Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Breakthrough seems too many years in coming
By BOB HARIG
Published May 4, 2006
Even Chris Couch had trouble believing his good fortune.
From phenom to supposed failure to winner on the PGA Tour. And getting it done with a 55-foot cross-hand chip-in on the final hole for par.
"For a guy who has come from nothing to now have a million dollars is absolutely incredible," Couch said Sunday after winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Couch offers an excellent reminder that many times in golf, potential is never realized.
He is just 32, with plenty of golf ahead of him. But it was 16 long years ago that Couch made it into the Honda Classic field as a Monday qualifier while at Coconut Creek High near Fort Lauderdale. He once was the No. 1 junior in the country.
But Couch twice lost his PGA Tour card, and although he has the dubious honor of being the Nationwide Tour's all-time leading money winner, that is not the kind of success he had dreamed about.
Twice he tried to quit. After the 2000 season, the former University of Florida golfer applied for an assistant pro job at Gainesville Country Club, but he was turned down by the head pro who believed Couch had too much talent to abandon his dream.
A few months later, Couch won his first Nationwide event, played on the same course.
Three years later, after missing the first four cuts on the Nationwide Tour, Couch again considered giving up. He had all but run out of money. "That was probably the lowest point," he said. "I just couldn't play anymore because I couldn't afford it."
A $3,000 loan from another pro, Brendan Pappas, helped fund three more tournaments on the Nationwide Tour, where he had a couple of top 10s and eventually won again.
But that didn't mean there would be success on the PGA Tour. Having returned this year, Couch had made just two cuts in nine starts. And it didn't look any better in New Orleans.
He needed two birdies in the final four holes Friday to make the cut, and he did so, on the number. He shot 64 on Saturday to go from last to first. And he followed through Sunday, earning the $1.08-million paycheck and security for the next two-plus years.
ON SECOND THOUGHT: Phil Mickelson made headlines when he used two drivers at the Masters but said it was unlikely he would do so again. But after a visit to Winged Foot Golf Club last week, site of next month's U.S. Open, Mickelson said he likely will use two for the second major of the year.
"It's terrific," Mickelson said of 7,264-yard course in Mamaroneck, N.Y. "It's a long, tough golf course. It's going to be a very difficult test. The fairways are very tight The course is very long, and I think they may have found other ways to protect par than what they've done on some other holes in the past."
OPEN MIND: Tom Kite won the 1992 U.S. Open and at age 56 plays on the Champions Tour. But he still has the U.S. Open on his mind. That is why he will try to qualify. Kite was among the 8,585 entries the United States Golf Association received last week before the deadline.
"Nothing has changed just because I'm getting older," said Kite, who is exempt from local qualifying but will try to advance through a 36-hole sectional qualifier in Texas. "I am a golfer who has just wanted to play in the Open since I was a teenager. Just because I'm on the Champions Tour doesn't mean that I should not want to play in our national championship."
FAMILY AFFAIR: The Wachovia Championship will have a threesome of Haas. Jay Haas, who is coming off consecutive victories on the Champions Tour, was scheduled to have son Bill in the field. But Jay Jr. also is in. He advanced through a Monday qualifier.
WELCOME BACK: Annika Sorenstam has been on top of women's golf for most of this decade, but her chief rivals, Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak, had fallen back. Webb recently won the Kraft Nabisco Championship, but Pak has not won for two years. All three had a good week at the Ginn Open near Orlando. For the first time since the season-ending ADT Championship in 2003, they finished in the top 10 at the same event.
AROUND GOLF: While South Koreans have won four tournaments this year on the LPGA Tour, Americans have captured just one. And that was by 45-year-old Hall of Famer Juli Inkster. ... The Masters announced a $3.4-million donation to charity, bringing the total over the past nine years to $29-million. Among the recipients were the First Tee Program and the Tiger Woods Foundation, along with the U.S. Golf Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.