World Ranking Highlights Euro Tour Strength
This eclipses the end-of-season record of 17 established in 2002 and equalled in 2003, and further demonstrates the strength in depth following the European Teams victory in the 35th Ryder Cup Matches in Michigan.
Ian Poulter, a member of the winning European team, became the 14th European in the top 50 following his victory in the Volvo Masters Andalucia and the number has been bolstered by the presence of six international European Tour members.
As at Oct. 31, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els, who have successfully defended their PGA Tour money list and Volvo Order of Merit titles respectively this year, were Nos. 1 and 2 with Retief Goosen, winner of the 2004 U.S. Open, fifth; Padraig Harrington, eighth; and Sergio Garcia, ninth.
A number of European Tour members have emphasized the continuing strength of the European Tour International Schedule by making significant progress highlighted by the superb achievements of Luke Donald, Joakim Haeggman and Miguel Angel Jimnez.
Donald won 88.46 points from 17 US PGA Tour events but while securing a place in The Ryder Cup Team he collected 80.24 points from only six events on The European Tour International Schedule ' averaging 13.37 points for each event compared to 5.2 in the United States. Having started the year outside the World Top 100 in 130th place the 26 year old finds himself in 25th place.
Haeggman was the highest mover, climbing from 327th to 46th during a 29-tournament campaign on The European Tour International Schedule, and Jimnez, who played 45 events on the US PGA Tour between 2000 and 2002, has since returned to a full-time schedule in Europe and moved from 255th to 17th in the Official World Golf Ranking in little more than 12 months.
Jimnez stands out as a shining example of what can be achieved in Europe, earning 189.27 World Ranking points in regular European Tour events, more than any other player other than Singh on one particular Tour. The figure, for example, compares to 173.88 points won by Phil Mickelson and 158.23 points won by Tiger Woods on the US PGA Tour before the Tour Championship.
Garcia has focused much of his season on America and by October 31, with two victories on the US PGA Tour, accumulated 156.65 points compared to 62.09. Whilst at first glance this looks to heavily favour the US PGA Tour, his average points per tournament is almost identical ' 15.6 on the US PGA Tour and 15.5 in Europe.
Prior to the Tour Championship, Goosen won more World Ranking points (76.44) from his eight regular European Tour events than he did from his ten US PGA Tour events (68.31). Ernie Els, another truly global player, played nine regular events on both Tours, winning twice on each Tour in addition to the WGC ' American Express Championship, and won a similar amount of points - 155.86 in Europe versus 168.50 on the US PGA Tour.
Looking solely at regular European Tour events and US PGA Tour events by excluding the Major Championships and World Golf Championships which count towards both Tours, the figures reveal that the World Ranking points won by European Tour Members in regular European Tour events after the Volvo Masters Andalucia totalled 1654.05 compared to 1498.92 on the US PGA Tour, a figure which includes a staggering 548.78 points won by Vijay Singh alone.
David Howell, Thomas Levet and Nick OHern have also moved up from outside the World Top 100 to inside the top 50 through playing almost solely on The European Tour.
The goal of many players around the world is to climb into the World Top 50, and as of October 31, 16 players had advanced since the start of the year from outside the top 50 into the fold, eight of which are European Tour Members who have made their gains by playing The European Tour International Schedule.
Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.
Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.
The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.
Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.
The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.
Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.
The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:
The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.
For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.
But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.
Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":
Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.
Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.
The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.
“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.
In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.
“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”
Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.
“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.