Finchem OKs Els Schedule

By Associated PressNovember 2, 2004, 5:00 pm
PGA TourJACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem sees nothing wrong with the amount of tournaments Ernie Els plays overseas, saying Monday that the three-time major winner is playing enough on the PGA Tour to satisfy its requirements.
 
Finchem's comments took some steam out of speculation there would be a showdown this week at the Tour Championship between the PGA Tour and Els, a 34-year-old South African who lives in London and has been playing a global schedule the last 10 years.
 
Els had said last month that he would meet with Finchem and the board. The Big Easy was frustrated over having to play more PGA Tour events to get additional releases for tournaments abroad.
 
'Don't start putting a padlock around me because that's not going to work,' Els said at the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth.

Finchem said no meeting is planned.
 
'I don't know where that came from,' Finchem said. 'We do not have a meeting scheduled. I'll probably see him around and chat with him like I typically do. But there isn't a reason to meet. He plays more than he has to play.'
 
PGA Tour members are allowed three releases to play overseas for every 15 tournaments they play on the PGA Tour. They must play five more events for each additional release, although the tour has shown flexibility to Els in past years, as it does to major champions who can seize on their fame and pursue appearance money.
 
Els played nine European tour events this year, not including World Golf Championships or majors. He won the Order of Merit for the second straight year.

'Would we like him to play more? Sure,' Finchem said. 'We encourage every top player to play more. But he's not in violation of our regulations in the amount of golf he's playing. There are no regulation issues here. None.'
 
Els' agent at IMG, Peter Malik, said he would be meeting Tuesday morning with two PGA Tour officials and expected a positive outcome.
 
Els first expressed frustration in July when asked about his performance over six consecutive weeks - starting in Dallas, two weeks in Europe, then the Memorial, Buick Classic and U.S. Open. He shot 80 in the final round at Shinnecock Hills.
 
He said he had to play an extra tournament to get his 'numbers up,' presumably to satisfy tour requirements. Lately, Els has talked about a letter he received from the PGA Tour that he play more in the United States.
 
'There were some options in terms of his situation from a conflicting event standpoint that had to do with one tournament,' Finchem said. 'But it had nothing to do with how much golf he was playing. Somehow, it got garbled in transmission or somebody in the press got a hold of it. I don't know how it happened.
 
'The staff will work it out. He and I don't have to sit down and work out any issues. There aren't any issues.'
 
Els will be playing for the 16th time on the PGA Tour this year at the Tour Championship. He withdrew from the Chrysler Championship last week because of a hand injury.
 
A year ago, the Big Easy played 17 times. The most he has ever played on the PGA Tour is 20 times in 2000.
 
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    Watch: Hahn slam-dunks ace on 11th hole

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 7:20 pm

    There are aces, and there are slam-dunk aces. No question which one this one by James Hahn on the 154-yard 11th hole was.

    It was Hahn's first ace on the PGA Tour.

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    Els' nephew Rebula wins Amateur Championship

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 23, 2018, 7:05 pm

    Ernie Els is one proud uncle.

    His nephew, Jovan Rebula, won the Amateur Championship on Saturday at Royal Aberdeen to become the first South African to capture the title since Bobby Cole in 1966.

    Rebula, a junior at Auburn, will join his famous uncle in Carnoustie next month for The Open. He also will get invites to the 2019 Masters and the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

    Rebula defeated Ireland's Robin Dawson, 3 and 2, in the 36-hole final.

    "It’s unreal," Rebula said. "It’s really something that is hard to describe. I feel like many have been in this position before but it’s an unreal feeling. It hasn’t sunk in quite yet but hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up and I will feel a little different."

    Rebula received plenty of texts from Els throughout the week, and the encouragement paid off. Rebula opened a 1-up lead after 18 holes, and he extended his advantage by winning the 26th and 27th holes. He was 5 up with six to play before finally closing out Dawson on the 16th hole with an up-and-down from the bunker.

    "It’s been a long week and especially today," Rebula said. "I should have finished maybe a couple of holes earlier, but it’s been awesome. A very tiring week. I’m standing here right now and there’s so much adrenaline pumping through me."

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    Squirrel gets Rory's round off to a rocky start

    By Will GrayJune 23, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy’s third round at the Travelers Championship got off to a peculiar start before he even hit a shot.

    McIlroy had just been introduced on the first tee at TPC River Highlands and was ready to unload on his opening drive of the day when a squirrel ran across the tee box a few feet in front of him.

    McIlroy stopped his swing and laughed it off, but the squirrel continued to linger for several seconds, criss-crossing from one side of the packed tee box to the other. And while this was no black cat, the pump-fake to start his round didn’t exactly help the Ulsterman.

    McIlroy ultimately blocked his drive into the right rough after enduring his brief rodent delay en route to an opening bogey, and amid soft conditions at TPC River Highlands he played his first five holes in 2 over. McIlroy started the day at 7 under, three shots behind leader Brian Harman.

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    Kaymer in six-way tie for BMW International lead

    By Associated PressJune 23, 2018, 5:29 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - Danish golfer Lucas Bjerregaard shot a 5-under 67 to equal the week's lowest round for a six-way share of the lead after the third round of the BMW International Open on Saturday.

    Bjerregaard had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey to finish on 5-under 211 - jumping 23 places and joining local favorites Martin Kaymer and Maximilian Kieffer, England's Chris Paisley and Aaron Rai, and Australia's Scott Hend at the top of the leaderboard.

    Bjerregaard was fortunate to play before the wind picked up again later in the afternoon.


    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open


    Kaymer, the 2008 champion, delighted the home supporters with two birdies in his last three holes for a 71.

    Finland's Mikko Korhonen and Chile's Nico Geyger were one shot off the lead after rounds of 69 and 73, respectively.

    Defending champion Andres Romero equaled the week's best round (67) to be among a large group two shots off the lead going into Sunday, including three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.