Saturday, November 30

Davis Love III: 'I Think If [Tiger's] Healthy, He Goes to 100 Wins'

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Davis Love III, host of the RSM Classic and new CBS Golf guy, made a bold statement about Tiger Woods, as quoted at GolfDigest.com.

"I think if he's healthy, he goes to 100 wins," Love said.

And this:

"He hasn't really gotten going good. See, I think he's different than Jack [Nicklaus]. He won the Masters at, what, 46, right? But he wasnt' really playing full time. If he was playing good he could win any time. And Greg [Norman] was sort of the same way and he just kind of stopped playing.

"Tiger Woods isn't going to sit around. I think he's going to go for 100. But if he gets hurt again … every time he gets hurt it"s just going to get harder and harder. But if he stays healthy. ..."

And also this:

"My same old argument, and I've told him this, is if he just played a couple more tournaments and got in a rhythm when he's healthy, he could win [more]. I've watched him more from the inside the last few years, and he doesn't let up on anything."

Wow. That's a big number, even for Tiger.

I'm not seeing it. I'm not sure Tiger can physically compete enough to have the number of opportunities he'd need to win another 18 PGA Tour events. And, unless he plays the PGA Tour well into his fifties, time is running out.

But I've doubted Tiger before and he has done the unimaginable. Namely, win the 2019 Masters to end an 11-year drought in the majors and recently draw even with Sam Snead at 82 tour victories.

Back to the leftovers.

Wednesday, November 27

Golf Is Hard Example #13,479: The Golf Retail Store Clerk (VIDEO)


I HAVE NOTHING TO ADD.

Well, except for Happy Thanksgiving!

MORNING READ: The PGA Tour Money List Is Dead

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FOR MORNING READ, JOHN HAWKINS writes about the demise of the PGA Tour money list:
The money list is dead. 
Actually, it died more than 10 years ago, but it can take a while to notice such things, and most people have more important things to lie awake about, anyway. 
Although there was no funeral, the money list definitely was buried. You can find it in a faraway corner of the PGA Tour website, where it rests in peace with a bunch of picayune statistical data.
There was a time when the dollar tally basically governed the pro game, not only determining exempt status but who got to play where. 
A victory still earns a man 18 percent of the total purse on any given week, but since the advent of the FedEx Cup in 2007, players officially are ranked by points accumulated, not nickels collected. 
In fact, the Tour doesn't even publish individual earnings on its final leaderboards, which is a bit like buying a Rolls-Royce, then hiding it in your attic. Read more
(Psst. If you want to see the PGA Tour money list, go here.)

Friday, November 22

Caddie Movie Is Story of All Loopers, for All Times

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By John Coyne

Bestselling author John Coyne became a caddie at Midlothian Country Club near Chicago when he was 10 and oversaw the caddie yard as a teenager. Learn about his golf novels at JohnCoyneBooks.com.

I WATCHED (AGAIN) LOOPERS: THE CADDIE'S LONG WALK on a flight returning to New York from London. It was on this Delta flight that I got to view the film "up close and personal."

I must say it had a real affect, bringing me to misty tears as I remembered my own caddie days at Midlothian Country Club, south of Chicago. starting at the age of ten to when I was made caddie master at 16. I had my last "loop" at 21, the summer after graduating from St. Louis University and just before I headed off to Texas and basic training with the Air Force.

Having written three novels all entitled "The Caddie…" I am, of course, attached to the role of the caddie in golf. I have seen what an enriching experience it is for anyone who has looped at one time or another. It changed our lives, whether we realize it now or not. Growing up as a caddie is an education about life and this film touches on that role. 

The film includes all types of caddies, from girls and boys' first jobs, to the ageless professional caddies. In doing so, it also tells how the caddie role has changed over time.

My first experience with professional caddies was in 1949 when I was too young to caddie in the last Victory Open held at Midlothian won by Bobby Locke. Locke's caddie, Kenny Burke, was a year older than me, and he earned $75 from Locke.

It was at this tournament that I met a few pro caddies working the tour, such as it was in those days. 

These men wandered into the caddie yard from wherever they had last been in the world. Old guys, grown men, who lived on the edge of society, earning what they could to make it through the day. They kept us kids enthralled with stories about legendary players like Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Jimmy Demaret.

Years later, writing an occasional article for a golf magazine, I got to interview the new professional caddies, guys like Angelo Argea who looped for Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player's Rabbit Dyer, and Tom Watson's caddie, Bruce Edwards. From Edwards I learned he was from an upper class family in Connecticut who decided he wanted to caddie for a living. Bruce met Tom, the year he turned pro, at a St. Louis PGA event. Edwards was told by another part-time caddie, a lawyer from Philly, to try and grab the bag of this new player on tour, Tom Watson.

The movie goes into that chance meeting and the beginning of their long career together, their friendship, and how Watson helped Bruce, financially and in other ways, during the last years of Edwards' life. 

The film does much more than just tell one story. It is the story of all loopers, for all times, and how professional (and amateur) caddies' lives have changed, as have the lives of their pros. Television and players like Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods brought real money into professional golf. 

We tend to forget that until the late 1950s there were only a few pros who could make a living playing full-time on the tour (and no caddie could). The majority of pros were "home pros" who "followed the sun" only by working at one private country club up north over the summer, then having a second job down south in the winter. Some pros got help from their club members who financed them money (for a percentage of their wins) to play events on the winter tour.

Golf money winnings, as we know, are still a long way from what baseball and basketball and other sports pros earn in a season. But the game has enough money in it today for players and their loopers in that televised roadshow that is the pro tour. It's a career. It's a way of life. 

And for caddies, regardless of their ages or place of employment, on the tour or at the club, it still means: Show up. Keep up. Shut up.

Yet, as we know from hanging around any caddie shack, and for having seen this film, loopers still have a lot to say.  

Wednesday, November 20

The Hong Kong Open Is Postponed Due to Ongoing Unrest

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AS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTED, The Hong Kong Open scheduled to begin November 28 at Hong Kong Golf Club is postponed.

Organizers hope to reschedule the tournament early next year.

Here's the statement from TheHongKongOpen.com:
Hong Kong Open Postponed 
Regrettably, the European Tour, in conjunction with tournament co-sanctioning partner the Asian Tour, has taken the decision to postpone next week’s Hong Kong Open, scheduled to take place at Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling from November 28 to December 1. 
Organisers are hoping to reschedule the tournament to early 2020. 
Thank you for your support and understanding.
European Tour CEO Kevin Pelley said: ''We feel this is the correct but unfortunate course of action.''

2019 LPGA Tour Season Concludes With The CME Group Tour Championship on NBC Sports

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By GOLF Channel Communications

ORLANDO, Fla.  – Tiburon Golf Club in Naples sets the stage this week for the season-ending event on the LPGA Tour, the CME Group Tour Championship, taking place Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 21-24. GOLF Channel will air the first three days of coverage, with the final round airing on NBC Sports for the first time in tournament history.

The international field will feature the top-60 players in the Race to the CME Globe, all competing for the largest first-place prize in the history of women’s golf: $1.5 million.

BROADCAST TEAM: Terry Gannon and Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin will serve as play-by-play host and analyst, respectively for GOLF Channel and NBC's tournament coverage. Tom Abbott will report from a tower position, with Jerry Foltz and Karen Stupples reporting from the course. Lisa Cornwell will conduct pre- and post-round interviews for GOLF Channel, with Steve Sands conducting interviews for NBC's final round coverage.

COMPREHENSIVE WRAPAROUND NEWS COVERAGE: Thursday-Sunday, GOLF Channel's franchise news programs – Morning Drive and Golf Central – will provide wraparound news coverage with highlights and analysis. Cornwell will report on-site throughout the week. On Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. ET, GOLF Channel will air pre-tournament news conferences from Tiburon Golf Club.

CME Group Tour Championship Airtimes (all times Eastern)

Thursday, Nov. 21 First Round 4-7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 22 Second Round 4-7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23 Third Round 4-7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 24 Final Round (NBC) 1-4 p.m.

Thursday, November 14

Two Long Island Guys Win 2019 'Golf Is Great' Video Contest Sponsored By PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com



GREG PADDEN OF FARMINGDALE, N.Y. and Zain Nadeem of Hicksville, N.Y. have been named the winners of the 2019 "Golf is Great" Video Contest sponsored by PlayGolfMyrtleBeach.com.

The grand prize was $10,000 and a golf trip to Myrtle Beach.

Padden and Nadeem's video was one of 10 finalists that received the highest totals of more than 143,000 total votes cast, and was selected as the winner by a panel of judges.

The winning submission chronicles the plight of one (Padden) fighting the workday doldrums while the other (Nadeem) tries to get through a day of household tasks.

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.