Composite Scorecard for 2007
This scorecard will be different. It comes from an imaginary golf course, a composite of PGA TOUR sites designed to review some of the key players, issues and best moments of 2007.
No. 1: Augusta National
'Sure is beautiful, isn't it?' Arnold Palmer said softly before he hunched over the ball, waggled the driver and swung from the heels. With that, the King became the honorary starter at the Masters. It was a low hook that only went about 200 yards and settled in the left rough. The applause seemed endless.
No. 2: The Gallery at Dove Mountain
Tiger Woods was going for his eighth consecutive PGA TOUR victory, and such was the frenzy that some projected him breaking Byron Nelson's record of 11 in a row at the Masters. That was before he drew Nick O'Hern in the third round of the Accenture Match Play Championship. When O'Hern made a 12-foot par putt to win in 20 holes, the second-longest winning streak in tour history was over.
No. 3: Torrey Pines (North Course)
Brandt Snedeker was 10 under through 11 holes when he hit wedge to 3 feet. The birdie would put him at 11 under, meaning he would need only two birdies over the last six holes to shoot 59. He missed the putt, and didn't make another birdie until his final hole for a 61.
No. 4: TPC Boston
Phil Mickelson's most gratifying win this year came at the Deutsche Bank Championship, when he played three rounds with Woods. No hole was more pivotal than the 298-yard fourth. After both drove into a greenside bunker in the first round, Mickelson holed his for eagle and Woods took two to get out and made double bogey. In the final round, Mickelson made a 15-foot birdie from the fringe, while Woods drove the green and three-putted for par.
No. 5: PGA National
After Mark Wilson hit his tee shot on this par 3 in the second round of the Honda Classic, his caddie casually mentioned to Camilo Villegas that Wilson hit an 18-degree hybrid. Wilson called for an official and penalized himself two shots for a violation of the rule on advice. Those two shots nearly proved costly. He wound up in a playoff, which he won for his first PGA TOUR victory. And he reminded everyone why golf stands alone among sports in integrity.
No. 6: Southern Hills
Angel Cabrera hit 8-iron into an unplayable lie in the bushes in the first round of the PGA Championship. Another 8-iron was declared out-of-bounds. A third 8-iron found the pond. After a drop, he chipped to 30 feet and took three putts. 'I had a bad hole, hit bad shots, made 10,' he said. 'And that was it.'
No. 7: Augusta National
Retief Goosen was in trouble left of the seventh fairway when he punched an 8-iron out of pine straw and through the trees to 8 feet for a birdie that gave him a share of the lead Sunday at the Masters. But he played the final 11 holes in even par and finished two shots behind, summing up his season. Goosen took the biggest plunge among top-ranked players this year, going from No. 6 to No. 26.
No. 8: Oakmont
A back tee and a back pin in the final round of the U.S. Open made this par 3 measure 300 yards. Cabrera was one of only two players to make birdie on Sunday en route to a one-shot victory over Woods and Jim Furyk.
No. 9: Firestone
Rory Sabbatini, who said Woods looked 'beatable as ever' after losing to him in May, had a one-shot lead over him going into the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational. Both were headed for a big number on the ninth until Woods chipped in for par. Sabbatini made double bogey to fall seven shots behind. 'Still think Tiger is beatable?' a fan said to Sabbatini, who promptly asked police to remove the fan from the course.
No. 10: Carnoustie
Woods pulled his tee shot in the first round of the British Open, the ball resting on TV cables in thick rough. But instead of moving the cables, a rules official declared them to be fixed. He gave Woods a free drop and much better lie in trampled grass. Moments later, two British reporters easily moved the cables. It fed the perception that Woods gets preferential treatment.
No. 11: Muirfield Village
Mickelson walked off the 11th green in the first round of the Memorial and couldn't hit another shot. He said he injured his left wrist during practice at Oakmont, and it took more than 10 weeks to heal. He tried to play the U.S. Open and British Open, missing the cut in both of them.
No. 12: PGA National
On his third hole of the Honda Classic, a spectator's camera caused John Daly to stop his swing on the way down. He dislocated a rib and damaged muscles in his shoulder blade, forcing him to withdraw. That set the tone for Daly's year. Playing on sponsor's exemptions, he withdrew six times and missed 10 cuts.
No. 13: Doral
Sergio Garcia three-putted for bogey in the third round of the CA Championship, then dropped a loogie in the bottom of the cup. 'Don't worry. It did go in the middle,' Garcia said after the round, the closest he came to an apology. Garcia didn't win this year, but his greater failure was ungracious behavior.
No. 14: Royal Montreal
In a summer that defined his career, Woody Austin made a splash at the Presidents Cup in more ways than one. Trying to play from the hazard, Austin lost his balance and fell face-first into the water. That drew far more attention than his birdie-birdie-birdie finish to earn an improbable halve in a fourball match.
No. 15: Augusta National
Woods was two shots behind in the final round of the Masters when he tried to carve a 5-iron around the trees, only to see it come up short and in the water. He had to scramble for par. Zach Johnson laid up on the par 5, as he did all week. The Masters champion played the par 5s in 11 under despite not going for any of them in two.
No. 16: Southern Hills
Having already lost two chances in the majors, Woods' five-shot lead at the PGA Championship was down to two shots Sunday when he faced his toughest tee shot. The swing was powerful and pure, and when Woods twirled the driver in his hands, the final major of the year essentially was over.
No. 17: Harbourtown
Boo Weekley looked like he would blow another chance at the MCI Heritage when he flubbed a chip behind the 17th green. He chipped the next one in for par, and hung on to beat Ernie Els. It was an amazing year for Weekley, who entertained with his backwoods personality and finished 23rd on the money list.
No. 18: Carnoustie
Books can be written about the 72nd hole of the British Open, but consider this: Padraig Harrington had a one-shot lead when he twice hit into Barry Burn and made double bogey. And he still won the claret jug, ending Europe's 0-for-32 drought in the majors.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
LPGA awards: Ryu, S.H. Park tie for POY
NAPLES, Fla. – In the end, the CME Group Tour Championship played out a lot like the entire 2017 season did.
Nobody dominated the game’s big season-ending awards, though Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park came close.
Thompson walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. If she had made that last 2-foot putt at the 72nd hole Sunday, she might also have walked away with the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.
Park shared the Rolex Player of the Year Award with So Yeon Ryu. By doing so, Park joined Nancy Lopez as the only players in LPGA history to win the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season. Lopez did it in 1978. Park also won the LPGA money-winning title.
Here’s a summary of the big prizes:
Rolex Player of the Year
Ryu and Park both ended up with 162 points in the points-based competition. Park started the week five points behind Ryu but made the up the difference with the five points she won for tying for sixth.
It marks the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.
Ryu and Park join Inbee Park as the only South Koreans to win the award. Park won it in 2013.
Thompson won the award with a scoring average of 69.114. Sung Hyun Park finished second at 69.247. Park needed to finish at least nine shots ahead of Thompson at the CME Group Tour Championship to win the trophy.
There were a record 12 players with scoring averages under 70.0 this year, besting the previous record of five, set last year.
CME Globe $1 million prize
Thompson entered the week first in the CME points reset, but it played out as a two-woman race on the final day. Park needed to finish ahead of Thompson in the CME Group Tour Championship to overtake her for the big money haul. Thompson tied for second in the tournament while Park tied for sixth.
By winning the CME Group Tour Championship, Jutanugarn had a shot at the $1 million, but she needed Park to finish the tournament eighth or worse and Thompson to finish ninth or worse.
LPGA money-winning title
Park claimed the title with $2,335,883 in earnings. Ryu was second, with $1,981,593 in earnings.
The tour saw a tour-record 17 players win $1 million or more this season, two more than did so last year.
Ryu came into the week as the only player who could pass Park for the title, but Ryu needed to win to do so.
Rolex world No. 1 ranking
The top ranking was up for grabs at CME, with No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Sung Hyun Park and No. 3 So Yeon Ryu all within three hundredths of a ranking point. Even No. 4 Lexi Thompson had a chance to grab the top spot if she won, but in the end nobody could overtake Feng. Her reign will extend to a second straight week.
Rolex Rookie of the Year
Park ran away with the award with her U.S. Women’s Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open victories among her 11 top-10 finishes. She had the award locked up long before she arrived for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
Ko ends first winless season with T-16 at CME
NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko carved a hybrid 3-iron to 15 feet and ended the most intensely scrutinized year of her young career with a birdie Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.
“Nice to finish the season on a high note,” Ko said after posting a 3-under-par 69, good for a tie for 16th. “Obviously, not a top-10 finish, but I played really solid. I feel like I finished the season off pretty strong.”
Ko posted two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and a tie for fifth in her last eight starts.
“Ever since Indy [in early September], I played really good and put myself in good positions,” Ko said. “I felt like the confidence factor was definitely higher than during the middle of the year. I had some opportunities, looks for wins.”
Sunday marked the end of Ko’s first winless season since she began playing LPGA events at 15 years old.
Let the record show, she left with a smile, eager to travel to South Korea to spend the next month with family after playing a charity event in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday.
Much was made of Ko beginning the year with sweeping changes, with new equipment (PXG), a new coach (Gary Gilchrist) and a new caddie (Peter Godfrey).
In the final summary, it wasn’t a Ko-like year, not by the crazy high standards she has set.
She saw her run of 85 consecutive weeks at No. 1 end in June. She arrived in Naples holding on to the No. 8 ranking. She ends the year 13th on the LPGA money list with $1,177,450 in earnings. It’s the first time she hasn’t finished among the top three in money in her four full years on tour. She did log 11 top-10 finishes overall, three second-place finishes.
How did she evaluate her season?
“I feel like it was a better year than everyone else thinks, like `Lydia is in a slump,’” Ko said. “I feel like I played solid.
“It's a season that, obviously, I learned a lot from ... the mental aspect of saying, `Hey, get over the bads and kind of move on.’”
Ko said she learned a lot watching Stacy Lewis deal with her run of second-place finishes after winning so much.
“Winning a championship is a huge deal, but, sometimes, it's overrated when you haven't won,” Ko said. “Like, you're still playing well, but just haven't won. I kind of feel like it's been that kind of year.
“I think everybody has little ups and downs.”
For Ariya, Lexi, finish was fabulous, frustrating
NAPLES, Fla. – Lexi Thompson can take a punch.
You have to give her that.
So can Ariya Jutanugarn, who beat Thompson in the gut-wrenching conclusion to the CME Group Tour Championship Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.
They both distinguished themselves overcoming adversity this season.
The problem for Thompson now is that she’ll have to wait two months to show her resolve again. She will go into the long offseason with the memory of missing a 2-foot putt for par that could have won her the championship, her first Rolex Player of the Year Award and her first Rolex world No. 1 ranking.
Thompson took home the CME Globe $1 million jackpot and Vare Trophy for low scoring as nice consolation prizes, but the Sunday finish was a lot like her season.
It was so close to being spectacular.
She was so close to dominating this year.
That last 2-foot putt Sunday would have put Thompson in the clubhouse at 15 under, with a one-shot lead, which would have added so much more pressure to Jutanugarn as she closed out.
Instead of needing to birdie the final two holes to force a playoff, Jutanugarn only needed to birdie one of them to assure extra holes. She went birdie-birdie anyway.
Thompson was on the practice putting green when she heard the day’s last roar, when Jutanugarn rolled in a 15-foot birdie to beat her.
“It wasn’t the way I wanted to end it,” Thompson said of the short miss. “I don’t really know what happened there. It just happens. I guess it’s golf.”
Thompson was asked if the weight of everything at stake affected her.
“No, honestly, I wasn’t thinking about it,” she said. “I putted great the whole day. I guess, maybe, there was just a little bit of adrenaline.
“We all go through situations we don’t like sometimes.”
Thompson endured more than she wanted this year.
She won twice, but there were six second-place finishes, including Sunday’s. There were three losses in playoffs.
There was the heart-wrenching blow at the ANA Inspiration, the season’s first major, when she looked as if she were going to run away with the title before getting blindsided by a four-shot penalty in the final round. There were two shots when a viewer email led to a penalty for mismarking her ball on a green in the third round, and two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard.
Thompson was in tears finishing that Sunday at Mission Hills, but she won a legion of new fans in the way she fought back before losing in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.
There was more heartache later in the spring, when Thompson’s mother, Judy, was diagnosed with uterine cancer, requiring surgery to remove a tumor and then radiation.
For Thompson fans, Sunday’s missed 2-foot putt was a cruel final blow to the year.
This time, there were no tears from Lexi afterward.
“Just going through what I have this whole year, and seeing how strong I am, and how I got through it all and still won two tournaments, got six seconds . . . it didn’t stop me,” Thompson said. “This won’t either.”
After Thompson bounced back from the ANA loss to win the Kingsmill Invitational in May, she acknowledged how the loss motivated her.
“I'm as determined as any other person out here,” Thompson said. “We all want to win. I have a little bit more drive now.”
She was so close this year to elevating herself as the one true rock star in the women’s game. She will have a long offseason to turn Sunday’s disappointment into yet more fuel to get there.
Thompson will prepare for next year knowing Jutanugarn may be ramping her game back up to dominante, too.
Jutanugarn looked as if she were going to become a rock star after winning five times last year to claim the Rolex Player of the Year Award and then rising to No. 1 with a victory at the Manulife Classic back in May, but it didn’t happen.
Jutanugarn struggled through a summer-long slump.
She failed to make a cut in six of seven starts. It wasn’t as miserable a slump as she endured two years ago, when she missed 10 consecutive cuts, but it was troubling.
“Even though I played so badly the last few months, I learned a lot,” Jutanugarn said. “I’m growing up a lot, and I’m really ready to have some fun next year.”
Her surgically repaired shoulder was bothering her again, but it was more than that.
“This time it was more about becoming No. 1,” said Gary Gilchrist, her coach. “I think all of the responsibilities got to her.”
Gilchrist said he could see a different focus in Jutanugarn this week. He credited Vision 54s Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott for helping her deal with all the pressure that has mounted with her growing status.
“It’s been a long process,” Nilsson said. “She’s felt too much expectation from everybody else, where she loses focus on what she can do.”
Marriott said they asked Jutanugarn to come up with something she wanted to do to make herself proud this week, instead of worrying about what would please everyone else.
“I told my caddie, Les [Luark], that thinking about the No. 1 ranking wasn’t going to help me be a better golfer,” Jutanugarn said. “I wanted people to say, `Oh this girl, she’s really happy.’ That was my goal, to have fun.”
Late Sunday, hoisting the trophy, Jutanugarn looked like she was having a lot of fun.
Thomas vs. Rose could be Ryder Cup highlight
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – For those still digesting the end of 2017 – the European Tour did, after all, just wrap up its season in Dubai on Sunday – consider that the PGA Tour is already nearly one-fifth of the way into a new edition.
The Tour has already crowned eight champions as the game banks into the winter break, and there are some interesting trends that have emerged from the fall.
Dueling Justins: While Justin Thomas picked up where he left off last season, winning the inaugural CJ Cup in October just three weeks after claiming the FedExCup and wrapping up Player of the Year honors; Justin Rose seems poised to challenge for next year’s low Justin honors.
The Englishman hasn’t finished outside the top 10 since August and won back-to-back starts (WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open) before closing his year with a tie for fourth place in Dubai.
Note to U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk: Justin v. Justin next September in Paris could be fun.
Youth served. Just in case anyone was thinking the pendulum might be swinging back in the direction of experience over youthful exuberance – 41-year-old Pat Perez did put the veterans on the board this season with his victory at the CIMB Classic – Patrick Cantlay solidified his spot as genuine phenom.
Following an injury-plagued start to his career, Cantlay got back on track this year, needing just a dozen starts to qualify for the Tour Championship. He went next level earlier this month with his playoff victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
They say these trends come and go in professional golf, but as the average age of winners continues to trend lower and lower it’s safe to say 25 is the new 35 on Tour.
A feel for it. For all the science that has become such a big part of the game – from TrackMan analysis to ShotLink statistics – it was refreshing to hear that Patton Kizzire’s breakthrough victory at the OHL Classic came down to a hunch.
With the tournament on the line and Rickie Fowler poised just a stroke back, Kizzire’s tee shot at the 72nd hole came to rest in an awkward spot that forced him to stand close to his approach shot to keep his feet out of the sand. His 8-iron approach shot sailed to 25 feet and he two-putted for par.
And how far did he have for that pivotal approach?
“I have no idea,” he laughed.
Fall facelift. Although the moving parts of the 2018-19 schedule appear to be still in flux, how the changes will impact the fall schedule is coming into focus.
The Tour’s goal is to end the season on Labor Day, which means the fall portion of the schedule will begin a month earlier than it does now. While many see that as a chance for the circuit to embrace a true offseason, it’s becoming increasingly clear that won’t be the case.
The more likely scenario is an earlier finish followed by a possible team competition, either the Ryder or Presidents cup, before the Tour kicks off a new season in mid-September, which means events currently played before the Tour Championship will slide to the fall schedule.
“So if you slide it back, somebody has to jump ahead. The mechanics of it,” said Davis Love III, host of the RSM Classic and a member of the Tour’s policy board. “I’m still going to go complain and beg for my day, but I also understand when they say, this is your date, make it work, then we'll make it work.”
While 2019 promises to bring plenty of change to the Tour, know that the wraparound season and fall golf are here to stay.
Product protection. Speaking of the fall schedule and the likely plan to expand the post-Tour Championship landscape, officials should also use the platform to embrace some protections for these events.
Consider that the RSM Classic featured the third-strongest field last week according to the Official World Golf Ranking, behind the season-ending tournament in Dubai on the European Tour and the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour.
The winner in Dubai received 50 World Ranking points, a marquee event that has historically been deeper than that week’s Tour stop, while the Dunlop Phoenix winner, Brooks Koepka, won 32 points. Austin Cook collected 30 points for his victory at Sea Island Resort.
All told, the Japan event had four players in the field from the top 50 in the world, including world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama; while the highest-ranked player at the RSM Classic was Matt Kuchar at 15th and there were seven players from the top 50 at Sea Island Resort.
Under Tour rules, Koepka, as well as any other Tour members who competed either in Japan or Dubai, had to be granted conflicting-event releases by the circuit.
Although keeping players from participating in tournaments overseas is not an option, it may be time for the circuit to reconsider the conflicting-event policy if the result is a scenario like last week that relegates a Tour event to third on the international dance card.