Tuesday, November 12

Mexican Club Caddie David Ortiz: '[Matt] Kuchar Is a Good Person. I'm Not Angry'

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THE MAYAKOBA GOLF CLASSIC TEES OFF on Thursday at the El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Matt Kuchar is the defending champion.

That 2018 victory turned sour for Kuchar when it was learned the veteran paid local caddie David Ortiz a pittance compared to the customary amount on the PGA Tour. The controversy played out on social and other media in the weeks that followed.

Eventually, Kuchar wrote a much larger check (an additional $45,000) to Ortiz and issued a public apology.

According to a New York Post story, the caddie doesn't hold a grudge.

"Kuchar is a good person. I'm not angry," Ortiz said. "Everything is good. Not paying was not good. But I have no anger."

Ortiz planned to use the money to build a laundromat but changed his mind after anticipating that local workers might overcharge because of his windfall. The caddie is more in demand at the resort since carrying Kuchar's bag to victory.

The hard-to-get money from Kuchar was life-changing.

"Fifty thousand dollars, for me, is big," Ortiz added. "It's everything to me and not much to [Kuchar]. The $50,000 I needed for my business and to fix my kitchen and bathroom at home and to buy a new cell phone."

(H/T GolfChannel.com)

ICYMI: Jeff Maggert Holes Out to Win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship (VIDEO)

THIS IS ABOUT AS EXCITED as you'll ever see mild-mannered Jeff Maggert.

The tour veteran holed out on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to outlast Retief Goosen and win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the season finale on the PGA Tour Champions.

The playoff loss had extra sting for Goosen. Had the South African prevailed he would also have won the season-long points race known as the Charles Schwab Cup.

Instead, Scott McCarron, sipping wine in the clubhouse and Maggert's new best friend, learned he won the Cup after hearing a roar in the distance.

"Jeff Maggert, my favorite player on PGA Tour Champions, holes out!" exclaimed McCarron. "I can't believe it!"

"I think he owes me some good red wine or something," Maggert said.

Yeah, or something.

Friday, November 8

DP World Tour Championship to Welcome Europe's Top 50 for Rolex Series 2019 Finale Beginning November 21

Tournament news from European Tour sponsor Rolex.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The 50 elite players atop the European Tour's Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex will compete in the last Rolex Series event of 2019, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 21–24 November.

An increase in the ranking points available at the final three Rolex Series events – including the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – gives the winner of that tournament an increased chance of claiming the title in the European Tour's season-long Race to Dubai.

Launched in 2017 on the 20th anniversary of Rolex's partnership with the European Tour, the Rolex Series showcases the highest quality golf and the international spirit of the game.

Jon Rahm

That same year, in his first full season as a professional, Rolex Testimonee Jon Rahm won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, prestigious events that were part of the inaugural Rolex Series.

After winning the Irish Open again earlier this year, the No. 2 in the Race to Dubai Rankings has an opportunity to repeat his twin successes from two years ago and capture a first Race to Dubai title.

The Spaniard said: "Rolex Series events are the most prestigious tournaments on  the European Tour, and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is one of the biggest of those, so I am especially proud to be a former champion here and I am excited to return in 2019 with a chance to repeat history."

With enhanced ranking points available from the two Rolex Series events immediately preceding the DP World Tour Championship, all players in the top 70 have a chance to qualify for the season finale.

U.S. Presidents Cup Captain Tiger Woods Talks About Himself in Third Person as the Final Captain's Pick

U.S. PRESIDENTS CUP CAPTAIN TIGER WOODS announced his four captain's picks late on Thursday. They are: Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods.

"It was a difficult process," Woods said in Golfweek. "I wanted to see some form from the guys in the U.S. and over in Asia, wanted to see guys play a little bit and play well. And that included me."

Here's the captain explaining that final pick:

"As captain," Woods said, "I'm going to choose Tiger Woods as the last player on the team. He's made, what, nine Cups and he's played in Australia twice in the Presidents Cup, so this will be his third appearance as a player."

It's a legit pick, especially after Tiger's recent historic win at the ZOZO Championship in Japan, which tied him with record-holder Sam Snead at 82 PGA Tour victories.

United States Team

Patrick Cantlay
Bryson DeChambeau
Tony Finau
Dustin Johnson
Brooks Koepka
Matt Kuchar
Patrick Reed
Xander Schauffele
Webb Simpson
Justin Thomas
Gary Woodland
Tiger Woods*

*Woods is the second playing captain. Hale Irwin was the first in 1994.

The U.S. assistant captains are Fred Couples, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson.

The 13th Presidents Cup will be played at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club on December 9 through 15.

Tuesday, November 5

USGA and The R&A to Launch World Handicap System in 2020

The following news release is edited for length. Read the entire release here.

By USGA Communications

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J., and ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – The World Handicap System (WHS) is ready to be launched in January 2020 and will provide golfers with a unified and more inclusive handicapping system for the first time.

Though many countries are planning to adopt the new system in January, the system will go live in other parts of the world throughout the year to accommodate different implementation plans and variations in the golf calendar.

Developed by the USGA and The R&A in close coordination with existing handicapping authorities, the WHS will provide all golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability, with handicaps calculated in the same way wherever they are in the world.

A key objective of the initiative was to develop a modern system, enabling as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index.

Golfers will be able to transport their Handicap Index globally and compete or play a casual round with players from other regions on a fair basis. It will also indicate the score a golfer is reasonably capable of achieving the next time they go out to play.

The WHS has two main components – the Rules of Handicapping and the Course Rating System. The Rules of Handicapping are encompassed within seven Rules to inform administrators and golfers on how an official Handicap Index is calculated and administered, with some flexibility given to national associations based on how the sport is played and enjoyed in their region. The Course Rating System, based on the USGA Course Rating System first adopted nearly 50 years ago and already adopted on nearly every continent, sets out a consistent method of determining a course's difficulty. Together, these components become the foundational elements in determining a golfer's Handicap Index.

In preparation for the launch of the WHS, more than 3,000 golf courses have been rated for the first time and an extensive education program has been delivered. By the end of 2019, more than 90 National Associations will have attended an educational seminar and a robust library of resources is hosted on WHS.com to support regional education.

Rules of Handicapping books are being produced and will be translated and delivered through national associations.

In addition, the USGA and The R&A have developed a series of golfer-focused materials, including videos, infographics and posters, which can be used by national associations and shared with golf clubs for the benefit of golfers. 

This includes a promotional video featuring Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and voices of recreational golfers from around the world to encourage as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a handicap.

To learn more about the World Handicap System, please visit usga.org/WHS. For WHS information specific to a country, use the Association Finder for further information.

Monday, November 4

Rory McIlroy: 'I Produced Two of the Best Shots of the Day When I Needed It'

THE PGA TOUR'S ASIA SWING CONCLUDED on Sunday with the 15th edition of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, where Rory McIlroy picked up his fourth title of the calendar year.

McIlroy finished 19 under after rounds of 67, 67, 67 and 68. But the Northern Irishman had to work overtime when 2018 champion Xander Schauffele tied with a birdie on the 72nd hole. Rory closed out the win with a birdie on the first playoff hole.

"Xander pushed me the whole way," McIlroy said, "or all 73 holes we played together this week. We played every round. He played great. He was battling a flu all week, wasn't feeling his best, and so the caliber of golf he played this week, it takes some doing. He birdied the last to get into the playoff, and then I produced two of the best shots of the day when I needed it, which was really cool."

South African Louis Oosthuizen finished third. Five of the last six winners at the WGC-HSBC Champions were in the field.

McIlroy will take two weeks off and then head to Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship.

Thursday, October 31

CBS Golf Shakeup: McCord, Kostis Are Gone; Love Is On the Air


The 33-year broadcast veteran was axed by CBS Sports last weekend. So was on-course reporter Peter Kostis, who spent 27 years with CBS.

A CBS spokesperson said: "Gary and Peter have been an important part of our golf coverage for three decades. They were both outstanding teammates and we thank them for their significant contributions throughout the years. We wish them both all the best."

Meanwhile, McCord was caught off guard and unhappy about how it went down, according to a Golfworld report by David Shedloski:

"He [Sean McManus] tells me, and he told Peter the same thing, that 'We think CBS golf is getting a little stale, and we need to go in another direction,'" McCord said. "I've been called a lot of things, but one thing I've never been called is stale."

McCord was also quoted as saying: "You just don't do something like this. You shouldn't do it this way. No chance to say thanks to the viewers, to all my CBS friends? That's what you get for 35 years?"

That new direction for the CBS golf team will include Davis Love III, who will climb into the booth as a full-time golf analyst for PGA Tour events and two majors, the Masters and PGA Championship. Love is a buddy of CBS golf producer Lance Barrow.

ICYMI: Korean Tour's Bio Kim Gets Suspension Reduced to One Year

BIO KIM CAN RESUME HIS LIVELIHOOD in 2021, according to a Korean news site:
Golfer Kim Bi-o was handed a one-year suspension for raising his middle finger to the gallery at a tournament in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province last month. 
Kim was initially given a three-year ban, but it was whittled down to one year by the disciplinary committee of the Korea Professional Golfers' Association on Wednesday.
Kim also has to perform 120 hours of community service and pay a fine. No change there.

PGA Tour veteran Kevin Na defended Kim, as did others, or they at least opposed a three-year suspension.

(H/T Brian Wacker, Golfworld)