Notes Woods Wraps Up POY Changes in Boston
Woods now has won the PGA of America's award eight times in his 10 full years on the PGA Tour. The only two times he did not win the points-based award was in 1998 when Mark O'Meara won two majors, and in 2004 when Vijay Singh won nine times.
Players receive 30 points for winning a major, 20 points for The Players Championship and 10 points for every other PGA Tour victory, with a 50-point bonus for winning two majors. As many as 20 points are awarded on a sliding scale for the scoring average and money list.
With only nine tournaments left in the season, no one can catch Woods.
Woods also has a commanding lead in competition for the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average at 68.30. Jim Furyk is second at 69.06.
But whether he wins that award for the seventh time in his career might depend on his schedule. Because he missed the cut at the U.S. Open and withdrew after two rounds of the Nissan Open with the flu, Woods has played only 51 rounds this year. Unless he plays Disney, he would be four rounds short of the 60 minimum required to win the Vardon Trophy.
The PGA Tour award for lowest scoring average -- the Byron Nelson Trophy -- requires only 50 rounds.
Brad Faxon will be working with golf course architect Gil Hanse on more changes to the TPC of Boston, which should be done in time for the Deutsche Bank Championship next year.
Faxon's two major changes will be eliminating the dogleg at No. 4, allowing some players to drive the green on the par 4, and making the par-3 16th shorter -- perhaps a 7-iron or 8-iron -- with more water in play to make it a peninsula green.
'We'll maybe make a few changes on a lot of the holes, but it's a pretty good piece of property,' Faxon said. 'I think the players, they like it. But I think they need to love it.'
MAN OF FEW WORDS
One distinction between Ryder Cup captains Tom Lehman and Ian Woosnam is their speaking skills. Lehman is more polished and eloquent, while Woosie gets right to the point.
Woosnam showed that Sunday night in Germany while announcing his two captain's picks.
Lehman uttered 351 words before mentioning the name of his first pick, Stewart Cink. He then said 185 words before he reached the name of Scott Verplank.
Now, let's turn the microphone over to Woosnam.
'Thank you all for being here tonight and staying on. Let me start. Obviously, you've been waiting a while for this. My first pick is Darren Clarke. And my second pick is Lee Westwood.'
Richie Ramsay became the first Scot in 108 years to win the U.S. Amateur, and some of the credit goes to an American.
Ramsay used to caddie at Royal Aberdeen, and he recalled working one day for a man from New York named Dick Gilbert.
'I know he lives on Fifth Avenue somewhere; I know it's a big street,' Ramsay said.
What he remembered more vividly is that Gilbert used a Scotty Cameron Futura putter and asked the caddie if he liked it. Ramsay said he did, and that he had been looking for a new putter because he was struggling with his model.
Gilbert returned to New York and shipped a Futura to Ramsay -- the same putter he used to win the U.S. Amateur at Hazeltine.
Ramsay said he sent a note of thanks to the American, but given the sketchy details of Gilbert's address, he's not sure he ever received it. The Scot made sure to thank him again after he won the Amateur.
'I don't know if he ever got it or not, but a big thanks goes to him,' Ramsay said. 'He's an American guy and he was very generous. He didn't have to do that.'
Bernhard Langer had an eye for detail as European captain at the Ryder Cup two years ago, going so far as to study which colors would be best for his team.
'I checked out what colors are positive, good colors and what colors are negative, because every color represents something,' Langer said last week in Germany. 'That was just an example. I just tried to do my homework and do the best I possibly could.'
Langer mentioned Chinese colors as being positive -- red, orange, black, yellow and green. He didn't mention what he considered negative shades, saying only that every color contains a certain meaning.
'Tiger plays in red every Sunday. Well, there's a reason,' Langer said. 'Red is an aggressive color. He likes red and he feels good in red. Seve (Ballesteros) would always wear blue; navy blue was his favorite color.'
But that's as far as he went. Langer wasn't about to advise which colors Ian Woosnam or Tom Lehman should select.
'You can do your homework, find a book, read about colors and you'll find out,' he said. 'I'm not here to educate you about colors.'
Stephen Ames will make his debut in the Skins Game, getting into the four-man field on Thanksgiving weekend by winning The Players Championship. The defending champion is Fred Funk, with Fred Couples and John Daly rounding out the field. The LG Skins Game returns to Trilogy Golf Club in California on Nov. 25-26. ... The PGA Tour's season-opening tournament at Kapalua now will be called The Mercedes-Benz Championship. ... Seven players in the 16-man field for the HSBC World Match Play Championship will be in the Ryder Cup. The Americans are Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods. European players are Luke Donald, Colin Montgomerie, Robert Karlsson, Paul Casey and David Howell. The tournament, which features 36 holes of match play each round, will be held at Wentworth outside London the week before the Ryder Cup. Woods will be the No. 2 seed, behind defending champion Michael Campbell.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Fred Couples has won more money in the Skins Game ($3,515,000) than the four major championships combined ($3,470,616).
'Almost felt like an aerobic workout for me.' -- Jason Gore, who was in the first group out Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship and played in just under three hours.
Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out
Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.
Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.
"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.
"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.
Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."
"I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."
"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.
He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.
Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial
Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.
Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)
What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship.
Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below).
Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.
Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.
Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.
Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie.
Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in
Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships
Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)
Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday
Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships
ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.
NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.
In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.
Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)
Monday, May 28
Individual National Championship
4-8 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, May 29
Quarterfinals, Team Match Play
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, May 29
Semifinals, Team Match Play
4-8 p.m. (Live)
Wednesday, May 30
Team Match Play National Championship
4-8 p.m. (Live)
Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.
Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.
College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.
Country singer Owen shoots 86 in Web.com debut
Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Web.com Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.
Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.
Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Web.com Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.
Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.
While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics:
No prob Doug. I’m +11 now and tweeting during my round. I’m playing as hard as I can. I have 8 holes left if you want to come out and kiss my ass. https://t.co/UMeFWFKLVP— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) May 24, 2018