Notes Perry Unsure of Rebound in 05

By Associated PressDecember 22, 2004, 5:00 pm
Kenny Perry is baffled by a turn for the worse.
 
He went from three victories and No. 6 on the PGA Tour money list last year to no victories and needing a top 10 finish in final full-field event of the year just to get the last spot in the Tour Championship.
 
I didnt have a chance to win this year, and that was a disappointment, Perry said. I dont know if it was just coming off a high or what. It might have busted my bubble a little it. Its like you finally achieve something, and what else do you do? Ive achieved every goal I thought I could achieve except winning a major.
 
Where does he go from here?
 
Perry is 44 and exempt through the 2007 season. With his $16 million in career earnings, he probably can play on the PGA Tour until he is eligible for the Champions Tour.
 
Is he satisfied with what he has accomplished in his 18 years on tour? Is he burning to have another big year that landed him on his first Ryder Cup team?
 
It can go either way, Perry said. You can see me disappear, or I might go crazy again. I dont have any pressure on me, and that might be a bad thing. Ive always played pretty good with pressure on me. I hope I dont get lazy and sit back. But Im tired of playing. Ive fought it and fought it. Ive been a pro for 23 years now.
 
He used Jay Haas as a model.
 
Haas had a solid career until disappearing for a four-year stretch, even losing exempt status at one point. Rejuvenated in his late 40s, and with help from putting guru Stan Utley, Haas returned to the top 30. At age 50, he became the oldest man to make the Tour Championship and the second-oldest to play in the Ryder Cup.
 
Perry is certain of one thing. He will work harder than ever to make the Ryder Cup team in 2008, when it will be played at Valhalla in his native Kentucky.
 
I think that will revitalize my career, he said. Im a goal-oriented person, and thats going to be a big goal of mine. I think thats going to be good for me.
 
PRICE RUN
Nick Price slipped to No. 51 in the final world ranking of 2004, ending the most remarkable run since the Official World Golf Ranking began in 1986.
 
Price had been in the top 50 for a record 17 consecutive years dating to 1987.
 
Greg Norman did it for 15 consecutive years.
 
The longest active streak -- 14 years'now belongs to Davis Love III, who ended the year at No. 7.
 
HAPPY MECHANIC
Listening to Miguel Angel Jimenez, its not hard to figure out why he had his best year, with four victories in the 2004 season and one more in December in an early start to the 2005 schedule.
 
Its all about attitude for the Spaniard known as the Mechanic. And right now, the glass is half-full.
 
You never know whats going to happen, he said. You just play well, enjoy yourself and collect titles. The only thing Im doing is just be happy on the golf course.
 
His attitude isnt limited to inside the ropes. Jimenez takes the high road on other issues, too.
 
When Tom Lehman was picked as Ryder Cup captain for 2006, some Europeans wondered whether that might rekindle some of the bad blood from Brookline in 1999, when the Americans were accused of being bad sports for their exuberance. Some of those Euros (Paul Casey) werent even there.
 
Jimenez was, and he has no problem with Lehman.
 
We are intelligent people and I dont live in the past,
 
Jimenez said. If youre going to live like that, you cannot be happy at that point in your life and you cannot play golf and youre not going to win. You get the point?
 
Look, the guy, he played in a Ryder Cup. He is a great player. Hes a winner. I think he has respect from lots of players in America. And thats it. What happened before ... I cannot recall anything from that. Forget that thing. You cannot live there.
 
BAKER-FINCH RETURN?
Ian Baker-Finch might play some PGA Tour events next year to see where his game is.
 
The 91 British Open champion last played on tour at the 2001 Colonial, missing the cut with rounds of 74-77. It was his first tournament since he walked away from the game after a 92 in the first round of the British Open at Royal Troon in 1997, the lowest point of a mystifying slump.
 
The congenial Aussie, now a golf analyst for ABC Sports, said he would not ask for any sponsors exemptions and would consider playing only in tournaments for which he is eligible. Past champions (Baker-Finch won Colonial and the British Open) fall behind the guys who finished from 126-150 on the previous years money list, so he likely could play some in September.
 
Baker-Finch still plays pro-ams and casual rounds, and has shot 63 on occasion at The Bears Club in south Florida.
 
I just want to see where I am, Baker-Finch said. Its better to do that now than to delude myself for six years before Im eligible for the Champions Tour.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Jack Nicklaus finally fell out of the top 100 on the PGA Tour career money list. He has earned $5,734,031 and dropped to No. 103, one spot behind Tom Byrum.
 
FINAL WORD
Losing in Ireland is not an option.'Colin Montgomerie on the 2006 Ryder Cup.
 
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rahm, Koepka both jump in OWGR after wins

By Will GrayNovember 20, 2017, 1:19 pm

Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka both made moves inside the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings following wins in Dubai and Japan, respectively.

Rahm captured the European Tour season finale, winning the DP World Tour Championship by a shot. It was his third worldwide victory of 2017 and it allowed the Spaniard to overtake Hideki Matsuyama at world No. 4. It also establishes a new career high in the rankings for Rahm, who started the year ranked No. 137.

Koepka cruised to a nine-shot victory while successfully defending his title at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix. The victory was his first since winning the U.S. Open and it helped Koepka jump three spots to No. 7 in the latest rankings. Reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, who finished second behind Koepka in Japan, went from 30th to 24th.

After earning his maiden PGA Tour victory at the RSM Classic, Austin Cook vaulted from No. 302 to No. 144 in the world. Runner-up J.J. Spaun jumped 48 spots to No. 116, while a hole-out with his final approach helped Brian Gay rise 73 spots to No. 191 after finishing alone in third at Sea Island.

Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas with Rahm and Matsuyama now rounding out the top five. Justin Rose remains at No. 6, followed by Koepka, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson. Rory McIlroy slid two spots to No. 10 and is now in danger of falling out of the top 10 for the first time since May 2014.

With his return to competition now less than two weeks away, Tiger Woods fell four more spots to No. 1193 in the latest rankings.

Love to undergo hip replacement surgery

By Rex HoggardNovember 20, 2017, 1:08 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Two days removed from arguably the most hectic week of his year, Davis Love III will undergo replacement surgery on his left hip.

Love, who hosted and played in last week’s RSM Classic, said he tried to avoid the surgery, but the pain became too much and he will undergo the procedure on Tuesday at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in Birmingham, Ala.

“I had a hip problem the last few years, and I had a hip resurfacing trying to avoid hip surgery because I’m a chicken, but after playing [the CIMB Classic and Sanderson Farms Championship] I realized it was an uphill battle,” Love said.


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


Love said doctors have told him recovery from the procedure will take between three to four months, but he should be able to start work on his chipping and putting within a few weeks.

Love, who missed the cut at the RSM Classic, said earlier in the week that his goal is to become the oldest PGA Tour winner and that the only way to achieve that was by having the surgery.

“Now I’m excited that I’ve crossed that bridge,” said Love, who will turn 54 next April. “Once I get over that I can go right back to the Tour. I won after a spine fusion [2015 Wyndham Championship] and now I’d like to win with a new hip. That’s the reason I’m doing it so I can get back to golf and keep up.”

LPGA awards: Ryu, S.H. Park tie for POY

By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:56 am

NAPLES, Fla. – In the end, the CME Group Tour Championship played out a lot like the entire 2017 season did.

Parity reigned.

Nobody dominated the game’s big season-ending awards, though Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park came close.

Thompson walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. If she had made that last 2-foot putt at the 72nd hole Sunday, she might also have walked away with the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Park shared the Rolex Player of the Year Award with So Yeon Ryu. By doing so, Park joined Nancy Lopez as the only players in LPGA history to win the Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season. Lopez did it in 1978. Park also won the LPGA money-winning title.

Here’s a summary of the big prizes:

Rolex Player of the Year
Ryu and Park both ended up with 162 points in the points-based competition. Park started the week five points behind Ryu but made the up the difference with the five points she won for tying for sixth.

It marks the first time the award has been shared since its inception in 1966.

Ryu and Park join Inbee Park as the only South Koreans to win the award. Park won it in 2013.


Vare Trophy
Thompson won the award with a scoring average of 69.114. Sung Hyun Park finished second at 69.247. Park needed to finish at least nine shots ahead of Thompson at the CME Group Tour Championship to win the trophy.

There were a record 12 players with scoring averages under 70.0 this year, besting the previous record of five, set last year.


CME Globe $1 million prize
Thompson entered the week first in the CME points reset, but it played out as a two-woman race on the final day. Park needed to finish ahead of Thompson in the CME Group Tour Championship to overtake her for the big money haul. Thompson tied for second in the tournament while Park tied for sixth.

By winning the CME Group Tour Championship, Jutanugarn had a shot at the $1 million, but she needed Park to finish the tournament eighth or worse and Thompson to finish ninth or worse.


LPGA money-winning title
Park claimed the title with $2,335,883 in earnings. Ryu was second, with $1,981,593 in earnings.

The tour saw a tour-record 17 players win $1 million or more this season, two more than did so last year.

Ryu came into the week as the only player who could pass Park for the title, but Ryu needed to win to do so.


Rolex world No. 1 ranking
The top ranking was up for grabs at CME, with No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Sung Hyun Park and No. 3 So Yeon Ryu all within three hundredths of a ranking point. Even No. 4 Lexi Thompson had a chance to grab the top spot if she won, but in the end nobody could overtake Feng. Her reign will extend to a second straight week.


Rolex Rookie of the Year
Park ran away with the award with her U.S. Women’s Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open victories among her 11 top-10 finishes. She had the award locked up long before she arrived for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Ko ends first winless season with T-16 at CME

By Randall MellNovember 20, 2017, 1:07 am

NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko carved a hybrid 3-iron to 15 feet and ended the most intensely scrutinized year of her young career with a birdie Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.

“Nice to finish the season on a high note,” Ko said after posting a 3-under-par 69, good for a tie for 16th. “Obviously, not a top-10 finish, but I played really solid. I feel like I finished the season off pretty strong.”

Ko posted two second-place finishes, a third-place finish and a tie for fifth in her last eight starts.

“Ever since Indy [in early September], I played really good and put myself in good positions,” Ko said. “I felt like the confidence factor was definitely higher than during the middle of the year. I had some opportunities, looks for wins.”

Sunday marked the end of Ko’s first winless season since she began playing LPGA events at 15 years old.

Let the record show, she left with a smile, eager to travel to South Korea to spend the next month with family after playing a charity event in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


Much was made of Ko beginning the year with sweeping changes, with new equipment (PXG), a new coach (Gary Gilchrist) and a new caddie (Peter Godfrey).

In the final summary, it wasn’t a Ko-like year, not by the crazy high standards she has set.

She saw her run of 85 consecutive weeks at No. 1 end in June. She arrived in Naples holding on to the No. 8 ranking. She ends the year 13th on the LPGA money list with $1,177,450 in earnings. It’s the first time she hasn’t finished among the top three in money in her four full years on tour. She did log 11 top-10 finishes overall, three second-place finishes.

How did she evaluate her season?

“I feel like it was a better year than everyone else thinks, like `Lydia is in a slump,’” Ko said. “I feel like I played solid.

“It's a season that, obviously, I learned a lot from ... the mental aspect of saying, `Hey, get over the bads and kind of move on.’”

Ko said she learned a lot watching Stacy Lewis deal with her run of second-place finishes after winning so much.

“Winning a championship is a huge deal, but, sometimes, it's overrated when you haven't won,” Ko said. “Like, you're still playing well, but just haven't won. I kind of feel like it's been that kind of year.

“I think everybody has little ups and downs.”