Notes: Cantlay using exemption despite top 10 at Pebble Beach

By Doug FergusonFebruary 13, 2013, 2:05 am

LOS ANGELES – The good news for Patrick Cantlay is that he'll tee it up Thursday at Riviera in his hometown tournament.

He can only hope it doesn't cost him down the road.

Cantlay, who shot 60 at the Travelers Championship in 2011 while still at UCLA, was given a sponsor's exemption to the Northern Trust Open, one of seven he is allowed this year because is not a PGA Tour member. It looked as if he wouldn't have to use it when Cantlay closed with a 67 at Pebble Beach and tied for ninth. Anyone finishing in the top 10 gets into the next open tournament.

But that's when everything seemed to conspire against him.

The field at Riviera is so strong that it already was filled with regular members. There was no room left for top-10 players from the previous week.

''There's only a few occasions in the last five to 10 years when a top-10 category was the last man in the field,'' said Tyler Dennis, the Tour's vice president of competition. As for no one from the top 10 getting in? ''Very rare,'' he said.

James Hahn and Patrick Reed, graduates of the Web.com Tour and Q-school, finished ahead of Cantlay at Pebble. They didn't get in, either, instead going to the top of the alternate list. By Monday, they were in the tournament after Hank Kuehne and Jhonattan Vegas withdrew.

Cantlay ordinarily would have been next on the alternate list. But on noon Monday, he was removed from the alternate list because he already was in the field on a sponsor's exemption. This is his fourth exemption of the year. It would have been handy for Cantlay to save that exemption later in the year.

Dennis said the Tour's regulation allows for a player's top-10 finish to carry over into the next event – The Honda Classic, in this case – if he doesn't get in a tournament. But it doesn't apply in this case because Cantlay is playing the Northern Trust Open.

The only way to save that exemption would have been taking a big risk – pull him out of the tournament before noon Monday with hopes that enough players would have withdrawn for him to make it into the field as an alternate.

Pebble Beach was Cantlay's first cut this year, and he made $175,500. That will help in his bid to reach a level where he could get unlimited exemptions. But by having to use the sponsor exemption, it puts a little more pressure on him to play his best in the limited starts he has.


BRITISH OPEN CHANGES: Players no longer will have to figure out special money lists to determine whether they can get into the British Open.

The Royal & Ancient made a few tweaks to its qualifying process this year. Instead of a special money list on the PGA Tour and European Tour, that has been eliminated in favor of additional spots on their money lists much closer to the Open.

A year ago, three spots were available from the FedEx Cup standings after the Colonial in May. Two spots were available from a special money list that consisted of The Players Championship and five tournaments through The Greenbrier Classic. Now, the special money list is gone and five spots will be available from the FedEx Cup standings after the Greenbrier.

The same applies to the European Tour.

There is one other change. A year ago, the leading player (not already eligible) from the top five at the French Open, Scottish Open, Greenbrier and John Deere Classic got into the Open. This year, only the winner from the Scottish Open and John Deere get in.


CHOI AWARD: K.J. Choi has been selected to receive the Charlie Bartlett Award from the Golf Writers Association of America, which honors a professional golfer for unselfish contributions for the betterment of society.

The 42-year-old from South Korea founded the K.J. Choi Foundation in 2007 to help children and communities break the cycle of hopelessness and achieve their dreams. His reach has extended to scholarships and global aid for hurricane and tsunami victims.

''I would like to thank all of those who have supported me,'' Choi said. ''Without them, I would never have been able to be in a position to be helping others. Although I feel that I haven't done that much, I am honored to be recognized for my actions. This is the first award of any sort that I have received during my 13-year career on the PGA Tour and I feel that much honored to be receiving an award for my charitable actions rather than my play.''

His eight wins include The Players Championship – he donated $200,000 of his paycheck to victims of the tornadoes that hit the southeastern U.S. that year – and Choi has played on three Presidents Cup teams.

He will be honored April 10 at the GWAA Annual Awards Dinner in Augusta, Ga.


DIVOTS: Retief Goosen needed only one tournament to get the $76,336 required while playing on a major medical exemption. Goosen missed the last three months of the year after back surgery. He tied for ninth at Pebble Beach and earned $175,500. ... Four players who started the year outside the top 100 qualified for the 64-man field at the Match Play Championship – Richard Sterne (154), Russell Henley (131), Charles Howell III (117) and Chris Wood (139). Howell is the only one who moved into the top 64 without winning a tournament. He lost in a playoff at the Humana Challenge, tied for third at the Sony Open and tied for ninth at Torrey Pines. ... The winner of the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic on the LPGA Tour's developmental tour will earn a spot in the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix. ... Lydia Ko, who won the Canadian Women's Open last year, is among nine amateurs who were invited to play in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA Tour major of the year.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Americans have won 16 consecutive PGA Tour events on the West Coast Swing dating to Luke Donald of England winning the 2011 Match Play Championship.


FINAL WORD: ''The beauty of our sport is that you're only one week away.'' - Joe Durant, playing on limited status this year as a past champion.

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Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

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Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

We compiled some of their missives below:

Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.

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Woods shares emotional embrace with his kids

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:21 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods missed a birdie putt on the last hole that would’ve vaulted him into a tie for second place at The Open. It was a difficult way to end an otherwise successful week for the 14-time major champion, who is just happy to playing majors again.

Then he walked off the 18th, saw his two children, daughter Sam and son Charlie, and they all took a moment for a long embrace. Turns out, that was the perfect way to end the week.

“I told them I tried and I said, 'Hopefully you’re proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did,'” Woods said Sunday after putting the finishing touches on an even-par 71 to end at 5 under for the week.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s pretty emotional because they gave me some pretty significant hugs there and squeezed. I know that they know how much this championship means to me and how much it feels good to be back playing again.”

In 2008, when Woods won his last major, the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Sam was a year old and Charlie was not yet born. They don’t know how much their father used to dominate this game, especially majors. The last time Woods won a PGA Tour event was five full years ago. Woods has joked in the past that they only know him as a YouTube sensation.

“So, for them to understand what I was doing early in my career,” he said. “The only thing they’ve seen is my struggles and the pain I was going through. Now they just want to go play soccer with me. Man, it’s just such a great feeling.”

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TT postscript: Not a win, but an amazing week

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 6:04 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods had a chance to win his 15th major Sunday at The Open at Carnousite:

• Tiger shot 71-71-66-71 to finish at 5 under par and tie for sixth place.

• When Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele both bogeyed the fifth hole Tiger was in the solo lead. Amazing to think that only last September he said he never knew if he’d ever play golf again. Here he was, nine months later with a chance to win a fourth claret jug. Amazing.

• For 10 holes, Tiger was the calmest, coolest, most composed player on the golf course. Birdies at Nos. 4 and 6 looked easy, while most everyone else was struggling to make par.

• To me, the biggest mistake of the week, and certainly of the final round, was Tiger’s decision to get cute and hit a flop shot up and over a bunker into the 11th hole. It checked up and rolled back down and off the green. He failed to get up and down and made double bogey. If he’d have pitched the ball 12-15 past the hole he’d had have a chance to save par and would’ve made no worse than bogey.

• The double bogey felt worse when Tiger made bogey on the 12th hole. This two-hole stretch cost him three shots and he finished three shots off the lead.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• Tiger moved to 50th in the Official World Golf Ranking, which qualifies him for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which he has won eight times.

• One of the best moments of the week came after Tiger’s round when he gave his kids, daughter Sam and son Charlie, long hugs. Tiger said it was especially emotional because both kids knew how much this week meant to their old man. They had only seen Tiger struggle; it was great for them to see his success.

• Tiger: “Today I did everything the way I thought I needed to do it to win the championship. This entire week, I felt like I needed to keep building my way into this championship. It's one of those where, as I said earlier in the week, it's going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win it on Sunday because we're all driving the same areas. Kind of turned out that way. There are a bunch of guys packed, a bunch of guys with a chance to win, and I was one of them.”

• Overall, an amazing week. Truly tremendous to watch.