State Farm LPGA Series to Feature 11 Events
This marks the seventh year of the Series, which awards points to players finishing in the top 20 at State Farm LPGA Series events and a $100,000 prize to the points champion at the conclusion of the State Farm Classic.
The 11 events in the 2004 State Farm LPGA Series are: Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, March 18-21; Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott, April 2-4; Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez, April 29-May 2; Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, May 6-9; Franklin American Mortgage Championship benefiting Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital, May 13-16; Sybase Classic Presented by Lincoln Mercury, May 20-23; Kellogg-Keebler Classic, June 4-6; Wegmans Rochester LPGA Presented by Lincoln Mercury, June 24-27; Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger, Aug. 5-8; Wendys Championship for Children, Aug. 20-22; and the State Farm Classic, Sept. 2-5.
This years State Farm LPGA Series will once again highlight a strong and impressive LPGA television schedule, said LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw. State Farm has been one of the LPGAs most dedicated and loyal partners for many years, and the Series has grown into one of the most dynamic and compelling television packages in all of sports. The growth of the Series in recent years fulfills our brand promise in bringing the best in womens professional golf to households across the globe.
The 2004 State Farm LPGA Series will have 70 hours of televised coverage, up from 54 hours in 2003. With the addition of events in Nashville, Tenn., and New York, the Series broadcasts seven of 11 events from the countrys top 50 television markets, including events in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
In addition, the 2003 Series saw an eight percent increase in viewership from adults in the 25-54 age bracket.
The level of competition and entertainment value offered by the best women golfers in the world make for great viewing for our State Farm customers and fans of the LPGA, said Pam El, vice president of marketing at State Farm. We are extremely proud to be the title sponsor of the State Farm LPGA Series.
Points will be tripled at the Series-ending State Farm Classic. Koreas Hee- Won Han is the defending champion of the Series. Other Series winners are: Mi Hyun Kim (2002); Annika Sorenstam (2001); Pat Hurst (2000); Karrie Webb (1999); and Se Ri Pak (1998).
The Series was the first-ever umbrella-sponsored television series for womens professional golf, and this is State Farms fourth year as title sponsor.
State Farm Insurance Companies has been involved with the LPGA since 1992. In 1993, State Farm became the title sponsor of the State Farm Rail Classic, an LPGA event held in Springfield, Ill., which has raised more than $1.9 million for various charities.
The company will maintain its title sponsorship of the tournament, now called the State Farm Classic, through 2006.
Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win
Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.
He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.
Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:
Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'
Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.
Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.
Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.
"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.
The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.
Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.
"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."
McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open
When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.
Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.
Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.
While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.
Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai
Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.
Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."
But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.
With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.
Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.
The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.
"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."