Tiger didn't win, but he did his share in making this U.S. Open
spectacularly watchable. So did Phil Mickelson and Payne Stewart,
whose putter should be requisitioned by NATO. The 7.9 overnight
rating of NBC's Sunday telecast was an 18% increase over '98 and
comes as no surprise. From John Daly's lunacy and Johnny Miller's
rebuke to Tiger's heat and Phil and Amy's beeper, the Father's
Day finale was one of the finest shows ever.
PGA Stewart ranked 50th out of 68 in driving distance (255.3
yards) while winning the Open. Two months ago Jose Maria
Olazabal ranked second to last in that category while winning
the Masters.... Only Stewart and Vijay Singh had more than one
round in the 60s.... On Sunday, Stewart's total of 24 putts was
bettered only by Dudley Hart, who had 23 while shooting 69 and
moving from 46th to 17th place.... By finishing second,
Mickelson jumped from 14th to eighth on the Ryder Cup points list.
LPGA Se Ri Pak, who hadn't won since July 26 of last year, closed
with a 66 to edge Trish Johnson by two strokes at the ShopRite
LPGA Classic in Atlantic City. Pak is the defending champ at this
week's LPGA Championship and next week's Jamie Farr Kroger
Classic.... Pak birdied all nine of the par-5s over the event's
three rounds.... Juli Inkster, who came in third in Atlantic
City, five strokes behind Pak, has hit for the cycle at the
ShopRite, finishing first, second, third and fourth.... The last
time Annika Sorenstam, who tied for sixth, went this deep into
the season without a victory was in 1995, when she won the U.S.
Open on July 16.
SENIOR John Mahaffey made two birdie putts in sudden death to
eliminate first Bruce Fleisher and then Jose Maria Canizares and
win the Southwestern Bell Dominion in San Antonio. It was
Mahaffey's first Senior win and the ninth this season by a
ALSO Grace Park got her first pro victory when she chipped in
for an eagle 3 on the 18th hole of the Greater Lima (Ohio)
Futures Open. It was the second eagle of the day for Park as she
shot a final-round 68 to beat Patricia Johnson by two strokes.
Jenny Chuasiriporn was sixth.... At the Moroccan Open, David
Park (no relation) nearly became the first man to win in his
first European tour start. He missed a seven-foot birdie putt on
the 5th hole of a playoff with Miguel Angel Martin, who won with
a par on the sixth.... A group led by Clint Eastwood, Arnold
Palmer and Peter Ueberroth finalized a deal to buy Pebble Beach
for $820 million.
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY AL TIELEMANS No Payne, no gain It didn't come easy, but Stewart's second Open victory was doubly sweet.
UP and Down
Payne Stewart USGA clock-watchers
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Scotland Earl Woods
Austin Powers LPGA