Notes: Possible Tiger Woods Foundation-Riviera link

By Doug FergusonFebruary 17, 2016, 12:31 am

LOS ANGELES - Tiger Woods got caught in the rain without an umbrella, shot a 74 and made the cut on the number at Riviera. He withdrew the next day with the flu and hasn't been back. That was 10 years ago.

That's not to suggest Riviera has seen the last of Woods.

This will be the last year Northern Trust is the title sponsor at Riviera. Northern Trust will take over the first FedEx Cup playoff event in the New York area (formerly The Barclays), and Hyundai is leaving Kapalua to become title sponsor at Riviera.

How does this involve Woods?

There have been discussions in recent months for the Tiger Woods Foundation to have a significant charitable component of the Riviera event. It would be the perfect fit for Woods, mainly because the first Tiger Woods Learning Center is located down the road in Anaheim, and the foundation headquarters also is in Southern California.

The foundation is the designated charity for the Quicken Loans National, and the Hero World Challenge in The Bahamas. The World Challenge was held at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks from 2001 until 2013, giving the foundation a local presence.

Woods' foundation also is primary charity of the Deutsche Bank Championship, though Deutsche Bank is not expected to renew its sponsorship after this year.

The announcement about Hyundai becoming title sponsor at Riviera starting in 2017 did not include what the tournament will be called, and any discussions about getting Woods' foundation involved are not expected to progress until after this year's Northern Trust Open.

Woods has played in all of his foundation events when healthy, and that's another part of the equation. He has not played since August, has gone through two more back surgeries and has no idea when he will be fit enough to start practicing, much less playing.

Woods made it clear last December, though, that he wants to get healthy to play again.

Woods played his first PGA Tour event at Riviera as a 16-year-old amateur. He speaks highly of Riviera, without any great success on the course. His best result was a tie for second in 1999. He never finished out of the top 20 when completing the tournament.

JORDAN'S DECISION: Ten years ago in the Rose Bowl, Texas beat Southern California in one of the best college football championship games, and a 12-year-old in Dallas was watching.

Just don't get the idea Jordan Spieth was flashing the ''Hook 'Em Horns'' sign.

''At the time, I was looking into visiting both schools on unofficial visits once I was really a sophomore in high school,'' he said Tuesday. ''No, that didn't convince me to go to either. I was still equally considering, but I was rooting for Texas given I was in Dallas with a lot of family and friends who are obviously Texas fans.''

Spieth wound up going to Texas for three semesters before turning pro, but the appeal of USC was strong.

''A huge thing for me with USC was I heard that they had four playing memberships at Riviera,'' he said. ''So when I came out on my visit, I was offered one of the memberships at Riviera for the time you're at USC. And that's a pretty awesome perk.''

But it wasn't amazing enough to turn down Texas, and he still got to play Riviera. The Longhorns won the national championship at Riviera in 2012.

MALNATI'S THEORY: Peter Malnati has an endorsement deal with, and he uses the popular app to justify the amount of rest he gets during baseball season.

''It's really important in any line of work, especially in what I do with golf, to be well rested,'' Malnati said during a visit to studios in New York. ''Sleep is really important. But I have this theory. As long as I'm all ready for bed - teeth brushed and everything - and I'm tucked in bed, everything I do from there still counts almost as sleep. So I watch the Royals on my iPad a lot.''

And if he wasn't in bed watching baseball on TV.

''I would feel bad staying up so late watching some of the games that I do,'' Malnati said. ''That way it's just completely justified.''

If he says so.

DIVOTS: Jordan Spieth will be playing the opening two rounds at Riviera with Justin Thomas, whom he beat in the NCAA finals at Riviera in 2012, which included Spieth holing out for eagle on the 15th hole. Joining them will be 56-year-old Fred Couples. ... Graeme McDowell's ''Best of Ireland'' dinner at the New York Athletic Club last week raised $600,000. The G-Mac Foundation has partnered with the Children's Medical Research Foundation to bring the event to New York in 2012. Since then, it has raised more than $2.7 million to help fund the building of an in-patient cardiac unit that cares for 500 seriously ill children each year in a Dublin hospital. ... Charlie Danielson shot a 68 in the Northern Trust Open Collegiate Showcase, earning him a spot in the tournament.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Vaughn Taylor's victory at Pebble Beach was the first time since Bay Hill in 2013 that he played a tournament that featured the No. 1 player.

FINAL WORD: ''I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution, aware of the 1457 edict of King James II of Scotland prohibiting golf because it interfered with the practice of archery, fully expected that sooner or later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this august Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer?'' - The late Justice Antonin Scalia, writing the dissenting opinion in 2001 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Casey Martin's lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

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Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.

Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

"I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.

Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.

Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.

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Daly (knee) replaced by Bradley in Open field

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 12:13 pm

Former champion John Daly has withdrawn from The Open because of a right knee injury and will be replaced in the field at Carnoustie by another major winner, Keegan Bradley.

Daly, 52, defeated Costantino Rocca in a memorable playoff to win the claret jug at St. Andrews in 1995. His lingering knee pain led him to request a cart during last month's U.S. Senior Open, and when that request was denied he subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

Daly then received treatment on the knee and played in a PGA Tour event last week at The Greenbrier without the use of a cart, missing the cut with rounds of 77-67. But on the eve of the season's third major, he posted to Twitter that his pain remains "unbearable" and that a second request for a cart was turned down:

This will be just the second time since 2000 that Daly has missed The Open, having also sat out the 2013 event at Muirfield. He last made the cut in 2012, when he tied for 81st at Royal Lytham. He could still have a few more chances to improve upon that record, given that past Open champions remain fully exempt until age 60.

Taking his place will be Bradley, who was first alternate based on his world ranking. Bradley missed the event last year but recorded three top-20 finishes in five appearances from 2012-16, including a T-18 finish two years ago at Royal Troon.

The next three alternates, in order, are Spain's Adrian Otaegui and Americans Aaron Wise and J.B. Holmes.