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|With his loss to Ogilvy in this past weekend's Match Play, Love clinched his 29th career runner-up finish.|
Once among the most promising young players in the game, with a U.S. Open and Players Championship on his résumé and a slew of trophies seemingly in his future, Pate suffered a shoulder injury with one fateful swing and would never win again.
Until Sunday. This time, it was a shot to 12 feet on the 18th green that set up a birdie to win the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am on the Champions Tour. The finish brought back memories of another 5-iron approach, the one to the 72nd hole at Atlanta Athletic Club in 1976 that led to his winning birdie putt at the U.S. Open.
To Pate, this might have been almost as meaningful. It was his first victory on the Champions Tour, his first victory anywhere since he won the 1982 Players Championship, where he jumped into the lake beside the green at the TPC-Sawgrass with then-PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman and course designer Pete Dye.
|Got a question about the PGA Tour? Ask ESPN.com golf writer Bob Harig, who will answer your inquiries in his column each week.
Q. Is there any chance for more match play events on the PGA Tour? Outside of the majors, the Accenture Match Play is my favorite event.
A. It is doubtful. And the Match Play showed the fears associated with such a tournament: None of the top seeds made it to Saturday. That doesn't mean the event wasn't compelling, but television fears the lack of big names on the weekend, making such a tournament a once-a-year deal.
Q. Why does Lorena Ochoa receive so little media attention? Is it because she's not 16 years old? Or is it because she doesn't have a calendar? When people talk about the future of the LPGA, she often is not mentioned.
A. It is true that Ochoa has been a bit overlooked at times, but that is not the case in her native Mexico. That is why the LPGA has put tournaments in her home country. She was the rookie of the year in 2003 and has won three times. At 24, she is very much a part of the future of the LPGA.
Q. What's up with my man Hank Kuehne?
A. Kuehne, who finished 102nd on the 2005 money list, is simply having a tough time right now. He has made just one cut in five starts, and that was a tie for 49th at the Buick Invitational. He has just three rounds in the 60s this year. You can look to two areas to see where Kuehne is struggling: He is hitting less than 44 percent of his fairways to rank 192nd on the tour, and he is hitting just 50 percent of the greens to rank 193rd.
Bob Harig covers golf for the St. Petersburg Times and is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.