Ohio's Golf Magazine July 2009 : Page 8

OH O’s GOLF he was supporting Ohio State assistant coach Brad Sparling to replace Jim Brown, who retired this year after 36 years as head coach. “Brownie is pushing for Brad and he asked me to push for Brad,” Nicklaus said. “I have had maybe 10 guys ask me to help them out with the Ohio State job, and I told them that I am supporting Brad because that is what Brownie asked me to do.” Ten days later Ohio State hired Oklahoma State as- sistant and Kent State alum Donnie Darr to serve as the program’s 10th head coach. What Curse? Bad weather has plagued the Memorial Tournament over the years, a condition that some people have half-jokingly attributed the “curse of Chief Leatherlips.” Chief Leatherlips, so named by white settlers be- cause he never broke a promise, was a member of the Wyandot Indian tribe that roamed the area that is now Dublin. Muirfield Village was reportedly built on the tribe’s sacred burial ground. Leatherlips was executed in 1810 by members of his own tribe, reportedly for being too friendly with the white settlers. A plaque commemorating the event is located along the Scioto River, only a couple miles from the tournament site. Leatherlips cut the tournament a break this year. Miserable rainy and cold conditions pelted the skins game on Wednesday, but it was sunny and in the 80s the rest of the week. The only misery after Wednes- day was experienced by players who were out of po- sition on the greens that measured as much as 14.5 feet on the Stimpmeter. Do as I say One of the most offbeat stories of the week was the arrest of Ohio Department of Public Safety legislative director John W. Lang Jr., after he allegedly become intoxicated and scuffled with police officers during the opening round of the tournament. Lang, who lobbied on behalf of the department for legislation to toughen Ohio’s drunk driving laws, was charged with persis- tent disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. The Columbus Dispatch reported that Lang’s driv- ing record reflects three DUI-related arrests, most recently on Feb. 9 in Grandview Heights. In that in- cident, a police officer said she found Lang asleep at 1 8 JULY 2009 • WWW.OHIOSGOLF.COM the wheel of his car, which was parked the wrong way on a Grandview Heights street with its headlights on and engine running. He refused a breath test and the officer charged him with physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, which is pending in Franklin County Municipal Court. Court records show that Lang previously was charged twice with DUI. He was arrested in Columbus in 2000 and in Butler County in 2004, when he lost his driver’s license for nearly six months for refusing a breath test. He was convicted in each case of a lesser charge of willful and wanton disregard of public safety. Contacted by Ohio’s Golf, Department of Public Safe- ty spokesman Thomas Hunter said that the depart- ment’s director, Henry Guzmán, was aware of Lang’s previous run-ins with the law. Hunter noted that Lang had not previously been convicted of drunk driving. Lang resigned his position the day after his arrest at the Memorial Tournament. OG Memorial Facts – • Woods has now won 19 of his last 35 starts on the PGA Tour (54 percent), dating to the 2006 British Open. • Woods has made the cut in all 11 starts at the Memorial, with seven top-4 finishes. Defending champion Kenny Perry made his 16th consecutive cut this year and finished T-27 at even par (72-73- 75-68—288). Scott Hoch has the record for making the most consecutive cuts at the Memorial (17) from 1981-1997. • Dating to 1991, this year’s 73.425 scoring av- erage was the second highest at the Memorial, trail- ing only last year’s 74.397. The 2.397-over par aver- age last year made Muirfield the 5th toughest course on the PGA Tour in 2008. • The Memorial Tournament has the distinction of having the longest active playoff drought on the PGA Tour. The tournament has not had a playoff since 1992, when David Edwards defeated Rick Fehr with a par on the second playoff hole. By Eric Poklar Ohio’s Golf Senior Writer

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