New PGA Tour stop restores shine to once-elite Greenbrier

By Rex HoggardAugust 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)AKRON, Ohio ' One void left by the financial exodus of General Motors from the PGA Tour schedule has been filled, another remains. But at least on Wednesday Tour officials had a measure of good news to counter a series of economic setbacks.
In a widely anticipated move, Tour officials announced the slot on the 2010 schedule that had been held for the last half decade by the Buick Open in Michigan will be filled by a new event at the Greenbrier, the posh West Virginia resort that hosted the 1979 Ryder Cup and 1994 Solheim Cup.
The $6 million Greenbrier Classic will be played July 26-Aug. 1 next year on the resorts famed Old White Course, the first year of a six-year deal.
We knew going into this downturn we were going to have some form of turnover in our schedule, Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. We were delighted to be able to move quickly and not have a vacuum in the schedule.
The Buick Open void, however, was only half of the one/two GM punch the Tour announced on Tuesday. The embattled auto manufacturer also withdrew its title sponsorship of Februarys Buick Invitational in Torrey Pines.
Finchem said Torrey Pines status as a top-tier event should make it easy to find a replacement sponsor, and he also said that negotiations with Buick, which was contracted to sponsor the San Diego and Michigan stops for one more year, are ongoing.
Its possible (Buick could sponsor the 2010 tournament at Torrey Pines), Finchem said. Its equally possible we will get a new sponsor. We just have to wait and see.
During the companys halcyon days on Tour, Buick sponsored four events and had a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with the games top draw ' Woods. The news that the company was ending more than a half century of business was still a topic of conversation on Wednesday among players.
You hate to lose a tournament but to lose someone that has been involved with the Tour for so long . . . its tough, said David Toms, one of four player directors on the Tours Policy Board. Im sure it will happen again. I dont think weve seen the worst of it.
Many observers say the Buick announcement was the latest in a series of paradigm shifts in tournament sponsorships away from traditional strongholds in the auto and financial institutions and into new business areas.
Times are changing, said one tournament director who asked not to be identified. Think back four years ago. How many car sponsors did we have? Ten? Its a sign of the times.
The Buick news has escalated talk about the invent of what observers are calling flex scheduling, which would rotate events around certain dates each year in order to improve the quality of fields.
Finchem said he has had early talks regarding flex scheduling with players and sponsors and said the feedback has been positive. Even Tiger Woods gave the idea early support.
It has worked in the past and theres no reason it wouldnt work in the future, he said.
The earliest flex scheduling could be implemented is 2013 and would likely split the schedule into pods depending on an events historical spot on the calendar. Finchem used the Canadian Open, which has struggled to draw top fields in recent years played the week after the British Open, as an example of how flex scheduling would work.
If youre playing the week after the British Open you are definitely a candidate for flex scheduling, Finchem said.
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Watch: Gary Player tires people out with sit-ups

By Grill Room TeamJune 24, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well all know Gary Player is a fitness nut, and at 82 years young he is still in phenomenal shape.

That's why it was incredible to see two mere mortals like us try to keep up with him in a sit-up competition at the BMW International Open.

Watch the video below.

The guy in blue makes the smart decision and bows out about halfway through. But give the other guy an "A" for effort, he stuck with Player for about 60 sit-ups, and then the nine-time major champion just starts taunting him.

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Japan teen Hataoka rolls to NW Ark. win

By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 11:07 pm

ROGERS, Ark. - Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka ran away with the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA title

The 19-year-old Hataoka won by six strokes, closing with an 8-under 63 at Pinnacle Country Club for a tournament-record 21-under 192 total. She broke the mark of 18 under set last year by So Yeon Ryu.

Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her last six U.S. LPGA starts, including a playof loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.

Hataoka began the round tied with Minjee Lee for the lead.

Austin Ernst shot a 65 to finish second.

Lee and third-ranked Lexi Thompson topped the group at 13 under.

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Tour investigating DeChambeau's use of compass

By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 10:09 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Bryson DeChambeau’s reliance on science to craft his play on the course is well known, but he took things to a new level this week at the Travelers Championship when television cameras caught him wielding a compass while looking at his yardage book during the third round.

According to DeChambeau, it’s old news. He’s been using a compass regularly to aid in his preparation for nearly two years, dating back to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October 2016.

“I’m figuring out the true pin locations,” DeChambeau said. “The pin locations are just a little bit off every once in a while, and so I’m making sure they’re in the exact right spot. And that’s it.”

Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

But social media took notice this weekend, as did PGA Tour officials. DeChambeau explained that he was approached on the range Saturday and informed that the Tour plans to launch an investigation into whether or not the device is allowable in competition, with a decision expected in the next week.

It’s not the first time the 24-year-old has gone head-to-head with Tour brass, having also had a brief run with side-saddled putting earlier in his career.

“They said, ‘Hey, we just want to let you know that we’re investigating the device and seeing if it’s allowable,’” DeChambeau said. “I understand. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”

DeChambeau won earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, and the Tour’s ruling would not have any retroactive impact on his results earlier this year. Playing alongside tournament winner Bubba Watson in the final round at TPC River Highlands, DeChambeau shot a final-round 68 to finish in a tie for ninth.

“It’s a compass. It’s been used for a long, long time. Sailors use it,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just funny that people take notice when I start putting and playing well.”

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Bubba fires 63 to win his third Travelers title

By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 9:52 pm

Bubba Watson fired a final-round 63 to storm from six back and steal the Travelers Championship. Here’s how Bubba came from behind once again at TPC River Highlands.

Leaderboard: Bubba Watson (-17), Stewart Cink (-14), Beau Hossler (-14), J.B. Holmes (-14), Paul Casey (-14)

What it means: This is Watson’s 12th PGA Tour win, his third of the season, and his third Travelers title. Watson picked up his first Tour victory at this event in 2010 – when he also came from six back – and won again in 2015 in a playoff victory over – guess who – Casey. Thinking he might need a round of 60 to scare the leader, Watson made eight birdies, the last of which came on the 72nd hole, giving him the outright lead by one. A short while later, Casey would bogey the 16th and 17th to end the drama and allow Bubba to breathe easy. With the win, Watson becomes the only Tour player to win three times this season. He moves to third in the FedExCup points race, behind two-time winners Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

Round of the day: Cink’s round was a stroke better, but Bubba earns this title for winning the title. The left-hander made the turn in 2-under 33 and then ripped off five birdies on his back nine to take the clubhouse lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish.

Best of the rest: Cink looked as though he was going to record the second sub-60 round at the Travelers in the last three years. The 2009 champion golfer of the year played his first 10 holes in 7 under par on the par-70 layout. Cink added three more birdies but also added two bogeys to settle for 8-under 62, tying the round of the week. The 45-year-old has finished T-4 and T-2 in his last two starts.

Biggest disappointment: Casey (2-over 72) began the day up four and couldn’t close. Even par on his round through 15 holes, he missed a 4-footer for par on 16 and found the water off the tee at 17, ending his chances. The Englishman, who ended a nine-year Tour winless drought earlier this season at the Valspar, is now 1 for 4 with a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Shot of the day: Watson’s wedge from 77 yards at the 72nd hole, setting up his eighth and final birdie of the day.

Quote of the day: “That’s the best shot you ever hit.” – caddie Ted Scott to Bubba Watson on his approach at 18