If Jarmo Sandelin didn't exist, golf would have to invent
him--the clown prince of pasture pool--to keep everybody awake
and alert. The jaunty Swede, who belatedly accused Mark O'Meara
of mismarking his ball at the '97 Trophee Lancome, also made
news last season for:
--Hitting himself with his ball while taking an octuple-bogey 12
at the South African PGA in Johannesburg, where he returned last
week and missed the cut.
--Wearing green, spiked snakeskin boots during the Volvo PGA.
--Styling in a sheer black Versace shirt at the Portuguese Open,
prompting a rule against see-through clothing. "I respect the
decision," Sandelin said. "Nobody wants to see my nipples, do
Well, no. A better question is, Does anybody want to see the rest
of him? Ready or not, U.S. fans may be in for a titillating
visit. After finishing 23rd on the European money list in '98,
Sandelin, 31, is eighth on the Ryder Cup points list and--Jerry
Springer, take note--in line to meet O'Meara and the boys in
Brookline, Mass., in September.
Sandelin--who was born in Finland, moved to Stockholm when he was
seven and now lives in Monaco--has peeved a peck of golfers since
taking up the game after a stint with the Swedish national junior
minigolf team. He's still bitter about an exchange he had with
Phil Mickelson at the '96 Dunhill Cup. Sandelin says Mickelson
accused him of taking the match too seriously. Mickelson says
Sandelin held his putter like a rifle and fired it. The two came
face-to-face as they walked to the 13th tee with Sandelin ahead
by four shots. "I told him to f--- off," Sandelin says. "I
haven't spoken to him since and have no desire to do so."
Sandelin's tiffs have a way of running longer than his driver,
which measures 52 inches. With ill will festering from the '97
Lancome, he irked Lee Westwood at the '98 Lancome. Sandelin's
ball moved after he addressed a one-foot putt, and Westwood
insisted that Sandelin take a penalty stroke. Sandelin said he
never grounds his putter on tap-ins and therefore was in the
clear. A rules official sided with Jarmo.
The next day Sandelin shot a 63, a round that he calls a turning
point because he started to think more positively on the course.
It was also a clear indication that Sandelin thrives on conflict.
He plays his best late in the season, by which time he's usually
blazed a trail with odd adventures and is well into a
multipronged defense of himself.
Of his clothing, Sandelin said last week, "If I'm going to have
clothing for my golf and different clothing for when I'm outside
golf, it's too much luggage."
His line on O'Meara: "He's a great player, and I admire the way
he plays golf. I still say I wouldn't have kept the trophy." And
on Westwood: "We sorted it out. I would have no problem being
teammates with Lee at the Ryder Cup."
Sandelin says he's already thinking of 1st-tee one-liners should
he face O'Meara or Mickelson at Brookline. Let the gamesmanship
CAYMAN BALL FINDS A HOME
As USGA technicians test high-performance golf balls, Joe Phelps
holds a low-tech wonder. "This one doesn't go too far at all,"
says Phelps, who runs Rancho del Cielo Lite Golf Course in
Temecula, Calif., where only the seldom-seen Cayman ball is
"With this ball we can have nine holes on our land," says Phelps
of his 2,511-yard layout, where the longest hole is a 275-yard
par-5 and the driving range is 120 yards deep. "Guys swing hard
and try to reach Chomper," Phelps says, nodding toward a horse
chewing straw at the far end of the range, "but he only gets hit
a few times a week."
The Cayman ball is the brainchild of Jack Nicklaus, who visited
the Cayman Islands in 1984, saw how little land he had on which
to build a course and asked ball designer Troy Puckett for help.
Puckett built a lighter ball by using a Surlyn core and gave it
pimples, not dimples. He annually ships 360,000 of them, to 18
short courses in Japan, Phelps's California course and more than
200 high schools and colleges, where P.E. instructors use them.
"It performs like a regular ball only when you hit it correctly,
so you have to concentrate on tempo and good mechanics," says
Puckett. "That's why Nicklaus occasionally practices with one."
Puckett's ball could prove to be a hit with both the USGA and the
ASPCA. Just ask Chomper, who barely notices when a Cayman ball
bounces off his rump. --Chris Lewis
COLOR PHOTO: CHRIS COLE Stick it to 'em Sandelin would add a slice of spite to the Ryder Cup. [Jarmo Sandelin]
COLOR PHOTO: TIM ROGERS [Philip Francis]
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BARD [Lena Gloshinski]
COLOR PHOTO: SCOTT WHEELER [Travis Perkins]
What do these players have in common?
They won tournaments in 1998 that have been discontinued. Pate
won the CVS Charity Classic, Nelson the Pittsburgh Senior Classic
and Kobayashi the Rainbow Foods LPGA Classic.
How many tournaments will David Duval win in 1999?
--Based on 1,081 responses to our informal survey
Next question: Whom would you most want to follow at the AT&T
Pebble Beach Pro-Am? To vote, go to www.cnnsi.com/golf.
The newly proposed Hall of Fame requirements stipulate that a
player must have been an LPGA member for 10 years, have accrued
27 points and have won one of the following: a major (2 points),
a player of the year award (1) or a scoring title (1). Other
wins count for one point each. Here are the active players
closest to entering the Hall.
Player Years Points
1. Annika Sorenstam 5 24
2. Hollis Stacy 25 21
3. Juli Inkster 16 20
4. Laura Davies 11 18
Sally Little 28 18
Jan Stephenson 25 18
7. Dottie Pepper 11 17
Philip Francis, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Philip, 10, won the 10-11 age group of the Doral Publix Junior
Classic in Miami by shooting a two-over-par 54-56-110 on a par-54
executive course to edge Spain's Miguel Cabrera-Bello by one
stroke. A 5.3 handicapper, Philip has won 62 of the 150
tournaments he has entered.
Lena Gloshinski, New Port Richey, Fla.
Gloshinski, 57, a retired secretary who began playing golf in
1995, had two holes in one while shooting a 94 at Timber Greens
Country Club in New Port Richey. She made her first ace with a
five-wood at the 118-yard 8th hole and her second with a
seven-iron on the 105-yard 13th.
Travis Perkins, Lewis Center, Ohio
Perkins, a senior at Florida Southern, won the Dixie Amateur on
the Mighty Oaks Course at Palm-Aire Country Club in Pompano
Beach, Fla., defeating Oklahoma senior Kevin Muncrief 4 and 3 in
the final. Perkins led the Moccasins to NCAA Division II titles
in 1996 and '98.