Notes Masters invites Finchems salary made public

By Associated PressDecember 2, 2008, 5:00 pm
Nine tournaments over the final three weeks of the season could determine who goes to Augusta National in April.
While the PGA Tour season ended Nov. 2 when Davis Love III won at Disney ' no, that did not qualify him for the Masters ' tournaments around the globe are causing subtle changes in the top 50 in the world ranking that decides who gets a Masters invitation.
Oliver Wilson of England was 55th at the start of November, but a runner-up finish in the HSBC Champions has moved him up to No. 41, meaning J.B. Holmes likely will be the only Ryder Cup player who has yet to qualify for the Masters.
Jeev Singh won the Singapore Open, moving him up 17 spots to No. 44. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland was languishing at No. 79 until he tied for fourth in Singapore and tied for second in the Hong Kong Open, giving him a chance at No. 49.
The biggest move belonged to Lin Wen-Twang of Taiwan, who won the Hong Kong Open and has moved up from No. 107 at the start of November to No. 50 going into the final three weeks.
The top 50 at the end of the 2008 earn invitations to the first major of the year.
Woody Austin ended the PGA Tour season at No. 46, but with so much movement into the top 50, he has dropped to No. 51 and figures to fall even more.
The December schedule features three tournaments in South Africa, two in Australia, three on the Asian Tour and one in Japan. If the ranking stays the way it is for the final month, the Masters field already will have 89 players going into next year. Then, the winners of 13 events on the PGA Tour will get automatic invitations, along with the top 50 in the world ranking published a week before the Masters.
The last time the Masters had more than 100 players in the field was in 1966.
EUROPEAN SHOT: Padraig Harrington, the first European to win successive majors in the same season, has won the European Tour Shot of the Year Award for 2008.
The debate must have been which shot.
A panel of golf writers, broadcasters and golf dignitaries settled on the Irishmans 5-wood to about 4 feet for an eagle on the 17th hole at Royal Birkdale, effectively clinching victory in the British Open.
Its one of the few times I think Ive ever heard my caddie say, Good shot, before the ball is finished, Harrington said.
Runner-up went to Graeme McDowell for his 7-iron on the third hole of a playoff against Jeev Singh to win the inaugural Ballantines Championship in Korea. Harringtons other shot ' that 5-iron to 10 feet for birdie on the 71st hole of the PGA Championship to break a tie with Sergio Garcia ' finished third.
FINCHEMS PAY: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem had a $400,000 drop in his compensation last year, but the $4.8 million in salary and bonuses was still enough to be the equivalent of No. 3 on the money list for the second straight year.
The Sports Business Journal, citing the latest IRS forms the tour is required to file, said Finchem received $1.3 million in salary, $3.2 million in bonus and $240,000 in benefits. In 2006, he received about $5.2 million, which spokesman Ty Votaw attributed to an additional bonus the commissioner received for extraordinary service in 2005.
Finchem made $4.2 million in 2005, the equivalent of No. 5 on the money list.
The journal said Finchem still earned less than NHL commissioner Gary Bettman ($5.59 million) and less than half the compensation of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ($11.2 million prorated).
The tours tax forms indicate that co-chief operating officers Ed Moorhouse ($1.6 million) and Charlie Zink ($1.5 million) were the next highest-paid employees, followed by chief marketing officer Tom Wade and chief financial officer Ron Price at $1 million each.
According to the most recent IRS forms available for the LPGA, commissioner Carolyn Bivens earned $710,812 in salary and benefits in 2006. Two years earlier, in his final full year as LPGA commissioner, Votaw was paid $478,897.
CURTIS AND EUROPE: An American major champion joined the European Tours Race to Dubai and hardly anyone noticed. Ben Curtis said during the World Cup last week that he will be a member this year with hopes of reaching the $10 million Dubai World Championship.
It makes it interesting and a lot of fun to try to compete on both tours and do well on both, Curtis said. Its a lot of fun to play golf around the world, and not just in the United States. Its tough now with two kids, but I can make it happen. And it would be pretty neat to be able to do well on both ' finish in the top 10 on both tours. It could be quite an accomplishment.
Others who have joined included Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas of Colombia. Phil Mickelson considered joining, but has not decided, especially with Europe not adding the Barclays Singapore Open to its schedule.
Curtis might have some company in Brandt Snedeker, his partner in the World Cup.
Snedeker plans to play in Qatar and possibly Abu Dhabi to start out next year, and he said he probably would join if he can get in the minimum 12 events required for membership.
Were talking about playing a tournament worth $10 million, and everybody is going to want to try to play in it, Snedeker said. I dont have any kids at home. I just got married. I have no reason not to want to travel the world and see it. So its a great excuse for me to get out there and travel some.
Snedeker might want to make up his mind before he gets to Qatar. Money earned in Europe does not count toward the Race to Dubai until a player like Snedeker pays to become an affiliate member.
DIVOTS: Greg Norman and Bernhard Langer have joined the eight-man field of four teams in the Wendys Champions Skins Game at Kaanapali Beach Resort in Hawaii at the end of February. Langer will be partners with Gary Players, while Norman will pair with Jay Haas. Fuzzy Zoeller and Peter Jacobsen are the defending champions, with the other team Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Colin Montgomerie, who married for the second time in April, has moved from the London area to his native Scotland. Quality of life has risen, he said. Twenty of the 164 players in the final stage of Q-school are past PGA Tour winners, including one major champion (Mark Brooks). Five years ago, 15 of the 171 players who reached the final stage were past champions.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Bill Haas finished 104th on the PGA Tour for the second straight year, making an additional $33,496 in 2008 to stay in the same position.
FINAL WORD: Hopefully, he plays 72 holes and ends with 14 clubs. ' Geoff Ogilvy on John Daly playing in the Australian PGA Championship. Six years ago, Daly threw his putter into the pond after the second round and was disqualified for not signing his card.
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Davies wins by 10 on 'best ball-striking round'

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 1:53 am

WHEATON, Ill. - Laura Davies immediately recognized the significance of having her name inscribed on the first U.S. Senior Women's Open trophy.

It might be a long time before anyone secures the title as emphatically as Davies did.

Davies went virtually unchallenged in Sunday's final round of the inaugural USGA championship for women 50 and older, claiming the title by 10 strokes over Juli Inkster.

''It's great seeing this (trophy) paraded down for the very first time and I get my name on it first, you know?'' Davies said. ''This championship will be played for many years and there will only be one first winner - obviously a proud moment for me to win that.''

The 54-year-old Davies shot a 5-under 68 to finish at 16-under 276 at Chicago Golf Club.

It was the English player's 85th career win, and she felt the pressure even though her lead was rarely in danger.

''I haven't won for eight years - my last win was India, 2010,'' Davies said. ''So that's the pressure you're playing under, when you're trying to do something for yourself, prove to yourself you can still win.

''So this ranks highly up there. And obviously it's a USGA event. It's hard comparing tournaments, but this is very high on my list of achievements.''

A 7-under 66 Saturday provided Davies with a five-shot lead over Inkster and what she said would be a sleepless night worrying about the pressure.

Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

The World Golf Hall of Famer widened her advantage early Sunday when she birdied the par-5 second hole and Inkster made bogey. Davies said a par she salvaged at the 10th was another turning point.

''It wasn't the greatest hole I ever played, but I think that, to me, was when I really started to think I might have one hand on the trophy and just had to get the other one in there.''

Inkster shot an even-par 73. England's Trish Johnson also shot 73 to finish third, 12 shots back.

''I mean, she was absolutely spectacular this week,'' Johnson said about Davies. ''I've played against her for 35 years. Yesterday was the best I have ever seen her play in her entire career.

''She just said walking down 18 it was best ball-striking round she ever had. Considering she's won 85 tournaments, that's quite some feat.''

Danielle Ammaccapane was fourth and Yuko Saito finished fifth. Martha Leach was the top amateur, tying for 10th at 6-over 298.

Davies plans to play in the Women's British Open next month, and called this win a confidence-booster as she continues to compete against the younger generation. She finished tied for second at the LPGA's Bank of Hope Founders Cup earlier this year.

''You build up a little bit of momentum, and a golf course is a golf course,'' Davies said. ''Sometimes the field strength is a little bit different, but in your own mind if you've done something like this, 16 under for four rounds around a proper championship course, it can't do anything but fill you full of confidence.''

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Romo rallies to win American Century Championship

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:42 am

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. - Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo rallied from four points back to win his first American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe on Sunday.

Romo, who retired after the 2016 NFL season and is now an NFL analyst, had 27 points on the day to beat three-time defending champion Mark Mulder and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, the the leader after the first two rounds.

''It's a special win,'' said Romo, who had finished second three times in seven previous trips to the annual celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. ''It feels like you're playing a tournament back home here. The day felt good for a lot of reasons.''

Romo tapped in for par, worth one point, on the 18th hole to finish with 71 points, three ahead of Mulder, the former major league pitcher. He then caught a flight to Berlin, Wis., where he was to compete in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament on Monday.

The American Century Championship uses a modified Stableford scoring system which rewards points for eagles (six), birdies (three) and pars (one) and deducts points (two) for double bogeys or worse. Bogeys are worth zero points.

Pavelski had a 7-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th that could have tied Romo, but it slid by. He finished with 66 points, tied for third with Ray Allen, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 7.

Full-field scores from the American Century Championship

''It feels like nothing went in for me today,'' Pavelski said. ''But I couldn't ask for more than to have that putt to tie on the last hole.''

Romo plays as an amateur, so his $125,000 first-place check from the $600,000 purse will go to local charities and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the primary charitable arm of title sponsor American Century Investments.

Rounding out the top five were Trent Dilfer, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, and former tennis player Mardy Fish. Each had 62 points.

Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, who fell out of contention with a mediocre round Saturday, jumped into Lake Tahoe amidst much fanfare after losing a bet to his father, Dell. The elder Curry jumped into the lake last year, so he negotiated a 20-point handicap and won by two points.

Other notable players in the 92-player field included John Smoltz, the MLB hall of Fame pitcher who two weeks ago competed in the U.S. Senior Open and finished 10th here with 53 points; Steph Curry, who finished tied for 11th with retired Marine and wounded war hero Andrew Bachelder (50); actor Jack Wagner (16th, 47 points); Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (tied for 18th, 44 points); actor Ray Romano (tied for 71st, minus-26 points); comedian Larry the Cable Guy (tied for 77th, minus-33 points); and former NBA great Charles Barkley, who finished alone in last with minus-93 points.

The tournament drew 57,097 fans for the week, setting an attendance record for the fourth straight year.

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Singh tops Maggert in playoff for first senior major

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2018, 12:10 am

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. - Vijay Singh birdied the second playoff hole to beat Jeff Maggert and win the Constellation Senior Players Championship on Sunday.

Singh knocked in a putt from about 2 feet after a nearly perfect approach on the 18th hole at Exmoor Country Club, giving an understated fist pump as the ball fell in. That gave him his first major title on the PGA Tour Champions to go with victories at the Masters and two PGA Championships.

Singh (67) and Maggert (68) finished at 20-under 268. Brandt Jobe (66) was two strokes behind, while Jerry Kelly (64) and defending champion Scott McCarron (71) finished at 17 under.

Maggert had chances to win in regulation and on the first playoff hole.

He bogeyed the par-4 16th to fall into a tie with Singh at 20 under and missed potential winning birdie putts at the end of regulation and on the first playoff hole.

His 15-footer on the 72nd hole rolled wide, forcing the playoff, and a downhill 12-footer on the same green went just past the edge.

Full-field scores from the Constellation Energy Senior Players

The 55-year-old Singh made some neat par saves to get into the playoff.

His tee shot on 17 landed near the trees to the right of the fairway, and his approach on 18 wound up in a bunker. But the big Fijian blasted to within a few feet to match Maggert's par.

McCarron - tied with Maggert and Bart Bryant for the lead through three rounds - was trying to join Arnold Palmer and Bernhard Langer as the only back-to-back winners of this major. He came back from a six-shot deficit to win at Caves Valley near Baltimore last year and got off to a good start on Sunday.

He birdied the first two holes to reach 18 under. But bogeys on the par-4 seventh and ninth holes knocked him off the lead. His tee shot on No. 7 rolled into a hole at the base of a tree and forced him to take an unplayable lie.

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Davies a fitting winner of inaugural USGA championship

By Randall MellJuly 15, 2018, 11:26 pm

Laura Davies confessed she did not sleep well on a five-shot lead Saturday night at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

It’s all you needed to know about what this inaugural event meant to the women who were part of the history being made at Chicago Golf Club.

The week was more than a parade of memories the game’s greats created playing in the USGA’s long-awaited showcase for women ages 50 and beyond.

The week was more than nostalgic. 

It was a chance to make another meaningful mark on the game.

In the end, Davies relished seeing the mark she made in her runaway, 10-shot victory. She could see it in the familiar etchings on the trophy she hoisted.

“I get my name on it first,” Davies said. “This championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner. Obviously, quite a proud moment for me to win that.”

Really, all 120 players in the field made their marks at Chicago Golf Club. They were all pioneers of sorts this past week.

“It was very emotional seeing the USGA signs, because I've had such a long history, since my teens, playing in USGA championships,” said Amy Alcott, whose Hall of Fame career included the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open title. “I thought the week just came off beautifully. The USGA did a great job. It was just so classy how everything was done, this inaugural event, and how was it presented.”

Davies was thankful for what the USGA added to the women’s game, and she wasn’t alone. Gratefulness was the theme of the week.

Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

The men have been competing in the U.S. Senior Open since 1980, and now the women have their equal opportunity to do the same.

“It was just great to be a part of the first,” three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy said. “The USGA did a great job of having it at such a great golf course. It's just been very memorable.”

Trish Johnson, who is English, like Davies, finished third, 12 shots back, but she left with a heart overflowing.

“Magnificent,” said Johnson, a three-time LPGA and 19-time LET winner. “Honestly, it's one of the best, most enjoyable weeks I've ever played in in any tournament anywhere.”

She played in the final group with Davies and runner-up Juli Inkster.

“Even this morning, just waiting to come out here, I thought, `God, not often do I actually think how lucky I am to do what I do,’” Johnson said.

At 54, Davies still plays the LPGA and LET regularly. She has now won 85 titles around the world, 20 of them LPGA titles, four of them majors, 45 of them LET titles.

With every swing this past week, she peeled back the years, turned back the clock, made fans and peers remember what she means to the women’s game.

This wasn’t the first time Davies made her mark in a USGA event. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1987, she became just the second player from Europe to win the title, the first in 20 years. She opened a new door for internationals. The following year, Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann won the title.

“A lot of young Europeans and Asians decided that it wasn't just an American sport,” Davies said. “At that stage, it had been dominated, wholeheartedly, by all the names we all love, Lopez, Bradley, Daniel, Sheehan.”

Davies gave the rest of the world her name to love, her path to follow.

“It certainly made a lot of foreign girls think that they could take the Americans on,” Davies said.

In golf, it’s long been held that you can judge the stature of an event by the names on the trophy. Davies helps gives the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open the monumental start it deserved.