Notes Ryder Cup Points Controversy

By Associated PressJuly 25, 2006, 4:00 pm
HOYLAKE, England -- When the PGA of America revamped its points system for the Ryder Cup team, it rewarded those who played well the year of the matches and gave a 75-point bonus for winning.
 
What it failed to do was distinguish between strong and weak tournaments.
 
That came under serious scrutiny Sunday, when John Rollins earned more Ryder Cup points (375) for winning the watered-down B.C. Open than Chris DiMarco earned (360) for being runner-up at the British Open.
 
DiMarco nearly chased down Tiger Woods at his best, making four birdies and two clutch par saves on the back nine at Royal Liverpool to close with a 68 and finishing two shots behind.
 
Across the ocean at the B.C. Open, a tournament rife with Nationwide Tour players and those without full status in the big leagues, Rollins rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-shot victory over Bob May.
 
PGA president Roger Warren knew there was potential for such a scenario, but offered no apologies.
 
It has drawn a lot of attention because it actually occurred, Warren said Monday night from Kiawah Island, S.C. The interpretation of that as good or bad, Im not going to get into that. The system was designed to make sure we had those players who were playing well in this year receiving points higher than the first year, so as to reward good play. And we wanted to make sure we placed a value on winning.
 
Both got into the top 10 in the U.S. standings'DiMarco went from 21st to sixth place, while Rollins went from 39th to 10th. Four tournaments remain before the team is announced.
 
Asked whether the B.C. Open should be worth the same points as The Players Championship or the Wachovia Championship or other strong fields, Warren said winning is difficult anywhere and should be rewarded.
 
We didnt want to be in the business of evaluating different fields and different events, he said. We realize the reality that the players in the field are different, but we placed the value on winning. It still should be a high priority to win.
 
DiMarco, who started the year at No. 4 in the standings, earned points for only the second time this year. He also had an eight-way tie for ninth by reaching the quarterfinals of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
 
Rollins had a strong spring. He tied for fourth at the Buick Invitational, one shot out of a playoff won by Woods. He tied for fifth at the Nissan Open and tied for eighth in The Players Championship. Then he missed seven out of his next 10 cuts, not finishing better than 42nd, until winning the B.C. Open.
 
Rollins had only 37.5 points at the start of the season. He earned those last year by tying for second in the B.C. Open.
 
Warren, meanwhile, said it would be best to wait until after the team is set'and after the Ryder Cup'to judge the new system.
 
I dont think anyone can make a determination that its right or wrong, that its working or not working, he said. If we win, it will be the greatest system ever used. If we dont, there will be a number of questions about why we didnt stick with the old system.
 
SEE YOU SOON, HOYLAKE
No contracts have been signed, but Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson made it clear that Royal Liverpool will not have to wait another four decades to host the British Open.
 
He said it was the first time he could recall not hearing one complaint from the players.
 
We have seen absolutely nothing that would prevent us coming back, certainly before another 39 years have elapsed, Dawson said Monday. In our view, it was a wonderful Open played on a course that was long overdue to host the Open. I think it will go down as one of the best weve ever staged.
 
The British Open has nine courses on its rotation, with St. Andrews getting the tournament every five years.
 
R&A officials said the success at Hoylake would have no bearing on the British Open held up the road at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Some fear the R&A might not want three courses'the other Royal Birkdale'within an hours drive in northwest England.
 
BRITISH CAMERA INVASION
This might have been the most photographed British Open ever.
 
Thats not necessarily a good thing.
 
Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia had to back off nearly every shot in the final round because of fans taking pictures, mostly with cell phones. Marshals asked repeatedly for fans to adhere to the policy of no cameras, and the fans blatantly ignored them.
 
I confess that it does concern us, Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said Monday. I didnt like what I saw on the golf course yesterday. We have to get our thinking caps on as to how to deal with this better.
 
Dawson said British laws make it difficult to confiscate cameras, as the PGA TOUR has done at some tournaments. The other option is to check for cell phones and cameras at the gate, a process that could clog up the entry.
 
And even that might not be the best way to go.
 
David Hill, the R&As director of championships, said an elderly man died of a heart attack during the practice rounds. He was declared dead upon arrival at a hospital, although paramedics arrived within two minutes because someone called on a cell phone.
 
You have to consider that people like to have mobiles with them for matters of urgency, he said.
 
But it might be up to the fans whether they get to bring cell phones to the course switched off or on silent mode.
 
DIVOTS
Tiger Woods victory means Americans have won 10 of the last 12 times in the British Open. The international winners were Ernie Els in 2002 and Paul Lawrie in 1999, the last European to win any major. ... Carnoustie already is gearing up for the British Open next year, with three minor changes to holes and the removal of trees to give it a more open feel. ... Woods now has won professional titles in 12 countries: the United States, Canada, Argentina, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Dubai, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods became the first player to win consecutive titles in three majors'the Masters (2001-02), the British Open (2005-06) and the PGA Championship (1999-2000).
 
FINAL WORD: I was getting bigger cheers than Tiger on some of the holes, and that was a great thing for me to experience. Thats why this is my favorite event.'Sergio Garcia, who played with Woods in the final round of the British Open.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Getty Images

Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
Getty Images

Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

Getty Images

Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

Getty Images

Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”