Short Game: Stanley Thompson Society giving back
The Stanley Thompson Society has created a charitable foundation that could help create the next Stanley Thompson.
The new foundation will award a $2,500 scholarship each year to a student in the master of landscape architecture program at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ont.
To be eligible, students have to be pursuing a thesis related to golf course design or maintenance.
The Society comprises golf enthusiasts who are devoted to the work of Thompson, Canada’s premier golf course architect in the first half of the 20th century and responsible for such iconic gems as Highlands Links in Nova Scotia, Banff Springs and Jasper Park in Alberta and St. George’s in Toronto.
The Society, based in Dundas, Ont., launched the registered charitable foundation so that it can raise funds, issue receipts to donors and make donations itself.
It says its “first priority” is the scholarship at Guelph, the school Thompson attended for a year before the First World War when it was known as the Ontario Agriculture College.
Money for the scholarship will come out of the dues Society members pay to belong.
MEMORABLE WIN: Tiger Woods knows his Masters history, whether it’s his own or somebody else’s.
The four-time champion at Augusta National Golf Club was asked on Wednesday what he remembers about Canadian Mike Weir’s victory in 2003.
“I don’t think he missed a putt inside 10 feet that week,” said Woods, whose bid for a third consecutive Masters that year was upset by the left-handed Canadian.
“His wedge game was unreal. He laid up to his numbers. He hit it there and he made some big putts.”
Weir won the 2003 edition of golf’s first major of the season to become the first Canadian to win a major and first lefty champion at Augusta.
He defeated Len Mattiace on the first extra hole of a sudden-death playoff with a bogey.
“Even the putt to get into the playoff with Len on 18 was not an easy putt, even though it was uphill,” Woods recalled of the seven-footer, speaking at a press conference ahead of the Cadillac Championship near Miami.
“Still it was a putt he had to make to force a playoff. (He) buries it, goes on and wins the playoff.”
Woods, who tied for 15th place in 2003, is just one of many players who’ll be asked this month to reminisce about Weir’s win as its 10th anniversary approaches.
“He did all the things that he needed to do to win at Augusta,” Woods concluded Wednesday. “ You need to wedge it and you need to putt, and he did it better than anybody else that week.”
OLE GDL: Graham DeLaet is among the favourites this week to win the Puerto Rico Open, a PGA Tour event that is played opposite the World Golf Championships' Cadillac Championship.
The Canadian is ranked No. 5 in pgatour.com fantasy columnist Rob Bolton's weekly "power rankings," behind Bryce Molder, Matt Jones, Kevin Stadler and Josh Teater. The William Hill betting shop in Britain puts his odds to win at 28 to 1, or among the top 10.
DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., is coming off a ninth-place finish at the Honda Classic last week and has one other top-10 result this year. In two previous Puerto Rico Open starts, he tied for ninth place and 24th.
He is one of four Canadians in the field at Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico this week, joining David Hearn, Stephen Ames and Brad Fritsch.
HIGH FIVE: Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ont., was the low Canadian at the SunCoast Ladies Series tournament in Winter Garden, Fla. on Wednesday, finishing in fifth place, five shots behind winner Catherine O'Donnell.
GOING THE DISTANCE: Long-drive champion Jamie Sadlowski has smashed a golf ball 418 yards to win a major competition. With a bit of wind behind his back, he can get it out there 460 yards or more.
But here’s a number that’s just as staggering in a different way: 600,000.
That’s the number of air miles Sadlowski has racked up since 2008 (and just on the airline he uses most).
The 24-year-old from St. Paul, Alta., has turned his prodigious driving talents into a busy occupation that involves as much travel (or more) as any tour player.
“It’s been a full-time job since 2008, soon as I won,” he said on the weekend at the Toronto Golf and Travel Show.
The win he’s referring to is his victory at the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship in Mesquite, Nev., where his winning 418 yarder set a record for the final round. He defended his title in 2009.
His length off the tee is eye-popping, especially considering he’s just 5 foot 11 and as lean as a 2-iron, and it’s made him a sought-after performer for exhibitions.
Now, he’s on the road 250 days a year, conducting 40 or 50 exhibitions and clinics in addition to his competition schedule. “It’s about as much as I can handle,” Sadlowski said. “Business has been great the last couple of years.”
His clients include corporations that want to entertain their clients and golf clubs looking for a special attraction for their member-guest events.
Before landing in Toronto, he was in Las Vegas filming a Golf Channel promo. He blasted balls under the lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After his weekend appearance in Toronto, where he wowed the crowd with his 135-mile-an-hour club head speed, he was off to Fort Myers, Fla., to take part in a pro-am hosted by broadcaster and former PGA Tour player Mark Lye.
On Monday night, he’s scheduled to fly to Edmonton for his first visit home since Jan. 1.
As he demonstrated at the Toronto golf show in his 45-minute routine, his appeal is simple.
“People are so distance-oriented,” he said. “They want to watch a guy hit it 400 yards, 400-plus.”
Sadlowski has dabbled in tour golf, a couple of times notably on the Web.com Tour in the past two years despite not having played competitively otherwise since he was 16. He answered the age-old question on whether a long driver is just a one-trick pony by making the cut in one out of two starts.
But any thoughts of setting aside his exhibition schedule and trying to make it as a tour player is on the back burner, at least for a couple of years. “This is my job,” he said of his harried performance schedule. “That’s my focus. Things are so good right now and I’m not going to mess with it.
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