Woods Named Player of the Year

By Sports NetworkDecember 8, 2003, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- In one of the closest races in recent years, Tiger Woods again claimed the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award. Woods was selected over money-leader Vijay Singh for the honor.
Woods won the award for a record fifth consecutive year and for the sixth time in the last seven years. Tom Watson had captured the award four straight times from 1977 to 1980.
'Congratulations to Tiger for his sixth Player of the Year Award,' said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. 'And congratulations also to the other four players nominated who produced outstanding results during the 2003 season.'
Woods was major-less for the first time since the 1998 season, which was also the last time he did not win the money title.
Singh snapped Woods' reign atop the money list as he picked up a tour-record $7,573,907. The Fijian earned four wins on the season and posted 18 top-10 finishes in 27 starts. Singh's wins came at the Phoenix Open, Byron Nelson Classic, John Deere Classic and Funai Classic at Disney World.
Woods, who played in nine fewer tournaments than Singh, recorded 12 top-10s in 18 starts and won five times.
'Quite frankly, I would have been disappointed if I didn't win,' said Woods. 'Considering I had won five times this year.'
Woods also has several lengthy streaks going. He has made 114 consecutive cuts, breaking the record of the legendary golfer Byron Nelson. Also, he has been the No. 1 ranked player in the world for 226 straight weeks.
Woods is on pace to snap the all-time record of longest at No. 1 in the world set by Greg Norman. Woods has been atop the rankings for a total of 296 weeks, just 35 shy of Norman's all- time mark of 331 weeks.
While coming back from off-season knee surgery, Woods burst out of the gate by winning three of his first four events - the Buick Invitational, WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Bay Hill Invitational. He later picked up titles at the Western Open and WGC-American Express Championship.
'Everything was OK physically, it was just the mental hurdle of getting out there and knowing I can swing like I used to without hurting myself,' Woods said. 'Last year I was feeling so much pain, I was altering my game.'
At the majors, Woods' best showing came at the British Open, where he tied for fourth. At the Masters, Woods barely survived the cut, then climbed to a tie for 15th.
Despite a second-round 66, Woods stumbled to a share of 20th at 3-over-par at the U.S. Open. At the PGA Championship, the season's final major, Woods was not a factor and never broke par en route to a 12-over-par 292.
He became the first person since Fred Couples in 1991 to win the Player of the Year Award without winning a major or capturing the money title.
'Everyone is basing my performance on what I did in 2000 and it is very hard to duplicate what I did that year,' said Woods. 'That was a very magical year. But this year, I won five times and two of them were World Golf Championships, so of the biggest tournaments in the world, at least I was able to get a couple of them.'
Also announced on Monday were the Rookie of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year Awards. British Open champion Ben Curtis was honored as the Rookie of the Year, while Peter Jacobsen garnered Comeback Player of the Year honors.
Curtis, playing in his first major at the British Open, was the only player to finish under par for the event. The victory vaulted him 361 spots in the Official World Golf Rankings, the single greatest jump since the rankings began in 1986. He ended the season 46th on the PGA money list with $1,434,911.
Jacobsen picked up his first win since 1995 when he titled at the Greater Hartford Open. Jacobsen, who becomes eligible for the Champions Tour when he turns 50 on March 4, earned a career-best $1,162,726 this season.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.