Golf: News and notes

By Times staff, wires
Published November 15, 2007

He's got his name in the box

What does Justin Timberlake have in common with Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby? Timberlake can add his name to the list of entertainers who sponsor a tournament. The Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open will replace the Frys.com tournament next Oct. 16-19. Timberlake, 26, will play in a celebrity pro-am and host a concert during the tournament.

Take that, Tiger

Phil Mickleson won the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, China, last week, and he couldn't resist taking a subtle shot at Tiger Woods. "It is nice to win a tournament that Tiger has tried to win the last couple of years unsuccessfully," Mickleson said.


Locals go national

Six junior golfers from southwest Florida will compete in this year's Optimist International Tournament of Champions, Friday through Sunday, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens.

Local participants include: Chun Hung Chan boys 16-18 of Bradenton; Kelsey Gibson (girls 14-18) of Thonotosassa; Travis Huston (boys 14-15) of Palm Harbor; Nick Quintessenza (boys 14-15) of St. Petersburg; Travis Ralph (boys 16-18) of Redington Beach; and Cyril Suk (boys 16-18) of Bradenton.

The Tournament of Champions is a 36-hole, stroke-play invitational that will showcase some of the most talented young players in the world. Golfers from 24 states, three Canadian provinces and nine other nations will compete in the third annual tournament, which will be ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard and Golfweek and is included in the AJGA Performance Based Entry process.

Players were invited to apply for a spot in the tournament based on their performance in Optimist-sponsored tournaments and other leading tournaments on the junior golf circuit.


Lake Jovita hosts stage 2 qualifier

Lake Jovita's South Course is hosting a PGA Tour Qualifying School second stage tournament. Play began Wednesday and continues through Saturday. The top 20 players (plus ties) after four rounds advance to the final stage, which is Nov. 28-Dec. 3 at Orange County National in Winter Park. Local players are David Branshaw (Tampa), Jon Mansfield (Clearwater), Brad Quiri (Oldsmar), Robbie Schulz (Dade City), Mike Sposa (Tampa) and Garrett Willis (Dade City). There are six courses across the country that will host a second stage qualifier. The top 25 players (plus ties) at Q-School earn their PGA Tour card for the 2008 season.

Leadbetter sounds off

David Leadbetter, chastened by pupil Michelle Wie in May for saying she shouldn't compete against men, isn't backing down. The swing guru suggested to a Toronto newspaper recently that you can trace Wie's falloff to two late-season entries in 2006. To that point, Wie had been in contention at three of the LPGA's four majors. Then she ventured onto the European and PGA tours, finishing last both times.

"If she hadn't played those tournaments, then everybody would have considered 2006 her best season yet," Leadbetter told the Globe and Mail. "It was absolute madness for her to play them. That started the whole debacle."

In eight LPGA starts this year, Wie withdrew twice, missed three cuts and was no higher than fourth-from-last when playing the weekend.


Your turn

Have a question, comment, brief story or public tournament information? Contact us at golf@tampabay.com or fax at (727) 893-8782.

Rodney Page, Times staff writer; Times wires