Notes Issues Remain with New LPGA Playoff Format
Annika Sorenstam had the trophy at her side and spoke of her 10-win season. Had this been 2006, the $1 million payoff would have been decided between Michele Redman and Soo-Yun Kang in extra holes.
'I'm just glad it's 2005, that's all I can say,' Sorenstam said.
But that's not all she has said.
Sorenstam and other players have talked to tour officials about the size of the winner's check at the 'LPGA Playoffs at the ADT.' The $1 million prize is the largest in women's golf, nearly double the $560,000 check for the U.S. Women's Open. What concerns them is how it could skew the money list.
Sorenstam won nine times going into the ADT; no one else won more than twice. But under the new format, it would have been feasible for Paula Creamer to win the money title.
'I'm of the opinion the money list is important,' Lorie Kane said. 'I don't think somebody should come out and win $1 million and pass someone who's had an awesome year.'
Sorenstam has incentives built into her endorsement contracts that reward winning the money title. One bad day could change everything. The 32-player field next year will be cut in half after 36 holes, then pared to eight players for the final round. Everyone starts even for the last day.
'I think the first prize is too much money,' Sorenstam said. 'I don't mind the first prize being $1 million, but I recommended that maybe $500,000 would count on the money list, and give the player a $500,000 bonus.'
Rob Neal, vice president of tournament business affairs, said officials would be talking during the offseason about whether to apply only part of the $1 million toward the money list, and it could be changed before 2006 gets under way.
Steve Pate, Duffy Waldorf and Jay Delsing were teammates at UCLA during the early 1980s. Now they are part of another class with far less distinction.
All three failed to advance out of the second stage of Q-school last week.
Waldorf, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, failed to finish in the top 125 on the money list for the first time in 1990, and because he was outside the top 150, he had to go through the second stage. He still should be able to play about 20 events next year with his past champion status.
Other trends from last week? Being a former U.S. Amateur champion didn't carry much weight. Among the former Amateur winners who didn't advance to the final stage were Matt Kuchar, Ricky Barnes and Jeff Quinney.
Another casualty was Ty Tryon, now 21 and old enough to buy a drink, but nowhere to play except on the mini-tours. Tryon became the youngest qualifier four years ago at 17, but it appears to be getting tougher the older he gets. He failed to break par in any of his four rounds.
The six-round final stage gets under way Nov. 30 at Orange County National in Orlando, Fla.
Natalie Gulbis shot 70 in the final round at Trump International and helped the LPGA Tour set a record by becoming the sixth player this year to earn at least $1 million.
No more than five players went over $1 million each of the last three years. Gulbis finished with $1,010,154, allowing her to set her own record -- most money in one year without winning.
Perhaps the better gauge of increasing wealth in women's golf is lower down the ladder. There were 27 players who earned at least $500,000, beating the previous mark of 21 players the last two years.
Tiger Woods has probably made enough in appearance fees to be leading the PGA Tour career money list, considering the going rate is about $3 million.
But he doesn't show up to cash a check.
Woods' playoff victory in the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan was his ninth victory in 22 starts overseas, and he has finished out of the top 10 only twice -- a tie for 15th in the '98 Casio World Open, and a tie for 29th in the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open in Germany two years ago.
Throw in his other 13 tournaments on foreign soil -- nine in the British Open and four in the American Express Championship -- and he is 30-of-35 in top 10s and has 13 victories.
Colin Montgomerie said it well a few years ago when Woods beat him in Germany.
'A few people come over to our tour, take the money and run,' Montgomerie said. 'Tiger is not one of them. All credit to him for coming here as the best player in the world and performing like that.'
Louise Suggs, sharp and feisty as ever at 82, was at Mar-a-Lago to present the LPGA Tour rookie of the year award named in her honor. Looking out at 19-year-old winner Paula Creamer, who earned over $1.5 million this season, Suggs applauded her for getting off to a great start in her career.
'We didn't have anything such as Rookie of the Year when I started,' Suggs said.
Then, the LPGA founder and Hall of Famer really put things into perspective.
Suggs won the U.S. Women's Open in 1949 by 14 shots over Babe Zaharias and said she earned $2,000. She went on to win 58 times on the LPGA Tour, and her career earnings were about $200,000.
With a twinkle in her eye, she looked at Creamer and said, 'I think you owe me something.'
Turnberry has been selected as site for the 2008 British Amateur. ... PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem will be presented with the Dick Schaap Lifetime Achievement in Sports Award on Dec. 1 in New York. It is given to those who have achieved at the highest level, while making contributions to their community and charities. ... Annika Sorenstam averaged $129,412 per start this year, the equivalent to 71st on the LPGA Tour money list. Tiger Woods averaged $506,096 per start, which would have put him at No. 141 on the PGA Tour money list.
STAT OF THE WEEK
The United States tied for 17th in the World Cup, its worst finish since the event began in 1953 as the Canada Cup. The only other times it finished out of the top 10 was a tie for 12th in 1991 and 1984.
'When I was a kid, it was my family and God and the USGA. That was kind of the way I was raised.' -- Arnold Palmer, at a groundbreaking ceremony for an addition to the USGA museum named in his honor.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome
Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)
The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...
And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.
Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas
He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.
Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.
Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.
In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.
Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.
Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.
Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic
Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double
Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open
Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open
Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row
Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow
Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship
The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ
Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year
And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season
Photo Galleries: Best of ...
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com counted down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below. And click here for the full collection of articles.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.
They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.
Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.
Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.
''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''
The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.
In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''
Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.