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April 09, 2002 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-09

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Michigan golfers hoping to
find more consistent stroke

Tigers clean house,
fire Garner, Smith

6

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Writer
When the Michigan men's golf team travels to
Columbus this weekend, it will be searching for
the one thing that has eluded it since the start of
the spring season: Consistency.
"It's happened almost every tour-
nament," senior Andy Matthews said.
"We have a couple of guys playing COLUJ
well, but we don't have the four who: Michigan
scores that we need. pier Invitationa
"I was in a position last week When: Friday,,
where I hardly helped out at all, and I Sunday
think it's just a matter of those last Latest: The Wh
few (spots in the lineup)."deuty of the
The team has consistently had two golf course will
or three top finishers, but has rarely an advantage
been able to put it all together at once
to compete for a top finish. The
Wolverines have finished sixth, seventh and 10th
in their three spring matches.
Last weekend, at the Marshall Invitational in
West Virginia, Michigan placed seventh out of 20
teams. While this finish was in the top half of the
field, the Wolverines feel that they could have per-
formed better.
"We had people playing well, but we're just
playing well at different times," Michigan senior
Andrew Chapman said. "A little more cohesion
throughout our lineup would've probably moved
us up quite a bit in the final results."
Chapman, Michigan's top individual finisher,
shot 220 (69-75-76) to tie for ninth place.
One obstacle that has hindered the team's suc-
cess early this spring has been the poor Michigan

weather, which has forced the team to practice
indoors on many occasions.
"It's not the ball-striking that's hard to keep
from week to week. It's the putting, the short game
and when you're on the greens," Matthews said.
"We'll play on the weekend, and then we won't be

JMBUS
at the Ken-
al
Saturday and
lverines
length and
Ohio State
give them
over the field.

on grass for another four of five days.
And it's really hard to get into a rhythm
and maintain what you had toward the
end of the tournament."
Said Chapman: "Hopefully, if we can
get some nice weather in the next few
days, we can get out on the golf course
and work on our short games. We can
try and get the shots ready that we'll
need at Ohio State."
The Wolverines will definitely have
their hands full this weekend in
Columbus, facing perhaps the tough-
est competition that they have seen

this season.
In addition, the course at Ohio State is one of
the most challenging that the team will play this
season. Errors that players may have gotten
away with on other courses could prove costly
this weekend.
But the distance and difficulty of the course
may favor one of Michigan's strengths.
"We're one of the longer hitting teams, and the
way coach Brown at Ohio State sets (the course)
up, it's extremely difficult and extremely long,
and that will help play into our advantage,"
Matthews said.
With improved consistency, the Wolverines
think that they can turn in their best finish of the
season this weekend.

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Andy Matthews and his Michigan teammates haven't
been on the greens much this year due to bad weather.
"I think we've showed flashes of what we're
capable of," Chapman said. "We just need to all
play the way that we're capable of playing at one
time and get a little more consistency."

DETROIT (AP) - Somebody had
to go following the Tigers' 0-6 start.
Detroit decided two was better, so the
team fired manager Phil Garner and
general manager Randy Smith yester-
day.
The dismissal of Garner tied the
quickest firing of a manager who start-
ed the season since 1900, according to
the Elias Sports Bureau. Baltimore
fired Cal Ripken
Sr. in 1988 after
the Orioles lost six
games en route to
an 0-21 start.
"You could 0
bring in
MacArthur, with
what they gaveW
him to work with,
and he's probably
not going to come Garner
out with more
wins," Tigers outfielder Bobby Higgin-
son said.
Baseball's lone winless team hasn't
had a winning record or a winning
April since 1993.
"It's not only a
short-term deci-
sion, it's a long-
term decision,"
said Tigers presi-
dent Dave Dom-
browski, who will
add the general
manager's duties
to his slate. "We
dn't have a
championship-cal- Smith
iber club, but we
haven't played well either."
Luis Pujols, the Tigers' bench coach,
will take over as manager on an interim
basis. His debut was postponed when
Bases empty
Phil Garner has had just one
winning season as a major
league manager, and ittcame in
his first season. Since then,
Garner has suffered through
nine straight losing seasons _
yesterday's firing almost guar-
antees that this year will be his
10th consecutive subpar sea-
son.

Blue rallies in Indiana, sets record for wins

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Writer

Following four straight near-miss-
es - with no finish
worse than fourth place
- the Michigan Iow
women's golf team was
in danger of heading Hawkeye in
into the Big Ten Cham- When: Satu
pionships on April 26-28 Latest: Com
without a win in the dramatic co
spring season. win at the Ii
It appeared that the tional,theV
victory drought would try and stay
continue this past week- regular seas
end at the three-round

A
ian
vita
rday
ning
me-
ndia
Wolv
hot
son

would not be denied their school-
record fifth title and their first of
the spring. They posted a tourna-
ment-best team score of 301 (five-
over par) on Sunday to
P give them a three-round
CITY total of 919, good
at the enough to overtake the
tional homestanding Hoosiers
and Sunday by two strokes for the
off of their stunning come-from-
from-behind behind victory.
na Invita- It was the Wolverines
erineswill first win since they
intheirlast won all four of the
meet. competitions they
entered during the fall
portion of their schedule.
"We're back," an exuberant Kim
Benedict exclaimed after her sec-
ond-place finish spurred the Michi-
gan rally. "We were never really
gone, but it feels like the fall again.

We beat some impressive teams on
an outstanding course - that says
a lot."
Benedict fired a 225 (76-75-74)
on the par-74 course to capture her
second runner-up finish so far this
season.
But the comeback required a
total team effort, something the
Wolverines definitely received in
Sunday's charge to the top of the
leaderboard.
"We've never really played well
(on the Indiana golf course) in the
past," Michigan coach Kathy
Teichert said. "It is so, so gratifying
to play this well here and really
come through in the end."
Jumping on the back of the
strong round turned in by Benedict,
seniors LeAnna Wicks and Court-
ney Reno fired 1-over par 75s to
finish with two-day totals of 231

and 237, respectively.
Michigan's Bess Bowers, a
Bloomington native playing near
home, chalked up a 77 for a 233 on
the weekend.
"Personally, I grew up on this
course," Bowers said. "This is
where I learned to play golf as a
kid. I had my parents in the crowd,
and we were really determined, and
it paid off."
The Wolverines will try to ride the
success of this past weekend into
Iowa City on Saturday and Sunday,
when they take part in the Hawkeye
Invitational, the last meet Michigan
will compete in before the Big Ten
Championships in Urbana, Ill.
But for now, the Wolverines can
continue to celebrate their remark-
able come-from-behind, record-set-
ting victory in Bloomington.
"It's just too hard to even fathom
right now," Teichert said. "That is
just outstanding for this program."
"It is just so huge that people
stepped up and really came
through," Benedict said. "That says
a lot. We had to concentrate on
every hole and every shot."

last night's game against Chicago was
rained out.
"It's a sad day for me and also a
happy day," Pujols said.
Felipe Alou, fired last year as
Montreal's manager, was considered
a top candidate to wind up with the
Tigers'job.
"I'm interested in managing," Alou
said yesterday from his home.
Alou would not say whether he had
been contacted by Detroit officials.
Dombrowski said he has not contacted
Alou, who was Montreal's manager
while Dombrowski was the Expos'
general manager from 1986-91.
"We will look to interview managers
as soon as possible," Dombrowski said.
"I have some names on a list."
If Dombrowski decides to hire Alou,
Pujols said he would have no problem
working with Alou again after serving
on his Expos staff from 1993-2000.
Although among the earliest firings
in major league history, the dismissals
of Garner and Smith were not the first
this season. The Boston Red Sox
replaced manager Joe Kerrigan and
general manager Dan Duquette during
spring training.
The Tigers hired Garner in October
1999, when he was also a candidate for
an opening with the Chicago Cubs. He
was considered a well-respected man-
ager despite having a losing record
with Milwaukee in seven of his final
eight seasons.
In two-plus seasons with Detroit,
Garner had a 145-185 record and now
has a 708-802 career record with nine
straight losing seasons.
"When you become a manager, you
realize you're going to be judged by
what you do on the field," Garner said.
Many had questioned Smith's future
when Dombrowski, one of baseball's
most respected executives, was hired
away from the Marlins in November to
be team president.
Smith was in his seventh year as GM
of the Tigers, after serving as San
Diego's GM from 1993-95. His father,
Tal Smith, is the Houston Astros team
president.
"I think we've done some good
things," Randy Smith said, pointing to
improvements in the drafting, scouting
and development facets of the organi-
zation.
Before Smith and Garner spoke with
reporters, Dombrowski addressed the
notion that help was on the way from
young prospects.
"I don't think people want to hear
about the minor league system," he
said. "People want results."
Both Garner's and Smith's contracts
were set to expire after the 2003 season.
"This is obviously, in my opinion,
something they had planned for a
while," Higginson said. "Wins and
losses are how you're evaluated, and
Phil's win-loss record wasn't the great-
est. But did they give Phil what he
needed to win? I don't think so."
Dombrowski said with the Tigers'
payroll of about $54 million, Detroit
should be at the level of San Francisco,
Oakland, St. Louis and Houston.
"Our payroll is sufficient to be com-
petitive," Dombrowski said.
Smith was often criticized in Detroit
for moves that didn't work. He has
seen players such as Juan Gonzalez,
Luis Gonzalez and Hideo Nomo go on
to success with other teams.
In Garner's first season in Detroit,
the team reflected the competitive spirit
that Tigers executives hoped would be
instilled by the man who as a player
was nicknamed "Scrap Iron."
Food for Thought
Was it Peaceful?

In On Killing, psychologist/
author Lt. Col. Dave
Grossman, wrote: "Never in
American history, perhaps
never in all history of
Western civilization, has an
army suffered such an
agony of many blows from
its own people."
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
www.garylillie.com

a

Indiana Invitational in Bloomington.
After Saturday's opening pair of
rounds, the Wolverines sat in a disap-
pointing third place, 10 shots behind
host Indiana.
Nonetheless, the Wolverines

Year
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
Total

Team
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Detroit
Detroit
Detroit

Record Finish
92-70 2nd
69-93 7th
52-63 5th
65-79 4th
80-82 3rd
78-83 3rd
74-88 5th
74-87 5th
79--83 3rd
66-96 4th
0-6 5th
730-829

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