Notes Howell Hurting Silly Season Funny Money

By Associated PressDecember 19, 2006, 5:00 pm
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- In news that can't be too pleasing to European Tour officials, David Howell of England says an ailing back will force him to reduce his schedule next year -- and that means fewer tournaments on home soil.
Howell opened the '06 European season by beating Tiger Woods in Shanghai, and when he won Europe's flagship event, the BMW Championship at Wentworth in May, he seemed to be on his way to capturing the Order of Merit. But his back let him down, and he was noticeably stiff playing the Target World Challenge.
'I need to cut my schedule down, and Europe is going to take the hit,' Howell said. 'I'll cut four or five events out from Europe. I can't do that in America because I already play my minimum here (15 events).'
Howell played 30 times in 2006, then finished off his long year at the World Cup and the Target World Challenge.
He averaged nearly 28 starts a year in Europe alone his first nine years, but cut that down to 19 in 2005 when he joined the PGA TOUR. After leaving California, he said he planned to take seven weeks off, skipping the Middle East swing on the European Tour.
'I haven't got much choice. My body is breaking down,' Howell said. 'It's hard to watch guys playing in the sun when you're sitting in the cold and rain. But this year proved it -- my body let me down the second half of the year, and I have to do the best thing by my body.'
Howell plans to make his '07 debut at either the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am or the Nissan Open, working his way toward the Accenture Match Play Championship and eventually the Masters.
As for Europe?
'I don't think I'll play again until the BMW, which is unheard for me,' he said.
The last two months of the golf year are known as the silly season on the PGA TOUR, and its players are laughing all the way to the bank. Eight players earned more money than Darren Clarke at No. 125 on the money list.
Tiger Woods won yet another title. His victory Sunday at Sherwood made him the unofficial winner of the unofficial season money list, with $1.85 million in only two events, both victories -- the Target World Challenge and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. He narrowly topped Jim Furyk, who won Sun City and was second at the Grand Slam to finish with $1.5 million.
Woods and Furyk also finished 1-2 on the PGA TOUR money list.
Four players earned at least $1 million. Bernhard Langer ($900,000) and Marcel Siem ($700,000) earned more than they did all season, most of that coming from Germany winning the World Cup. Fred Couples had somewhat of an off year in the silly season, earning only $655,000 in three tournaments. He made $780,371 in 17 starts during the regular season.
When Cleveland Golf decided not to renew endorsement contracts this year, it left former PGA champion David Toms as a free agent. But not for long.
Just more than a month after the PGA TOUR season ended, Toms has signed a deal with TaylorMade. He still had his Cleveland irons in the bag at the Target World Challenge, but he will have his new clubs at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
'What I was trying to do was a corporate deal and play what I wanted to,' Toms said. 'If I was patient, I think that would have worked out. But I had a nice offer on the table from TaylorMade, and I felt very comfortable with them.'
Scott Hoch is feeling better and get this -- he's even excited about the British Open.
That would be the Senior British Open, where Hoch plans to spend most of his time next year. And it's being played at Muirfield, which is his favorite links. Hoch is famous for his unflattering remarks about St. Andrews -- 'the worst piece of mess I ever played' -- but he came to the 18th hole at Muirfield four years ago needing a birdie that would have put him in a playoff. He made bogey.
Hoch has not played a full season since 2004 because of injuries, and he had surgery in October 2005 for torn tendons in the back of his wrist. Even though he turned 51 last month, he applied for a major medical exemption that will allow him 27 starts on the PGA TOUR.
Whether he takes them is doubtful. Hoch plans to start his season in Florida with the 50-and-over circuit.
'I'm not going to beat my head on the wall just to prove a point,' he said.
Fred Couples likes the FedExCup. He's just not sure what it is, how it works or where it is played.
Couples is 47 and doesn't get wrapped up in day-to-day details, which apparently includes news from PGA TOUR headquarters. He wasn't sure where the 'playoff' events were held.
'Where are the four tournaments or five?' he said last week. 'Where are they so, so I can leave here and tell my friends?'
Told they were in New York, Boston, Chicago and then East Lake for the Tour Championship, Couples was stunned.
'So the Tour Championship is the FedExCup? I thought the TOUR Championship was like the TOUR Championship,' he said.
Couples isn't completely in the dark. He knew there would be a points system that starts in Kapalua and runs the length of the season. He was aware that 144 players are eligible for the playoffs portion of the schedule, and that there would be some cuts.
But it's safe to say the FedExCup is not a huge priority.
'If I'm really killing myself playing well at the beginning of the year, then I'll worry about it,' he said. 'But right now, I figure if I'm 40th on the money list or 80th on the money list or 144th on the money list, I get to play in the first FedExCup. Whoop-dee-doo.'
The Golf Channel will be a weekly presence on the PGA TOUR when it starts its 15-year deal in 2007, but Canada and its rabid golf fans might be left out in the cold. The Toronto Star reported last week that Canadians will have to subscribe to digital television if they want to watch the PGA TOUR on Thursday and Friday. Network coverage on the weekends will be available. ... Ken Duke has been voted the 2006 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year after leading the money list. ... Kimberly Kim, the 15-year-old U.S. Women's Amateur champion, has been given a sponsor's exemption to the LPGA Tour's season-opening SBS Open at Turtle Bay.
Sergio Garcia (No. 11) is the only player among the top 15 in the world ranking who failed to win a tournament anywhere in the world in 2006. He has gone 30 tournaments without winning.
'I don't think I'm making up ground on him, but at least I'm creeping up to a level that's competitive.' -- Adam Scott, who is No. 4 in the world behind Tiger Woods. Scott started the year at No. 9.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

Furyk: Not a 'good idea' to team Tiger, Phil at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerJune 25, 2018, 1:12 pm

Those hoping for another Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson partnership at the Ryder Cup might be sorely disappointed.

U.S. captain Jim Furyk all but slammed the door on the reboot Monday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Speaking at the CVS Health Charity Classic, Furyk laughed off the idea and said that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” for him to team them again.

“It worked out so well the first time,” he said, chuckling, referring to the 2004 matches, where captain Hal Sutton paired the sport’s two biggest stars and watched them go 0-2 en route to a lopsided team defeat at home.

Colin Montgomerie, who was also on the set and a member of that ’04 European squad, chimed in: “It was a great decision for Europe!”

Woods and Mickelson’s relationship has improved in recent years, since they were part of the task force that morphed into the Ryder Cup committee. They even played a practice round together this year at the Masters. But Furyk seemed to suggest even that wouldn’t be enough to put them together again in Paris.

“I hope they’re both watching, because they just fell off the couch laughing,” Furyk said. “I wouldn’t guess that would be a good idea as a captain, I’m just saying.”

Both Mickelson and Woods are outside the top 8 automatic qualifiers. Mickelson is currently ranked 10th, while Woods is now 39th.

Woods has already been named a vice captain for this year’s matches, though Furyk said that Woods had broached the topic of being a playing vice captain as early as January. Furyk added that he hasn’t discussed what Woods would need to show him over the course of the year to be considered for a captain’s pick.

“He hasn’t played as big of a schedule as everybody else,” Furyk said, “but when he has played, he’s played pretty well. Definitely an eye-opener for everyone.”

Getty Images

Grandma hopes sick JT has some 's***-kicking antibiotics'

By Grill Room TeamJune 25, 2018, 1:08 pm

Justin Thomas tied for 56th at the Travelers Championship, still recovering from a brutal test at the U.S. Open and, apparently, battling an illness.

Thomas is next competing at this week's French Open, along with the likes of Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and a host of potential Ryder Cup foes.

Count his grandmother as one who is pulling – really, really pulling – for his physical recovery.

Grandmothers are the best. And as you can make out from the top of the text exchange, she finally figured out what was on JT’s pants in Round 1 at Shinnecock Hills.

Getty Images

What's in the bag: Travelers champion Watson

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:22 pm

Bubba Watson won the Travelers Championship for a third time in his career. Here's a look inside his bag:

Driver: Ping G400 LST (7.6 degrees), with Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Prototype X shaft

Fairway wood:  Ping G (13.2 degrees), with Fujikura Tour Spec 8.2 X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52 degrees, 55 degrees, 63 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD Anser

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Getty Images

Travelers purse payout: Bubba, Cink close low, earn big

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2018, 12:06 pm

Bubba Watson shot 63 on Sunday to win the Travelers Championship. He took home the trophy, but he wasn't the only player to earn a big payday. Here's how the purse was paid out at TPC River Highlands:

1 Bubba Watson -17 $1,260,000
T2 Stewart Cink -14 $462,000
T2 Beau Hossler -14 $462,000
T2 J.B. Holmes -14 $462,000
T2 Paul Casey -14 $462,000
T6 Kevin Tway -13 $234,500
T6 Brian Harman -13 $234,500
T6 Russell Henley -13 $234,500
T9 Chase Seiffert -12 $189,000
T9 Bryson DeChambeau -12 $189,000
T9 Anirban Lahiri -12 $189,000
T12 Rory McIlroy -11 $147,000
T12 Ryan Blaum -11 $147,000
T12 Jason Day -11 $147,000
T15 Charley Hoffman -10 $115,500
T15 Patrick Cantlay -10 $115,500
T15 Danny Lee -10 $115,500
T15 Kyle Stanley -10 $115,500
T19 Brooks Koepka -9 $79,000
T19 Fabian Gomez -9 $79,000
T19 David Lingmerth -9 $79,000
T19 Zach Johnson -9 $79,000
T19 Emiliano Grillo -9 $79,000
T19 Matt Jones -9 $79,000
T19 Jamie Lovemark -9 $79,000
T26 Sam Ryder -8 $49,700
T26 Si Woo Kim -8 $49,700
T26 Richy Werenski -8 $49,700
T26 Blayne Barber -8 $49,700
T26 Steve Marino -8 $49,700
T26 Peter Malnati -8 $49,700
T26 Patrick Rodgers -8 $49,700
T33 Alex Cejka -7 $39,550
T33 Tyler Duncan -7 $39,550
T33 Kevin Streelman -7 $39,550
T36 Seamus Power -6 $35,175
T36 James Hahn -6 $35,175
T38 Scott Stallings -5 $30,800
T38 Russell Knox -5 $30,800
T38 Brandon Harkins -5 $30,800
T38 Lanto Griffin -5 $30,800
T42 Adam Hadwin -4 $24,500
T42 J.J. Henry -4 $24,500
T42 Jordan Spieth -4 $24,500
T42 Mackenzie Hughes -4 $24,500
T42 Brett Stegmaier -4 $24,500
T47 Billy Hurley III -3 $17,578
T47 Vaughn Taylor -3 $17,578
T47 Sam Saunders -3 $17,578
T47 Kelly Kraft -3 $17,578
T47 Keegan Bradley -3 $17,578
T47 J.J. Spaun -3 $17,578
T47 Wesley Bryan -3 $17,578
T47 Denny McCarthy -3 $17,578
T47 Scott Brown -3 $17,578
T56 Ryan Armour -2 $15,680
T56 Keith Mitchell -2 $15,680
T56 Ken Duke -2 $15,680
T56 Justin Thomas -2 $15,680
T56 Hunter Mahan -2 $15,680
T61 John Huh -1 $14,910
T61 Martin Laird -1 $14,910
T61 Steve Wheatcroft -1 $14,910
T61 James Driscoll -1 $14,910
T61 Tom Lovelady -1 $14,910
T61 Nick Hardy -1 $14,910
T67 Daniel Berger E $14,350
T67 Trey Mullinax E $14,350
T69 Cameron Tringale 1 $14,000
T69 Kyle Thompson 1 $14,000
T69 Ethan Tracy 1 $14,000
T72 Dominic Bozzelli 2 $13,650
T72 Martin Flores 2 $13,650
74 Padraig Harrington 4 $13,440