Notes Alternates at PGA Championship dont make field

By Associated PressAugust 13, 2010, 6:40 am

2010 PGA Championship

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Charley Hoffman waited, fiddling intermittently with his iPad while sweat trickled down his forehead. When he set the device down, Pat Perez scooped it up and tried his luck at a computer game.

Both were waiting for a little luck of their own at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits that never came.

Hoffman and Perez were the tournament’s first two alternates, and they spent Thursday camped up in a sweltering tent at the No. 10 tee box watching group after group receive the crowd’s warm cheers and begin their major championship bids.

“Hopefully somebody’s not able to play and I’ll be able to get in there,” said Hoffman, who had a wrist injury early in the season that hindered him until the summer. “Unfortunately the PGA is making us sit on the tee, obviously it’d be a little better if we could be on the practice facility and actually be ready to play instead of sitting here.”

Hoffman joked that he was taking in a little steam in the tent.

Perez called it an oven, and many pros stopped by to greet the two.

“They’re usually asking questions, ‘Why am I here?”’ Hoffman said. “They know, though. If you want to get in the major championship, that’s why you do it.”

With Hoffman as the first alternate, Perez had the less enviable position of being second – a virtual certainty that he wouldn’t be playing.

“Waiting for nothing,” Perez said.

That didn’t keep him from saying that if Hoffman got in, he would too.

“It’s either zero or two. It won’t be just one, you can bet on that,” Perez said.

Hoffman’s wife, Stacy, decided to stay at the hotel instead of hanging out to watch nothing.

With an over 3-hour delay due to foggy conditions, the couple figured they’d spend another night in Wisconsin instead of catching a flight back home to San Diego.

“It’s a long day, obviously if someone pulls out it would be worth it,” Hoffman said. “But it’s a little time consuming.”

Hoffman said he’d look at booking flights off his iPad, but was afraid they still wouldn’t make it to the airport in time because the final pairings don’t tee off until 5:25 p.m.

“I was hoping to get out tonight, but with the 3-hour delay I don’t think it’s possible,” he said, remaining in good spirits. “It’s definitely worth the wait. There’s no downfall besides a day.”

MEET, GREET AND EAT, EAT, EAT: Stephen Gallacher got to eat and eat and eat as he waited through the fog delay. He also met a fellow countryman for the first time.

During the long delay, Gallacher chatted with Martin Laird, the two men representing Scotland in the tournament even though they’d never met.

Laird played college golf at Colorado State and now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“I had never met him before and we sat during the delay and had a nice chat,” Laird said. “We were talking about having a couple (of players) over here and flying the flag.”

Gallacher spent most of his time eating as the fog kept hanging around.

“I got here at 5:45, had my breakfast and went out,” Gallacher said. “In for another breakfast, back out for some chipping, back in for another breakfast of some toast and fruit. … Teed off and there was a slight delay and it never really picked up. I didn’t see the ball land until the fifth hole.”

SICK DAY: Australia’s Jason Day had a round that positions him near the top of the leaderboard for Friday. The chronic sinus infection he’s battled over the last eight months continues to give him fits.

“I’ve been on medication for about three months now,” Day said. “My left maxillary sinus was full – 100 percent blocked – at the start of the year and it went down to 60 (percent). I had two, three CAT scans now, three CT scans now, and it’s actually halfway, under halfway right now full of gunk.”

Day said his plan now is to survive through the next few tournaments before having surgery after the FedEx Cup that will take out a portion of bone and drain the sinuses. He’ll need about two to four weeks to recover.

In the meantime, he continues to fight the symptoms and balance problems with medicine. He said he needed six or seven energy bars and about 10 bottles of water to complete his round and that he can’t practice because of his illness.

“I would go maybe every couple of holes and get a little shaky again. I felt lightheaded out there, but I try to not make that an excuse,” Day said. “I want to focus on playing well, even though it’s a little frustrating out there.”

WISCONSIN’S HOPEFULS: Steve Stricker was humbled by the large ovation he received to begin his round. Wisconsin’s other hopeful, Jerry Kelly, lost his concentration early and blamed himself for a bad start.

Stricker was 1-under par through 13 holes after play was suspended because of darkness.

“Pretty nice welcome I got there on the first tee. That got me a little bit, it’s pretty cool to come up there and get that sort of reception to start to play. You want to get off to a good start, too,” Stricker said. “I hit a lot of quality shots early – all day, really.”

Kelly, meanwhile, finished his first round with a 3-over 75.

“I just threw it away, countless – just menial stuff,” Kelly said. “Small mistakes I can’t make if I expect to contend in a setting like this, so it’s disappointing. I haven’t shot myself out of the tournament yet by any means. But (I need) a great round tomorrow – and I’m going to need a great round on Saturday.”

DIVOTS: Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III also mentioned they ate breakfast three times as their early morning tee times turned into midday starts. … The two fog delays totaled 3 hours and 16 minutes and play was officially called at 7:54 p.m. … Woods has posted subpar rounds in 14 of his last 17 tries at PGA Championships dating back to 2006. … This week’s purse is $7.5 million, up $1.25 million from the 2004 PGA Championship here.

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.

Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos

Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters

English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”