Senior PGA, a possible Herd assistant and WVU baseball
Ye olde notebook:
n If you hit the website for the Senior PGA Championship, you’ll see one golfer listed from the state of West Virginia.
That golfer is Tom Watson, pro emeritus at The Greenbrier.
He is indeed listed from White Sulphur Springs and is counted as a representative of the Mountain State. Not a bad deal for us, right?
There is, however, another qualifier from West Virginia: Berry Hills head pro Barry Evans. The Charleston resident recently played in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and qualified for the major.
“It was really unexpected,” Evans said Tuesday. “I had just hurt my back and didn’t even play a practice round because I was trying to save my back.”
The ploy worked. Evans shot a first-day score of 71 and went on to finish at 291, which was among the top 35. That put him in the Senior PGA event, which will be held at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich., May 22-25. It will be his second Senior PGA and his fifth overall major tournament. (He previously played in two PGA Championships and a U.S. Amateur.)
The last time Evans played in the Senior PGA was two years ago at Benton Harbor, where he missed the cut. But what about representing the state alongside Watson?
“That’s pretty good company,” Evans said.
n The word I’m getting is new Marshall basketball coach Dan D’Antoni is set to hire former NBA guard Chris Duhon as an assistant.
That would certainly be a splashy hire. Duhon, 31, played nine seasons of pro ball with Chicago, New York, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers. D’Antoni, of course, was an assistant to his brother Mike at the latter.
After being waived by the Lakers over the summer, Duhon signed with Caserta in Italy. He is also coming off injuries from a hit-and-run accident. Duhon sustained serious head injuries last October after getting thrust onto a car’s hood and hitting his head on the windshield. He had gotten into a verbal disagreement with a man in an Orlando parking lot when the man jumped in his car and made a run for Duhon and his brother-in-law.
If D’Antoni indeed hires Duhon, it will be a nice sell. But that will also mean two staffers without a recruiting background. Also, Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford, I’m hearing, is not interested in joining the staff.
n While on the subject of Huntington Prep, you might recall my column on the prep school’s attempt to join the state’s Secondary School Activities Commission via legislative action.
Well, nothing became of that and now it doesn’t matter. The NCAA Division I Legislative Council issued an official expanded interpretation of its definition of a scholastic team to include schools like Huntington Prep and Findlay Prep. Both can now play in tournaments without having to be members of a state association.
n WVU athletic director Oliver Luck has been catching much grief of late. You can’t, however, argue with his firing of baseball coach Greg Van Zant and his hire of Randy Mazey, who visits Charleston with his team today.
Not only did Mazey have, well, amazing success in Morgantown last season, but 12 of the 15 best attended games in WVU baseball history have come in 2013 and 2014, including the top four at Hawley Field.
After this weekend’s Texas series, it will probably move to 15 of the top 18.
Keep in mind WVU has been playing baseball for over a century.
n What hasn’t been around (at least in these parts) for a century is lacrosse. But the sport certainly seems to be picking up steam.
According to Charleston’s Brad White, 19 high schools now have club teams and on May 17 Capital and George Washington will co-host state finals at Trace Fork. The GW girls, by the way, are undefeated and are the favorite to win a title.
n And finally ...
A week ago, I gave you an update on the Greenbrier Classic. What I left out: While New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton might be bringing his team to White Sulphur for preseason drills, don’t expect him to again be carrying a bag during the golf tournament. Payton added some jazz to the Classic by carrying the bag of Ryan Palmer last year.
“He found out,” said Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, “caddying was tough goin’.”
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.