Par 5 PGA Tour vs European Tour

By Randall MellJanuary 18, 2011, 8:19 pm
Setting the week’s agenda with five questions about the PGA Tour vs. the European Tour ...

Is the PGA Tour still the strongest tour in the world?

The European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the United Arab Emirates will dwarf the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Classic in star power this week.

With so many Euros climbing over PGA Tour players in the world rankings, there promises to be more focus on the other side of the pond this year than golf’s accustomed.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson can spoil the European party this week at Abu Dhabi. (Getty Images)
No. 1 Lee Westwood will make his first start of 2011 in Abu Dhabi, where the field includes four of the top five players in the world rankings. Abu Dhabi will feature 16 of the top 30 in the world.

The Bob Hope Classic? The event will host zero players in the top 10 in the world rankings and two (Matt Kuchar and Tim Clark) among the top 30.

Overall, though, the PGA Tour will win this game of comparative strength of fields through 2011.

The European Tour had the stronger field – by virtue of more world ranking points – just nine times when going head to head with PGA Tour events a year ago.

The PGA Tour had the stronger field 23 times in head-to-head events.

Look for the same trend this year.

When it comes to money, the PGA Tour also dwarfs the European Tour. The PGA Tour played for $270 million in prize money a year ago, the European Tour $170 million. The difference will be essentially the same this year. Even this week, the PGA Tour towers over the European Tour in prize money. The Bob Hope Classic ($5 million) is offering nearly double the prize money of Abu Dhabi ($2.7 million). Of course, that doesn’t include lucrative “appearance fees” hidden in sidelight incentives in Abu Dhabi.

Yet, if golf’s really all about the major championships, if that’s where you truly measure the game’s greatness, the European Tour is the strongest tour in the world. It’s the strongest by virtue of the fact that its members won three of the four major championship titles last year with Europe also winning the Ryder Cup.
What’s at stake between the tours this week?

Germany’s Martin Kaymer can’t climb to No. 1 with a victory at Abu Dhabi, but he can climb over Tiger Woods and seize the No. 2 world ranking.

If that happens, it will mark the first time Europeans have ranked Nos. 1-2 in the world in more than 17 years.

The Euros last held the top two spots with Nick Faldo at No. 1 and Bernhard Langer No. 2 on July 18, 1993.

It’s also possible Europeans could walk away from Abu Dhabi holding three of the top four spots in the world should Graeme McDowell also bump Phil Mickelson. They both enter the week tied at No. 4 in the world.
What big blow could the PGA Tour strike this week?

Mickelson makes his first start of the year at Abu Dhabi.,

He may rank co-No. 4 in the world, but it will feel like an upset going overseas and winning with so many of the top Europeans playing that tour’s first big event of 2011. He’d spoil the big party the Euros have been having over their rising status.

It’s a tall order with Mickelson making his first start in more than two months.
Where are the two tours pointed at the top of the world rankings?

If Tiger Woods finds his best form, the PGA Tour’s pointed toward more dominance.

Woods is the PGA Tour trump card who beats all comers when he’s right in the head, the heart and the body.

If Woods isn’t, the European Tour’s formidably poised for a continued run with so many of its players in their prime while the PGA Tour’s beginning to look old at the top.

The average age of the top four Americans in the world rankings is 39.

The average age of the top four Europeans is 31.

Woods (35), Mickelson (40), Steve Stricker (43) and Jim Furyk (40) are the USA’s top four.

Lee Westwood (37), Martin Kaymer (26), Graeme McDowell (31) and Paul Casey (33) are Europe’s top four.

The PGA Tour has Dustin Johnson (26), Anthony Kim (25) and Rickie Fowler (22) as future stars with terrific potential.

The European Tour has Kaymer, Rory McIlroy (21) and Matteo Manassero (17) poised to lead future runs.
What’s the Ryder Cup forecast?

Jose Maria Olazabal was named the European Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday, and Davis Love III will be officially introduced as the next American captain on Thursday.

Love and the Americans should have plenty to motivate them for the 2012 matches at Medinah.

In Europe, they’re boasting they’re already 1 up.

Olazabal is 18-8-5 in Ryder Cup matches, Love is 9-12-5.

Olazabal is 4-1 in head-to-head matches against Love in Ryder Cup play, though they’ve never met in singles.

Those numbers don’t mean so much with the nature of the players who will compete under these captains meaning more, but we’ve seen captains appear to make the difference in evenly handicapped matches before.

Follow Randall Mell on Twitter @RandallMell
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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.