Calcavecchia to end PGA Tour career at Memorial

By Doug FergusonMay 26, 2010, 1:15 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mark Calcavecchia has teed it up 736 times on the PGA Tour, winning 13 tournaments and earning just under $24 million in a career that has not had very many dull moments.

Calcavecchia turns 50 on June 12, and he was thrilled – as thrilled as he ever gets – to get an exemption to the Memorial in what likely will be his final time playing a regular PGA Tour event.

“I started thinking about turning 50 when I was 47,” Calcavecchia said Tuesday.

The Memorial is an appropriate send-off.

He moved from Nebraska to south Florida when he was a teenager and immediately got involved in the junior golf scene. Calcavecchia competed throughout high school against Jack Nicklaus II, whose father often came out to their junior events.

“We lived about two miles from each other,” he said.

Mark Calcavecchia swings golf clubCalcavecchia first played Muirfield Village in 1987, the year after his first PGA Tour victory, and this will be his 24th consecutive year at the Memorial. The closest he came to winning was in 1995, when he tied for second behind Greg Norman.

But there’s more.

His wife, Brenda, grew up in Columbus, and her brother plans a party on Saturday. A few weeks ago, she wasn’t even sure if they would have reason to be in Ohio.

“I’m not sure if they gave the exemption to me or to Brenda,” Calcavecchia said with his typical sarcasm. “It will be the last Memorial for me, though, and it was nice of them.”

What to expect on the Champions Tour? Calcavecchia might not look like the model athlete, although his hand-eye coordination is superb. It was no fluke that he won 13 times, including the 1989 British Open, or that he was runner-up 27 times.

He plans to play 11 of the 12 events on the Champions Tour, starting with the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in upstate New York. He must be feeling good to want to play that many tournaments, right?

“No, I’m feeling horrible,” he said. “But I’ve got to find a way to make money or the house is going up for sale.”

As for his chances against the 50-and-older set?

“Someone asked me if I was excited to be going out there to the Champions Tour,” Calcavecchia said. “I said I would be excited if the hole was bigger. But I think it’s the same size out there, so I’m not that excited. I can miss ‘em out there same as I can miss ‘em out here.”

It won’t be the last time Calcavecchia tees it up against Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. He plans to go to St. Andrews for the British Open, where he is exempt for another 10 years.
FOREIGN FLAVOR:
The PGA Tour has gone four consecutive weeks without an American winner, the longest stretch since international players won seven straight events in 2008. That’s an entire month without an American winner.

And that’s nothing compared with the LPGA.

Michelle Wie of Hawaii is the only American winner on the LPGA over the last year, which covers 26 official tournaments (and does not include the U.S. victory in the Solheim Cup).

Angela Stanford had a chance to become the LPGA’s first American winner this year until losing in the final of the Match Play Championship in New Jersey to Sun Young Yoo.

What to make of it?

“I don’t make anything of it,” Stanford said. “I think you guys make a lot out of it. We’re a global tour, and I wasn’t trying any less out there. If anything, I was trying harder because I know that it just kind of keeps coming up.”
PERNICE PLAN:
Without any fanfare, Tom Pernice Jr. is going about business the way he always has.

He fell out of the top 125 on the money list last year for the first time in nearly a decade. He had turned 50 two months earlier, and won in his Champions Tour debut, so he had a comfortable alternative.

Instead, Pernice headed off to Q-school, where a double bogey on the final hole cost him his card by one shot. Just like anyone else in that predicament, he wrote for sponsors’ exemptions and tried to get into the tournaments he could.

He has played four Champions Tour events this year, mostly to keep his game sharp, and he is 18th in the Schwab Cup standings. But his heart is on the regular tour, and Pernice surely felt some vindication last week when he tied for seventh in the Byron Nelson Championship, then earned one of eight spots in a 36-hole qualifier for the British Open.

“I feel like I’ve kept myself in shape and my game is good,” Pernice said Tuesday. “I enjoy the competition. It’s a different feeling when you’ve got the cut on the line. It’s a totally different animal.”

He said Peter Jacobsen told him that as long as he could stay competitive, the PGA Tour is the place to be.

Pernice could not have agreed more.

“I’m just going about my business, working hard on my game, trying to get there,” he said. “I’m trying to play my way back in and be part of the FedEx Cup. When you get in contention, why would I not want to be here?”

He is at No. 122 in the standings, hurt mostly by his Sunday scoring. His final-round average is 72.8, with only one final round under par. Pernice is hopeful of taking some momentum from Dallas into an important stretch in his season.

He received his first exemptions of the year to the Colonial and Memorial the next two weeks, and he will play the St. Jude Championship, with a stop in Ohio along the way to try to qualify for the U.S. Open.

In a perfect world, he would stay in Scotland for two weeks to play the British Open at St. Andrews and the Senior British Open at Carnoustie. Depending on his FedEx Cup position, he might skip Carnoustie for the Canadian Open.

So many options, only one goal.

“My main focus is to get back there for the FedEx Cup (playoffs) and even get to Atlanta,” he said. “I’m off to a late start.”

But it’s a noble effort.
DIVOTS:
Katie Detlefsen of Central Florida is the recipient of the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to a female college player who mains a 3.2 GPA and a scoring average of 78 or under. Detlefsen not only had a 4.0, she graduated in two years. … J.J. Henry tied for 32nd last week at the Byron Nelson Championship, earned $35,317 and became the 100th player in PGA Tour history to top the $10 million mark in career earnings. … A Texas native has not won the Colonial in 20 years, dating to Ben Crenshaw in 1990.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Jordan Spieth, 16, spent the final two rounds of the Byron Nelson Championship paired with players – Tom Pernice Jr. and Corey Pavin – who are a combined 100 years old.
FINAL WORD:
“We have a full field of mostly millionaires, I think, and they’re all great golfers. I don’t think anybody in this room can compete with them, so I’m pleased with the people that we have here.” – Peggy Nelson on the lack of highly ranked players at her late husband’s tournament, the Byron Nelson Championship.
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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

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.