Wins equal large TWF dollars: Tiger at $12 million

By Doug FergusonDecember 7, 2011, 12:44 am

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Greg McLaughlin, the tournament director of the Chevron World Challenge, was standing on the first tee before the start of the final round when he was asked his thoughts on the day.

“I hope Tiger Woods wins today,” he said. “All the proceeds benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation.”

McLaughlin smiled for effect. He first met Woods 20 years ago and gave him his first PGA Tour sponsor exemption, to the Nissan Open at Riviera, when Woods was 16. McLaughlin now is president of the foundation.

Woods has been giving his Chevron World Challenge earnings to his foundation since the charity event began in 1999. McLaughlin also revealed that Woods has done the same with money earned from two official PGA Tour events that also benefit the foundation - the Deutsche Bank Championship, which began in 2003; and the AT&T National, which began in 2007.

Woods has won the Chevron five times, Deutsche Bank once and the AT&T National once. After his win Sunday at Sherwood, Woods’ earnings from all three events are now $12,510,777.

That would be enough to put Woods at No. 87 on the PGA Tour’s career money list, ahead of Briny Baird, Billy Andrade and Bubba Watson. And that doesn’t include the $1 million donation Woods pledged when asked at a news conference this year how long before someone asked about his knee injury; the charity money from the dozen Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams on which he has played; and the $1 million match of general donations to the Earl Woods Scholarship Program.

“He’s the largest contributor in time and money to the foundation since inception,” McLaughlin said. “It’s huge. If we can get a $1.2 million donation at the end of the year, it gives you the opportunity to have a great end-of-year fundraising in a calendar year, which is great for us.”

Woods birdied the last two holes to win by one shot.


BIG POINTS, SMALL FIELDS: Tiger Woods’ first win in two years raised consternation in some circles that he could go from No. 52 to No. 21 in the world ranking after winning against an 18-man field in a tournament that doesn’t count as official on any tour.

The Chevron World Challenge has received rankings points for three straight years, and part of the deal was it had to have a qualifying standard and the two sponsor exemptions had to be among the top 50 in the world. Woods was No. 49 at the deadline.

What caused his swift rise as much to do with only playing 27 times in the last two years, giving him the minimum 40 divisor.

There will be some slight changes next year for Woods’ event at Sherwood, and for the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, which Lee Westwood won and received 38 ranking points.

The Official World Golf Ranking board, at its annual meeting in July, approved a modification for tournaments that have fewer than 30 players. Those events will no longer get the “home tour” rating component. Those essentially are bonus points that depend on how many players from the host tour are in the event.

But it won’t make that much of a difference.

The ranking of the players at Chevron contributed 215 points, and the home tour allowed for 36 additional points to determine the overall strength of field. That translates to 44 points for the winner. Without the home tour component, the winner would have received 40 points. Instead of No. 21, Woods would have gone to No. 25.


BYRD ON THE WAY: The good news for Jonathan Byrd is that he played in all four majors this year, one year after he wasn’t eligible or didn’t qualify for any of them. The bad news is that he missed the cut in all four.

Byrd plans to make slight changes to his schedule, and larger changes to his attitude, for next year. And there will be one other change that is out of his hands: His wife is expecting their second child the Friday before the Masters.

“Planned C-section at the moment,” Byrd said Tuesday. “I’m planning on playing up until Bay Hill, a week off to have the baby the weekend before the Masters, then play the Masters, then try to take a little time away. That should be a good distraction before the Masters, though.”

Byrd took two weeks off before Augusta this year. He played two tournaments before the U.S. Open, and one week before the British Open (John Deere) and two weeks before the PGA Championship.

“I felt like I tried to over-prepare, do almost something for those weeks when I don’t need to,” Byrd said. “I need to prepare for those weeks like I do any other week. It’s hard to, because they’re majors, but that’s what I need to do - not make it a bigger deal than it is.”


TO THE VICTORS GO THE SPA: Matt Kuchar never saw this perk coming after him and Gary Woodland won the World Cup.

Kuchar and his wife did not have a flight to California until the next night, so the World Cup hosts treated them to a day of spa treatment at Mission Hills until their flight.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever done that,” Kuchar said. “It was a great way to celebrate.”

The big day began with a 90-minute session in the morning for aroma therapy, and then they broke for lunch. Upon returning, Kuchar described a two-hour session that consisted of a one-hour massage, a 30-minute foot rub and a 30-minute facial.

His first facial?

“First one that actually said, `facial,”’ Kuchar said. “I think in massages they’ve massaged my face. I don’t know exactly what a real facial entails, but they put … whatever, the mast on and cream and goop and gel and all the stuff. I didn’t love all the stuff on my face. I enjoy the massaging part, but all the extra stuff I could have done without.

“I did feel like I looked completely refreshed afterward,” he said. “I felt like I had a real shine to my face.”

As the question moved on to golf, Kuchar interrupted a reporter.

“Do I look younger?” he said.


DIVOTS: The Chevron World Challenge was the first tournament Tiger Woods won in which every player in the field had a higher world ranking. … Karrie Webb was presented the 2011 Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award last week in New York for helping to improve the lives of people with paralysis. Webb’s longtime swing coach, Kelvin Haller, is a quadriplegic, and the Hall of Famer has been a longtime supporter of the Reeve Foundation. … The Humana Challenge, formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic, won’t be serving In-n-Out burgers on the practice range. It now has a deal with Ruth’s Chris. … Two-time Asian Amateur champion Hideki Matsuyama will be playing in the Sony Open next month.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Junthima Gulyanamitta paid a total of $5,500 for entry fees at all three stages of LPGA qualifying. She earned $5,000 for her two-shot victory in the final stage of Q-school.


FINAL WORD: “I think if I have a good year, I should be on the ballot for comeback player of the year. So I’m excited about that.” - Tiger Woods.

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook sank a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without making a bogey on the Plantation Course or the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

Cook was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back.

Bubba (64) fires his lowest round of 2017

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:12 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Bubba Watson’s plan when he left the Dell Technologies Championship in September was to take a few months off and come back fresh in 2018

Those plans changed after a few weeks.

“What we figured out was the mental side, preparing for kindergarten - not for me, for my son - preparing for [wife] Angie's knee surgery. It's been a tough go,” Watson said.

“Being home and being with the family and everything, I realized how much I missed the game of golf, and that's why I wanted to come and play in these tournaments.”


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The plan has paid off this week at the RSM Classic, where Watson is tied for 12th place after a second-round 64 on the Seaside course moved him to 7 under par.

Watson, who tied for 51st two weeks ago in Las Vegas, got off to a quick start on Day 2, playing the opening nine in 29. Despite a miscue at the 14th hole, when his tee shot wedged into a tree, he was solid coming in for his best individual round this year.

The left-hander was particularly sharp with his ball-striking after what has been a difficult year.

“I want to play golf now and right now I'm swinging at it pretty nicely,” he said.

S.H. Park (65) builds three-shot lead at LPGA finale

By Doug FergusonNovember 17, 2017, 9:58 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Golf felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the front nine with five straight birdies at the CME Group Tour Championship.

Park kept right on attacking.

The 24-year-old from South Korea added a 30-foot eagle putt late in her second round and finished with a 7-under 65, giving her a three-shot lead going into the weekend at Tiburon Golf Club.

Nothing seems to bother her, even the chance to cap off an amazing rookie season by sweeping all the big awards on the LPGA Tour.

''To be honest, I don't feel quite as nervous as I thought I would,'' Park said through an interpreter. ''After the first shot, after the first hole, I felt a lot more comfortable. I'm not feeling as nervous as I thought I might be going into today.''

Leave that to the players chasing her.

Even with a three-putt bogey on the final hole, Park was at 12-under 132 and was three shots clear of Caroline Masson (66) and Sarah Jane Smith (69).


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More importantly, none of the other players in the chase for the $1 million Race to the CME Globe bonus or any other big award was within five shots of Park, who is trying to become the first rookie since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to win LPGA player of the year.

Lexi Thompson, who leads the Race to the CME Globe and the Vare Trophy for lowest adjusted scoring average, shot a 67 and wound up losing ground. She was six shots behind and must stay within 10 shots of Park to win the Vare.

So Yeon Ryu, who leads the points-based award for player of the year, managed a 71 with her sore right shoulder but was 11 shots back.

The other two players who need to win the tournament to collect the $1 million bonus also had their work cut out for them. Brooke Henderson had another 70 and was eight shots behind, while world No. 1 Shanshan Feng shot 73 and was 11 shots behind.

Park was in control, only she didn't see it that way.

''I don't think it's quite that far of a lead,'' Park said. ''Two, three shots of a lead can change at any moment. We will have to see what's in store for this weekend.''

Park began her big run with an 18-foot birdie on No. 5, got up-and-down for birdie from just off the green at the par-5 sixth, holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 7, and then closed out the front nine with birdie putts from 8 feet and 15 feet.

''I actually didn't know that I was going five birdies in a row,'' Park said. ''Come hole No. 10, I realized that I hadn't been jotting down my scores as diligently, and so I realized it a little bit later on. And it felt great.''

That gave her the lead by one shot over Suzann Pettersen, except that Pettersen faded badly on the back nine.

Pettersen dropped four shots in a three-hole stretch by getting out of position off the tee and she shot 39 on the back nine for a 70 to fall five shots behind.

''I feel like I'm playing good,'' Pettersen said. ''Three bad drives on the back nine cost me four shots. That should not be possible on this course, where the fairways are about 100 yards wide.''

Park was honored at an awards banquet Thursday night as the LPGA rookie of the year. Now, she has more awards in her sights. A victory would give her the award for player of the year. She would capture the money title, which she leads over Ryu. And depending on how the weekend goes, she might be able to surpass Thompson in the race for the Vare Trophy.

Thompson did well to recover from two bogeys on her opening three holes.

''I hit a few really erratic shots in the beginning. It wasn't a good start to the round,'' Thompson said. ''Just tried to stay positive and find something that could work for the last 14, 15 holes.''

Lydia Ko fell six shots behind in her bid to avoid a winless season. She was one shot behind going into the second round but managed only three birdies in her round of 71.

Park, meanwhile, had everything going her way. Even when she pulled her drive on the par-5 14th into a sandy area with a root next to her ball, she picked it clear and sent it through a goal post of trees back to the fairway. Three holes later, she blasted a drive and had only a 7-iron into the green at the par-5 17th, which she hit to 30 feet and made the long putt.

Does anything make her nervous?

''I hate spiders,'' she said. ''But in terms of golf, I always get nervous to this day on the first tee. I can feel my heart pounding.''

It's a feeling that doesn't appear to last very long.

Korda sisters poised to make a run at CME

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 9:47 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Jessica Korda wasn’t feeling well making her way around the CME Group Tour Championship battling congestion Friday, but the leaderboard walking to the ninth tee gave her a nice lift.

That’s where she saw younger sister Nelly’s name tucked right next to hers.

They were within a shot of each other amid hard charges up the leaderboard, with Nelly playing just in front of her.

“I was like, 'Dang!’ It was good to see,” said Jessica, 24. “It’s fun to see her playing this well. I know what she puts into it. I’m kind of jealous of the rookie year she’s having, because mine sucked.”

Nelly, 19, is looking to put a special ending on her first year on tour. She posted a 6-under-par 66, good for a tie for fourth, six shots behind Sung Hyun Park (65). Nelly has given herself a weekend shot at her first victory.

Just a year ago, Nelly was here as a spectator, watching her sister.


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“I found it funny,” Nelly said. “I was walking to the range on Tuesday, thinking just last year, people were asking me, 'When are you going to be out here?’ It seems surreal to be out here, playing alongside my sister and the best players in the world.

“Being in contention is really, really special.”

Jessica shot 68 and sits a shot behind her sister.

Nelly said seeing the leaderboard gave her a lift, too.

“Maybe it amps me up just a little bit,” Nelly said. “It’s a friendly competition. Even though we want each other to succeed, we also want to beat each other. I think she would say that, too.”

Jessica is seeking her fifth LPGA title. She’s coming off a tie for third at the Blue Bay LPGA last week.

Jessica is 35th on the LPGA money list this year, with $515,521 in earnings. Nelly is 51st, with $388,983 in earnings.

“I definitely look for Jess on the board,” Nelly said. “We’ve very supportive of each other.”