Consolation Prize for All but Three Players

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2005, 4:00 pm
AKRON, Ohio -- Phil Mickelson has spent the last two days home in San Diego, still basking over a PGA Championship victory that made his year complete.
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell was all smiles at the NEC Invitational, fresh off his best year in the majors. Tiger Woods turned heads Tuesday when he revealed that he left Baltusrol on Sunday night, even though he still had a slim chance to get into a playoff at the PGA.
Tiger has won 10 majors, so maybe he can go home on a Sunday night, Padraig Harrington said.
The majors are over.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods signs autographs for his fans at the NEC Invitational.
For everyone else, this is the time to create new goals for the rest of the year.
Vijay Singh joined Woods as the only players with top-10s in all four majors this year. The best he can do now is finish atop the PGA Tour money list for the third straight year, win more tournaments than anyone else for the second straight year and try to warrant consideration for player of the year.
Davis Love III and Mike Weir are trying to earn a trip to Kapalua for the winners-only Mercedes Championships at the start of the season.
Colin Montgomerie has another chance to win his first PGA Tour event in the United States.
Its like starting off a new season, Harrington said. Im playing until the end of the year. Ive had a couple of (good) weeks this year, but my consistency hasnt been there, so I want to get out there and sort of finish off the last three months of the year, and finish strong.
The NEC Invitational begins Thursday on the South course at Firestone, with a $7.5 million purse for the 72 players from 22 countries. First place is worth $1.3 million, $130,000 more than Mickelson got for winning the final major.
The defending champion is Stewart Cink, who went wire-to-wire at Firestone last year in a stop-and-go tournament because of the rain. It came at a good time, because Cink had just been named a captains pick for the Ryder Cup.
Perhaps thats a good omen for Justin Leonard and Fred Couples, picked by Jack Nicklaus at the start of the week for the Presidents Cup.
Some already are assessing their seasons.
Harrington won for the first time on the PGA Tour at the Honda Classic in March, then won again at the Barclays Classic at Westchester. But his year in the majors was a wreck, mostly because his father was diagnosed with cancer before the Masters, and died before the British Open.
I know Ive been inconsistent this year. Obviously, theres many reasons for that, Harrington said. But if I finish strong the next couple of months, it will be easy for me in my own mind to convince myself that it was a good year.
Ditto for Sergio Garcia.
He had two top-10s in the majors, but never threatened on the back nine of either. The 25-year-old Spaniard won the Booz Allen Classic at Congressional, but he matched a PGA Tour record by blowing a six-shot lead at the Wachovia Championship in May.
Worse yet, he went another year without a major.
I think its been a solid season, Garcia said. I wouldnt say its been extraordinary, mainly because I havent putted well. To have won once here in the U.S., had quite a lot of top-10s and be performing quite well in the majors, and being 190th or something like that in putting ... still a pretty good effort.
Garcia recently found that he wasnt keeping his head still all the way through impact.
Ive found something that I think is going to help me a lot, and Im looking forward to having a good end of the season, he said.
Even though Cink and Darren Clarke are the last two winners at Firestone, Woods and Mickelson remain the favorites at the second WGC event of the season.
Woods won three straight years at Firestone'by one shot over Mickelson in 1999, by a record 11 shots a year later when he finished in the dark, and after a seven-hole playoff with Jim Furyk in 2001.
He has never finished worse than a tie for fifth at Firestone.
Youve got some of the best players in the world, and youre playing one of the greatest golf courses that we play all year, and its a golf course that could host a major if they ever wanted to, Woods said.
Mickelson is no slouch.
He also won at Firestone, in 1996 when it was known as the World Series of Golf, and almost always finished in the top 10. The last two years have been an exception, both times when his game was starting to slip.
After his performance last week in Baltusrol, expectations are high.
Related links:
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  • Full Coverage - WGC-NEC Invitational

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    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

    Getty Images

    Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

    The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

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    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

    President at the Presidents Cup

    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

    Cart on the green

    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

    Trump golf properties


    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers

    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm