Changes indecision with 2009 PGA Tour schedule

By Associated PressNovember 11, 2008, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)The PGA Tour released its 2009 schedule on Wednesday (click for complete 2009 schedule) for the regular season which features 25 tournaments with at least $6 million purses and a newly configured Texas swing of three events in the spring.
Still to be determined are details on a revamped FedEx Cup, and whether to take a week off before the Tour Championship.
Once that it is decided, the Tour said it would release the rest of its Fall Series schedule.
By announcing the majority of the schedule, the Tour put to rest speculation that some tournaments might be in jeopardy because of the economy. The title sponsors are under contract at least through 2010, and most of them have slight increases in prize money built into their agreements. Among those that kept prize money the same were the FBR Open and Travelers Championship, both at $6 million.
Not counting the four majors, prize money for the regular season is $222.9 million, up from $214.4 million in 2008.
Im delighted to say that the demise of the PGA Tour has been overstated considerably, commissioner Tim Finchem said Monday night at the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
In a statement Tuesday, Finchem said the charitable giving for 2008 was expected to set another record at $123 million.
The tournaments and their sponsors have worked extremely hard during this difficult economic time to sustain their significant charitable contributions, he said.
Based on the calendar, next season will start one week later ' Jan. 8 ' at Kapalua for the winners-only Mercedes-Benz Championship.
The Texas swing was created when the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio moved from the Fall Series to May 14-17. It will be followed by the HP Byron Nelson Championship outside Dallas and the Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial in neighboring Fort Worth.
The World Golf Championships have raised their purses from $8 million to $8.5 million. Still to be determined is the prize money for The Players Championship, which was $9.5 million this year.
If it goes up to $10 million ' it has increased each of the last two years ' that would match the prize money for the Dubai World Championship that ends the European tour season and is billed as golfs richest event.
Whether we go to $10 million has nothing to do with Dubai, tour spokesman Ty Votaw said. Its whether its right for the tournament and what were trying to do with The Players. As Tim always does, hell factor in all the issues that relate to that.
The PGA Tour policy board discussed a revamped points system for the FedEx Cup at its quarterly meeting Monday, although a decision is not expected until the week of Thanksgiving.
According to two officials at the meeting, the plan is not to reset the points until the FedEx Cup finale at the Tour Championship, although more weight would be given to the top performers. That would mean everyone at East Lake would have a chance to capture the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus, although the top eight or so would have the best chance.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details of the meeting.
As for the other three playoff events, the tour is discussing whether to reduce the size of the field to 125 players at The Barclays, 100 players at the Deutsche Bank Championship and 60 players at the BMW Championship, which returns to Chicago.
Previously, the playoffs began with 144 players, then was reduced to 120 players and 70 players the following two weeks before 30 made it to the Tour Championship.
The tour had a two-week break this year during the playoffs because of the Ryder Cup. The Presidents Cup will be played next year in San Francisco after the FedEx Cup, although tour officials are sensitive to some players having to compete six times in seven weeks without a week off.
Were listening to the players, who I think liked the week off in 2008, Votaw said. We think that will help the overall presentation of the FedEx Cup, as well as complement the proposed changes.
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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.