Notes Disappearing Logos Last Chance for Masters
Find a FedExCup logo at Bay Hill.
This being the 'new era in golf,' FedExCup logos have been everywhere on the PGA TOUR from scoreboards to tee boxes, on promotional material and even the FedExCup truck parked somewhere on the golf course.
But the logo was missing at Bay Hill, and that was no accident.
'We try not to change the basic character of the event,' said Tom Wade, chief marketing officer of the PGA TOUR.
The TOUR tirelessly promotes the first eight months of the season as part of the FedExCup season, and there have been boardroom battles recently between title sponsors and the TOUR over sharing advertising space with another company.
Bay Hill, however, doesn't have a title sponsor. MasterCard is the presenting sponsor, meaning it doesn't pay as much money and doesn't get as much exposure. If the TOUR were to fill up signs with FedExCup, the presenting sponsor would be squeezed out even more.
In other words, don't look for any FedExCup logos at the Memorial, either.
'Jack (Nicklaus) believes the tournament should be conducted in a way, from a signage standpoint, that's consistent over the years,' tournament director Dan Sullivan said. 'We don't have any corporate identification when it comes to on-course signage. We don't have a PGA TOUR logo. And we won't have a FedExCup logo.'
He said Morgan Stanley, the presenting sponsor, will show up on the main scorecard, the daily pairings sheet and the magazine.
If the lack of title sponsor gets Nicklaus and Palmer off the hook, keep an eye on the Canadian Open. The third-oldest national championship in golf currently has no title sponsor, yet it still is burdened with FedExCup logos.
'We'd have that discussion with them,' tournament director Bill Paul said. 'Right now, it's not that much of an issue with me.'
Paul said he's disturbed by what he considers different rules for different tournaments. It really hit home last year at the Memorial during a meeting with tournament directors, when he admired the clean look at Muirfield Village.
'It hit me on the last day,' he said. 'The only PGA TOUR logo I've seen all week is on the fitness trailer. So I asked the question, didn't get an answer and just smiled. My only take is that Mr. Nicklaus and Mr. Palmer have different rules. I know all Mr. Palmer and Mr. Nicklaus have done for the game. But I don't think it's right.'
WHAT'S IN A NAME?:
Charl Schwartzel didn't know much about Doral except its reputation as the Blue Monster.
The jury's still out on the 'monster,' but he's already skeptical about the 'blue' part of the name.
'I thought there was a lot more water on the course,' he said Tuesday. 'I had this thing of all 18 holes have got water on it. I wasn't disappointed, but I was looking for water on the golf course.'
Water only comes into play -- barring a truly horrific shot -- on six holes.
For those who qualified for the 74-man field, the CA Championship is the last chance to qualify for the Masters. Augusta National will take the top 10 from the PGA TOUR money list and the top 50 in the world ranking for those not already eligible.
That means this is a big week for Mark Calcavecchia and Mark Wilson.
Calcavecchia is No. 7 on the money list thanks to his victory two weeks ago in Tampa. It would take the perfect set of circumstances for enough guys to bump him out of the top 10. Honda Classic winner Mark Wilson is No. 9 on the money list and must play well to make sure he doesn't get bumped.
John Rollins is No. 4 and is guaranteed to stay in the top 10.
From the world ranking, Charl Schwartzel has an outside chance at No. 58 in the world.
A LOOPER'S LIFE:
The Wachovia Championship is known for taking care of the players. That extends to the caddies, too.
They already get valet parking at Quail Hollow. But imagine Johnny Buchna's surprise when he got a letter from tournament director Kym Hougham a few years ago informing him the defending champion's caddie gets a courtesy Mercedes-Benz for the week.
'It had 13 miles on it,' said Buchna, longtime looper for Joey Sindelar and proud owner of a Honda.
He picked it up at the airport and gave Andy Pazder, the PGA TOUR's vice president of competition, a lift to the course. Pulling up in front of the clubhouse, Buchna felt like a king. When he got out and saw two TOUR officials, he jokingly asked if they would park it.
The player does OK, too, getting a Mercedes Maybach for the week. But it's hard to find another tournament that provides a luxury courtesy car for a caddie.
'Fluff gets it this year,' Buchna said, referring to Mike Cowan, caddie for Jim Furyk. 'But he already drives a BMW.'
PGA TOUR players were reminded to sign up for media training next week at the Houston Open. The notice was posted above the urinals in the locker room at Bay Hill. There's a story there ... The USGA's Herbert Warren Wind Book Award this year goes to James W. Finegan for his book, 'Where Golf is Great: The Finest Courses of Scotland and Ireland.' ... South Africa has nine players at Doral, second only to the 25 players from the United States. ... Justin Rose of England withdrew from the CA Championship with a sore back.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Americans represent one-third of the field at Doral.
'One thing I don't see enough of is relating to galleries. It might be too businessy. A little lightening up wouldn't be a bad thing.' -- Arnold Palmer on the state of the PGA TOUR.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award
The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.
The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.
Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.
The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4
Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.
Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.
South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.
Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.
The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout
It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.
Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.
Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.
"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."
Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.
Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.
Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top
The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.
The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."
Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.