Jack Nicklaus wonders why more players don’t do their homework for a major. While Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson took a lap or two around Oakmont in preparation for next week’s U.S. Open, they are among the very few in the field that did so. “Those who want to win do it,” Nicklaus said. The Golden Bear visited Oakmont twice before winning there in 1962.
Sure, Annika Sorenstam doesn’t have the label as the LPGA’s No. 1 player at the moment, but there is no mistaking that she is still the queen of women’s golf. And that is why this week at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, the year’s second major, she could take a big step toward proving herself again after missing extended time due to bulging disks in her back. Standing in her way, of course, is the No. 1 player, Lorena Ochoa. While there have been several young players to step up and win on occasion, no one has challenged Sorenstam’s reign.
If it is the week before a PGA Tour major, there is usually a pretty good field. Of course, sans Tiger Woods, who usually takes the week off before a major to fine-tune his game. The <B>Stanford St. Jude Championship has many of the world’s best, including some who are appearing in Memphis, Tenn., for the first time, most likely due to the new FedEx Cup format. Watch out for David Toms, a two-time winner who has 16 of his last 20 rounds here in the 60s.
Golf’s veterans are going to honor our military veterans this month. Wounded military personnel from the Iraq war will tee it up alongside Champions Tour players at the Bank of America Championship in Boston. It will happen thanks to the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project, which helps those hurt in Iraq and Afghanistan participate in athletic events.
THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES
EVENT: Stanford St. Jude Champ-ionship
WHERE: Memphis, Tenn.
COURSE: TPC Southwind, par 70
DEFENDING CHAMP: Jeff Maggert
EVENT: McDonald’s LPGA Champ-ionship
WHERE: Havre de Grace, Md.
COURSE: Bulle Rock Golf Course, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Se Ri Pak
EVENT: Principal Charity Classic
WHERE: West Des Moines, Iowa
COURSE: Glen Oaks Country Club, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Gil Morgan
EVENT: Rex Hospital Open
WHERE: Raleigh, N.C.
COURSE: TPC Wakefield Plantation, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Brenden Pappas
EVENT: BA-CA Golf Open
WHERE: Vienna, Austria
COURSE: Fontana Golf Club
DEFENDING CHAMP: Markus Brier