Notes Daly Update Tiger Slayer Winding Down

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John Daly's broken right hand remains somewhat of a mystery, but not the outlook.
 
Daly pulled out of the Bard Capital two weeks ago in Las Vegas, and he also was forced to withdraw from the Target World Challenge, the richest event in the silly season.
 
His agent, Bud Martin at SFX Sports, has been in Australia the last 10 days and is still trying to figure out what happened. But he spoke to Daly, and said the prognosis is good.
 
'John said it was a freak accident,' Martin said. 'He should be able to putt and chip in a few days, and he expects a full recovery. All the strength will come back, and there is nothing that will jeopardize anything in 2006.'
 
Daly, one of the few Americans who travels abroad, will start next year on the European tour at a new tournament in Abu Dhabi, which is Jan. 19-22. Martin said he did not know if Daly would return the following week at the Buick Invitational, where he won in a playoff two years ago.
 
TIGER SLAYER?
European captain Ian Woosnam might want to consider matching David Howell against Tiger Woods in the Ryder Cup.
 
The 30-year-old from England has scored better than Woods in four of the five times they have played each other over the last two years. The first occasion was in the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic last year, where Howell shot 67 to tie for third (Woods shot 68). More notably, they were in the last group at the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai last month, when Howell had a one-shot lead and won by three.
 
They were paired twice last week at the Target World Challenge, and Howell got him both times -- 68-72 in the second round, and 70-73 in the final round.
 
Told that he was 4-1 against him head-to-head, Howell smiled and said, 'I knew that's where you were going.'
 
He was quick to add, 'He beat me when it mattered -- by 11 shots.'
 
That was the third round at the Masters, when Woods shot 65 to take the lead and Howell posted a 76.
 
WINDING DOWN
In case anyone was wondering if golf had an offseason, the South African Open and the Okinawa Open this week will be the final events of the year that count toward the world ranking.
 
Golf takes a two-week break before resuming Jan. 5-8 with the Mercedes Championships at Kapalua on the PGA Tour and the Royal Trophy in Asia, matches between Europe and Asia.
 
Ernie Els, coming off a victory at the Dunhill Championship in South Africa, is expected to play in his third straight tournament since returning from knee surgery in late July. The Big Easy wanted to see how his knee responded before deciding to play.
 
The Okinawa Open figures to get the biggest buzz because 19-year-old Ai Miyazato, who won the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament by a record 12 shots, will make her debut against the men.
 
'I hope to make the cut,' she said after Q-school.
 
This also is the last week to collect world ranking points, which is important because the Masters invites the top 50 in the final world ranking published in 2005.
 
Stephen Ames, not otherwise eligible for the Masters, is holding down the 50th spot this week. Paul Casey is No. 51, and Graeme McDowell is 53rd. None are playing this week, and all of them are expected to finish the year outside the top 50 from gradually losing points over 13-week intervals.
 
Every player from No. 45 (Brandt Jobe) through No. 58 (Steve Elkington) already has qualified for the Masters.
 
SILLY MONEY
Luke Donald's victory in the Target World Challenge made him king of the silly season.
 
Donald only played three tournaments in the silly season -- those that do not count toward the world ranking -- but they featured the biggest purses -- the World Cup, the Nedbank Challenge and Target.
 
His victory Sunday brought his total to $1,775,000, not a bad offseason considering Donald earned $2,336,695 in 17 tournaments on the PGA Tour.
 
Jim Furyk finished No. 2 on the unofficial, silly season money list with $1,405,000 in two events, $1.2 million coming from his victory in Sun City. Right behind was Fred Funk, who cashed in on his biggest year by playing in five events and earning $1,349,250.
 
The only other millionaire in the silly season was Darren Clarke, who lost in a playoff at Sun City and was runner-up at Target to earn $1,233,000 in his two events. Rounding out the top five was Kenny Perry, who played three times and won $790,000.
 
Fred Couples, who usually cashes in this time of the year, had one of his poorer silly seasons, although it was not from a lack of effort. Couples played four times and earned $485,000, placing him 14th on the list.
 
DIVOTS
Southern Hills will host the 2007 PGA Championship, then the 2010 U.S. Amateur. That will make it three major events in 10 years at the classic course in Tulsa, Okla. ... For the sixth straight year, the Byron Nelson Championship raised more money for charity ($6.06 million) than any other PGA Tour event. ... Sergio Garcia and Bruce Lietzke will be player consultants on the two courses being designed at the TPC of San Antonio. Garcia will work with Greg Norman, while Lietzke will consult with Pete Dye.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Tiger Woods would have finished at No. 8 on the PGA Tour money list based on his earnings from the four major championships.
 
FINAL WORD
'I never questioned my golf.' -- Colin Montgomerie, who has climbed to No. 9 in the world ranking after dropping as low as No. 83.
 
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