Notes Poulters long walk Sharp-dressed man

By Associated PressSeptember 10, 2010, 4:30 am
BMW Championship

LEMONT, Ill. – Ian Poulter put the long walk between the 10th green and the 11th tee at the BMW Championship to good use.

Poulter, who needs a strong performance this week to advance to the Tour Championship, opened with a double bogey on 10 on Thursday. But he calmed himself down as he walked the 250 yards that separate 10 and 11, and went on to post the best score of the afternoon groups.

Poulter was third at 5-under 66, two strokes behind leader Matt Kuchar.

“I was glad it was a long walk from the 10th green to the 11th tee, that’s all I can say,” he said. “Double bogey is not how you want to start the third FedEx event. I suppose the only good way of looking at it is there’s 71 holes to go. I bounced back pretty good.”

Poulter made birdies on the long par 3s on the back nine, eagled the par-5 15th hole and chipped in on 18 from 20 yards for another birdie to make the turn at 4 under.

“I wasn’t really worried, I just didn’t want to start with a double. Especially on that easy of a hole,” Poulter said of the 10th, which produced just eight bogeys and two doubles Thursday.

And not in this tournament.

Poulter missed out on the Tour Championship at last year’s BMW by the slimmest of margins. He dunked his approach into the water on the final hole and made bogey, leaving him outside the top 30 by less than half a point, the smallest margin in the three-year history of the series.

Poulter came to the BMW in 44th place in the FedEx Cup standings, and estimated he needs a top-10 finish to make the Tour Championship in two weeks.

“They had to take it down to a decimal point. I don’t want no decimal points this year,” Poulter said. “I’m going to win this golf tournament and I want to win at East Lake and I want to go and enjoy myself at the Ryder Cup. So that’s my goal.”

There are putt-putt courses Phil Mickelson would enjoy more than Cog Hill.

Mickelson has made no secret of his dislike for Cog Hill, the longtime home of the Western Open that is now one of the rotating sites of the BMW Championship. His contempt has only grown since Rees Jones renovated it ahead of last year’s BMW.

“It’s interesting,” Mickelson said when asked his impressions of the course after shooting a 1-over 72 Thursday.

There was some thought Lefty might even skip the third round of the FedEx Cup. He’s at 14th in the standings after the first two events, and most likely would have made the Tour Championship even if he’d stayed home this week.

He’s here, but he skipped the pro-am to play at Butler National – a course clearly more to his liking.

“That’s in great shape,” he said. “The greens there were just pristine, and I had a nice, relaxing day.”

SHARP-DRESSED MAN: Ryan Moore’s snazzy duds drew as much attention as his score.

Moore did his best Bobby Jones imitation at the BMW Championship on Thursday, wearing a tie tucked beneath his black sweater.

“I bought it a couple of days ago,” he said. “I was just walking around a store and thought, `You know, I might wear some ties this week.’ Just sounded good. I saw the weather was only going to be about 70 to 75 degrees. I can definitely handle a sweater and tie in those temperatures.”

While most players sport clothes from major labels—Nike, Ashworth, Adidas, just to name a few—Moore is his own man. The 27-year-old’s outfits come straight from his personal closet, and he favors looks that are a throwback to the Jones and Sam Snead eras.

He’d even consider breaking out a tweed jacket if it was cold enough.

“Everywhere I go, anywhere I’ve worn it, fans love it,” Moore said of his distinctive look. “That was certainly not the purpose at all. I love this look. I love that golf used to have that look, and I like to wear it when I can, when weather permits. That’s just how I like to look. It’s not for attention or anything like that.”

No, Moore gets enough with his game. He closed with five straight birdies, and his 29 on the back nine is a Cog Hill record. At 6-under 65, he’s a stroke behind leader Matt Kuchar.

“That’s just golf,” Moore said. “Just a great way to finish.”

OUCH!: Scott Verplank promised Charlie Wi a steak dinner for getting him into the BMW Championship.

He might want to buy his doctor one, too.

Verplank said Thursday his achy left wrist feels better than it has in weeks after having a cortisone shot Monday night. Verplank has been struggling with tendinitis most of the year, and it got so bad last week he withdrew from the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship because he could no longer grip the club through his swing.

“It wasn’t very good for the first five, six, seven holes. After that it wasn’t that bad,” said Verplank, whose wrist was bound tightly with white tape and then covered with a black wrap. “It hurt a lot less today than it did any other time in the last two or three weeks.”

Verplank played the first five holes at 4 over, and finished with a 76. That’s 12 strokes behind first-round leader Matt Kuchar.

Verplank figured his season was over when he left Boston. But Wi birdied the last hole Monday to bump Verplank up to No. 70 in the FedEx Cup standings and put him in the field for the BMW. His doctors told him he wouldn’t damage the wrist any further by playing, so Verplank got the cortisone shot, his first of the year.

There are no alternates in the playoffs, so it wasn’t as if Verplank deprived someone else of a spot in the field.

“I probably shouldn’t have come here. But nothing’s going to split, splinter, explode or tear,” Verplank said. “I’ve been playing with it all year, anyway.”

AYE, AYE CAPTAIN: Ian Poulter could have a future as a Ryder Cup captain.

Asked what he thought of Corey Pavin’s picks for the U.S. team earlier this week, the Englishman said they didn’t come as any surprise. Tiger Woods was all but a lock, and many figured Pavin would pick Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink, major champions who have already played Ryder Cups on the road.

Pavin’s last pick, though, was Rickie Fowler, the first PGA Tour rookie to make a U.S. Ryder Cup team.

“They were the four picks that I would have chosen,” Poulter said Thursday. “Guys were discussing it for a few days … and I think they were most people’s picks.”

WORLD RANKING: Phil Mickelson’s meltdown in the final round at the TPC Boston will make his road to No. 1 a lot tougher at Cog Hill.

For Mickelson to go atop the world ranking for the first time in his career, he would have to finish no worse than second place by himself, and that’s provided Tiger Woods finishes out of the top seven.

Mickelson can go to No. 1 with a win no matter what Woods does.

Steve Stricker also has a chance at the BMW Championship. He would have to win, and have Woods finish out of the top 17 and Mickelson finish worse than second.

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

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I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.

Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos

Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters

English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”