Senior Players Moving from Michigan

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 12, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Ford Senior Players ChampionshipDEARBORN, Mich. -- Peter Jacobsen was walking up a path toward the practice green when a familiar person asked for another autograph.
 
'Didn't I already sign some things for you?' Jacobsen asked as he obliged with another stroke of his pen on a program Wednesday.
 
'Yes, but I can't travel to Baltimore next year,' replied Prakash Mhambrey, a 64-year-old volunteer, who lives in Dearborn.
 
The Senior Players Championship will be held in suburban Detroit -- where Jack Nicklaus won the first tournament here in 1990 -- before one of the Champions Tour's majors moves to Baltimore next year.
 
The TPC of Michigan is in the shadow of Ford Motor Co.'s world headquarters and the auto industry's woes in the Motor City likely led to Ford's decision to end its sponsorship after this week. Constellation Energy will sponsor the tournament next year at the Baltimore Country Club.
 
'It's sad,' said Jacobsen, the defending champion. 'This course was built for spectators to enjoy our sport, and it's one of the few courses that you can say that about. Detroit is such a great sports city, so it's a shame that this will be our last time here.'
 
Jacobsen outlasted Hale Irwin last year at the Senior Players, winning by one stroke with a 15-under 273 performance. Jacobsen and Irwin are in the 78-man field along with money leader Jay Haas, Tom Watson and Allen Doyle, who won his second straight U.S. Senior Open last week. They will play the first of four rounds Thursday.
 
Like Jacobsen, Doyle is sorry to see the Champions Tour leave the Nicklaus-designed TPC of Michigan.
 
'When you get courses like this, you don't want to leave,' Doyle said. 'I think it would help the history of the event to stay here.'
 
Shortly after Jacobsen won the Senior Players last year, Champion Tour president Rick George said Ford confirmed what officials with the 50-and-over tour were expecting to hear from the automaker.
 
'Ford told us they were out after 2006,' George said. 'We started looking for a new sponsor in the fall, Constellation Energy stepped up and wanted to move the event to Baltimore.
 
'We've had a great run here with Ford, but we hope to find another sponsor willing to bring one of our other events back to this course. It's not necessarily too late to make that happen for next year.'
 
Ford spokeswoman Whitney Drake said the decision to stop sponsoring the Senior Players reflects part of the company's new marketing strategy.
 
'There is a place for golf in our portfolio, but we're moving toward more product-specific opportunities with our marketing,' she said. 'At NASCAR events, we've had success with a Ford Experience Tour where customers can get in our vehicles.'
 
For at least the next five years, the Senior Players will be held at Baltimore Country Club's East Course, also known as Five Farms, a course that has hosted the PGA Championship, U.S. Amateur, Walker Cup and Women's U.S. Open.
 
The Senior Players will be in October, instead of in the week after the U.S. Senior Open and two weeks before the Senior British Open as it has been at the TPC of Michigan.
 
Fred Funk, Maryland's most famous professional golfer, is looking forward to heading home for the event in 2007.
 
'Growing up in the Maryland area there were two clubs really known in the state, Congressional (in Bethesda) and Baltimore Country Club,' Funk said.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Ford Senior Players Championship
  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.