PGA Tour considers change of season-ending format

By Doug FergusonMarch 22, 2011, 1:29 am

PGA Tour (75x100)ORLANDO, Fla. – The PGA Tour is considering a change to the end of its season in which players who don’t make the FedEx Cup playoffs would compete for their cards in a series of tournaments against top Nationwide Tour players.

PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw confirmed the policy board has given preliminary approval to the concept, although it is in the early stages of discussion. The tour began informing players by memo late Monday afternoon.

Another change being contemplated is Q-school at the end of the year providing access only to the Nationwide Tour.

“There are still a number of steps,” Votaw said.

The tour has been looking at ways to strengthen the Nationwide Tour, its developmental circuit. It is looking for a new umbrella sponsor, because Nationwide has said it would not renew its contract after 2012.

Under the preliminary plan, the top 125 on the FedEx Cup standings after the Wyndham Championship would advance to the playoffs and compete for $35 million in bonus money, with $10 million for the winner.

Those who don’t make the top 125 would have the option of playing a series of three tournaments along with top Nationwide Tour players. Those tournaments also would have a points structure, and it would determine who gets PGA Tour cards the following season.

Among the numbers being mentioned for the three-tournament series is 75 players from the FedEx Cup standings and the top 50 players from the Nationwide Tour money list, with the top 50 players from that series earning their cards.

“The number from the Nationwide that goes to the three-tournament series hasn’t been determined yet,” Votaw said. “And the question of how many cards has not been, either.”

If the plan goes through, that means players could no longer go straight from Q-school to the PGA Tour. If a player doesn’t make the FedEx Cup playoffs and doesn’t make it through the three-tournament series, he still could compete the following year on limited status as a past champion or depending on how high he finished beyond the top 125. That part wouldn’t change.

The PGA Tour over the past several years has been awarding more cards through the Nationwide Tour money list than those who make it through six rounds of Q-school. It feels players are more prepared for the big leagues after going through an entire season of traveling and trying to make cuts in the minors.

Such a change, however, would eliminate dreams of long shots who go make it through Q-school, some of them fresh out of college, others who have toiled through mini-tours.

J.B. Holmes and Dustin Johnson are among those who went straight from college and made it through Q-school, then won in their rookie season. A year ago, Rickie Fowler went from Q-school to a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

Some tour officials feel those players are exceptions, and that the quality of fields would be strengthened.

It also would add a layer of drama to the end of the year – PGA Tour players who struggled and Nationwide Tour players who performed well, meeting in a cutthroat series of events.

Still to be determined is how the Fall Series, which typically is held after the FedEx Cup, would be effected.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.