Winning is nice, but a 59 is divine In his much-ballyhooed TV appearance last night, LeBron James spoke endlessly about the importance of his teammates and winning and championships — all the typical fodder you'd expect to hear from a professional athlete. Which is what made David Duval's comments yesterday at the John Deere Classic — where Paul Goydos shot a first-round 59 — all the more striking. Duval, whose own 59 helped him win the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, was asked about that week and said the win itself actually took a back seat to breaking 60.
"To me, at that instant, making that putt was more important than winning the golf tournament, frankly," Duval said after a 4-under-par round of 67 Thursday afternoon at TPC Deere Run.
For his part, Goydos said the opposite: that he would trade his 59 for a W. Of course Goydos still has three rounds to play.
Duval also said he doubts 59 will remain the PGA Tour gold standard. A pair of Japanese players already have carded 58s in non-Tour competition, but he said the number to look for is 14-under par.
For Deere Run's sake, let's hope it doesn't happen in the next three days. You go, girls! Seriously, get moving … Five and a half hours is the time it takes to fly from New York to Dublin; run two marathons (quickly); or watch 11 episodes of your favorite sitcom (including commercials). It's also the time it took some groups to slog through the opening round of the U.S. Women's Open Thursday, according to The AP's Alan Robinson:
Given the speed of play — or, more precisely, the lack of speedy play — during the first round … it appeared that nearly every threesome took on Oakmont Country Club at a deliberate, take-all-precautions pace on Thursday. The mid-90s temperatures and tricky putting conditions didn't help.
One of the first golfers on the course, Mhairi McKay of Scotland, found her group warned for slow play after only four holes. The threesome finished in 5 hours, 34 minutes, or exactly one hour longer than the pace sought by the United States Golf Association.
Call it Dante's 10th circle of hell. Mickelson's quirky quintupleIf Phil Mickelson wants to become the biggest, baddest player in the world, he'll need to avoid big, bad numbers — like the quintuple-bogey 9 he made on his ninth hole Friday at the Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. Paying attention to the rules will serve him well, too. The Guardian describes Lefty's latest snafu:
The Masters champion, who needs a top-two finish to be able to call himself the sport's best player for the first time in his career, came to the 455-yard 18th – the ninth hole of his second round – on level par.
But he left it five over, 12 shots behind the leader Darren Clarke and on course to miss the halfway cut. During a heavy downpour Mickelson blasted his drive into the water down the left and did the same with his next attempt.
The TV commentator – and former winner of the title – Wayne Riley told Mickelson that the second ball was actually playable, but the left-hander apparently had not declared the third to be a provisional and under the rules of golf had to play it.
Feds unearth $250K on Kentucky golf courseIf you're the kind of golfer who generally loses money on the golf course, you might appreciate what federal authorities dug up on Summit Hills golf course in Kentucky: $250,000 in cold, hard cash. The loot apparently belonged to Bill Erpenbeck, a home builder who is serving 25 years in the big house for bilking millions of dollars from banks and home buyers, according to Jim Hannah of the Kentucky Enquirer.
Erpenbeck told an FBI agent who visited him in prison there was $250,000 cash buried between the No. 3 tee box and the No. 6 green, but it had deteriorated during the eight years it was buried in a soft-sided, blue-colored cooler.
Any money that FBI agents ultimately salvage will by applied to the $34 million Erpenbeck was ordered to forfeit as part of his 2003 bank fraud conviction, said Fred Alverson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart.
"The treasure hunt will continue," Alverson said. "If there is more buried money out there, the FBI will pursue it."
Something tells me they won't be the only ones looking.