Augusta Buster?

Tuesday April 3rd, 2007

Congratulations to Adam Scott, who rode a final-round 66 to victory at the Shell Houston 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 the same year — Gary Player in 1978 — and only six golfers have won the Masters the week after winning another Tour event. That Phil Mickelson (BellSouth) did it last year only makes it seem less likely that lightning will strike again so soon.

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 fifth official 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 Sergio Garcia ($16.7 million), although your six career victories (one unofficial) have come in 96 starts, while Garcia's six W's came in 141 starts

Everyone will be talking about Gary Player's 50th Masters this week, but one caddie's tenure 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 31 of those years and two victories, Jackson has worked for Ben Crenshaw.

Last Friday the LPGA announced that its season-ending ADT Championship will continue to be played at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., through 2008. Said commissioner Carolyn Bivens, "Trump International is one of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses, and it provides a scenic backdrop for one of our marquee events."

Ironically, a day earlier Donald Trump himself had traded barbs with Golf Digest honchos in the New York Post because the magazine 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 the magazine or fall off the list. Digest denied the accusation, saying Trump's course missed the list by mere hundredths of a point. But when Trump found out that the magazine had leaked the story to the Post in anticipation of a trumped-up reaction, the mogul exploded: "It's despicable. They send out a release saying Trump is not on their list. For shame!"

Maurice Flitcroft, golf's ultimate hacker, died at 77 on March 24 from a lung infection. A crane driver from Manchester, England, Flitcroft was known for his attempts to qualify for the British Open. In 1976, he was banned after shooting a 121. He tried again in '84 under the name Gerald Hoppy, but was I.D.'d after an 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 being collared.

Suggested Woods Baby Name Gene Etic Pacecki.

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