Tour Back in Greensboro But for How Long

By Associated PressSeptember 28, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Chrysler Classic of GreensboroGREENSBORO, N.C. -- The PGA Tour is in Greensboro again, continuing a storied history that dates back to Sam Snead's victory in the inaugural tournament in 1938. And Roy Williams' memory of this event goes back nearly as far.
'I can remember sitting in Spanish class, wondering why Arnold Palmer tried to hit it out of a creek on the 15th hole to make a double bogey and lose the tournament,' said the University of North Carolina basketball coach, who played in the pro-am on Wednesday. 'That's how far back I go.'
Now, the question is whether the tour's reorganized schedule in 2007 has room for the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. Nothing is finalized, but the tour is moving toward a season that would end in the middle of September with the Tour Championship, preceded by three tournaments that would be part of a points-chase toward a $10 million prize for the winner.
The tournament in Greensboro currently is part of the Fall Finish, a group of 11 events beginning Labor Day weekend that completes the brutal 47-week season.
'The Fall Finish, it is important to all of us, there's no doubt about it,' Sergio Garcia said. 'There's some really good events in the fall. I try to give it the best shot I can.'
Garcia is the top player from the World Golf Ranking here this week, with Adam Scott the only other from the top 10. For Garcia, he has a tough time fitting tournaments in the United States into his busy itinerary, which includes many stops in Europe.
This is the first time he's played in Greensboro.
'I like to play a bit more in Europe, because I have some nice events around my country that I enjoy playing, that I can get some friends to come and watch me, things like that,' the Spaniard said. 'But I still try to come and play two, three, four events in the fall.'
Until 2003, this event was played in spring, and for a time occupied the spot on the schedule just before the Masters. Now, it squarely competes against football, both college and the NFL, and the playoff-style Chase for the championship in NASCAR.
This weekend, three of the state's Atlantic Coast Conference schools have home games, and the Champions Tour also has its annual event in Cary, N.C., a suburb of Raleigh about 90 miles east of Greensboro.
'The PGA Tour schedule was set for 2002 through 2006,' said Tim Crosby, director of tournament business affairs for the tour. 'They were obviously aware of when we were playing when the Champions Tour decided to schedule their tournament in Cary.'
Ideally, the tour would like to keep tournaments such as this one on the schedule, where they possibly would be broadcast by The Golf Channel for a much smaller sponsorship fee than Chrysler already pays. But would a title sponsor support an event that likely would be without Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or other top stars? And one shown on a niche cable network during the middle of football season?
Mark Brazil hopes so. He has been the tournament director in Greensboro for four years, and he feels the tournament is stronger than ever. Davis Love III, who withdrew Tuesday because of a sore neck and shoulder, renovated Forest Oaks two years ago, and most of the field raves about the changes.
Garcia mentioned the reputation the course has in the locker room as one of the reasons he's here.
'This is a great old event that is about to get much better,' Brazil said. 'I think the tour is starting to realize what we have to offer, and that we are very serious and committed to being a serious player on the PGA tour schedule.'
While Woods has never played here, the tournament does hold an attraction to the majority of the tour members, who try to earn as much money as possible down the stretch to secure a spot in the top 125 to secure their status for the next season.
John Maginnes is quickly running out of time this season. He is 256th on the money list, thanks to 14 missed cuts in 15 starts, and he wonders where someone in his position fits in the new schedule.
'From a player's standpoint, particularly the guys who aren't in the top 20 or top 30 in the world, they're nervous because they're worried that money is going to be taken out of their pockets,' Maginnes said. 'We have no idea what's going to happen.'
One option for helping Greensboro would be making each exempt player enter every tournament at least once in a five-year span. For obvious reasons, that doesn't sit well with many of the stars of the tour.
'It's a very difficult thing to do, because for me, there's obligations I have in Europe, too,' Garcia said. 'It puts a lot of pressure on the player to try to get away from those to be able to play a different tournament here in the U.S.
'Probably not the best thing to do for the players.'
For now, all Brazil can do is wait for the tour to decide on its plan for the future. He feels he and other tournament officials have done all they can.
'I don't know where this thing stands,' Brazil said. 'I would think the PGA Tour is making some progress, but some slow progress. It's going to take some time. I'm sure they're doing the right things.'
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  • Full Coverage - Chrysler Classic of Greensboro
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  • Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

    By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

    In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

    Made Cut

    The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

    Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

    “I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

    Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

    Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

    This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

    Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

    Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

    The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

    Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

    Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

    The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

    First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

    “You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

    A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

    “The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

    For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

    Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

    “I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

    Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

    “Oh, yeah,” he told “Way by.”

    Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

    Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.

    Missed Cut

    Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

    Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

    “That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

    Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

    While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

    Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.