Notes Masters invites Finchems salary made public

By Associated PressDecember 2, 2008, 5:00 pm
Nine tournaments over the final three weeks of the season could determine who goes to Augusta National in April.
 
While the PGA Tour season ended Nov. 2 when Davis Love III won at Disney ' no, that did not qualify him for the Masters ' tournaments around the globe are causing subtle changes in the top 50 in the world ranking that decides who gets a Masters invitation.
 
Oliver Wilson of England was 55th at the start of November, but a runner-up finish in the HSBC Champions has moved him up to No. 41, meaning J.B. Holmes likely will be the only Ryder Cup player who has yet to qualify for the Masters.
 
Jeev Singh won the Singapore Open, moving him up 17 spots to No. 44. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland was languishing at No. 79 until he tied for fourth in Singapore and tied for second in the Hong Kong Open, giving him a chance at No. 49.
 
The biggest move belonged to Lin Wen-Twang of Taiwan, who won the Hong Kong Open and has moved up from No. 107 at the start of November to No. 50 going into the final three weeks.
 
The top 50 at the end of the 2008 earn invitations to the first major of the year.
 
Woody Austin ended the PGA Tour season at No. 46, but with so much movement into the top 50, he has dropped to No. 51 and figures to fall even more.
 
The December schedule features three tournaments in South Africa, two in Australia, three on the Asian Tour and one in Japan. If the ranking stays the way it is for the final month, the Masters field already will have 89 players going into next year. Then, the winners of 13 events on the PGA Tour will get automatic invitations, along with the top 50 in the world ranking published a week before the Masters.
 
The last time the Masters had more than 100 players in the field was in 1966.
 
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EUROPEAN SHOT: Padraig Harrington, the first European to win successive majors in the same season, has won the European Tour Shot of the Year Award for 2008.
 
The debate must have been which shot.
 
A panel of golf writers, broadcasters and golf dignitaries settled on the Irishmans 5-wood to about 4 feet for an eagle on the 17th hole at Royal Birkdale, effectively clinching victory in the British Open.
 
Its one of the few times I think Ive ever heard my caddie say, Good shot, before the ball is finished, Harrington said.
 
Runner-up went to Graeme McDowell for his 7-iron on the third hole of a playoff against Jeev Singh to win the inaugural Ballantines Championship in Korea. Harringtons other shot ' that 5-iron to 10 feet for birdie on the 71st hole of the PGA Championship to break a tie with Sergio Garcia ' finished third.
 
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FINCHEMS PAY: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem had a $400,000 drop in his compensation last year, but the $4.8 million in salary and bonuses was still enough to be the equivalent of No. 3 on the money list for the second straight year.
 
The Sports Business Journal, citing the latest IRS forms the tour is required to file, said Finchem received $1.3 million in salary, $3.2 million in bonus and $240,000 in benefits. In 2006, he received about $5.2 million, which spokesman Ty Votaw attributed to an additional bonus the commissioner received for extraordinary service in 2005.
 
Finchem made $4.2 million in 2005, the equivalent of No. 5 on the money list.
 
The journal said Finchem still earned less than NHL commissioner Gary Bettman ($5.59 million) and less than half the compensation of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ($11.2 million prorated).
 
The tours tax forms indicate that co-chief operating officers Ed Moorhouse ($1.6 million) and Charlie Zink ($1.5 million) were the next highest-paid employees, followed by chief marketing officer Tom Wade and chief financial officer Ron Price at $1 million each.
 
According to the most recent IRS forms available for the LPGA, commissioner Carolyn Bivens earned $710,812 in salary and benefits in 2006. Two years earlier, in his final full year as LPGA commissioner, Votaw was paid $478,897.
 
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CURTIS AND EUROPE: An American major champion joined the European Tours Race to Dubai and hardly anyone noticed. Ben Curtis said during the World Cup last week that he will be a member this year with hopes of reaching the $10 million Dubai World Championship.
 
It makes it interesting and a lot of fun to try to compete on both tours and do well on both, Curtis said. Its a lot of fun to play golf around the world, and not just in the United States. Its tough now with two kids, but I can make it happen. And it would be pretty neat to be able to do well on both ' finish in the top 10 on both tours. It could be quite an accomplishment.
 
Others who have joined included Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas of Colombia. Phil Mickelson considered joining, but has not decided, especially with Europe not adding the Barclays Singapore Open to its schedule.
 
Curtis might have some company in Brandt Snedeker, his partner in the World Cup.
 
Snedeker plans to play in Qatar and possibly Abu Dhabi to start out next year, and he said he probably would join if he can get in the minimum 12 events required for membership.
 
Were talking about playing a tournament worth $10 million, and everybody is going to want to try to play in it, Snedeker said. I dont have any kids at home. I just got married. I have no reason not to want to travel the world and see it. So its a great excuse for me to get out there and travel some.
 
Snedeker might want to make up his mind before he gets to Qatar. Money earned in Europe does not count toward the Race to Dubai until a player like Snedeker pays to become an affiliate member.
 
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DIVOTS: Greg Norman and Bernhard Langer have joined the eight-man field of four teams in the Wendys Champions Skins Game at Kaanapali Beach Resort in Hawaii at the end of February. Langer will be partners with Gary Players, while Norman will pair with Jay Haas. Fuzzy Zoeller and Peter Jacobsen are the defending champions, with the other team Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Colin Montgomerie, who married for the second time in April, has moved from the London area to his native Scotland. Quality of life has risen, he said. Twenty of the 164 players in the final stage of Q-school are past PGA Tour winners, including one major champion (Mark Brooks). Five years ago, 15 of the 171 players who reached the final stage were past champions.
 
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STAT OF THE WEEK: Bill Haas finished 104th on the PGA Tour for the second straight year, making an additional $33,496 in 2008 to stay in the same position.
 
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FINAL WORD: Hopefully, he plays 72 holes and ends with 14 clubs. ' Geoff Ogilvy on John Daly playing in the Australian PGA Championship. Six years ago, Daly threw his putter into the pond after the second round and was disqualified for not signing his card.
 
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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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