Even 'shaking,' Davies raking

Almost 47, she notches 75th title, yet she isn't in Hall

September 09, 2010|By Jeff Shain, Tribune Newspapers

For more than nine years now, Laura Davies has remained two points short of the Hall of Fame under the LPGA's standard for entry. That's equivalent to two wins or one major.

Too bad she can't get credit for success on her home continent.

The British blaster ran her worldwide total to 75 wins with last week's Ladies European Tour victory in Austria, her third this year after earlier triumphs in New Zealand and Germany.

At 46 years and 11 months, Davies also became the oldest champion in LET annals.

"I was shaking," Davies told a tour liaison. "I guess that's just the adrenaline and you're just excited about trying to win a golf tournament. If you didn't have that, then you wouldn't win."

Twenty of Davies' victories have come on the LPGA circuit, including four major titles. She also won the 1986 Women's British Open, which wasn't certified on the LPGA schedule until 1994.

Her last LPGA victory came at the 2001 stop outside Rochester, N.Y.; she has 11 overseas wins since then. But barring a change in criteria, it'll take an act of the Veterans Committee to get her into the Hall.

New frontier: After recent expansion to such markets as Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the Champions Tour makes its first venture to Asia with this week's Songdo Championship.

A record $3 million purse awaits players at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, a centerpiece of the sparkling Songdo suburb rising just off Incheon Bay, about 40 miles from Seoul.

Though Korean pros have flooded the LPGA circuit, including 2009 Player of the Year Jiyai Shin, growth on the men's side has been slower.

"We welcome this addition to the Champions Tour schedule," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said, "and the opportunity to further elevate golf in South Korea."

Tap-ins: Cindy LaCrosse (Tampa, Fla.) was a runaway winner of the Duramed Futures Tour's money crown, winning last week's season finale to end the season with $94,578. The top 10 on the money list claimed LPGA Tour cards for 2011. … The United States remains unbeaten in five Handa Cup team matches for LPGA seniors after last weekend's 27-21 win over the World team at Rye, N.H.

— Jeff Shain

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