Little Brothers Grown Up

By Randall MellNovember 24, 2010, 1:54 am
European Tour pros are reveling in their success as their season nears its close.

They did everything but strike muscle-men poses Tuesday at the Dubai World Championship while taking photos with all the impressive hardware they’ve won this past year.

The U.S. Open trophy, the British Open’s claret jug, the PGA Championship’s Wanamaker Trophy and the Ryder Cup are all in possession of European Tour members, and the European Tour brass isn’t being shy in its display of them at the season finale to the Race to Dubai.

Louis Oosthuizen
Louis Oosthuizen may be South African, but he's a European Tour player. (Getty Images)
Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood must have looked like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to folks at the PGA Tour offices who caught a glimpse of the Euros posing with their trophies.

Throw in the fact that Westwood’s the No. 1 player in the world, and you’ve got a pretty good picture why the European Tour believes it has never been stronger.

If not for Phil Mickelson winning the Masters, the European Tour would have made a clean sweep of the biggest international prizes in golf.

“I think you play against the best players in the world, with the No. 1 in the world, Lee Westwood, with Rory McIlroy,” Kaymer said Tuesday in explaining why he’s joining Westwood and McIlroy in devoting himself to the European Tour next year.

“You have all of the great players here,” Kaymer said.

Ouch.

European media are having fun with this shift in the balance power.

During Kaymer’s news conference Tuesday, a reporter asked Kaymer if he received a “crying phone call from Tim Finchem” after announcing he would continue to devote himself to the European Tour.

“Not yet, maybe I’ll get one,” Kaymer answered.

Kaymer could water some eyes in the PGA Tour offices with a big finish this week. Westwood bumped Tiger Woods to No. 2 last month. Kaymer could bump Woods to No. 3 with a good finish this weekend.

It’s possible Westwood and Kaymer will leave Dubai ranked Nos. 1-2 in the world. That could happen with either Westwood or Kaymer at No. 1.

Westwood shared news Tuesday that the PGA Tour was changing its rules for players who give up PGA Tour membership but plan to participate as non-members. Under PGA Tour rules, non-members are limited to 12 PGA Tour appearances, including majors and World Golf Championships. However, non-members who have given up PGA Tour membership face more severe restrictions. They’re limited to 10 PGA Tour appearances. Westwood and McIlroy fall into the more severe restrictions.

Under the new rules, PGA Tour officials confirmed, Westwood and non-members like him won’t have to count The Players Championship against their 10 appearances. So Westwood and McIlroy can play 11 next year.

How that news was conveyed to Great Britain’s golf fans Tuesday reflects the new strength European golf’s feeling.

“The concession to Westwood, who snubbed the PGA Tour in fairly forthright terms, lends weight to the belief that the tectonic plates of global golf are shifting to the disadvantage of an organization which has long been the richest and most powerful entity in the sport,” wrote Lawrence Donegan of the Guardian. “It is hard to imagine a day when that financial strength will be challenged, but how powerful is the PGA Tour these days when it backs down so meekly in an attempt retain favor with an Englishman, albeit the world's No. 1 player?”

For a time, European Tour fans endured an insult from America, the notion that the Nationwide Tour was the second best tour on the planet. Nobody’s saying that now.

Still, PGA Tour players defend their turf.

“The European Tour definitely has gotten stronger the last few years,” says Ben Curtis, the 2003 British Open champ who played the European Tour as member for two seasons. “The players have definitely gotten better. The European Tour fields have gotten stronger.

“But, our tour, top to bottom, it’s a little bit deeper. Their top echelon of players are just as good, if not better, than ours right now. The top 125 on our tour are probably better than theirs.”

So which is the stronger tour today?

If you follow the money, you follow it to the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour played for purses totaling $270 million this season. The European Tour plays for $170 million.

If you look at the world rankings, the PGA Tour also prevails. PGA Tour pros played for 17,000 world ranking points this year. The European Tour plays for 12,000.

There were 32 PGA Tour and European Tour events that went head-to-head this year. The PGA Tour had more world ranking points in 23 of them.

If you throw out the major championships and the World Golf Championship events, and you identify the 15 tournaments with the most world ranking points, the PGA Tour was home to 12 of them. The Players Championship leads that list with the first three FedEx Cup events following. The top European Tour event in this category is the BMW PGA Championship, ranking seventh. The European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Championship and Commercialbank Qatar Masters are 14th and 15th, respectively.

“The European Tour is probably stronger than it’s ever been, but it’s still not like the PGA Tour,” said five-time PGA Tour winner Scott Verplank. “It’s just not as deep. There are 60 guys who can win on the PGA Tour any week, and I would venture to say there are 30 to 40 over there who can win any week, maybe not that many.

“We play for more money. We have most of the bigger tournaments. It’s an interesting deal, but the European Tour is good. Their top players are every bit as good as anybody else’s.”

What’s the stronger tour?

If major championships are the measure of greatness in golf, the European Tour holds the upper hand with its members winning the last three majors played. The photos coming out of Dubai this week say it all. All that was missing were European Tour pros striking muscle pros.
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2018 NCAA Golf Championships TV Schedule

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 12:29 pm

Golf Channel will shine a spotlight on college golf across the next two weeks at the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf National Championships. With more than 60 hours of live tournament and news coverage on-site from Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater Oklahoma (Monday-Wednesday May 21-23 and May 28-30), Golf Channel’s coverage connects 18 straight days of live tournament golf.

Watch live coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships beginning Monday, May 21 at 4pm ET on Golf Channel and streaming.

Keep up with the social media conversation by following Golf Channel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Join in by using #NCAAGolf 

Golf Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 21: Individual National Championship  4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 22:Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 22: Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 23:Team Match Play National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

 

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 28: Individual National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 29: Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 29: Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 30: Team Match Play National Championship 4-8 p.m. (Live)

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AT&T Byron Nelson purse payout: Wise a millionaire

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 12:05 pm

PGA Tour rookie Aaron Wise earned his first Tour title on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Trinity Forest:

1 Aaron Wise -23 $1,386,000
2 Marc Leishman -20 $831,600
T3 Branden Grace -19 $400,400
T3 J.J. Spaun -19 $400,400
T3 Keith Mitchell -19 $400,400
T6 Ryan Blaum -16 $257,950
T6 Kevin Na -16 $257,950
T6 Jimmy Walker -16 $257,950
T9 Adam Scott -15 $207,900
T9 Charles Howell III -15 $207,900
T9 Kevin Tway -15 $207,900
12 Brian Gay -14 $177,100
T13 Rory Sabbatini -13 $148,867
T13 Ethan Tracy -13 $148,867
T13 Matt Jones -13 $148,867
T16 Russell Knox -12 $115,500
T16 Hideki Matsuyama -12 $115,500
T16 Bronson Burgoon -12 $115,500
T16 Derek Fathauer -12 $115,500
T16 Joel Dahmen -12 $115,500
T21 Jordan Spieth -11 $80,080
T21 Billy Horschel -11 $80,080
T21 Robert Garrigus -11 $80,080
T21 Peter Uihlein -11 $80,080
T21 Martin Piller -11 $80,080
T26 Tyler Duncan -10 $55,825
T26 Anirban Lahiri -10 $55,825
T26 Parker McLachlin -10 $55,825
T26 Martin Flores -10 $55,825
T26 J.T. Poston -10 $55,825
T26 Shawn Stefani -10 $55,825
T32 Cody Gribble -9 $39,116
T32 Johnson Wagner -9 $39,116
T32 Geoff Ogilvy -9 $39,116
T32 Nick Taylor -9 $39,116
T32 C.T. Pan -9 $39,116
T32 Scott Piercy -9 $39,116
T32 Nicholas Lindheim -9 $39,116
T32 Fabian Gomez -9 $39,116
T32 Beau Hossler -9 $39,116
T32 Nate Lashley -9 $39,116
T42 Zac Blair -8 $23,184
T42 Abraham Ancer -8 $23,184
T42 Maverick McNealy -8 $23,184
T42 Denny McCarthy -8 $23,184
T42 Jonathan Byrd -8 $23,184
T42 Eric Axley -8 $23,184
T42 Sam Ryder -8 $23,184
T42 Brian Stuard -8 $23,184
T42 J.B. Holmes -8 $23,184
T42 Sung-hoon Kang -8 $23,184
T42 Andrew Putnam -8 $23,184
T53 Ben Crane -7 $17,659
T53 Steve Wheatcroft -7 $17,659
T53 Troy Merritt -7 $17,659
T53 Patrick Rodgers -7 $17,659
T53 Corey Conners -7 $17,659
T53 Robert Streb -7 $17,659
T59 Ryan Armour -6 $16,632
T59 Peter Malnati -6 $16,632
T59 Vaughn Taylor -6 $16,632
T59 Dominic Bozzelli -6 $16,632
T59 Adam Schenk -6 $16,632
T59 Hudson Swafford -6 $16,632
T59 Michael Thompson -6 $16,632
T66 Matt Atkins -5 $15,862
T66 Roberto Diaz -5 $15,862
T66 T.J. Vogel -5 $15,862
69 Sang-Moon Bae -4 $15,554
T70 Tom Lovelady -3 $15,246
T70 Cameron Percy -3 $15,246
T70 Rod Pampling -3 $15,246
73 Brian Davis -1 $14,938
74 Mark Wilson 1 $14,784
75 Robert Allenby 2 $14,630
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Howell, Uihlein qualify for U.S. Open via OWGR

By Will GrayMay 21, 2018, 11:02 am

Charles Howell III and Peter Uihlein both used strong play at the AT&T Byron Nelson to maintain their positions inside the top 60 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking, thereby ensuring exemptions to next month's U.S. Open.

Howell moved up three spots to No. 56 in the world thanks to a T-9 finish at Trinity Forest. He'll make his 10th career U.S. Open appearance, but just his second since 2009. Howell missed the cut at Olympic in 2012.

Uihlein finished T-21 in Dallas, which was barely enough to hold onto a top-60 spot as he actually fell two positions to No. 59. The former U.S. Amateur champ will make his third U.S. Open appearance and second in as many years.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


The drama for the final spot came down to the wire on Sunday, where Adam Scott's bid to unseat Chesson Hadley at No. 60 came up just short. Needing a solo ninth-place finish, Scott ended up in a three-way tie for ninth to begin the new week at No. 61. Hadley, who didn't play the Nelson, remained No. 60 and will make his U.S. Open debut.

Others to punch tickets to Shinnecock Hills include No. 52 Luke List, No. 53 Chez Reavie and No. 57 Dylan Frittelli. A second and final top-60 cutoff will be done based off the June 11 world rankings following the FedEx St. Jude Classic, with U.S. Open sectional qualifying conducted in England and the U.S. on June 4.

The only change among the top 10 in the rankings this week came at No. 10, where Paul Casey moved past Tommy Fleetwood despite an off week for both players. Justin Thomas remains world No. 1 for a second week, followed by Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6, with Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Casey rounding out the top 10.

Taking the week off following a T-11 finish at The Players Championship, Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 82.

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After Further Review: Nelson lost in the shuffle?

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2018, 3:40 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the Nelson's future ...

If the goal was “different” by bringing the AT&T Byron Nelson to Trinity Forest, consider it achieved. But bringing a world-class field south of Dallas could still be tricky.

Yes, the tournament can always rely on local resident and AT&T spokesman Jordan Spieth to throw his hat in the ring. But even with Spieth strolling the fairways this week, the field strength was among the worst all season for a full-point event.

The debut of the sprawling, links-like layout likely did little to sway the undecideds, with only the third round offering the challenging conditions that course co-designer Ben Crenshaw had envisioned. And the schedule won’t do them any favors next year, as a revamped itinerary likely puts the Nelson right before the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

The course will inevitably get better with age, and Spieth expects positive word of mouth to spread. But it might be a while before the stars truly align for an event that, for the moment, feels lost in the shuffle of a hectic schedule. – Will Gray


On Jordan Spieth's putting ...

Jordan Spieth’s putting is plainly bad right now, but it isn’t going to stay this bad forever.

He is the second ranked player on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, just like he was last year. This putting slump has lingered, but it’s unfathomable to think this guy just forgot how to putt.

Sooner rather than later he’s going to remember he’s Jordan Spieth and the 40-footers are going to start pouring in. He’ll be telling Greller to go get the ball because he’s too far away and the tee is in the other direction.

Bottom line, the ball striking is for real and the putting slump will pass. He’ll win soon – maybe even as soon as this week. – Nick Menta


On golf and gambling ...

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court over tuned a federal ban on sports betting in most states, a move the PGA Tour and many professional sports leagues embraced as a tool to both build fan interest and grow revenue.

Experts estimate sports betting could become a $150-$200 billion annual industry, and even a small piece of that could be significant for golf, but there will be risks.

Unlike any other sport, golf is played on multiple fields simultaneously, which inherently creates risks when gambling is introduced to the equation. Although the Tour has gone to great pains to head off any potential problems, like all bets gambling comes with great rewards, and great risks. – Rex Hoggard