Why US Players Seldom Travel

By George WhiteJanuary 24, 2006, 5:00 pm
In case you missed it, Chris DiMarco took a rare overseas trip last week and wound up winning. Though it would be considered quite gauche to mention the topic to him, there undoubtedly was appearance money involved. Be that as it may, though, DiMarco ventured all the way to the Middle East and won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
 
The tournament, of course, is a European Tour event despite its location. And as a European Tour event, it had several big-name players beside DiMarco. Vijay Singh was there, Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie five of the worlds top 14 players, in fact.
 
Chris DiMarco
Chris DiMarco says he'll return to defend his title in 2007...Maybe.
DiMarco normally plays exactly one tournament outside the United States or Canada, and that is the British Open. Why? Well, for starters because he has a wife and three children in their home in Orlando, Fla. The children are school-aged, which means they live by a pretty strict schedule for nine months of the year.
 
For another, DiMarco can play all the golf he wants in the U.S. The American tour has 48 tournaments from which to choose, nearly all of them paying a fat purse for those gents who enter and make the cut. DiMarco last year won more than $3.5 million playing at home, and there just isnt reason for him to go elsewhere ' unless it is for considerable money, guaranteed.
 
If a soccer player is at the height of his profession, he usually doesnt play in the U.S. He probably will play in Europe, even if he is an American. And likewise, an American who can make a golf ball dance regularly into the hole plays almost exclusively in America. They have to have an awfully tempting reason to play elsewhere.
 
Oh, Tiger Woods makes a real effort to occasionally cross the borders. He occasionally plays in the Pacific because his mother is a Far East native. He went to New Zealand once because his caddy is from there. He generally plays in Germany at least partially because he feels the urgency to be a world player, taking his game to different venues around the globe. But even he has to be persuaded to go by large amounts of cash, known far and wide as appearance money.
 
But DiMarco was invited in the off-season to Abu Dhabi, and he and his wife took time off from the PGA Tour and went. Actually, he didnt play in Hawaii, either, so Abu Dhabi was his first event of the season. But in a pre-tournament press conference the European scribes wondered why this was his first European Tour event. Of course, the (unspoken) guaranteed money was one reason. But there is another reason, he said, a reason that isnt generally acknowledged by those who follow the European Tour.
 
You know, it's hard because obviously you're giving up our money list right now, said DiMarco. I'm not making any money on our money list most everything I do - contract-wise and sponsors and stuff - is all contingent on playing in the States and playing on the PGA Tour. This would be a week where I play the Bob Hope and potentially put money in my pocket over there and get on the money list over there, and I'm not.

That's the main reason why I don't play that much over here.
 
The Bob Hope paid $900,000 to winner Chad Campbell, and thats money which could have been won by DiMarco, if he had been there. Since he wasnt there, he won squat, nada. Thats one thing you learn in a hurry ' if you dont enter, you are guaranteed to win nothing.
 
Oh, DiMarco will win enough money in the 23-25 tournaments he DOES enter to easily keep his card. And he will probably earn enough to be in the Tour Championship, reserved for those who are among the top 30 money-winners at the end of the year. And he certainly availed himself of the opportunity for World Rankings points with so many of the high-ranked players in attendance at Abu Dhabi.
 
But DiMarco missed an opportunity for Ryder Cup points. He missed the opportunity to get Presidents Cup points. And there is that matter of PGA Tour money.
 
On the other hand, he got to tee it up in a place where he would otherwise have never played, before an audience which has seen few American golfers.
 
It's nice to play worldwide and nice to play in different places, he said, though he certainly is not very experienced in such matters.
 
We play pretty much in the States. We don't really play other places, climates and things like that. It's nice to go to new places and play against different fields, and it's also good for myself to get my name out in other places, too. I certainly don't feel like I'm at another PGA Tour event. It's just over in Dubai.
 
DiMarco said he will honor tradition and be back in Abu Dhabi next year to defend his title. Most assuredly the guaranteed money (wink-wink) will be there. Oops ' there is a possibility he wont return if he should win this season on the PGA Tour. That would mean he would be invited to the Mercedes Championships in Hawaii to start the year. That would change around his 2007 early-season schedule dramatically, he said.
 
That (from Hawaii to Abu Dhubi) will be a long trip if I do that, said DiMarco. But I plan on coming back, absolutely.
 
I didn't expect what it is over here. It's beautiful. It's a beautiful country, everybody is extremely nice and we had an absolute wonderful time.
 
DiMarco can do this every so often, say once a year. But it will be very seldom. Golf fans in other countries wonder why the Americans dont leave home. But the reason is, they make a very comfortable living staying put, and with children supplying yet another reason, an appearance at another locale usually just doesnt make a lot of sense. In other sports, it makes eminent sense; in golf, probably not.
 
If a player is from another country and doesnt have a family to be concerned with, he would do well to play in America if the opportunity presents itself. But the opposite just isnt true. You can ask DiMarco.
 
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The Social: G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T., after G.O.A.T.

By Jason CrookJanuary 23, 2018, 6:00 pm

Tom Brady compares himself to Tiger Woods, who coincidentally is returning to the PGA Tour this week, Jordan Spieth hangs out with some decent company and kids these days ruffle some feathers with their friendships.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

Well, it’s finally Farmers Insurance Open week and Woods has been spotted practicing for his official return to the PGA Tour on Thursday.

Some thought this day might never come after a 2017 filled with mostly downs for the 14-time major champ.

But as he has taught the golf world time and time again, you just can't count Tiger out.

So even as Jon Rahm attempts to overtake Dustin Johnson for No. 1 in the world this week at Torrey Pines, all eyes will be on one of the greatest we've ever seen do it, even if that guy is ranked No. 647 in the world.

Speaking of greatness …

There’s not many who can just offhandedly compare themselves to Tiger, but if anyone gets a pass, it’s Tom Brady.

The 40-year-old New England Patriots quarterback led his team back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year despite playing the AFC title game with a cut on his throwing hand.

When asked about it after the Patriots come-from-behind victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady answered, “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. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”

So there you have it. A 40-year-old Brady is winning AFC Championships with his C game. Good luck, Eagles; you’re going to need it.

Also, if for some reason you wanted an update on Justin Thomas' life, it's still awesome:

Yeah, that's last year's PGA Tour Player of the Year hanging with Cy Young winner Cory Kluber in a suite at the Patriots game and teasing us with a possible #SB2K18 cameo.

Curtis Strange likes his competitive golf straight up, hold the friendliness.

This, according to Curtis Strange.

The two-time U.S. Open champ took to Twitter during the CareerBuilder Challenge to vent his frustration regarding the constant chit-chat and friendliness between Rahm and Andrew Landry:

This, of course, makes sense in theory. But good luck watching golf – or really any sport – from here on out. Sure there will be a few old school guys who buck the trend here and there, but for the most part, it’s really hard to share a private jet/dinners/vacations/(insert awesome thing here) with someone, and then completely turn off the friendship coming down the stretch of a big tournament.

Damn millennials. They ruin everything.

By now you've all seen that poor Philadelphia Eagles fan who lost his battle with a subway station pillar (from multiple angles), so instead here is a video of a man attempting to stand on an egg. Bet you can't guess how that goes.

Tony's gonna stand on an egg

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Seriously if you haven't seen the video of that Eagles fan, here's your last chance in this column. You'll be glad you did.

Jordan Spieth, Michael Phelps and Bryce Harper walk on to a golf course … there’s no punchline, that actually happened last week in Las Vegas.

Was the whole thing just a big advertisement for Spieth’s new Under Armour shoe? You bet.

But that doesn’t make the optics of three of the biggest superstar athletes on the planet teeing it up for a round any less awesome.

Off to the next. #Spieth2 #TEAMUA

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The trio has three major wins, five All Star Game appearances and 28 Olympic medals between them, and there they were over the weekend just fake laughing for the camera and driving around individual golf carts with their own personalized logos on them.

Just guys being dudes. Nothing better than that.

Matt Kuchar. Still good at golf. Still overly polite. This according to European Tour pro Eddie Pepperell who had the privilege of hitting on the range next to Kuuuuuch in Abu Dhabi last week.

That image is burned into your brain forever now, thanks Eddie. From now on when you think of Kuchar you're going to think of those Sketches ads and "oopsies."

Which, I suppose is better than a, "Did you get that?"

Blayne Barber's caddie, Cory Gilmer, collapsed and hit his head while at a restaurant at the Sony Open and has been mostly unconscious in the neurological intensive care unit ever since.

The outpouring of love and support from the golf community has been overwhelming on social media, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the mounting medical costs for Gilmer and his family.

Check out the link below for more info or to donate to a worthy cause:

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Top-ranked amateur wins LAAC, earns Masters invite

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 5:38 pm

Joaquin Niemann walked Augusta National Golf Club as a patron last year. He’ll be a competitor in 2018.

Niemann, the top-ranked amateur in the world, shot 8-under 63 Tuesday at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Santiago, Chile, to win the Latin America Amateur Championship.

And with the title, both redemption and an invitation to the Masters Tournament.


Full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship


Niemann finished runner-up in last year’s LAAC to fellow Chilean Toto Gana. He followed Gana around Augusta grounds, watching as his best friend played two rounds before missing the cut.

Niemann, who was going to turn professional had he not won this week, started the final round one back of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz. Niemann was sluggish from the start on Tuesday, but then drove the 313-yard, par-4 eighth and made the eagle putt. That sparked a run of five birdies over his next six holes.

Niemann was bogey-free in the final round and finished five shots clear of Ortiz, at 11 under.

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Judges Panel, Host Announced for Wilson Golf's "Driver vs. Driver 2," Premiering This Fall on Golf Channel

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

‘Driver vs. Driver 2 Presented by Wilson Currently in Production; Sports Broadcaster Melanie Collins Returns to Host

Morning Drive: Driver vs. Driver 2 Judges Announced

Golf Channel and Wilson Golf announced today the panel of judges and host for the second season of Driver vs. Driver, the innovative television series that follows aspiring golf equipment designers as they compete for the opportunity to have their driver idea or concept transformed into the next great golf driver from Wilson. The show is currently in production and will premiere this fall.

Joining judge Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf, are two newcomers to the series: 9-time National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star and current NHL on NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick – an avid golfer with a single digit handicap and a self-described golf equipment junkie; and PGA Professional, golf coach, equipment reviewer and social media influencer Rick Shiels.

“Golf is a big passion of mine, and personally I enjoy learning about new equipment and concepts,” said Roenick. “To be able to see this side of the business in how equipment is developed first-hand is fascinating. Being a part of the process in reviewing driver concepts and narrowing them down to an ultimate winning driver that will be sold across the country is a tremendous honor.” 

“Jeremy, as an avid golfer, and Rick, as a coach, equipment reviewer and golf professional, bring incredible, real world insights and different perspectives to the show and this process,” said Clarke. “I’m excited to work alongside these two judges to push the boundaries of innovation and bring a next-generation driver to golfers around the world.”

Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins returns as the host of Driver vs. Driver 2. Currently a sideline reporter for CBS Sports’ college football and basketball coverage, Collins hosted the inaugural season in 2016 and formerly co-hosted Golf Channel’s competition series, Big Break.

Production for Driver vs. Driver 2 began in the fall of 2017 and will continue through the summer, including this week at the PGA Merchandise Show. The series is being produced by Golf Channel, whose portfolio of original productions include interview series Feherty hosted by Emmy-nominated sports personality David Feherty, high-quality instruction shows School of Golf, Golf Channel Academy and Playing Lessons and a slate of award-winning films.

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Tiger Tracker: Farmers Insurance Open

By Tiger TrackerJanuary 23, 2018, 4:00 pm

Tiger Woods is competing in a full-field event for the first time in nearly a year. We're tracking him at this week's Farmers Insurance Open. (Note: Tweets read, in order, left to right)