Presidents Cup Teams Finalized Weir In

By Associated PressAugust 13, 2007, 4:00 pm
TULSA, Okla. -- That big blast coming from the Great White North was a nation exhaling. Canada will be hosting the Presidents Cup next month, and on Monday it was assured of having its biggest star.
 
Former Masters champion Mike Weir was picked as a wild card for the International team, ending months of speculation whether captain Gary Player would take someone who was 20th in the Presidents Cup standings and had not won in three years.
 
'He's a terrific team member,' Player said. 'And being played in Canada, if we didn't have a Canadian in my team and playing in Canada, I can assure you, the series would be quite flat among the Canadian people. Mike is a hero in his country, deservedly so.'
 
Two years ago, Player took fellow South African Trevor Immelman, who was 22nd in the standings.
 
His other selection Monday was Nick O'Hern, the only player to have beaten Tiger Woods twice in match play. The left-handed Australian narrowly missed making the team on his own when Stuart Appleby closed with a 69 in the PGA Championship to tie for 12th, earning just enough world ranking points to finish 10th in the standings.
 
U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus used his two picks on two promising young players who have never played in any cup -- Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan, who has not finished out of the top 25 all summer. Glover was 11th in the U.S. standings, while Mahan finished at No. 14.
 
The Presidents Cup will be held Sept. 27-30 at Royal Montreal, the first time the matches have been played in Canada. The event already is a sellout, although Weir's presence most certainly will bring the buzz.
 
'I'm sure the Canadian people are going to be relieved,' Player said. 'I continually had questions every week, 'Are you putting Mike, are you putting him in?' It's going to enhance the event in Canada.'
 
Ernie Els, who didn't play in the 2005 matches while recovering from knee surgery, led the top 10 players who qualified for the International team through the world ranking. The others were Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Geoff Ogilvy, Rory Sabbatini, K.J. Choi, Retief Goosen, Angel Cabrera, Immelman and Appleby.
 
Woods again was the top U.S. qualifier, which was based on PGA Tour earnings the last two years. He was followed by Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Charles Howell III, David Toms, Scott Verplank, Steve Stricker, Stewart Cink and Woody Austin.
 
Austin's runner-up finish at the PGA Championship allowed him to finish 10th ahead of Glover.
 
It will be the first team for Glover, whose lone PGA TOUR victory came two years ago at Disney. He was in good shape to make the Ryder Cup team last year until he put too much pressure on himself and didn't earn a single point the final four months.
 
Mahan turned his season around with a 63 during U.S. Open qualifying, and he hasn't stopped. He won the Travelers Championship in Hartford for his first PGA TOUR victory, then finished in the top 10 the next three weeks, including the British Open.
 
'If there's been a player who has played better, a young player who's played better in the last six months, I don't know who it is,' Nicklaus said.
 
Still, the biggest news of Monday's announcement was Weir.
 
He has played on the last three Presidents Cup teams, going 8-6-0. But he has been slowed the last two years with nagging back and neck injuries, and revamping his swing to take stress off his back. Last week at Firestone, he withdrew in the middle of the Bridgestone Invitational after tweaking his neck. Then, he opened with a 77 in the PGA Championship and missed the cut.
 
Weir spent the weekend wondering if he would take part in Canada's biggest golf event.
 
'I felt like maybe I was trying too hard,' Weir said. 'Now that Gary has made me a selection, hopefully I can relax a little bit more and play some good golf leading into the Presidents Cup. I'm really relieved.'
 
Stephen Ames, raised in Trinidad & Tobago but a Canadian citizen the past several years, could have earned a spot on the team by finishing fourth at Southern Hills. Playing in the final group with Woods, however, he closed with a 76 and wound up 16th in the standings. Player said he considered Ames, but has traveled enough to know that Weir is the player the Canadians wanted to see.
 
Player thought about Andres Romero, the 26-year-old Argentine who nearly won the British Open and captured his first European Tour victory a week later in Germany. It would have given Cabrera a Spanish-speaking partner.
 
But it was hard to argue with O'Hern, who has beaten Woods twice in the Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
'I'd obviously love another crack at Tiger,' O'Hern said. 'He's the No. 1 player in the world for a reason, and I think everyone would love to have that challenge. That's why we play the game, to play against the best players in the world.'
 
O'Hern has been making his U.S. base at Isleworth outside Orlando, Fla., where Woods has lived since turning pro.
 
'I see him from time to time out on the driving range,' O'Hern said. 'We sort of go about our business. He's pretty intense when he practices, so I leave him alone and vice versa. We get along just fine. It's probably a good thing I don't play with him, because then I'd find out how really good he is.'
 
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  • 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 Ranking 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.”