CONGRATULATIONSTO Adam Scott (below), who rode a final-round 66 to victory at the ShellHouston Open (17-under 271). Hope the win and the $990,000 check feel good,Adam, because you made things a lot harder for yourself in this week's Masters.In fact, in 51 years only one person has won in Houston and at Augusta in thesame year--Gary Player in 1978--and only six golfers have won the Masters theweek after winning another Tour event. That Phil Mickelson (BellSouth) did itlast year only makes it seem less likely that lightning will strike again sosoon. If that's not enough, your countrymen have won a fair share of majors,but no Australian has ever won the Masters. On the plus side, your fifthofficial win, coming at the age of 26, did move you to 31st in career earnings($14.7 million). The only player in his 20s who has earned more is SergioGarcía ($16.7 million), although your six career victories (one unofficial)have come in 96 starts, while García's six W's came in 141 starts.... Everyonewill be talking about Gary Player's 50th Masters this week, but one caddie'stenure is nearly as impressive: Carl Jackson has looped every year since '61,except in 2000, when he sat out after being diagnosed with colon cancer. For 31of those years and two victories, Jackson has worked for Ben Crenshaw.
LAST FRIDAY theLPGA announced that its season-ending ADT Championship will continue to beplayed at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., through 2008.Said commissioner Carolyn Bivens, "Trump International is one of the mostbeautiful and challenging golf courses, and it provides a scenic backdrop forone of our marquee events." Ironically, a day earlier Donald Trump himselfhad traded barbs with Golf Digest honchos in the New York Post because themagazine had dropped the club from its list of America's 100 Greatest Courses.Trump accused Golf Digest of saying he'd have to buy advertising in themagazine or fall off the list. Digest denied the accusation, saying Trump'scourse missed the list by mere hundredths of a point. But when Trump found outthat the magazine had leaked the story to the Post in anticipation of atrumped-up reaction, the mogul exploded: "It's despicable. They send out arelease saying Trump is not on their list. For shame!"
MAURICEFLITCROFT, golf's ultimate hacker, died at 77 on March 24 from a lunginfection. A crane driver from Manchester, England, Flitcroft was known for hisattempts to qualify for the British Open. In 1976, he was banned after shootinga 121. He tried again in '84 under the name Gerald Hoppy, but was I.D.'d afteran opening-nine 63 and sent packing. In '90 he entered as Gene Pacecki. Alas,no paychecki was forthcoming: Flitcroft made it to the 3rd hole before beingcollared.
SUGGESTED WOODSBABY NAME Gene Etic Pacecki.
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KEY STAT 2
Players who broke 70 on Sunday at the Nabisco, including Morgan Pressel.
Stay up late on this bargain-priced North Carolinanine-holer
What Willobe Lane Golf Course
Where Spring Hope, N.C.
Hook This nine-hole par-3 course 45 miles from Raleighincludes a swimming pool, a 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom house and aone-story metal clubhouse (2,400 square feet), plus a storage building that canhold up to 25 carts.
Fringe Benefit Willobe Lane may be short and small,but it‚Äôs nearly impossible to play lights out. The entire course is lit, so youcan pitch and putt 24 hours a day. Let‚Äôs see Vijay Singh close this range.
"Wie might learn there's more to life thangolf." --PEPPER MILL, PAGE G16
DAVE EINSEL/AP (MARTIN-BENAVIDES)
¬†EUROSMASH Pablo Martin-Benavides, a 20-year-old from Màlaga, Spain, who plays forOklahoma State, won the Estoril Open de Portugal, becoming the first amateur in1,145 events to win on the European tour.
DAVE EINSEL/AP (SCOTT)
COURTESY OF WILLOBE LANE GOLF COURSE