Notes: Tour says no changes in store for FedEx Cup

By Doug FergusonJanuary 4, 2012, 1:24 am

KAPALUA, Hawaii – In the last two years of the FedEx Cup playoffs, a runner-up finish for Martin Laird at The Barclays and for Chez Reavie at the Deutsche Bank Championship was enough for them to lock up a spot in the Tour Championship - and three of the majors - after what had been ordinary seasons.

That scenario is not likely to change for 2012.

After crunching numbers using different models, the PGA Tour has decided to leave the points structure alone for the FedEx Cup. The system was changed after each of the first three years in existence. This now is the third straight year with no tweaking.

At least not yet.

PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said even though FedEx Cup points will start being awarded this week at the Tournament of Champions, changes could be made at the next policy board meeting in March, though “I would say that’s unlikely.”

The formula has been working well for the most part. The reward for a strong regular season is a high seeding going into the playoffs, which translates to better odds of reaching the Tour Championship. And there’s still plenty of volatility for a high finish in the playoff events, as Reavie showed last year and Laird did in 2010.

Points are worth five times as much in the playoffs. Votaw said Tour officials looked at how the standings would be if points were only tripled, or quadrupled, and didn’t see anything worth changing.

“Going down to four (times the points) doesn’t change a whole lot. We don’t think going down to three changes much,” Votaw said. “There has to be some premium on funneling down to the playoffs. The whole question of volatility has been a vexing one from the start. But we think the last three years have been good.”

Volatility was evident all the way to the end last year. Bill Haas narrowly got into the Tour Championship as the No. 25 seed, then won the $10 million bonus by winning the Tour Championship with most of the top players in the standings faltering.


RANKING THE TOURS: The first month of the golf season is when American players typically complain about the world ranking, either how many spots they dropped since they last played or how many more points are available on the European Tour. Over the course of the season, though, the PGA Tour remains the strongest, and their players will have ample opportunity.

The average ranking points awarded to PGA Tour winners last year was 54.05, compared with 43.78 points for European Tour winners. Throw out the four majors and four World Golf Championships, and the average points for PGA Tour winners was 46.94 compared with 35.12 in Europe.

There were only nine weeks when European Tour events offered more world ranking points - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Malaysian Open, World Match Play, Wentworth, Scottish Open, Dunhill Links Championship, Madrid Masters and Andalucia Masters. Of those last three tournaments, two were opposite Fall Series events in America, and the last one was opposite the Asia Pacific Championship.


NOT A TOTAL LOSS: Dustin Johnson, Fredrik Jacobson and Brandt Snedeker didn’t make it to Kapalua for the Tournament of Champions, though $59,000 will make it into their bank accounts.

Because they are recovering from injuries and unable to play, those three players will be awarded last-place money. It is not official and will not count toward the money list.

Eight other players who chose not to play will not get last-place money. Most of them are international players who are taking time off, from Charl Schwartzel in South Africa to Luke Donald, who played three times in December.

Justin Rose, whose wife gave birth to their second child on Sunday, does not get last-place money. According to Tour policy, that’s only for players who can’t compete because of a serious personal emergency, injury or other disability that requires medical attention.


DIVOTS: In an email Q&A with The Associated Press for the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, Tiger Woods was asked why he never considered adding a few tournaments and taking up European Tour membership to win both money titles, as Luke Donald did this year. “To fulfill playing commitments on both tours is a huge undertaking,” he replied. “I really admire Luke’s achievement.” … Ian Poulter will be taking off the entire month of January for good reason. Poulter only recently disclosed that his wife, Katie, is expecting their fourth child in four weeks. … Nick Watney’s wife gave him a surf board (called “The Dominator”) for their anniversary, and he planned to bring it to Maui to try some grown-up waves. Alas, the board was broken on a recent trip and he couldn’t surf. The good news for Watney, a surfing novice, is that it improved his chances of a healthy start to the new season.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Twelve of the 28 players at Kapalua are in the Tournament of Champions for the first time.


FINAL WORD: “Getting that invite to your first Masters … it’s probably not as big of a deal to the younger guys. But when you’ve tried for 14 or 15 years, it’s a real emotional moment.” - Harrison Frazar, who at age 40 will be playing in his first Masters.

 

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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

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

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.