With limited success, Horgan chases his dream

Click to follow
The Independent Online

In seven full years on the PGA Tour, P.H. Horgan III has never finished higher than 105th on the PGA Tour money list. This year probably will not be the exception. Horgan already has turned in his application for Q-school, his annual rite of fall.

In seven full years on the PGA Tour, P.H. Horgan III has never finished higher than 105th on the PGA Tour money list. This year probably will not be the exception. Horgan already has turned in his application for Q-school, his annual rite of fall.

"It's hard on everyone," Horgan said of the six-round, make-or-break tournament. "But I'll do what I have to do. If that means going to school, I've done that before."

Two years ago, Horgan had to take an unplayable lie on the 71st hole of the last tournament of the year. He failed to keep his card by one stroke, finishing 126th on the money list. Afterward, his face was flush with anguish.

"God, I wish I could have it back," he said of his errant drive that landed against a cluster of tree roots. "Golf just isn't fair."

Horgan turned 40 last month. He has never finished higher than fifth in a PGA Tour event. His wife, Margaret, is due with their first child in two weeks. They just closed on a house in Rhode Island.

Why does he keep grinding?

"I think everyone feels inadequate when you look at Tiger Woods and some of the top players," Horgan said. "It's a hard game. But I've put a lot of time into this career of mine. I feel like I'm a better player than the results have been. I feel like I can get to another level than what I've gotten to."

Horgan opened the Buick Challenge with a 68 and had the lead for a couple of hours. He got only one stroke better over the final 54 holes. He tied for 38th and earned dlrs 10,350 to move up to 202nd on the money list.

On to Kingsmill.

---

SOLHEIM SPIRIT

Meg Mallon figures the LPGA can do better in the Solheim Cup than the men did in the Ryder Cup - not only win, but win graciously.

"We'll put those men to shame and do it with class," Mallon said before leaving for Loch Lomond, where the U.S. team will try to win the Solheim Cup for fifth time in six matches.

Mallon was among those who didn't care for the raucous celebration on the 17th green when Justin Leonard sank a 45-foot (13.5-meter) putt that wound up clinching a great comeback.

"Those guys didn't want to do the wrong thing, but they got caught up in it," she said.

Helen Alfredsson of Sweden didn't mind the premature celebration by the players and caddies. She did, however, mind the wives and girlfriends prancing across the green.

"What the hell did they have the right to be out there ... these women in little suits wanting to be part of the cheering crowd?" the Swede said. "How would it look if husbands did that?"

---

DESPERATE DUNHILL

ere's how hard it was for Dunhill Cup organizers to find U.S. players for the matches at St. Andrews next week: They even asked Scott Hoch.

"Have they moved the tournament?" Hoch said he asked his manager.

The Dunhill Cup, stroke-play matches among 16 teams, is held every October at St. Andrews, the course Hoch once referred to as the "worst piece of mess" he had ever seen. Hoch said he was offered a lucrative appearance fee, but principles stood in the way.

"That would make me the biggest hypocrite in the world to go over there," he said.

Dunhill Cup organizers settled on John Daly, former Open champion Tom Lehman and Larry Mize. Daly has an 8-1 record in the matches and is a crowd favorite at St. Andrews, having won the British Open there in 1995.

Hoch said he might have gone if the Dunhill Cup were played on another course. Then again, maybe not.

"I enjoy watching them in their stocking caps," he said, noting the cold, blustery Scottish weather in October. "I love waking up when it's 75 degrees in Orlando, turn that on and they've got three jackets on, a ski mask and everything else. That's great. You all go ahead and have some fun, because I damn sure wouldn't."

---

LPGA ROOKIE

Dorothy Delasin, who became the youngest player in 25 years to win on the LPGA Tour, clinched the rookie of the year award last week in New Albany. She is the first American-born player to win the award since Pat Hurst in 1995.

"This is the best feeling in the world," said Delasin, who won the U.S. Amateur last year.

She won the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic at 19, the youngest player to win since Amy Alcott in 1975. She also had seven finishes in the top 20.

Park won in South Carolina, but missed most of August and September with a rib injury. She needed to finish fifth in New Albany, Ohio, to win the award, but tied for 36th.

---

SEE THE FLAG

Shell's Wonderful World of Golf, which made its debut in the black-and-white era of 1962, began its 16th season Tuesday with something never before seen on a golf telecast - virtual technology.

For the first segment on ESPN, David Duval against Ernie Els, virtual enhancements show a flag that otherwise can't be seen when a player is in the fairway, and a white circle on the green to indicate the cup on long putts. The circle disappears when the real cup comes into view.

---

DIVOTS

The late Karsten Solheim, who built a putter that went "ping" and became an equipment pioneer through Ping Golf, has been selected for the Graffis Award by the National Golf Foundation for outstanding contributions to the game and golf business. ... The No. 1 player in the world will be at the Solheim Cup - as a fan. Karrie Webb of Australia also went to the '98 matches at Muirfield Village. "I didn't think I was missing out on that much, but the first morning on the first tee I was like, 'I want to be out there so bad."' She can't, since the Solheim Cup is only for Americans and Europeans. ... Paul Azinger was asked last week what it would mean to have a multiple-victory season. "A lot - I'm negotiating all my contracts," he said. ... With her tied for 13th in New Albany, Rosie Jones won dlrs 60,000 for accumulating the most points in the LPGA Legends Series, a bonus pool for players 40 and older.

---

STAT OF THE WEEK

Davis Love III, Justin Leonard and Chris Perry are the only players to have earned at least dlrs 2 million in a season without winning. Love has done it twice.

---

FINAL WORD

"On the plus side, I hear the weather is supposed to be miserable over there." - Betsy King, on not being a captain's pick for the Solheim Cup.

Comments