Vijay Singh to leave IMG after 18 years

By Doug FergusonAugust 25, 2009, 4:00 pm
The BarclaysJERSEY CITY, N.J. ' Vijay Singh has changed putters and caddies throughout his career. Now comes one of the more significant changes. The 46-year-old Fijian is leaving his management company.
 
Singh says he has ended his management agreement with IMG. He will use longtime adviser David Lightner of FSM Capital and Charley Moore, a former IMG agent who now is an operating partner of New York-based Falconhead Capital.
 
Singh had been with IMG for 18 years and was close friends with IMG owner Ted Forstman, his frequent partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
 
I have been represented by IMG for quite some time and am thankful for their years of service, Singh said in a statement. I have many good friends there, and nothing is changing at that level. However, I feel this is the appropriate time to take my career management in a new direction. I spoke with Teddy last week, who is a personal friend, and we had a productive conversation. He knows I wish him and everybody at IMG nothing but the best.
 

 
SHANGHAI: Even after the FedEx Cup ends, another strong field is in the making at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, which is now part of the World Golf Championships series.
 
Phil Mickelson is the latest to commit to the tournament, to be played Nov. 5-8. That gives Shanghai a field that already includes Tiger Woods, Geoff Ogilvy, British Open champion Stewart Cink, PGA champion Y.E. Yang, Players champion Henrik Stenson and defending champion Sergio Garcia.
 
After the Open Championship, its hard to think of a bigger or better tournament held outside the U.S., said Mickelson, who won the HSBC Champions two years ago. This tournament already had everything in place and deserved to be part of the WGC series. It has always gotten strong fields and so has a great reputation worldwide.
 
The tournament is a winners-only field based on the strongest events in each of the major tours. Among those who have yet to qualify include three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, although he might be able to get in as one of two players from the world ranking not already eligible.
 

 
FEDEX FLAW?: One scenario that must have PGA Tour officials nervous is that Tiger Woods could win three straight playoff events and still not win the FedEx Cup.
 
To make the Tour Championship meaningful, points will be reset after three playoff events. The leader will have only a 250-point lead over second place, and a 1,900-point lead over 10th place.
 
If the leader ' Woods, for example ' finishes fifth at the Tour Championship, he could lose the FedEx Cup if someone from the top 10 wins at East Lake. That got Vijay Singhs attention Tuesday.
 
If a guy goes out and wins two or three events, and shows up at the Tour Championship and doesnt win, is it fair? he said.
 
Then again, Singh showed up at East Lake last year and was assured of winning as long as he made his tee time each day.
 
I dont know which is the best combination, Singh said. They will have to try this and if it doesnt work, they will tweak it again. So right now, everybody seems to think its pretty good.
 

 
WIRE TO WIRE: Tiger Woods has gone wire-to-wire in only seven of his 70 victories on the PGA Tour, another example that holding the lead for four days is never easy.
 
Thats what makes Ben Curtis so proud of his rare achievement.
 
Curtis led from start-to-finish at the now-defunct Booz Allen Classic, during which it rained so much at the TPC Avenel that the tournament was not completed until Tuesday.
 
Ive got one record Tiger will never beat, Curtis said. I had to sleep on the lead for five nights.
 

 
FEWER DESIGNS: Jack Nicklaus design company has more than 340 courses in play around the world. But the work has slowed to a crawl because of the global economic downturn.
 
Its not very good, he said recently about the climate for new layouts.
 
Nicklaus designed the 18 holes at Punta Espada, home of the Cap Cana stop on the Champions Tour. But after putting in nine holes at the Las Iguanas course at the same exclusive resort in the Dominican Republic, the decision was made to wait a year to finish it, largely because of the downturn. Nicklaus is opening the first Golden Bear Lodge & Spa at Cap Cana.
 
Apparently the market for signature courses isnt bad everywhere.
 
Our business primarily has been China, Korea, Russia, South Africa ' all those places have continued to move forward, Nicklaus said. Most other places and the United States, its been very, very slow. I think well see a turn in the next six months or so.
 

 
HOLDING PATTERN: Michael Sim of Australia won his third Nationwide Tour event to earn instant promotion to the PGA Tour, although his timing could not have been worse. Four of the next five weeks on the PGA Tour are occupied by the four FedEx Cup playoff events, and the other week is dark. Sim wont get a chance to play the PGA Tour until Oct. 1 at the Turning Stone Resort.
 
He said he might continue playing the Nationwide Tour to stay sharp.
 
Because the Official World Golf Ranking award points to the Nationwide Tour, Sim has risen to No. 57 in the world. That would give him a chance to crack the top 50 by the end of the year and qualify for the Masters. And it raises another question in the immediate future. Might he earn consideration as a captains pick for the Presidents Cup team?
 

 
DIVOTS: The Barclays Singapore Open, the richest national open in Asia with a $5 million purse, will be part of the European Tour schedule next year. It will be held three weeks before the season-ending Dubai World Championship. Eight rookies on the PGA Tour qualified for the playoffs. Jeff Klauk at No. 60 has the highest seed. Vijay Singh will be trying to win The Barclays on a third golf course. He previous won at Westchester and Ridgewood.
 

 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Michael Bradley (Puerto Rico Open) is the only PGA Tour winner this year who did not qualify for the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup.
 

 
FINAL WORD: I would put myself up on that shot against almost anybody in the world with how good that was. I mean, it was ridiculous. ' Cristie Kerr, on a chip shot from behind the 17th green at the Solheim Cup.
 
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.