Tiger a Benefactor Not a Host

By Mercer BaggsAugust 28, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTON, Mass. -- The tournament doesnt bear Tiger Woods name. He has nothing to do with its operation. But, in essence, this is Tigers PGA Tour event.
 
This $5-million championship is in fact sponsored by Deutsche Bank, a company which has strong ties to the worlds No. 1-ranked player.
 
Woods has played in the European Tours Deutsche Bank-SAP Open the last five years, winning on three occasions. He receives, purportedly, in excess of $2 million just for showing up in Germany.
 
That, of course, is not the case in this event, as the PGA Tour does not allow appearance fees. The only money Woods will see will be whatever he wins this week, and the charitable contributions distributed to his Tiger Woods Foundation, which is the primary beneficiary of this event; hence, the Woods affiliation.
 
The tour came to me and asked me if I wanted to be involved in a tour event. Yes, to a certain extent. Yeah, to have my foundation involved, thats fantastic, Woods said. But to be personally involved in the event, theres so many different responsibilities that come with it.
 
Making money for his foundation pleases Tiger; running an event first-hand ' like Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill, Jack Nicklaus at the Memorial, or Byron Nelson in Dallas ' to do so does not.
 
Woods is already directly involved with the Target World Challenge, which is played out of Sherwood Golf Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. ' Woods home state.
 
The unofficial tournament, contested in December, is in its fifth year of existence, and also benefits his foundation. And each year, its Tigers job to secure 15 ' not including himself ' of the top players in the world to make up the elite field.
 
It's not something he enjoys doing for such a small contingency, let alone for a field of 156 like this week.
 
I dont want to have to do that, he said. They have other things to do that specific week, whether its taking time off because its their scheduled time off or its their family or whatever the reasons are ' I understand that. I dont want to be put in a position where I have to ask guys to play ' its just not me. I feel uncomfortable with that.
 
This week, Woods only worries circle around golf. And if youre one to listen to critics there is a fair amount to worry about.
 
The major season is done and Tiger doesnt have a cup, a jug, a jacket or a gold medal. In fact, hes won only one trophy ' at the Western ' over the last five months ' a span of 10 events.
 
His frustrations have boiled over the last two weeks. He twice bypassed the media at the PGA Championship, and has cursed and slammed his clubs into apparent submission.
 
He says his game is gradually getting better. I hit my irons really well (last week at the NEC Invitational). Just didnt make enough putts, he said.
 
The Deutsche Bank Championship will be his 15th tour event of the season ' and his last for a while.
 
Having played four of the last five weeks, Woods said he will take a month off following Mondays tournament conclusion. He will next be seen outside of Atlanta for the WGC-American Express Championship in early October.
 
It will be nice to kind of put away the sticks for a little bit and just get some rest. Ive been going pretty hard this summer, he said.
 
Even when Ive been away from the tour, Ive been at home practicing and preparing. So I havent really taken a big break, and its nice to be able to take the big break.
 
Woods enters play at the TPC of Boston a four-time winner on tour this season and still in contention to capture his fifth straight Player of the Year award. Hes also about $400,000 behind Davis Love III at the top of the money list.
 
Still, he said regardless of where he stands in either race it is unlikely that he will alter his remaining schedule.
 
After the AmEx, he is likely to play in the Funai Classic at Walt Disney World in late October, and the Tour Championship two weeks thereafter. In between the two is the Chrysler Championship in Tampa, which could be a possibility.
 
It would be hard to add one in there. I have a busy fall, he said in reference to both his on- and off-course responsibilities. Weve got three million-dollar first-place prizes coming up: This week, AmEx and the Tour Championship. I mean, if you play well in all three of those, then that should take care of itself.
 
This weeks winner ' in a field which features three of the top five players in the world and five of the top 13 ' will cash a $900,000 paycheck. Woods saw the par-71, 7,415-yard course, which was opened in June and has been renovated since then to meet tour standards, for the first time Wednesday.

'I thought the course would be in a little bit better shape than it is,' he said after playing the front nine. 'But considering how much play they've gotten, it's understandable. It'll be interesting to see how we handle some of the shots out of the divots, that's the key, you can't stay out of them.'
 
Thursday, he got in the full 18 in his pro-am.
 
The back nine is much more of a driving nine than the front nine. The front nine has got some weird angles and stuff, and you can tell where they put some of the tees, the hole wasnt designed for that, for that specific tee box, he described.
 
Woods said when he approaches a new venue that its all about feel. And he has tried these last two days to acclimate himself to the layout, particularly around the greens.
 
Every green has its own specific quadrants you need to get the ball into. And if you hit the ball in that quadrant, a lot of balls will funnel towards the holes, he said. But if you miss, obviously, you are going to be in a world of hurt trying to get up-and-down in 2.
 
With all that said, I think the guys are going to shoot some pretty good numbers this week.
 
And if Tiger can get his putter working properly, then the man whose name is not officially on the tournament label can be the first to put his name on the tournament trophy.
 
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    DJ, McIlroy, Spieth listed as PGA betting favorites

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 1:38 pm

    Three majors are in the books, but there's still one more trophy up for grabs in two weeks' time.

    While next year The Open will signal the end of the 2019 major season amid a revamped calendar, this is the final year that the PGA Championship will be held in August. The tournament returns next month to Bellerive Country Club outside St. Louis, which last hosted the PGA when Nick Price won in 1992 and hasn't hosted a PGA Tour event since Camilo Villegas won the 2008 BMW Championship.

    Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published PGA betting odds shortly after the final putt dropped at Carnoustie and Francesco Molinari left with the claret jug. Topping the board are a trio of major champions: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, all listed at 12/1.

    McIlroy won the PGA in both 2012 and 2014, while Spieth needs only the Wanamaker Trophy to round out the career Grand Slam. Johnson has recorded four top-10s in the PGA, notably a T-5 finish at Whistling Straits in 2010 when a few grains of sand kept him out of a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson.

    Fresh off a T-6 finish in Scotland, Tiger Woods headlines the group listed at 16/1, behind only the three co-favorites as he looks to win a 15th career major.

    Here's a look at the betting odds for a number of contenders, with the opening round of the PGA just 17 days away:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth

    16/1: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

    18/1: Justin Rose

    20/1: Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day

    30/1: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

    40/1: Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren, Paul Casey

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar

    60/1: Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson

    80/1: Adam Scott, Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner

    100/1: Ian Poulter, Thomas Pieters, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Brian Harman, Brandt Snedeker, Charley Hoffman

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    Molinari moves to No. 6 in world with Open win

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:31 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major title, Francesco Molinari reached some rarified air in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Rankings.

    The Italian's two-shot win at Carnoustie moved him up nine spots to No. 6 in the world, not surprisingly a new career high. But it's also a quick ascent for Molinari, who has now won three of his last six worldwide starts and was ranked No. 33 in the world after missing the cut at The Players Championship two months ago.

    A share of second place helped Xander Schauffele jump from No. 24 to No. 18 in the updated standings, while the same result meant Kevin Kisner went from No. 33 to No. 25. Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy both went up one spot after T-2 finishes to No. 2 and No. 7, respectively - a new career high for Rose.

    The drama in the rankings unfolded at No. 50, as Tiger Woods moved up 21 spots to exactly No. 50 following his T-6 finish. While some projections had him moving to 51st, Woods was able to sneak into the top 50 just in time to qualify for a return to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, as the top 50 in the rankings both this week and next qualify for Akron.

    That includes Zach Johnson, last year's runner-up who was not yet qualified but moved from No. 52 to No. 49 this week. It also includes Kevin Chappell, who went from 61st to 47th with a T-6 finish in Scotland.

    Despite missing the cut at Carnoustie, Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for another week followed by Rose, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Molinari is now at No. 6, with McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day rounding out the top 10.

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    Simpson overtakes DeChambeau in Ryder Cup race

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:09 pm

    A T-12 finish at The Open allowed Webb Simpson to move past Bryson DeChambeau into the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot in the U.S. Ryder Cup points race with just three weeks to go.

    Simpson finished the week at 3 under, five shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. Adding another strong result to his win at TPC Sawgrass and T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, he's now edged in front of DeChambeau by less than 41 points. But with players earning one point per $1,000 each of the next two weeks and 1.5 points per $1,000 at the PGA Championship, the race is far from over.

    Jordan Spieth's T-9 finish strengthened his position at No. 6, as the top six players are essentially assured of qualifying automatically. Rickie Fowler held onto his spot at No. 7, while Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner both moved onto the bubble following T-2 finishes at Carnoustie. After a T-6 finish, Tiger Woods jumped from 31st to 20th.

    Here's a look at the updated American standings, with the top eight after the PGA qualifying automatically and captain Jim Furyk adding four picks in September:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Bubba Watson

    6. Jordan Spieth

    7. Rickie Fowler

    8. Webb Simpson

    ---

    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Xander Schauffele

    12. Matt Kuchar

    13. Kevin Kisner

    14. Tony Finau

    15. Brian Harman

    On the European side, Molinari was already in position to qualify automatically but is now assured of a spot on Thomas Bjorn's roster this fall. Fellow major champs Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy also solidified their footing with runner-up performances.

    Here's a look at how things look for the Europeans, with the top four from each list after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    European Points

    1. Francesco Molinari

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tyrrell Hatton

    4. Tommy Fleetwood

    ---

    Thorbjorn Olesen

    Russell Knox

    Eddie Pepperell

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Alex Noren

    3. Rory McIlroy

    4. Paul Casey

    ---

    Matthew Fitzpatrick

    Sergio Garcia

    Ian Poulter

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    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    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.