Notes Caddie Controversy Over FedEx Payout

By Associated PressAugust 7, 2007, 4:00 pm
PGA ChampionshipTULSA, Okla. -- The FedExCup will pay $10 million to the winner from a $35 million prize fund, all of which goes into a retirement plan that players won't see for quite some time.
That leads to two questions: What kind of bonus does the caddie receive? And how is it paid?
Players typically share the spoils with their bagman, some as much as 10 percent when they win.
'It would be hard to pay on something you don't get,' Scott Verplank said. 'I guess you could sign a contract that says, 'My grandkids will pay you.''
Stewart Cink is on the PGA TOUR policy board, and he was surprised that a FedExCup bonus for caddies only now has become a topic. Asked about it over the weekend, he said with a smile, 'We're not going to talk about that.'
'I had that discussion with my manager about how to do it, and I don't know to be honest,' he said. 'The FedExCup money ... half of it was money already in our retirement fund, and we didn't pay our caddies out of our retirement fund. Half of it is new money, but it's all deferred. Maybe I'll pay him 10 percent as it comes out of the account.'
When does that happen? When does a golfer ever retire?
'I don't even know the answer to that,' Cink said.
The new money was a reference to the prize fund. The PGA TOUR has done away with retirement contributions based on cuts made, so about $17 million of the FedExCup money comes from that program.
Caddies will get paid regardless, because each of the four tournaments through the end of the FedExCup has a separate purse, just like any other tournament.
Still, David Toms joined the long list of players who can't figure it out.
'I guess I'll pay him in 25 years when I get the money,' he said. 'Hopefully, we're both still alive.'
Robert Allenby shot 82-80 on the weekend at Firestone, not the best way to head into the final major of the year.
Especially with his record in the majors.
Allenby is among five players at Southern Hills who have missed the cut in all three majors this year. The others are former British Open champion Todd Hamilton, Colin Montgomerie, Joe Durant and Johan Edfors.
Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, Nos. 1 and 2 in the world ranking, lead the 13 players who have made the cut in all three majors. Their scores reflect how difficult the majors have played this year, as Woods has the highest scoring average in the majors despite being a cumulative 7 over par. And this from a guy who was second at the Masters, second at the U.S. Open and 12th at the British Open.
Furyk is at 12 over par after finishing 13th, second and 12th in the majors.
The other players who have made the cut in every major: Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Mike Weir, Zach Johnson, Jerry Kelly, Vijay Singh, Ian Poulter, Niclas Fasth, Scott Verplank, Lee Westwood and Carl Pettersson.
Eight of them have yet to finish at par or better in a major.
One of the intriguing aspects of the Presidents Cup is that the captains fill in the players one game at a time, instead of blind draw, meaning they can orchestrate matches. That led to Tiger Woods playing Ernie Els in South Africa, and Fred Couples playing Vijay Singh in 2005.
The most famous incident came in Australia in 1998, when Greg Norman told captain Peter Thomson he did not want to play Woods because the Shark was not at full strength, and Woods told captain Jack Nicklaus that he wanted Norman.
'There was two pairing left, and Peter Thomson was picking first. So Norman was had,' Nicklaus said recently. 'And Norman said, 'Why did you do that to me?' I said, 'Hey, you're not my team. You're a friend of mine, but that's beside the point. Tiger had requested, if I can, to get you for him. Have a good day.''
Once the laughter subsided, International captain Gary Player came up with a brilliant idea.
'Now I might have to do the same thing with Rory Sabbatini and Tiger,' he said at a media day in Montreal.
That might be the most compelling match of the Sept. 27-30 event. Sabbatini has been needling Woods all year, saying he looked 'more beatable than ever' after Woods had beaten him at the Wachovia Championship. Woods beat him again last week at Firestone.
Asked what he would make of such a presidential pairing, Sabbatini welcomed the idea.
'You either take down the best player,' he said, 'or you sacrifice yourself for the rest of the team.'
There were 71 rounds in the 80s during the Women's British Open at St. Andrews, most of them during the third round with winds topping 30 mph. ... Annika Sorenstam hosts a tournament for the second time this year, this time on the Ladies European Tour at the Scandinavian TPC. ... No one has ever won the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship on the same golf course. For the third straight year, someone will have that opportunity -- Retief Goosen (Southern Hills), Davis Love III (Winged Foot) and Lee Janzen (Baltusrol).
Annika Sorenstam failed to record a top 10 in the majors for the first time since her rookie season in 1994.
'If you don't know what to say, it's easy to say something derogatory.' -- Stewart Cink, on criticism of the FedExCup.
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."