Notes Rough Week for Vijays Caddie
Dave Renwick, who has been with Vijay Singh for seven of his nine victories, was held up at knifepoint by two men in downtown Atlanta as he was returning from dinner at the start of the week. Renwick was robbed of his watch and money, although he was not injured.
Then, he was mysteriously missing from the bag of the No. 1 player on the weekend. Singh instead used his trainer, Joey Diovisalvi, for the final two rounds.
Singh said Renwick had a bad hip, although that raised eyebrows because the Scottish caddie was seen at East Lake early Saturday morning.
There has been speculation that the two were about to part ways, although Singh said Renwick would be back on the bag at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii in two weeks.
It has been a peculiar relationship over the last 18 months.
Singh has praised Renwick for his work, although it hasn't always been a ringing endorsement.
'The caddie is as good as the player, and I proved it twice this year,' Singh said, noting that Diovisalvi caddied for two of his wins. 'I'm pretty happy with his work, and I guess he's happy with what he's been rewarded with.'
Something for Everyone
Tiger Woods will play in the Skins Game and the Target World Challenge. Vijay Singh has the PGA Grand Slam and the Father-Son Challenge. Other top players can chase free money at the UBS Cup or the Shark Shootout.
But the PGA Tour is all about opportunity, and this year it is offering something from everyone.
Anyone up for the Korea Golf Championship?
The latest addition to the silly season will be played Nov. 25-28 at JungMun Golf Course on Jeju Island. It was supposed to be a $4 million tournament for 60 players with $1 million going to the winner. The top 20 players from the PGA Tour money list through Aug. 22 were eligible.
The only hitch?
It takes about 20 hours to get there - a flight to Seoul, transfer by bus to a regional airport, a short flight to Jeju Island and then another bus to the golf course - and it starts on Thanksgiving.
To no one's surprise, there weren't a lot of takers.
Cameron Beckman was outside the top 125 on the money list in late August, but two months later he was holding out hope he could get in.
'I think I'm third alternate,' Beckman said.
Among those planning to play are Mark Calcavecchia, who will travel anywhere for a chance to win $1 million. Besides, he won in Korea earlier this year at the Maekyung Open.
'I'm 1-0 in Korea,' Calcavecchia said. 'It could be my place.'
Calcavecchia said he was in line to get a sponsor's exemption because of his earlier victory, but he made it through the money list - even though he, too, was struggling to get his card.
Others who have committed include Tom Pernice Jr., Harrison Frazar, Arron Oberholser, Tim Petrovic, Brian Bateman and K.J. Choi, who figures to be the star attraction at home in South Korea.
But there already has been some changes.
Because of budget cuts, the purse has been reduced to about $3.5 million, causing tournament organizers to lower the field to 39 players to make it worth their while.
Still, it's a nice perk to those players who ordinarily don't get them this time of the year. Last place is $20,000, and players don't have to pay for the airfare or hotel.
Now that the PGA of America has found a Ryder Cup captain, a more important search is under way - finding a replacement for Jim Awtrey, the chief executive officer who is retiring in 2006.
Awtrey informed the PGA board during its annual meeting last week, noting that 2006 will be his 20th year.
'While this was not an easy decision, it is the proper decision and the proper time,' Awtrey said.
Awtrey's contract expires June 1, 2006, although the PGA extended it to the end of that year to allow the organization time to find his replacement and help with the transition. That means Awtrey will be around for the Ryder Cup matches in Ireland.
Paula Creamer at least has some security if she decides to turn pro.
Creamer, an 18-year-old senior in high school, shared medalist honors at Q-school on the Futures Tour with 19-year-old Brittany Lincicome.
Lincicome, the first-round leader at the U.S. Women's Open, already has decided to turn pro and cashed her first check worth $500. Creamer is leaning toward turning pro, but still has not decided.
She is in the finals of LPGA qualifying next month. If Creamer does not get her card, she has a spot on the Futures Tour, or she can go to college and compete on the Futures Tour as an amateur.
Creamer tied for 13th at the U.S. Women's Open with Michelle Wie.
'Everybody wants to win, but this is all about getting a card,' Creamer said.
During the $6 million Tour Championship, the Byron Nelson Championship announced its purse would be $6.2 million next year. The winner will get $1,116,000. It was the 11th straight year the Nelson has raised its prize money. ... Titleist came out with a new version of the Pro V1 during the Tour Championship. Seven players tried it out at East Lake. ... Don't be surprised to see K.J. Choi in a swoosh next year. The South Korean had the Nike blades in his bag during the Tour Championship, and asked Tiger Woods on the practice green if he could borrow a few golf balls. Choi is said to be close to signing a deal with Nike. ... The PGA Tour will announce its player of the year awards Dec. 6 in New York. A year ago, when the race between Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods came down to the wire, the tour announced the winner live on ESPN's 'SportsCenter.'
STAT OF THE WEEK
Vijay Singh ranked No. 3 in rounds played on the PGA Tour this year with 110. Ted Purdy played 112 rounds in 35 events, followed by Patrick Sheehan at 111 rounds in 33 events. Singh played 29 tournaments, matching his career-high on tour.
'I'm going to be in Hawaii for the Grand Slam, and I think I'm going to have a party there. You all are invited.' - Vijay Singh, speaking to a group of reporters on when he would celebrate his nine-win season.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Woods: New putter should help on slower greens
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods’ ice-cold putting showed at least a few signs of heating up earlier this month at The National, where he switched putters and ranked seventh in the field on the greens.
The mallet-style putter is still in the bag as Woods prepares for The Open, and he’s hoping the heavier model with grooves will prove valuable at Carnoustie.
“To be honest with you, I’ve struggled on slower greens throughout my entire career,” Woods said Tuesday. “So for me, it’s going to help on these greens, for sure.”
To combat the slower greens, Woods usually applied a strip of lead tape to his putter. But this heavier model of putter doesn’t need the extra weight, and the grooves on the putter face allow the ball to get rolling faster and hotter.
“You don’t necessarily have to do that with the grooves,” he said of the lead tape. “When I putted with the Nike putter, I didn’t have to put lead tape on the putter to get a little more weight to it. I could just leave it just the way it was. This is the same type.”
For all of the talk about his putting woes this season, Woods still ranks 56th in strokes gained: putting. More crucial this week: He’s 102nd in approach putt performance, which quantifies how well a player lag putts.
Woods: Open best chance for long-term major success
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods is more than a decade removed from his last major title, but he said Tuesday that The Open is the major that gives him the best chance for long-term success.
“I would say yes, because of the fact that you don’t have to be long to play on a links-style golf course,” Woods said during his pre-tournament news conference. “It certainly can be done.”
Woods pointed to the late-career success for both Greg Norman (2008) and Tom Watson (2009), both of whom challenged for the claret jug deep into their 50s.
“Distance becomes a moot point on a links-style golf course,” he said.
That’s certainly not the case, however, at the Masters, where bombers long have thrived, or the U.S. Open, which places a premium on long and straight driving.
“You get to places like Augusta National, which is just a big ballpark, and the golf course outgrows you, unfortunately,” he said. “But links-style courses, you can roll the ball. I hit a 3-iron that went down there 330. Even if I get a little bit older, I can still chase some wood or long club down there and hit the ball the same distance.”
"Vantage Point with Mike Tirico" set to debut Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel
Special Hour Complementing the Network’s Week-Long Golf Central Live From The Open News Coverage; Premiere Scheduled to Include Interview with 2014 Open Runner-Up Rickie Fowler On-Site from Carnoustie
Features Include Tirico and Curtis Strange Re-watching ’99 Open at Carnoustie & Jim “Bones” Mackay Facilitating Exclusive Conversation with Caddies Michael Greller, John Wood Recounting Final Round Pairing at 2017 Open
To help set the table ahead of The 147TH Open at Carnoustie, Golf Channel will premiere Vantage Point with Mike Tirico on Tuesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. An extension of the network’s week-long Golf Central Live From The Open comprehensive news coverage, Vantage Point will revisit landmark moments in The Open’s history, uncover personal stories relevant to the fabric of the week and feature a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year” on golf’s original championship.
“It’s a thrill to be going back to The Open again this year, which is a fitting setting to launch this new opportunity,” said Tirico, NBC Sports host who this week will celebrate his 22nd consecutive year covering The Open. “I love being a part of the Golf Channel team during golf’s biggest weeks, and anticipate contributing to our commitment to great storytelling with Vantage Point.”
Kicking off the premiere of Vantage Point will be Tirico’s exclusive interview with 2014 Open runner-up and 2015 PLAYERS champion Rickie Fowler on-site from Carnoustie. One of Fowler’s favorite events, he has missed just one cut in eight previous appearances at The Open. Other highlights within the show include:
- Jim “Bones” Mackay facilitating an exclusive conversation between caddies Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and John Wood (Matt Kuchar) recounting the final round pairing at The Open last July.
- Tirico hosting a roundtable discussion with past “Champion Golfers of the Year”: David Duval, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard.
- A recollection of one of the most unforgettable collapses in major championship golf, when Jean van de Velde surrendered a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole in 1999 at The Open. Tirico and Curtis Strange – both on the live tournament broadcast that year for ABC/ESPN – recently re-watched the telecast together for the first time since calling it live.
“This is harder to watch than I thought it was going to be. I’ve never seen anything like
that in my life. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again.” – Curtis Strange
“I think I got caught up in the whole deal and felt human for the guy.” – Mike Tirico
Vantage Point with Mike Tirico will complement the network’s Golf Central Live From The Open, which will feature nearly 60 hours of comprehensive news coverage from Carnoustie. In total, NBC Sports will dedicate more than 350 hours to showcasing the third men’s major championship of the year, including nearly 50 live hours of the network’s Emmy-nominated tournament coverage – annually the most live hours of coverage from any golf event – spanning from Thursday’s opening tee shot to Sunday’s final putt.
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.
Tweets by GCTigerTracker