Changes to World Rankings Under Review
At a meeting last week at The Players Championship, PGA Tour officials proposed that the points system be based on a player's top 50 tournaments over two years. The majors and World Golf Championships would have to be included regardless of the result.
The current system awards points for every tournament, which is divided by the number of events over two years. Some believe this makes it unfair on those who play the most events, such as Vijay Singh and Jeff Sluman.
Singh has earned more points than No. 1 Tiger Woods, but his divisor is 57, while Woods has played only 40 official tournaments the last two years. Woods has a 3.82-point lead.
The proposal was given to a technical committee for review, and the world ranking board will meet again at the British Open in July to make a formal recommendation. If the proposal is adopted, it might not be until another board meeting in late September during the American Express Championship.
Tour officials already have run some projected points if the system were changed, and Woods still would be No. 1.
The biggest differences would be from No. 30 to No. 81, which can be more important than the top 10 because those are the guys who qualify for the Masters, Players Championships and other big events.
Adam Scott has had only one bad week on the PGA Tour in 2004, but it cost him.
Scott has top 10s at every tournament except the Sony Open. Not only did he shoot rounds of 73-70 to miss the cut at Waialae, he finished three shots behind 14-year-old Michelle Wie.
Don't think his friends let him off the hook.
Leading the way was Butch Harmon, who taped a picture in his locker of Scott winning the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston -- his first PGA Tour victory -- with words scribbled below, Michelle Wie wasn't there.''
Scott nearly blushed when a reporter asked him Sunday after winning The Players Championship whether he expected to see any more pictures of Wie.
Did she win today?'' he responded.
Wie finished fourth Sunday at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA's first major of the year.
I got her this time,'' Scott said with a smile.
RED SHIRT ALERT
Fans walking from the practice range to the first and 10th tees at Sawgrass were greeted by a man in a red shirt who greeted them, thanked them for coming to The Players Championship and asked if they needed help with anything.
They probably didn't recognize him: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
Finchem and 144 tour staff members decided to be ambassadors'' at their flagship tournament, taking three-hour shifts everywhere from merchandise tents to hospitality clubs.
Finchem got the idea while attending the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City two years ago.
The hospitality that was extended by people in Utah was night-and-day to anything I had ever seen,'' Finchem said. People were being thanked as they left an event. They lined up people to chat with you if you had to go through security lines so you weren't bored -- 'How are you doing? Where are you staying? What event are you going to?'
It was enormously well-organized and a positive experience.''
Finchem wanted to bring that hospitality to The Players Championship, so he dressed his staff in red shirts to work the crowds. His shift was Saturday morning.
We want to get people used to the fact that if you see a red shirt, you get a question answered,'' he said.
SALES PITCH FROM THE SHARK
Greg Norman, already involved in golf course design, real estate, apparel and wine, has ventured into new waters -- motivational speaker.
Cialis, which makes erectile dysfunction tablets, has enlisted the Shark to speak to its sales force. He said he does not endorse the company, the way he does Fosters beer by putting its logo on his golf bag.
I'm not the face of Cialis,'' Norman said.
His first speech was a few months ago to some 3,000 salesmen in Dallas.
It was a speech about what it takes to get to No. 1, how to get to No. 1, expectations out of yourself,'' Norman said. I kind of enjoyed that. It was neat to get before that many young people who are very energetic about their product.''
Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina was so popular that some players said it was good enough to hold a major that week, instead of a regular PGA Tour event.
And just like a major, the Wachovia Championship is making a few changes.
Quail Hollow Club officials have added 22 yards to the par-3 second hole to make it 178 yards, lengthened the par-4 ninth to 491 yards and made No. 8 shorter so that it plays 343 yards, tempting the long hitters to drive the green.
We always felt like there were a couple of things that didn't get done when we were hurrying around trying to get ready for last year's tournament,'' club president Johnny Harris said Tuesday.
Harris also is a member of Augusta National, which tweaks its golf course just about every year.
The Wachovia Championship is May 6-9 and has a $5.6 million purse. David Toms is the defending champion.
Michelle Wie's father says she already has received a sponsor's exemption to play in the Sony Open next year. ... Greg Norman won't be watching the Masters on TV and wishing he were there. For the second straight year, Norman plans a family vacation during the Masters. It's Easter,'' he said. We're going to get some Easter bunnies.'' ... JoAnne Carner extended her record as the oldest player to make a cut on the LPGA Tour. Carner, a week away from turning 65, opened with a 1-under 71 in the Kraft Nabisco Championship and eventually finished in a tie for 70th at 15-over 303. ... Overlooked in the race to get into the Masters was Duffy Waldorf. He needed to finish eighth at The Players Championship and went into the final round in a tie for eighth. He wound up shooting 84.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Since shattering the record at The Players Championship in 1994 with a 24-under 264, Greg Norman has played 25 rounds at Sawgrass without breaking 70.
I actually have one of the biggest names in golf.'' -- Paul Stankowski, when someone suggested he wasn't a big name'' on the PGA Tour.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8
Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.
Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.
Walking in the par putt at No. 2. pic.twitter.com/zuSGZmVL3z— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.
A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.
Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.
Tiger gets it to 9-under.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2018
He's 4 shots back. pic.twitter.com/cAZtM14SlJ
Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.
Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.
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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.
McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.
“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”
This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.
A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.
McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.
“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”
As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.
“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”
Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders
PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.
She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.
Her confidence is high.
“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”
Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.
Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.
“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”
Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.
“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”
Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.
“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”
That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.