Atlanta Event Off PGA TOUR Schedule
The PGA TOUR announced Monday the AT&T Classic will not return to Atlanta in 2009.
The tournament, formerly known as the BellSouth Classic, lost AT&T as its title sponsor in December.
The tournament celebrated its 40th anniversary with Ryuji Imada winning the final AT&T Classic at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth on May 18.
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem said the lack of a title sponsor necessitated the move in order to solidify the schedule for the future.
The Atlanta Classic Foundation was unable to find a new title sponsor willing to invest $6 million to $8 million each year.
Its been a difficult process given the economic climate were in, and I truly believe we would have attracted a new sponsor if business conditions were a little more favorable, tournament director Dave Kaplan said Monday.
The AT&T Classic moved to a later spot on the schedule in 2007. The tournament previously had been played in late March, just before the Masters, and often was plagued by bad weather.
The later date provided a better chance for pleasant weather, but it also led to a significantly weaker field. Phil Mickelson and other top names said they liked to use the March tournament as a warm-up for the Masters.
Mickelson won at Sugarloaf in 2005 and 2006 but did not return in 2007 or 2008.
This years field included only six of the top 50 players in the world rankings. Stewart Cink, who lives in the area, was the only top-15 player in the FedExCup standings in the field.
Finchem said Sugarloaf will host a new Champions Tour event to continue the tradition of contributing to Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta.
Finchem said the PGA TOUR is finalizing an agreement with a U.S.-based global company to become a title sponsor of a Champions Tour tournament in 2009 at Sugarloaf.
Kaplan said the Atlanta Classic Foundations board will meet on Thursday to consider serving as host of the Champions Tour event at Sugarloaf in May, 2009.
Atlanta is a major golf market, Kaplan said. Our foundation will explore the options with the Champions Tour. It appears they have a sponsor and a date and obviously a golf course since the Tour owns TPC at Sugarloaf.
Past winners of the Atlanta event include Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Mickelson. The event was held at the Atlanta Country Club from 1967-1996 and moved to Sugarloaf in 1997.
Finchem said the PGA TOURr has not yet filled the date in the 2009 schedule that had been reserved for the AT&T Classic.
We are working through the process of filling the date, he said, adding a number of changes in the schedule for 2009 will be announced in the next couple of weeks.
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Snedeker starts slow in effort to snag Masters invite
Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.
Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.
Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.
World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.
Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.
Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain
The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.
Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.
"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."
Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.
Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.
Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.
Rose (62) sets blistering pace in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Justin Rose shot a 10-under 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, starting on the back nine at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, had five birdies to go out in 31, then birdied four of five holes midway through his final nine and another birdie on his last hole in the $750,000 tournament.
Gunn Charoenkul (64) was in second place and Kim Giwhan and Phachara Khongwatmai (both 65) were tied for third.
Brandt Snedeker shot 72. Ranked 51st in the world, the American is aiming for a strong finish in Jakarta to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
LaCava: Woods wouldn't talk after H.O.R.S.E. match
The competitive streak within Tiger Woods knows no bounds - even on the basketball court, according to caddie Joe LaCava.
LaCava has been on Woods' bag since 2011, and he recently shared a story on "Inside the Ropes" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio about a clash between the two men over a seemingly friendly game of H.O.R.S.E. Actually, it turned into nine straight games (and nine straight wins) for LaCava, who exploited a weakness in Woods' on-court strategy while leaning on a mid-length jumper of his own:
Who ya got in H.O.R.S.E. between @TigerWoods & his caddy Joe LaCava??? We've got some inside info from LaCava himself and we're taking Joey @CarlPaulsonGolf @dennispaulson62 pic.twitter.com/9l6NSoxQre— Inside the Ropes (@SiriusXMITR) December 14, 2017
"The thing with him was if I missed a shot, which I missed plenty of shots, but if I missed the shot he'd go back down to the 3 (point line) because he liked to make the 3," LaCava said. "But it's harder obviously to make a 3, and I'd go right back to the baseline 12-footer, and he couldn't make it."
It's a short list of people who have beaten Woods nine times in any athletic pursuit, let alone in a row. But for LaCava, the fallout from his afternoon of on-court dominance was less than subtle.
"He did not talk to me the rest of the day," LaCava explained. "I didn't even get the old text, 'Dinner is ready,' because I stay across at the beach house. I didn't even get that text that night. I had to get take-out. He didn't announce he wasn't (talking), he just did it. I'm telling you, nine games in a row. Like I said, he's so competitive, even at something like that."