Buick Classic, Westchester Country Club (below), Rye, N.Y.
Tuning up for a defense of his Open crown, Ernie Els defends
bumper-to-bumper Buick titles
Oldsmobile Classic, Walnut Hills Country Club, East Lansing, Mich.
Dinah Shore champ Pat Hurst, who got her first career win in the
'97 Olds, shore can play here
BellSouth Senior Classic at Opryland, Springhouse Golf Club,
The top 14 money winners of '97 hit Music City to test
Springhouse's lush, renovated fairways
Compaq European Grand Prix, Slaley Hall Course, Hexham, England
Seve Ballesteros and Andrew Coltart lead a thin field as Euro
stars depart to prep for the U.S. Open
Wouldn't You Rather Win a Buick? No.
A warning to pros at the Buick Classic: If you're leading on
Sunday, make like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack. Fake an
injury. In the past 10 years, the winners of the events
immediately preceding the U.S. Open--the Buick, the Kemper Open,
the Western Open and the FedEx St. Jude Classic--have stunk at
the Open. Those 10 champs have missed five Open cuts and
finished no higher than fifth. Still, the Warmup Classic always
attracts a strong crop of European pros getting in some
last-minute practice Stateside. Bernhard Langer, Jose Maria
Olazabal, Lee Westwood and Ian Woosnam hope to topple two-time
defending Buick champ Ernie Els before they shoot for Olympic
glory. Condolences to the victor.
CBS, SATURDAY, 3 PM; SUNDAY, 4 PM
Hurst in the Driver's Seat at the Olds
The Oldsmobile's turbocharged lineup may be missing a
cylinder--last week's winner, Annika Sorenstam, isn't here--but
it does feature seven of the top 10 money winners, including
Donna Andrews, Liselotte Neumann, Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb and
defending champ Pat Hurst. Enough about LPGA bigs, however. Get
a load of the tournament's nifty rigs: With 135 courtesy cars,
the Classic has nearly double the fleet seen at merely
middle-of-the-road tour stops. Hurst got her career in gear here
last year, but she had better watch the rearview mirror for
money leader Andrews, who lost a playoff to Sorenstam last
Sunday at the Michelob Light Classic.
The Opry Ain't Over Till Stockton Swings
Dave Stockton, 56, has won at least once in each of his six
Senior seasons. This year Stockton has notched two seconds, two
thirds and two fourth-place finishes, but no titles. Is the 1976
PGA champion overdue? In Nashville he will have to get past Hale
Irwin, Larry Nelson and '97 BellSouth Senior champ Gil Morgan to
reach the winner's circle, but you've got to like Stockton's
chances. He has yet to miss the top 10 in the four years that
Opryland has hosted the event.
NBC, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, 2 PM
COLOR PHOTO: JULES ALEXANDER [View of golf course at Westchester Country Club]