Presidents Cup Headed to San Francisco in 2009
The Presidents Cup has been played at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in northern Virginia every time it has been held in the United States since 1994. The tour has been interested in the West Coast, and Harding Park was the logical choice because of a deal to stage five tournaments there over 15 years.
The TOUR official spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been signed. The official said it might not be completed for at least a month because of the various levels of San Francisco government.
The development first was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, which cited sources as saying the original deal was being amended to bring a FedExCup 'playoff event' and two Champions Tour events to Harding Park.
The newspaper said the BMW Championship, formerly the Western Open, would come to Harding Park in 2013 or 2014. It is the third of four 'playoff' events in the FedExCup and features a 70-man field, which is about the most players a small piece of property like Harding Park could handle.
Under the original contract between the city and the TOUR, Harding Park was to host either a World Golf Championship or the TOUR Championship five times in 15 years, which would help pay for the $23 million in renovations to the course along Lake Merced.
It started with the American Express Championship in 2005, and Harding Park received universal praise after Tiger Woods defeated John Daly in a playoff. But the TOUR now has a long-term deal to stage the TOUR Championship at East Lake in Atlanta, and the WGC events are locked into courses in Tucson, Ariz.; Miami; and Akron, Ohio.
The Western Open has been played in the Chicago Open area since 1962, but it is rotating under new title sponsorship and a new spot on the schedule as part of the FedExCup playoffs. It is scheduled to be played at Cog Hill in Chicago, Bellerive in St. Louis, Mo., and Crooked Stick in Indianapolis over the next six years.
The tournament, one of the oldest on the PGA TOUR schedule, has a history of moving around the country. The Western Open was played twice in California, the last time in 1956 at Presidio Country Club in San Francisco.
The Chronicle reported that Harding Park also will get the Schwab Cup -- the season-ending tournament on the Champions Tour -- in 2010 and 2011. The fifth event would be either a Presidents Cup or the CA Championship between 2015 and 2019. The CA Championship is a WGC event now played at Doral.
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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake
Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.
While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.
“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.
Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.<
DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi
Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.
“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”
Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).
“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.”
Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.
Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace).
“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”
Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi
What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.
Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.
McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.
He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.
McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65).
Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds.
“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder
Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.
Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.
Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:
Filling in tomorrow for Corey Pavin that WD today @cbgolfchallenge I do things like this a lot to help events and asking for sponsors exemptions here but didn't get any help.— Ken Duke (@DukePGA) January 18, 2018
Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.
Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.