The Week in Golf News 1226 - 1229

By Golf Channel NewsroomDecember 29, 2000, 5:00 pm
Tuesday - Dec. 26, 2000
 
Ladies European Tour Cancels Season-Opener

 
The Ladies European Tour announced it has been forced to cancel its season-opener. The Cloud 9 New Zealand Women's Golf Classic is being dropped because its promoter failed to provide the sufficient funds. LET Chief Executive Tim Howland said without the funds they had no choice but to cancel the event.
 
The tournament was scheduled to take place at the Hutt Golf Course in Wellington beginning Feb. 22.
 

 
Wednesday - Dec. 27, 2000
 
First Round Matches Set Down Under

 
Just a week shy of the start of the Accenture Match Play Championship in Australia, the field and the first round pairings have been set. Only four of the world's top-10 will make the trip down under - top seed Ernie Els, Hal Sutton, Vijay Singh and Tom Lehman.
 
Els will face world No. 102 Kevin Sutherland in the first round. Sutherland finished 66th on the 2000 PGA Tour money list notching 4 top-10's in 27 starts. His career best finish was 2nd at the 1997 Shell Houston Open, losing in a playoff to Phil Blackmar.
 
Here are the first round matches for the 64-man field:
 
Upper Bracket
 
Ernie Els (1) vs. Kevin Sutherland (64)
Franklin Langham (32) vs. Hidemichi Tanaka (33)
Robert Allenby (16) vs. Steve Lowery (49)
Duffy Waldorf (17) vs. Skip Kendall (48)
Justin Leonard (8) vs. Hirofumi Miyase (57)
Phillip Price (25) vs. Paul McGinley (40)
John Huston (9) vs. Steve Stricker (56)
Scott Verplank (24) vs. Craig Parry (41)
Tom Lehman (4) vs. Mark McNulty (61)
Toshi Izawa (29) vs. Bob Estes (36)
Kirk Triplett (13) vs. Kenny Perry (52)
Steve Flesch (20) vs. Fred Funk (45)
Michael Campbell (5) vs. Jarmo Sandelin (60)
Paul Lawrie (28) vs. Jeff Sluman (37)
Bob May (12) vs. Jonathan Kaye (53)
Jose Coceres (21) vs. Scott Dunlap (44)
 
Lower Bracket
 
Hal Sutton (2) vs. Greg Chalmers (63)
Toru Taniguchi (31) vs. Bernhard Langer (34)
Stuart Appleby (15) vs. Jean Van de Velde (50)
Retief Goosen (18) vs. Per-Ulrik Johansson (47)
Stewart Cink (7) vs. Craig Stadler (58)
Dennis Paulson (26) vs. Chris DiMarco (39)
David Toms (10) vs. Tom Scherrer (55)
Shigeki Maruyama (23) vs. Andrew Coltart (42)
Vijay Singh (3) vs. Mathias Gronberg (62)
Joe Ozaki (30) vs. Tim Herron (35)
Chris Perry (14) vs. Nobuhito Sato (51)
Dudley Hart (19) vs. Brad Faxon (46)
Jim Furyk (6) vs. Patrik Sjoland (59)
Gary Orr (27) vs. Steve Pate (38)
Padraig Harrington (11) vs. Glen Day (54)
Pierre Fulke (22) vs. Brent Geiberger (43)
 
The $5 million events pays $1 million to the winner. Last year Darren Clarke took home the top prize after beating Tiger Woods in the 36-hole final. Clarke will not defend his title, choosing instead to stay at home with his family.
 

Woods Repeats as AP's Top Male Athlete
 

Tiger Woods won his second consecutive Male Athlete of the Year Award from The Associated Press on Tuesday. Woods joins NBA great Michael Jordan as the only three-time winner of the award.
 
Tiger received 47 first-place votes and 160 total points to best Lance Armstrong who was his second straight Tour de France this year. Armstrong had eight first-place votes and 72 points, while St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner received 34 points to place third.
 
The award was voted on by sportswriters and broadcasters with points awarded on a 3-2-1 basis.
 
Woods becomes the sixth player to win the award in consecutive years. He joins an exclusive list alongside tennis player Don Budge, Byron Nelson, track star Carl Lewis, NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana and Jordan, who won his three awards consecutively.
 
Pedro Martinez, Shaquille O'Neal, Rulon Gardner, Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Josh Heupel and Marshall Faulk rounded out the top-10.
 
Do you think Tiger can improve in 2001?
Share your thoughts!
 

Nicklaus Won't Consider Four Straight Majors a Grand Slam
 
18-time professional major champion Jack Nicklaus doesn't think it should be considered the Grand Slam if Tiger Woods wins his fourth consecutive major at the Masters in April.
 
'It would have to be in one year,' Nicklaus said. 'But that would be fantastic.'
 
A win at Augusta would make Tiger the first ever to hold all four major titles at once. Woods won the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship in 2000.
 
Nicklaus had a chance to hold all four titles after winning the 1971 PGA Championship, then the 1972 Masters and U.S. Open. He missed out on the feat when he lost by a single shot to Lee Trevino at the '72 British Open.
 
'I remember the year I held three at one time going into the British Open in '72, but nobody ever mentioned that,' he said.
 
Do you think four straight should be a Grand Slam?
Share your thoughts!
 

 
Futures Tour Announces Purse Increases
 
Continuing a trend in the golf world, the SBC Futures Tour announced an increase in total purses for 2001 to over $1.2 million. The official developmental tour for the LPGA will include 20 events in 15 states.
 
Nine events have increased their purses by at least $10,000 from the 2000 season. The average purse is $61,250, an increase of $6,000 from a year ago. The Futures Tour's 21st season will also include new events in Denver, Colo. and Wichita, Kan., both worth $60,000 in prize money.
 
The season begins in California in early March with the Pacific Bell Futures Classic in Moreno Valley. It continues through the season-ending $75,000 SBC Futures Tour Championship at The Club at Eaglebrooke in Lakeland, Fla.
 
'Our goal is to develop a schedule that is consistent with our mission and objectives, to provide women professional golfers with the opportunity to compete under similar demands as they will on the LPGA,' said Zayra F. Calderon, president of the Futures Tour.
 
The top three money winners after the second-to-last event of the season receive automatic exemptions to the 2002 LPGA Tour. The rest of the top ten are exempted to the final stage of LPGA qualifying.
 

 
Thursday - Dec. 28, 2000
 
O'Hern In, Sandelin Out at Accenture Match Play

 
Jarmo Sandelin joined the list of players not making the trip to Australia for next week's WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship. Sandelin will be replaced by Australian Nick O'Hern who is ranked No. 103 in the world.
 
According to the PGA Tour, Sandelin, who was seeded 60th, will stay at home to be with his long-time girlfriend Linda who is expecting their first child.
 
The news is both good and bad for the 29 year-old O'Hern, as he will be seeded 64th and have to face top seed Ernie Els in the first round.
 
Sandelin's withdrawal shifts the players seeded 60th through 64th. Here are the most recent first round match-ups:
 
Upper Bracket
 
Ernie Els (1) vs. Nick O'Hern (64)
Franklin Langham (32) vs. Hidemichi Tanaka (33)
Robert Allenby (16) vs. Steve Lowery (49)
Duffy Waldorf (17) vs. Skip Kendall (48)
Justin Leonard (8) vs. Hirofumi Miyase (57)
Phillip Price (25) vs. Paul McGinley (40)
John Huston (9) vs. Steve Stricker (56)
Scott Verplank (24) vs. Craig Parry (41)
Tom Lehman (4) vs. Mathias Gronberg (61)
Toshi Izawa (29) vs. Bob Estes (36)
Kirk Triplett (13) vs. Kenny Perry (52)
Steve Flesch (20) vs. Fred Funk (45)
Michael Campbell (5) vs. Mark McNulty (60)
Paul Lawrie (28) vs. Jeff Sluman (37)
Bob May (12) vs. Jonathan Kaye (53)
Jose Coceres (21) vs. Scott Dunlap (44)
 
Lower Bracket
 
Hal Sutton (2) vs. Kevin Sutherland (63)
Toru Taniguchi (31) vs. Bernhard Langer (34)
Stuart Appleby (15) vs. Jean Van de Velde (50)
Retief Goosen (18) vs. Per-Ulrik Johansson (47)
Stewart Cink (7) vs. Craig Stadler (58)
Dennis Paulson (26) vs. Chris DiMarco (39)
David Toms (10) vs. Tom Scherrer (55)
Shigeki Maruyama (23) vs. Andrew Coltart (42)
Vijay Singh (3) vs. Greg Chalmers (62)
Joe Ozaki (30) vs. Tim Herron (35)
Chris Perry (14) vs. Nobuhito Sato (51)
Dudley Hart (19) vs. Brad Faxon (46)
Jim Furyk (6) vs. Patrik Sjoland (59)
Gary Orr (27) vs. Steve Pate (38)
Padraig Harrington (11) vs. Glen Day (54)
Pierre Fulke (22) vs. Brent Geiberger (43)
 
An alternate will replace any more players who withdraw before Monday. Next on that list are Greg Kraft and Peter O'Malley. If a player withdraws after that his place will not be filled and his opponent will receive a bye.
 
First round matches begin Wednesday, Jan. 3rd at the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia.
 

 
Friday - Dec. 29, 2000
 
Furyk Becomes 40th Player Not Going Down Under

 
The hits just keep on coming for next week's Accenture World Match Play. World No.15 Jim Furyk has withdrawn bringing the total of eligible players not playing to 40. Furyk was the No. 6 seed.
 
Greg Kraft replaces Furyk becoming the latest alternate to slide into the 64-man event to be held at the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. Australian Peter O'Malley is the next alternate on the list.
 
The official draw will be released Monday at 5pm Australian time. Any withdrawals after that will not be replaced giving their first round opponent a bye.
 
The rash of no-shows has been blamed on the early January date of the tournament. Only four of the top-10 in the world are in the field, led by No.2 Ernie Els. Els will now face Kraft in the first round barring any more withdrawals.
 
Swede Jarmo Sandelin withdrew Thursday to witness the birth of his first child, letting Aussie Nick O'Hern into the mix.
 
Here is the latest look at the constantly changing first round draw:
 
Upper Bracket
 
Ernie Els (1) vs. Greg Kraft (64)
Hidemichi Tanaka (31) vs. Bernhard Langer (33)
Duffy Waldorf (16) vs. Jean Van De Velde (49)
Retief Goosen (17) vs. Steve Lowery (48)
John Huston (8)vs. Craig Stadler (57)
Dennis Paulson (25)vs. Craig Parry (40)
David Toms (9)vs. Hirofumi Miyase (56)
Phillip Price (24)vs. Andrew Coltart (41)
Tom Lehman (4)vs. Greg Chalmers (61)
Joe Ozaki (29)vs. Jeff Sluman (36)
Chris Perry (13)vs. Jonathan Kaye (52)
Jose Coceres (20)vs. Brad Faxon (45)
Michael Campbell (5)vs. Mathias Gronberg (60)
Toshi Izawa (28)vs. Steve Pate (37)
Kirk Triplett (12)vs.Glen Day (53)
Pierre Fulke (21)vs. Fred Funk (44)
 
Lower Bracket
 
Hal Sutton (2)vs. Nick O'Hern (63)
Franklin Langham (31)vs. Tim Herron (34)
Robert Allenby (15)vs. Nobuhito Sato (50)
Dudley Hart (18)vs. Skip Kendall (47)
Justin Leonard (7)vs. Patrik Sjoland (58)
Gary Orr (26)vs. Paul McGinley (39)
Padraig Harrington (10)vs. Steve Stricker (55)
Scott Verplank (23)vs. Brent Geiberger (42)
Vijay Singh (3)vs. Kevin Sutherland (62)
Toru Taniguchi (30)vs. Bob Estes (35)
Stuart Appleby (14)vs.Kenny Perry (51)
Steve Flesch (19)vs. Per-Ulrik Johansson (46)
Stewart Cink (6)vs. Mark McNulty (59)
Paul Lawrie (27)vs. Chris DiMarco (38)
Bob May (11)vs. Tom Scherrer (54)
Shigeki Maruyama (22)vs. Scott Dunlap (43)
 

Clarke to Miss Mercedes
 
Darren Clarke will skip the Mercedes Championships to spend time with his family. The announcement comes on the heels of his decision not to defend his title at next week's Accenture Match Play Championship in Melbourne, Australia.
 
Clarke will make his 2001 debut with a pair of events in South Africa. He will play the South African Open at the end of January and the Dimension Data Pro-am at Sun City the following week.
 

Weir Named Canada's Top Male Athlete
 
Mike Weir has received the Lionel Conacher Award given to Canada's top male athlete. Weir beat out Olympians Simon Whitfield and Daniel Igali, as well as NHL players Chris Pronger and Steve Nash.
 
Weir finished sixth on the 2000 PGA Tour money list with over $2.5 million and won the season-ending WGC - American Express Invitational. Weir also had an impressive showing at the Presidents Cup where he made his first appearance for the International squad.
 
Weir becomes the first golfer to win the award since Sandy Somerville in 1932. Somerville won the U.S. Amateur that year, the first time a foreigner had won the title.
 
Voting was conducted by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News.
 

Webb finishes Third in AP Female Athlete of the Year
 
LPGA superstar Karrie Webb finished 3rd in voting for the 2000 AP Female Athlete of the Year. Webb finished behind track star Marion Jones (1st) and tennis star Venus Williams (2nd.)
 
Webb finished with four first-place votes and 30 points. Jones received 27 first-place votes and 112 overall points.
 
Webb won seven times on the 2000 LPGA Tour and won $1.87 million to lead the money list.
 
Juli Inkster received a pair of first-place votes and finished 11th in the balloting. Annika Sorenstam finished tied for 18th.
 
Votes were cast by sports writers and broadcasters, based on a 3-2-1 point system.

LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 5:36 pm

LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:

View this post on Instagram

Finally got it down lol

A post shared by Bronny James (@bronnyjames.jr) on

But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.

Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.

View this post on Instagram

How far, maybe 400 #happygilmore

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If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.

Getty Images

Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'

By Grill Room TeamOctober 15, 2018, 4:20 pm

In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.

“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.

Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).



And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus: 

FILM 1

Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)

Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations. 


FILM 2

Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)

The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club. 


FILM 3

Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)

In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.

Getty Images

Pepperell likely sews up Masters invite via OWGR

By Will GrayOctober 15, 2018, 2:13 pm

Eddie Pepperell received a trophy for his win Sunday at the British Masters, but another prize will be coming in the mail at the end of the year.

Pepperell held on to win by two shots at rainy Walton Heath, giving him his second win of the year to go along with a pair of runner-ups. The Englishman started the year ranked No. 133 in the world and was as low as 513th in May 2017. But with the win, Pepperell jumped 17 spots to a career-best 33rd in the latest world rankings.

It means that Pepperell, who finished T-6 at The Open while fighting a hangover in the final round, is in line to make his Masters debut next spring, as the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of the calendar year become exempt into the season's first major.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Another player now in the mix for that top-50 exemption is Emiliano Grillo, who went from 62nd to 49th with a T-2 finish at the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic. Grillo has played in two Masters but missed this year's event. Marc Leishman moved up eight spots to No. 16 with his win in Malaysia, while T-2s result moved Chesson Hadley from 75th to 60th and Bronson Burgoon from 162nd to 102nd.

There were no changes among the top 10 in the latest rankings, with Dustin Johnson still ahead of Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Francesco Molinari remains in sixth, with Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth rounding out the top 10.

Both Koepka and Thomas are in the field at this week's CJ Cup in South Korea, where they will have an opportunity to overtake Johnson for world No. 1.

With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods stayed at No. 13 for another week.

Getty Images

USGA, R&A unveil new limits on green books

By Rex HoggardOctober 15, 2018, 1:53 pm

Following a six-week feedback period, the USGA and R&A unveiled a new interpretation of the Rules of Golf and the use of green-reading materials on Monday.

The interpretation limits the size and scale of putting green books and any electronic or digital materials that a player may use to assist with green reading.

“We’re thankful for everyone’s willingness to provide feedback as we worked through the process of identifying a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior managing director of governance.

Players will be allowed to continue to use green-reading books beginning in 2019, but the new interpretation will limit images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480), and books can be no larger than 4 1/4 inches by 7 inches (pocket-sized). The interpretation also bans the use of magnification devices beyond normal prescription glasses.

The USGA and R&A will allow for hand-drawn notes in green books as long as those notes are written by the player or their caddie. The rule makers also dropped a proposal that would have limited the minimum slope to four percent in green-reading material.

“These latest modifications provide very practical changes that make the interpretation easier to understand and apply in the field,” Pagel said.