Notes Tiger Woods addresses appearance fee controversy

By Associated PressMarch 25, 2009, 4:00 pm
Arnold Palmer InvitationalORLANDO, Fla. ' Tiger Woods is beefing up his international schedule at the end of the year, saying Wednesday that he will play the HSBC Champions in China the week before he heads to Melbourne for the Australian Masters.
 
Woods shut down his overseas travel in 2007 after the birth of his first child, and couldnt play last year as he recovered from knee surgery. He announced last week he would play in Australia for the first time since the Presidents Cup in 1998.
 
The trip Down Under comes with a $3 million appearance fee, half of which comes from taxpayers in the state of Victoria.
 
Woods defended the appearance money when asked about it at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
 
This is the only place that doesnt have appearance fees, Woods said of the PGA Tour. Most of the guys get appearance fees to play around the world. Ive played all around the world and Ive thoroughly enjoyed going.
 
Obviously, theres some controversy behind it, but Im really looking forward to getting down there and competing.
 
The HSBC Champions is expected to become a World Golf Championship, and when it does, it will be the only WGC event that Woods has not won. But it wont be his first appearance at the tournament in Shanghai.
 
He was runner-up in 2005 and 2006. Phil Mickelson won the HSBC a year later.
 

 
ADVICE FROM THE KING: Despite his clout and respect, Arnold Palmer isnt one to dispense advice on how players should behave. His only request might be that they remember how the PGA Tour started ' and how good they have it now.
 
In his first PGA Tour event, the total purse was $10,000. Even last-place money at the Arnold Palmer Invitational gets more than that.
 
But its not only about the money.
 
I can think about the years that I played the tour from 1955 to present day, and I can tell you that things have changed, he said.
 
Palmer said the tour began with what he called the Winter Tour, which now is the West Coast Swing. From there, players would drive across the country, eventually heading to Florida and then north to Augusta National for the Masters.
 
When we played the Winter Tour, we always looked forward to getting to Augusta because of the condition and things at Augusta that we didnt have generally, he said. That doesnt mean that Im being critical. Im only pointing out that the conditions of the golf course and the purses that we played for have all changed. I think more than ever, we kind of took all that for granted.
 
I would say that they need to understand more about what the tour is all about, how it got to be where it is, and my advice would be to take a good, long look ' and then maybe realize it didnt just happen. Its taken a lot of years for it to happen.
 

 
KIM OUT: For the second time this year, Anthony Kim had to withdraw from a tournament.
 
Kim was suffering from the flu when he pulled out of the pro-am at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. By Wednesday afternoon, he still was not feeling well enough to compete.
 
I am very disappointed to have had to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Kim said in a statement. I was looking forward to playing this tournament for the first time.
 
Kim also withdrew from the Bob Hope Classic in the California desert, where he went to high school. He had a shoulder injury.
 
The 23-year-old Kim has played only four times on the PGA Tour this year. He said he would return home to Dallas to recuperate and continue his preparations for the Masters.
 

 
PAR FOR THE COURSE: Arnold Palmer says Bay Hill is in the best shape he can remember, but hes not done with it yet.
 
Palmer said the course would be redone on May 15, mainly changing the soil on the greens to make them more consistent and eliminate the problem they had with nematodes last year that nearly killed them. The routing will not change, but Palmer said he would create more collection areas and eliminate a few bunkers that arent in play.
 
And he suggested returning Bay Hill to a par 72 for his tournament.
 
Were not going to try to make it any more difficult than it is, he said. Well probably go back to a par 72, I dont know. Thats something we can talk about. What we do to Bay Hill for next year will be something that we hope will make it more exciting and bring the golf course back to where wed like to have it.
 

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  • Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose shot a 7-under 65 Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for an overall 15-under 201. The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is chasing his second Race to Dubai title but leading rival Tommy Fleetwood is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    U.S. Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Order of Merit crown, is tied for 13th on 10 under.

    Fleetwood needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”