Notes Big Perk Going to FedEx Cup Winner
If that sounds like a nice perk, it really isn't.
In a category that gets overlooked because it has never been used, the PGA TOUR has always offered a five-year exemption to the winner of the money title.
'We're just mirroring that with an exemption for the FedExCup,' said Andy Pazder, vice president of competition for the PGA TOUR.
Pazder could not recall any player needing to lean on his five-year exemption for winning the money title, noting that those who win a money title usually have higher status from winning a major or The Players Championship, which also come with five-year exemptions. That holds true even five years removed from the money title.
Hal Sutton won the money title in 1983, but his slump that led him to use a one-time exemption for career money didn't come until 1992. David Duval won the money title in 1999, and he fell out of the top 200 on the money list five years later. But by then, he had won the British Open and earned a five-year exemption that ran out this year.
'I've been here 11 years, and no one has ever needed that exemption,' Pazder said. 'Maybe it's because Tiger has won the money list every year but two.'
Make that three -- Vijay Singh won in 2003 and 2004, and Duval won in '99.
The rest of the money titles have gone to players who have proven to be the best of their generations. In the last 50 years, Frank Beard in 1969 is the only player to capture the money list who never won a major.
Starting next year, the PGA TOUR will offer five-year exemptions to the winner of the money list and the FedExCup.
As for that $10 million check, senior vice president Ric Clarson disclosed last week that it would be deferred into a retirement plan.
Ryan Armour will be among 17 rookies on the PGA TOUR next year after making it through Q-school, and his name is sure to conjure up memories from his amateur days.
He was 17 when he beat 14-year-old Charles Howell III in the 1993 U.S. Junior Amateur, advancing to the finals to take on two-time defending champion Tiger Woods. The match was all square until Armour made a 40-foot birdie to win the 15th hole, then went 2 up when Woods three-putted the 16th.
Woods, however, birdied the last two holes to square the match, then won with a par on the first extra hole to make history as the only player to win three straight U.S. Junior Amateurs. He went on to better things.
Armour is just getting started.
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
The World Cup began in 1953 and used to be the premier team event in golf that brought together not only countries, but their superstars.
Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer won six times (four as partners), Davis Love III and Fred Couples won a record four straight years, and even Tiger Woods got in on the act until the PGA TOUR changed the rules and no longer let him pick his partner. The last three years, however, some of the biggest names have stayed home.
The Women's World Cup has been around two years, and already is losing its top players. It returns to South Africa on Jan. 19-21, but none of the top four players in the world will be there.
Sweden won last year behind Annika Sorenstam and Liselotte Neumann, but Sorenstam won't be returning. Mexico will not have a team because LPGA Tour player of the year Lorena Ochoa has decided not to play. Karrie Webb of Australia will pass for the second straight year, meaning Australia will be represented by Nikki Garrett and Lindsey Wright.
The top American, Cristie Kerr, is not going. The United States instead will be represented by Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst.
Of the 22 teams competing, Inkster is the only player from the top 10 in the women's world ranking, and there will be only eight players from among the top 50.
RICHES TO RAGS
Tiger Woods had never heard of Y.E. Yang until the South Korean beat him by two shots in Shanghai last month. His name is sure to come up in early April, particularly by American players who think the world ranking favors international players.
Yang had a good year on the Japan PGA Tour, winning the Suntory Open and finishing runner-up in two other events. He also won the Hana Korea Open on the Asian Tour. But by winning the HSBC Champions against a field that included three of the top five players (Woods, Jim Furyk and Retief Goosen), Yang climbed well into the top 50.
He was at No. 34 this week, assuring he will stay in the top 50 and get an invitation to the Masters.
But while he will play in the Masters, Yang didn't come close to making it through PGA Tour qualifying school.
Three weeks after his victory in Shanghai, Yang shot rounds of 72-76-71-73 and was in a tie for 106th -- well out of contention -- when he was disqualified in the fifth round Sunday for signing an incorrect scorecard.
Robert Ames warmed up for the World Cup last month by playing in the Brazil Classic on the Tours de las Americas. The brother (and caddie) of Stephen Ames opened with a 79, then played 3 under the rest of the week to tie for 10th. The Ames will represent Trinidad and Tobago at the World Cup in Barbados this week. ... Michael Allen made it through PGA TOUR Q-school for a record ninth time in 12 trips. ... Ayaka Kaneko, a 16-year-old from Honolulu, says she will try to qualify for the Sony Open. Michelle Wie, 17, already has received a sponsor's exemption to play the PGA TOUR event for the fourth straight year. ... The cutoff for making the U.S. Solheim Cup team will be Aug. 26 after the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore., two weeks before the tournament is held in Sweden. ... Kathy Whitworth, winner of a record 88 tournaments on the LPGA Tour, will be inducted into the Albuquerque/New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in February. Whitworth won the New Mexico State Amateur two straight years before turning pro.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Rich Barcelo was the only player in the final stage of PGA TOUR qualifying to break par in all six rounds.
'I've never made it to Oakmont, but of all the tournaments I've ever played, no golf course was harder than Winged Foot.' -- Tiger Woods.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.
Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.
Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.
Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.
4:15AM ET: Gavin Green
4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed
4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose
4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton
4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley
5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner
5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson
5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)
5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood
5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello
6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford
6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma
6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele
6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood
6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na
6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin
7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim
7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira
7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters
7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li
7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker
7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink
8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook
8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris
8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim
8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari
8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson
8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell
9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka
9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott
9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren
9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone
9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett
10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler
10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell
10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau
10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen
10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele
10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood
11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”