CBS AND GolfChannel analyst Nick Faldo (below) made as much news as he covered last week.Word leaked that Faldo will work the weekend rounds of the McDonald's LPGAChampionship (June 7--10) for Golf Channel, even though CBS will bebroadcasting the PGA Tour's Stanford St. Jude Championship the same weekend.It's a nice attention-getting coup for the LPGA major, and after all, whyshould the women be spared Faldo's lacerating wit?
Faldo, who willturn 50 on July 18, also said that he will make his Champions tour debut at theJuly 26--29 Senior British Open at Muirfield, where he won the first of his sixmajors 20 years ago. "A Senior Open title at Muirfield to go with my tworegular Open Championships there is certainly my goal," Faldo said. Faldohas not won any event since the 1997 Nissan Open. He last played at Muirfieldin the 2002 British Open and finished 59th.
• DROP THE C
Scott Hoch is best known for missing a two-footer to lose the 1989 Masters andfor blowing a seven-shot Sunday lead at the '95 Shell Houston Open, after whichhe famously said, "That's Hoch as in choke, and you can print it,boys." But on Sunday, Hoch held on to his 36-hole lead for a two-shotvictory at the FedEx Kinkos Classic in Austin, his first Champions tour win.Afterward he declared that he was glad to get a new lease on his golfing life."The PGA Tour was what it was," Hoch said. "This is different."... For the first time in his 36-year pro career, Tom Kite will be absent fromqualifying for or playing in the U.S. Open. "It was really tough on mebecause I always loved the Open, it was a big part of me," said Kite, the1992 winner. "But there are too many senior events I want to play, andOakmont is not my absolute most favorite course for an Open."
• MORE WOE
The hard times continue for Darren Clarke, whose wife, Heather, died of cancerlast Aug. 13. Clarke has missed the weekend in his last four starts, is on histhird swing coach in six months (Butch Harmon to Ewen Murray to DavidLeadbetter), and two weeks ago he injured his hamstring playing with his sonConor. Clarke struggled through the first round of the Wachovia, but hewithdrew after shooting a 76, hoping additional rest would allow him to getthrough this week's Players.... Olin Browne headed to Sawgrass angling tofinish a tournament for the first time since last October, when he opted torest a torn ligament in his right hand. He attempted to return earlier thisyear but WD'd from the Hope and the Buick Invitational, citing a wrist injury.Last week Browne withdrew from the Wachovia, betting that another week offwould do the trick.
• SUGGESTED WOODSBABY NAME
"Rick has made changes to Mickelson's swing."--MY SHOT, PAGE G24
Tiger Woods's final-nine score in each of his last twoPGA Tour victories.
Justin Leonard's Vaquero crib hits the market
WHAT J Leo's House
WHERE Westlake, Texas
COST $6.8 million
HOOK Leonard's 9,200-square-foot, five-bedroom houseoutside Dallas features a central courtyard and an infinity-edge pool thatspills over a waterfall onto the property below. The home sits on 3.5 acresadjacent to the Vaquero Club, and the master bedroom is styled after LaCostaResort, where the Accenture Match Play was held through 2006.
FRINGE BENEFIT The claret jug--at least a replica--slepthere.
• Read Alan Shipnuck's Hot List at GOLF.com.
Mi Hyun Kim and friends celebrated on the 18th green after she beat JulieInkster on the first playoff hole at the SemGroup Championship in Broken Arrow,Okla. It was Kim's eighth career LPGA win.
DARREN CARROLL (FALDO)
COURTESY OF ALLIE BETH ALLMAN & ASSOCIATES (HOUSE)