Duval on verge of Signing With Nike

By Golf Channel NewsroomDecember 20, 2000, 5:00 pm
David Duval, the third-ranked player in the world, is reportedly on the verge of signing with Nike Golf. Nike already has world No. 1 Tiger Woods under contract. Woods and Duval recently teamed to win the WGC - EMC World Cup of Golf in which they used the Nike golf ball.
 
The deal will have Duval wearing Nike shoes, clothing and hats as well as playing their ball and clubs. Nike already has a ball on the market and is expected to break into the club market in 2001.
 
Duval will be switching to Nike Golf from Titleist. Although he still has three years remaining on his contract, an industry source has claimed an escape clause may exist. That clause may be subject to interpretation however.
 
Titleist recently signed Mark O'Meara and also has contracts with Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson and Jesper Parnevik.
 
Yet, the long-standing industry-leader first encountered troubles with Duval two months ago, when the No. 3 ranked player in the world began wearing Nike shoes shortly after returning to action after a 10-week layoff due to back problems.
 
Upon his return at the Buick Challenge, Duval made big waves, claiming his first victory since the 1999 BellSouth Classic.
 
Should he now make the move to Nike, those waves would become huge.
 
Furthering the battle for talent, it appears as well, that Nike Golf may not stop at Duval. It has been rumored that they are courting young Australian star Aaron Baddeley. They have also been reportedly pursuing the greatest player of all time, Jack Nicklaus.
 
What do you think of Duval's defection to Nike?
Share your thoughts!
 
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Landry reaches OWGR career high after Valero win

By Will GrayApril 23, 2018, 12:40 pm

After notching his first career PGA Tour win at the Valero Texas Open, Andrew Landry also reached unprecedented heights in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Ranking.

Landry shot a final-round 68 at TPC San Antonio to win by two shots, and in the process he cracked the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time at age 30. Landry started the week ranked No. 114, but he's now up to 66th. The move puts him within reach of a possible U.S. Open exemption, given that the top 60 in the May 21 rankings will automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills.

Trey Mullinax went from No. 306 to No. 169 with his T-2 finish in San Antonio, while fellow runner-up Sean O Hair jumped 29 spots to No. 83 in the world. Jimmy Walker, who finished alone in fourth, went from No. 88 to No. 81 while fifth-place Zach Johnson moved up five spots to No. 53.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Alexander Levy took home the title at the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II, allowing the Frenchman to move from No. 66 to No. 47. With no OWGR points available at this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Levy is guaranteed to stay inside the top 50 next week, thereby earning a spot in The Players.

Idle since an MDF result at the Houston Open, former world No. 1 Lee Westwood dropped two spots to No. 100 this week. It marks the first time Westwood has been ranked 100th or worse in nearly 15 years, ending a streak of consistency that dates back to September 2003.

The top 10 in the rankings remained the same, with Dustin Johnson leading off at No. 1 followed by Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6 with Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia rounding out the top 10.

With no starts announced until the U.S. Open in June, Tiger Woods dropped two more spots to No. 91 in the latest rankings.

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What's in the bag: Valero Texas Open winner Landry

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 23, 2018, 12:34 pm

Andrew Landry won his first PGA Tour event at the Valero Texas Open. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.

Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 65X shaft

Fairway woods: Ping G (14.5 degrees adjusted to 15.5), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75X shaft; (17.5 degrees), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85X shaft

Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105 S shafts

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts

Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Monday Scramble: Family, firsts for Landry, Jutanugarn

By Ryan LavnerApril 23, 2018, 12:15 pm

Andrew Landry breaks through, Moriya Jutanugarn completes the sister act, Joaquin Niemann dazzles in his debut and more in this week's edition of Monday Scramble:

In the shadow of the famed Hollywood sign, Moriya Jutanugarn scripted a cinematic moment that left some in the audience in tears.

Playing in her 156th career start, she held off Hall of Famer Inbee Park and Jin Young Ko to capture her first LPGA title at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open.

And that alone is a great story – one of hard work and perseverance. But this was different, with Moriya joining younger sister, Ariya, as just the second siblings to win on tour, following Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam.

No one was more overcome with emotion than Ariya, a seven-time winner, a major champion and a former world No. 1.

Her family had reached its goal. The Thai sisters are winners.


1. After a few close calls over the past few years, Andrew Landry became a PGA Tour winner Sunday with a rock-solid final round of 68 to win the Valero Texas Open.

Landry might be best remembered for his starring role at the 2016 U.S. Open, where the little-known Texan played his way into the final group. He spent last year tearing up the Web.com Tour and then took Jon Rahm into a playoff at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Now, after a two-shot victory over Trey Mullinax and Sean O’Hair, Landry is exempt for The Players, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, PGA Championship, Tournament of Champions and 2019 Masters.

2. Your trusty correspondent wrote more about Landry at Oakmont, but it’s worth retelling.

The 30-year-old grew up in Groves, Texas, playing on a nine-hole track called The Pea Patch, the former home to another PGA Tour player, Chris Stroud. Friends and family described it as a goat track with a bar. A country-club upbringing, it was not. 

More on that backstory here.

Landry said this on Sunday night: “It just shows that it doesn’t really matter where you come from. It just matters the determination and hard work you have – anything you put your mind to, you can accomplish.”

3. No one played better over the weekend than Mullinax, the former Alabama product who fired a course-record 62 on Saturday to put himself in the mix.

It was an important final round for Mullinax, who finished 137th on the 2016-17 points list and was playing this season on conditional status. He looked decent in his limited appearances, but he hadn’t played since a tie for eighth in Tampa.

Mullinax made six birdies in the final round, but he made two costly errors. The first came on the par-5 14th, where after a massive drive, he flared his approach into the greenside bunker. It plugged near the lip, and he could only make par. Then came his miscue on the 17th. One behind with two to play, he was just left of the green with his tee shot on the drivable 17th. Then he quit on his pitch shot and flubbed it into the bunker, leading to a stunning bogey and gifting Landry a two-shot lead heading into the finishing par 5.

“This experience that I’m gaining right now is just going to help me down the road,” Mullinax said.



4. How about that debut for Joaquin Niemann?

The former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, making his pro debut, shot a pair of weekend 67s to surge all the way into sixth place at the Texas Open.

He earned $223,200 and 100 non-member FedExCup points, putting him in line to at least qualify for the season-ending Web.com Tour Finals, where he’d have a chance to secure one of 25 PGA Tour cards. He needs 269 points to earn special temporary membership, which would allow him to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the year (otherwise he’s limited to seven).

This kid is obviously a stick – he won nine times worldwide in 2017, including four pro events in Chile – and now he’ll have a few more opportunities to wrap up his card for next season. By virtue of his top-10, he gets into next week’s Wells Fargo Championship (he now can save the sponsor invite), the Byron Nelson and Memorial.

“I feel like a veteran right now; I feel like a Tour player now,” he said. “I know I can beat these guys, and I’m just going to wait for my week and try to win.”



5. Alexander Levy boosted his chances of playing in a home Ryder Cup with his victory Sunday at the Trophee Hassan II.

Levy needed only a final-round 70 to overtake Alvaro Quiros and win for the fifth time on the European Tour. It was his fourth top-7 in six starts this year.

With the victory, he moved up to No. 9 in the European Points and 15th on the World Points List.

“It’s a good win, but I need to go back to work because we can see we have a lot of good players in Europe,” he said, “so it will be tough to make it.”

So, yes, he might qualify for the team on his own merit. If not, the fun character would be a no-brainer choice for captain Thomas Bjorn – a top-50 player teeing it up in his home country.



6. Brooks Koepka returns to competition after a 15-week layoff to recover from a torn ligament in his left wrist.

Koepka said he doesn’t know how he injured his wrist, but it began to bother him the week after he blew away the field at the Dunlop Phoenix in November. He finished last in his next two starts, then shut it down for more than three months. He had originally targeted a return at the Masters, but he wasn’t ready.

To help him recover, Koepka had bone marrow from his hip injected into his wrist and endured a round of platlet-rich plasma injections, according to the Associated Press. Koepka only began hitting balls two weeks ago, and his swing coach, Claude Harmon III, posted this video over the weekend:


All of that time away didn’t really affect his world ranking – he’s still ninth in the world – or his Ryder Cup position, as the reigning U.S. Open champ is still seventh in points.  

7. Koepka’s partner this week at the Zurich is (somewhat randomly) Marc Turnesa, a 40-year-old who won on Tour, in Las Vegas, a decade ago. Because Koepka committed so late – a few hours before the 5 p.m. Friday deadline – his options for a partner were limited.

Turnesa also plays at Medalist in South Florida. Playing mostly on the Web.com Tour, he’s missed 13 of his past 17 worldwide cuts, including eight in a row.

The Zurich field is filled out by two tiers of players – Player A is by eligibility ranking, while B has to have some Tour status or it counts as a sponsor exemption.



8. Koepka is one of 10 top-14 players who will tee it up this week at the Zurich. It’s Year 2 of the two-man team format, with alternate shot on Thursday and Saturday and best ball on Friday and Sunday.

Some of the notables in the field include Jordan Spieth (partnering with Ryan Palmer), Justin Thomas (Bud Cauley) Jason Day (Ryan Ruffels), Justin Rose (Henrik Stenson) and newly crowned Masters champion Patrick Reed (Patrick Cantlay), who is making his first start since Augusta.

Having covered the Zurich for the past couple of years, it’s been fascinating to watch the revitalization of this tournament. This year’s field is – by far – the strongest it’s ever been. That so many great players are willing to play an event without world-ranking points and reduced FedExCup points suggests that they’re tired of the 72-hole, stroke-play monotony.

No, they don’t want every week to feature a tricked-up format, but there are plenty of other opportunities throughout the year for a player to sharpen his scoring skills. Zurich week becomes all about competition and camaraderie.

9. The only thing that could make a good week even better is a venue change.

Move the event to City Park – the community-based program modeled after East Lake in Atlanta – and put TPC Louisiana in the rearview mirror. It’s a bland course that’s too far away from all of the action downtown.



10. Asked this week by CNN’s Shane O’Donoghue whether he thinks he’ll be able to win the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam, Rory McIlroy said – yep, you guessed it! – “it’ll happen.”

“I play that golf course well enough. I’ve had five top 10s in a row. I’ve given himself the chance; it didn’t quite work out but the more I keep putting myself in those positions, sooner or later, it’s going to happen for me.”

Speaking for the first time since he played in the final group at Augusta, closed with 74 and tied for fifth, McIlroy said that he was “quite nervous” on the first tee and felt “a little bit of pressure there, for some reason.”

There was a reason for that, of course – he was vying for the career Grand Slam – and his attempts on the eve of the final round to deflect attention were feeble at best. It was McIlroy, not the first-timer Reed, who played like he had everything to lose on Sunday.

In this clip, Washington State football coach Mike Leach explains why he doesn't like golf.

As is most things with Leach, it's entertaining, but there's a short-and-sweet rebuttal here: Hey, at least golf doesn't turn your brain to mush!


This week's award winners ... 


Back On Top: Inbee Park. With a tie for second in LA, she supplanted Shanshan Feng as the world No. 1, marking her first return to the top since October 2015.

Thanks, Mother Nature!: Eric Axley. Holding on to a three-shot lead, the 44-year-old was declared the winner of the inaugural North Mississippi Classic after the final round was canceled because of inclement weather. It was his first victory on the Web since … 2005.

Keep An Eye Out For: Sean O'Hair and Jimmy Walker. After shooting a combined 29 under par at the Valero (good for a T-2 and fourth-place finish, respectively), they’re teaming up for the team event at Zurich.

Must Not Be Sleeping Well: Sergio Garcia. He has missed his first two cuts since becoming a father (his first back-to-back trunk-slammer in the U.S. since 2003), though at least he didn't make a 13 at TPC San Antonio. He did, however, have a temper tanrum:


Under-The-Radar Stud Alert: Valentina Giraldo. The junior at Jacksonville State earned medalist honors at the Ohio Valley Conference Championship. It’s her sixth title in 10 starts this season, which is a school and conference record.

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Charley Hoffman. The tournament’s all-time money leader added to his total – barely. He didn’t even sniff a round in the 60s and tied for 64th, a waste of a one-and-done pick. Sigh. 

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Texas Open purse payout: Landry doubles earnings

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 23, 2018, 11:42 am

Andrew Landry won the Valero Texas Open for his first career PGA Tour victory. In the process, he doubled his season earnings. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at TPC San Antonio.

1 Andrew Landry -17 $1,116,000
T2 Trey Mullinax -15 $545,600
T2 Sean O'Hair -15 $545,600
4 Jimmy Walker -14 $297,600
5 Zach Johnson -13 $248,000
6 Joaquin Niemann -12 $223,200
7 Ryan Moore -11 $207,700
T8 Chris Kirk -10 $179,800
T8 Andrew Putnam -10 $179,800
T8 Kevin Streelman -10 $179,800
T11 Ben Crane -9 $136,400
T11 Billy Horschel -9 $136,400
T11 Martin Laird -9 $136,400
T11 Richy Werenski -9 $136,400
15 Brandt Snedeker -8 $111,600
T16 Aaron Baddeley -7 $96,100
T16 David Hearn -7 $96,100
T16 Grayson Murray -7 $96,100
T16 Vaughn Taylor -7 $96,100
T20 Dylan Frittelli -5 $67,167
T20 Retief Goosen -5 $67,167
T20 Chesson Hadley -5 $67,167
T20 Denny McCarthy -5 $67,167
T20 Johnson Wagner -5 $67,167
T20 Nick Watney -5 $67,167
T26 Corey Conners -4 $46,810
T26 Jim Furyk -4 $46,810
T26 Keith Mitchell -4 $46,810
T26 J.J. Spaun -4 $46,810
T30 Kevin Chappell -3 $37,665
T30 Austin Cook -3 $37,665
T30 Ernie Els -3 $37,665
T30 Jamie Lovemark -3 $37,665
T30 J.T. Poston -3 $37,665
T30 Brendan Steele -3 $37,665
T36 Zac Blair -2 $26,694
T36 Harris English -2 $26,694
T36 Jason Kokrak -2 $26,694
T36 Nicholas Lindheim -2 $26,694
T36 Troy Merritt -2 $26,694
T36 Sam Ryder -2 $26,694
T36 Ollie Schniederjans -2 $26,694
T36 Brian Stuard -2 $26,694
T36 Kevin Tway -2 $26,694
T45 Keegan Bradley -1 $17,732
T45 K.J. Choi -1 $17,732
T45 Si Woo Kim -1 $17,732
T45 Hunter Mahan -1 $17,732
T45 Ben Martin -1 $17,732
T45 Ben Silverman -1 $17,732
T51 Ricky Barnes E $14,508
T51 Zecheng Dou E $14,508
T51 Beau Hossler E $14,508
T51 Matt Kuchar E $14,508
T51 Danny Lee E $14,508
T51 David Lingmerth E $14,508
T51 Graeme McDowell E $14,508
T58 Abraham Ancer 1 $13,578
T58 Lanto Griffin 1 $13,578
T58 Anirban Lahiri 1 $13,578
T58 Adam Schenk 1 $13,578
T58 Daniel Summerhays 1 $13,578
T58 Julian Suri 1 $13,578
T64 Joshua Creel 2 $12,958
T64 Charley Hoffman 2 $12,958
T64 Peter Malnati 2 $12,958
T64 Andrew Yun 2 $12,958
T68 Matt Atkins 4 $12,462
T68 Steve Marino 4 $12,462
T68 Rod Pampling 4 $12,462
T68 Michael Thompson 4 $12,462
72 Ethan Tracy 8 $12,152
MDF Cameron Champ 2 $11,966
MDF Xander Schauffele 2 $11,966
MDF Joel Dahmen 3 $11,594
MDF Bill Haas 3 $11,594
MDF Brandon Harkins 3 $11,594
MDF Hudson Swafford 3 $11,594
MDF John Senden 4 $11,284
MDF Brice Garnett 8 $11,160