TOM WATSON NAMED RYDER CUP CAPTAIN
Tom Watson was announced as the U.S. Ryder Cup Captain for the 2014 matches in Scotland
on Thursday during a segment on NBC's Today in New York. A formal press
conference was later held in the Empire State Building.
eight-time major champion played on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams that went
3-0-1 as he posted a 10-4-1 record. Watson also is the last captain to
win on foreign soil, as his troops defeated Europe, 15-13, at the Belfry
in England in 1993. The USA has just two wins since then — in 1999
under captain Ben Crenshaw and 2009 under captain Paul Azinger.
has won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, including a 14½-13½ defeat
at Medinah Country Club near Chicago at the end of September, when the
Americans blew a 10-6 lead on the final day.
"We're tired of
losing," said Watson, "I always said that early in my
career, I learned to win by hating to lose. It's about time to start
winning again for our team. That's the attitude that I hope that my
players have, and it's time to stop losing."
will be 65 when the 2014 Ryder Cup is played, making him the oldest
captain in U.S. history, and has not played a full PGA Tour schedule in
14 years. He will be the first repeat captain since Jack Nicklaus in
1983 and 1987. The span between his two stints as captain is 21 years,
the longest ever.
Watson said he expects some backlash for the PGA
of America picking "the old guy." But Watson says he battles against
the younger set on at least three occasions — the Masters, British Open
and The Greenbrier Classic — and he might add a stop or two to his Tour
schedule in the next two seasons. As a lifetime member of the PGA Tour,
he can play in most any tournament he chooses on the schedule.
Europe is not expected to announce its captain until January at the earliest.
In naming Watson captain, the PGA of America broke the mold of the organization's approach to naming its past captains.
to Watson's first captaincy, the PGA of American has chosen players who
were moderately active on the PGA Tour and had at least one major
championship victory under their belt. David Toms seemed to fit the
criteria perfectly, as he won the 2001 PGA Championship and played on
three Ryder Cup teams and seven Presidents Cup teams.
But new PGA
of America President Ted Bishop said earlier this year that it was time
to "think outside the box" when it came to selecting a captain and said
earlier this week at a media luncheon in New York that "we've done
something a little bit different this year."
Passed over were
David Toms, who is still playing on the PGA Tour, and Larry Nelson.
Toms, at 45, fits the more recent tradition in the selection process.
a two-time PGA Championship winner, was in line to be Ryder Cup captain
until being passed over for Lanny Wadkins in 1995 and Tom Kite in 1997.
Nelson was thought to be too far removed from the game to be
considered, though there had been a recent push for the 64-year-old
Nelson to finally get his chance.
SCHWARTZEL MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW
Charl Schwartzel won by a huge margin for the second week running as
the South African coasted to a comprehensive 12 shot victory in the
Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.
A winner by 11 shots in
Thailand last Sunday, the talk at the start of the day was not whether
the 28 year old would win an eighth European Tour title, but if he could
better Tiger Woods’ 15-shot winning margin at the 2000 US Open
Championship in doing so. That remains the largest in European Tour
A third straight 64 would have seen last year’s Masters
Tournament champion equal Ernie Els’ record 29 under par total, but as
it was Schwartzel settled for a three under par 69 and 24 under total on
a final day disrupted by thunderstorms.
It completed a fantastic
finish to 2012 for Schwartzel, who birdied the last to register the
third biggest winning margin in European Tour history.
finished the Thailand Golf Championship 25 under, and for the past five
weeks - they started with finishes of fifth, third and second - he is a
staggering 84 under.
France's Grégory Bourdy, his closest
challenger for virtually the entire weekend, took a double-bogey seven
on the final hole and that elevated Swede Kristoffer Broberg, four times
a winner on the Challenge Tour last season, into second place.
Bourdy shared third with Scotland's Scott
Jamieson, who last Sunday captured The Nelson Mandela Championship
presented by ISPS Handa in Durban, defending champion Garth Mulroy and
England's Andy Sullivan a month after he came through The European Tour
Schwartzel also continued a remarkable record
at the course on the border of the Kruger National Park. He won his
first European Tour title there in 2004 and has had four runner-up
lead was down to seven when he three-putted the eighth, but he spun his
approach to three feet on the next and after the weather hold-up he
collected more birdies on the 12th, 13th and par five last.
countryman George Coetzee's best-of-the-day 65 lifted him into joint
tenth place and came after results elsewhere had guaranteed he stayed in
the Official World Golf Ranking's top 50 and earned himself a Masters
Tournament debut next April.
Also qualifying by the same route
for a first trip to Augusta National are Welshman Jamie Donaldson,
Belgian Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts, South African Branden Grace
and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen.
Geoff Ogilvy would have denied Olesen
if he had had one less shot at the Australian PGA Championship, where he
finished in a tie for fourth place.
Others to book their Masters
places through the end-of-year top 50 are Scot Paul Lawrie, Italians
Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero, Spaniard Gonzalo
Fernandez-Castaño, Denmark's Thomas Björn, American Bill Haas,
Australian Jason Day and Japanese player Hiroyuki Fujita.
African Keith Horne could not manage a third successive hole-in-one on
the 12th - the second won him a car - but Swede Magnus A Carlsson did
ace the same hole on the final day.
LOVE AND SON WIN CHALLENGE
Love III had a nice pitch shot on No. 18 and son Dru finished off the
birdie to capture the Father-Son Challenge title Sunday.
Larry and Josh Nelson already in at 22-under for the two-day scramble
format, both Loves misfired in trying to reach the green in two at the
par-5 finishing hole. Dru, an Alabama freshman who won five Georgia
state titles in high school, went long and right near the grandstand at
the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. Davis watched his ball roll onto the bank
of a greenside pond.
But the elder Love found the right touch on his pitch from Dru's position and his son made the winning putt.
The Loves teamed for an 11-under 61 in the final round.
ROOKIE TAKES AUSTRALIAN PGA
Tour rookie Daniel Popovic held his nerve to record a wire-to-wire Australian PGA Championship victory by four strokes on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Australian, who led or shared top spot after every round of the $1.3 million tournament at the Palmer Coolum Resort, began the final day two shots clear and carded a final-round three-under 69 for a 16-under par 272 total.
The victory was made even more emotional for the Victorian after his father was diagnosed with bone cancer earlier this year.
Popovic nearly quit golf to look after his father but decided to play on at his insistence.
Popovic, ranked 1,251st in the world, pocketed the winner's purse of $225,000 and his outlook towards golf has changed.
Fellow Australians Anthony Brown and Rod Pampling, who saw his title chances vanish with a stunning late collapse, finished tied for second on 12-under.
Popovic, who won the 2012 Australasian PGA qualifying school, started brightly with three birdies in his first five holes but a double-bogey on the eighth saw him fall behind a surging Pampling.
The 43-year-old began his final round with six consecutive birdies and took the outright lead by the turn but bogeys on the 16th and 17th and a double-bogey on the last hole allowed Popovic to cruise to victory.
Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and Brad Kennedy finished on 11-under for the share of the fourth spot.
GARCIA ON TOP ON ASIAN TOUR
Sergio Garcia won the rain-shortened Johor Open on Sunday, closing
with an 11-under 61 for a three-stroke victory in the Asian Tour's
The 32-year-old Spanish star finished at
18-under 198 at Horizon Hills for his second victory of the year and
24th international title. He also won the PGA Tour's Wyndham
Championship in August.
Garcia had the lowest final round by a
winner in Asian Tour history. He birdied seven of the first nine holes
to make the turn in 7-under 29, added birdies on 13 and 14 before a long
rain delay, then returned to make it four in a row with birdies on 15
American Jonathan Moore also shot a 61 to finish second.
Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee was third at 14 under after a 65.
NEWS & NOTES
The PGA Tour's event in Mexico will anchor a six-tournament schedule next fall that will not include Disney for the first time in more than 40 years.
The tour next year goes to a wraparound season and will offer FedEx Cup points for the six tournaments that will kick off the 2013-14 season. That season will start with the Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club in northern California on Oct. 10-13 and conclude with the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico on Nov. 14-17.
After about a two-month break, the 2013-14 schedule will resume at Kapalua with the Tournamsent of Champions.
Disney has been part of the PGA Tour landscape since Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural event in 1971. That it was dropped from the new schedule was not a surprise. Disney lost its title sponsor when the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals did not renew, and Disney did not aggressively pursue a replacement.
Mexico had been played opposite the Match Play Championship in February. It now moves to the end of the calendar year, hopeful of drawing a stronger field.
The fall portion of the schedule includes two tournaments in Asia. After the new season starts in California with the Frys.com Open, it goes to Las Vegas the following week and then heads across the Pacific to the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and the HSBC Champions, a World Golf Championship event in Shanghai. For the first time, both Asia events will count as official tournaments.
Without taking a week off, the tour returns to America for the McGladrey Classic at Sea Island, hosted by Davis Love III, on Nov. 7-10, followed by the Mexico tournament.
All tournaments will be broadcast by Golf Channel. The amount of prize money for each tournament was not announced.
Rory McIlroy has won the Golf Writers Trophy for winning five times around the world and finishing the season as the undisputed No. 1 player in golf.
The award from the British-based Association of Golf Writers was closer than some of his other honors. McIlroy received just under half of all first-place votes on a ballot that included Europe's winning Ryder Cup team, the Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup team and Roger Chapman for winning two senior majors this year.
The AGW's award dates to 1951 and awards the best performance by a golfer who was born or resides in Europe, including teams. It was the second straight time that it was given to an individual in a year when Europe won the Ryder Cup. Graeme McDowell won in 2010.
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