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Published: 5/16/2006

Significant, other than victory: Farr champ happily defends

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Heather Bowie won the 2005 Farr Classic but will defend as Heather Young after marrying her caddy from that event, Jeremy Young. Heather Bowie won the 2005 Farr Classic but will defend as Heather Young after marrying her caddy from that event, Jeremy Young.
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It wasn't exactly a lip lock and it never got to the point that parents had to shield their kids' eyes, but an instant after Heather Bowie sank the putt that won last summer's Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic the embrace she shared with her caddy was, well, rather passionate.

Of course, few fans knew that Jeremy Young was Bowie's significant other.

Very significant, it turns out, since she now goes by the name Heather Young.

"We got married on Feb. 4 in Fort Worth," Young said yesterday at Highland Meadows Golf Club, where the Farr Classic held its annual media day.

So, is the honeymoon over?

"Well, technically, I guess it is," she said, laughing. "But only technically."

After finishing tied for 17th on Sunday at the Michelob Ultra Open in Virginia, Young flew to Toledo and her husband headed for New York, where Heather will play in this week's Sybase Classic.

"Last night was the first night we hadn't been together since February and that wasn't any fun for me," she said.

And how was Jeremy spending the day?

"He's in New York doing my laundry," Young said.

Perhaps we should ask him if the honeymoon is over.

The couple began dating in October, 2003, and Jeremy spent a couple weeks working for Heather the following year in Asia when Angela Stanford, the player he was caddying for at the time, skipped that swing on the LPGA schedule.

But last year's Farr Classic was their first on a full-time employer-employee basis.

"Not a bad way to start, eh?" said Young, who went on to post her first LPGA Tour victory.

"He asked me about doing it," she said. "I thought about it a while. I knew our personal relationship was far more important and I told him that if it ever got uncomfortable we'd split up [on the course]. It has worked out surprisingly well, though. I'm not sure how we've done it so well, but we have."

Heather said her husband's dream is "to caddie on the PGA Tour and be in the big show."

But the LPGA is her big show and her biggest stage was breaking through with her first win last year in Toledo.

"The No. 1 emotion I felt was relief," she said. "I went through a period when I was surprised it hadn't happened, and then you start to wonder if it ever will.

"But I'm very glad it happened when and where it did. I had my first top-5 finish here [2000] and then my first top-3 finish [2001] came at the Farr too, so I wasn't surprised that my first win came here. It's always been a special place for me. Now it would be neat if my first repeat win came here."

Young will try to accomplish that from July 13-16 when a field of 144 golfers returns to Highland Meadows in pursuit of a $1.2 million purse.

Young, who started last year's final round five shots out of the lead, said she never looked at a leaderboard "because I didn't think it mattered."

In fact, after two-putting for par on the 18th hole to end regulation, Young was ready to head for the parking lot and a trip to Canada. Her significant other, however, knew the score and suggested she might want to get ready for a playoff.

Young's showdown with Grace Park lasted three holes and ended when Park, who had made two long putts to stay alive earlier in the playoff, drove into the high rough on No. 18 and failed to clear the water hazard. A two-putt par was all Young needed to claim victory.

She said it created a little more pressure earlier this year because, "Now that I've won I have greater expectations. But I've decided all I can do is play golf and not worry about the outcome. I haven't had a breakout week, but I've been steady. I've been driving it better lately and my finishes have been better. I feel like I'm close."

Maybe that's because the LPGA schedule shows that the annual stop in Toledo, where Young has posted four top-10 finishes and won more than $330,000, is close at hand.

Contact Dave Hackenberg at:

dhack@theblade.com

or 419-724-6398.



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