Barbados Set to Host 2006 WGC - World Cup
A total of 24 nations, including the host country, will participate in this prestigious event, which will be known as the World Golf Championships - Barbados World Cup, with a minimum purse of $4,000,000.
This will be the first time a World Golf Championships event, including the historic World Cup, has been played in Barbados, and only the third time it has been held in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico was the host of the 1961 and 1994 World Cups prior to the event becoming one of the four World Golf Championships.
'We are pleased to announce that Barbados will be the host of the
2006 World Cup,' said US PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem on behalf of the International Federation of PGA Tours. 'The World Cup has a tradition of visiting some of the world's great golf venues in exotic locations.
'Next year's event will continue that tradition by going to one of the world's most attractive destinations at one of the best courses in all of the Caribbean.'
Sandy Lane's Country Club Course is one of three golf courses at the Sandy Lane Resort. Along with the recently opened Green Monkey and historic Old Nine Golf Club, the Tom Fazio-designed Sandy Lane Country Club is a 7,060 yard, par 72 layout that opened in 2001.
'Barbados is a world-class destination. The hosting of the Barbados World Cup in 2006 followed by the World Cup of Cricket in 2007 will enable us to globally showcase our beautiful island and firmly establish Barbados as the Caribbean's leading country for sports, active and lifestyle tourism,' said the Honourable Noel Lynch, M.P., Minister of Tourism and International Transport.
'The Five Diamond Sandy Lane Resort has set new standards for excellence in the Caribbean and we look forward to welcoming the best players from all over the world and their supporters to experience our great golf courses and famous Bajan hospitality.'
Commenting on the 2006 WGC - Barbados World Cup, Dermot Desmond, principal owner of Sandy Lane, said, 'All of us at Sandy Lane are honoured that the World Cup will be played here next year, and I am confident that everyone at Sandy Lane and in Barbados will do their utmost to make this the best World Cup ever.'
The WGC - Barbados World Cup, which will be sponsored by the Barbados Tourism Authority, will be broadcast to more than 140 nations, including ESPN and ABC in the United States and on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland.
The World Cup of Golf became the fourth event of the World Golf Championships in 2000 when the International Federation of PGA Tours entered into an agreement with the International Golf Association, the organisation which operated the World Cup beginning in 1953.
The United States has won a record 23 World Cups with David Duval and Tiger Woods winning at Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2000 when first the World Cup was played as a World Golf Championships event.
This year, the World Golf Championships-Algarve World Cup in Portugal was played at the Victoria Club de Golfe, Vilamoura, in the Algarve region of Portugal. The team of Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge led Wales to their second title in the event.
The other World Golf Championships include the Accenture Match Play Championship, American Express Championship and Bridgestone Invitational.
Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59
Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.
While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.
He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.
"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."
Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.
"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."
Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot
When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.
Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.
"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"
The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.
Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.
"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."
DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.
Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.
"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."
Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.
Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.
"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."
Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.
"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."
LPGA lists April date for new LA event
The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.
When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.
The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.
The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.