After 13 seasons as men's golf coach at North Carolina, John Inman is going back to work on his own game.
Inman resigned his coaching duties recently and with his 50th birthday less than two years away, the former PGA Tour player is planning to give seniors golf a try. Inman, who won twice on tour in his 12-year career, nearly qualified for the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago, losing the final spot in a playoff.
"My whole life has been around professional golf and I love to compete and play at a high level," he said. "You don't forget how to play and how to compete. But if I'm going to have an opportunity at the Champions Tour, I need to be ready."
Inman became the first man to win the ACC golf championship as a player (1982) and a coach (2006). In his tenure with the Tar Heels, he led his team to 16 tournament titles and five top-20 end-of-the-year rankings.
He's staying connected to the North Carolina program for six months, helping with the construction of a new clubhouse at Finley Golf Course while the school searches for his successor. Leaving North Carolina, he said, is bittersweet.
"I feel a little bit of everything," Inman said. "Anything you've done for a long time and put your heart and soul into, when you leave there are a lot of different feelings. I enjoyed working with the guys and seeing them reach the next level.
"But it's a demanding job and it takes a lot of work, effort and some luck. It's kind of like playing professional golf. All the things have to go right for you."
ROCK BARN UPDATE: It's three weeks until the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn and the earlier date on the Champions Tour schedule - June 6-12 - seems to be working to the event's advantage.
Eight of the top 10 money winners from 2010 are in the field, led by player of the year Bernhard Langer, who is returning from thumb surgery. Mark Calcavecchia will make his first appearance at Rock Barn and Fuzzy Zoeller is scheduled to return for the first time since 2003.
Nick Price, Jeff Sluman, John Cook, Fred Funk, Peter Jacobsen, Larry Mize, Hal Sutton and reigning champion Gary Hallberg are also officially committed.
Tournament officials are hopeful Fred Couples, Kenny Perry and Mark O'Meara will be in the field but they have not committed yet.
Also, country music star Darius Rucker will play in the Tuesday afternoon Dale Jarrett celebrity shootout that will also include Joe Gibbs, Dan Jansen and Dell Curry.
VIVE LA FRANCE: The 2018 Ryder Cup matches will be played at Le Golf National near Paris, the first time the country has hosted the event. The course, which has hosted the French Open for many years, is already in place, eliminating the need to build a new venue.
France won the honor over Spain, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands.
European Tour officials said they are considering redesigning the organization's logo to incorporate the image of Spain's Seve Ballesteros, who died two weeks ago.
CHIP SHOTS: Teresa Davis of Charlotte has been recognized by the Executive Women's Golf Association with one of its 10 annual Women Who Lead honors for her work with local golf leagues.
Pinehurst Resort is offering its annual Father's Day package that features three nights lodging, a round at No. 2 with a caddie, a round at No. 4, a Saturday evening dinner featuring noted author James Dodson and Sam Snead Jr, a private VIP U.S. Open viewing room Saturday and Sunday as well as other amenities. Details can be found at www.pinehurst.com.
Tiger Woods said on his website he's still pointing toward playing in the U.S. Open four weeks from now at Congressional Country Club near Washington, D.C.
Woods said doctors determined he aggravated but did not reinjure his left knee and Achilles last week at The Players Championship in Florida, where he withdrew after nine holes.
They advised him to rest and treat the injury and Woods indicated it's unlikely he will play in The Memorial in two weeks.
If he doesn't add a tournament before the U.S. Open, that will mean he'll have played nine competitive holes in 10 weeks.
It was an interesting finish to The Players Championship Sunday for several reasons, one of which was the age of the players who could have won.
K.J. Choi turns 41 on Thursday, David Toms is 44 and Paul Goydos is 46.
Isn't the tour being taken over by young players?