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SPORTS WEEKEND | GOLF

High Court and High Scores Could Ruin Martin's Mission

September 29, 2000|THOMAS BONK

We can be thankful that the Supreme Court decided to hear the PGA Tour's appeal of the Casey Martin cart case, if only for the reason that there will at last be an ending to this story.

Naturally, the Martin camp was less than thrilled by the turn of events, but the PGA Tour had no choice but to take the issue to the high court after there was a conflicting verdict on a case that mirrored Martin's.

Now, it's going to be interesting if the Supreme Court decides Martin's case, built on the Americans With Disabilities Act, isn't any good after all. There have been comments that the ADA should not have applied in Martin's case, but Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who sponsored the bill that became law, said Martin's case was precisely the correct application.

Will the Supreme Court now say that's baloney?

And another thing: Will it even matter to Martin? He has not been a factor on the PGA Tour and barring a last-month rush to the bank, he will not make enough money to retain his playing privileges for 2001.

TIGER UPDATE

For what it's worth, Golf World pegs Tiger Woods' annual endorsement income at $54 million once his new, five-year, $100-million Nike deal comes into play next August.

Earl Woods told the Associated Press that his son is clearly worth it compared to what others are making.

"Actors and actresses routinely make as much money or more by virtue of having a minimal talent to act or play guitar and scream over a microphone with no trained voice."

THIS NELSON NOT FULL

If you are what you eat, what does it make Larry Nelson then? A peanut butter sandwich?

Nelson is the hottest player on the Senior PGA Tour with victories in three of his last four tournaments, and he was second in the other. Nelson, who has five victories this year, is 53-under in his last four events with a scoring average of 67.1.

Sure, Nelson has a new set of irons, but he is convinced his equipment isn't nearly as much of a factor as his diet.

The diet is based on a protein intake of 15 or 16 ounces a day. Nelson eats six meals. He said he isn't eating more, just more often, and spreads out his meals so he isn't ever really hungry.

Nelson eats trail mix and peanut butter and fruit sandwiches during his rounds. He also drinks lots of water.

By the way, Nelson is 53 and weighs 150 pounds.

RYDER CUPDATE

Time flies and we just don't want to get behind, do we? So in case you're keeping score, here are the top 10 (in order) in Ryder Cup points for the 2001 matches at the Belfry in Sutton Coldfield, England:

Woods, Phil Mickelson, Loren Roberts, Tom Lehman, Hal Sutton, David Duval, Davis Love III, Kirk Triplett, Jim Furyk and Franklin Langham.

GARY MOVIE

See if you can follow this. Gary McCord wins last year's Senior Tour Championship and he will play the $1.4-million SBC Senior Classic at Wilshire the last week of October . . . so he can qualify to defend his title at this year's Senior Tour Championship.

That's about the size of it for McCord, who needs to finish in the top 31 on the money list to get back into the Senior Tour Championship field. McCord is No. 38 right now with $428,267--Graham Marsh is No. 31 with $524,065.

Since the winner's share at Wilshire is $210,000, well, you do the math.

"A win would probably be enough to get me in," McCord said.

He won twice last year on the Senior Tour, even though he never won in 25 years on the PGA Tour. Make no mistake, McCord knows how to count to zero as well as anybody.

"I didn't win out there for a billion years," he said.

NICK UPDATE

For what it's worth, Nick Faldo has decided he will play in at least 10 European Tour events to try to make the Ryder Cup team. If he makes it, at least he won't have to write any more good luck notes to the team that wind up in the trash.

YOUTH MOVEMENT

Also for what it's worth, counting 28-year-old Justin Leonard's victory last week at the Westin Texas Open in San Antonio, players under 30 have won 20 of the 31 PGA Tour events this year.

BUSY BUTCH

Butch Harmon, the man behind Woods' swing, is also finding time to work for 19-year-old Australian Adam Scott, who turned pro in June.

WORD CRAFTING

From London's Sunday Times about Lee Westwood's victory at the Belgian Open: "On the face of it, he seemed like a man for whom the phrase involving the words 'going,' 'through' and 'the motions' might perfectly sum up his intentions."

Reaction: "Oh," "my," "goodness."

LPGA UPDATE

The LPGA made a smart move this week when it replaced the defunct du Maurier with the Weetabix Women's British Open as the tour's fourth major. The British Open is no longer played on backwater courses and it makes good sense. The 2001 tournament will be played at Sunningdale in England, Aug. 2-5.

In other tournament news, the LPGA said goodbye to Las Vegas and scheduled its season-ending Arch Championship for the Legends Course at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.

It was supposed to be played at the Desert Inn, but that course is kaput in developer Steve Wynn's plans.

SORRY, AREE

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