The Week in Golf News 1127-1201

By Golf Channel NewsroomDecember 1, 2000, 5:00 pm
IMG plans another Aussie Stop
 
International Management Group has announced a new tournament to be staged in Perth, Australia, which will begin playing in 2002.
 
The as-yet-unnamed tournament will be held at the Lake Karrinyup course for five years, with an option for five more. It will replace the Heineken Classic, which is moving to Melbourne and takes place in November.
 
Star Field Set for Senior Skins
 
Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Hale Irwin will compete in the 2001 Senior Skins Game Jan. 27-28.
 
The two-day made-for-television event will be played at the Wailae Resort in Hawaii after being held at Mauna Lani Resort from 1990 to 1999.
 
Sergio Commits to Australia
 
Sergio Garcia, the young Spaniard who plays both in Europe and the United States, has committed to play in the Australian Masters in February.
 
The world's 14th-ranked player is the first major draw secured by tournament organizer IMG, although Ernie Els, Nick Price, Jesper Parnevik and Phil Mickelson are reportedly pencilled in.
 
Monty and Torrance Support European Tour
 
Colin Montgomerie and Sam Torrance have voiced their support of the European Tour in the controversy of player demands to open the books.
 
'No, I don't support it at all,' said Montgomerie when asked whether he approved or not. 'I feel that it's my responsibility to support the Tour. I know what's going on with the accounts and it's all very kosher. If I'm involved with making the rules on the Tour, I can't go behind its back and demand something else.'
 
Montgomerie is a member of the tournament committee which dictates the Tour's rules and golfers' code of conduct.
 
Torrance said, 'I trust the European Tour implicitly. I've been on the Tour for 30 years and I've seen it grow incredibly. I don't agree with the reasons for the complaint whatsoever.'
 
LPGA Adds New Event in Korea
 
The Ladies Professional Golf Association has announced the addition of the Sports Today Open which will be held in Seoul, Korea, Oct. 19-21.
 
The event, which will be played the first time in 2001, is the first LPGA-sanctioned event in Korea since the Samsung World Championship moved to the U.S. in 1998.
 
The inaugural event will carry a $1.5 million purse. The field will comprise the top 60 players from the official LPGA money list, and the remainder will be top-ranking players from the Korean LPGA.
 
Australasian Tour Elects Officers
 
Wayne Grady, Wayne Smith and Mike Harwood were elected to the board at the Australasian Tour's annual meeting while Jack Newton chose not to seek re-election as chairman.
 
Newton was awarded life membership of the tour. Peter Senior also chose not to seek re-election.
 
NTSB Uncertain What Caused Stewart Crash
 
The National Transportation Safety Board concludes that they have several theories about what caused the crash of Payne Stewart's jet, but the total destruction of the plane and the fact that the voice recorder lasts only 30 minutes makes finding a resolution impossible.
 
All aboard the ill-fated jet perished. Military jets reported seeing the windows fogged up while the plane was still in flight, which could suggest the loss of cabin pressure, as well as the loss of enough oxygen to cause unconsciousness. Though emergency oxygen was available, in older planes it had to be activated manually by the crew.
 
Oxygen deprivation causes many pilots to behave irrationally, meaning that in the minute or two they need to adjust controls, many do make wrong decisions.
 
An emergency oxygen tank was found empty, but officials could not determine if the tank was empty before the flight began. Pressure problems were reported with the Learjet prior to the flight, but it was impossible to tell if maintenance done on these systems was done correctly.
 
The plane did have a so-called 'black box' to record the plane's instruments at the time of the accident, and the 30-minute voice recorder recycled itself during the four-hour flight.
 
Fulke is Honored
 
Pierre Fulke has been named the European Tour's Asprey and Garrard Golfer of the Month for November.
 
Fulke held of Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood and Michael Campbell to capture November's Volvo Masters.
 
Norman Criticizes Appleby for Withdrawal
 
Australian Stuart Appleby has withdrawn from the Australian PGA Championship to play in the $2 million Sun City tournament in South Africa, and that concerns Aussie Greg Norman.
 
Appleby waited until Sunday night to notify surprised tournament officials. That is wrong, said Norman.
 
'If you decide a month ago to play South Africa and not the (Australian) PGA, that is your decision. But if you decide to play the PGA and then change, that is a different story,' said Norman.
 
Norman said Appleby put the organizers in 'a bit of a bind.'
 
Els Free of Back Pain
 
Ernie Els says the back problem he suffered three weeks ago is now healed and he is confident as he prepares to defend his title at Sun City.
 
He hurt his back in the first round of the American Express Championship in Spain. 'I feel like I'm back to normal again. I played golf for the first time on Sunday and there wasn't even the slightest bit of pain.'
 
Woods, Finchem Meet in L.A.
 
Tiger Woods and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem met for first time since Woods' GolfWorld magazine outburst and both believe it was very beneficial.
 
Woods and Finchem discussed player marketing rights, commercial use of player images and the Internet. Woods' Williams World Challenge will be held nearby this weekend.
 
'It was important for us to meet face-to-face to gain a clearer understanding of each other's business objectives,' said Woods in a statement released by the PGA Tour.
 
Finchem said, 'I'm delighted we're discussing the specifics of his business strategy, because a significant mission of the Tour is to provide our members with a strong marketing platform.'
 
Both agreed the dialogue would continue.
 
Westwood Earns Euro Player of the Year Honors
 
Lee Westwood was named the European Tour's Asprey and Garrand Golfer of the Year for the second time in the last three years.
 
The 27-year-old Englishman won six times in 2000 and ended Colin Montgomerie's seven-year run at the top of the Order of Merit.
 
'It's a fantastic honor to be voted Player of the Year and caps a wonderful season for me and all those who have helped make it such a success,' said Westwood.
 
Westwood won the award unanimously over Ernie Els and Darren Clarke. The world's No. 5 ranked player is in South Africa this week for the Nedbank Sun City Challenge, which offers $2 million to the winner.
 
PGA Tour Announces 2000 Awards
 
For the third time in the past four seasons, Tiger Woods has been named the PGA Tour Player of the Year. Woods, who also earned this distinction in 1997 and 1999, won nine Tour events in 2000 and amassed over $9 million in official earnings.
 
Woods was selected by a vote of the PGA Tour membership. He becomes the first man to be named Tour Player of the Year on three occasions.
 
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Woods adds this trophy, named the Jack Nicklaus Award, to the others he has captured in 2000, including the Arnold Palmer Award for the Tour's leading money winner, the Byron Nelson Award for the Tour's lowest scoring average (67.79), and the PGA Player of the Year, which is presented by the PGA of America.
 
In other PGA Tour awards, Michael Clark II earned Rookie of the Year honors. The 31-year-old was the only rookie to win in 2000, doing so in a playoff at the John Deere Classic in July. He also collected six top-25 finishes on the year.
 
Paul Azinger was named the PGA Tour's Comeback Player of the Year after winning the SONY Open in Hawaii. It was his first title since the 1993 PGA Championship. It was also the 40-year-old's first victory since he defeated lymphoma.
 
Azinger ended the season with a career-best $1,597,539 in earnings and also represented his country on the victorious Presidents Cup team.
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Golf Channel Ramps Up Six Weeks of Comprehensive College Golf Coverage Culminating With The NCAA Women's and Men's Golf Championships, May 18-30

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 24, 2018, 9:00 pm

Golf Channel to Announce NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections on Wednesday, April 25 and Wednesday, May 2

 Golf Channel to Expand Coverage of NCAA Women’s and Men’s Regional Championships  

Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, a Four-Part Docu-Series Executive Produced by Rickie Fowler, Premieres on Golf Channel Monday, May 7

 More than 100 News and Tournament Hours Planned for Women’s and Men’s Championships, Back-to-Back Weeks at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

 

ORLANDO, Fla., April 24, 2018 – With conference championships underway, golf fans will be able to follow their favorite college golf programs and alma maters as they attempt to qualify and compete in the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships in May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., as Golf Channel expands its comprehensive on-air and digital collegiate golf coverage the next six weeks.

“Through our new long-term partnership, the NCAA and Golf Channel are successfully raising the profile of college golf by shining a spotlight on the game’s future stars and the passion these programs have in competing for national championships,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive vice president of content and executive producer. “With our expanded coverage of the regional championships and partnering with OSU alum Rickie Fowler for Driven, our viewers will be treated to the most college golf coverage in network history leading into the NCAA Golf National Championships.”

REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS SELECTION ANNOUNCEMENTS: On Wednesday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. ET (women) and continuing Wednesday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET (men), Golf Channel will announce the teams and individuals selected by the NCAA to participate in the women’s and men’s regional championships, the first step on the road to the NCAA Golf Championships. Live streaming coverage of selection shows will be available through the Golf Channel Mobile App or GolfChannel.com, and Golf Channel will aggregate social content for the shows using the hashtag #NCAAGolf. 

  • Women’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, April 25, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce (live) the 72 teams and24 individuals selected to compete in the four NCAA Women’s Regional Championships, May 7-9 (18 teams and six individuals per regional). 24 teams and 12 individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.
  • Men’s Golf Championships Regional Selections, Wednesday, May 2, 5:30 p.m. ET: Golf Central will announce the 81 teams and 45 individuals selected to compete in the six NCAA Men’s Regional Championships, May 14-16 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five individuals at three regionals). 30 teams and six individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.

GOLF CHANNEL TO EXPAND REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: New for 2018, Golf Channel will feature expanded coverage of the final day of the NCAA women’s and men’s regional championships, Wednesday May 9 and Wednesday, May 16, respectively. Beginning within Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily lifestyle news show, and continuing hourly throughout the day via live Golf Central news updates from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET that will be published to Golf Channel Digital and Golf Channel’s social media handles. Coverage will conclude with live news segments, featuring highlights and interviews, announcing the teams and individuals who qualified for the women’s and men’s national championships.

RICKIE FOWLER AND NBC SPORTS COLLABORATE ON FOUR-PART DOCU-SERIES DRIVEN: OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS: NBC Sports Group is teaming up with PGA TOUR superstar Rickie Fowler to give viewers a dramatic behind-the-scenes look into Fowler’s alma mater in a four-part documentary series – Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys. Driven, executive produced by Fowler, will premiere Monday, May 7 at 10 p.m. ET and continue Monday, May 14 (10 p.m. ET) and Monday, May 21 (8 p.m. ET). The finale will air on NBC on Saturday, June 16, recapping their season that culminates with a run at a potential 11th national championship, taking place on their home turf.

NCAA GOLF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS COVERAGE: Contested in back-to-back weeks, May 18-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships, featuring nearly 30 combined hours of live tournament coverage. In addition, Golf Central will feature nearly 30 hours of combined pre-and post-event live news coverage produced on location, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and Golf Channel Digital.                                             

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May   21       

Individual National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May   22          

Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

Tuesday, May   22                 

Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May   23            

Team National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

 

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage

Monday, May   28      

Individual National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Tuesday, May   29          

Quarterfinals, Team   Match Play  

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29                 

Semifinals, Team Match   Play 

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

Wednesday, May   30            

Team National   Championship  

4-8 p.m. ET (Live)

 

COLLEGE CENTRAL – GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL COVERAGE: Golf Channel is providing comprehensive coverage leading up to and during the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships as part of College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, Ryan Lavner and Steve Burkowski, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel will cover the conference championships with scores and analysis across its on-air news platforms - Morning Drive and Golf Central – and online within College Central.

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With help from partner, Burns could secure Tour status

By Ryan LavnerApril 24, 2018, 8:33 pm

AVONDALE, La. – This week Sam Burns has yet another chance to secure special temporary membership for the rest of the PGA Tour season, but his partner may determine whether he’s ultimately successful.

In an interesting twist, Burns is burning one of his seven available sponsor exemptions this week at the Zurich Classic. He is 80 non-member points shy of securing special temporary membership, which would allow him to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the season.

Burns needs at least a two-way tie for fourth to earn the necessary points, but it won’t all depend on how he plays this week. The Zurich is a two-man game, with two rounds apiece of fourballs and alternate shot.

Burns' partner this week is William McGirt. Their games couldn’t be more different – Burns ranks eighth on Tour in driving distance, at 309 yards per pop, while McGirt is 143rd (290) – but they hope to compliment each other over four days at TPC Louisiana.


Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


“I got a good pair of spurs sharpened up last week while I was in San Antonio,” joked McGirt, who is looking for his first top-10 since the fall. “I told him I was going to ride him hard this week. It’ll be fun.”

Burns will have at least two (and maybe three) more opportunities to earn status, with starts lined up next week at the Wells Fargo Championship and also at the Memorial. He doesn’t face quite as much pressure because he won earlier this month on the Web.com Tour and currently sits fourth on the money list, essentially locking up his PGA Tour card for next season.

“It’s obviously nice to have that win,” he said, “but at the same time you have to be careful and make sure you play enough out there to where you’re secure for sure. You don’t want to get at the end of the year and then have two or three events left and you have to make a certain amount of money to get your card.

“So I’m just going step by step, tournament by tournament, and trying to figure out what’s the best route.”   

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Spieth-Palmer draw Rahm-Bryan early at Zurich

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2018, 7:49 pm

AVONDALE, La. – The PGA Tour’s only team event gets underway Thursday at the Zurich Classic. Here are some featured groups to watch at TPC Louisiana.

Justin Thomas-Bud Cauley/Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland: 8:39 a.m. ET Thursday off 10 tee, 2:08 p.m. Friday off 1: 

The Bama boys, Thomas and Cauley, team up for the second consecutive year, after tying for fifth a year ago on the strength of a final-round 61. Berger teamed with Thomas Pieters a year ago but missed the cut, so he’ll try his luck with Woodland, who also shares a management team at Excel Sports.

Jordan Spieth-Ryan Palmer/Jon Rahm-Wesley Bryan: 8:52 a.m. Thursday off 10, 2:19 p.m. Friday off 1: 

Spieth and Palmer finished fourth a year ago, five shots back of the leaders. Spieth is making his first start since his epic Sunday run at the Masters. Rahm and Bryan have opposite strengths – Rahm is one of the game’s preeminent drivers, while Bryan, statistically, is one of the worst – but the Spaniard is coming off a European Tour victory at home. Another wrinkle here: Even though no world-ranking points are on offer this week, Rahm is set to supplant Spieth as the third-ranked player in the world.

Jason Day-Ryan Ruffels/Brooks Koepka-Marc Turnesa: 1:31 p.m. Thursday off 1, 9:42 a.m. Friday off 10: 

Two stars with questionable sidekicks. Ruffels is an up-and-coming Australian who has been playing primarily in Latin America. (He also shares a manager with Day.) Turnesa, meanwhile, got the call late last week from Koepka, who is finally ready to return from a 15-week layoff because of a wrist injury. They both play out of Medalist in South Florida, but Turnesa, 40, has turned his attention to real estate instead of professional golf.

Patrick Reed-Patrick Cantlay/Jonas Blixt-Cameron Smith: 1:44 p.m. Thursday off 1, 9:53 a.m. Friday off 10: 

Reed makes his first start as Masters champion after taking off the past two weeks. This duo tied for 14th last year, undone by a Saturday 75 in foursomes play. Blixt and Smith are the defending champions, after shooting 27 under par last year and holding off Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown in a playoff. Blixt doesn’t have a top-10 on Tour since then, while Smith tied for fifth at the Match Play and the Masters.

Justin Rose-Henrik Stenson/Bubba Watson-Matt Kuchar: 1:57 p.m. Thursday off 1, 10:04 a.m. Friday off 10:

Rose and Stenson, who have proved to be a formidable pairing in the Ryder Cup, were a stunning missed cut last year, after shooting 6 under par for two rounds. Watson teamed up with J.B. Holmes to finish fifth last year, while Kuchar is making his first start in this event since 2009.

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Zurich Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 24, 2018, 7:09 pm

The PGA Tour tries team competition for the second year in a row at the Zurich Classic. Here are the key stats and information for play at TPC LouisianaClick here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2:30-6:30PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


Purse: $7,200,000 ($1,036,800 to each winner)

Course: TPC Louisiana (par 72; 7,425 yards)

Defending champions: Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt (-27) in a playoff over Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner


News and notes

• All four reigning major champions - Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed - are in the field this week. This is the first time all four reigning major winners have played this event since 1984 (Ben Crenshaw, Larry Nelson, Tom Watson, Hall Sutton).

 Both members of winning team this week will earn an official PGA Tour victory, two-year Tour exemptions, and exemptions into the Players and PGA Championships.

• That said, no Official World Golf Ranking points are awarded from this event and winners will not earn exemptions into the 2019 Masters.


Notable teams in the field 

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson

 Rose won this event in 2014, when it was individual stroke play. From 2012-16, he was a combined 60 under at TPC Louisiana in stroke play, seven shots better than any other player.

 Rose has dramatically improved his performance on the greens from last season, moving from 123rd in strokes gained-putting to 10th.

 Stenson's last three starts look like this: solo 4th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T-6 at the Houston Open, and T-5 at the Masters.

Jon Rahm and Wesley Bryan

 Rahm is coming off a victory at the Spanish Open, his second worldwide win in 2018 and fifth since Jan. 2017.

 Rahm outdrives Bryan by an average of 30 yards off the tee, 305.1 to 276.3.

 Rahm is second on Tour in the strokes gained-off the tee, while Bryan is 210th, last among qualifying players.

Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay

 Reed is just the fifth reigning Masters champ to play the Zurich since 2000, joining Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson (twice), and Bubba Watson.

 Reed has gone T-2, T-7, T-9, WIN in his last four starts.

 Cantlay broke through for his maiden PGA Tour win earlier this season at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.