After caddie quits, Willett searching for new one

By Will GrayMay 10, 2017, 4:00 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Former Masters champ Danny Willett showed up to The Players Championship with a new caddie on the bag.

Willett confirmed to Wednesday that longtime looper Jonathan Smart, who was on the bag for last year’s breakthrough win at the Masters, abruptly quit after the first round of the RBC Heritage last month. The Englishman “had to pull in someone” to caddie for the second round, but shot a 78 to miss the cut.

Willett has Sam Haywood on the bag this week at TPC Sawgrass, his first start since Smart’s departure. Haywood was the best man at Willett’s wedding, but it’s only a one-week partnership since Haywood caddies regularly for David Lipsky on the European Tour.

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“Sam’s my best friend. We grew up playing a lot of golf,” Willett said. “He’s just a good friend of mine. He’s doing this week and then I’m going to have to try to find someone for the next few weeks.”

After starting the year ranked No. 11 in the world, Willett enters this week at No. 21 having missed the cut in three of his last five starts. His lone top-35 finish this year came at the Maybank Championship, where he tied for fifth.

According to a report from The Sun (U.K.), Smart quit after being blamed for a bad yardage at Harbour Town and was reportedly “fed up with being a constant scapegoat” for Willett’s recent struggles.

Willett has not won a tournament since donning the green jacket, but he denied that any single incident led to him and Smart parting ways.

“There’s obviously things always done between player and caddie through the weeks,” Willett said. “Just one of those things, I guess.”

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.