Blackwolf Trudge: Players, fans and officials were aghast at slow play during last week's Women's Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis. The USGA had hoped that rounds would last 4� hours, but the average was nearly an hour longer. "In general the women are slower players than the men," said Tom Meeks, the USGA's director of rules and competition. "Their routines are really involved. They calculate yardage, take two or three practice swings, line themselves up. The problem starts in college, where they're not taught about pace of play." Lisa Walters (below) was penalized two strokes for slow play—half an hour after signing her scorecard—and called the penalty "asinine...they never would have given Nancy Lopez two shots."
Maternity Address: Tammie Green, who tied for seventh, announced at the Open that she had wed Kroger CEO Bill Parker (henceforth known as golf's Green grocer) and is three months pregnant "I've heard that pregnancy makes you play better," said Green. "Your center of gravity is lower, and you stay down through the shot a little better."
Flag Day: How fearsome was Friday for the threesome of Jane Geddes, Nancy Lopez and Meg Mallon? All three missed the cut. All three waved white towels of surrender as they came up the 18th. And at the 14th hole, after all three hit the green in regulation and Mallon quoted the LPGA slogan, "Hey, we can play," all three broke up laughing.
Irwinnings: Bruce Summerhays won last week's State Farm Senior Classic and took home $187,500. The bigger news from Columbia, Md., was that with the $100,000 he won by tying for second, Hale Irwin passed Greg Norman as golf's alltime leading money winner. "There are a lot of players more deserving. Start with Sam Snead, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus," said Irwin, whose $12,030,109 in earnings is more than Snead's, Hogan's and Nicklaus's winnings combined.
Splashdown: Donnie Hammond made a run at the PGA Tour's first 59 since 1991 last Saturday at the Greater Hartford Open. Then, faster than you can say Tin Cup, he rinsed a sleeve of balls at the 17th hole and took a 10. Hammond settled for a 67 and eventually finished 25th.
Aussie Meets Rossie: Ian-Baker Finch, who gave up competitive golf two months ago, returns to the site of his 1991 British Open victory next week as an ABC commentator. Baker-Finch has signed a two-year deal to join Bob Rosburg and the rest of the network's tour trackers.
The Wheel Deal: Fans bought 90,000 tickets to Friday's second round at Hartford. Then Casey Martin missed the cut, and Fourth of July attendance fizzled to 40,000, the event's worst Saturday gate in five years.