CALL HIM SEMI RETIRED -->
Steve Stricker, is going into semi-retirement. When he leaves Kapalua, he won't return again to the PGA TOUR until the Match Play Championship at the end of February.
He'll play the majors and World Golf Championships that are held in America, maybe a few other tournaments to get ready for the majors, and the John Deere Classic, which has become his hometown event ever since the Greater Milwaukee Open went away.
He has been thinking about cutting back for the last few years, only the decision was never easy. Not when he was as high as No. 2 in the world, a regular on U.S. teams in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup.
He’s not walking away entirely. Over the last few weeks, he looked at the schedule and didn't feel he could miss the big events, particularly the majors. He hasn't set a number of events he wants to play, but it will be somewhere around 10.
What will he do when he’s away from the game. He’ll spend more time with his family and he is forming a foundation with a new sponsor, American Family Insurance, with the goal of helping adolescents. The seed money comes from the charity donation he received for winning the Payne Stewart Award and playing on the Ryder Cup team.
His other sponsors - Titleist, Avis and the New York Stock Exchange - are behind his decision to cut back. Stricker has restructured his endorsement deals because he is playing less, and he plans to do more personal days with clients.
NEWS & NOTES
The equipment carousel has started as the new year begins here is a few changes.
Nike made it official Tuesday with separate announcements that it has signed NickWatney and Kyle Stanley to equipment deals. Both had been with Titleist.
Rory McIlroy will be moving to Nike also. Nike will make that announcement in Abu Dhabi, where McIlroy will start his season in a couple of weeks. It also landed S.Y. Noh of South Korea.
TaylorMade now has Stewart Cink (Nike), Lucas Glover (Nike), Ryan Moore (Adams Golf), and John Huh.
Moving to Callaway are Chris Kirk and Gary Woodland (both formerly Titleist).
Carl Pettersson says the proposed rule to ban the anchored stroke for long putters feels like a ''witch hunt,'' and that golf's governing bodies were only reacting to three of the last five major champions using a belly putter.
''It seems silly to ban something that's been around for 40 years,'' Pettersson said in his first comments since the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced plans Nov. 28 to outlaw anchored strokes. ''It's unfortunate. I feel like I'm 16 years behind because I haven't putted with anything else for 16 years.''
Two more months of comment period remain before the rule becomes official, and then it does not take effect until the next Rules of Golf is published Jan. 1, 2016.
Rory McIlroy has a tough decision to make and it's not about his equipment, it's who will he play for in the 2016 Olympics. It is such a tough decision that McIlroy is considering skipping the games altogether.
McIlroy, No. 1 in the world and a two-time major winner, told the BBC that the decision to pick Great Britain or Ireland is a tough one and he isn't sure which side to join when the Olympics begin.
“Play for one side or the other – or not play at all because I may upset too many people. … Those are my three options I’m considering very carefully.”
Colin Montgomerie and Ken Schofield were elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, joining Fred Couples, Willie Park Jr., and Ken Venturi to round out the 2013 class. They will be inducted May 6, 2013, at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., to kick off THE PLAYERS Championship week.
Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez has broken his right shinbone and will be sidelined for up to five months.
Jimenez said in a statement Sunday that he had surgery on his leg after injuring it while skiing
Jimenez was a vice captain on Europe's Ryder Cup-winning team in September. In November, the 48-year-old Jimenez became the oldest European Tour winner by capturing his third Hong Kong Open title. He has 19 career European Tour titles.
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