Notes Debate Over $10 Million Prize Ogilvys Back
One of the recommendations players heard last week in a meeting at the Chrysler Championship was whether the $10 million payout should be deferred compensation, such as a retirement fund or invested in specific mutual funds.
While most players like the points-based FedExCup competition, payment is becoming a divisive issue.
Some believe the money should be paid up front, even if that means taking home only about $6 million after taxes. Others say the deferred payment is the best way to go.
The type of payment is expected to be determined at the PGA TOUR policy board meeting in two weeks.
'I could see the top 10 being paid out in cash and the rest deferred, because my argument is you don't know what a guy's situation is, whether the guy just bought a new house or he wants to donate it all to this church or cancer research or whatever,' Brett Quigley said. 'Once you're down the list, it's not going to change anyone's lives. Ten million, you might not ever see me again.'
One major champion, who asked that his name not be used because the details have not been announced, said the payoff will be $10 million for first place, $3 million for second and $1 million for third, but that the difference from about No. 50 through No. 144 is so minimal that there might not be incentive to compete in an extra 'playoff' event to improve one's position.
BACK IN ACTION
U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy returns from his nine-week break at the TOUR Championship, taking time off when his wife gave birth to their first child, a girl they named Phoebe.
'If I'm not the sharpest I've been all year, it's because of that,' Ogilvy said. 'But I'm excited to play.'
In one respect, his year is just getting started, and he'll be spending plenty of time on a plane. Ogilvy will play in the Australian Open, then the Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii, then the Australian PGA, then the Target World Challenge in California.
'A couple of Pacific crossings,' he said. 'That's part of being Australian.'
LOOKING FOR A RULING
PGA TOUR rules officials have been working without a contract since 2003, and they suffered a setback last week in Jacksonville, Fla., when a federal jury ruled in favor of the tour over whether the rules officials should be paid overtime.
Rules officials are often at the course at dawn and leave two hours after the completion of play, although they don't work every week. The TOUR argued the rules officials are administrative employees and exempt from overtime pay.
'The PGA TOUR is gratified that the court system confirmed that our long-standing classification of the rules officials was appropriate,' the tour said in a statement.
But that's not the end of the battle.
Pat Campbell, a Philadelphia attorney for the rules officials, said he would file a motion with the court asking to overturn the jury's verdict. If that fails, he said he would file an appeal with the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta.
In the meantime, both sides continue working on a new contract.
Despite the verdict, the rules officials stayed devoted to their job.
Those working the Chrysler Championship outside Tampa spent three days in a courtroom during the trial. Those who had the week off went to Innisbrook to prepare the golf course and make the tee times. After the ruling Wednesday afternoon, the officials drove to Tampa, arriving about 10:30 p.m., and were on the golf course at 5 a.m. the next morning to set up the course for the first round.
'This is what we do,' rules official Robby Ware said.
Mike Weir is making a few changes to his swing that he hopes will keep him healthy.
Weir was playing well and had control of his match against Paul Casey -- the eventual winner -- in the World Match Play Championship when his back flared up and he could barely swing the club. He wound up losing, then had to miss the American Express Championship outside London, guaranteed money that might have helped him get into the TOUR Championship.
He has spent the last month doing research on the swing, figuring out what he can do to avoid recurring back problems. Working with swing coach Mike Wilson, the Canadian has discovered a few adjustments that might help.
'It's nothing major, just something to alleviate some of the pressure,' Weir said.
Mark Calcavecchia speaks his mind, but he is proud of keeping his nose clean for the better part of 20 years on the PGA TOUR. He hasn't caused too many problems, has been fined only occasionally and had a long, prosperous career.
He can think of only one time he complained to the PGA TOUR.
'They were using plastic cups at the TPC putting green,' Calcavecchia said. 'What's up with that? It's The Players Championship, and you can't put a real cup in the green. That was my last (gripe) to the TOUR , five years ago. They used to have those little, shallow plastic cups that you couldn't get three balls in. I'm like, 'Scrape up a dozen real cups and dig some holes in the green.''
And did it work?
'They listened to me,' he said.
Sales of the official Ryder Cup program raised about $78,500 that will go to the Darren Clarke Foundation and to the Dublin-based Links Golf Society. Ryder Cup officials donated 10 percent of the cost of the program. ... The LPGA Tour's first major of the year is getting a slight increase in its purse. Prize money at the Kraft Nabisco Championship will be $2 million, with the winner taking home $300,000. ... Rod Pampling has been added to the field in the Merrill Lynch Shootout, taking over for Peter Jacobsen, who is recovering from hip replacement. Pampling will play with Jerry Kelly. ... Marc Warren was named rookie of the year on the European Tour, the second time in three years it has gone to a Scot. ... Walter Driver has been nominated to serve a second year as USGA president.
STAT OF THE WEEK
K.J. Choi's victory at the Chrysler Championship ended a streak of 17 consecutive PGA TOUR events won by Americans.
'You could say Tiger and Phil are hurting the TOUR by not coming to the TOUR Championship. But where would the tour be without Tiger and Phil? We'd be playing for $2.5 million this week. We'd have 20 tournaments. And no one would be watching on TV. We'd be back where we were 15 years ago.' -- Geoff Ogilvy.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.
Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.
Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.
Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:
12/1: Dustin Johnson
16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose
20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm
25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods
30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed
40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton
50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick
60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson
80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele
100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.
Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.
Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.
There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.
There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.
Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.
John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.
Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.
Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.
“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”
Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.
“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”
But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.
“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”