From the Rough

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Archive for October 2009

Tiger Woods captures PGA POTY Award

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Emirates Dubai Desert Classic Golf

OK, it’s official: Tiger Woods is your 2009 PGA Player of the Year. Is anyone really surprised? I didn’t think so.

Woods captured the award for the 10th time in his career in a race that, to be honest, was never really close. Winning the Vardon Trophy, FedEx Cup, six tour events, and the Byron Nelson Award for the lowest scoring average on tour (68.05) made the choice a no-brainer. All this means is Woods is now a mortal lock to capture the PGA Tour POTY award.

There were many out there questioning Tiger’s credentials for the award after he lost in dramatic fashion to Y.E. Yang at the PGA Championship. But his victory at the FedEx Cup all but ended those debates. Not only that, but Woods had twice as many wins as anyone else on tour; plus, he had the task of coming back from knee surgery this year.

I don’t think anyone, Tiger included, thought he’d win six times out in his first full season after the injury. While he didn’t win a major championship, Woods did finish in the top-6 in three of the four major championship. And to think so many of us were being overly-critical of his season because he went oh-fer in the four majors. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Jonathan Wall

10/22/2009 at 2:55 pm

Posted in PGA Tour, Tiger Woods

McIlroy set to snub PGA Tour

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Speculation from a number of sources yesterday had 20-year-old phenom Rory McIlroy playing full-time on the PGA Tour next year. It now appears if those rumours were premature. The youngster from Northern Ireland confirmed to Sky Sports after the second round of the Portugal Masters that he’ll most likely stay on the European Tour for another season.

Rory McIlroy has revealed that he is likely to remained based on the European Tour next season.

There has been speculation that the 20-year-old, who currently leads the Race to Dubai standings, had planned to join America’s PGA Tour next year.

However, McIlroy admitted after his second round at this week’s Portugal Masters in Vilamoura that he is “leaning towards” remaining a European Tour member for at least one more season.

In all honesty, I don’t think this is the right move. You’ve got to beat the best to be the best. However, McIlroy is still young, and from the looks of it he’s still got a long career ahead. Who knows, maybe another year in the friendly confines of Europe will do him good. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

10/16/2009 at 8:55 pm

Posted in PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy

Road Hole at St. Andrews gets longer

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StAOld17tee

The 17th hole at the Old Course at St. Andrews will be undergoing some major changes later this year in an effort to get the hole ready for the 2010 British Open. The Royal and Ancient announced earlier today that the course will be adding an additional 35 yards to the hole, stretching it to a beefy 490 yards.

“The 17th was played at the same yardage in 1900 as it was in 2005 and this fueled our belief that the formidable challenge of this iconic hole should be returned for the Open Championship,” Dawson told the BBC. “Over the years, we have seen the threat from the road behind the green, and to a lesser extent the Road Bunker, diminished as players have been hitting shorter irons for their approach shots, allowing them to avoid these hazards more easily. This change will ensure that the hole plays as it was originally intended.”

It’s been more than 100 years since the hole has been lengthened, according to Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A.

Written by Jonathan Wall

10/16/2009 at 8:47 pm

It’s time to axe the Fall Finish from the PGA Tour schedule

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It’s been a while — 2006, to be exact — since we last saw a PGA Tour season that ended in a month that didn’t start with a “D” and end in “ecember.” With the implementation of the Fall Finish to the PGA Tour schedule, there are now only two weeks out of the year (the last week in December and the first in January) where professional golf isn’t played.

Golf has officially become a year-round sport.

With a group of glorified private contractors walking the lush fairways each week, tournaments have to fight tooth-and-nail to land a Woods or a Mickelson in their field. Without one of the other, a tournament becomes a total success or an utter failure in the span of four days.

Have a tournament in the Fall Finish? Good luck getting a player ranked in the top 30 in the World Golf Rankings, let alone Tiger or Phil to play in your event. Last week’s event at Turning Stone Resort didn’t event draw a single player from the top 30.

This week’s Justin Timberlake event at the TPC at Summerlin is probably the only exception to the Fall Finish’s current MO. The event boasts four of the top 30 in the world, including Anthony Kim, who currently ranks eighth. But I think we all know the event draws a great field due to Timberlake’s persona and his ability to get guys to his event. He’s a younger version of Bing Crosby, and that really works to his advantage. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

10/16/2009 at 12:00 pm

Posted in PGA Tour, Tiger Woods

PGA Tour says so long to Milwaukee…for now

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Hello world. Those were the two words that came out of Tiger Woods’ mouth back in 1996 at the Great Milwaukee Open, officially signaling the start of his professional career. Since that very day, Woods has gone on to have an illustrious career, one that, based on his current form, could have him sitting at the top of the the golf pyramid when it’s all said and done.

Woods has improved by leaps and bounds since that fateful summer day back in August of 1996. The U.S. Bank Championship (known as the Great Milwaukee Open before 2004), however, hasn’t fared so well.

Earlier today, the event announced what many were expecting: it was no longer going to be an event on the tour schedule after this year. The economy turned the event into another tour casualty.

“Upon receiving notification from U.S. Bank earlier this year of its decision not to continue title sponsorship of Milwaukee’s PGA Tour event after 2009, the Tour and Milwaukee Golf Charities initiated a search for a new title sponsor. Unfortunately, their efforts to this point have not been successful,” the statement read.

“The Tour remains interested in having a tournament presence in Wisconsin and will continue to explore opportunities in the future.”

While Milwaukee may shed a tear for the event, they shouldn’t give up hope of the event ever returning to the area. Tour players Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly, both of whom are from Wisconsin, are rumored to be in the midst of sealing a deal with a sponsor for the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

10/15/2009 at 7:28 pm

Posted in Credit Crunch, PGA Tour

Just who is this Tiger Woods guy?

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When Tiger Woods first stepped into the national and international spotlight back in 1997 after his historic victory at The Masters, Nike decided to capitalize on his recent fame by coming up with a phrase that’s been ingrained into our minds for the rest of our lives: I am Tiger Woods.

Like Michael Jordan’s “Be like Mike” Gatorade commercials, the Nike commercials with Tiger have become a part of sports history. We’ve seen Tiger grow up over the years; become the sport’s first billion-dollar athlete; as well as become the face of golf in every corner of the globe.

Everyone knows who Tiger Woods is. Or so we thought. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

10/15/2009 at 6:31 pm

Posted in Humor, Tiger Woods

The Allenby/Kim incident isn’t going away any time soon a closed case

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AnthonyKimRePeterNewcomb

Update: Kim and Allenby have apparently talked and worked things out. I guess this whole article is now the equivalent to Adam Scott’s performance at the Presidents Cup. And, yes, I really did go there.

It looks like Robert Allenby’s comments regarding Anthony Kim’s “alleged” off-course decisions won’t be going away any time soon. A couple days after Allenby called Kim the “new John Daly” and accused him of being partying until 4 a.m. the morning prior to the Sunday singles matches, Fred Couple has now thrown his hat in the ring.

Couples, said on a radio show that Allenby’s post-match comments “crushed” the 24-year-old. “I promise you, there’s no way you can go out and beat a guy like Robert Allenby 5 and 3 if you’re out until 4 in the morning. There’s just no way,” Fred Couples told Seattle radio station 950 KJR-AM in an interview Wednesday. “It kind of crushed him. It was the best week that he ever had and those comments kind of crushed him.”

Kim, who is set to play in Justin Timberlake’s tour event tomorrow at the TPC at Summerlin, has already squashed the comments, according to a recent Golf World article. “Absolutely false,” Kim said, according to Golf World. “I was at the hotel, had dinner with the team, met my buddies for about 20 minutes, then went straight to my room. I was in tip-top shape. If Robert had that to say, he maybe needs to practice a little more.”

It looks like someone is lying here, and to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure who I really believe. On one hand, Kim has been known to party in his early years on tour. But recently he’s been a model citizen both on and off the course. But if some of the rumours regarding his attitude at team dinners during the week of the event are to be believed — then I honestly don’t know where that puts us. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

10/14/2009 at 8:52 pm

Posted in Presidents Cup