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The Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, after staging two straight August events, will be returning to its more familiar early-July date next year, according to tournament director Judd Silverman.
Silverman said yesterday that the LPGA Tour has offered a July 4-10 date for 2005 and that Farr officials have accepted, although no contract has been signed.
The Farr Classic was firmly entrenched in an early-July slot, almost always with the Fourth of July holiday falling during tournament week, from 1989-2002.
Farr officials requested an August date last year to avoid conflict with the U.S. Senior Open held in late June at Inverness Club, and the event remained there on this year's tour schedule.
"We thought we'd be back in July this year, but the LPGA had a scheduling conflict so we took this week," Silverman said. "It wasn't ideal, coming directly after the Women's British Open, but it has worked out fine. Just look at the leaderboard.
"But we prefer to play in July, if possible. It is more the height of the golf season, it's easier to get volunteers, and we have a track record in July that was pretty successful.
"Next year, with that date in early July, we won't be bumping up against a major. We'll be two weeks behind the U.S. Open and three weeks ahead of the British Open. It should bode for a strong field."
Silverman said he "fully anticipates" that the contract with the LPGA will be signed in the very near future.
NEW EXPERIENCE: Angela Jerman has broken new ground the last couple days as a young player making her first big splash on the LPGA Tour. But she is quick to credit some veteran input.
Jerman is working with caddie Dave Brooker, who normally is employed by Donna Andrews and who is married to another LPGA player, Sue Ginter-Brooker.
"Donna is working for ESPN this week, so she was gracious enough to let me borrow Dave for a one-week deal," Jerman said. "It's really great because we talk about everything but golf out there. He's got so many stories, I could listen to them all day."
Their temporary alliance has been a huge success through two rounds of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Jerman has gone 67-68 for a 7-under 135 total and a tie for the lead at the midway point.
Jerman flew under the radar as one of the last to finish in Thursday's first round. But yesterday, for the first time in her career, she got the full media monty. Local television descended upon her as soon as she signed her scorecard, then after a fairly lengthy session with the print media Jerman was off to the ESPN2 tower for a live interview.
"Dave and I talked a little about how to handle it," she said. "It's all new to me. I guess I have to go over to ESPN now and, yeah, I'll be nervous. But this is what we're all playing for. If you're doing the media, it means you're doing well."
GOOD START: Amateur Charlotte Mayorkas, playing in her first LPGA event as a sponsor invitee, made the cut at 3-over 145.
"The first goal is checked," said Mayorkas, who will be a senior at UCLA. "It's exciting. It has been a great week so far, but I'm a little frustrated with how I played."
After matching par of 71 in the opening round, Mayorkas was 1-under for the tournament through eight holes yesterday before stumbling down the stretch.
But the golfer whose high individual finish led UCLA to the NCAA national championship last season, still made the cut in her first exposure to pro golf.
"It's a lot more intense," she said. "You have to stay focused and stay in your bubble and remember that you're still just playing golf.
"But this is what I'm looking forward to doing in the future. I still have another year of college, but this is a good learning step for me."
WEBB GEMS: On an otherwise uneventful round for Karrie Webb in yesterday's second round in the Farr Classic, she got hot with her putter from long range to fashion a 3-under 68.
"Obviously, with the wind I'm happy to get in at 3-under," Webb said. "I made a couple of nice long putts today and I haven't seen too many off those lately, so it was good. That kept the momentum going in my round."
One of her long birdie putts came at No. 17.
"That was a 20-footer, so I didn't play the hole all that well until I made a 20-footer," Webb said. "I'm pretty happy with the way I've been putting this week.
Four of Webb's five birdie putts (at Nos. 9, 11, 12 and 17) were 20 feet or longer. She also dropped an eight-footer for bird on No. 2.
"I've played well here before," said Webb, who was fifth here in 1997, third in both 1998 and 2002, and lost in a six-player playoff in 1999. "It's just whether your game's in shape that week or not.
"I like playing this golf course. If I can keep doing similar things this weekend I'll have a chance."
Webb enters third-round play at 5-under for the tournament, two shots behind the leaders.
SUDDEN CHANGE: When Marilyn Lovander made the turn at 1-over during yesterday's second round in the Farr Classic, she was setting her sights low.
"Just make the cut," she told herself.
By the time she completed play, however, Lovander had carded five back-nine birdies to fashion the low score of the day at 4-under 67 and was in contention for the lead at minus-3 overall.
It all started with a successful 10-foot birdie putt on the 10th green that, Lovander felt, pumped some much-needed energy into her game. From that point on, things began to click.
"The thing that really happened was that birdie at 10," Lovander said. "I had not been doing much of anything all day, in fact, I was struggling just to make pars. Then I rolled in a birdie on 10 and a long one on 11 [30 feet], and that's when everything started to roll."
It was an eye-opening experience for Lovander.
"After a couple of putts go in, all of a sudden you start seeing the line a little better and getting a feel for the distance," she said. "It just kind of snowballed from there.
"I wish I knew what caused it. It's just like something clicks and you start to see things a little better. But, there's two more days left so you can't get too excited."
Lovander dropped 15-foot birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 16, and rolled a 10-footer in for bird on 17.
"I didn't have any short ones today," Lovander said.
BETTER AND WORSE? Tammie Green opened the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic with a 2-under 69 on Thursday, but felt she played better during yesterday's 1-over round of 72 at Highland Meadows.
"I actually struck the ball a lot better today," Green said. "I drove the ball well for the most part and it was usually left, so I know what I have to work on. Today was more consistent all the way around."
Green pointed to windy and dry course conditions yesterday as the primary factor in her better round actually resulting in a higher score.
"Hopefully I can figure it out and start going low," Green said. "I played the best I can and that's all you can do. The wind was tricky out there. I pulled the wrong club several times. When the wind is swirling you know you're going to do that."
PLANNING AHEAD: Ever wonder how pro golfers hit such precise shots? A lot of it begins long before they even leave the first tee.
Meg Mallon had an 11-wood in her bag yesterday and how it got there is a study in detail and precision.
"I'll have one of three clubs in my bag based on the wind, the condition of the rough, and the type of greens we're playing," said Mallon, the co-leader after 36 holes with Angela Jerman.
"I know my 11-wood, which is a great club out of the rough, will go 178 yards in the air and will only release two yards [after landing]. My 4-iron goes 172 yards and releases 10 yards. My 7-wood goes 185 in the air and releases anywhere from two to five yards.
"So my caddie and I go over what that day's round will call for and put one of those three clubs in the bag."