Friday, November 29

Scott Leads McIlroy by 2 at Australian Open

AFTER AN OPENING 62, ADAM SCOTT held onto the lead at the halfway mark of the Emirates Australian Open. But Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy sprang into contention with a solid round on Friday.

BBC Sport reported:
Rory McIlroy makes move.
Rory McIlroy carded nine birdies in a round of 65 to move two shots behind leader Adam Scott after two rounds of the Australian Open at Royal Sydney.

Seven back after day one, McIlroy, yet to win this year, benefitted from more favourable early conditions and reached 10 under, taking only 25 putts.

Scott endured blustery, wet afternoon weather and mixed seven birdies with a double bogey and three bogeys in a 70.
"It was a tough afternoon with plenty of good stuff in there but then I made a few mistakes in the tricky conditions," Scott said.

"Overall it was pretty good and given how difficult it was, I was pleased I held it together pretty well. It was a day where all you could do was just hang on and try and hit as many good shots as possible."

Thursday, November 28

Golf on TV: Emirates Australian Open, Alfred Dunhill Championship

By Golf Channel News

The following tournament lineup, TV schedule and other information were supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

Dates: Nov. 27-30
Venue: Royal Sydney Golf Club (Championship Course), Sydney, Australia

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Wednesday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-6 p.m. (Replay, Thursday) Thursday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-6 p.m. (Replay, Friday)
Friday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-6 p.m. (Replay, Saturday)
Saturday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-6 p.m. (Replay, Sunday)

Event Notes

Scott Seeking A Clean Sweep: Adam Scott tees it up this week in hopes of joining Robert Allenby (2005) as the only other player to claim the Australia Triple Crown: the Australian PGA Championship, Australian Masters and Australian Open, all in the same season. Scott's recent good fortune continued last week when he and Jason Day captured the team portion of the World Cup, the first Aussie duo to take the title since 1989.

Senior Looks to Defend: Last year Peter Senior became the oldest champion in the history of the Australian Open (age 53), and the Champions Tour regular will hope to defend his title this week. With last year's victory, Senior became the fourth man (Greg Norman, Robert Allenby and Peter Lonard) to win the career Australian Triple Crown twice.

Open Championship Exemptions On The Line: As a part of the new Open Qualifying Series, the top three finishers this week who are not already exempt will receive a spot in the field at the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

Headlining the Field: Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Geoff Ogilvy, Nick O’Hern, Peter Senior and Kevin Streelman.

* * *

Dates: November 28 - December 1
Venue: Leopard Creek Country Club, Malelane, South Africa

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 6:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday 6:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live) / 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Schwartzel Defends: Charl Schwartzel looks to defend his 2012 Alfred Dunhill Championship title this week, coming off a T-4 at last week's South African Open Championship where he held the 54-hole lead. His 12-stroke victory at last year's event marked the third-largest margin of victory in European Tour history where he made 25 birdies, one eagle and only three bogeys for the week.

Headlining the Field: Charl Schwartzel, George Coetzee, John Daly, Brendon de Jonge, Simon Dyson, Ross Fisher, Soren Hansen, Thomas Levet and Richard Sterne.

Tuesday, November 26

Saying Goodbye to the Sunshine Boy

(From the ARMCHAIR GOLF archives.)

By Charles Prokop

Copyright © Charles Prokop. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

The Sunshine Boy headed south when temps dipped.
THE SUNSHINE BOY HAS PASSED away. He died several hours after suffering a heart attack on a Florida golf course, so he spent his last hours doing something he loved.

Sunshine was a regular member of our golf group when he was in town. He moved unpredictably between Texas and Florida, dodging hurricanes in Florida and cold (to him) Texas winters. If it was below 60 degrees in the mornings here, he was on his way to Florida.

He’d been having some health problems and was slowing down, but he always played golf. His drives and his steps got shorter, but his pace of play never slowed and he never slowed down his group. He could get out of his cart, hit the ball, and be going down the fairway again before you’d selected your club for your own shot. He’d hit it short but straight, keep doing that until he hit the green, and then putt well. Try playing a round with your 150-yard club, a wedge, and a putter and see how you do. That’s Sunshine golf.

I’ll remember him most for his attitude. Despite his health problems, he never complained. He might mutter about the medical system and trying to get information out of a doctor, but the only way he mentioned his health was in a joke. He never asked for sympathy, but appreciated help if it was offered casually.

There’s a par 3 at our course that requires a carry over a pond. Sunshine got to where he rarely carried the water, but he didn’t think it was fair to move up to where he could carry it. So he’d bang away and get wet nearly every time. Once his ball seemed to bounce off the water and onto the green, leading to a running joke about needing to let his trained turtles know when he was back in town so they’d get under his ball when it hit the water. I’ll always think of him on that tee.

If you’re looking for a way to handle aging, illness, and golf, you need to look no further than the Sunshine Boy. He’ll be missed.

Charles Prokop is a clinical psychologist who writes about golf at fairwaywords.

Monday, November 25

An Emotional Win for Jason Day

Jason Day (Allison)
INSTEAD OF WITHDRAWING FROM THE ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf, Jason Day decided to play for his country and with his mate, Adam Scott. Eight members of Day's family, including his grandmother, perished in Typhoon Haiyan the week before. Not playing would have made perfect sense. Golf and just about everything else probably seemed trivial by comparison.

But Day turned up and teamed up with Scott at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. And he played inspired golf.

Day won the individual title by two strokes over Thomas Bjorn. It was Day's first professional victory in his homeland. Plus he was the first Aussie since Brett Ogle in 1992 to be the leading individual in the event.

There's more. Day and Scott also brought home the team title for Australia, amassing a 10-stroke winning margin over the runner-up American pair of Matt Kuchar and Kevin Streelman.

"I found out last week that we lost some family members over in the Philippines," Day said, "and to have my mum here over the weekend, even to have my sisters and my nephew, to be here to be as a family knowing that I can hold them is very special to me.

"It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what has been going on over the last week. But I really wanted to come down here and play with Adam and really try and win the World Cup."

It was the first win since 2010 for a player who has contended often at the majors but come up short. Day's last victory was at the Byron Nelson Championship.

Friday, November 22

INFOGRAPHIC: The World's Best Golf Courses

READER PARTICIPATION. MAYBE BETWEEN ALL OF US we've played these 18 "world's best golf courses." I've played Pebble Beach. Which ones have you played? Comments are open.

The Worlds Best Golf Courses
The World's Best Golf Courses - Infographic | Club Med

Thursday, November 21

Golf on TV: World Cup of Golf and CME Group Titleholders

By Golf Channel News

The following tournament lineup, TV schedule and other information were supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

Dates: November 21-24
Venue: Royal Melbourne GC, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Wednesday 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 4:30-8:30 p.m. (Replay, Thursday)
Thursday 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Replay, Friday)
Friday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Replay, Saturday)
Saturday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 4:30-8:30 p.m. (Replay, Sunday)

Event Notes

Revamped Format: The tournament will revert to a 72-hole stroke-play format for the first time since 1999, contested as both a team and individual competition. In total, 34 countries will be represented, 26 of which that will feature two players, and eight countries with just one player. While not an official Tour-sanctioned event, the tournament will offer Official World Golf Ranking points for the first time ever.

Sizzling Scott: Adam Scott will tee it up again this week in his native country looking for his third victory in as many weeks after recently capturing the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Masters, respectively. Following play this week, he will go for the "Australian Triple Crown" at next week's Australian Open in Sydney.

Headlining the Field: Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Jason Day, Brendon de Jonge, Matteo Manassero, Vijay Singh, Jonas Blixt, Branden Grace and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

* * *

(LPGA Tour)
Dates: November 21-24
Venue: Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Fla.

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 1:30-4 p.m. (Live) / 2-4 a.m. (Repay, Friday)
Friday 1:30-4 p.m. (Live) / 1-3 a.m. (Replay, Saturday)
Saturday 1:30-4 p.m. (Live) / 1-3 a.m. (Replay, Sunday)
Sunday 1:30-4 p.m. (Live) / 9-11:30 p.m. (Replay) / Midnight-2:30 a.m. (Replay, Monday)

Event Notes

Season Finale: The 2013 LPGA Tour season concludes this week in Naples at Tiburon Golf Club, which additionally will host the Franklin Templeton Shootout later this year. The 69-person field is comprised of players who finished in the top 3 in at least one tournament on the 2013 schedule.

Professional Debut: 16-year-old Lydia Ko will make her professional debut this week after successfully petitioning for LPGA membership.

Upping The Ante: The tournament purse increases to $2 million versus $1.5 million in 2012, and the event will also feature the largest first-place check of the season with $700,000 presented to the winner. The season-long money race also remains in doubt, as Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis have a shot at claiming the title by week's end.

Headlining the Field: Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Karrie Webb and Juli Inkster.

* * *

(European Tour)
Dates: November 21-24
Venue: Glendower Golf Club, Sandton, South Africa

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Saturday 5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 5:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Event Notes

Season Kickoff: Just days after the conclusion of the inaugural European Tour Race to Dubai, the Tour will begin its new season this week in the first of five events contested in the 2013 calendar year.

Headlining the Field: Charl Schwartzel, David Duval, Robert Rock, Retief Goosen, Simon Dyson, Paul McGinley, Thomas Levet and David Frost.

Wednesday, November 20

New USGA-R&A Decision Will Negate Video Evidence

THE USGA AND THE R&A ANNOUNCED on Tuesday that 87 changes have been made to the Decisions on the Rules of Golf. The breakdown: three Decisions changes are new, 59 are revised, 24 are withdrawn and one is re-numbered. They go into effect next year.

In a joint statement, the two governing bodies highlighted the following changes as "particularly noteworthy":

  • New Decision 14-3/18 confirms that players can access reports on weather conditions on a smartphone during a round without breaching the Rules. Importantly, this new Decision also clarifies that players are permitted to access information on the threat of an impending storm in order to protect their own safety.
  • New Decision 18/4 provides that, where enhanced technological evidence (e.g. HDTV, digital recording or online visual media, etc.) shows that a ball has left its position and come to rest in another location, the ball will not be deemed to have moved if that movement was not reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time.
  • Revised Decision 25-2/0.5 helps to clarify when a golf ball is considered to be embedded in the ground through the use of illustrations.
  • Revised Decision 27-2a/1.5 allows a player to go forward up to approximately 50 yards without forfeiting his or her right to go back and play a provisional ball.

New Decision 18/4 is receiving a lot of attention because it addresses situations like the one Tiger Woods faced at the 2013 BMW Championship. Woods was penalized because his ball appeared to move (change position) based on video evidence. Tiger disagreed with the ruling.

The Guardian's Ewan Murray reported that "this change [concerning enhanced technological evidence] has been in the offing for 18 months and was set in stone before the Woods controversy."

[Joint statement on use of video and other visual evidence in administering rules of golf]

"The Rules of Golf are constantly evolving," the USGA's Thomas Pagel said in the statement.

"The Decisions review process is an opportunity for The R&A and the USGA to continue to help make the game more understandable and accessible for players, officials and others who participate in the game."

The R&A's David Rickman said: "It is important to consider carefully new developments in the game and that is reflected in the new Decisions on the Rules which give greater clarity on the use of smart phones and advanced video technology."

(H/T: Geoff Shackelford)

Tuesday, November 19

Inbee Park Is Rolex Player of the Year

Inbee Park (Allison)
BY FINISHING FOURTH IN THE LORENA OCHOA Invitational, world No. 1 Inbee Park mathematically secured Rolex Player of the Year honors. Park holds an insurmountable 39-point lead on Suzann Pettersen with one event remaining on the 2013 LPGA Tour schedule, this week's CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Florida.

Park is the first South Korean to win the award.

"I said all year there should have been at least two or three girls [from South Korea] that already won the award, but nobody really did it," Park said in an AFP story. "It's just really hard to believe and I'm just very lucky I won."

The world's top-ranked female golfer for 32 weeks, Park shot a closing 69 at Guadalajara Country Club. Meanwhile, Lexi Thompson picked up her second win in a matter of weeks and her third career LPGA title. Edging runner-up Stacy Lewis by a stroke, Thompson, 18, shot a final-round 69 to finish at 16-under par.

Park has six victories in 2013, including the year's first three majors: the Kraft Nabisco Championship, LPGA Championship and U.S. Womesn' Open. Pettersen and Lewis will finish second and third, respectively, in the player of the year points race.

The order is reversed in the competition for the Vare Trophy, which goes to the player with the lowest stroke average. Lewis leads at 69.483, followed by Pettersen at 69.587 and Park at 69.900. The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award is also up for grabs heading into the final tournament.

Monday, November 18

Henrik Stenson: 'It Has Been a Dream Season'

I ONLY CAUGHT THE ENDING. For Henrik Stenson, it was a perfect ending that capped off an incredible stretch of golf that began around the time of the U.S. Open.

On Sunday Stenson won the DP World Tour Championship by six shots and thereby also clinched a victory in the Race to Dubai. The 37-year-old Swede is the first man to win both the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai in the same season.

I had just gotten home from Raleigh, North Carolina, turned on the TV and not long after clicked on the Golf Channel.

Paired with Victor Dubuisson of France, Stenson came to the par-5 18th hole on the Earth Course with a four-shot lead over Ian Poulter, who finished with a 66 and a 19-under total of 269. Stenson's tee shot was in good position down the left-hand side of the fairway. His next one, a 5 wood, epitomized his second half of 2013. The golf ball flew at the distant green and landed softly left of the flagstick, following the green's contour and rolling to within a foot or so of the cup for a tap-in eagle.

[Watch the shot of the final day by Henrik Stenson]

What a way to finish a remarkable week and half year. It seems as if Stenson can do anything on a golf course. He finished at 25 under after rounds of 68, 64, 67 and 64. Poulter was the runner-up in both the tournament and the Race to Dubai.

"It has been an incredible summer for me, the (autumn) in America was great and now this," Stenson said at "It has been a dream season."

No kidding.

"I played so well this week. I knew the guys would try to catch me, especially Ian who never gives up. I wanted to stay ahead of him and I managed to do that. I don't know how I am going to be able to top this next year but I am going to give my best in the majors and that would be the icing on the cake."

The truth is, short of winning a major or two, Stenson is right. There's no way to top what he has accomplished. Even matching it is highly unlikely.

For now, the Swede can simply revel in the knowledge that he is the first tour pro to achieve the historic double, ascending to the top of the world's two premier golf tours.

Friday, November 15

Annika Sorenstam Named 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf

(From PGA of America news release)

PGA/LPGA PROFESSIONAL ANNIKA SORENSTAM has been named the recipient of the 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf Award. The PGA First Lady of Golf Award, inaugurated in 1998 and presented biennially since 2011, is bestowed upon a woman who has made significant contributions to the promotion of the game of golf.

Sörenstam, 43, will be honored at The PGA of America Awards, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, during the 61st PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center's Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla.

"I have been so fortunate throughout my life to have people who helped pave the way for me to work hard and exceed my goals on and off the course," said Sörenstam. "I truly feel like I am living a dream and want to help the next generation do the same. It's gratifying that The PGA of America has taken notice of our programming that offers junior girls the opportunity to play first-class tournaments around the world, while also educating them about the importance of health and wellness. I'm flattered to be named the 2013 PGA First Lady of Golf."

Born in Bro, Sweden, Sörenstam is the first internationally born golfer to be named PGA First Lady of Golf and is the third award recipient with dual PGA of America and LPGA membership, following Renee Powell (2003) and Carol Mann (2008). Sörenstam was elected to PGA membership on April 19, 2013, and is a member of the North Florida PGA Section.

The winner of 89 worldwide professional events on the LPGA and Ladies European Tour, including 10 major championships, Sörenstam owns 29 top-10 finishes in 57 lifetime major appearances. In 2003, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and stepped away from competitive golf in May 2008. She remains the LPGA’s all-time money leader ($22 million).

Thursday, November 14

Golf on TV: Race to Dubai Finale and Australian Masters

By Golf Channel News

Following is the tournament lineup and TV schedule for this week.

(European Tour)
Dates: November 14-17
Venue: Earth Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 3-8 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 3-8 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 3-8 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 2:30-7:30 a.m. (Live) / 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Replay) / 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Race to the Finish: Henrik Stenson owns the lead in the Race to Dubai heading into the ultimate event of the European Tour Final Series. Stenson, along with Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell, are the only three guaranteed to win the Race with a victory this week. Six other players have a chance at winning the title, but would need to hope for poor showings from those ahead of them in the standings.

Featured Pairs: The field of 56 will tee off as twosomes, headlined by the first-round pairings of Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter (3:30 a.m. ET) along with Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson (3:40 a.m. ET).

Headlining the Field: Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Matteo Manassero and Thomas Bjorn.

* * *

Dates: November 13-16
Venue: Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Victoria, Australia

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Wednesday 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)
Thursday 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Live)

Event Notes

New Venue: Royal Melbourne Golf Club welcomes the event for the first time. The club that hosted the 2011 Presidents Cup enters a busy stretch, showcasing the Talisker Masters this week and the World Cup next week.

Headlining the Field: Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Vijay Singh, Brendon de Jonge, Peter Senior, Geoff Ogilvy, Marc Leishman, Richard Green, Nick O'Hern and Jarrod Lyle.

* * *

(PGA Tour)
Dates: November 14-17
Venue: El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Club at the Mayakoba Res, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 2-5 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Seasonal Shift: The event will offer full FedExCup points for the first time as a part of the PGA Tour wraparound schedule, after previously being played in February opposite the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Additionally, the tournament purse has increased to $6 million, an increase in $2.3 million from last year’s event.

Headlining the Field: Alvaro Quiros, Darren Clarke, Ryan Moore, Davis Love III, Freddie Jacobson, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Charles Howell III, Fred Funk, John Huh and Brian Gay.

Wednesday, November 13

Henrik Stenson Aims for Historic Double

HENRIK STENSON IS DAYS AWAY from becoming the first man to win the FedEx Cup and The Race to Dubai in the same season.

Ranked third in the world, Stenson doesn't have to win the tournament to win the race and the bundle of cash that goes with it. But he does need to hold off his closest pursuers, Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell. The Swede leads Rose by 213,468 points. Ian Poulter, in fourth, also has a shot.

Henrik Stenson (Bootstrapper)
In the meantime, Stenson, 37, has been resting his ailing wrist and trying to keep his cool. The DP World Tour Championship, the last leg of the European Tour playoff series, begins tomorrow at the Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth Course).

"It's always one of the things that I would have liked to achieve in golf in Europe," Stenson said, "and growing up on the European Tour and playing here for many, many years, it would mean a lot to be the overall winner of The Race to Dubai.

"To be able to have a chance to do it together with winning the FedEx Cup is probably something I'm not going to have a chance to do again, and it's going to be hard for some of the other guys to have a chance to do it, as well. It's one of those that I really want it, but if you want something too much, that's going to make some trouble for you normally. It doesn't take Einstein to figure out that I want that to happen, but I have to put that aside and focus on playing the best I can with my circumstances and my game for this week."

[DP World Tour Championship field and tee times]

The top 56 European Tour players will tee off on Thursday. The elite field will not include Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel because the three Euro stars opted not to play in the mandatory two of three events leading up to the finale. Els was particularly vocal, calling the requirement "farcical" and "an absolute joke."

The Telegraph has reported that the European Tour is expected to drop the requirement in 2014.

Tuesday, November 12

Matt Kuchar Foresees Global Tour

Matt Kuchar (Keith Allison)
IN A STORY BY REUTERS, PGA TOUR star Matt Kuchar said he believes a worldwide golf tour will materialize in his lifetime:
The PGA and European Tours may soon join forces to create one unified global golf circuit, world number eight Matt Kuchar predicted on Tuesday, a move which could address scheduling complaints from top players. 
The American believes the Asian and Australian Tours could also figure in the unified circuit, which was first mooted by golf great Greg Norman in the 1990s. 
"I absolutely do see the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the Asian Tour, the Australian Tour somehow turning into some sort of global world tour," Kuchar told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday ahead of this week's Australian Masters. 
"I think it will be in my time. 
"I think it seems like it's coming quicker in this last year ... we may all be saying Greg Norman was right in the day."
Speaking of scheduling and getting to tournaments, Kuchar had an entertaining time traveling to Melbourne for the Australian Masters. There's no quick, easy way to travel to Australia, I suppose. At least not for Americans.

Kuchar putted out at The McGladrey Classic in Sea Island, Georgia, at 4 p.m. on Sunday and hopped on a private plane en route to Atlanta, where he hustled to board a connecting flight to Los Angeles. That's where "Kooch" encountered TMZ, the celebrity gossip news site.

"There were people in the airport with cameras. They were from TMZ," Kuchar said at "This guy comes up and starts asking me questions. I'm a golfer, not a celebrity, but figured I'd better just answer them, so I tried to give him the most mundane, unusable answers I could."

Kuchar eventually boarded his flight to Melbourne, but it arrived two hours late after a passenger became ill. 

"Part of the joys of travel," said the world No. 8 golfer.

Monday, November 11

Adam Scott Completes Aussie Triple Crown

Adam Scott
WHAT COULD BE MORE FITTING? Playing in his first tournament in his homeland since slipping into the Green Jacket at Augusta, Adam Scott won going away at the Australian PGA. It was the only major Aussie title that had eluded Scott.

"Adam Scott hit the iron that all but secured his first Australian PGA Championship so crisply it sounded like a gun shot," reported The Sydney Morning Herald. "By the time the echo had subsided at Royal Pines, the engravers were already at work putting his name on the Joe Kirkwood Cup."

That shot was a 4-iron from 266 yards at the par-5 12th. The ball stopped a foot from the hole. Scott tapped in for an eagle and never looked back.

The Aussie golf hero fired rounds of 65, 67, 71 and 67 for a 14-under total of 270 on the Gold Coast resort course. American Rickie Fowler was runner-up, four shots off the winning pace.

Said Scott: "I came out and knew I had to do something great to win this. It's been an incredible year since April, and so great to come home. I've had a great week."

Scott still has a lot of tournament golf to play at home. He heads to Royal Melbourne Golf Club this week to defend his title at the Australian Masters. Next he'll partner with Jason Day in the World Cup, also at Royal Melbourne. Then the Masters champion will tee it up in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney Golf Club.

Australian Triple Crown Winners

Greg Norman: Open (1980, '85, '87, '95, '96), PGA Championship (1984, '85), Masters (1981, '83, '84, '87, '89, '90)
Robert Allenby: Open (1994, 2005), PGA Championship (2000, 2001, 2005, 2009), Masters (2003, 2005)
Peter Senior: Open (1989, 2012), PGA Championship (1989, 2003, 2010), Masters (1991, '95)
Peter Lonard: Open (2003, 2004), PGA Championship (2002 - tie with Jarrod Moseley, 2004, 2007), Masters (1997, 2002)
Craig Parry: Open (2007), PGA Championship (1992), Masters (1992, '94)
Adam Scott: Open (2009), PGA Championship (2013), Masters (2012)

Friday, November 8

Global Golf (LinkedIn): 'No Such Thing as a Double Eagle'

There is no such thing as a double eagle 
A birdie is ONE under, an eagle is TWO under- the next step is THREE under which UK golfers call an albatross. It CANNOT be a double eagle purely on mathematical principles as 3 is NOT the double of 2- simple ... please discuss
The discussion was posted by Stephen Smith, a senior psychologist and a sports psychologist.

(Courtesy of Scott MacLeod Liddle)
There were a few comments, mostly anti-American, but that's not my focus here.

I offered a lighthearted comment, saying, "There is definitely no such thing as a double eagleor an albatrosswhen it comes to my golf experience. Ha! Anyone in this group actually record one?"

David Varney of Lincoln, England, wrote this:
I have. I had been laid off playing for a few months after house move and went and played Crookhill Park in South Yorkshire. Opens with a shortish par 5. Hit a borrowed driver and then smoothed a three iron with a touch of draw around the tree in the fairway and she ran and ran straight into the hole. Unfortunately I was playing alone and the only people that saw was the group in front they didn't know it was [an albatross]. Second hole managed an 8 LOL and that proves the golf gods give and take LOL
So I have to ask ...

Has anyone else made an albatross? Tell us. The comments section is open.

Thursday, November 7

Golf on TV: The McGladrey Classic and Turkish Airlines Open

By Golf Channel News

Following is the tournament lineup and TV schedule for this week.

(PGA Tour)
Dates: November 7-10
Venue: Sea Island Golf Club, Seaside Course, St. Simons Island, Ga.

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7:30 p.m.(Replay) / Midnight-3 a.m. (Replay)
Friday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Replay) / Midnight-3 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Replay) / Midnight-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-4 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Replay) / Midnight-3 a.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

Upping The Stakes: This week's tournament purse is $5.5 million, an increase of $1.5 million over last year's event. Full FedExCup points also are up for grabs in the fifth event of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR wraparound schedule.

Home Field Advantage: In addition to being in the field this week, St. Simons Island resident Davis Love III acts as both tournament chairman and host of the event.

Gainey Defends: BIG BREAK VII: REUNION champion Tommy Gainey will attempt to defend his 2012 McGladrey Classic title this week at Sea Island Golf Club.

Headlining the Field: Tommy Gainey, Jim Furyk, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Darren Clarke, Brendon de Jonge, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh, Harris English and D.A. Points.

* * *

(European Tour)
Dates: November 7-10
Venue: The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Antalya, Turkey

Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 4-9 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Replay) / 7:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 4-9 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Replay) / 7:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 4-9 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Replay) / 7:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday 3:30-8:30 a.m. (Live) / 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Replay) / 7:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)

Event Notes

First Showing: This is the inaugural playing of the Turkish Airlines Open and is the third of four events in the European Tour's Final Series. The 78-player field also has no cut, with the top-60 in the Race to Dubai at week's end qualifying for the DP World Tour Championship next week.

Headlining the Field: Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Ernie Els, Jonas Blixt and Branden Grace.

Wednesday, November 6

PGA Tour and PGA of America Roll Out Joint Initiatives

By PGA of America

PGA TOUR COMMISSIONER TIM FINCHEM and PGA of America President Ted Bishop today announced a significant expansion in cooperative initiatives that benefit the membership of both organizations and help grow the game of golf.

Among them, Bishop said, is The PGA of America's intention to increase the PGA Championship's purse to $10 million, which will equal that of The Players Championship as the highest in professional golf. This represents a $2 million increase over last season's PGA Championship, while Finchem said The Players' purse will increase by $500,000 over 2013. In addition, the PGA TOUR will increase its longstanding support of the PGA Professional National Championship and various PGA Section Championships.

Appearing at a press conference during The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Resort, Finchem and Bishop outlined a program aimed at highlighting the vital role of PGA of America professionals in teaching and growing the game of golf:

  • A PR campaign that will include PSAs during PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Tour telecasts; exposure on; and features on Sirius/XM Radio's PGA TOUR channel, and will focus on the efforts of PGA professionals in teaching and growing the game of golf.
  • A weekly segment on "Inside the PGA TOUR" shown on Golf Channel, featuring the host PGA professional's knowledge of the competitive aspects of the tournament course.
  • PGA professional presence at selected PGA TOUR events, commencing in 2014 with The Players, the three domestic World Golf Championships, The Barclays, the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola, the Northern Trust Open and The Presidents Cup, in which PGA Professionals will interact with fans in various ways, such as providing mini lessons and distributing information about golf instruction.

"We have always believed that working together with The PGA of America enhances efforts to grow the game and benefits the membership of both organizations," Finchem said.

Said Bishop: "There have been a series of cooperative efforts and today's announcement is a further reflection that the essence of our relationship has been our ability to jointly do what is best for golf and our respective memberships."

Tuesday, November 5

VIDEO: Fore! Tiger Woods Hits Drive from Europe to Asia

WORLD NO. 1 TIGER WOODS BROUGHT ISTANBUL to a 20-minute standstill on Tuesday as he hit golf balls from one continent (Europe) to another (Asia). Organizers of this week's Turkish Airlines Open received special permission to close three lanes of the Bosphorus Bridge that links Europe with Asia.

"To be the first golfer to do this was very cool," Tiger said at "I have really enjoyed my visit to Istanbul. To see the Bosphorus for the first time was a very enjoyable and memorable experience."

It was seriously windy. As you can see in the video, Tiger was swinging easy, taking half swings.

While Mr. Woods was earning a portion of his appearance fee, delayed commuters were unhappy.

"[M]any Istanbul locals were far from impressed as the publicity stunt ahead of Woods' £1.5million ($2.4million) appearance at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final at Antalya this week, caused traffic chaos," reported The Daily Mail.

Monday, November 4

DJ Completes U.S. Sweep of World Golf Championships

A LATE EAGLE PROPELLED DUSTIN JOHNSON to victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on Sunday. The long-hitting American fired a closing 66 to hold off defending champion Ian Poulter (66) and U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell (66). The winning margin was three strokes.

Dustin Johnson -24 (69-63-66-66-264)
Ian Poulter -21 (71-67-63-66-267)
Graeme McDowell -20 (69-69-64-66-268)

"It's the biggest win I've had in my career so far," Johnson said. "Those guys put a lot of pressure on me. I'm really proud of the way I handled myself."

Playing partner McDowell was impressed.

"[Johnson] trenches one 350 down the middle and has the hands to that 70-yard shot to the front pin and make the putt. He's just a quality, talented, very athletic, classy player. Yeah, he makes mistakes. But when you've got a game as good as him, you can get away with a few mistakes. He's just got a great wedge game to go with just an outrageously good driving game."

Johnson's eighth PGA Tour title moves him to No. 12 in the Official World Golf Ranking. DJ's Shanghai win was noteworthy for another reason.

"It's the first time in WGC history that American golfers have won all four WGC tournaments in the same season," reported Golfweek's Alistair Tait.

To recap the 2013 WGCs, Matt Kuchar won the Accenture Match Play Championship, Tiger Woods claimed the Cadillac Championship and Bridgestone Invitational, and now Johnson has captured the HSBC Champions.

Friday, November 1

VIDEO: Tim Burke's 427-Yard Drive and $250,000 Payday

TIM BURKE NEEDED SOMETHING EXTRA in the final round of the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship. He got it, a record drive of 427 yards to defeat Joe Miller of England. The ball rocketed into the night sky at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and touched down on a yardage grid located on the racetrack infield.

Burke, 26, a former pitcher for the University of Miami, sensed when the ball left the club face that it was probably the best drive he had ever hit under that kind of pressure.

"This was the best time and the biggest moment of my life," Burke said afterward, "and I'm thankful to be able to come here and get the job done."

Eight contestants vied for the title and $250,000 winner's check. It was the 39th edition of the long-drive championship, which began in 1975.