Big wins bigger money

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 28, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf ' with a spin.
ALL REAVVED UP: Chez Reavie captured his first PGA TOUR crown, winning the RBC Canadian Open by a solid three strokes. The win gets Reavie, a former U.S. Public Links champion, an invitation to the upcoming PGA Championship.
Backspin Reavie's win was surprising, but not as unexpected as Anthony Kim's defeat. Kim, who was looking for his third win of the season, was just one back to begin the final round. But a five-bogey, one-birdie 75 in the final round placed him in a tie for eighth.

ALFIE!: Helen Alfredsson shot 63 on Friday and 67 on Sunday, then outlasted a pair of other players to capture the Evian Masters outside of Paris, France. The win was Alfredssons sixth on the LPGA and first since 2003.
Backspin The veteran birdied her final two holes to get into a playoff with Angela Park and Na Yeon Choi. In the extra session, she birdied the third extra hole for the win. Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr all finished inside the top 10, while Annika Sorenstam shot her best round of the week on Sunday ' all good news as the ladies enter the final major of their season, the Ricoh Womens British Open.

THEY CALL ME BRUCE: Bruce Vaughan defeated John Cook on the first hole of sudden death to win the Senior Open Championship at Royal Troon. The victory was Vaughans first on the 50-and-over circuit.
Backspin Vaughan not only beat Cook, but held off Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman and Tom Watson ' players who combined for 12 majors on the regular tour. Thats great news for Vaughan, but not necessarily for the Champions Tour, who was denied a big name winner in a big name event.

DRINK AND BE MERRY: Padraig Harrington met with the media Monday and revealed that he and company partied until 4 a.m. following his second consecutive Open Championship victory. The first choice of drink out of the claret jug? The same as it was last year: John Smiths Smooth Bitter.
Backspin Harrington also revealed that he now has his sights set on joining the greats of the game by adding a third major title to his resume, possibly something other than the Open Championship. With 13 European Tour victories, two PGA TOUR titles, two major championship triumphs, and one Order of Merit crown, the Irishman is moving in a positive direction towards the World Golf Hall of Fame.

JUST CANT GET ENOUGH: It was announced Monday that Michelle Wie will compete once again on the PGA TOUR in the upcoming Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, which will be contested opposite the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Backspin Apparently three good rounds on the LPGA warrant an invite to the PGA TOUR. We have to admit, we didnt see this one coming. We figured there was no way Wie would play on the PGA TOUR this year; and no way anyone would offer her an exemption. But we were wrong. Or is it: Wie is wrong? Either way, it doesnt seem right.

DONT FORGET YOUR SUNGLASSES: David Duval will join Wie in Reno. Its his first appearance in the event since 2005, when he shot 82-77 to miss the cut. This will be Duvals 14th event of the season. He has made two cuts.
Backspin Yes, but those two cuts have come over his last three starts. Duval played solidly for three rounds of the Open Championship. A third-round 83, however, in gale force winds, ultimately relegated him to a tie for 39th. Still, he did get to play four rounds. The more he plays, it would seem, the better he will one day become ' or re-become (is that a word?).

DOLLARS AND NON-SENSE: Forbes published its list of top money-making female athletes this past week. The top 4 athletes were from the world of tennis, while No. 5 was from golf ' Michelle Wie.
Backspin Wie was said to earn $12 million annually ' pretty much exclusively from her endorsements, which include Nike and Sony. Annika Sorenstam was No. 6 with $11 million; Lorena Ochoa No. 7 with $10 million; and Paula Creamer was No. 10 with $6 million. This is like the rookie pay scale in the NFL, where players who have achieved nothing professionally get paid extensively more than those far more accomplished.

NOW ILL BE AN AMATEUR FOREVER: The son of former New York City major Rudy Giuliani is suing Duke University, claiming he was wrongfully kicked off the team. Giuliani says that because he was cut from the team, his chances of becoming a professional golfer were hurt.
Backspin Um, usually when youre cut from a team it means you werent good enough to be on that team. Still, its not like he got kicked off the basketball team, and therefore it hurt his chances of being drafted. Its golf, for Petes sake. You can turn pro whenever you want. Look, I just did it!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Cameron Peck defeated fellow 17-year-old Evan Beck to win the U.S. Junior Amateur title 13-year-old Alexis Thompson captured the Girls Junior Amateur crown Mikael Lundberg won his second Russian Open title on the European Tour.
Backspin Peck crushed Beck, 10 and 8, the largest margin of victory since the event moved to a 36-hole final four years ago Thompson was the second-youngest winner in the history of the tournament Nice win by Lundberg, but even more impressive were the bikini-clad caddies.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' RBC Canadian Open
  • Full Coverage ' Evian Masters
  • Full Coverage ' Senior Open Championship
  • More Headlines
  • Spieth stalls on Moving Day at Australian Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 25, 2017, 4:30 am

    Moving Day? Not so much for Jordan Spieth in Round 3 of the Emirates Australian Open.

    Spieth, the defending champion and also a winner in 2014, continued to struggle with his putter, shooting 1-under 70 on Saturday at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

    “I was leaving them short yesterday and today it was kind of misreading, over-reading. I missed a lot of putts on the high side – playing wind or more break,” he said. “I just really haven’t found a nice marriage between line and speed to get the ball rolling.”

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    The world No. 2 started the day eight off the pace and was unable to make a charge. He had three birdies and two bogeys, including a 4 at the par-5 finishing hole.

    Spieth praised his ball-striking in the wind-swept conditions, but lamented his putting, which has hampered him throughout the week.

    “Ball-striking’s been fantastic. Just gotta get the putts to go,” he said.

    Spieth, who is scheduled to compete in next week’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, is still holding out hope for a third title in four years at this event. He fired a brilliant 63 in very windy conditions to prevail in ’14.

    “Tomorrow is forecasted as even windier than today so you can still make up a lot of ground,” he said. “A few years ago I shot a final round that was a nice comeback and anything like that tomorrow can still even be enough to possibly get the job done.”

    South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

    By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

    South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

    Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

    Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

    So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

    Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

    The fourball results:

    LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

    LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

    LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

    KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

    LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

    LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

    NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.


    Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

    By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

    In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

    Made Cut

    The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

    Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

    “I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

    Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

    Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

    This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

    Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

    Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

    The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

    Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

    Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

    The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.

    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

    First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

    “You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

    A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

    “The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

    For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

    Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

    “I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

    Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

    “Oh, yeah,” he told “Way by.”

    Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

    Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.

    Missed Cut

    Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

    Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

    “That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

    Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

    While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

    Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

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

    Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

    Images and footage from Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson's round Friday at Trump National in Jupiter, Fla., alongside President Donald Trump:

    Original story:

    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 has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.