Oh Well Well Just Wait and See

By George WhiteNovember 2, 2005, 5:00 pm
You can say goodbye ' and good riddance ' to the PGA Tours money list. That out-of-whack fossil wont have nearly the impact on professional golf come the 2007 season.
Tour commissioner Tim Finchem unveiled a plan Wednesday at the Tour Championship that drastically alters the schedule beginning in 2007, the first year of a new television contract. Basically, the season will be divided into two parts ' the race for the FedEx Cup from January to September, and then a Quest for the Card portion of perhaps seven tournaments following. Naturally, the run-up from January to mid-September is the prime focus.
Tim Finchem
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem unvieled parts of his 2007 plan on Wednesday.
What the drastically different season looks like will be anybodys guess ' Finchem said the details are just beginning to fall into place. But basically the players will scramble for points ' and the criteria for points havent fully been worked out yet - until the middle of August. In August the top 144 players will play a championship series, consisting of three tournaments. Players will earn points for each event, and the top 30 will then play in Tour Championship. The Tour Championship will decide the over-all champion with mega-bucks going to this lucky fellow.
Finchem says those numbers arent exact, by the way ' the figure filberts may adjust the field of 144 players either up or down. Those numbers will be worked out over the next year.
But golf isnt over yet ' oh no! After that, the season will then continue for another six or seven weeks to determine the top 125 on the season-long money list. That will determine who has guaranteed cards for the following season ' another 30 and ties from Q-school will also make it, just like past years. Certain other goodies may also be gleaned from these events - world ranking points, and of course, 'What goes with a win goes with a win, whether it's a two-year exemption, access to the Mercedes Championships, whatever, said Finchem.
The real focus here, however, is on the Championship Series, that four-tournament stretch in August and September. And one of the big-big questions is, will this require players to compete for six weeks, even seven weeks, without a break?
Of course, rare indeed is the player who competes with that kind of schedule. But, the PGA Championship is presently played the second week of August. The third week of August a WCG event ' the NEC Invitational ' is scheduled. And then, the tours better players are to begin a four-week Championship Series?
It is difficult enough for a player to compete four weeks in a row. He certainly isnt normally going to be in peak shape that fourth week ' the time of the Tour Championship. But much less SIX weeks? Something has most certainly got to change here.
And how about the six- to seven-week period following the Championship Series? Surely the WCG-American Express will have to move. One report has the three other Championship Series being the Barclays at Westchester, the Western Open in Chicago and the Deutsche Bank near Boston. Would the American Express move into a slot vacated by one of these three? Would the NEC be moved to prevent the six-weeks-in-a-row stretch from occurring?
Much work, however, must be done to the PGA Tour schedule to get it to compute correctly. The Ryder Cup ' and Presidents Cup ' is scheduled in September the week after the Tour Championship would be played in 07. That would be seven-in-seven weeks for some of the U.S. pros ' an impossibility, if the schedule isnt somehow radically reworked.
Tiger Woods, though, sounds like it could be done. 'It's going to be a lot for us, for the guys to play at the end of the year,' said Woods. 'But knowing the fact that you have an off season now for the first time, I understand that. Hopefully we'll hold up so they can play at the end of the year.'
One positive aspect of this new schedule would be that Europeans and Australians would be free to go join their home tours after the Tour Championship in September. Several important events are held in Australia in the winter. Likewise, in October the Volvo Masters is held in Europe, the season-ending tour championship for the Euros.
Finchem says in all likelihood the schedule will continue with 48 events as it presently is configured, with the possibility that one or two tournaments could possibly go by the wayside. This year, the fall schedule includes stops in San Antonio, Greensboro, Hattiesburg, Las Vegas, Orlando and the Tampa-St. Pete area. With a seventh week for the Ryder Cup-Presidents Cup, it poses an interesting point: will all those tournaments remain in the fall, in the Quest for the Card slots? Will any be slated for extinction? Could they be moved? Intriguing questions, indeed.
Are you confused yet? Im the first to admit that I am. But suffice it to say that big changes ' awfully big changes ' are on the way for the tour schedule. And we have only a very rough outline of what it will be.
But ' Im still wondering about those six straight weeks in August and September
Email your thoughts to George White
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry