Notes WGC on the move Cink on split with Harmon

By Doug FergusonMarch 2, 2011, 2:28 am

PGA Tour (75x100)MARANA, Ariz. – The World Golf Championships, which used to actually move around the world, have been in the same U.S. cities for the last five years. That could change with a new television contract.

For now, most of the attention is on the Match Play Championship.

It moved to the high desert north of Tucson in 2007, and the four-year contract with Dove Mountain ended in the sleet and snow at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. There is an option for another year, and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said speculation that the Accenture Match Play Championship is moving for 2012 would be “inaccurate.”

“I’d say right now that the most likely scenario is going to be it stays here,” Finchem said.

So much depends on the rest of the schedule.

The tour is about to enter negotiations on a new television contract, which expires in 2012. Tour executives have been hammering out various models in recent months and are close to presenting a proposed schedule of events.

“We’re not uncomfortable here,” Finchem said. “It’s worked well and we have a good partnership with the people here. The facilities are great. It’s just that as we get into television later this year, it forces us to look at the overall calendar and make sure the calendar works. As you know, there’s a lot of moving parts to that.”

Chief among them is whether the NFL schedule expands and pushes the Super Bowl deep in February. Another part of the equation is the Fall Series and the tour’s interest in adding tournaments in Asia. It already has one in Malaysia, along with the WGC in Shanghai.

“Then you have the traditional part of it, which is tournaments wanting to move in certain situations,” he said. “Right now, this tournament is at the end of the West Coast, and that appears to be a strong possibility that would continue.”

Finchem said the tour would decide on the Match Play venue within three months to give local organizers time to prepare. Then again, that’s also true for all the PGA Tour events on the West Coast swing, and even some in Florida.

It’s all about the calendar.

“Like here, if we wanted to play this a lot earlier, it gets to be a struggle weather-wise,” he said. “All the WGCs, China included, you’ve got to be careful in terms of player movement and making sure it fits with the different tours. We’ve already created problems with ourselves globally with the expanded season. It’s complicated.”

Part of the headache this year is the South African Open being held the same week as the Presidents Cup, especially with the top five players in the International team standings from South Africa.

As for the Match Play Championship?

“I’d say we’re going to review it, and the likely conclusion is we stay here,” he said. “But it’s not about here. It’s about the calendar.”


WESTWOOD ON TIGER: Lee Westwood knows about slumps, having slipped to No. 253 in 2003. He recalled a favorite adage Tuesday when talking about Tiger Woods, one that his friend Darren Clarke once said about Westwood.

“Having played with Tiger since 1997 … there’s an old saying that class is permanent and form is fickle,” Westwood said. “He’s the classiest player I’ve ever played with. I’d be wise enough to know not to write him off.”

There has been chatter that Woods should try to play more tournaments to help get his game on track, especially after losing in the first round a week ago at the Match Play Championship.

Westwood had some perspective on that, too.

“When I went through a bad patch, it was a juggling act whether to stay home and practice or go play and risk not playing well and taking another confidence knock,” he said. “It’s very much up to the individual. Tiger has to do what he feels is right.”


RAPUNZEL REYNOLDS: This is one bet Chad Reynolds doesn’t mind losing, no matter how he looks.

Reynolds, the caddie for Nick Watney, was due for a haircut about a month ago. At Torrey Pines, he made a wager with the boss before the final round. He would cut his hair when Watney failed to finish out of the top 10.

That seemed reasonable, since Watney was 11 shots out of the lead.

“I’m thinking about driving to Phoenix and getting my hair cut Monday morning, and he drops a 63 on me,” Reynolds said.

Watney had a tournament-best 63 to tie for sixth. Then came a tie for fifth at the Phoenix Open. A week later at Pebble Beach, he was eight shots behind going into Sunday and closed with a 67 to tie for sixth.

And the hair kept growing.

Watney needed to win two matches for a top 10 at the Match Play Championship. He beat Anthony Kim in the first round, then beat Lee Westwood before losing in the third round.

Watney is off this week, then plays at Doral, where two years ago he lost by one shot to Phil Mickelson.


CINK COACH: Among the changes for Stewart Cink this year was leaving Butch Harmon.

Cink had gone to Pat O’Brien for his putting, and now uses the Dallas-based O’Brien as his only coach. Cink said the main reason for leaving Harmon was scheduling.

“If you look at all of Butch’s players, I was the one who was the most tied up with stuff,” said Cink, who lives north of Atlanta. He said he wasn’t willing to give up his family time by taking trips to Las Vegas.

Harmon also works with Phil Mickelson (San Diego), Nick Watney and Natalie Gulbis (Las Vegas), and Dustin Johnson, who lives in South Carolina but makes frequent trips to Las Vegas.

Cink said he was energized being around O’Brien, describing his philosophy as “new school” compared with Harmon.

“But I love Butch,” Cink said. “We’re good friends.”

Harmon keeps a limited stable of clients these days and did not say if he would add one now that Cink has departed.


STAT OF THE WEEK: PGA Tour members have won 34 of 38 World Golf Championships.


FINAL WORD: “We never gambled growing up, only because I didn’t have any money to gamble with. And I would lose it, anyway.” – Bill Haas, on playing with his father, Jay Haas.

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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.