- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Greg Chalmers cost himself about $95,000 with an unusual disqualification yesterday at the Kemper Open.
During Chalmers' first round Thursday, at least one of the caddies in his group was engaging in the slightly devious but legal practice of peering at other bags to see which clubs other golfers use for certain shots.
Upset after hitting a bad tee shot, Chalmers noticed another caddie trying to look at the club. Chalmers turned and said something like: "I hit a 6-iron just get away from me," according to tournament director Mark Russell.
Under golf rules, that's a no-no. It technically violates the rule that says golfers can't give each other advice during a round, and it should result in a two-stroke penalty.
Chalmers didn't realize that until Sunday night, when he heard about something similar on the Buy.com Tour. He then went before Russell and the rules committee to explain what happened.
"He wanted to clear his conscience," Russell said.
The rules left Russell with little choice. Because he didn't incur the penalty at the time, he signed an incorrect scorecard for his round. He had to disqualify himself, even though he was tied for 12th place at 9-under par with one hole to play in the rain-delayed tournament.
If he had parred the last hole, Chalmers would have tied for ninth and earned close to $95,000.
"It just goes to show you what a gentlemen's game golf is," Russell said. "If you're out at first base, you think the first baseman's going to say, 'safe?' "

Howellujah

Charles Howell, the 2000 NCAA champion, cashed a big enough check ($63,000) at the Kemper Open to keep him on the PGA Tour for the rest of the season.
The 21-year-old Augusta, Ga., native, who had only two remaining tournament starts via sponsor's exemptions entering the Kemper Open, needed to earn $9,747 in those events to secure a provisional card for the remainder of the season. Yesterday he easily accomplished the feat when he cleaned up his final-round 70 with four pars to finish at 7-under 277 for a share of 14th place.
The former Oklahoma State All-American has finished in the top 15 in three of his six starts on Tour this season and earned $300,290, which ranks 83rd on the money list. With this season's playing privileges in hand, Howell can set his sights on finishing in the Top 125 on the Tour's season-ending money list to earn his card for next year. If he succeeds, and he's obviously well on his way, he will become just the third player in the last decade to play his way onto the Tour using only sponsor's exemptions joining Justin Leonard (1994) and Tiger Woods (1996).

Happy anniversary

Frank Lickliter II and his caddie, Australian Tony Lingard, celebrated their two-year anniversary as a team yesterday with a victory. Lickliter earned $630,000 for the victory, and the standard cut for the winning caddie is 10 percent. That means Lingard made as much money this week as the three players who finished tied for 14th. Despite a couple of misreads yesterday by Lingard, Lickliter gives his bag man high marks. Asked what Lingard brings to their relationship, Lickliter responded:
"He brings black and tans. Seriously, he brings a tremendous sense of humor. The guy is so laid back and so funny, and he likes to have a good time… . Tony's been good for me because if I get mad on the golf course, he doesn't. He's always got an encouraging word, and he's very good about speaking his mind."
Lingard said it took him more than a minute to take a breath after Lickliter sank the clinching 8-footer on No. 18.
"I was so glad to see [it] go in," said Lingard, still shaking his head after Lickliter's erratic stretch run.

Next day air?

Lickliter, who lists big game hunting as one of his hobbies, explained yesterday that his largest kill was a 9-foot Alaskan coastal brown bear, which he bagged with Fuzzy Zoeller a year ago. When one reporter asked him what he did with the bear, Lickliter replied:
"Actually, it should be in the mail his skin anyway. I had him turned into a rug."

Still sputtering

Phil Mickelson might be putting more poorly than any pro on the planet. The world's No. 2 player could have easily won the Kemper Open if he hadn't spent the week putting like Mr. Magoo. Mickelson, who finished four strokes back at 12 under, had better combined ball-striking stats than anyone at this week's event. He averaged 307.2 yards off the tee (second) and was tied for fifth in greens hit (56 of 72 greens). But Mickelson three-putted four times this week and missed no less than 15 putts from inside of 15 feet.

Humming

Lickliter's victory should move him from No. 67 back to the brink of the top 50 in the world rankings, meaning Masters officials should prepare themselves for another Hummer sighting. Lickliter was so pleased with his play in 1998 that he bought himself a Hummer as a reward and drove it down Magnolia Lane the next year before his first Masters appearance.
"I think the greencoats liked it," Lickliter said of the reaction the site provoked among Augusta National's notoriously stodgy membership. "But the fans liked it more, I think."
The Associated Press contributed to this report


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