Golf notebook: Senior LPGA Championship draws hall-of-famers

By Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange  |  May 15, 2017 at 11:41 AM
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Five members of the World Golf Hall of Fame and 12 other major champions have committed to the first Senior LPGA Championship as the 81-player field begins to take shape for the July 10-12 event at French Lick (Ind.) Resort.

The Hall of Fame members are Laura Davies, Patty Sheehan, Hollis Stacy, Betsy King and Pat Bradley, while the other 12 major winners are Brandie Burton, Donna Andrews, Jan Stephenson, Sally Little, Cathy Johnston-Forbes, Jerilyn Britz, Liselotte Neumann, Pat Hurst, Christa Johnson, Martha Nause, Jenny Lidback and Nancy Scranton.

"The names already committed are an impressive collection of talent that will no doubt create thrilling golf for fans in French Lick and the surrounding area along with the Golf Channel audience," tournament director Mike Nichols said.

"Laura Davies, who is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished golfers worldwide, brings a great deal of recognition to the event, and to have 17 LPGA major champs already committed is amazing."

Davies has won 84 tournaments around the world, including 20 on the LPGA Tour. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2015.

Sheehan won 35 times on the LPGA Tour including six majors, and she was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Stacy won 18 times on the LPGA including three U.S. Women's Open titles. She was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011.

King has 34 career victories including six majors, and she became a Hall of Fame member in 1995. King has devoted the past decade to her Golf Fore Africa charity and vows to raise $10 million over the next five years to bring clean water to people in Zambia.

Bradley won 31 titles including six majors, and she led the LPGA with four titles in 1983 and five in 1985. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

The total purse for the Senior LPGA Championship is $600,000.

NBA players relax during playoffs with some swings

Draymond Green and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors spent some of their time off during the second-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz at Topgolf, a Salt Lake City entertainment center featuring several point-scoring games.

Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News reported on the outing and posted videos of both players' swings.

"That was fun," said Green, who added that he and Durant intentionally went without Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala, who are considered the Warriors' best golfers.

"I don't want to go to Topgolf with Steph and Andre because it wouldn't be fun," Green said. "I don't want to play with them. I played with KD, similar talent level. We didn't even keep score.

"See with Steph and Andre, they're going to want to keep score. I don't want to play with them. Team beef. There you have it. Team beef. Warriors aren't getting along. Draymond don't want to spend time off the court with Steph and Andre."

The "dissension" didn't matter, as the Warriors swept the Jazz, four games to none.

Rory McIlroy signs with TaylorMade

Rory McIlroy, who had been testing different golf equipment since Nike got out of the business last year, signed a long-term deal with TaylorMade.

McIlroy played almost a full bag of TaylorMade equipment and the TP5x ball last week in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

"My future rests firmly in my hands -- that's why I choose TaylorMade," McIlroy said in a statement. "I've been around the game long enough and have tested most clubs on the market, but I have never been as excited about equipment as I am right now."

Among the clubs McIlroy chose were the TaylorMade 2017 M2 driver (9.5 degree) with Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70 XTS shaft; the TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour (13.5 degree) with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 90TX shaft and 2017 M2 Tour (19 degree) with Fujikura Pro P95X shaft for his fairways woods; the TaylorMade P750 Proto Irons (3-4) with Project X 7.0 shafts, "Rors Proto" irons (5-9) with Project X 7.0 shafts; and the TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges (48 degree, 54 degree, 60 degree) with Project X 6.5 shafts.

McIlroy continues to work with company officials to find the right putter, and he eventually plans to put one from TaylorMade in his bag.

While playing the new clubs, McIlroy will continue to wear Nike apparel under the reported 10-year contract he signed earlier this year.

PGA, FedEx sign 10-year extension

The PGA Tour and FedEx Corporation announced a 10-year extension of the company's sponsorship of the season-long FedExCup competition.

As part of the sponsorship renewal, FedEx has committed $1 million in annual donations to benefit non-profit organizations. The donations align with FedEx Cares, a global giving initiative, in which FedEx is investing $200 million in over 200 communities around the world by 2020.

"The FedEx relationship has been invaluable to the PGA Tour on multiple fronts for more than 30 years, beginning with its sponsorship of the FedEx St. Jude Classic," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

"The FedExCup revolutionized the fan viewing experience and competitive landscape of the PGA Tour, establishing a cohesive narrative throughout the schedule and a compelling conclusion to the season with the FedExCup playoffs."

FedExCup points are awarded for every event on the PGA Tour schedule, and the top 125 players at the end of the regular season qualify for the four events in the playoffs.

The FedExCup and $10 million go to the winner of the season-long chase after the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

"We are proud to extend our historic sponsorship of the FedExCup, which has dramatically changed the PGA Tour," said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president of integrated marketing and communications for FedEx. "The FedExCup is the ultimate prize on the PGA Tour, and the season-long competition has delivered some of the most exciting finishes in recent memory."

Rory McIlroy became the 10th winner of the FedExCup by capturing the 2016 Tour Championship with a birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole to defeat Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore.

The other winners of the FedExCup have been Tiger Woods (2007, 2009), Vijay Singh (2008), Jim Furyk (2010), Bill Haas (2011), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013), Billy Horschel (2014) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

Tomy Romo misses the cut

Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback who recently retired after 14 seasons to take a position as NFL analyst for CBS Sports, shot 3-over-par 75 at Split Rail Links and Golf Club in Aledo, Texas, and failed to advance past local qualifying for the U.S. Open.

Romo, 37, made two birdies and an eagle in his round, but he also had four bogeys and a triple bogey in his bid to advance to sectional qualifying,

"I got excited just waking up this morning," Romo told ESPN's Todd Archer. "It played tough out here. It was windy. It's a long golf course. It was fun. I got into it.

"I think I was about 1 over through 14 or 15, then I had the bad hole. I only really had a couple bad swings today."

Romo's gallery was clearly the biggest of the day, with a number of fans wearing his Cowboys jersey.

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