THE FLY: Y.E. Yang found plenty of trouble getting to paradise. After making a 16-hour flight from South Korea to New York, Yang's charter plane from JFK airport to Bermuda had to be re-routed after the landing gear wouldn't retract. A four-hour delay ensued before the PGA champion could again take off for his ultimate destination. In all, Yang's trip to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf took nearly 26 hours. While the three other major champions practiced and battled horrible weather conditions Monday in Bermuda, Yang took a nap on a fold-out bed in the locker room. Stewart Cink, the British Open champion, snapped a shot of Yang [above] with his camera phone and posted it on his Twitter page.
Sure, flying stinks, but pray we never develop Star Trek-like teleportation. Here's two reasons why: 1) Jeff Goldblum. 2) No excuse to avoid family. And if you're ever in a situation where you really want to get off an airplane, pull a Charles Grodin.
THE FLY, PART II: Angel Cabrera had air transportation problems as well this past week. The reigning Masters champion endured multiple flight delays while trying to travel from Bermuda, site of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, to Spain for the Castello Masters. He missed his tee time and was disqualified.
To make matters worse, Cabrera's group was on the first green when play was suspended due to high winds. Had those winds picked up a bit earlier then Cabrera would have been able to make the start. This is probably the worst thing that has happened to Cabrera all year. What a great year it's been.
AIN'T LIFE GRAND: U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover shot 65-66 to win the PGA Grand Slam of Golf by four shots over Masters winner Angel Cabrera. British Open champ Stewart Cink was third, while PGA winner Y.E. Yang was fourth.
Winning a major championship is the gift that just keeps on giving. Not only do you secure a place in golf lore; you get lavished with praise, perks, and millions and millions and millions of dollars. Yang got $200,000 just for showing up and playing two days of care-free golf in Bermuda. The earning potential for a newly minted major champion is limited only by how much he is willing to exhaust himself during the offseason.
HEART OF THE MATT-ER: Troy Matteson won his second career PGA Tour event, defeating Rickie Fowler and Jamie Lovemark in sudden death at the Frys.com Open. Matteson bogeyed his final two holes of regulation to force the playoff, but atoned with a birdie on the second extra hole.
Matteson set a 36-hole PGA Tour scoring record by shooting back-to-back 61s in the second and third rounds. Still, Fowler may have been the most impressive this week. The 20-year-old had an ace and seven birdies in the final round. In just two events on Tour as a pro, he's earned over $550K. He now needs to win the Viking Classic – not out of the realm of possibility – to earn a Tour card for 2010. Otherwise, it's off to the final stage of Q-School, which at least guarantees him a spot on the Nationwide Tour next year.
MONEY TALKS: Troy Matteson's victory in the Frys.com Open moved him from 131st to 55th on the PGA Tour money list, with two tournaments remaining. Matteson was the only player to move inside the top 125, while Jeff Maggert (123rd to 127th) took his place on the outside.
David Duval is now the official bubble boy at 125th. Rich Beem is 124th, with others like Steve Flesch and Ricky Barnes perilously slipping in the standings. Chris Riley is currently 126th, with $613,027 this season. It took $852,752 to finish 125th in earnings last year.
THE GRADUATES: Matt Every, needing at least a solo third-place finish to earn his 2010 PGA Tour card, won the Nationwide Tour Championship to secure a spot on the main circuit. He and 24 others now have tickets to the big show next season.
Count Fran Quinn among them. The veteran spent Saturday night in the hospital due to a urinary tract infection but managed to hang on to the 25th position. Brian Stuard and Alister Presnell were the only two players who started the week inside the cut line and were bounced out. Stuard finished $2,844 behind Quinn for the final spot.
EASY E: Erik Compton easily advanced to the second stage of PGA Tour Q-School, winning his opening-round site by seven strokes. A year ago, and still recovering from his second heart transplant, Compton needed a late rally to make it to Stage 2, where his drive for a Tour card ended.
Hopefully, Compton will make it to the final stage, thus securing him at least a spot on the Nationwide Tour. Among those who didn't make it to Stage 2 were: Gary Nicklaus, the 40-year-old son of Jack Nicklaus; Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer; Tadd Fujikawa and former U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee. Unlike the others who failed to advance, Lee still has a place to play next year as he won a 2009 European Tour event.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Michael Jonzon won the European Tour's Castello Masters. ... Phil Blackmar won his first Champions Tour title at the AT&T Championship. ... Trevor Immelman had successful wrist surgery and expects to be healthy for the 2010 season.
It was the 37-year-old Swede's first European Tour win since 1997. And what a sweet trophy he won. ... Blackmar had been contemplating a move back to the broadcast booth before this triumph, which came in his home state of Texas. ... At least he knows no matter what happens each year he always has one place to play in April.