Notes Kelly defends decision Tigers Pro-ams

By Doug FergusonMay 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
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The PlayersPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. ' Jerry Kelly considers the British Open his favorite major championship of the year.
 
And he has no plans to play this year.
 
Kelly has been urging sponsors and fans to do everything they can to save the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, his hometown tournament. U.S. Bank has said it would not renew as title sponsor this year at Milwaukee, which is held the same week as the British Open.
 
Then Kelly realized he wouldnt be doing his part without playing.
 
I had my British Open entry, Kelly said, and I got a sick feeling in my stomach and Id miss Milwaukee and it would be the last one. And it better not to be the last one. How can I call out all these people without backing it up myself?
 
Kelly has not played in Milwaukee the last two years because he was eligible for the British Open. In the meantime, he criticized Fred Funk and Kenny Perry in recent years for not playing the British when they were eligible.
 
European Tour member Alastair Forsyth criticized Kelly last week for skipping golfs oldest championship.
 
Kelly wasnt sure who Forsyth was, nor did he care what anyone thought.
 
Its all about Milwaukee. Its all about securing a title sponsor for Milwaukee, he said. Its what got me into golf.
 

 
THE PERFECT SPONSOR: Tim Herron did well to secure a corporate endorsement deal in these economic times. It runs through the 2010 season, and its significant enough that he wears the corporate logo on his chest.
 
Besides, few corporate deals are such a good fit.
 
Herron, affectionately known on tour as Lumpy, is wearing M&Ms on his chest. One can argue that given the right color shirt, Herron might actually look like an M&M (peanut variety).
 
I think they knew I was their type, he said with a laugh.
 
But he said this deal also comes with a charity component. He is working on an arrangement in which parent company Mars would match Herrons contribution for every birdie he makes to Target House in Memphis, Tenn., which provides lodging for parents of sick children.
 
SLUMPING SINGH: The first goal for the FedEx Cup champion is to qualify for the playoffs.
 
Vijay Singh is off to his worst start ever and is No. 132 in the FedEx Cup standings entering The Players Championship. When he missed the cut last week at the Quail Hollow Championship, it marked the 11th consecutive tournament that he failed to finish in the top 10, his longest drought since joining the PGA Tour in 1993.
 
In fact, the 46-year-old Fijian has finished in the top half of any field only once this year, when he made it to the second round of the Accenture Match Play Championship. He has missed four cuts in nine tournaments, and his best results in stroke play were a tie for 27th at Kapalua (against a field of 33 winners) and a tie for 30th at the Masters (where 50 players made the cut).
 
Singh injured his knee and had surgery to repair the meniscus after the season-opener in Hawaii, and there is some speculation that he tried to return too soon.
 
Whatever the case, the numbers are startling. In 24 rounds, he has shot in the 60s only twice, and he has made only one putt longer than 20 feet all year.
 

 
TIGERS PRO-AMS: Tiger Woods isnt spending much time with amateurs this year.
 
His Wednesday round last week with Peyton Manning and Quail Hollow Club president Johnny Harris was only his second pro-am this year. There arent many more on his plate the remainder of the season.
 
There is no pro-am at the majors, the World Golf Championships or The Players Championship. The Memorial next month has done away with its pro-am in favor of a skins game involving only PGA Tour players.
 
The only pro-ams he likely will play the rest of the year are at his own tournament, the AT&T National, and two of the playoff events for the FedEx Cup.
 

 
TEACHERS HALL: Former Masters champion Claude Harmon Sr. and longtime Texas teaching pro Harvey Penick were among eight people inducted Tuesday into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame at the PGA Village in south Florida.
 
Harmon was the patriarch of arguably the most famous family of teachers in golf. His sons ' Butch, Craig, Billy and the late Dick Harmon ' all went on to become renowned teaching pros.
 
Penicks long list of famous pupils included Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite.
 
The other inductees were: former PGA president Brian Whitcomb; former UCLA coach Eddie Merrins; former PGA rules committee Don Essig III of Indianapolis; former PGA professionals of the year Jim Manthis of Coon Rapids, Minn., and Brent Krause of Montgomery, Ala.; and Harry Cotton Berrier of Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
 

 
DIVOTS: The Players Championship has five players who are No. 300 or lower in the world ranking ' Brad Adamonis (300), Martin Laird (319), Eric Axley (384), Fred Funk (658) and D.A. Weibring (no ranking), who qualified by winning the Senior Players Championship.
 
FINAL WORD: If Tiger never existed, Phil would be Tiger. Phils got as much horsepower in his car; its just that the lug nuts arent always tightened down enough. ' NBC Sports analyst Johnny Miller.
 

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  • Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."

    Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

    Thompson took a 69.147 scoring average to Naples. Park needs to finish nine shots ahead of Thompson to have a shot at the trophy.

    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

    World No. 1 Feng, No. 2 Park and No. 3 Ryu are separated by just three hundredths of a point.

    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

    At No. 4, Thompson is a full average ranking point behind Feng, but she could become the sixth different player this season to move to No. 1. Thompson, however, has to win Sunday to have a chance to do so, and then it will depend on what Feng, Park and Ryu do. Again, the scenarios are complex.