US Open field to be determined more on ranking

By Doug FergusonFebruary 5, 2011, 11:16 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Open will rely more on the world ranking than money list in America and Europe to determine which players will be exempt from qualifying.

In sweeping changes to the criteria, the U.S. Golf Association said Saturday that players now will have two chances to crack the top 50 and get into the U.S. Open – on May 23 and June 13, the final ranking before the championship.

Thomas O’Toole, the USGA’s chairman of competition, said the change was a “direct response” to last year, when Memorial winner Justin Rose and runner-up Rickie Fowler moved into the top 50 two weeks after the cutoff.

“Our mission is to always provide the most competitive fields for our national championships,” O’Toole said.

Two other changes to the criteria are effective for this year’s U.S. Open, to be played June 16-19 at Congressional.

– Instead of the top 15 and ties from the 2010 U.S. Open being exempt, it will be the top 10 and ties. O’Toole said players were made aware last year that this would be changed. Among those hurt by the change are Justin Leonard and Ben Curtis.

– The Players Championship winner now will get a three-year exemption instead of a one-year exemption.

The bigger changes involving the world ranking start next year.

For the last decade, players who finished in the top 30 on the PGA Tour money list and the top 15 on the European Tour money list in the previous year were exempt from qualifying for the U.S. Open. Also exempt were the top two on the money list in Australasia and Japan, provided they were in the top 75 in the world. Those exemptions will be eliminated, along with any other reference to a money list.

Instead, the 2012 U.S. Open will take the top 60 – instead of the top 50 – from the world ranking published three weeks before the U.S. Open and the ranking the week of the championship.

Also to be eliminated in 2012 is an exemption for anyone winning multiple PGA Tour events in a 12-month period between U.S. Open. Over the last 10 years, only four players were exempt through multiple wins, and never more than one player per year. Usually, anyone winning twice in a year will qualify some other way.

The U.S. Open prides itself in being the most democratic of all majors because typically about half the field has to go through qualifying. One reason the cutoff for the world ranking being the third week of May was so the USGA would know how many spots would be available in the final stage of 36-hole qualifying.

Now it can assign alternates that would be added to the field depending on how many players cracked the top 50 in the final week.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour still doesn’t lose very much for its members. It managed to keep the FedEx Cup criteria – the 30 players who reach the FedEx Cup finale at the Tour Championship remain exempt for the U.S. Open – and recent years have shown a majority of PGA Tour members in the Nos. 51-60 spots in the world ranking.

The U.S. Women’s Open will continue to rely on the LPGA Tour money list, even expanded it for this year from the top 50 to the top 70. This means fewer spots in the 36-hole qualifying, although the Women’s Open gets only about 1,000 entries, compared with 9,000 entries for the men’s championship.

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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

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.