Notes FedExCup Tweaks Masters Prestige

By Associated PressFebruary 26, 2008, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)Tiger Woods won the FedExCup so handily last year that he skipped the first playoff event and could have stayed home during the TOUR Championship to collect the $10 million prize. He wound up 12,578 points ahead of Steve Stricker.
 
Under the new points structure announced Tuesday, he would have won by only 8,308 points.
 
The PGA TOUR finally tweaked the playoff portion of the FedExCup, and upon quick review, it appears the TOUR achieved its goal of giving more players a chance without making it unfair in those years when Woods doesnt play as well.
 
Using last year as an example, and without getting too involved in math, these are the two improvements.
 
' Woods had a 3,133-point lead over Stricker when he arrived at the TOUR Championship. Under the new system, Woods would have been 1,292 points behind.
 
' It increases from six players to 12 players who would have had a mathematical chance of winning the cup at the TOUR Championship.
 
The effect of these two changes will be some improvement in a players ability to make substantial gains in overall position based on excellent play in the Playoffs, while also increasing the number of players who will have a shot at winning the FedExCup, Finchem said.
 
Woods was the No. 1 seed last year and his points were reset to have a 1,000-point lead over No. 2. Under the new system, his margin will be only 500 points going into the playoff.
 
The other change is to offer 2,000 more points for each player wherever they finish. For example, Rich Beem received 1,613 points for a tie for seventh at The Barclays. This year, a tie for seventh would award 3,613.
 
Finchem said that would help players move up in the standings.
 
RESHUFFLE
Jason Day got the most hype. Dustin Johnson played the best golf.
 
Johnson, a rookie from South Carolina with a powerful swing and cool head, was at the top of the list this week when the PGA TOUR reshuffled its order of Q-school and Nationwide Tour grads based on earnings.
 
Johnson made the cut in all five tournaments he played with two top 10s, including a tie for seventh at Pebble Beach. He earned $446,346, followed by John Merrick, who made most of his $317,580 on a tie for third last week in Mexico.
 
Rounding out the top five were Nicholas Thompson, Day and Y.E. Yang.
 
Johnson started the season ranked No. 34 in the Q-school/Nationwide group. The reshuffle helps these players get in more tournaments. Going into Tuesday, only the top 30 were at the Honda Classic.
 
Even in the era of the FedExCup, the TOUR still uses money for the reshuffle. Expect the Player Advisory Council to discuss later this year whether it should be based on money or points.
 
MASTERS PRESTIGE
The Super Bowl is the biggest event in American sports, but not the most prestigious.
 
According to a Turnkey Sports Poll in January of 800 senior-level sports industry executives, the Masters was voted the most prestigious event, getting 41.8 percent of the vote, compared with 34.8 percent for the Super Bowl. The World Series (6.2 percent) was a distance third.
 
Asked to pick the biggest sporting event, it was no contest. The Super Bowl got 70.1 percent of the vote, dwarfing the Daytona 500, which received just under 7 percent. The Indianapolis 500 came in third (6.2 percent), while the Masters was tied for ninth with the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals with less than one-half percent.
 
We are grateful to be held in such high esteem and will continue to work hard to maintain that position, Masters chairman Billy Payne said.
 
The poll was published last week in the Sports Business Journal.
 
COAST TO COAST
Phil Mickelson captured his 16th title on the West Coast Swing, but that includes Arizona. Tiger Woods still has more victories in their native state of California, winning 12 times (including a U.S. Open and World Golf Championship) to 11 for Lefty.
 
In his adopted state of Florida, Woods also has no peer among active players.
 
He has won 10 times at five tournaments'Bay Hill (four times), Doral (three times), Disney (twice) and The Players Championship. Next on the list is John Huston, who has won five times at four tournaments.
 
Jack Nicklaus still has Woods beat in California (13 wins, including a U.S. Open) and he is tied in Florida with 10 victories. Nicklaus, however, most likely will have one edge over Woods in the Sunshine State. He won a major in Florida, the 1971 PGA Championship at PGA National, which was held in February.
 
No major has been held in Florida since 1987.
 
DIVOTS
The Frys Electronics Open, part of the Fall Series, will move from Arizona to The Institute, a course near San Jose, Calif., which is owned by the company. All invitationals on the PGA TOUR will have at least 120-man fields this year, a 15-player increase for the Memorial. Henrik Stenson birdied the first three holes of his consolation match for a 3-up lead against Justin Leonard, prompting NBC Sports analyst Johnny Miller to say, Justin might want to get in a cart and go home. For those keeping score, that would be the second time Miller has suggested that Leonard go home. The other occasion was the 99 Ryder Cup at Brookline. Tiger Woods victory at the Match Play was his first in Arizona, the 15th state in which he has won. Kevin Cook is this years recipient of the USGAs Herbert Warren Wind Book Award for Tommys Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golfs Founding Father and Son.
 
TIME CAPSULE
I think the novelty will probably wear off. -- PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, five years ago this week, on women competing on the PGA TOUR.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Tiger Woods averages $767,711 every time he plays in a World Golf Championship.
 
FINAL WORD
Its been two years of hell, but were going to fight through it, and I think Butch is the greatest. I think hes going to get me out of it. ' John Daly, on working with Butch Harmon.
 
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    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:32 pm

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the early 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots out of the lead among those who played Friday morning. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, might have a long stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.


    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and was outside the cut. He was in jeopardy of missing his second straight cut, depending on afternoon scoring.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''


    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.

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    Football coach hates golf: Don't need practice swearing

    By Jason CrookApril 20, 2018, 10:15 pm

    Some football coaches are a little more talkative than others. On one side of the spectrum, there's Bill Belichick. On the other sits Washington State football coach Mike Leach.

    Leach always delivers the goods, and when asked recently if he liked golf, he didn't hold back:

    As wrong as the 57-year-old is on the topic (golf is awesome), the man makes some hilarious points:

    • “It’s boring. I don’t care where that ball goes.”

    • "Golfers are always practicing their swing. But you know what I never did? I never practice fishing in my living room.”

    • "They'll line up over the ball and they'll say they're going to do something that you can't do with a sniper rifle and a scope, but they're going to do it with a stick and a ball."

    • “Golf’s pretty much for people that don’t swear effectively enough or need practice. And so there are people that need golf, and I don’t think I do.”

    So in conclusion, it's confirmed: Mike Leach - not a golf guy.

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    Quiros takes 1-shot lead in Morocco

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 8:22 pm

    RABAT, Morocco - Alvaro Quiros shot a solid 2-under 70 in windy conditions to push into a one-shot lead after two rounds of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on Friday.

    Quiros fought the elements, carding seven birdies and five bogeys to move to 7 under overall and take the outright lead at the halfway point of the European Tour event.

    The Spaniard was one clear of Andrew Dodt, who moved into contention with a 4-under 68 at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Dodt dropped two shots in his first six holes but the Australian recovered from that shaky start to collect four birdies and an eagle.


    Full-field scores from the Trophee Hassan II


    Erik van Rooyen of South Africa was another shot back in third on 5 under after his 71.

    Bradley Dredge of Wales, who shared the first-round lead with Quiros, slipped off the pace with a 1-over 73. He's tied for fourth with Austin Connelly of Canada (71), 4 under par and three shots behind Quiros.