Thursday, June 5, 2003

Chip Shots

From Enquirer wire services

The putter Jack Nicklaus used when he set a scoring record in the 1967 U.S. Open is finally back where it belongs - in his museum.

The putter, a replica of the Bulls Eye, was called "White Fang" because the face of the blade was painted white to reduce the glare from the sun. Nicklaus borrowed it from a friend during a practice round at Baltusrol in 1967 and made eight birdies in his final round to finish at 275 for a four-stroke victory over Arnold Palmer. At the time, it was a record score for the U.S. Open.

Nicklaus won four other times with "White Fang," but that was his only major.

The mystical putter disappeared over time, then turned up in an odd place - at a birthday party last month for his son Steve. Joe Wessel, his son's roommate at Florida State, said he had the putter for at least 20 years and brought it to the party in case it held some historical significance for Nicklaus.

"It was Steve's birthday," Nicklaus said. "But I got the best present."


Franklin native Frank Lickliter won the 2001 tournament at this week's PGA Tour stop, the FBR Capital Open at the TPC at Avenel in Potomac, Md. Lickliter held off J.J. Henry by a stroke in a Monday finish. Lickliter also won at Tucson earlier this year for his second tour victory.

Hale Irwin leads all golfers in combined earnings on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour with $23,879,813, almost $7 million more than second-place Gil Morgan ($16,950,793).

Jeff Maggert has only two PGA Tour victories, but look for him to be a darkhorse favorite at next week's U.S. Open. He has six top-10s in the last nine years at the Open.

The latest golf book to hit stores is Open: Inside the Ropes at Bethpage Black. Author John Feinstein (A Good Walk Spoiled) chronicles the years spent renovating "chewed-up" Bethpage (N.Y.) Black for the 2002 U.S. Open, the first held on a municipal course - and the biggest net profit, at $13 million.

TIP OF THE WEEK: On the basic drive, tee the ball so its center is just above the top of your clubhead. The ball should be opposite your left heel so you make contact on the upswing. Swing the club back slowly and low to the ground.

- from 365 One-Minute Golf Lessons (by Robin McMillan)

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Chip Shots

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