All Signs Point Toward Wie Turning Pro
The tournament will be Wies final LPGA Tour event of the year. Still, her father remained guarded about his daughters future plans.
Everyone seems to know what Im doing, B.J. Wie said last week from his office at the University of Hawaii. Nothing is firmed up. I have not made any decisions. Were still working on a number of things.
Golf World magazine, citing a source involved in ongoing endorsement negotiations who requested anonymity, reported on its Web site Tuesday night that Wie will declare herself a pro before the end of the month to minimize distractions in her pro debut.
B.J. Wie did not immediately return a telephone call Tuesday seeking comment on the report.
His daughter turns 16 on Oct. 11, two days before the start of the tournament in Palm Desert, Calif.
She is not expected to petition LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens to waive the tours age requirement of 18, but will take six sponsors exemptions on the Tour, plus whatever she can get on the PGA Tour, and in Europe (men and women) and Asia (men and women).
Had she taken prize money this year, Wie would have earned $640,870, enough to be 12th on the LPGA money list in just seven tournaments.
The junior at Punahou School in Honolulu still holds to her dream of playing on the PGA Tour one day, but her father said her first priority is to become an LPGA Tour member.
Michelle will not bypass the LPGA, her father said. She will never use the LPGA as a training ground. She will play continuously on the LPGA. At some time, she will try to get her PGA card through the seven maximum exemptions, or if that doesnt work out, go through qualifying. But we dont know when that time will be.
He said he is still poring through offers from management agencies, potential endorsements and trying to figure out her best path, but appears to be moving cautiously.
Theres so many things to take care of, Wie said. Im just an ordinary professor. Im trying to be conservative. If I made a mistake, and she finds out I made a mistake, shell blame me forever.
Tiger Woods no longer has to share one record with Tom Watson.
With seven weeks left in the season, Woods has clinched PGA Player of the Year, a points-based award handed out by the PGA of America since 1948.
It was the seventh time in nine years Woods has won the award. Watson won it six times during an eight-year span.
The PGA Player of the Year award gives 30 points for majors, 20 points for The Players Championship and 10 points for all other PGA Tour victories. It also awards as many as 20 points depending on where a player finishing on the money list and in scoring average.
Woods cannot be caught because he won two majors, which carries a 50-point bonus.
The only other players to win the award since Woods' first full season in 1997 were Mark O'Meara, a double major winner in 1998; and Vijay Singh, who won the PGA Championship and eight other tournaments last year.
The PGA Tour's award is a vote of the players and will be decided after the Tour Championship.
Mike Donald missed a 10-foot par putt to win the 1990 U.S. Open. Bob May was on the cusp of winning the 2000 PGA Championship until Tiger Woods made a 6-foot birdie, then beat him in a playoff. No one will forget Jean Van de Velde's triple bogey on the last hole at Carnoustie in '99 British Open.
None of those players ever won again.
That's what makes the leaderboard at the U.S. Open this year so intriguing. Jason Gore was three shots out of the lead and playing in the final group, but stumbled to an 84. Olin Browne also was three shots behind, and he shot 80.
Instead of disappearing, both are headed to Kapalua for the winners-only Mercedes Championships -- Browne by winning the Deutsche Bank Championship two weeks ago, Gore by winning the 84 Lumber Classic on Sunday.
The other guy at Pinehurst -- two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen -- shot 81 to blow a three-shot lead. He recovered, too, not only by winning the International, but winning twice more overseas.
MOORE CLOSING IN
Ryan Moore was running out exemptions. Now he's closing in on a PGA Tour card.
The former U.S. Amateur champion showed all it takes is a few good weeks to avoid Q-school. He tied for second in the Canadian Open, then tied for 17th at the 84 Lumber Classic. That pushed his earnings to $512,900, allowing him unlimited exemptions the rest of the year.
Moore is playing this week in the Texas Open, his seventh start since turning pro. His money is equivalent to No. 123 on the PGA Tour money list, and he only has to finish equal to 125th or better at the end of the year to earn exempt status next year. The last American to earn his PGA Tour card without ever going to Q-school was Tiger Woods.
International captain Gary Player had asked Ernie Els to come to Virginia for the Presidents Cup, but the Big Easy is staying home in London to continue physical therapy from knee surgery in August. ... Bob Panasik, for years the answer to the trivia question as the youngest player to make the cut on the PGA Tour, was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame over the weekend. Panasik was 15 when he made the cut in the 1957 Canadian Open. He won national title at all levels -- the Canadian Junior, two Canadian PGA Championships and three Canadian Senior PGAs. ... U.S. Women's Open runner-up Morgan Pressel takes her first step this week toward the LPGA Tour. She will be in the first stage of qualifying at Mission Hills, site of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The top 30 advance to the final stage of Q-school.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Of the 60 players who have competed in the Presidents Cup since its inception in 1994, Mark Brooks is the only player to have never earned a point.
``It was hard after Solheim. Everybody wants to go drink and I'm designated driver.'' -- Paula Creamer, on the limitations of being a 19-year-old rookie on the LPGA Tour.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it
There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.
There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.
Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.
The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."
Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:
If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.
“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”
The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.
Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).
We followed our defending champion Toto Gana during his registration! He even did his Donald Duck impression!— LAAC (@LAAC_Golf) January 17, 2018
Acompañamos a Toto Gana, defensor del título, durante todo el proceso de acreditación. ¡Incluso imitó a Donald Duck!#LAAC2018 pic.twitter.com/NGh7hS4cCz
Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in
There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.
Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.
While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.
Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:
1. Brooks Koepka
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Patrick Reed
4. Justin Thomas
5. Jordan Spieth
6. Rickie Fowler
7. Bubba Watson
8. Webb Simpson
9. Bryson DeChambeau
10. Phil Mickelson
11. Matt Kuchar
12. Brian Harman
On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.
Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:
1. Tyrrell Hatton
2. Justin Rose
3. Tommy Fleetwood
4. Francesco Molinari
5. Thorbjorn Olesen
6. Ross Fisher
1. Jon Rahm
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Alex Noren
4. Matthew Fitzpatrick
5. Ian Poulter
6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win
Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.
Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.
The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.
The second is from Sunday night.
And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.
Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win
After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.
Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.
It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.
Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.
Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.