Dave Renwick, who has been with Vijay Singh for seven of his nine victories, was held up at knifepoint by two men in downtown Atlanta as he was returning from dinner at the start of the week. Renwick was robbed of his watch and money, although he was not injured.
Then, he was mysteriously missing from the bag of the No. 1 player on the weekend. Singh instead used his trainer, Joey Diovisalvi, for the final two rounds.
Singh said Renwick had a bad hip, although that raised eyebrows because the Scottish caddie was seen at East Lake early Saturday morning.
There has been speculation that the two were about to part ways, although Singh said Renwick would be back on the bag at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii in two weeks.
It has been a peculiar relationship over the last 18 months.
Singh has praised Renwick for his work, although it hasn't always been a ringing endorsement.
'The caddie is as good as the player, and I proved it twice this year,' Singh said, noting that Diovisalvi caddied for two of his wins. 'I'm pretty happy with his work, and I guess he's happy with what he's been rewarded with.'
Something for Everyone
Tiger Woods will play in the Skins Game and the Target World Challenge. Vijay Singh has the PGA Grand Slam and the Father-Son Challenge. Other top players can chase free money at the UBS Cup or the Shark Shootout.
But the PGA Tour is all about opportunity, and this year it is offering something from everyone.
Anyone up for the Korea Golf Championship?
The latest addition to the silly season will be played Nov. 25-28 at JungMun Golf Course on Jeju Island. It was supposed to be a $4 million tournament for 60 players with $1 million going to the winner. The top 20 players from the PGA Tour money list through Aug. 22 were eligible.
The only hitch?
It takes about 20 hours to get there - a flight to Seoul, transfer by bus to a regional airport, a short flight to Jeju Island and then another bus to the golf course - and it starts on Thanksgiving.
To no one's surprise, there weren't a lot of takers.
Cameron Beckman was outside the top 125 on the money list in late August, but two months later he was holding out hope he could get in.
'I think I'm third alternate,' Beckman said.
Among those planning to play are Mark Calcavecchia, who will travel anywhere for a chance to win $1 million. Besides, he won in Korea earlier this year at the Maekyung Open.
'I'm 1-0 in Korea,' Calcavecchia said. 'It could be my place.'
Calcavecchia said he was in line to get a sponsor's exemption because of his earlier victory, but he made it through the money list - even though he, too, was struggling to get his card.
Others who have committed include Tom Pernice Jr., Harrison Frazar, Arron Oberholser, Tim Petrovic, Brian Bateman and K.J. Choi, who figures to be the star attraction at home in South Korea.
But there already has been some changes.
Because of budget cuts, the purse has been reduced to about $3.5 million, causing tournament organizers to lower the field to 39 players to make it worth their while.
Still, it's a nice perk to those players who ordinarily don't get them this time of the year. Last place is $20,000, and players don't have to pay for the airfare or hotel.
Now that the PGA of America has found a Ryder Cup captain, a more important search is under way - finding a replacement for Jim Awtrey, the chief executive officer who is retiring in 2006.
Awtrey informed the PGA board during its annual meeting last week, noting that 2006 will be his 20th year.
'While this was not an easy decision, it is the proper decision and the proper time,' Awtrey said.
Awtrey's contract expires June 1, 2006, although the PGA extended it to the end of that year to allow the organization time to find his replacement and help with the transition. That means Awtrey will be around for the Ryder Cup matches in Ireland.
Paula Creamer at least has some security if she decides to turn pro.
Creamer, an 18-year-old senior in high school, shared medalist honors at Q-school on the Futures Tour with 19-year-old Brittany Lincicome.
Lincicome, the first-round leader at the U.S. Women's Open, already has decided to turn pro and cashed her first check worth $500. Creamer is leaning toward turning pro, but still has not decided.
She is in the finals of LPGA qualifying next month. If Creamer does not get her card, she has a spot on the Futures Tour, or she can go to college and compete on the Futures Tour as an amateur.
Creamer tied for 13th at the U.S. Women's Open with Michelle Wie.
'Everybody wants to win, but this is all about getting a card,' Creamer said.
During the $6 million Tour Championship, the Byron Nelson Championship announced its purse would be $6.2 million next year. The winner will get $1,116,000. It was the 11th straight year the Nelson has raised its prize money. ... Titleist came out with a new version of the Pro V1 during the Tour Championship. Seven players tried it out at East Lake. ... Don't be surprised to see K.J. Choi in a swoosh next year. The South Korean had the Nike blades in his bag during the Tour Championship, and asked Tiger Woods on the practice green if he could borrow a few golf balls. Choi is said to be close to signing a deal with Nike. ... The PGA Tour will announce its player of the year awards Dec. 6 in New York. A year ago, when the race between Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods came down to the wire, the tour announced the winner live on ESPN's 'SportsCenter.'
STAT OF THE WEEK
Vijay Singh ranked No. 3 in rounds played on the PGA Tour this year with 110. Ted Purdy played 112 rounds in 35 events, followed by Patrick Sheehan at 111 rounds in 33 events. Singh played 29 tournaments, matching his career-high on tour.
'I'm going to be in Hawaii for the Grand Slam, and I think I'm going to have a party there. You all are invited.' - Vijay Singh, speaking to a group of reporters on when he would celebrate his nine-win season.
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