SCRAMBLING SEVE: Amid a week's worth of news reports discussing his health, Seve Ballesteros announced on Sunday that doctors had indeed found a brain tumor. The Spanish legend will undergo further tests this week so doctors will know how to proceed with his condition.
Support for Ballesteros has already begun pouring in from all over the world, and rightfully so. One of the most charismatic golfers to ever play the game, Seve is now starting to see how his style of play endeared him to golf fans the world over. And like always, it's too bad that it takes news like this for the love and respect to really bubble up.
A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS: Next year's U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples said in a press conference that he would like to include basketball legend Michael Jordan and comedian Robin Williams as part of his team. Couples wants Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, to add inspiration, while Williams would add some levity during the evenings.
Perhaps International captain Greg Norman could counter with Canadian comedians Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey or Mike Myers on the funny side. And maybe some cricket or rugby legend (we’d list some, but we don’t know of any) to stoke competitive fires. This is the difference between the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup: the former doesn’t take itself as seriously. And this is why Couples is the perfect Presidents Cup captain.
TIGER'S PEBBLE BEACH: Tiger Woods announced this past week that he is designing a course 70 miles south of San Diego. Woods says the course, called Punta Brava, has “17 greens or tees on the water, with eight shots played over water.” The price tag on this development is roughly $100 million and will include the golf course, a hotel, some villas and 40 estate lots where the price tag starts at $3 million and goes to $12 million.
We’re sure the course will be strikingly beautiful, but just having Tiger’s name on the design will truly make it shine. Tiger is definitely golf’s golden child. Not only does he make a fortune on and off the course; he makes others tons of money simply by association.
BLIND AMBITION TOUR: The European Tour unveiled its 2009 schedule, introducing the highly anticipated “Race to Dubai.” The schedule includes more than two dozen countries on five continents, has more tournaments than there are weeks in the year, and culminates with a $20 million destination in Dubai.
The top 60 on the money list qualify for the season-ending Dubai World Championship, which offers a $10 million purse for the tournament, along with a $10 million bonus for the top 15 on the money list. You have to be a member, however, in order to qualify – and being a member now means competing in 12 European Tour events on the season, not 11. The “Race to Dubai” will certainly have intrigue and possibly more excitement than the FedEx Cup, but there is one thing it won’t have: Tiger Woods.
GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Zach Johnson played a nearly flawless final round, posting a 6-under 64 to win the Valero Texas Open by two shots over a trio of players. It was Johnson's fourth career PGA Tour title.
The victory also happened to be Johnson's first outside of Georgia. After a tough year in which the former Masters champion had just one top-10 to his credit, we’re pretty certain he could have won on Mars and been just as happy. Two states down and just 48 to go. Well, actually a lot less seeing as how we don't think the Tour will ever stage an Alaskan Open.
FINAL CURTAIN: The Champions Tour played the season's final major of the year and D.A. Weibring was the last man standing, winning the Senior Players Championship by a stroke over Fred Funk and by two over Nick Price, Jeff Sluman and Ben Crenshaw.
The 55-year-old Weibring made no apologies for the win, despite believing that the crowd in Maryland had other players in mind to win the title, saying, “I know the people here wanted Nick Price to win and they wanted Fred Funk. I understood that.” The $390,000 first-place check – the biggest payday of his career – no doubt took some of the sting out of feeling slighted.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Madrid, Spain made a bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup … Tiger Woods’ AT&T National may be headed to Aronimink Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia for 2010 and 2011 … Tiger’s caddie, Steve Williams, will debut as a TV analyst during the Kiwi Challenge in his native New Zealand … In-Kyung Kim held on to win the Longs Drugs Challenge, her first career LPGA Tour title… Charl Schwartzel won the Madrid Masters. Coincidentally, the South African's only other victory on tour came in Spain, at last year's Spanish Open.
Sergio Garcia will be 38 years old by that time. Think he’ll have a major by then? … Members at Aronimink are to vote Oct. 15 on whether to accept the proposal … Williams as a member of the media? That’s less believable than a player winning a major on a broken leg … This win for Kim is no fluke as the 20-year-old South Korean already has six top-10 finishes this year, including a tie for third at the U.S. Women’s Open … Unfortunately for Schwartzel, the big news out of Madrid all week was the health of a local golfing hero.
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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