New PGA Tour stop restores shine to once-elite Greenbrier
In a widely anticipated move, Tour officials announced the slot on the 2010 schedule that had been held for the last half decade by the Buick Open in Michigan will be filled by a new event at the Greenbrier, the posh West Virginia resort that hosted the 1979 Ryder Cup and 1994 Solheim Cup.
The $6 million Greenbrier Classic will be played July 26-Aug. 1 next year on the resorts famed Old White Course, the first year of a six-year deal.
We knew going into this downturn we were going to have some form of turnover in our schedule, Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. We were delighted to be able to move quickly and not have a vacuum in the schedule.
The Buick Open void, however, was only half of the one/two GM punch the Tour announced on Tuesday. The embattled auto manufacturer also withdrew its title sponsorship of Februarys Buick Invitational in Torrey Pines.
Finchem said Torrey Pines status as a top-tier event should make it easy to find a replacement sponsor, and he also said that negotiations with Buick, which was contracted to sponsor the San Diego and Michigan stops for one more year, are ongoing.
Its possible (Buick could sponsor the 2010 tournament at Torrey Pines), Finchem said. Its equally possible we will get a new sponsor. We just have to wait and see.
During the companys halcyon days on Tour, Buick sponsored four events and had a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with the games top draw ' Woods. The news that the company was ending more than a half century of business was still a topic of conversation on Wednesday among players.
You hate to lose a tournament but to lose someone that has been involved with the Tour for so long . . . its tough, said David Toms, one of four player directors on the Tours Policy Board. Im sure it will happen again. I dont think weve seen the worst of it.
Many observers say the Buick announcement was the latest in a series of paradigm shifts in tournament sponsorships away from traditional strongholds in the auto and financial institutions and into new business areas.
Times are changing, said one tournament director who asked not to be identified. Think back four years ago. How many car sponsors did we have? Ten? Its a sign of the times.
The Buick news has escalated talk about the invent of what observers are calling flex scheduling, which would rotate events around certain dates each year in order to improve the quality of fields.
Finchem said he has had early talks regarding flex scheduling with players and sponsors and said the feedback has been positive. Even Tiger Woods gave the idea early support.
It has worked in the past and theres no reason it wouldnt work in the future, he said.
The earliest flex scheduling could be implemented is 2013 and would likely split the schedule into pods depending on an events historical spot on the calendar. Finchem used the Canadian Open, which has struggled to draw top fields in recent years played the week after the British Open, as an example of how flex scheduling would work.
If youre playing the week after the British Open you are definitely a candidate for flex scheduling, Finchem said.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
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.
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
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.