Notes FedEx Cup fix Padraigs last stand
The winner should be decided at the Tour Championship. The right people should be at East Lake (double major winner Padraig Harrington would be an example). And more players should have a chance to win the $10 million prize.
One solution that appears to be getting a lot of attention is not to reset the points until the Tour Championship, which could mean any of the 30 players at East Lake would have a chance to win. Plus, it would be decided over 72 holes and protect the integrity of the competition.
A decision is not expected for another month at the earliest.
SECOND CUT IS THE DEEPEST:
Charles Warren probably wishes the PGA Tour had left its new cut policy alone.
To avoid clutter on the weekend, the Tour came up with a new rule this year that if more than 78 players made the cut, the field would be reduced to the nearest number to 70. That resulted in 18 players among top 70 and ties being sent home Friday from the Sony Open, and 19 players from the Buick Invitational.
After players complained, the policy was changed to include a 54-hole cut whenever there were more than 78 players.
And thats where Warren comes in.
Three times this year ' all of them after the policy was amended in early March ' Warren was eliminated after the 54-hole cut and received what amounts to last-place money, give or take $2,000.
He was tied for 25th in Tampa after two rounds and shot 81. He was tied for 66th at the Wachovia Championship and shot 78. And last week, Warren was tied for 32nd at the Frys.com Open and shot 73. In two of those cases, he would have been able to play the final round if the policy had been left alone.
That could be worth watching in the final few weeks, for Warren is No. 123 on the money list and just over $12,000 away from losing his card for next year.
Ultimately, Warren has no one to blame but himself for the third-round scores.
The policy will be up for review at the tours board meeting next month, although board member Joe Ogilvie believes it worked fine. Ogilvie should know, for he was eliminated three times by the 54-hole cut, too.
I dont think it will be changed, Ogilvie said. I played well enough to make the cut, but I didnt play well enough to have a good tournament. If I had shot 64 or had a good round, I probably would have made $5,000 or $6,000 extra. But it helped the tournament, I got paid, I got a retirement credit. I dont think the product was diminished at all.
And this is coming from the guy who got the bad end of the stick.
Ogilvie favors the amended policy because it at least gives players one more chance to improve their scores. In Warrens case, however, he picked a bad time for a bad round.
PADRAIGS LAST STAND:
A memorable year for Padraig Harrington includes becoming the first European in more than a century to win successive titles at the British Open, and his victory at the PGA Championship made him the only European to win consecutive majors in the same season.
The final act wont be so easy.
Harrington goes into the season-ending Volvo Masters needing to finish no worse than second to have any hope of capturing the Order of Merit on the European Tour for the second time.
Robert Karlsson of Sweden seized the lead with consecutive victories and a tie for third in Portugal, giving him a lead of about $370,000 going into Valderrama. He would be the first Swede to win the Harry Vardon Trophy.
Lee Westwood, who won the Order of Merit in 2000, is about $580,000 behind and would have to win the Volvo Masters. Miguel Angel Jimenez ($842,000 behind) also is mathematically in the hunt.
This will be the final year of the Volvo Masters, which has produced plenty of dramatic moments at Valderrama. The 2009 season, which starts next week in China, next year will conclude in the desert with the Race to Dubai.
John Cook and Steve Stricker hold the distinction of a feat so rare it might not be repeated.
Stricker last year became the first player in PGA Tour history ' or any other sport, for that matter ' to be voted comeback player of the year in consecutive seasons.
Cook earned his spot in the record book of quirkiness with his victory Sunday in the AT&T Championship in San Antonio, making him the first Champions Tour rookie to successfully defend a title.
Turns out that players on the 50-and-older circuit must play six times for it to be considered a rookie season. Cook competed only twice last year on the Champions Tour ' one of those a victory in San Antonio ' so 2008 is considered his rookie year.
With eight consecutive rounds in the 60s, Davis Love III tied for sixth in Las Vegas and tied for 11th in Arizona, made nearly $245,000 and got off the bubble.
Love, who returned this season after a serious ankle surgery, moved up to No. 115 on the money list to secure his card for next year. For a player of his stature, that essentially means he is assured a spot in the Players Championship.
But he is playing the Ginn sur Mer Classic this week in Florida as he tries to end the year with a victory. And while streaks dont motivate him, Love still has a chance to extend his PGA Tour record to 14 consecutive seasons earning $1 million or more.
Love is at $867,237.
Phil Mickelson this year went over $1 million for the 13th straight season. Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Justin Leonard are next at 12.
Tempted by richer offers, British and PGA champion Padraig Harrington decided to continue his relationship with Wilson Golf. The Irish Independent reported it was a $10 million deal for three years. Harrington has been with Wilson since 1998. It goes in the book as a missed cut, but Kevin Stadler had PGA Tour officials searching the record books after improving by 20 shots in one round ' an 81 in the first round, a 61 in the second round. It was the biggest turnaround since Jonathan Kaye went 83-62 at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in 1999.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Ten players who have won on the PGA Tour this year are outside the top 50 on the money list.
Broke.' Jim Furyk, when asked what he would be if he werent a professional golfer.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods held sole possession of the lead Sunday afternoon, but settled with an even-par 71 and finished three shots behind the champion.
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'Hungover' Pepperell improbably in mix after 67
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eddie Pepperell’s 11:40 a.m. tee time on Sunday at The Open was a tad early, and not just because the Englishman was heading out more than three hours before the leaders.
Following a third-round 71 that dropped him eight strokes off the lead, Pepperell did what many golfers do after a less-than-stellar round – he drank.
“Honestly, I was a little hungover. I won't lie. I had too much to drink last night,” said Pepperell, who said he went to bed on Friday at around 11:30 p.m. “I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn't say a write-off, but I didn't feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn't have been heartbreaking.”
Pepperell was much closer to the former on Sunday, posting a round-of-the-day 67 to move to within one stroke of the lead held by multiple players as the leaders made the turn.
Pepperell had just a single bogey on a blustery day at Carnoustie and closed his round with birdies at Nos. 14 and 17. It was one of just four rounds in the 60s on a course that had become increasingly difficult with each gust.
With six players tied for the lead at 6 under par, including defending champion Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Pepperell planned to wait and see how the afternoon progressed.
“The only hope I have is that it's Carnoustie, and the last three, four holes, even though they're downwind, still anything can happen with obviously pressure and all that sort of stuff out here,” he said. “So I'll have to hang around.”
Pros melting down on Twitter as they watch Tiger
Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.
His fellow pros have been watching and tweeting like your average fans.
We're compiling their missives below:
Starting to wonder how many Tiggy is going to win by here........... #isheback— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
Tiger is leading the open pic.twitter.com/MbGnJIt1Jj— Tyrrell Hatton (@TyrrellHatton) July 22, 2018
That FW bunker shot by Tiger tho... pic.twitter.com/Fi3GY6AegO— Scott Langley (@Scott_Langley) July 22, 2018
Tiger back doing Tiger stuff.......— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) July 22, 2018
I love you https://t.co/JovVz2clm2— Braden Thornberry (@tberrygolf) July 22, 2018
Omg lesgo @TigerWoods— Willy Wilcox (@willwilcoxgolf) July 22, 2018
Right now, Tiger is like everyone’s ex who we’ve given way too many 2nd chances to, and he has the opportunity to rip your heart right out of your chest but we’re all ok with it because we tend to only remember the good times— max homa (@maxhoma23) July 22, 2018
Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage
NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:
Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)
7AM-3PM (Watch): Jordan Spieth fired 65 to move into a three-way share of the 54-hole lead, while Tiger Woods (66) played his way into contention. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler and Thorbjorn Olesen.
4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Henrik Stenson and Bryson DeChambeau.
Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)
8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.
Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)
Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.
1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.