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Notes and Quotes

Napa Valley Notes and Quotes: Yarris helps Stanford retain Big Game Cup

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Dr. Doug Yarris of Yountville played in the 29th Big Game Cup Golf Tournament at Stanford Golf Course on Nov. 15.

Yarris is a 1980 Stanford graduate who played golf on the Cardinal men’s teams.

He shot 78 and his Stanford partner, Alex Mack also shot 78 to win their match against Cal.

There were 20 two-man teams from Stanford and 20 two-man teams from Cal playing in 20 best ball matches. Stanford retained the Big Game Cup by beating Cal, 37 1/2 to 31 ½.

“Both head coaches, Conrad Ray from Stanford and Walter Chun from Cal, captained their teams and spoke about their programs,” said Yarris.

“The Big Game Cup was started by the late Stanford coach, Wally Goodwin, and longtime Cal coach, Steve Desimone.”

Yarris is a 1975 Vintage High graduate and is in the Crushers’ Athletic Hall of Fame.

He played two years of golf at Napa Valley College (1975-77) and is in the Storm’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

***

Scott McCarron, a Vintage High School graduate who is in the Crushers’ Athletic Hall of Fame, said he has “every intention” of starting the 2022 PGA Tour Champions’ season at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, Jan. 20-22, at Hualalai Golf Course at Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii. It’s the first event of the season.

The limited-field event features winners of PGA Tour Champions events over the past two years, as well as winners of senior major championships over the last five years, and several prominent sponsor exemptions, according to a press release.

McCarron, the 2019 Charles Schwab Cup champion and an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour Champions, has not played in an event since July 4. He had surgery on his ankle and foot last year.

“I have every intention of playing at Hualalai,” McCarron said in a report at pgatour.com on Dec. 1. “I’m sure I’ll be able to play. I don’t know if I’ll be able to walk 18 by then, but I can take a cart in those first few events.”

Said Bernhard Langer: “Scott is not just a great champion but also an amazing friend and a very positive person. We missed him the last few months and very much look forward to having him back on Tour soon.”

McCarron, a resident of Mooresville, North Carolina, had surgery due to an injury.

“I didn’t know it was that bad,” McCarron said of the injury in the report. “I didn’t get an MRI. I thought it was gout, thought it was a couple of other things. I got cortisone shots, just tried to tough it out. But I just couldn’t play with it. I couldn’t walk on it, let alone swing with it. I tried to ice it every day and take medications just to get out there and play. Then I finally bit the bullet and had the surgery.”

McCarron, 56, turned pro in 1992 and won three times on the PGA Tour. He joined the PGA Tour Champions in 2015 and looks forward to returning.

“I think I will be as good as I’ve ever been and even better at some point (in 2022),” he said in the pgatour.com story. “I just kind of need to keep those goals down a little bit starting out because I haven’t played competitively in a long time. But if I can go ahead and swing and get after it without pain, there’s no reason I can’t come back and play some of the best golf of my life.”

In a report at pgatour.com on Dec. 27, McCarron is listed as one of the “Top 10 players to watch in 2022” on the PGA Tour Champions.

“From 2017-2019, it felt like McCarron was the best player on the Champions Tour. With the influx of rookies, people may have forgot that McCarron is an 11-time winner on PGA Tour Champions. If he returns healthy, it’ll be interesting to see if he can regain his form as one of the best players on the Tour,” the report said.

***

Thomas Hatton and Nathan Schwarze of Napa High and Joseph Ellis of Vintage are in SportStars Magazine’s NorCal Wrestler Rankings, announced in a report at sportstarsmag.com on Jan. 5.

Hatton is eighth at 195 pounds, Ellis is 12th at 220 pounds, and Schwarze is 13th at 182 pounds.

***

Max Homa announced on Twitter, @maxhoma23 on Dec. 31, that he is “the first-ever Fortinet PGA athlete Ambassador.”

Homa won the inaugural Fortinet Championship, the opening event of the PGA Tour’s 2021-2022 schedule, last September at Silverado Resort and Spa.

“I look forward to working with this global leader in cybersecurity & their entire team!!!” Homa announced on Twitter.

He won the $7 million event by shooting rounds of 67, 72, 65 and 65 on the North Course for a 19-under-par 269 total. He won by one shot over Maverick McNealy, who closed with a 68.

It was Homa’s third career win on the PGA Tour.

The Fortinet Championship is an official FedExCup event and is the first of 48 events on the PGA Tour schedule.

Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, is the title sponsor of the Napa Valley tournament.

***

Hannah Chau, a junior, was named All-Big West for the second time in her career after finishing seventh at the Big West Championships for the UC Irvine women’s cross country team in late October at Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis.

Chau, a Justin-Siena graduate, had a time of 20:48.3 on the 6,000-meter course.

Chau, UC Irvine’s No. 1 runner, finished 32nd at the NCAA West Regional Championships at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento in mid-November. She had a time of 20:38.8 for the 6,000-meter course.

***

Thea Michovsky began her junior season on Sunday by placing 17th in the uneven parallel bars for the host UC Davis women's gymnastics team in a three-way meet with Michigan State and Sacramento State at the University Credit Union Center in Davis.

Michovsky, a 2019 Napa High graduate, had a 9.050 score.

***

Chardonnay Golf Club & Vineyards in American Canyon will host the Napa Valley Junior Open, a Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event, Jan. 15 and 16.

***

Brandon Torres of American Canyon tied for 28th in the Boys Championship division of the Junior Tour of Northern California Holiday Series III Championship last month.

Torres shot 82-77 – 159.

The two-day event was Dec. 29 and 30 at Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey and Poppy Hills Golf Course at Pebble Beach.

***

Katie Robinson, a freshman from American Canyon, finished seventh at the Southwestern Athletic Conference Fall Invitational for the Alabama State University women’s golf team.

The two-day event was played in Birmingham.

Robinson is a 2021 American Canyon High graduate.

Stephen Curry was asked if he thought his Golden State Warriors team with Kevin Durant could beat Michael Jordan and the 1996 Chicago Bulls in a recent chat with GQ. Not only was his answer yes, but he said in six games too.

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Former Napa Valley Publishing sports writer and current freelancer writer Vince D'Adamo and others remember kind-hearted storyteller Mike Shoopman, a 1970 Calistoga High graduate who officiated baseball, basketball, football, volleyball and softball in the Napa Valley. He passed away on Jan. 14 at age 70.

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