SHELF LIFE: Tiger Woods made news the day after the conclusion of the PGA Championship by announcing on his Web site he not only won’t be playing in any events in 2008, he won’t even be swinging a club for the rest of the year.
Once 2009 rolls around it looks like there will still be plenty of golf rehab for the No. 1 player in the world. He mentioned in his newsletter that he is finally able to get around a little better, saying, ‘I’m a lot more mobile, which is really nice.’ He’s gonna have to be if he wants to try and chase Padraig Harrington down next year at Augusta. We like to kid Tiger.
TOUR'S SEASON FINALE: Powered by a course-record 61 in Round 2, Carl Pettersson cruised to a two-shot victory over Scott McCarron at the Wyndham Championship. It was the third career victory for Pettersson, who just so happened to grow up in the Greensboro area.
In addition to an invitation to next year's Masters, Pettersson also may have put himself on Nick Faldo's radar as an option for one of his two captain's picks for the European Ryder Cup team. Pettersson, from Sweden, won’t likely make it through the European qualifying, but with the Cup in the States it could be beneficial to have someone on his team – outside of Harrington – who has actually won here.
NO SMALL FEAT: Fred Funk won his first major on the senior circuit – and first major on any tour – at the JELD-WEN Tradition with a three-stroke victory over Mike Goodes. The eight-time PGA TOUR winner fired a Sunday 69 to finish the championship at 19 under, five ahead of Tom Watson and Jay Haas.
Funk, who entered the final round with the lead, said he was pretending he was actually trailing, allowing the 52-year-old to stay aggressive while increasing his lead. "We were trying to make it as if we were behind all day. Don’t protect anything and fire at all the flags," Funk said. Hey, whatever works is good by us, especially when it comes to winning a major.
SHOCKING COLLAPSE: Yani Tseng, already a major champion this year, had a complete meltdown in the final round of the Canadian Women’s Open. Her 5-over 77 allowed Aussie Katherine Hull to come from behind to win her first-ever LPGA title. Tseng promptly blew off speaking to the media.
Tseng, a rising Taiwanese star who is just 19 years old, has already established herself as perhaps the player to give Lorena Ochoa nightmares. Along with her breakout win in the year’s McDonald’s LPGA, Tseng also has four runner-up finishes, including a second place at the Women’s British several weeks ago. After going toe-to-toe with Ochoa on Saturday, beating the world’s No. 1 by six shots, a victory lap seemed assured. We now will wait to see how the probable future world No. 2 will respond.
IN A PINCH: The day after the PGA Championship, captain Paul Azinger officially announced the eight automatic qualifiers who earned a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. He will make the four captain’s picks following the third week of the FedExCup playoffs.
Although this is how Zinger wanted the selection process to play out – giving him more picks and more time to make the selections – it sure as heck won’t make things any easier when the time comes. Battling for phone calls from the captain include fan-favorite Rocco Mediate, host-state Kentuckians J.B. Holmes and Steve Flesch, the feisty Woody Austin and the anti-Woody Steve Stricker. Good news for Zinger? Kenny Perry locked up a spot thus ensuring a little more noise from the Kentucky fans. The bad news? He might get booed by those same fans if he passes on Flesch and/or Holmes.
PLAYOFFS! PLAYOFFS?: The top 144 players on the FedExCup standings made the field for this week's Barclays in the PGA TOUR's version of a post season. The last man in was Lee Janzen, who jumped ten spots with a strong T-15 finish at the Wyndham Championship.
It's Year 2 for the FedExCup, and the trophy hasn't been kissed. With Tiger gone, it really is anybody's game as not a single player has separated himself from the pack. And since it's playoff time, that means we can all take a moment to revisit the greatest post-game press conference rant ever. Priceless.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Michelle Wie, needing a strong performance in the Canadian Open to earn her 2009 LPGA card, tied for 12th … Des Smyth’s son, Gregory, won an Irish lottery worth nearly $15 million … The field was finalized for the PGA Grand Slam, with Padraig Harrington, Trevor Immelman, Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen rounding out the foursome … Peter Hanson held on to win the SAS Masters in his native Sweden for his second career European PGA Tour victory... Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge won the Xerox Classic, closing with a 1-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over Jarrod Lyle.
Wie’s performance was OK, but not nearly good enough to get her card for next season. Now it’s off to Q-school. Or maybe not … The son of a successful Champions Tour player – who could need $15 million more than him? … Mickelson and Goosen are in thanks to Tiger’s absence and Harrington’s major double … Hanson became the first Swede to win the SAS Masters since Jesper Parnevik , who did so a decade ago... “I’m very excited. It was about as hard as I thought it would be,” said de Jonge after picking up his first Nationwide Tour win.
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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