HED:Don’t look for Waverly to become regular Tour stop
By Gregg Ellis
WEST POINT Following the conclusion of the 54th U.S. Women’s Open at Old Waverly Golf Club, don’t expect future tournaments to be lured into West Point.
After the Sara Lee Corporation decided not to renew its sponsorship with the Sara Lee tournament in Nashville, Bryan said the event would not relocate to West Point on an annual basis.
“We never really thought about moving the tournament here,” he said. “We don’t believe that we could do an annual event here. We don’t have enough huge corporate support.
“We hope it continues up there. We told them we would do everything we could to support it.”
Se Ri gets a Revolution: Defending U.S. Women’s Open champion Se Ri Pak found great success in 1998 by playing with the Maxfli Revolution golf ball. On Tuesday, she took that success all the way to the bank.
After winning two major championships and four tournaments last year playing with the Revolution, Pak signed a multi-year agreement with Maxfli to continue using the ball.
“Se Ri proved herself to be an elite golfer with the success she enjoyed last year,” said Robin English, Worldwide Tour Director for Dunlop Maxfli. “Only one other player in the history of women’s golf has ever captured two majors as a rookie. Se Ri won both majors and all four tournaments last year playing with the Maxfli Revolution ball, and that is a testament to the quality of Se Ri’s abilities and the Revolution ball.”
The three-year agreement is Pak’s first equipment deal, and though financial terms were not released, English noted it was one of the largest LPGA equipment deals ever signed.
The ball features the Maxfli logo and a portion of her name.
“They couldn’t get my whole name on the ball,” she said laughing, referring to the “SR Pak.”
What’s in a name? While George Bryan was overseeing the construction of his dream golf course in the late 1980s, he and his brother-in-law began pondering numerous names for the 360-acre spectacle.
After countless hours of consideration, it finally became clear one Saturday afternoon that Old Waverly is the only logical choice.
Waverly originates from the Waverly Plantation Mansion, located near the Tombigbee River on Highway 50 between Columbus and West Point.
Construction of the antebellum marvel was completed in 1852, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“One Saturday afternoon I sort of jumped out of my chair and rode out and said, ‘We’ll name it Old Waverly and try to have the theme of an old home,’” Bryan said. “The clubhouse is sort of like a home out there. We strive to make it into a home kind of atmosphere, not like the traditional clubhouses.”
The 8,000 square-foot mansion, which took nearly five years to build, was built by Col. George Hampton Young of Oglethorpe County, Ga., and restored in 1962 after being vacant for 50 years.
The architectural style is Greek Revival, with an Italian Palladio influence. When first built, the plantation featured gardens, livestock, a brick kiln, a cotton gin, an ice house, a marble-lined swimming pool, bath houses and a mulberry grove for the silkworms Col. Young began experimenting with.
Retirement plans: Aching knees and arthritis could mean a premature retirement for Nancy Lopez. However, she says she intends on doing everything possible to prolong her Hall of Fame career.
And while she looks for support from her family, Lopez knows she won’t find sympathy from her husband Ray Knight, a former major league baseball player and manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
“You know, I’m not going to get sympathy around my house because my husband played with torn Achilles, messed up rotator cuffs and everything. He played like that and never complained. And I’m not going to complain, because he’s not going to say ‘Honey, it will be all right.’”
When the decision does become inevitable, though, she knows one thing she will not be partaking in a round of golf on a hilly course.
“I’m retiring with the hilly ones and playing only the flat ones,” she said.
Open tidbits: Mississippi State football coach Jackie Sherrill is playing host to Nancy Lopez and her family at his condo located off the Old Waverly course … With four runner-up performances, Lopez has never claimed the coveted Open title … Karrie Webb ranks No. 1 on the 1999 LPGA official money list, having earned $738,066 and is 83 points ahead of Meg Mallon for the Rolex Player of the Year … Webb also leads the LPGA in rounds under par (33/39), Top 10 finishes (11/11), birdies (192) and greens in regulation (.789) … This year’s tournament schedule features four multiple winners including: Webb (4), Juli Inkster (2), Rachel Helterington (2) and Mallon (2).