Big News and Bad News

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
In Backspin, takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf ' with a spin.
SCRAMBLING SEVE: Amid a week's worth of news reports discussing his health, Seve Ballesteros announced on Sunday that doctors had indeed found a brain tumor. The Spanish legend will undergo further tests this week so doctors will know how to proceed with his condition.
BackspinSupport for Ballesteros has already begun pouring in from all over the world, and rightfully so. One of the most charismatic golfers to ever play the game, Seve is now starting to see how his style of play endeared him to golf fans the world over. And like always, it's too bad that it takes news like this for the love and respect to really bubble up.

A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS: Next year's U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples said in a press conference that he would like to include basketball legend Michael Jordan and comedian Robin Williams as part of his team. Couples wants Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, to add inspiration, while Williams would add some levity during the evenings.
BackspinPerhaps International captain Greg Norman could counter with Canadian comedians Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey or Mike Myers on the funny side. And maybe some cricket or rugby legend (wed list some, but we dont know of any) to stoke competitive fires. This is the difference between the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup: the former doesnt take itself as seriously. And this is why Couples is the perfect Presidents Cup captain.

TIGER'S PEBBLE BEACH: Tiger Woods announced this past week that he is designing a course 70 miles south of San Diego. Woods says the course, called Punta Brava, has 17 greens or tees on the water, with eight shots played over water. The price tag on this development is roughly $100 million and will include the golf course, a hotel, some villas and 40 estate lots where the price tag starts at $3 million and goes to $12 million.
BackspinWere sure the course will be strikingly beautiful, but just having Tigers name on the design will truly make it shine. Tiger is definitely golfs golden child. Not only does he make a fortune on and off the course; he makes others tons of money simply by association.

BLIND AMBITION TOUR: The European Tour unveiled its 2009 schedule, introducing the highly anticipated Race to Dubai. The schedule includes more than two dozen countries on five continents, has more tournaments than there are weeks in the year, and culminates with a $20 million destination in Dubai.
BackspinThe top 60 on the money list qualify for the season-ending Dubai World Championship, which offers a $10 million purse for the tournament, along with a $10 million bonus for the top 15 on the money list. You have to be a member, however, in order to qualify ' and being a member now means competing in 12 European Tour events on the season, not 11. The Race to Dubai will certainly have intrigue and possibly more excitement than the FedEx Cup, but there is one thing it wont have: Tiger Woods.

GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Zach Johnson played a nearly flawless final round, posting a 6-under 64 to win the Valero Texas Open by two shots over a trio of players. It was Johnson's fourth career PGA Tour title.
BackspinThe victory also happened to be Johnson's first outside of Georgia. After a tough year in which the former Masters champion had just one top-10 to his credit, were pretty certain he could have won on Mars and been just as happy. Two states down and just 48 to go. Well, actually a lot less seeing as how we don't think the Tour will ever stage an Alaskan Open.

FINAL CURTAIN: The Champions Tour played the season's final major of the year and D.A. Weibring was the last man standing, winning the Senior Players Championship by a stroke over Fred Funk and by two over Nick Price, Jeff Sluman and Ben Crenshaw.
Backspin The 55-year-old Weibring made no apologies for the win, despite believing that the crowd in Maryland had other players in mind to win the title, saying, I know the people here wanted Nick Price to win and they wanted Fred Funk. I understood that. The $390,000 first-place check ' the biggest payday of his career ' no doubt took some of the sting out of feeling slighted.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Madrid, Spain made a bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup Tiger Woods AT&T National may be headed to Aronimink Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia for 2010 and 2011 Tigers caddie, Steve Williams, will debut as a TV analyst during the Kiwi Challenge in his native New Zealand In-Kyung Kim held on to win the Longs Drugs Challenge, her first career LPGA Tour title Charl Schwartzel won the Madrid Masters. Coincidentally, the South African's only other victory on tour came in Spain, at last year's Spanish Open.
BackspinSergio Garcia will be 38 years old by that time. Think hell have a major by then? Members at Aronimink are to vote Oct. 15 on whether to accept the proposal Williams as a member of the media? Thats less believable than a player winning a major on a broken leg This win for Kim is no fluke as the 20-year-old South Korean already has six top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for third at the U.S. Womens Open Unfortunately for Schwartzel, the big news out of Madrid all week was the health of a local golfing hero.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Valero Texas Open
  • Full Coverage ' Senior Players Championship
  • Full Coverage ' Longs Drugs Challenge
  • Full Coverage ' Madrid Masters
  • Full Coverage ' WNB Golf Classic
  • More Headlines
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.