Bingham shoots and scores at Nationwide event
By: TOM SHERIDAN - Staff Writer
RANCHO CUCAMONGA -- It is amazing how much easier it is to strike the
golf ball when it's not moving.
That is what Menifee's Brett Bingham is finding out after
his recent struggles with vertigo. Last weekend, Bingham enjoyed his best
tournament of the year on the Nationwide Tour, finishing in a tie for
sixth at the Mark Christopher Charity Classic at Empire Lakes Country
"I had to withdraw from tournaments in Australia
and New Zealand earlier this year," said Bingham, who shot 10-under
274 and earned $15,650 at Empire Lakes. "Then I flew here and tried
to deal with it. It comes and goes. I would play 12 or 13 good holes.
Then I would be spinning out of control for six holes."
Bingham, 31, said that the medical condition, which originally struck
when he was a freshman at the University of Nevada, has cleared up. His
performance at the Mark Christopher Charity Classic was certainly encouraging
for the native Canadian, from Red Deer, Alberta.
"We had a chance to do something good on the weekend,"
Bingham said. "I played good, gave myself chances. Some putts just
Bingham recorded three 68s and a 70. In the final round,
there were only a handful of scores better than his 3-under 68. It was
certainly an improvement on his performance in the spring and summer.
At one point, he played ten consecutive Nationwide tournaments in which
he either missed the cut or had to withdraw.
Curiously, his strong play in the Mark Christopher Charity
Classic came after a significant equipment change.
"I put 13 brand new Cleveland clubs in the bag this
week," Bingham said. "Figure that out."
That's about as easy as figuring out how a junior hockey
player from Western Canada ended up a professional golfer living in Southern
California. Bingham said he didn't take up golf until he was well into
"I entered a few junior golf tournaments and played
well in two of them," he said. "I have no idea (how he ended
up being recruited by Nevada). Are you kidding me? I was going to be a
hockey player, man."
For the last several years, Bingham had lived with members
of Bear Creek Country Club. He singled out PGA Tour member Tom Pernice
Jr. as one of his benefactors. Recently, he bought a house in Menifee,
but he still finds life in the Temecula Valley different from what he
was used to growing up in the wide open spaces of the Great White North.
"You drive three miles and you're in three different
cities," he said.
Golf and art clarification
The course in Sun City formerly known as Cherry Hills
Golf Club has changed its name to California Golf and Art Country Club.
General Manager Lou Skovron explained why.
"The company that bought the golf course a year
ago in May also has courses in Asia," Skovron said. "And at
one of them, they have art spread out around the grounds. They like the
name and wanted to try it here."
Golf and Art LLC is a South Korean-based company. It
operates the Korean Golf and Art Village, a 54-hole complex in Seoul,
whose theme combines golf with sculpture. The first piece planned here
for the California Golf and Art Country Club is a 28-foot tall monument.
Currently, the County of Riverside is considering the zoning implications
of such a piece. Skovron said the company is looking to install other
pieces around the course.
"It's been a little difficult," Skovron said.
"People think we're an art gallery. They don't think it's a golf
In the meantime, don't be confused. Bring your clubs
and leave your easels and paint brushes at home. The course is open for
Chips and putts
There were a handful of players who went straight from
the California State Open in Temecula up to Rancho Cucamonga for the Mark
Christopher Charity Classic. Eric Meichtry of Murrieta, who got in on
a sponsor's exemption, shot 75-71----146 and missed the cut. But Byron
Schlagenhauf, who played in the same group with Meichtry at the Cal State
Open, where he missed the cut, put it together in the Nationwide Tour
event, shooting 7-under 277 and finishing tied for 27th. Another player
who missed the cut at the Cal State Open, Matthew Every, made it to the
weekend in Rancho Cucamonga and finished 56th. Professional Golfers Career
College alumni Brett Mathis shot 75-78 ----153 and missed the cut. ...
Jim Furyk will join major champions Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy and Tiger
Woods in the Grand Slam of Golf, Nov. 21-22 at Poipu Bay Golf Course in
Kauai, Hawaii. Furyk is in the field ---- which is designed to bring together
the four major champions ---- because Woods won two majors (British Open,
PGA Championship). Furyk outpointed Ernie Els for the fourth spot by finishing
tied for second at the U.S.
Open, fourth in the British Open, tied for 22nd at the
Masters and tied for 29th at the PGA.