Top 30 to British Ranking points to Tigers event
Under new criteria soon to be announced by the Royal & Ancient, the British Open will exempt the top 30 players from the FedEx Cup standings and the top 30 from the European tour money list, which next year will be the Race to Dubai.
Previously, only the top 20 from both tours money lists were exempt from qualifying for the British Open.
That means Briny Baird, who finished 27th in the FedEx Cup, will be making his first trip to golfs oldest championship at Turnberry. Joining him will be Ken Duke, who has not played in the Open since 1997 at Royal Troon.
I think were recognizing that in America, the way the tour is set up now, and with the Race to Dubai coming on in Europe, its desirable to have all those players in the Open field, R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said in a telephone interview Tuesday. It was recognizing new measures of performance.
Dawson was quick to point out that most of the players at East Lake would have qualified through other means, such as the world ranking or past performances in the British Open. Even so, it added another incentive during the PGA Tour Playoffs to get into the Tour Championship. The top 30 now are exempt for all majors but the PGA Championship.
To account for the extra exemptions, Dawson said the International Final Qualifying sites in the United States and Europe will offer fewer exemptions. There were 14 spots available in the U.S. site in Michigan this year, and 18 spots in the European site.
The number available next year will depend on how many players already are exempt for the British Open, and how many players sign up for those qualifying sites.
Were taking our pro players slightly more from their tour performance, he said.
The Chevron World Challenge that Tiger Woods hosts in December no longer will be just an anchor of the silly season. Starting in 2009, it will be part of the Official World Golf Ranking.
According to an official involved in the discussions, the world ranking board has approved Woods request that world ranking points be awarded at the Chevron World Challenge after this year. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not been announced.
The Chevron World Challenge will be played Dec. 18-21 at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Woods event already has a world-class field and a $5.75 million purse, larger than nearly two dozen events on the PGA Tour. To be considered for world ranking points, a tournament must have a criteria for eligibility and offer official prize money on a recognized tour.
The 16-man field consists of the defending champion, 11 players from the world ranking and four sponsor exemptions, which qualifies as a ranking event. But its prize money remains unofficial.
The ranking board approved the request with one stipulation. To receive ranking points, it must take 16 players off the world ranking with no exemptions. For a larger field, the exemptions must go to players among the top 50 in the world.
The official said Chevron plans to have an 18-man field in 2009 with two exemptions. In this years tournament, Fred Couples (an exemption) is the only player who is not in the top 50.
WORLD CUP SEARCH
Fresh off his first Ryder Cup appearance, Ben Curtis wants to play for his country again. Now all he needs is a partner willing to fly to China during Thanksgiving week.
Curtis has a chance to play in the World Cup after eight Americans ahead of him in the ranking turned down the offer.
He has asked Ryder Cup teammate Chad Campbell, but Campbell said he was leaning toward staying home to be with his wife and son, who was born earlier this month.
Curtis is trying to find a tournament to play in Asia after the World Cup to make the trip worth his while. He doesnt like the idea of going over a week early.
Thats the Michigan-Ohio State game, said Curtis, who grew up outside Columbus, Ohio.
Curtis has to pick someone in the top 100 of the world ranking. If no one goes, he would have to play with the first person available from the world ranking from No. 100 through No. 500. If he gives up his spot, the choice then goes to Boo Weekley, who played last year with Heath Slocum when they lost in a playoff to Scotland.
After Weekley, the spot goes to Hunter Mahan, Zach Johnson, Sean OHair and Woody Austin.
The Americans have not won the World Cup since Tiger Woods and David Duval in 2000 when it was played in Argentina.
The only way Tiger Woods got involved at the Ryder Cup was through text messaging.
After the Americans won, Woods said one of the messages he received was from Jim Furyk, his partner at The K Club in 2006.
They were celebrating and Jim sent me just a great text saying that, I wish you were here because youve gone through the battles and youve gone through the big defeats, and it would have been nice to have you here to be a part of this, Woods said. It had been awhile since Ive been part of a winning Ryder Cup team.
Woods has played in five Ryder Cups, winning only in 1999 at Brookline.
Luke Donald was among those who committed to play in the Chevron World Challenge the third week of December, which will be his first competition since a wrist injury forced him to withdraw from the U.S. Open. Donald had surgery on his left wrist on Aug. 12. Jon Wagner, his agent at IMG, said Donald started putting last week and plans to start hitting balls in November. Annika Sorenstam will host an American Junior Golf Association tournament next year. The Annika Invitational will invite 60 girls from around the world and will be played Jan. 16-19 at Ginn Reunion Resort outside Orlando, Fla. Vijay Singh plans to take the next two months off because of tendinitis in his left forearm, meaning he will miss the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia and the HSBC Champions in China. He is expected to play in the Father-Son Challenge in early December.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and K.J. Choi are the only players to finish in the top 10 of the FedEx Cup standings each the first two years.
As often is said to me, I hope I look as good as you when Im your age.' Furman Bisher, 89, Atlanta Journal Constitution sports columnist, to Errie Ball, 97, who played in the first Masters Tournament.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.
They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.
Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.
Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.
''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''
The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.
In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''
Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.
Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia
Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.
Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.
Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.
Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.
It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.
The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.