Olympian Shane Hamman
Going for The Golf
Shane Hamman can hit the ball a ton, which isn't surprising
considering that he can lift half a ton. What is surprising is
how Hamman, a 28-year-old Olympic weightlifter who set the world
record in the superheavyweight division for the squat (1,008
pounds), is able to swing a golf club around a body that's as
wide as a phone booth. "I'm really flexible," says Hamman, whose
tale of the tape reads as follows: height, 5'9"; weight, 360
pounds; chest, 62"; biceps, 22"; thighs, 35". "As part of my
training I stretch so many times a day I never let myself get
tight." He is so supple he can do a standing backflip and dunk a
On the course Hamman turns fast enough to pound out 350-yard
drives but also battles a nasty slice. Thanks to a deft short
game, he has whittled his handicap to 14. "A hundred twenty yards
and in with my pitching wedge is my money shot," says Hamman, who
has played golf for seven years.
After graduating from Mustang (Okla.) High in 1990, Hamman
stocked watermelons at his father's produce business for eight
years. At about the same time, he tried powerlifting, teaching
himself techniques for the squat, bench press and deadlift by
reading magazines. "In my first competition, when I was 18, I
broke all the teenage world records," he says. But after watching
the 1996 Games on TV, Hamman switched to Olympic-style
weightlifting (the snatch and the clean and jerk). "I saw how
professional they were," says Hamman, "and how much media there
Although no one had ever successfully switched from power- to
Olympic lifting, Hamman won the national superheavyweight crown
his first time out, in 1997, and has retained his title every
year since. Ranked ninth in the world, Hamman is considered a
dark horse for a medal in Sydney. "Weightlifting is my sport," he
says, "but golf is my favorite sport."
Despite the dichotomy between golf and weightlifting, Hamman
finds similarities between the swing and the snatch: "Lifting
the bar from the ground over your head in one move is not about
muscling it up. It's all about technique, timing and body
position. When you do it right, it feels as if there is no
weight on the bar at all, just like when you hit it pure in
golf, and it feels as if you didn't even swing." --Scott Gummer
Good News, Bad News
Sergio Garcia, Paul Lawrie, Jesper Parnevik and Jean Van de
Velde's loss is the Aug. 24-27 Reno-Tahoe Open's gain. Those four
golfers, all members of the 1999 European Ryder Cup team, were
supposed to be hobnobbing with the top dogs on those dates at the
NEC Invitational--a $5 million World tour event in Akron, created
for the most recent Ryder and Presidents Cuppers. Instead, three
of the four (Parnevik is nursing a back injury) are scheduled to
go slumming with the P.H. Horgans of the PGA Tour in Reno.
Garcia blames the European tour for making him feel like a
first-class citizen in a second-rate event. Before the season
Euro tour officials changed the eligibility for the NEC, limiting
entry to the top 12 on that tour's money list. That effectively
eliminated the four Euros, who play in the U.S. more than in
Europe. "We deserve to play at the NEC," Garcia says. "I'm not
happy about this."
Reno-Tahoe tournament director Jim Kline, though, is "going
nuts." Securing commitments from the three headliners was
terrific news for an event that has struggled to stay alive
since its title sponsor, Greens.com, took a powder last month.
"We knew it was a sore subject for them," Kline says. "It's not
like you can go up to them and say, 'Hey, too bad about Akron.
Now you can come and play our event because we're second-best.'"
COLOR PHOTO: WILLIAM R. SALAZ Hamman, a long shot in Sydney, can hit 350-yard drives.
COLOR PHOTO: PHELEN EBENHACK
COLOR PHOTO: SUSAN DUNCAN
COLOR PHOTO: CHAD CARDER
Tiger Woods won't lack for incentive at the PGA Championship,
because there's a record within his grasp more remarkable than
the career Grand Slam. Woods, who already holds the mark for the
lowest score in relation to par at the Masters, the U.S. Open
and the British Open, needs to go 18 under at Valhalla to become
the first player to concurrently hold the scoring standard at
all four majors.
What do these players have in common?
They're the only golfers to win the PGA Championship after their
40th birthday. Nicklaus was 40 when he was victorious in 1980,
the last of his five PGA titles. Trevino was 44 in 1984, Barber
45 in 1961 and Boros 48 in 1968.
Will Tiger Woods ever win all four majors in the same year?
--Based on 8,300 responses to our informal survey
Next question: Which tournament should replace the du Maurier
Classic as the LPGA's fourth major: Big Apple Classic, Rochester
International, British Open or none?
Vote at golfplus.cnnsi.com.
Lorie Kane had finished second in nine tournaments before
winning the Michelob Light Classic in St. Louis on Sunday,
leaving her one runner-up finish shy of tying Laura Baugh's LPGA
record for most second places without a victory. Here are the
leading bridesmaids among nonwinners still active on the tour.
1. Laura Baugh 442 10
2. Carin Koch 223 5
3. Kim Saiki 198 4
4. Lisa Hackney 99 3
4. Robin Walton 502 3
Seven players tied with 2
Justin Biggs, Kissimmee, Fla.
Biggs, 21, shot a 66 to overcome a 10-stroke deficit in the
final round and win the Florida Amateur at Pine Tree Golf Club
in Boynton Beach. Biggs, an NAIA All-America at Northwood
University, finished with a one-under 287, a stroke better than
Buddy Alexander, 47, the University of Florida coach, and Joe
Alfieri II, 31, of Lutz, Fla.
Lindsy Reed, Rigby, Idaho
Reed, 19, won the Idaho Amateur by shooting a five-over 230 at
Pinecrest Golf Course in Idaho Falls. She beat Laura Skinner,
18, of Boise by a stroke. Reed, the 1999 state high school
champion, is a sophomore at Sam Houston State in Huntsville,
Texas, where she plays on the golf team.
David Howard, Brookings, S.Dak.
Howard, 39, a tool company supervisor, used a seven-iron to ace
the 145-yard par-3 2nd hole at Edgebrook Golf Course in
Brookings. It was his first hole in one. Twenty-five hours
later, Howard bowled a 300 game, the fifth of his career, at
Prairie Lanes, also in Brookings. He has been playing both
sports for 10 years.
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The Tiger Effect
Some pundits say that when handicapping a Tour event, the first
thing to do is eliminate from consideration anyone who has the
misfortune of being paired with Tiger Woods. The numbers,
though, show that not every player gets leveled when paired with
Tiger; some play up to his level. Here are the 33 Tour pros who
have played at least one round in the same group as Woods this
season. Eleven of them have a lower average score when paired
with Tiger. Twenty-two, however, have a higher average.
Rds. w/o Woods with Woods Tiger Effect
Lee Janzen 2 71.33 69.00 -2.33
Jeff Maggert 2 72.18 70.50 -1.68
Sergio Garcia 2 72.17 70.50 -1.67
Hal Sutton 3 70.48 69.00 -1.48
Billy Andrade 2 71.60 70.50 -1.10
Fred Couples 3 70.56 69.66 -0.90
Dennis Paulson 1 71.63 71.00 -0.63
Steve Pate 2 71.10 70.50 -0.60
Olin Browne 3 71.24 71.00 -0.24
Ernie Els 5 70.02 69.80 -0.22
J.P. Hayes 1 71.07 71.00 -0.07
David Toms 1 70.53 71.00 0.47
Mark O'Meara 3 71.84 72.66 0.82
Edward Fryatt 1 71.11 72.00 0.89
Mike Weir 1 70.86 72.00 1.14
Greg Kraft 1 70.73 72.00 1.27
Notah Begay III 2 71.21 73.00 1.79
David Duval 4 70.06 72.00 1.94
Stewart Cink 4 70.16 72.25 2.09
Len Mattiace 1 70.90 73.00 2.10
Davis Love III 3 69.84 72.00 2.16
Billy Mayfair 2 71.32 73.50 2.18
Steve Lowery 1 70.51 73.00 2.49
Jim Furyk 3 70.46 73.00 2.54
Nick Price 2 70.31 73.00 2.69
Neal Lancaster 1 71.10 74.00 2.90
Jesper Parnevik 3 69.83 73.33 3.50
Brad Faxon 2 71.35 75.00 3.65
Justin Leonard 2 70.83 74.50 3.67
Jeff Sluman 1 70.79 75.00 4.21
Harrison Frazar 1 70.67 78.00 7.33
Duffy Waldorf 2 71.45 79.00 7.55
Rocco Mediate 1 71.17 79.00 7.83