Europe on a roll
The PGA Tour has 20 active members from Europe this year, and they sure seem to be winning a lot of tournaments lately. Justin Rose of England won his first PGA Tour event at the Memorial, and Lee Westwood won the following week in Memphis. Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who had not taken up membership this year, won the U.S. Open. It was the first time since the PGA Tour broke away from the PGA of America in 1969 that Europeans have won three weeks in a row. International players have won seven of the past eight tournaments on the PGA Tour.
Anna Nordqvist, below, is set to defend her LPGA Championship title. The top 15 players in the Rolex Rankings — including new No. 1 Ai Miyazato — will be among the 150 vying for the top prize in the tour's second major of the season when play begins Thursday in the $2.25 million event at Locust Hill Country Club in suburban Rochester, N.Y. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, who is 23rd in the rankings, is also in the tournament. The championship was moved from Bulle Rock in Maryland for 2010 after longtime sponsor McDonald's did not renew its contract with the LPGA. Wegmans Food Markets agreed to place its own tournament on hiatus and be title sponsor in a one-year deal. The supermarket chain has been an LPGA partner for more than three decades, and its June tournament usually ranks as one of the best-attended events on the schedule. Transforming it into a major has boosted ticket sales by more than 50 percent.
The Champions Tour turned 30 this week, and PGATour.com came up with its top ten Champions Tour players of the past 30 years. Topping the list was Hale Irwin, who has 45 Tour victories, 16 more than the next closest player. The rest of the list is 2. Lee Trevino, 3. Chi Chi Rodriguez, 4. Jack Nicklaus, 5. Bob Charles, 6. Gil Morgan, 7. Miller Barber, 8. Don January, 9. Jim Colbert and 10. Tom Watson.
Leaner and better
Kenny Perry is the defending champion of this week's PGA Tour stop, the Travelers Championship in Connecticut. Perry, who turns 50 in August, said he has never felft better thanks to a diet change that helped him lose weight. "I've lost almost 30 pounds. My flexibility's a lot better. My golf swing's coming back," he said. "It was a big change in my diet, big change in life basically."
Last week, even par won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. This week should be much different. Perry set a tournament record at the Travelers with a 22-under score. Expect every player who makes the cut this week to be under par on the relatively short, par 70 TPC River Highlands course.