Notes First Annika Now Monty Ready to Re-Marry


DeutscheBank Logo 2007NORTON, Mass. -- Colin Montgomerie is about to be a married man again.
The tempestuous Scot confirmed Tuesday that he is engaged to Gaynor Knowles. According to the Daily Mail, Montgomerie proposed over the weekend in front of their seven children -- three of his from his 14-year marriage, and four of hers from her marriage to Scottish furniture tycoon George Knowles Jr., who died of a heart attack in 2003.
'We are just thrilled and looking forward to the future together,' Montgomerie said in a statement. 'We have not yet made any formal plans, but will be planning with the respective families in the coming weeks.'
Brad Faxon and Brett Quigley have more in common than their New England roots.
Faxon is out for the year after having surgery on his right foot to remove bunions. Quigley will have surgery on his right knee to repair torn cartilage as soon as he is eliminated from the FedExCup, which would be early as this week if he finishes lower than second at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
And both might be paying close attention to the money list the last two months.
Faxon, 46, didn't make a cut until March and his best finish was a tie for 33rd in Hartford. It became difficult to push off on the inside of his right foot, and equally painful was not playing well enough to qualify for any of the majors for the first time in his career.
'It was getting worse,' Faxon said. 'The surgeon told me if I didn't do surgery soon, I'd have a more difficult surgery later.'
Faxon's two-year exemption from winning in Hartford runs out this year, so he is hopeful of staying in the top 25 on the career money list to use a one-time exemption for 2008.
He is No. 24 by about $900,000 over David Duval, who might play in the fall depending on his family situation. Of greater concern are the players right behind Duval -- Jerry Kelly, K.J. Choi and Adam Scott, all of whom are within $2 million of Faxon, with three FedExCup events worth at least $7 million each.
If he stays inside the top 25, Faxon will use the one-time exemption. If he falls below that, Faxon said he probably would use his status as a past winner and ask for sponsors' exemptions to get by next year, wanting to save his one-time exemption for top 50 in career money until he is closer to being eligible for the Champions Tour.
Quigley's right knee began bothering him in February, and only recently did he discover it was a torn meniscus. He took cortisone shots before The Barclays, but still walked with a noticeable limp. He will miss the rest of the year after surgery.
Once the FedExCup is over, the PGA TOUR reverts to the money list and the top 125 keep their cards for 2008. Quigley tied for 25th at Westchester and earned $49,035. That put him at $717,411 for the year.
He should be safe.
A year ago, Darren Clarke nailed down the 125th spot on the money list at about $660,000, and tour officials still believe $700,000 is a safe number. Then again, no one knows what to expect out of the seven tournaments that make up the Fall Series, especially since the first one at Turning Stone has a $6 million purse.
For the most part, the Fall Series could exclusively be for players beyond the top 70, which could mean more starts and more money earned over the final two months of the season. Quigley could help himself with another strong week in Boston.
If for some reason he fell out of the top 125, he could apply for a minor medical exemption.
'That would be a last resort,' Quigley said. 'I don't even want to go down that road.'
Before taking a much-deserved vacation, Lorena Ochoa stopped by Palm Desert, Calif., on Tuesday where she was given a key to the city in advance of the Mexican star defending her title in October at the Samsung World Championship.
That's where it all started for Ochoa.
Her comeback victory in the California desert over Annika Sorenstam essentially wrapped up LPGA player of the year honors, and she's been on a roll ever since. Her victory at the Safeway Classic on Sunday was her third in a row and sixth of the year; no one else on the LPGA Tour has won more than twice.
Ochoa broke the LPGA single-season earnings record with $2,891,590, about $28,000 more than Sorenstam won in 2002 when the Swede captured 11 titles in 23 starts. Ochoa has played 19 times this year, and is a lock to become the first $3 million woman in golf, with at least four tournaments left on her schedule.
'Last year was a very important year for me, kind of a breakthrough,' Ochoa said. 'I won six tournaments, and I thought it would be hard to hit that mark this year, but that was my goal. Right now, I'm just letting it happen and enjoying it. I know there are too many players behind me, so I need to keep working hard.'
Actually, no one is in her league right now.
The only one who can catch her for LPGA Tour player of the year is Suzann Pettersen, who would have to win six times and have Ochoa miss every cut to catch her.
Tiger Woods and Rory Sabbatini would seem like a fun match in the Sunday singles at the Presidents Cup, but Geoff Ogilvy of Australia believes International captain Gary Player should consider Nick O'Hern or Mike Weir to take on the world's No. 1.
'Tiger has done all right against Rory the last few times,' he said.
O'Hern is the only player to have beaten Woods twice in professional match play, both times in the Accenture Match Play Championship. Weir is the most popular player in Canada, and to put those two together at Royal Montreal, Ogilvy said, 'You wouldn't find atmosphere like that anywhere in the world.'
As for O'Hern?
'He's the most annoying guy on our team in match play,' Ogilvy said. 'I think he would frustrate Tiger, which he has done twice.'
Phil Mickelson and Annika Sorenstam will be among 30 Callaway Golf staff professionals who will carry a commemorative teal bag during September to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. ... The new Fall Series event in Florida now has a new name. The Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro will be played Oct. 25-28 at The Tesoro Club in south Florida. ... Tadd Fujikawa has received an invitation to the Boise Open on the Nationwide Tour next month. The 16-year-old missed the cut at the Reno-Tahoe Open in his professional debut.
For the first time since the end of 2001, four Americans are among the top five in the world ranking.
'I got done being amazed by what he can do a long time ago, so who knows? But he's made it more difficult for himself would be my guess.' -- PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, on Tiger Woods' chances of winning the FedExCup by skipping the first of four playoff events.
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