Jun 29

Peter Oosterhuis goes public with early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Long-time broadcaster and, before that, European standout Peter Oosterhuis has gone public with the news that he has early-onset Alzheimer's. 

Oosterhuis first shared the news in May at Pebble Beach during a private fundraising event for former CBS colleague Jim Nantz's National Alzheimer's Center. Nantz lost his father to the disease after a 13-year fight. Footage of Oosterhuis' announcement was made public as part of a piece on the Englishman and how he is coping with the diagnosis in Golf World.

A member of the 1973 Ryder Cup team, Oosterhuis was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in July 2014 by his Charlotte, N.C., doctor. After telling his colleagues later that summer ahead of his contract expiration in November, Oosterhuis decided to retire in January. At the time, he issued a statement saying, "I feel it is the right time to step away to focus on things in life that I have always wanted to do." Oosterhuis, who had been calling golf since 1995, wanted to continue in the booth but, at the time, didn't want to draw attention to himself.

Oosterhuis won seven times on the European Tour in the 1970s and four consecutive Order of Merit titles from 1971-74. His lone PGA Tour win is the 1981 Canadian Open, though he finished runner-up at the Open Championship in 1974 and '82. He was also a member of six Ryder Cup teams from 1971-81, earning a 14-11-3 record.


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Jun 29

Report: Mickelson tied to money laundering, gambling case

Phil Mickelson wired millions of dollars to a middleman, who then laundered that money as part of "an illegal gambling operation which accepted and placed bets on sporting events," according to a report from ESPN's Outside the Lines.

According to the report, Mickelson transferred the money to 56-year-old Greg Silveira of La Quinta, Calif., who has pleaded guilty to three federal counts of money laundering as part of a plea deal. Silveira pled guilty to laundering $2.75 million that he says belonged to Mickelson, according to the report.

The plea deal centers around three wire transfers from March 2010 to February 2013 connected to Silveira. In 2010, Silveira first accepted a $2.75 million wire transfer into a Wells Fargo Bank account from a "gambling client," identified in the report as Mickelson. That money was then transferred in two installments  first $2.475 million, then $275,000 – into another of Silveira's bank accounts. Finally, Silveira transferred $2.475 million into another account he controlled with JP Morgan Chase Bank. Those transfers constitute money laundering.

Silveira will be sentenced on Oct. 5 and could face up to 60 years in prison, though a much shorter sentence is expected.

Federal prosecutors, Silveira's lawyer, Mickelson and his attorneys, as well the PGA Tour all declined to comment on the case.

Mickelson is golf's highest paid player, taking in an estimated $51 million in 2014 from both on-course prize money and endorsements with companies including Callaway Golf, Barclays, KPMG, Exxon Mobil, Rolex and Amgen. He is known to routinely play in big-money side games on the PGA Tour. He is also remembered for his piece of a preseason bet on the Baltimore Ravens as a 22-to-1 shot to win the Super Bowl before the 2000 season. They won their first Super Bowl that year in a 34-7 romp of the New York Giants.

In 2014, Mickelson's name surfaced in a federal investigation related to two instances of potential insider trading involving billionaire investor Carl Icahn and legendary sports gambler Billy Walters. Mickelson was cleared in one of those cases, but it's unclear if the second investigation is still ongoing.


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Jun 29

Living Day By Day

Displaying the same genial cheerfulness he showed as a player and broadcaster, Peter Oosterhuis confronts the challenge of his life: early-onset Alzheimer's
Posted in Uncategorized
Jun 29

Bubba Watson wins Travelers Championship for 2nd time

Bubba Watson got back to his winning ways on the PGA Tour on Sunday at the site of his first Tour victory. Watson won the Travelers Championship for the second time, doing so, like he did in 2010, in a playoff.

Watson birdied the second playoff hole to take down Paul Casey for his second win of the 2014-15 season, building on his November playoff win at the WGC-HSBC Champions. After matching pars on the par-4 18th to open the playoff, Casey went bunker to bunker with his approach shot on the rehash in the second playoff hole. Casey airmailed his greenside bunker shot, clearing the stage for a Watson win.

“I proved to myself in '10 that I could win under pressure in the playoff; I proved to myself that I could mess up 17 and still have a chance to win, and so I knew that if I just kept my head down and kept doing what I needed to do, I could still have a chance to win, and that's what I did,” Watson said, according to PGATour.com.

Both players finished at 16-under 264, a shot ahead of 54-hole leader Brian Harman. 

The two-time Masters winner got out of the gate with a pair of birdies, then went sideways until an eagle 3 at the par-5 13th. A late bogey at the 17th opened the door for Casey, who birdied three of his last four holes to shoot a playoff-inducing 5-under 65.

However, had Casey been able to make a fairly simple par at the drivable par-4 15th, he could have picked up the win. Instead, Casey is a playoff loser for the second time this year. He also fell, along with Dustin Johnson, to James Hahn in the three-man playoff for the Northern Trust Open. Along with Kevin Kisner, who has also fallen in a pair of playoffs this year, Casey is having the best no-win season on the PGA Tour.

Watson now has eight PGA Tour wins, with five of them coming in playoffs. Since 2010, only Rory McIlroy, with 11, has more wins. 


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Jun 29

Cheyenne Woods: I’m my own person

Cheyenne Woods is, indeed, Tiger Woods' niece. But at 24 and trying to make it in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, the Wake Forest product wants to make waves with her first name, not just her surname.

"Yes, my last name is Woods — but you can call me Cheyenne," Woods wrote in an essay for The Players’ Tribune.

Woods writes about how she is asked about her 14-time-major-winning uncle on a daily basis and that the routine has gotten more than old.

“He’s one of the most famous human beings on the planet and we share a last name as well as a profession,” . “But let me clear something up once and for all: I love my uncle, and I treasure the advice he gives me when we speak every few months, but I am not Tiger Woods.”

She doesn't keep tabs on Woods. Her life isn't focused on his struggles. She has a life and career of her own. Woods has made five cuts in 11 LPGA events this season, with a T-24 finish at the JTBC Founders Cup coming as her best finish of the year.

Woods also shares how she has been dealing with the somewhat inevitable comparisons to Uncle Tiger since she was 9 or 10 years old. When she was that age, it was a cool thing as Woods was at his peak. Who wouldn't want to be Tiger's niece when he was playing the best golf perhaps ever seen?

However, that comparison was never apt, and Cheyenne wants the chance to walk her own path without the weight of expectation that she's the next Tiger.

She's not, and that's totally fine.


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Jun 28

Va. golfer shoots 57 with 3 aces, including 2 on par 4s

If someone told you they shot 57 for a round of golf, there are two natural reactions:

1. Facetiously ask, "Was that for nine holes?" and then laugh;

2. Slap them in the face and call them a liar. 

However, Virginian Patrick Wills did just that, carding a 14-under 57 in a tournament round played at Laurel Hill Golf Course in Lorton, Va., host of the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links. Michael Keating, publisher of GolfStyles Media Group, claims the 59-year-old former Marine did it in the second round of a Summer Solstice tournament at the course. Even more amazing? Wills had three holes-in-one during the round, including two on par 4s.

Keating, who was tournament director for the event, set up the tournament, designed to maximize rounds in a single day because of the amount of sunlight, to get easier over the course of the day. In Round 2, players competed off the White tees at a length of 6,021 yards.

Wills went out in 29, making four birdies in the first six holes, along with his lone bogey of the day. On the 278-yard par-4 seventh, Wills made his first of three aces on the day with what he called a "baby-draw 3-wood."

He then started the back nine with another par-4 ace, this time from 310 yards with a driver. He was incredulous.

"I literally said to myself, 'Get real.' I thought they were teasing me," he said. "Never in my wildest imagination did I think I could get multiple ones in the same round."

At the uphill par-3 14th, Wills used a 5-iron to make his third and final hole-in-one on the day. At that point, Wills was 13 under through 14 holes. 

He slowed down from there, playing the final four holes in 1 under, including a Dustin Johnson-like three-putt par on the par-5 finishing hole.

Though the 57 is a lifetime best for Wills, he claims to have "numerous" rounds of 59, as well 22 career aces, including four on par 4s.

I know, I know. You're thinking a word that rhymes with poolspit. However, Wills, who is a plus-4 handicap, has witnesses: sons Charlie and Christopher, also a member of the military, as well as Air Force major Matt Ghormley.

Wills understands the skepticism.

"People are allowed to believe what they want to believe - I fought for that freedom," he said. "But I know what I shot, my playing partners know what I shot and the people at the tournament do as well."


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Jun 28

Inclement weather forces later start on Travelers Sunday

Pending bad weather typically forces tee times in pro events to get moved earlier, so as to avoid weather swooping in later. That's not the case for the final round of the Travelers Championship.

Tee times have actually been moved back for Sunday, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET. However, all the other trappings of weather-related problems apply. The players will be grouped in threesomes and go off the first and 10th tees until 1 p.m.

Brian Harman is seeking his second PGA Tour win and a win in consecutive seasons as the lefty Georgia product has a one-stroke lead over another lefty, Bubba Watson, and Graham DeLaet heading into the final round. Harman is 14 under par after a Saturday 5-under 65 while grouped with his fellow, one-time Georgia Bulldog. Watson's 68 has him tied with DeLaet, who is seeking his first PGA Tour win after a 64 that could have been lower had his tee shot to the 277-yard par-4 15th on Saturday rolled just a little closer to the cup.

Though the final threesome is clear of the field by two, the likes of Zach Johnson, Brandt Snedeker and a resurgent Paul Casey, who are all 11 under par, could turn in a low round and steal the title at TPC River Highlands.


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Jun 25

Win irons personally played by Ben Hogan in an eBay auction

Ben Hogan found the secrets of golf in the dirt. Now you can bid for a set of the instruments the Hawk used to dig out those secrets. 

A set of irons Hogan personally used in the 1980s is now up for auction on eBay. They can be all yours, right now, for the meager price of $35,000. 

The irons have been put up for auction by a man who said he obtained them from Jay Edgar, a former executive with the Hogan Tour, the original name of what is now known as the Web.com Tour. As Golf Digest mentions, the included 2-iron-through-Equalizer practice set was used at Shady Oaks Country Club. The clubs have since been re-chromed and re-gripped.

The auction winner gets a letter from Edgar that details how he got the clubs from Hogan's master club designer in 1989, the year before the first season of the Hogan Tour, 

The question is: Would you try to play with them and hope to get some golf inspiration by osmosis?


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.