Bunker Shots Asian Invasion

By Randall MellOctober 26, 2010, 9:50 pm

Blasting into the week ahead, from Asia to Bubble Boy Mania.PGA Tour

PGA Tour

CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia

This inaugural tournament is billed as a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.

What’s that mean? It does not mean the winner gets credit for an official PGA Tour victory or claims the two-year exemption that usually goes with official victories. And, thus, it does not mean money won will count as official money.

Mostly, it means the PGA Tour sees a benefit in partnering with the event, much the same way it sees the benefit in partnering with Tiger Woods’ Chevron World Challenge, which also doesn’t carry official-victory or official-money status.

Mostly, in the new CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, the PGA Tour sees a future in Asia and wants another foot in the door to the Far East.

What kind of future?

“As far as I have heard, the Asia Pacific Classic is going to become a full-field event in the future, and will count towards the PGA Tour Money List,” Jeev Milkha Singh wrote in a story special to the Gulf News of the United Arab Emirates.

Whether that’s the reality remains to be seen as we all wait to see what kind of plans the PGA Tour has in the Far East. The event is followed a week later by the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China.

Bunker shot: Ernie Els spoke last week about how he’ll tailor down his international schedule next year, but he’s making the most of this year. Els is the second highest ranked player in this week’s 40-man field at No. 11 in the Official World Golf Ranking (only No. 8 Luke Donald ranks ahead of him). Els is also scheduled to play in next week’s WGC-HSBC Champions. Els, Donald, Retief Goosen, Adam Scott, Tim Clark and Rickie Fowler are among the draws this week.

Mell’s picks: Winner – Luke Donald. Contender – Adam Scott. Dark horse – Ben Crane.

Course: The Mines Resort & Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Purse: $6 million (winner’s share, $1 million).

TV times: Golf Channel, Thursday-Sunday, 7:30-9:30 p.m. (ET).

Last year: Inaugural event.


LPGA 

LPGA Tour _new

LPGA Hana Bank Championship

Paula Creamer moved back into the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking this week off a fourth-place finish at the Masters GC Ladies on the Japan LPGA Tour last weekend. She’s among eight of the top 10 in the world rankings in this week’s field. No. 3 Ai Miyazato and No. 5 Yani Tseng are the only top-10 players who aren’t scheduled to play in the 54-hole event in South Korea.

Bunker shot: Cristie Kerr reclaimed the No. 1 ranking she so desperately wanted this week, but it won’t be easy holding on to the top spot down the home stretch of the season with so many players grouped so close at the top of the Rolex world rankings. No. 2 Jiyai Shin and No. 4 Suzann Pettersen have a chance to ascend to No. 1 with victories this week.

Mell’s picks: Winner – Na Yeon Choi. Contender – Song Hee Kim. Dark horse – Meena Lee.

Course: Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course, Incheon, South Korea. Par 72, 6,364 yards.

Purse: $1.8 million (winner’s share, $270,000).

TV times: Golf Channel, Friday-Sunday, noon to 2 p.m. (ET).

Last year: Na Yeon Choi won, defeating Yani Tseng and Maria Hjorth by a shot.


Champions Tour

Champions Tour

AT&T Championship

Though the money list hovers as a major storyline this week, so does the golf course.

Oak Hills, a favorite venue among Champions Tour veterans, is in the final year of hosting the championship on the A.W. Tillinghast-designed course. The event’s moving next year to the AT&T Canyons Course at TPC San Antonio, ending Oak Hills’ 29-year run as home to a Tour event. This week’s event is the last before the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. The top 30 on the money list advance to next week’s season-ending event.

Bunker shot: Nobody ought to be sadder to see the event moving away from Oak Hills than John Cook, who won Champions Tour starts there in ’07 and ’08 and sports a 66.7 scoring average in nine rounds on the course.

Mell’s picks: Winner – John Cook. Contender – Bernhard Langer. Dark horse – Mark Wiebe.

Course: Oak Hills Country Club, San Antonio, Texas. Par 71, 6,670 yards.

Purse: $1.75 million (winner’s share, $255,000).

TV times: Golf Channel, Friday-Sunday, 4:30-7 p.m. (ET).

Last year: Phil Blackmar claimed his first Champions Tour title, finishing a shot ahead of Jay Haas, Tom Kite and Andy Bean.


NATIONWIDE TOURNationwide Tour

Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island

It’s choke or thrive time for the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit.

Twenty-nine tournaments come down to this pressure-packed finale.

The Nationwide Tour’s season-ending event offers up Q-School like pressure with players trying to finish among the top 25 on the money list and earn their promotions to the PGA Tour next year.

Bunker shot: Jamie Lovemark sits atop the money list with Chris Nallen “on the bubble” at No. 25, but all 60 players in the field have mathematical chances to win PGA Tour cards. Players who finish 26th-40th in money are exempt into the final stage of Q-School in December.

Mell’s picks: Winner – Won Joon Lee. Contender – Kevin Chappell. Dark horse – Jeff Curl.

Course: Daniel Island Club’s Ralston Creek Course, Charleston, S.C. Par 72, 7,446 yards.

Purse: $1 million (winner’s share: $180,000).

TV times: Golf Channel, Thursday-Sunday, 2-4:30 p.m. (ET).

Last year: Matt Every won, finishing three shots ahead of Michael Sim.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

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

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


President at the Presidents Cup


Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm