State Farm Classic Notebook: From Yankee Stadium to Panther Creek

Dave Kane

Angela Stanford and Kristy McPherson were really, really, really tired when they got to Panther Creek Country Club on Wednesday for their 2:10 p.m. tee times in the State Farm Classic Pro-Am.

But you couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces.

About 12 hours before, they — along with fellow pro Brittany Lincicome — were leaving Yankee Stadium after they’d watched all 15 innings of the American League’s 4-3 victory over the Nationals in the All-Star Game.

In case you missed it, the game ended at 1:37 a.m. EDT.

“I told Kristy at about 1:30, ‘You know, we’re in no-man’s land now,’” Stanford said. “‘Anything we do now is going to be wrong. If we stay, we’re not going to sleep. If we go, we’re not going to go out at this point.

“‘We might as well stay and watch it.’”

They actually showed up in the Bronx the night before to watch the Home Run Derby.

Stanford, a big fan of the Texas Rangers, got to see the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton put on a big show. Another Ranger, Michael Young, drove in the winning run Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

“It was great to see how the fans reacted to Josh Hamilton; that was awesome,” Stanford said. “Then, my Ranger Michael Young won the game last night. Hey, you’ve got forever to sleep. It was worth it.”

McPherson and Stanford went back to their hotel, got about an hour’s worth of sleep, then headed to the airport. They got red-eye flights, with Stanford’s going to St. Louis while McPherson flew into Bloomington — by way of Atlanta.

“I’m still trying to figure out how that happened,” McPherson said.

Fortunately for both, they had short trips to hit the sack after Wednesday’s pro-am. Stanford stays with Mike and Jan Parr, who live near Panther Creek’s No. 9 fairway, during the Classic. McPherson is renting a home in Panther Creek for tournament week.

They also lucked out on their tee times for today’s first round. McPherson tees off at 12:32 p.m. on No. 1, and Stanford will follow at 12:54 on No. 10.

Kim draws top dollar: Always-quotable Christina Kim said Tuesday night wasn’t the first time a group of amateurs had paid to play specifically with her in a pro-am. But $11,500 was the biggest amount anyone had paid.

Amateurs Meigan Putnam, Brian Munhall, Vic Bayus and Steve Lucas, all from Atlanta-based S1 Corp., put up the highest bid in the auction held at Tuesday night’s pro-am pairings party. They then got first choice of a pro in the pro-am’s morning segment, and they went with Kim, last year’s Classic runner-up.

“I felt like a high-priced call girl,” Kim said. “I’m not going to complain, because my group was great. They were hands-down one of the best groups I ever had. I haven’t laughed that much in a Pro-Am in a really long time. They were just fantastic.”

All of the money put up at the auction goes to tournament charities. In the auction for the afternoon pro-am segment, Michelle McGannwas picked by the amateur group of Mike Beasley, Joe Keller, Tim Ronan and Randy Hackler. They won the p.m. auction at $4,000.

Kim said the S1 group outbid the amateur group led by Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin, who bowed out at $10,500.

“He saw me this morning and said, ‘I want you to know that we really wanted to play with you,’” Kim said. “But he said after (Putnam’s group) went up to $11,000, he knew she was willing to go up to $20,000 so he had to let it go.

“I just called him a cheapskate,” Kim said.

Pro-Am leaders: In Wednesday’s morning segment of the State Farm Classic Pro-Am hosted by IBM, the team led by current Rookie of the Year leader Yani Tseng of Taiwan take first place in the low net category.

Tseng, who’s No. 6 on the LPGA Tour money list, teamed with amateurs Carrie Daykin, Christy Moberly, Scott Alexander and Paul Bouis for a gross score of 12-under-par 60 in the scramble competition. With their 12.0 team handicap figured in, they had a net score of 48.

The team of pro Jane Park and amateurs Dr. Tammie Klein, Ron Klein, Ron Stevens and Becky Serri took second place with a 58 gross and 48.64.

The low-gross morning winners, at 19-under-par 53, were pro Karine Icher and amateurs Jason Wiegman, Scott Eoff, Dennis Conway and Tom Lane.

The pro-am’s afternoon segment was won by pro Michelle McGann and amateurs Mike Beasely, Joe Keller, Tim Ronan and Randy Hackles with a net score of 45.44. They were followed by pro Jimin Kang and amateurs Mike Curran, Rob Gaughman, Tom Darlington and Dave Nieters at 48.32.

Low gross winners for the afternoon were pro Michele Redman and amateurs Mark Denzler, Pat McCarthy, Ryan Wolfe and John Werderits.

Chip shots: Sherri Steinhauer said her parents, Fritz and Nancie Steinhauer, will be back at Panther Creek to support her in her title defense. Her parents toured Panther Creek on scooters last year.

“I just hope it’s not too hot out there,” Steinhauer said. “It’s going to be tough for (her parents) even with the scooters.” . . .

There will be at least one sibling team on the course in the Classic, with Arsenio Delasin Jr., caddying for his sister, Dorothy Delasin. Arsenio, 19, has been caddying for Dorothy the past three weeks.

“I just like watching her play; it inspires me to act like a pro,” Arsenio said. “I want to do this myself.”

As for his salary this week, Arsenio said he’ll probably give Dorothy a family discount. . . .

Tour pro Sarah Lynn Sargent has a local fan in Piper Glen Golf Club owner David Impastato. Sargent grew up in Geneva, which isn’t far from St. Charles. She worked for Impastato for a short time when he was the head pro at St. Charles Country Club.

Sargent’s father is Ralph Johnston, who is retired after working for PING golf equipment. Johnston also played on the PGA Tour from 1970-79.

Dave Kane can be reached at 788-1544.