Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

With Force and Finesse, Davies Plays at New Level

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

With Force and Finesse, Davies Plays at New Level

Article excerpt

Before Laura Davies arrived, a crowd already had gathered around place on the practice tee. As she strode across the lush green lawn, all eyes turned her way. When she pulled the shaggy dog head cover off a fairway wood and cranked it some 200 yards, the gallery gasped in awe.

She is the Boss, the Bad Brit, the Big Sister of Swing. She is large in stature and long in distance. She leads the LPGA Tour with 15 eagles this season, six more than the next highest total. She led the Tour in driving distance last year with an average of 253.9 yards. She is second to Kelly Robbins this season, averaging 251.9 yards.

She can fascinate galleries like John Daly, but she can also finesse golf courses like Nick Price. Her game has both titanium and texture.

In women's golf - both in this country and abroad - Laura Davies rules.

"She hits it far, which helps take the Tour to a new level," said Nancy Lopez, an LPGA Hall of Famer. "And she does everything else well, which is why she's leading the Player of he Year rankings. There's a lot more to her than a big driver.'

She is not a big talker. An interview with Davies is not especially enlightening. It is characterized by short descriptions and matter-of-fact replies. Davies is not absorbed by her success this year, nor is she unaware of it. She is big on action, not accent.

"It's nothing spectacular really," Davies said. "Nothing has been great about my game, but nothing has been bad. Consistency has been the big thing."

Davies played all types of sports growing up in Coventry, England. She owns and races greyhounds. She is as much at home in a neighborhood pub as a private pro shop.

She pulled out of Tuesday's Merrill-Lynch Shootout and, until Thurday's pro-am scramble, had not even seen Forest Hills. But so be it.

Baseball's Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, used to say, "I'll hit 'em; you count 'em." Davies has much the same attitude.

"All you can do is try your best," she said. "If it works out, then great. …

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