Notes Campbells Cameo Tiger Going Global

By Associated PressDecember 27, 2005, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell will make his 2006 debut next month in the Mercedes Championship at Kapalua.
 
Take away the majors, World Golf Championships and The Players Championship, and that leaves him only one other PGA Tour event he can play.

Despite winning a major, Campbell's options on the PGA Tour are limited because of a bad year in 2003.
 
As a New Zealand native, he claimed 'home circuit' status on the PGA Tour two years ago, meaning he did not need a release to compete overseas provided he played at least 15 times on tour. Campbell quit after playing 14 events, and it has cost him.
 
'The penalty for using the home circuit exception and not satisfying the requirements is immediate forfeiture of membership the following year, and for five years, he can play only 10 tournaments as a nonmember,' said Andy Pazder, the tour's vice president of competition.
 
Campbell was at a low point in 2003. He made only five cuts in his 14 tour events, and three of those were at WGC events that had no cuts. He was disqualified at The Players Championship after opening with an 89.
 
'I played (bad),' he said. 'I had no house to go to. I was traveling with the family, two kids. It made me crazy. So I went back to England, to the European tour, and I won about a month later at the Irish Open. That told me it was time to pack up my bags and get back to England.'
 
Campbell sought a compromise with the tour, asking if he could play 12 or 13 events in 2006. Because he could not commit to 15 tournaments, his request was denied.
 
The only other regular tournament he will play is the Bay Hill Invitational.
 
'I want to play Memorial, but I can't play that now because of my restrictions,' Campbell said. 'I feel that my wings have been clipped a little bit. I want to be a global player. I want to play in Europe and Australia and different parts of the world. But I couldn't commit to 15 events.'
 
GLOBAL TIGER
Tiger Woods is the most global player among Americans, and his schedule next year might include the most overseas events of his career.
 
Woods already has committed to the Dubai Desert Classic in early February, and said he will return to Japan to defend his title in the Dunlop Phoenix. He said he probably would return to Shanghai for the HSBC Champions event in November, and he is leaning toward playing the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England.
 
'And don't forget the American Express,' Woods said, noting that it will be played next year just north of London. Woods is the defending champion.
 
Throw in the British Open, and that could be six overseas tournaments. The most he has played in any year, including the British Open and American Express Championship, is five times in 1998, 1999 and 2002.
 
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
It looks as if the only way Cristie Kerr will ever to get to the Women's World Cup is to be the highest-ranked American on the LPGA Tour money list.
 
Kerr finished fifth on the list last year, one spot behind Meg Mallon, but Mallon chose 30th-ranked Beth Daniel as her partner in South Africa. Mallon and Daniel are good friends and have played in a half-dozen matches together at the Solheim Cup.
 
Kerr finished third on the money list this year, one spot behind 19-year-old rookie Paula Creamer, who will go to South Africa with Natalie Gulbis.
 
'We've got similar games and get along,' Creamer said. 'I'm going over with someone I feel comfortable with.'
 
Creamer went 3-1-1 at the Solheim Cup to lead the Americans to victory over Europe. One of those points came with Kerr, a 1-up victory in better ball against Catriona Matthew and Carin Koch.
 
Creamer and Gulbis played together in the Lexus Cup earlier this month, winning a better-ball match.
 
EUROPEAN CYCLE
Europeans still have not cracked the Big Five in the world ranking, with Sergio Garcia of Spain the best hope at No. 6. But the outlook is much brighter than a year ago.
 
Padraig Harrington once attributed the European slide to a mere cycle, and he might be right. A year ago, only four Europeans were among the top 20 in the world ranking. Now there are eight in the top 22, from the resurgent Colin Montgomerie to the younger players such as Luke Donald and David Howell.
 
'We didn't have many in the top 20 at the start of the year. Now there are a whole bunch,' Montgomerie said. 'We've done well to get back into it now. We went through a period in the early '90s where Europe held the top five places in the world rankings, and now we're coming back.'
 
The best measure might be at the Ryder Cup, where the United States typically has far more players at the top of the rankings than Europe.
 
NEW BALL
Kenny Perry was playing a new ball with an old name at the Target World Challenge.
 
TaylorMade is getting back into the golf ball market, although only a handful of its top players are expected to be using it next year. Part of that depends on which player's contract with Titleist has expired.
 
Perry is one of them.
 
'I had good tests with it,' he said. 'It had the same ball spin, same launch trajectory. My ball speed was averaging 168 (mph) with the Titleist and it was 172 with that one. I've found they're a little softer chipping, but it flighted the same as a Titleist. I thought I was playing the same golf ball, to tell you the truth.'
 
Perry showed the ball with a Maxfli logo on it, but said it was supposed to have TaylorMade's logo. TaylorMade recently acquired Maxfli.
 
DIVOTS
Those in green jackets can expect a menu of steak and chicken at the Masters champions dinner at Augusta National this year. Tiger Woods, who has to pick up the tab for the Tuesday dinner, said he probably would serve the same thing he did in 2003. ... Morgan Pressel has signed endorsement deals with Callaway Golf and Polo. ... Vijay Singh has decided to play the Qatar Masters the last week in January, meaning he will miss the Buick Invitational. Singh tied for 24th and missed the cut his last two trips to Torrey Pines.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
The points difference between Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh at Nos. 1 and 2 in the world ranking is equal to the difference of Singh and Peter Lonard at No. 46.
 
FINAL WORD
'It's like being a young player all over again. We're going to have to figure it all out.' -- Jim Furyk on where and when to play when the new schedule starts in 2007.
 
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thompson wins Race, loses tournament after short miss

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 8:52 pm

The drama went down to the very last hole in the LPGA's final event of 2017. Here's how things ended up at the CME Group Tour Championship, where a surprising miss from Lexi Thompson opened the door for Ariya Jutanugarn to win in dramatic fashion:

Leaderboard: Ariya Jutanugarn (-15), Lexi Thompson (-14), Jessica Korda (-14), Pernilla Lindberg (-13), Eun-Hee Ji (-13)

What it means: There were scenarios aplenty entering the final round, with nearly every season-long accolade still hanging in the balance. Thompson appeared set to take them all as she sized up a 2-foot par putt on the final hole - a stroke that looked like it would take her to world No. 1 for the first time. Instead, the putt barely touched the hole and allowed Jutanugarn to rally to victory with birdies on the closing two holes. Thompson still took home $1 million for winning the season-long Race to the CME Globe, as it was a reverse scenario from last year when Jutanugarn won the $1 million but not the final tournament.

Round of the day: Sei Young Kim made the day's biggest charge, turning in a 6-under 66 to close the week in a share of 11th at 10 under. Kim made eight birdies during the final round, including five over her first eight holes en route to her lowest round of the week while erasing a third-round 75.

Best of the rest: Jutanugarn seemed like an afterthought as the tournament was winding down, but she kept her hopes alive with an 18-foot birdie on No. 17 and then capitalized on Thompson's mistake with a clutch birdie on the difficult final hole. It capped off a final-round 67 for the Thai who now ends what has been a tumultuous season with a smile on her face.

Biggest disappointment: Thompson faced heartbreak after the penalty-shrouded ANA Inspiration, and she again must handle a setback after essentially missing a tap-in with everything on the line. Thompson can enjoy a $1 million consolation prize along with the Vare Trophy, but a tournament win would have clinched Player of the Year honors as well as her first-ever trip to world No. 1. Instead, she now has the entire off-season to think about how things went awry from close range.

Shot of the day: There were only three birdies on No. 18 during the final round before Jutanugarn laced one down the fairway and hit a deft approach to 15 feet. The subsequent putt found the target and gave her win No. 7 on her young LPGA career.

Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.