As if there weren’t enough excitement and surprise in golf on Sunday — while Hunter Mahan and Bill Haas were locked in a duel at the Tour Championship, Butch Harmon revealed on Sky Sports that he had just spoken to his student Dustin Johnson, who told him caddie Joe LaCava decided to leave Johnson for Tiger Woods.
Tag: Tour Championship
If you asked me, I could list at least five or more things. Oh, you are asking? Okay, well, after I paid off my debt, I’d buy a house for my parents, a house in NYC and the Hamptons (maybe one in St. Barths, too), give a donation to a charity my mom is involved with, and throw a huge party — need me to go on? Because I can. I’ll spare you.
But I asked some of the guys in this week’s field what they would do with the $10 million and a few had trouble coming up with something. Let’s take a look… (continue reading…)
David Toms added another accolade to his revival season — the 44-year-old and ’01 PGA champion has snagged his 13th PGA Tour victory at Colonial and notched seven top tens — on Tuesday at East Lake, site of this week’s Tour Championship.
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced Toms as the recipient of the 2011 Payne Stewart Award. Via the press release: (continue reading…)
You may have noticed that WUP was having technical difficulties from around midnight to noon on Tuesday. Actually, I know many of you did and I appreciate your concern and the emails letting me know. Thanks for your patience and the problem was fixed as soon as possible. Even though I’m a low-budget website (unlike Big Brother the PGATour.com), these things happen. Anyway, what’s important is that we’re back.
Honestly, this announcement was mostly an excuse to post the above pretty picture from Rob Matre, which he took during the third round of the Tour Championship at East Lake. Take a closer look at the background, more specifically, the back right. Yeah, that’s me. I’m writing something like, “Luke Donald’s birdie putt just burns the edge, he holds putter up in celebration, thinking it’s going to go in. Fail.”
Just before Jim Furyk stepped up to his two-footer for par on 18, he flipped his dripping wet cap backward. Minutes earlier he nearly holed a bunker shot to cash in the biggest payday in golf.
Furyk had a three-shot lead through 15 holes, but bogeys on 16 and 17 and Luke Donald’s chip-in for birdie on 17 cut it down to one stroke on the final hole. Donald waited in the scoring trailer while Furyk played the last hole. If Furyk bogeyed the long par-3 18th, he would face Donald in a sudden-death playoff for both the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup, not to mention $11.35 million.
Here’s the handout the Tour just passed out of the likely scenarios for the next two hours (which is the time they expec to finish before bad weather returns — if they DQ Kevin Na). I apologize if you can’t read the picture I took of it with my camera, but it doesn’t make that much sense, anyway. All I know is that to win the FedEx Cup, most the leaders have to win the tournament.
But I did find one scenario interesting. Nick Watney is five-under through 13, seven-under for the tournament. At one point, he was 14-under in the last 20 holes and 12-under for the last 18 (score of 58!). He’s one back of the leader, Jim Furyk, at the moment. So, if Watney can stay hot and wins the Tour Championship and Matt Kuchar finishes solo-25th, then it would result in a tie for the FedEx Cup. Kuchar is in the clubhouse in 26th place currently.
A sudden-death playoff would then take place immediately following the conclusion of the final round. Now that would be cool if they faced off for the $10 million.
Otherwise, bo-ring. I’m about to fall asleep, so I’m going to watch in the rain, which should be nice and wet since I didn’t pack a jacket.
Due to forecasted inclement weather on Sunday, the final round of the Tour Championship will begin at 9am instead of 11:30am. It’s just a little rain and it’s supposed to be the same all day, so I’m not sure why it was necessary to move the tee times up two-and-a-half hours. But the actual issue is that now the final round will be tape delayed on NBC. Yeah, this event that’s been force fed to fans since the first round of Kapalua in January won’t be shown live.
The exciting race to the finish line is here and the Tour decides to push the tee times up because of a little rain? Okay, now I understand that it’s erring on the side of caution considering when the weather gets nasty in the South, it’s nasty. And given that most of the media has to file their stories on the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup before they head to the airport, I guess it’s an altruistic (and rare) move on the part of the Ponte Vedra suits.
Lucky for me, I’m at the tournament and I get to witness all the exciting action live. But for the fans at home, it sucks — and it pretty much validates that the FedEx Cup is a joke. I mean, would this happen during a major? No way. It completely takes away from the oh-so-thrilling excitement on the back nine of a couple guys vying for the $10 million when you already know what happens before you watch it on TV (unless you have self-restraint and you don’t check online).
So, my question is, will you watch the tape-delayed action? And if so, will you look at the results online beforehand? More important, were you planning on watching golf instead of football, anyway? Does anyone even care? Perhaps it’s not such a big deal considering the few die-hard fans that would have tuned in.
*Update: Because of the two-hour rain delay, NBC’s coverage of the Tour Championship was aired live from 3-6EST. Turns out it didn’t matter much since it still received a rating of 1.3, down 61% from last year. (In other words, the weather forced the circumstance, but the intention was to air it on tape, two hours behind.)
Here’s an explanation via email from Ty Votaw, Executive Vice President of the Tour:
Since our decision ultimately resulted in a live finish that came down to the last putt within the live telecast window, I look forward to reading your retraction praising the competition with equal interest.
I would point out that unlike other decisions to air live sports coverage on tape delay to take advantage of time zones or to please broadcast partners, this decision was made solely in order to work around the weather and try to ensure a finish on time, which we did.
[Photo by Kyle Auclair/insidetheropes.com]
The PGA Tour is trying really hard to help people understand which wealthy white guy that hits a little white ball around for a living (otherwise known as a “semi-athlete” in the words of Geoff Ogilvy) will walk away at least $10 million richer on Sunday afternoon.
I give an A for effort, but Jim Furyk made a great point — “The first part of the scenario is I have to win, and the rest of it I can’t control. I doubt that I can — I doubt there’s a scenario where I’m going to finish second or worse in the tournament and win the FedExCup, so that’s the only thing I can somewhat control. So the idea really, it makes it very simple, to just go out — if I were in the top 5 and there was all those scenarios and ideas, yeah, you might want to keep an eye, yeah, I have to make sure I finish higher than 6th or whatever it might be. But the situation I’m in coming from 11th, I have to win tomorrow and the idea is just to go out and do the best I can to do that.”
But check out these charts — basically, the contest for the FedEx Cup has been reduced to five players, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, Luke Donald, Paul Casey and Charley Hoffman.
Considering it was college football game day with Georgia Tech playing NC State just a few miles away and Tiger Woods is missing, the turnout for the Tour Championship was rather good (and much better than I expected). The leaderboard starring Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, Luke Donald, Geoff Ogilvy and Paul Casey doesn’t hurt either. Now if only Georgia Tech alumnus and Atlanta resident (actually, former as of earlier this week), Matt Kuchar, wasn’t four-over and T23, the Tour couldn’t ask for a more ideal situation.
While it’s a great tournament, I’ve been wondering if fans A) care about the other tournament, the FedEx Cup and B) understand the convoluted points system. I was watching the leaders come through 17 green when I struck up conversation with the three most knowledgeable PGA Tour fans on the grounds (and perhaps the most sober).
After Nick Watney signed for his 63, he looked giddy as he walked over to his fiancee, Amber Uresti, to give her a kiss before making the mandatory media rounds.
Watney was five-over through 36 holes and was playing in the second group on Saturday morning — meaning he was near the bottom of the Tour Championship leaderboard. After a slow start with two bogeys in the first five holes (yep, and he still shot seven-under!), it appeared it was going to be another tough day, but then he made change.