You would thinkthat the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro would be an easy mark for Davis LoveIII, since he was born and raised in North Carolina, went to college at ChapelHill and redesigned Forest Oaks Country Club, where the tournament is played,in 2003. And while Love won there in 1992, since completing the redesign he hasmissed the cut twice and withdrawn once. In fact, Love hadn't won at all sincethe '03 International, a span of 76 starts. But after he failed to qualify forthe U.S. Ryder Cup team--which he blames on trying too hard and spending toomuch time scoreboard-watching--Love took a five-week break, during which heworked on a stance adjustment with instructors Jack Lumpkin and Todd Anderson.At Greensboro the change kicked in, and Love avoided looking at the leaderboard until he had a two-shot lead on the 72nd hole. From there he parred outto finish at 16-under 272 and claim the $900,000 first-place check, which movedhim from 39th to 15th on the money list and secured a spot in the TourChampionship.
Lorena Ochoa is a native of Mexico and an outspoken defender of immigrationrights, so her win at the Corona Morelia Championship (20-under 272) in herhome country was sweet, but even sweeter may be what the title means to heralready amazing 2006 season. With her fourth triumph in 22 starts, Ochoa is nowtied for first in wins, first in top 10s (17), first in Player of the Yearpoints (253), first on the money list ($2,124,122), first in scoring average(69.36) and second to Annika Sorenstam in the World Ranking. Still, with threeevents left, POY is far from locked up, as the reemergent Karrie Webb (214points) and Sorenstam (206) are close behind.
Three in aRow?
Will Tiger Woods follow the leads of Love and Ochoa and try to win at home?Woods is leading the race for the Vardon Trophy (lowest scoring average) byalmost a stroke (68.11) but needs to play 60 rounds to qualify for the award.If he plays only the Tour Championship, as scheduled, he'll finish with 59rounds. The obvious fill-in would be the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World,about 15 minutes from his house. When asked recently if winning the Vardonmeant anything to him, he replied, "Not much.... If you don't play enoughrounds, you don't play enough rounds." That's a change from 2003, whenVijay Singh won the money title and Woods swore the Vardon was moreimportant.
Desperate toimprove his scoring, Wes Short Jr. carried two putters last week (MC),something that's been done only seven times in the last five years. Here's whoelse did it and how they fared.
[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
2005 British Open
'04 Chrysler Championship
'04 U.S. Open
'03 Byron Nelson
'02 Compaq Classic
'02 Air Canada
The DarrellSurvey has tracked equipment usage at tournaments since 1938.
• For Frys.comOpen coverage, go to SI.com/Golf.
"The U.S.lost the Ryder Cup on the first four holes." --PEPPER MILL, PAGE G17
Home is where no one can stop you from yelling,"Go in the hole!"
WHAT Pinewood Edge
WHERE Pebble Beach, Calif.
COST $22 million
HOOK This eight-bedroom, nine-bathroom house that runsalong the 12th fairway of the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links. Besidesoverlooking the course, the 2.34-acre property provides views of CarmelBay.
FRINGE BENEFIT The U.S. Open will return to PebbleBeach for the fifth time in 2010, so this is a chance to get front-row seats.Pricey, yes, but you won't have to worry about finding a hotel room.
SCOTT HALLERAN/GETTY IMAGES
Love will appear in his 12th straight Tour Championship, arecord.
COURTESY OF COLDWELL BANKER
The view from Pinewood Edge