Wednesday, November 22

Golf on TV: Australian Open and UBS Hong Kong Open


From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – World No. 2 Jordan Spieth will defend his 2016 title this week at the Australian Open. He’ll be joined in the field by the top-ranked Australian in the world, Jason Day. The Australian Open also is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series, where three players will earn invitations to the 147th Open at Carnoustie. The European Tour will kick off its 2017-18 season at the UBS Hong Kong Open, as Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia headline the field.

PGA TOUR AUSTRALASIA

Australian Open
Dates: Nov. 22-25
Venue: The Australian Golf Club, Sydney, Australia

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Wednesday     8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 3:30-8 a.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday         8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 3:30-8 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 4-8 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 3:30-8 a.m. (Sunday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Spieth defends: Jordan Spieth won on the first playoff hole over Ashley Hall and Cameron Smith to win for the second time in three years.
Headlining the field: Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Cameron Smith, Matt Jones, Geoff Ogilvy, Jonas Blixt, Mike Weir and Curtis Luck.

EUROPEAN TOUR

UBS Hong Kong Open
Dates: Nov. 23-26
Venue: Hong Kong Golf Club, Sheung Shui, Hong Kong

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         1-3:30 a.m. (Live) / 8-11 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              1-3:30 a.m. (Live) / 8-11 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-4 a.m. (Live) / 8-11 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-3:30 a.m. (Live) / 8-11 a.m. (Replay)

Live Streaming Airtimes on Golf Channel Digital (Eastern)
Wednesday     9:30-11:30 p.m. (Live, Golf Channel Digital, continuing at 1 am ET)
Thursday         9:30-11:30 p.m. (Live, Golf Channel Digital, continuing at 1 am ET)
Friday              11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live, Golf Channel Digital, continuing at 1 am ET)
Saturday          11 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live, Golf Channel Digital, continuing at 1 am ET)

Broadcast notes:
Brazel defends: Sam Brazel finished one shot ahead of Rafa Cabrera Bello to claim his first European Tour victory.
Headlining the field: Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Harold Varner III, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Sam Brazel, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood.

Tuesday, November 21

Spaniard Jon Rahm: European Tour Rookie of the Year and World No. 4



JON RAHM IS ECSTATIC.

And why not? The Spaniard had a pinch-me kind of week.

The former Arizona State golfer and world No. 1 amateur won the 2017 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award before the start of the European Tour's season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

And then Rahm won that, too, shooting a final-round 67 for a 19-under total and 1-stroke victory.

"It's hard to sum it up," Rahm said. "An incredible week, I could not be more proud of what I've done this week. It could be very easy to just be content with getting the award and just being here and trying to play the best.

"I didn't plan on being here at the beginning of the year and I sure didn't plan on winning it so it's an incredible feeling."

Rahm, 23, won three titles in 2017: two on the European Tour and one on the PGA Tour (Farmers Insurance Open). He also finished third in the Race to Dubai. (Englishman Tommy Fleetwood finished 21st in Dubai and hung on to win the points race.)

Now Rahm is ranked fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing three Americans by the names of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

The young lions are roaring louder and louder.

Thursday, November 16

Bestselling Author John Coyne Talks Caddies on The Golf Shop Show ESPN Charlotte


IF YOU ENJOYED JOHN COYNE'S seven-part caddie series at this blog, you will certainly enjoy the interview it spawned with Mark Greenhalgh and Mike Fresina on their golf radio show.

John is a bestselling author who has followed the game of golf since becoming a caddie at Midlothian Country Club in the 1940s. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Golf on TV: DP World Tour Championship, CME Group Tour Championship, RSM Classic


ABOVE: Caddie Adam Marrow with a day in the life at the DP World Tour Championship.

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The European Tour season will culminate this week at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Only three players in the field have a mathematical chance of winning the season-long Race to Dubai: Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. Fleetwood has the best chances of the three, needing Rose to finish outside of the top-5 and for Garcia not to win for the Englishman to claim the title. The LPGA season also comes to a crescendo this week, as the Tour returns to the United States for the CME Group Tour Championship. The top-5 in the season-long standings will win the CME Globe with a victory this week: Lexi Thompson, Sung Hyun Park, Shanshan Feng, So Yeon Ryu and Brooke Henderson, while Nos. 6-12 in the standings also have a mathematical chance of winning the title. The PGA TOUR is on St. Simons Island in Georgia for the RSM Classic, where Mackenzie Hughes defends after winning on the third hole of a five-man playoff that carried over to Monday at last year’s event.

EUROPEAN TOUR

DP World Tour Championship
Dates: Nov. 16-19
Venue: Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course), Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         3-8 a.m. (Live)
Friday              3-8 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          2:30-8 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            2-7:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast notes:
Fitzpatrick defends: Matthew Fitzpatrick finished one shot ahead of Tyrrell Hatton to claim his third European Tour win.
Headlining the field: Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton, Ross Fisher, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Alex Noren, Branden Grace, Francesco Molinari and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

LPGA TOUR

CME Group Tour Championship                          
Dates: Nov. 16-19
Venue: Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         4:30-6:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 2-4 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Friday              4:30-6:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 2-4 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Saturday          4:30-6:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 2-4 p.m. (Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Sunday            1-4 p.m. (**Live, Airing on ABC**)

Broadcast notes:
Hull defends: Charley Hull finished two strokes ahead of So Yeon Ryu for her maiden LPGA Tour win.
Headlining the field: Lexi Thompson, Sung Hyun Park, Shanshan Feng, So Yeon Ryu, Brooke Henderson, In Gee Chun, Cristie Kerr, Moriya Jutanugarn, Ariya Jutanugarn, Anna Nordqvist, Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko.

PGA TOUR

RSM Classic
Dates: Nov. 16-19
Venue: Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside & Plantation Courses), St. Simons Island, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 7-10 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Hughes defends: Mackenzie Hughes won on the third hole of a five-man playoff (that carried over to Monday) for his first PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the field: Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Davis Love III, Patton Kizzire, Ernie Els, Chesson Hadley, Bubba Watson and Mackenzie Hughes.

Monday, November 13

VIDEO: Mike Weir vs. Tony Finau in Opposite-Handed Competition



MIKE WEIR IS A LEFTY. Tony Finau is a righty.

What happens when these tour pros play a one-hole challenge from their opposite sides?

Weir and Finau went head-to-head on the par-4 18th hole at Glenarbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York. Watch.

Friday, November 10

Golf on TV: Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Blue Bay LPGA, Nedbank Golf Challenge, OHL Classic at Mayakoba



From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The PGA TOUR Champions will crown a season-long victor this week at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Arizona. Bernhard Langer – winner of the first two playoff events and leader in the standings – will look to sweep the playoffs with a third consecutive victory. The LPGA Tour is in China this week for the penultimate event of its season, and it marks the final opportunity for players to improve their position ahead of next week’s CME Group Tour Championship in Naples. The European Tour also stages its penultimate event of the season with the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, where leader in the Race to Dubai – Tommy Fleetwood – is in the field. The PGA TOUR is in Mexico for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, where Rickie Fowler leads the field, while 22-year-old Cameron Champ makes his professional debut and 2016 champion Pat Perez defends.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Charles Schwab Cup Championship
Dates: Nov. 10-12
Venue: Phoenix Country Club, Phoenix, Ariz.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Friday              4-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          4-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            4-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Langer leads group of five players controlling own outcome with a win: Bernhard Langer is atop the Charles Schwab Cup points list following his victories in the first two playoff events. He is among the five players in the field this week who will automatically win the Charles Schwab Cup with a victory at Phoenix Country Club: 1) Bernhard Langer; 2) Scott McCarron; 3) Kenny Perry; 4) Miguel Angel Jimenez; 5) Kevin Sutherland.
Goydos defends: Paul Goydos finished two shots ahead of Bernhard Langer to earn his fourth PGA TOUR Champions victory.
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Scott McCarron, Kenny Perry, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Kevin Sutherland, Jerry Kelly, Colin Montgomerie, Brandt Jobe, Vijay Singh and Fred Couples.

LPGA TOUR

Blue Bay LPGA                                                       
Dates: Nov. 8-11
Venue: Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club, Hainan Island, China

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live) / 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast notes:
New world No. 1 Park headlines the field: Sung Hyun Park leads the field at Blue Bay after becoming the new No. 1 player in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings yesterday.
Lee defends: Minjee Lee finished one shot ahead of Jessica Korda to claim her third LPGA Tour win.
Headlining the field: Sung Hyun Park, Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist, I.K Kim, Ariya Jutanugarn, Minjee Lee, Michelle Wie, Lizette Salas and Jessica Korda.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Nedbank Golf Challenge
Dates: Nov. 9-12
Venue: Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              3-9 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          3-9 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            3-9 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast notes:
Noren defends: Alex Noren finished six strokes clear of the field to earn his fourth European Tour victory of the 2016 season.
Headlining the field: Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Ross Fisher, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Alex Noren, Francesco Molinari, Bernd Wiesberger, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Paul Dunne.

PGA TOUR

OHL Classic at Mayakoba
Dates: Nov. 9-12
Venue: Maykoba Resort (El Camaleon Golf Club), Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Friday              1-4 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-4 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-4 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Perez defends: Pat Perez finished two shots ahead of Gary Woodland to win for the second time on the PGA TOUR.
Headlining the field: Rickie Fowler, Pat Perez, Zach Johnson, Chesson Hadley, Si Woo Kim, Patrick Reed, Jhonattan Vegas, Gary Woodland, Cameron Champ and Sam Saunders.

Wednesday, November 8

Looping (Conclusion): Pro Caddie Pay and Caddie's Role as a 'Safe Harbor'

Embed from Getty Images
Caddie Mark Fulcher with Justin Rose, back-to-back winner of the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open.

Following is the final installment in John Coyne's caddie series. Read Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 and Part 6.

By John Coyne


Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.


THE ECONOMICS OF CADDIE PAY, as well as their lives on the PGA Tour, began to change in the mid 1990s with the arrival of Tiger Woods.

Tiger brought to the game, as least on television, a viewing audience that didn't play, didn't even like golf in some cases, but wanted to see Tiger play. Golf viewership grew, as did television ads and revenues. And likewise: purses for the pros.

All of this had a direct benefit for tour caddies. 

Today the majority of professional caddies earn a base weekly salary of between $1,500 and $2,500 and 7 to 10 percent of their player's winnings. If a caddie's player finishes in the top 10, that number could jump to 10 percent. These caddie contracts are all different and usually closed with a handshake.

Caddies also earn additional money from their own endorsement and appearance deals. They must wear bibs with names and logos of the tournament sponsors, but they can display their own logos on their hats or shirtsleeves. Caddies for players outside the top 30 only earn between $5,000 to $10,000 for this, but the caddies for the top players, who get most TV time, they can command between $30,000 to $50,000 a year from sponsors.

Then there is the FedEx Cup with its $35 million bonus structure, which means additional earnings for caddies. When the Cup was introduced in 2007, caddies did not have agreements for any sort of bonus. But an agreement was worked out by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies (APTC), and today the winner shares 10 percent with his caddie.

In 2013 when Henrik Stenson won the FedEx Cup, his caddie, Gareth Lord, bought himself a Ferrari after cashing his $1 million dollar share.

While all of this appears to be a lot of money, and it is, there are other realities of life that factor into the careers of caddies. Very few caddies have a player who is continually among the top 10 place finishers week after week on tour and their pros are only on tour an average of 20 to 35 weeks a year. It's a short earning season.

Caddies also are covering their own travel expenses, and increasingly with a majority of them having families back home, it is not an easy life. Bubba Watson, for one, is extolled in the caddie ranks as a tour pro who covers the travel expenses of his caddie, Ted Scott.

Earning Their Keep

That all said, are professional caddies worth the bother and effort? What do they bring to a player's game that a teenager—girl or boy—at the host club couldn't handle?

Well, what the PGA Tour pro gets from a professional caddie is more than just someone to lug his bag. The professional caddie arrives on Monday and walks the course before the event, aided by an up-to-date yardage book such as former pro caddie George Lucas started creating in the 1950s.

Today a dozen tour caddies produce books for every event as well as another book that maps the greens.

But what the professional caddie brings to the tour player is much more important than yardage knowledge. In conversations with those on tourcaddies, pros and administratorsthe key is the caddie's personality. While a tour player has a "team" behind him, a half dozen people from a swing coach to sports psychologist, the caddie is the only one out on the fairways with him, measuring his mood, easing his temper, giving advice in a calming voice and all the while responding to his needs, from cleaning his ball to assessing putts.

A caddie is the golfer's safe harbor. Tour pros know that. Their caddie is with him for just one reason, to bring him home a winner. 

John Coyne is a bestselling author who has written several books about golf. Learn more at John Coyne Books.

Friday, November 3

Golf on TV: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Turkish Airlines Open, Toto Japan Classic



From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The PGA TOUR is in Las Vegas this week for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, where Charley Hoffman and Tony Finau headline the field. On the European Tour, Thorbjorn Olesen is set to defend at the Turkish Airlines Open, and will be joined in the field by Justin Rose – coming off a victory last week – along with Henrik Stenson. The LPGA Tour continues its Asia stretch as Shanshan Feng defends at the Toto Japan Classic.

PGA TOUR

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Dates: Nov. 2-5
Venue: TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nev.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Friday              4:30-7:30 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          4:30-7:30 p.m. (Live) / 8-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            3:30-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30-10:30 p.m. (Replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Pampling defends: Rod Pampling finished two shots ahead of Brooks Koepka to claim his third PGA TOUR win, and first since 2006.
Headlining the field: Charley Hoffman, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson, Kevin Chappell, Ernie Els, Jimmy Walker, Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Maverick McNealy and Patrick Cantlay.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Turkish Airlines Open
Dates: Nov. 2-5
Venue: Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Antalya, Turkey

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              5-10 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          5-10 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            3:30-8:30 a.m. (Live) / 1:30-6 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Olesen defends: Thorbjorn Olesen finished three strokes clear of the field to earn his fourth European Tour victory.
Headlining the field: Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Tyrrell Hatton, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Pieters, Lee Westwood, Paul Dunne, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood.

LPGA TOUR

Toto Japan Classic                                                  
Dates: Nov. 3-5
Venue: Taiheiyo Club (Minori Course), Ibaraki, Japan

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Friday              11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Live) / 12:30-3:30 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live) / 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Sunday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Feng defends: Shanshan Feng finished a shot ahead of Ha Na Jang to win her sixth LPGA Tour title.
Headlining the field: In Gee Chun, Shanshan Feng, Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, Ariya Jutanugarn, Danielle Kang, Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, Anna Nordqvist and So Yeon Ryu.