Rob over at Sandbox8.com put together these 2 awesome videos that give us a glimpse of life on the Ping Tour Van.
As you might have noticed from my posts these past few weeks, I really like seeing the competition for tour cards in the fall. In some ways I think that it’s more compelling to see guys struggling to stay in the top 125 or 150, than compete for a top 10 world rankings spot.
This article on golfweek.com got me thinking. Failure on the PGA Tour is more lucrative than expected. In fact, in 2009 the top 125 cut-off was $681,631. Most people would kill to make that kind of money in a single year. But in 2010, Troy Merritt, who landed at 125 on the money list, made $786,977, an increase of $105k over last year.
What explains the jump in earnings at the lower end of the PGA tour money list? The total prize money increased slightly (by about $1.4m) but that’s not enough to skew these numbers. The big differences, in fact, were Tiger, Phil, and Steve Stricker.
We all know that the Euros got the best of our last encounter at the Ryder Cup. I thought we were going to have to wait 2 years to see a rematch, but the PGA and European Tours are giving us a bit of a rematch less than 2 months later. Over the last few weeks there have been a series of escalating actions/reactions that have the potential to create dramatic lasting impacts on the landscape of professional golf.
The PGA tour has put together a great little primer on the basics of Q-School. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a 3-stage (with a pre-qualifier) tournament that determines where pro golfers will be plying their trade next season. Will they spend another season on the mini-tours, step up to the Nationwide Tour, or make it to the big show of the PGA Tour?
Stage 1 started this week and includes some notable players:
Q. Who are some of the notable players entered in the first stage?
A. There are several players with family ties to notable golfers. Among them are Jay Haas Jr. (whose brother Bill won twice on the PGA TOUR this year and father Jay has won 23 times on the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour);Mike Perez (whose brother is veteran Pat Perez Boyd Summerhays (whose uncle Bruce Summerhays plays the Champions Tour); Manuel Villegas (whose brother is three-time TOUR champ Camilo Villegas); Patrick Damron(whose brother Robert Damron is a past TOUR winner); Josh McCumber (whose uncle is veteran TOUR and Champions Tour pro Mark McCumber); Mario Tiziani (who is the brother-in-law of Steve Stricker); and Sam Saunders (whose grandfather is Arnold Palmer). Other players to watch include double heart-transplant survivorErik Compton; former U.S. Amateur champ Danny Lee; Virginia Tech’s Drew Weaver, who won the 2007 British Amateur; Todd Demsey, who overcame a brain tumor to play professional golf; and Kevin Hall, who would be the first deaf golfer to play on the PGA TOUR.
What an ending! It seems like the Fall Series has had some of the most dramatic and entertaining finishes of the entire season. With an ace on the 204-yard 17th hole (the 4th hole of a 3-man playoff), Jonathan Byrd grabs his first win on tour and secures his tour card for the next 2 seasons.
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Unfortunately, I have to leave the Viking Classic today and head back to NC. Bill Haas is sitting on his first 54-hole lead. Will he be able to hold on for his 2nd PGA tour victory? I wouldn’t bet against him, but he’ll be facing some stiff competition from Michael Allen, Nathan Green, and Brendon de Jonge, who are all 4 strokes back.
Also keep an eye on Chris Stroud and Jonathan Byrd. They’re currently at 125 and 130 on the money list and sitting in T6 and T10, respectively. Solid finishes could go a long way towards securing their cards for next season. I’m going to leave you all with a few pics from this weekend. Click the continue link below to see them.
There’s a great forum thread over on Golfwrx, discussing the impact of the new groove rule. Basically, the USGA implemented the new groove rule to “protect” the game from “bomb and gouge”. As you can see from the chart above, there has been absolutely no impact on the game. Other than our pocketbooks that is. And from the title of this post, you can guess what my take on the issue is.