Notes: Daly closes in on European Tour card

By Doug FergusonOctober 23, 2012, 9:48 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – John Daly has a chance to be fully exempt and set his own schedule next year for the first time since 2006.

Just not on the PGA Tour.

After consecutive rounds of 63-86 in Las Vegas contributed to a last-place finish, Daly missed the cut in the Frys.com Open and the McGladrey Classic, losing a great chance at finishing in the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list. He did not ask for an exemption into final official event at Disney for a couple of reasons – he has never played particularly well there, and he still has a chance to qualify for the European Tour finale in Dubai.

Daly is No. 88 on the European Tour money list, courtesy of a fourth-place finish in Qatar, along with his tie for 11th in the Sicilian Open and tie for 18th in PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. He is about $226,336 short of the cutoff to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which makes this next month important.

He is playing in Shanghai this week at the BMW Masters, which has a $7 million purse and no cut. Then, he plans to play in Singapore and Hong Kong to try to crack the top 60 and get to Dubai, which would be his 13th event in Europe. The top 118 on the money list get a card. Daly has been playing out of a lower status as a past major champion.

''If I get a card, I can pick and play everything over there,'' Daly said. ''China has no cut, and if I can play halfway decent, I should lock it up. That was my whole goal, to get a European Tour card. I have no goals here because I don't get in anything. Everyone turned me down on the West Coast.''

Daly has not had a PGA Tour card since 2006, and he has relied on sponsor exemptions, though that well is running dry. He has not been to Q-School since 1990, the year before he won the PGA Championship, the year after Rory McIlroy was born.

This is the last year of Q-School for a PGA Tour card. Starting next year, the 75 players who finish out of the top 125 will compete with the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour in a four-tournament series in which 25 cards will be available for the top players on that special money list (the top 25 from the Web.com Tour will be assured PGA Tour cards going into the series).

Asked if he would play in that series, Daly took a drag on a cigarette and said, ''If I was exempt to play, hell yeah.''

''I don't want to say 'Yes' because it depends on if I'm real close in Europe to the Race to Dubai. That's big money, too,'' he said. ''But if you play in this, four tournaments, and you miss three cuts and win the last one, you're in. So you get four chances to get a card. I think it's a great idea. And they're all $1 million purses, right? I'd have to give that a shot.''


SIGH OF RELIEF: David Mathis has been through this drill before, going into the Fall Series with hopes of finishing in the top 125 to keep his Tour card. The stakes were even higher this year, because 2013 will be a short season. The top 125 will be determined by FedEx Cup points, not the money list, so the regular season will end in August and there will be no Fall Series.

Mathis started the Fall Series at No. 125. He tied for 10th in the McGladrey Classic, where he holed out with an 8-iron for eagle on the 11th hole and closed with a 67. That moved him to No. 116, and with one tournament remaining, he is assured of keeping his card.

''It's a good feeling,'' Mathis said. ''It's not like 125 is really good status, and 126 to 150 is pretty good. Now it's like 125 is awesome, and 126 to 150 is terrible. That's kind of how the players view it. You can't pick and choose where you're going to play. It's a short season. I'm really thankful. I played well in the fall and kept getting better.''

Playing from 126 to 150 on the money list have conditional status, and they typically could count on playing 15 events or more. But that includes the Fall Series, after the Tour Championship. And next year, the tournaments in the fall will be the start of the 2013-14 season.

Another perk for Mathis? Getting a $4,500 refund that he sent in with his application for Q-School.

''Full refund,'' he said. ''They won't even charge you administrative fees.''


FINAL TEST: The Web.com Tour season ends this week outside Dallas with the Tour Championship, which features the top 60 players on the money list. The top 25 on the money list after this week earn PGA Tour cards, and with a $1 million purse, even a runner-up finish should be enough to get into the top 25.

Two players who have clinched Tour cards, Luke Guthrie and Ben Kohles, were still in college this summer. Of the top 25 going into the Tour Championship, nine of them did not have full status starting the season.

Among those who have a chance to get a Tour card for the first time is Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, who is at No. 53. With lower purses on the Web.com Tour, the bubble is smaller than usual. Camilo Benedetti is holding down the 25th spot by $287 over Doug LaBelle II.

Worth noting is Peter Tomasulo, who won earlier this year on the Web.com Tour and is No. 49 on the money list.

It might have helped had he played last week at the TPC Sawgrass, except that he couldn't. Tomasulo is playing on a major medical extension this year. Under tour policy, players cannot compete on the Web.com Tour if they are eligible for a PGA Tour event. So because Sea Island had a relatively weak field – Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and Rickie Fowler were among those who had other obligations this year – Tomasulo narrowly got into the McGladrey Classic.

He was playing well, five shots out of the lead going into the last day and closed with a 72 to tie for 43rd. He made $12,827, which contributed nothing toward his Web.com Tour status. It was only the fourth PGA Tour event Tomasulo played this year.


DIVOTS: Davis Love III will have a busy offseason. Along with playing in the Shark Shootout, he will join Nick Watney and Jason Day as the PGA Tour team on Nov. 13 for the Three-Tour Challenge at Rio Secco in Las Vegas. ... Because of the short season in 2013, PGA Tour members only to have play in 12 tournaments to keep their voting privileges. They still must play at least 15 times to keep their membership. ... HSBC has renewed its title sponsors with the LPGA for three more years, meaning the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore will be played through 2015. ... Ernie Els is the only player among the top 50 in the world who has played at least 60 times over the last two years.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Ten players on the PGA Tour have earned at least $2 million this year without winning a tournament.


FINAL WORD: ''I asked Annika a few things before I became No. 1. She told me that world No. 1 is the loneliest place on the earth.'' – Yani Tseng.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.