Show Me the Money

By Kraig KannMay 17, 2001, 4:00 pm
A little more than one-fourth of the way through the Buy.Com Tour schedule, we find ourselves in Richmond,VA this week at Stonehenge. A nice course to be certain, it opened in 1970 and plays just more than 7,000 yards to a par of 71.
But enough of those numbers. As it is each year, and each week on this tour, the numbers that really matter relate to money. Any player who tells you hes not playing for the money on this tour might need to rethink things just a bit. Sure, the experience is more than money can buy for players seeking to reach the ultimate level. But ultimately, its the money that determines their fate as players.
Top 15 is the battlecry each year, and each week, because those finishing the years 30 events in the top 15 on the money list earn PGA Tour cards for the following year. But, when it gets right down to it, perhaps the money numbers go beyond that. The top 55 earn spots into the Buy.Com Tours season-ending Tour Championship, and certainly as important, they earn exempt status on the Buy.Com Tour the following year and also a straight pass to the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournaments Final Stage, meaning no worries about 1st and 2nd Stage qualifying tension headaches.
All that said, lets talk about a few of those players off to a great start in this dash for cash that is the Buy.Com Tour. 13 of the current top 15 on the money list are in the field this week at the Richmond Open.
1. Deane Pappas ($161,600) ' 3rd on Tour in Scoring Average, 2nd on Tour in putting average. Winner of Buy.Com events in 2000 and 2001. The South African has played the PGA Tour before (1999) and you can bet experience will pay off in the long run for him.
2. Jonathan Byrd ($128,700) ' As a rookie, 1st on Tour in all-around ranking, driving distance, total driving and sand save percentage. The 23-year-old Clemson Tiger started the year as a Monday qualifier and has since won a tournament and more importantly the respect of every player on this tour. Appears to be a cant-miss prospect.
3. Tim Petrovic ($116,728) ' Tops on Tour in scoring average (69.59). He started the year without fully-exempt status and has made the most of it with two runner-up finishes this year. Played the Buy.Com Tour in 1993 and 1999. The soon-to-be 35-year-old has risen up through the ranks, having played on the Golden Bear Tour and paid his dues as a cook and pizza delivery boy at Pizza Hut. Like a fine crust, his hopes of graduation are rising!
4. Paul Claxton ($113,661) ' Known as the Georgia Gentleman on tour, hes finally getting a mean-streak in him on the course. A winner this year already in Louisiana and he came from 4 strokes back on Sunday to do it. Hes played the PGA Tour as well, and is trying to find a consistency that will help him at the next level.
5. Chris Couch ($112,273) ' A super-long hitter and winner this year in the first event on the schedule at Gainesville,FL. Hes played a full year on the PGA Tour, and like so many before him, found out his game needs some work. 11th on Tour in the all-around ranking and 8th in birdie average, those are numbers he can be proud of . Now he needs to keep it up.
6. Brenden Pappas ($98,158) ' Yes, the brother of the man who sits at No. 1 on the money list. In fact, there are three Pappas brothers with plenty of game. What makes Brendens year so special is that hes a rookie. He has a 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finish this year. A South African Tour veteran, he was the Teardrop Tours Order of Merit winner in 2000. Very talented, and the family competition will help as the year progresses.
9. Chad Campbell ($88,097) ' Another of the cant-miss kids if you believe what you hear walking up and down the practice tee on this tour. His resume speaks for itself. While he only played eight Buy.Com Tour events prior to 2001, he dominated on the Hooters Tour winning eight of the first 16 tournaments on the 2000 schedule! Enough said. 7th in scoring average, 1st in greens in regulation. Look out PGA Tour.
10. Brett Quigley ($84,976) ' If this guy doesnt provide the answer to just how talent-filled the Buy.Com Tour is, then find me someone who does! Always known as Mr. Bubble on the PGA Tour, hes never been able to stick around the big tour full-time. So earlier this year, he won the Arkansas Classic on the Buy.Com Tour and then the next week when his number came up at the PGA Tours Greater Greensboro Chrylser Classic came up, he took off and finished 2nd. So now whats he to do? Almost enough to lock up a PGA Tour card with his earnings there and guaranteed a spot on this tour next year because of his win at Arkansas. Not a bad problem to have.
12. Ryuji Imada ($65,587) ' Also qualifies as the real deal. His name comes up often among players looking for a great swing and a gift for dealing with the hype. Won on Buy.Com Tour as rookie in 2000. Has narrowly missed his PGA Tour card at Q-School the last two years. His time will come soon enough. 4th on Tour in putting average, 2nd in eagles (holes per), 8th in all-around ranking. Look for a follow-up win this year , or maybe more!
With those names as a backdrop, pay attention to the Buy.Com Tour. It has been said that it just might qualify as the 2nd best Tour in the world. I dont know if its reached the level of the European Tour for star power just yet, but for depth of field and promising prospects, it very well could be the No.2.
And one final thing: if a player happens to say in an interview this week or next that hes not thinking about the money and just letting things take care of themselves, dont be so quick to believe the cash conversation didnt happen over dinner with other players the night before!
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Lesson with Woods fetches $210K for Harvey relief

By Will GrayDecember 13, 2017, 2:51 pm

A charity event featuring more than two dozen pro golfers raised more than $1 million for Hurricane Harvey relief, thanks in large part to a hefty price paid for a private lesson with Tiger Woods.

The pro-am fundraiser was organized by Chris Stroud, winner of the Barracuda Championship this summer, and fellow pro and Houston resident Bobby Gates. It was held at Bluejack National in Montgomery, Texas, about an hour outside Houston and the first Woods-designed course to open in the U.S.

The big-ticket item on the auction block was a private, two-person lesson with Woods at Bluejack National that sold for a whopping $210,000.

Other participants included local residents like Stacy Lewis, Patrick Reed and Steve Elkington as well as local celebrities like NBA All-Star Clyde Drexler, Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.

Stroud was vocal in his efforts to help Houston rebuild in the immediate aftermath of the storm that ravaged the city in August, and he told the Houston Chronicle that he plans to continue fundraising efforts even after eclipsing the event's $1 million goal.

"This is the best event I have ever been a part of, and this is just a start," Stroud said. "We have a long way to go for recovery to this city, and we want to keep going with this and raise as much as we can and help as many victims as we can."

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LPGA schedule features 34 events, record purse

By Randall MellDecember 13, 2017, 2:02 pm

The LPGA schedule will once again feature 34 events next year with a record $68.75 million in total purses, the tour announced on Wednesday.

While three events are gone from the 2018 schedule, three new events have been added, with two of those on the West Coast and one in mainland China.

The season will again start with the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic on Paradise Island (Jan. 25-28) and end with the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla., (Nov. 15-18).

The LPGA played for $65 million in total prize money in 2017.

An expanded West Coast swing in the front half of the schedule will now include the HUGEL-JTBC Championship in the Los Angeles area April 19-22. The site will be announced at a later date.

The tour will then make a return to San Francisco’s Lake Merced Golf Club the following week, in a new event sponsored by L&P Cosmetics, a Korean skincare company. Both new West Coast tournaments will be full-field events.

The tour’s third new event will be played in Shanghai Oct. 18-21 as part of the fall Asian swing. The title sponsor and golf course will be announced at a later date.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of our schedule is the consistency — continuing to deliver strong playing opportunities both in North America and around the world, while growing overall purse levels every year,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement. “There is simply no better [women’s] tour opportunity in the world, when it comes to purses, global TV coverage or strength of field. It’s an exciting time in women’s golf, with the best players from every corner of the globe competing against each other in virtually every event.”

While the Evian Championship will again be played in September next year, the tour confirmed its plans to move its fifth major to the summer in 2019, to be part of a European swing, with the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

The Manulife LPGA Classic and the Lorena Ochoa Invitational are not returning to the schedule next year. Also, the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open will not be played next year as it prepares to move to the front of the 2019 schedule, to be paired with the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

The U.S. Women’s Open will make its new place earlier in the summer, a permanent move in the tour’s scheduling. It will be played May 31-June 3 at Shoal Creek Golf Club outside Birmingham, Ala. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (June 28-July 1) will be played at Kemper Lakes Golf Club on the north side of Chicago and the Ricoh Women’s British Open (Aug. 2-5) will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in England.

For the first time since its inception in 2014, the UL International Crown team event is going overseas, with the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, scheduled to host the event Oct. 4-7. The KEB Hana Bank Championship will be played in South Korean the following week.

Here is the LPGA's schedule for 2018:

Jan. 25-28: Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic; Paradise Island, Bahamas; Purse: $1.4 million

Feb. 15-18: ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open; Adelaide, Australia; Purse: $1.3 million

Feb. 21-24: Honda LPGA Thailand; Chonburi, Thailand; Purse: $1.6 million

March 1-4: HSBC Women's World Championship; Singapore; Purse: $1.5 million

March 15-18: Bank of Hope Founders Cup; Phoenix, Arizona; Purse: $1.5 million

March 22-25: Kia Classic; Carlsbad, California; Purse: $1.8 million

March 29 - April 1: ANA Inspiration; Rancho Mirage, California; Purse: $2.8 million

April 11-14: LOTTE Championship; Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii; Purse: $2 million

April 19-22: HUGEL-JTBC Championship; Greater Los Angeles, California; Purse: $1.5 million

April 26-29: Name to be Announced; San Francisco, California; Purse: $1.5 million

May 3-6: Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic; The Colony, Texas; Purse: $1.3 million

May 17-20: Kingsmill Championship; Williamsburg, Virginia; Purse: $1.3 million

May 24-27: LPGA Volvik Championship; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Purse: $1.3 million

May 31 - June 3: U.S. Women's Open Championship; Shoal Creek, Alabama; Purse: $5 million

June 8-10: ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer; Galloway, New Jersey; Purse: $1.75 million

June 14-17: Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Purse: $2 million

June 22-24: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G; Rogers, Arkansas; Purse: $2 million

June 28 - July 1: KPMG Women's PGA Championship; Kildeer, Illinois; Purse: $3.65 million

July 5-8: Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic; Oneida, Wisconsin; Purse: $2 million

July 12-15: Marathon Classic presented by Owens-Corning and O-I; Sylvania, Ohio; Purse: $1.6 million

July 26-29: Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open; East Lothian, Scotland; Purse: $1.5 million

Aug. 2-5: Ricoh Women's British Open; Lancashire, England; Purse: $3.25 million

Aug. 16-19: Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim; Indianapolis, Indiana; Purse: $2 million

Aug. 23-26: CP Women's Open; Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Purse: $2.25 million

Aug. 30 - Sept. 2: Cambia Portland Classic; Portland, Oregon; Purse: $1.3 million

Sept. 13-16: The Evian Championship; Evian-les-Bains, France; Purse: $3.85 million

Sept. 27-30: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Purse: $1.8 million

Oct. 4-7: UL International Crown; Incheon, Korea; Purse: $1.6 million

Oct. 11-14: LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship; Incheon, Korea; Purse: $2 million

Oct. 18-21: Name to be Announced; Shanghai, China; Purse: $2.1 million

Oct. 25-28: Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship; New Taipei City, Chinese Taipei; Purse: $2.2 million

Nov. 2-4: TOTO Japan Classic; Shiga, Japan; Purse: $1.5 million

Nov. 7-10: Blue Bay LPGA; Hainan Island, China; Purse: $2.1 million

Nov. 15-18: CME Group Tour Championship; Naples, Florida; Purse: $2.5 million

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 4, Jordan Spieth

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 13, 2017, 1:00 pm

Dismissed because he’s supposedly too short off the tee, or not accurate enough with his irons, or just a streaky putter, Jordan Spieth is almost never the answer to the question of which top player, when he’s at his best, would win in a head-to-head match.

And yet here he is, at the age of 24, with 11 career wins and three majors, on a pace that compares favorably with the giants of the game. He might not possess the firepower of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, but since he burst onto the PGA Tour in 2013 he has all that matters – a better résumé.

Spieth took the next step in his development this year by becoming the Tour’s best iron player – and its most mentally tough.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Just a great putter? Oh, puhleeze: He won three times despite putting statistics (42nd) that were his worst since his rookie year. Instead, he led the Tour in strokes gained-approach the green and this summer showed the discipline, golf IQ and bounce-back ability that makes him such a unique talent. 

Even with his putter misbehaving, Spieth closed out the Travelers Championship by holing a bunker shot in the playoff, then, in perhaps an even bigger surprise, perfectly executed the player-caddie celebration, chest-bumping caddie Michael Greller. A few weeks later, sublime iron play carried him into the lead at Royal Birkdale, his first in a major since his epic collapse at the 2016 Masters.

Once again his trusty putter betrayed him, and by the time he arrived on the 13th tee, he was tied with Matt Kuchar. What happened next was the stuff of legend – a lengthy ruling, gutsy up-and-down, stuffed tee shot and go-get-that putt – that lifted Spieth to his third major title.

Though he couldn’t complete the career Grand Slam at the PGA, he’ll likely have, oh, another two decades to join golf’s most exclusive club.

In the barroom debate of best vs. best, you can take the guys with the flair, with the booming tee shots and the sky-high irons. Spieth will just take the trophies.


Masters Tournament: Return to the 12th; faltering on Sunday (T-11)

Spieth pars 12, but makes quad on 15

Spieth takes another gut punch, but still standing

Article: Spieth splashes to worst Masters finish


U.S. Open: 1 over usually good ... not at Erin Hills (T-35)


The Open: Unforgettable finish leads to major win No. 3 (1st)

Spieth survives confusing ordeal on 13

Photos: Spieth's incredible journey on 13

Take it, it's yours: Spieth gets claret jug

Chamblee: Spieth doesn't have 'it' - 'he has it all'

Article: Spieth silences his doubters - even himself


PGA Championship: Career Grand Slam bid comes up well short (T-28)

Article: Spieth accepts that Grand Slam is off the table


AT&T Pebble Beach

Article: Spieth rising from 'valley' after Pebble Beach win

Travelers Championship

Spieith wins dramatic Travelers in playoff

Watch: Spieth holes bunker shot, goes nuts



Photos: Jordan Spieth and Annie Verret


Photos: Jordan Spieth through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 13, 2017, 12:30 pm