 10th at the Masters. Who will follow
their lead this year? Payne Stewart, the most notable omission
from the Masters field, said he was "exhausted" after the
Players and would bypass English Turn. Glen Day, who's 10th on
the money list after finishing second last week, will join
21-time Tour winner Lanny Wadkins among the contenders at New
--NBC, SATURDAY, 4 PM; SUNDAY, 3:30 PM
RX FOR A SHORT SLUMP: A TRIP TO LONGS DRUGS
Annika Sorenstam notched her third victory of the '97 season at
the Longs Drugs Challenge, prompting memories of Nancy Lopez's
nine wins in '78 and Mickey Wright's record 13-victory season in
'63. Sorenstam finished with six wins and the player of the year
award. Thus far this season she has zero victories, but with
Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies, Kelly Robbins and Karrie Webb
taking the week off, Sunday might be her day to shine.
WELCOME TO GOLDEN BEARIZONA?
The Tradition usually features the early season's strongest
field. Gil Morgan and Hale Irwin will uphold that tradition.
Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course at Desert Mountain Resort
(above) and has won here four times, emerges from hibernation to
battle Morgan and Irwin as well as traditional Senior powers Jim
Colbert, Raymond Floyd and Dave Stockton.
--ABC, SATURDAY, 4 PM; SUNDAY, 3 PM
COLOR PHOTO: GARY NEWKIRK/ALLSPORT [Desert Mountain Resort golf course]