Notes OHair Caddie Split Wie Plays Stanford

By Associated PressSeptember 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
Sean O'Hair has found remarkable support from Steve Lucas as a father-in-law and as a caddie since joining the PGA TOUR two years ago. And while they took a break last year, this time it's for good.
 
'I am now retired,' Lucas said after the BMW Championship, teeth clenching a customary cigar.
 
O'Hair is 25 and will be starting his fourth year on tour next year, and both feel it is time for him to find a full-time caddie. O'Hair has signed up Paul Tesori, who formerly worked for Vijay Singh.
 
'We're both ready this time,' O'Hair said after his FedExCup season ended at Cog Hill. 'He's always going to support me, and he'll always be there for me.'
 
They certainly are going out in style.
 
O'Hair plans to play next month in the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, and he's bringing his father-in-law along as his amateur partner. The tournament is Europe's version of the AT&T Pebble Beach, played on St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. Lucas will use a local caddie, while O'Hair's wife will caddie for him.
 
Jackie O'Hair last caddied for her husband right before he earned his PGA Tour card at Q-school, and a few months before she gave birth to their first child.
 
As for Lucas, his last time on the bag will be the World Cup in China, which O'Hair called a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
 
STANFORD PLAYER:
Michelle Wie already has played her first round at Stanford -- but not for Stanford.
 
According to Golf Digest's web site, the 18-year-old played nine holes Monday at Stanford University Golf Course, accompanied by her parents. Freshman were to check in Tuesday, with classes starting next week.
 
Golf Digest also reported that while Wie is required to live in a dormitory on campus -- a rule for all freshmen -- her parents have rented a house nearby. Wie cannot play for the Cardinal because she turned pro two years ago, although she will be allowed to use the course and the practice facilities.
 
OPEN TO FEDEXCUP?:
The PGA TOUR earned a small victory when the Masters agreed to offer invitations to the top 30 in the final FedExCup standings, along with the top 30 from the final money list.
 
Whether the U.S. Open and British Open follow suit remains to be seen.
 
The U.S. Open exempts the top 30 from the money list, while the British Open exempts the top 20. The tour recently sent letters to both organizations asking the money list and FedExCup standings be used, believing that it would strengthen both fields.
 
'Discussions are ongoing,' said Andy Pazder, the tour's vice president of competition.
 
The FedExCup standings were frozen after the TOUR Championship, but the money list resumes this week at the Turning Stone Resort Championship and will not be final until the Disney Classic ends Nov. 4. Someone who is 90th on the money list could win Turning Stone this week and move into the top 30.
 
USGA executive director David Fay said he expects a decision at the October meeting of the championship committee. When contacted Tuesday morning, he happened to be studying the FedExCup standings and money list in the newspaper.
 
'One thing that drives us perhaps more than the other events is the number of entries we have,' Fay said. 'We expect 9,000 to 10,000 for the next few years. How we philosophically look at the Open is we like to have 50 percent come to the field by qualifying.'
 
At Oakmont, 54 percent of the U.S. Open field came through qualifying, while 20 players qualified exclusively by their finish on the 2007 money list.
 
'One can assume we're not looking to add exempt players,' Fay said.
 
Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson was in a meeting Tuesday afternoon and could not be reached for comment. The R&A previously has shown support of the PGA TOUR by offering a three-year exemption for The Players Championship winner. The U.S. Open and PGA Championship has offered only a one-year exemption.
 
DRUG POLICY:
The PGA TOUR will make it official this week that it will have a drug policy in 2008.
 
Golf has been under increasing pressure to come up with a policy against performance-enhancing drugs, and PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem said earlier this year that while there is no evidence of steroids, drug testing in sports has become a reality and it was prudent for all golf organizations to deal with them collectively.
 
'I think we're at a point where to maintain confidence in the public and the fans, we have to take this step, even though there's great speculation about the extent to which substances can help you in this game,' Finchem said two weeks ago in Boston.
 
A conference call to discuss the policy was planned as early as Thursday, although it was not clear what Finchem would announce. He has said any policy would start with an education plan and a list of banned substances, although testing might not begin until at least the second half of next year.
 
TIGER AWARDS:
Tiger Woods won't play for money until the Target World Challenge in December, and even that doesn't count as official. But he already has wrapped up a couple of awards.
 
He officially won the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the PGA TOUR money list when Phil Mickelson did not enter the Turning Stone Resort Championship. Even though Lefty only plans to play once in the Fall Series, even if he were to play the last five and win them all, he still would be more than $1 million short of Woods.
 
This is the third straight year Woods has won the award, and eighth time in his career.
 
Woods also mathematically clinched the points-based PGA Player of the Year award presented by the PGA of America. It also is the eighth time he has won that award.
 
The Jack Nicklaus Trophy as PGA TOUR player of the year is voted on by the players.
 
DIVOTS:
Fresh off a victorious Walker Cup, Chris Kirk has decided to turn pro and will make his debut next week at the Viking Classic in Mississippi. ... Vijay Singh was over par in five consecutive tournaments until he finished at 10-under 270 at the Tour Championship. ... The Ginn sur Mer Classic has offered exemptions to twins Derek and Daryl Fathauer. It will be the first time identical twins have played in the same PGA Tour event since Curtis and Allen Strange in the 1981 Texas Open.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Tiger Woods earned just over $3 million in three playoff events. Only 10 other players have earned more than that all season.
 
FINAL WORD:
'We've got bigger things to do yet.' -- Steve Stricker to caddie Tom Mitchell after finishing his year second in the FedExCup.
 
Related Links:
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    Golf Channel Ramps Up Six Weeks of Comprehensive College Golf Coverage Culminating With The NCAA Women's and Men's Golf Championships, May 18-30

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 24, 2018, 9:00 pm

    Golf Channel to Announce NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections on Wednesday, April 25 and Wednesday, May 2

     Golf Channel to Expand Coverage of NCAA Women’s and Men’s Regional Championships  

    Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, a Four-Part Docu-Series Executive Produced by Rickie Fowler, Premieres on Golf Channel Monday, May 7

     More than 100 News and Tournament Hours Planned for Women’s and Men’s Championships, Back-to-Back Weeks at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

     

    ORLANDO, Fla., April 24, 2018 – With conference championships underway, golf fans will be able to follow their favorite college golf programs and alma maters as they attempt to qualify and compete in the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships in May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., as Golf Channel expands its comprehensive on-air and digital collegiate golf coverage the next six weeks.

    “Through our new long-term partnership, the NCAA and Golf Channel are successfully raising the profile of college golf by shining a spotlight on the game’s future stars and the passion these programs have in competing for national championships,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive vice president of content and executive producer. “With our expanded coverage of the regional championships and partnering with OSU alum Rickie Fowler for Driven, our viewers will be treated to the most college golf coverage in network history leading into the NCAA Golf National Championships.”

    REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SELECTION ANNOUNCEMENTS: On Wednesday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. ET (women) and continuing Wednesday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET (men), Golf Channel will announce the teams and individuals selected by the NCAA to participate in the women’s and men’s regional championships, the first step on the road to the NCAA Golf Championships. Live streaming coverage of selection shows will be available through the Golf Channel Mobile App or GolfChannel.com, and Golf Channel will aggregate social content for the shows using the hashtag #NCAAGolf. 

    • Women’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, April 25, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce (live) the 72 teams and24 individuals selected to compete in the four NCAA Women’s Regional Championships, May 7-9 (18 teams and six individuals per regional). 24 teams and 12 individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.
    • Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, May 2, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce the 81 teams and 45 individuals selected to compete in the six NCAA Men’s Regional Championships, May 14-16 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five individuals at three regionals). 30 teams and six individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.

    GOLF CHANNEL TO EXPAND REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: New for 2018, Golf Channel will feature expanded coverage of the final day of the NCAA women’s and men’s regional championships, Wednesday May 9 and Wednesday, May 16, respectively. Beginning within Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily lifestyle news show, and continuing hourly throughout the day via live Golf Central news updates from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET that will be published to Golf Channel Digital and Golf Channel’s social media handles. Coverage will conclude with live news segments, featuring highlights and interviews, announcing the teams and individuals who qualified for the women’s and men’s national championships.

    RICKIE FOWLER AND NBC SPORTS COLLABORATE ON FOUR-PART DOCU-SERIES DRIVEN: OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS: NBC Sports Group is teaming up with PGA TOUR superstar Rickie Fowler to give viewers a dramatic behind-the-scenes look into Fowler’s alma mater in a four-part documentary series – Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys. Driven, executive produced by Fowler, will premiere Monday, May 7 at 10 p.m. ET and continue Monday, May 14 (10 p.m. ET) and Monday, May 21 (8 p.m. ET). The finale will air on NBC on Saturday, June 16, recapping their season that culminates with a run at a potential 11th national championship, taking place on their home turf.

    NCAA GOLF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: Contested in back-to-back weeks, May 18-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships, featuring nearly 30 combined hours of live tournament coverage. In addition, Golf Central will feature nearly 30 hours of combined pre-and post-event live news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and Golf Channel Digital.                                             

    Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage

    Monday, May   21       

    Individual National   Championship  

    4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

    Tuesday, May   22          

    Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

    11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

    Tuesday, May   22                 

    Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

    4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

    Wednesday, May   23            

    Team National   Championship  

    4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

     

    Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage

    Monday, May   28      

    Individual National   Championship  

    4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

    Tuesday, May   29          

    Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

    11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

    Tuesday, May   29                 

    Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

    4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

    Wednesday, May   30            

    Team National   Championship  

    4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

     

    COLLEGE CENTRAL – GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL COVERAGE: Golf Channel is providing comprehensive coverage leading up to and during the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships as part of College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, Ryan Lavner and Steve Burkowski, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

    CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel will cover the conference championships with scores and analysis across its on-air news platforms - Morning Drive and Golf Central – and online within College Central.

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    With help from partner, Burns could secure Tour status

    By Ryan LavnerApril 24, 2018, 8:33 pm

    AVONDALE, La. – This week Sam Burns has yet another chance to secure special temporary membership for the rest of the PGA Tour season, but his partner may determine whether he’s ultimately successful.

    In an interesting twist, Burns is burning one of his seven available sponsor exemptions this week at the Zurich Classic. He is 80 non-member points shy of securing special temporary membership, which would allow him to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the season.

    Burns needs at least a two-way tie for fourth to earn the necessary points, but it won’t all depend on how he plays this week. The Zurich is a two-man game, with two rounds apiece of fourballs and alternate shot.

    Burns' partner this week is William McGirt. Their games couldn’t be more different – Burns ranks eighth on Tour in driving distance, at 309 yards per pop, while McGirt is 143rd (290) – but they hope to compliment each other over four days at TPC Louisiana.


    Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


    “I got a good pair of spurs sharpened up last week while I was in San Antonio,” joked McGirt, who is looking for his first top-10 since the fall. “I told him I was going to ride him hard this week. It’ll be fun.”

    Burns will have at least two (and maybe three) more opportunities to earn status, with starts lined up next week at the Wells Fargo Championship and also at the Memorial. He doesn’t face quite as much pressure because he won earlier this month on the Web.com Tour and currently sits fourth on the money list, essentially locking up his PGA Tour card for next season.

    “It’s obviously nice to have that win,” he said, “but at the same time you have to be careful and make sure you play enough out there to where you’re secure for sure. You don’t want to get at the end of the year and then have two or three events left and you have to make a certain amount of money to get your card.

    “So I’m just going step by step, tournament by tournament, and trying to figure out what’s the best route.”   

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    Spieth-Palmer draw Rahm-Bryan early at Zurich

    By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2018, 7:49 pm

    AVONDALE, La. – The PGA Tour’s only team event gets underway Thursday at the Zurich Classic. Here are some featured groups to watch at TPC Louisiana.

    Justin Thomas-Bud Cauley/Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland: 8:39 a.m. ET Thursday off 10 tee, 2:08 p.m. Friday off 1: 

    The Bama boys, Thomas and Cauley, team up for the second consecutive year, after tying for fifth a year ago on the strength of a final-round 61. Berger teamed with Thomas Pieters a year ago but missed the cut, so he’ll try his luck with Woodland, who also shares a management team at Excel Sports.

    Jordan Spieth-Ryan Palmer/Jon Rahm-Wesley Bryan: 8:52 a.m. Thursday off 10, 2:19 p.m. Friday off 1: 

    Spieth and Palmer finished fourth a year ago, five shots back of the leaders. Spieth is making his first start since his epic Sunday run at the Masters. Rahm and Bryan have opposite strengths – Rahm is one of the game’s preeminent drivers, while Bryan, statistically, is one of the worst – but the Spaniard is coming off a European Tour victory at home. Another wrinkle here: Even though no world-ranking points are on offer this week, Rahm is set to supplant Spieth as the third-ranked player in the world.

    Jason Day-Ryan Ruffels/Brooks Koepka-Marc Turnesa: 1:31 p.m. Thursday off 1, 9:42 a.m. Friday off 10: 

    Two stars with questionable sidekicks. Ruffels is an up-and-coming Australian who has been playing primarily in Latin America. (He also shares a manager with Day.) Turnesa, meanwhile, got the call late last week from Koepka, who is finally ready to return from a 15-week layoff because of a wrist injury. They both play out of Medalist in South Florida, but Turnesa, 40, has turned his attention to real estate instead of professional golf.

    Patrick Reed-Patrick Cantlay/Jonas Blixt-Cameron Smith: 1:44 p.m. Thursday off 1, 9:53 a.m. Friday off 10: 

    Reed makes his first start as Masters champion after taking off the past two weeks. This duo tied for 14th last year, undone by a Saturday 75 in foursomes play. Blixt and Smith are the defending champions, after shooting 27 under par last year and holding off Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown in a playoff. Blixt doesn’t have a top-10 on Tour since then, while Smith tied for fifth at the Match Play and the Masters.

    Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson/Bubba Watson-Matt Kuchar: 1:57 p.m. Thursday off 1, 10:04 a.m. Friday off 10:

    Rose and Stenson, who have proved to be a formidable pairing in the Ryder Cup, were a stunning missed cut last year, after shooting 6 under par for two rounds. Watson teamed up with J.B. Holmes to finish fifth last year, while Kuchar is making his first start in this event since 2009.

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    Zurich Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2018, 7:09 pm

    The PGA Tour tries team competition for the second year in a row at the Zurich Classic. Here are the key stats and information for play at TPC LouisianaClick here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


    Purse: $7,200,000 ($1,036,800 to each winner)

    Course: TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards)

    Defending champions: Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt (-27) in a playoff over Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner


    News and notes

    • All four reigning major champions - Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed - are in the field this week. This is the first time all four reigning major winners have played this event since 1984 (Ben Crenshaw, Larry Nelson, Tom Watson, Hall Sutton).

     Both members of winning team this week will earn an official PGA Tour victory, two-year Tour exemptions, and exemptions into the Players and PGA Championships.

    • That said, no Official World Golf Ranking points are awarded from this event and winners will not earn exemptions into the 2019 Masters.


    Notable teams in the field 

    Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson

     Rose won this event in 2014, when it was individual stroke play. From 2012-16, he was a combined 60 under at TPC Louisiana in stroke play, seven shots better than any other player.

     Rose has dramatically improved his performance on the greens from last season, moving from 123rd in strokes gained-putting to 10th.

     Stenson's last three starts look like this: solo 4th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T-6 at the Houston Open, and T-5 at the Masters.

    Jon Rahm and Wesley Bryan

     Rahm is coming off a victory at the Spanish Open, his second worldwide win in 2018 and fifth since Jan. 2017.

     Rahm outdrives Bryan by an average of 30 yards off the tee, 305.1 to 276.3.

     Rahm is second on Tour in the strokes gained-off the tee, while Bryan is 210th, last among qualifying players.

    Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay

     Reed is just the fifth reigning Masters champ to play the Zurich since 2000, joining Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson (twice), and Bubba Watson.

     Reed has gone T-2, T-7, T-9, WIN in his last four starts.

     Cantlay broke through for his maiden PGA Tour win earlier this season at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.