Categories
European Tour

Rahm and Fitzpatrick presented with DP World Tour Honorary Life Membership

Jon Rahm and Matt Fitzpatrick, the last two U.S. Open Champions, have been presented with Honorary Life Membership of the DP World Tour ahead of the 2022 season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

In 2021, Rahm became the first Spanish winner of the U.S. Open as he triumphed at Torrey Pines, birdieing the final two holes to finish one stroke ahead of Louis Oosthuizen. He returned to World Number One with his victory and became just the fourth Spaniard to win a Major Championship.

Earlier this year, Fitzpatrick completed a fairy-tale triumph at The Country Club, Brookline, winning the U.S. Open at the same venue he won the U.S. Amateur Championship nine years prior – joining Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win both Championships on the same course.

Keith Pelley, the CEO of the DP World Tour, presented the pair with their Honorary Life Membership cards ahead of the final Rolex Series event of 2022, becoming the 58th and 59th members to be conferred the honour.

He said: “Jon and Matt’s achievements over the last two years were truly special and we are delighted to present them both with Honorary Life Membership of the DP World Tour.

“Jon assumed the status of an Honorary Life Member of our Tour immediately after his win at Torrey Pines but with him not being here in Dubai last year, we were unable to make the official presentation – I am delighted to be able to put that right this year, alongside recognising Matt for his own magical U.S. Open moment in June.

“Jon’s victory was an incredible achievement, becoming the first Spaniard to win the U.S. Open and just the fourth Major winner from Spain. And for Matt to write his name alongside Jack Nicklaus in golf’s record books is something that few golfers in history can claim to do.”

Rahm said: “To join the list of icons that have earned this, it is truly an honour. Any time you can write your name in history next to some of the greatest players that have accomplished this before me is very unique. To keep doing things like this, it is a true honour to represent Spain and an honour to receive this.”

Fitzpatrick said: “I’ve been out on Tour seven or eight years now and I remember when Danny Willett received his and I thought at the time ‘I’d love one of those’. When I found out that I’d be presented with Honorary Life Membership by Keith and the Tour I was truly honoured. I’m very grateful.”

Categories
Ladies European Tour Ladies Tours

Hull takes the lead in Round 2 at the Aramco Team Series Jeddah

The Aramco Team Series Jeddah is primed for an electric final day at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club as world number 17 Charley Hull takes a one-shot lead over defending champion Pia Babnik, Caroline Hedwall, and Virginia Elena Carta, while Team Garcia and Team Wolf will head to the 18th tomorrow for a play-off to determine the team victors. 

Hull made her seventh birdie of the day on the last to shoot a blemish-free 65 and take the lead as she sets her sights on her second win in the last three starts. 

Following the round, Hull commented: “It was a really really good front nine, I even missed a couple of putts but I’m not complaining…I’ve put some good work in this year and now it’s all coming together. I wasn’t massively confident coming into this week but I’m feeling much better now I’ve played some golf and just enjoying it out here.”

Babnik is looking at a repeat of last year’s Aramco Team Series Jeddah victory as she matched Hull’s low round of the day with just the one blemish and eight birdies enroute to finish one behind. The 18-year-old said after the round: “I’m really happy, I played really good today. There were some good shots I hit and then the wind stopped which was frustrating but overall, I am happy with the round I played. I really played well, gave myself a lot of chances.”

Virginia Elena Carta also sits in that second-place spot and accredits some of her strong form this week to the team format at the Aramco Team Series, she said after the round: “It’s much easier to play well when you have a good team and when you are able to enjoy yourself out there… I really played for the team today. I’ll take it one shot at a time tomorrow and see, there are birdie opportunities out there, it’s just a matter of giving myself some chances and trying to make some good putts.”

The team championship will be decided on the final days play with Team Wolf and Team Garcia tied on 29-under after 36-holes of play. The two teams will take to the 18th hole following the conclusion of the individual event tomorrow to decide the Aramco Team Series team champion.

Nicole Garcia, who is just two shots behind the individual lead, led her team of Casandra Alexander, Tereza Melecka, and amateur Sonia Bayahya to the top of the leaderboard and commented after the round: “My team was in great spirits, and we really tried hard out there. It was tough to make the putts on these greens, but my team managed to pull it off so I’m really proud.”

Christine Wolf will be joined in tomorrow’s playoff by teammates Laura Beveridge, Alexandra Swayne, and amateur Raghdah Alessawi.

Categories
Apparel

Mizuno’s Autumn-Winter 2022 Golf Apparel Collection Demonstrates That “Nothing Feels Like A Mizuno”

Mizuno, the Japanese equipment manufacturer known for its attention to detail in the production of high-performance golf equipment, is delighted to release a new collection of cold weather golf apparel combining refined, soft touch materials with practical golf tailoring on a foundation of proven Mizuno core apparel technologies. The collection proves that “Nothing Feels Like a Mizuno.” 

Mizuno’s Autumn-Winter 2022 Apparel Collection showcases exceptional Mizuno technologies married with refined style and ultimate comfort. Core technologies in the collection offer heightened performance in challenging conditions: 

In the rain Nexlite Flex offers complete waterproofness and incredible flexibility. 

Incredible warmth is delivered by Mizuno’s Breath Thermo Technology, a fabric that captures and generates heat from escaping body vapour. Also featuring is Mizuno Thermal Plus, a material that regulates the dissipation of body heat.  

Dynamic movement comes through Biogearwhich reduces muscle/joint fatigue due to stretch, pressure and shape. Mizuno Move Tech, is an anatomically patterned, four-way-stretch fabric.

The Mizuno Autumn-Winter 2022 Apparel Collection includes:

The Nexlite Flex Jacket, available in Coral Red, Black, Deep Navy and Grey, is so lightweight and free moving, that you might forget to take it off when the rain stops.  Water resistant to 20,000mm, breathable at 25,000g/m2, and with 15% additional stretch. The jacket remains water repellent even after numerous washes. In addition, the material is free from environmentally harmful perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). 

Available in Deep Navy and Black, Nexlite Flex Trousers feature all the same technologies as the Nexlite Flex Jacket, and they come with an elasticated waistband for maximum comfort.

The Breath Thermo Move Down Jacket and Gilet offer the promise of absolute warmth and comfort from the moment you slip them on thanks to Breath Thermo warming technology. Available in three colours, Grey, Black and Reds, the garments Instinctively fit snugly to the body, trapping warm air but providing a surprising level of movement and golfing flexibility. These ultimate cold weather garments are so warm and so stylish, you’ll also wear them away from the course.

The Breath Thermo Move Tech Jacket and Gilet are highly efficient all-round, mid-weight garments providing a well-considered balance of warmth, and movement. Available in three colours, Grey, Black and Blue, they offer great warmth thanks to Breath Thermo Technology, while Mizuno’s Move Tech lining provides ease of golfing movement.

Breath Thermo ST Polo, in White, Black, Purple and Red and in heat-generating Breath Themro fabric, is a soft touch, substantial weight polo which will keep you warm in the winter’s midday sun. It features a striking chest stripe line with contrasting bold colours to cut through the winter light. The Breath Thermo Graphic Polo, in White, Black, Red and Blue, features a unique graphic pattern design running across the chest. The Breath Thermo Long Sleeve Polo, in White, Black, Blue and Olive is also constructed from heat generating Breath Thermo fabric.

The Winter Breeze Block ¼ Zip, in Grey, Blue, Olive and Purple, is a mid-weight garment with a comfortable, relaxed cuff offering a bold, contrasting and athletic design. The Winter Breeze Elite ¼ Zip, in Grey, Blue, Black and Purple, delivers classic golf style with an athletic design. It’s a mid-weight garment featuring a comfortable relaxed cuff. It offers contrasting shoulder piping and the Runbird logo on chest and yoke. The Winter Breeze ¼ Zip, in Grey, Blue, Olive and Purple, features a unique contrasting combination on the back and front. It’s a mid-weight garment with a comfortable, relaxed cuff providing functionality and style. 

The Winter Elite Trousers, available in Grey, Black and Deep Navy, are substantial cold weather trousers featuring Mizuno’s Move Tech four-way stretch fabric for ease of movement. They have a brushed lining for warmth and comfort.

Also in the Autumn-Winter collection, the Breath Thermo Biogear Base Layer is an essential winter garment. Not only do the Breath Thermo and Thermal Plus technologies help maintain a consistent body temperature but the BiogGear fabric also helps to reduce muscle fatigue through its snug fit and pressure.

The Breath Thermo Graphic Beanie features Mizuno’s heat generating Breath Thermo fabric to keep you warm in the coldest conditions. It’s available in four different colour options: Grey, Black, Blue and Olive. Breath Thermo Pom Pom Beanie offers an old-school look in heat-generating Breath Thermo Fabric. It’s available in Grey, Black, Blue and Red. Both beanies come in packs of three.

Completing the Autumn-Winter 2022 apparel line-up, the Mizuno Players Belt is available in three bold colours – Charcoal Grey, Black and Deep Navy. 

Mizuno has always strived to “create the best products for consumers,” and the entire Autumn-Winter 2022 Apparel Collection adheres firmly to that spirit and desire, while offering the best performance benefits that modern technology can bring. #nothingfeelslikeamizuno

For further information on Mizuno’s full range of golf equipment, apparel and accessories visit: MizunoGolf.com.

(Text & Images: Mizuno)

Categories
Ladies European Tour

Ladies European Tour: Lexi Thompson triumphs after holding off Brooke Henderson and Nelly Korda

New York, (October 15, 2022): American star Lexi Thompson is back in the winner’s circle after holding her nerve to take the individual title at the Aramco Team Series – New York.

The Ladies European Tour win at Trump Golf Links Ferry Point marks the 27-year-old World Number Four’s first title since the ShopRite LPGA Classic in 2019.

In bright and breezy conditions in New York, Thompson held off the challenge World Number Six Brooke Henderson and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom on Saturday with a final round of 69 to finish three shots clear on eleven-under-par.

Starting the final round two shots clear, Thompson took advantage of an early Korda bogey to birdie her first hole and build an early cushion that she maintained all day. Thompson’s putter remained hot all week and four birdies on the friendlier back nine eased her away from a chasing pack.

“I came into today just the way I played yesterday, just playing aggressive golf, and being kind of fiery,” she said.

“I hit a great shot on No. 1 to like six, seven feet and made it and I wanted to play fearless golf and not play away from pins by any means and commit to my shots. I hit some really good ones and I hit some iffy ones but with this wind and everything, you have to take the bad ones as best you can.”

Thompson’s win, with her brother on her bag this week, comes off the back off several top tens this year with the hard work off the course paying off for the Floridian.

“I’ve been working extremely hard on my game. I felt like it was a matter of time but just wanted to play golf and put myself in contention in the final rounds and learn from the losses that I had and what I needed to work on which I brought into today.”

Brooke Henderson, making her Aramco Team Series debut, found her best form of the week in the final round to make a late charge with a flurry of late birdies on the back nine in conditions that suited the supreme ball-striker. The Canadian carded a round of 68 for a tie of second on eight-under-par with Sagstrom.

“I feel like I was just trying to make some birdies and climb as much as I could,” said the two-time major winner.

“I was happy to shoot 4-under out there in the wind. I feel like my game is in a good spot which is exciting leading into the rest of the LPGA season in a few weeks and hopefully I can finish strong because it’s been a really fun year.”

Nelly Korda was bidding for back-to-back Aramco Team Series wins but three bogeys on her front nine stalled her progress. The World Number 4 unsurprisingly battled back, coming home in 33 shots with three birdies for a round of 72 and fourth place (-7).

“It was very frustrating start to the day – very odd on the front nine, said Korda. “I just didn’t feel like myself. But then got it going on the back nine and I finished strong. It was a good confidence boost. It’s really nice to see Lexi win and it’s really good for golf for her to win as well. She played really solid golf and she’s been playing really solid golf this year. It was just around the corner,” she added.

Madelene Sagstrom was frustrated to not get over the line today but admitted it was nice to be back in contention in a big tournament playing alongside Thompson and Korda in the final group.

“We all come out here to try and win,” she said. “That’s what the mindset was coming in for the week. I haven’t really been in this kind of situation for a while, so it’s nice to be back. I think every time we play with top players, it makes you a little better. Playing with them and being comfortable and being in that situation is always good.”

The Aramco Team Series reaches its 2022 climax next month for the final event of the year in Jeddah at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

(Text: Aramco Team Series)

Categories
Uncategorized

LIV Golf: Brooks Koepka Leads Jeddah Event

Jeddah hosts the final regular event of the 2022 LIV Golf Invitational Series this week. Teams are earning their final points before the LIV Team Championship, which takes place in Miami in two weeks. From a team perspective, Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC is doing well in Jeddah, sharing the lead with Garcia’s Fireballs. The team captain himself is making a big contribution with the singles lead.

Click here for the leaderboard of the LIV Golf Event in Jeddah.
Brooks Koepka will be looking to challenge for his first LIV Golf Series victory with a flawless performance. His round of 62 is by far the best score he has signed in his previous LIV tournaments. That gives him a three-stroke lead over six players sharing second place, including Sergio Garcia. Previously, a ninth-place finish was Koepka’s best final result on the LIV Tour. His “Smash” team, ranked 8th in the season standings, also needs a few more points to reach the Team Championship. Koepka’s brother Chase contributes to the team score on T11 with a -3, as does Peter Uhilein.

LIV Golf: Bernd Wiesberger with unlucky finish

Bernd Wiesberger starts strong into the penultimate tournament of the season, but had bad luck in the finish. Starting on hole 9, he didn’t let an opening bogey get him down, where he got caught in the rough, and recovered the shot right at the 10th. The Austrian held at even par until just before the end of his round, when he began a fantastic final spurt that was, however, undone by two final bogeys. A birdie on the second hole was followed by an eagle on hole 4, immediately followed by another stroke gain. His final stroke losses dropped him to a share of 19th place.

Helping the Hy Flyers climb into the top 5 🦅@BWiesberger WATCH LIVE 🔽https://t.co/HImdrusScm#LIVGolf#LIVGolfJeddahpic.twitter.com/Xxdn19URBv — LIV Golf (@LIVGolfInv) October 14, 2022

Martin Kaymer, who is T30 after the first round, experienced ups and downs in his round but came out just one shot under par in the end. In the team standings, things are not looking so good for Kaymer’s Cleeks after last week’s podium finish. Only Richard Bland is one stroke better than the team captain, plus Graeme McDowell’s even-par round. Together they are only good enough for the last place in the team ranking after the first round.

Categories
Uncategorized

Golf Stars Nelly Korda & Lexi Thompson Praise New Opportunities for Women’s Golf

The stage is set for the Aramco Team Series – New York tournament to tee off on Thursday with the world’s top stars of women’s golf at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, New York. The Ladies European Tour event features 78 golfers with several of the world’s top pros including no. 4 ranked Nelly Korda, no. 6 Brooke Henderson, no. 8 Lexi Thompson, no. 14 Jessica Korda, no. 18 Charley Hull and no. 19 Leona Maguire with a $1M prize purse.

Speaking to the media in New York on Wednesday, Nelly Korda commented: “We play so many events on the LPGA Tour, it’s nice to switch it up for a team aspect. It’s very different and it’s fun. Throughout the season, competing and traveling gets a little tiring. It’s a breath of fresh air having a team and doing a little something different throughout the season.”

Lexi Thompson shared the following on Wednesday on the setting for Aramco Team Series – New York 2022: “It’s an amazing golf course and it’s in great shape. I got to play about 14-15 holes yesterday. Besides the traffic in New York, everything is great. To take on this golf course, keep it in the fairways. There’s some fescue out there. It’ll be all weather-dependent as well, if it gets super windy there’s obviously not too much to block it. Keeping a good trajectory on ball flight. It’s in great shape for us.” Regarding the opportunities Aramco Team Series is creating for female golfers, she continued: “It’s amazing what they’re doing. As an athlete of any sport, we want to grow our game and our sport individually. What they’re doing with golf and giving other girls an opportunity to bring out their best is great. They’re very grateful for this opportunity.”

Brooke Henderson shared her excitement this week on her first visit to New York City: “First time for me in actual New York City, which is hard to believe as I’m only a seven-and-a-half-hour drive from here, but I’ve never experienced the city. I was able to walk around Central Park a little bit, so I’m enjoying the hustle and bustle and the craziness. It’s all very exciting.”

On Tuesday evening, the players gathered for the Aramco Team Series – New York team draw where 26 captains selected their teams for the tournament. The event features a unique scoring system, allowing an amateur player to contribute to the final result of the Ladies European Tour event as the competition features individual and team champions vying for the $1M prize. The team event covers the first two rounds, with individuals making the cut for a chance at the individual title on day three.

Headlining teams following the draw include the below and the full tee times list is available here

  • Team N. Korda: Nelly Korda, Noora Komulainen, Celine Herbin
  • Team Henderson: Brooke Henderson, Christine Wolf, Linda Wessberg
  • Team Thompson: Lexi Thompson, Kelly Whaley, Laura Fuenfstueck
  • Team J. Korda: Jessica Korda, Jillian Hollis, Kylie Henry
  • Team Hull: Charley Hull, Laura Davies, Julia Engstrom
  • Team Maguire: Leona Maguire, Liz Young, Tvesa Malik

Tickets are available from just $5 for adults and are free for kids under 16 years-old. To secure tickets or to find out more, visit www.aramcoteamseries.com or follow the event on social media @aramco_series.

Categories
Highlights Tours

Countdown to the 2023 Solheim Cup begins

An extraordinary celebration event, called “One Year To Go”, made up of various events, marked the start of the countdown to the 2023 Solheim Cup coming to Spain for the first time. There is only one year left until the most important women’s golf competition in the world comes to Finca Cortesín, Málaga, from 22 to 24 September 2023.

To highlight those 365 days that will be crossed off the calendar for the European and US teams to meet on the Costa del Sol, the dyke of the emblematic Puerto Banús in Marbella (Málaga), brought together 365 children from different golf schools in Andalusia in which, in unison, they did the “Longest Swing”.

The little golfers took their places and, forming a huge multicoloured wave, hit an approach shot into the sea with totally biodegradable balls.
Afterwards, the captain of the European Solheim Cup team, Suzann Pettersen, arrived by helicopter and, with the magnificent tournament trophy in her hands, greeted each and every one of the children.

Exhibition match at Finca Cortesín

A few hours earlier, the protagonist was the new hole 1 at Finca Cortesín, where an exhibition match took place in which Suzann Pettersen challenged the model and actor Andrés Velencoso and the guitarist of the group D’Vicio Alberto González, “Missis”, while the ambassadors of the tournament recreated the great atmosphere of the Solheim Cup.
The European captain highlighted the design of hole 1, perfect for an event like the Solheim Cup and wished it to be “a very noisy hole, with all the Spanish passion cheering on the European team”.

Vicente Rubio, general manager of Finca Cortesín, recalled how the LET “honoured us naming us as the venue for the 2023 Solheim Cup and since then, our team has been working to make it a success. And over the next 12 months we will continue in this line of improvements to guarantee both players and fans a unique and unforgettable experience”.

This moment concluded with a tribute to Raquel Carriedo, the first Spaniard to play in a Solheim Cup and who shared with all those present her memories of that historic experience in the 2000 edition.

Triple countdown

The celebrations of this “One Year To Go” had as an extraordinary culmination the launch of three countdowns, one in each of the municipalities involved in the organisation of the Solheim Cup 2023 (Benahavís, Casares and Marbella), to remember the time left for the celebration of this great event.

The Mayor of Benahavís, José Antonio Mena, was in attendance, accompanied by Pablo Mansilla, President of the Royal Andalusian Golf Federation.

“We have been fighting for a long time for the arrival of this tournament in Spain and Andalusia, and now there is only one year to go. Once again, Andalusia will once again be the world epicentre of golf and women’s sport thanks to the Solheim Cup,” said Mansilla.

“The golf industry is perhaps the most important industry in Benahavis and therefore, from the first moment we have wanted to be part of the Solheim Cup, and this commitment will bring numerous benefits, both to our municipality and to the entire Costa del Sol,” said Mena.

José Carrasco, Mayor of Casares, said he was “very proud to be able to offer our innumerable tourist resources and I am convinced that the Solheim Cup will mark a before and after for our municipality and for Andalusia”.

And Manuel Cardeña, Deputy Mayor of Marbella and CEO of Acosol, stressed that “the arrival of the Solheim Cup for the first time in Spain, and more specifically on the Costa del Sol, offers us a great opportunity to strengthen our position as a tourist destination and to be the epicentre of world golf in 365 days, something we have to take advantage of”.

Cardeña was accompanied by Arturo Bernal, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport of the Junta de Andalucía; Francisco Salado, President of the Diputación de Málaga; and Margarita del Cid, Vice President of the Diputación de Málaga, among other personalities such as Alan Solheim, representative of the firm that gives its name to the tournament, and people from the Ladies European Tour (LET), the Royal Spanish Golf Federation and Deporte & Bussines, the organising company.

Arturo Bernal was in charge of bringing to a close a marathon programme of events that has focused on the arrival of the Solheim Cup in Spain in just twelve months.

“The celebration of the Solheim Cup next year will allow Andalusia to demonstrate once again that we are the best destination in Europe for the organisation and development of major sporting events in general and golf in particular,” concluded.

The Solheim Cup 2023, an event of exceptional public interest whose official venue is Finca Cortesin, is sponsored by PING, Costa del Sol and Rolex as global partners; and by the Consejería de Turismo, Cultura y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía, with co-financing from the European Union, Acosol, the Marbella Town Hall and the Benahavís Town Hall as official partners, and Reale Seguros as official sponsor. Solán de Cabras, Eversheds Sutherland, Casares Town Hall, Toro, Vithas, E-Z-GO and Jet Set Sports are official suppliers. Marca and Radio Marca are official media. Promoted and organised by Deporte & Business. LET, LPGA, RFEG, CSD and RFGA collaborate in its organisation.

(Text: Solheim Cup)

Categories
PGA Tour

PGA Tour: Tricky rules situation – Cam Smith penalized shortly before final round

Just before the final round at TPC Southwind, the bitter news reached Cameron Smith. The reigning Champion Golfer of the Year was within striking distance of the lead after three rounds in the first tournament following his British Open triumph, but lost two strokes before the final round on the PGA Tour. So it came down to the tricky scene:

On Moving Day of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Cameron Smith had sunk his tee shot in the water on the par-3 4th hole. After the subsequent drop, his chip remained just a few centimeters from the hole and the number 2 in the world recorded a bogey. So far, everything seemed normal. The Australian finished his round with 67 strokes and could have attacked the top on Sunday with only two strokes behind. By the way, with a win in Memphis, he would have taken over the top spot in the FedExCup and the world rankings.

Rule violation: Playing from the wrong place

Instead, however, the rules officials noticed a possible violation of the Rules of Golf. The ball had still touched the red line of the side water hazard after said drop when Smith put the ball back in play. In doing so, he violated Rule 14.7 (“Playing from the Wrong Place”) after dropping under Rule 17.1 (“Ball in Penalty Area”). The problem was that after the drop, the ball had rolled back towards the penalty area and just touched the red line.

That officially put the ball back in the penalty zone and it wasn’t dropped appropriately. So Smith should have dropped again; had the ball rolled back into the penalty area, he would have been allowed to put the ball down. The three-time season winner was unaware of the issue and played the ball from the wrong spot, which is penalized with two strikes.

Disagreement among the referees

But why was the Players Champion sanctioned so late? PGA Tour Chief Referee Gary Young explained that the possible rules violation was noticed as early as Saturday during the television broadcast, but was not investigated further because “the camera angles were awkward and he was dropping in a really tight area. We were confident at that point that he was familiar with the rule.” The official on the lap was too far away to assess the situation, he said, and had not been called in by the player. “It was such a quick look that we had at that point that we decided it wasn’t worth pursuing,” Young added. “It’s something the players do every day”.

PGA Tour’s Cam Smith admits unwitting violation

But after the round, he said, they took a closer look at the scene and wanted to make sure there was no violation of the rules. That’s why Young said he spoke to the player about an hour before his start time on the final day. “I thought it was just a situation where I ask Cameron the question and he tells me he’s sure the ball was outside the penalty area,” Young said. “Unfortunately, when I asked him the question, he told me, ‘No, the ball definitely touched the line.’ So at that point, there’s no turning back.” Smith accepted the penalty very calmly and matter-of-factly, he said. “His response to me was, ‘The rules are the rules,'” Young said.

So just before his tee time, Cameron Smith was penalized two strokes back, his score on hole 4 adjusted to a triple bogey. Instead of being two strokes behind, it was four. Whether burdened by this situation or not, the 28-year-old only played an even-par round and fell back to T13 in the final standings.

Categories
PGA Tour

PGA Tour: BMW Championship 2022 with world-class field

This week, the US state of Delaware will host a tournament on the PGA TOUR for the first time – and Wilmington Country Club welcomes an absolute highlight of the golfing calendar for this premiere: the BMW Championship, the penultimate tournament in the FedExCup Playoffs, and four-time “PGA TOUR Tournament of the Year”. Only the top 70 players in the end-of-season standings are eligible to tee off at the BMW Championship, with just 30 of them progressing to the season finale – the TOUR Championship. Professional golf does not get any higher quality or more intense than this.

BMW Championship 2022 with world-class field

This is underlined by the field. Will Zalatoris (USA) tees off as number one in the FedExCup ranking. Patrick Cantlay (USA), Rory McIlroy (NIR) and Justin Thomas (USA) are three former champions looking to regain their crown. They will be joined by major winners Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Cameron Smith (AUS), Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa (both USA). The entire top ten in the world rankings will tee off, led by number one Scottie Scheffler (USA).

The tournament week begins on Wednesday 17th August with the traditional BMW Championship Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am, which sees the likes of former basketballer and two-time NBA champion J.R. Smith, former NFL footballer Victor Cruz, and BMW Motorsport works driver Connor De Phillippi (all USA) tee off on the championship course.

All revenues from the sale of Pro-Am places – along with all other proceeds from the BMW Championship – will support the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full tuition and housing scholarships for hardworking young caddies. Since the tournament’s inception 16 years ago, The BMW Championship has raised over $40 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation and helped send 3,300 caddies to college. For the upcoming school year, a record 1,100 Evans Scholars will attend 22 leading universities nationwide, including one caddie from Wilmington Country Club.

BMW of North America will contribute a four-year Evans Scholarship, a full tuition and housing grant, in the name of the first PGA TOUR player to record a hole-in-one on any hole during the 2022 BMW Championship. To date, five such Hole-In-One Scholarships have been awarded. It is also worth hitting an ace for the professionals, although it must be on the 15th hole. The first player to hit a hole-in-one on this hole during a tournament round will be rewarded with a fully-electric BMW i7 (combined power consumption, acc. WLTP: 19.6 – 18.4 kWh/100 kM; CO2 emissions: 0 g/km; specifications acc. NEDC: -). As the world’s first thoroughbred luxury limousine with 100% electric drive, the BMW i7 brings innovative driving pleasure to the streets with a range of more than 600 kilometres.

The BMW Group’s transformation towards electromobility will also be visible and perceptible at Wilmington Country Club. At the heart of the BMW exhibition at the course will be the fully-electric BMW iX, BMW i4 and BMW i7 models.

Categories
PGA Tour

PGA Tour: How does the FedExCup work?

In 2007, a new playing system was introduced on the PGA Tour. The so-called FedExCup consists of two components: The more than 40 regular PGA Tour tournaments and the now three additional playoff tournaments at the end of the season, whose field shrinks from tournament to tournament, ending with the Tour Championship and the crowning of the season’s winner. The individual events and the overall victory bring the champions a lot of money – at the end there is even an extra check for 18 million US dollars. Tiger Woods was the first to win the FedExCup in 2007 and, together with Rory McIlroy, is one of the few professionals to have won the series twice.

Points vary depending on the quality of the tournament
A prerequisite for participation in the FedEx Cup is full eligibility to play on the PGA Tour. Players who meet this criterion can accumulate points from the start of the season, earning between 300 and 600 points for the winner, depending on the quality of the tournament in question.

All majors (Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, The Open Championship and PGA Championship) and the Players Championship earn the winner 600 FedEx Cup points. The four tournaments of the World Golf Championship (WGC) are just behind with 550 points. Except for the parallel tournaments to major events, which earn the winner only 300 FedEx Cup points, all other PGA Tour competitions offer 500 FedEx Cup points.

Things get really exciting again in the final playoff tournaments, as the points allocation changes drastically for the season finale. For a victory in one of the three tournaments, the winner will receive a full 2,000 points, i.e. four times the amount of a normal previous tournament.

Points system creates excitement in the finals
The top 125 players after the conclusion of the final regular PGA Tour tournament not only keep their PGA Tour card, but also qualify for the end-of-season playoff tournaments and get to compete in the FedEx St. Jude Championship. As of 2019, there are only three playoff tournaments instead of four. One less event with the same number of points leads to an increase in difficulty, but also less fluctuation in playoff standings. At the St. Jude Championship, 50 players are already eliminated and only the top 70 players are eligible to compete at the BMW Championship.

There is no longer a cut at the BMW Championship, which means that all players finish the 72 holes. This measure adds to the excitement, as the leader is awarded just 2,000 points and is therefore, in theory, catchable by any player in the field. Nevertheless, to be fair, the professionals in the top spots have the best chance of winning overall.

While in the past the points from the FedEx Cup playoffs were set to zero and thus only a strong performance in the finals accounted for a high ranking, there is a point ranking since 2019. This points ranking is generated according to the results from the playoffs. So if you do well in the playoffs, you create a good starting position for the final. The leader of the ranking starts the final with a lead of ten strokes under par, the second place with eight strokes under par. As a result, the third-place finisher starts with a score of -7, the fourth-place finisher at -6 and the fifth-place finisher at -5. Players ranked sixth through tenth start at 4-under par, while 11th through 15th place start at 3-under par. Places 16 to 20 will start at two strokes under par and 21-25 at -1. For places 26-30, the final round will start at even par.

The new Tour Championship mode explained in detail

What does the new rule change?
For ten years, there was a reset of the points scored in the playoffs before the final, after Vijay Singh was already the winner after winning two tournaments. This meant that the following two playoffs no longer had any meaning. Too boring, the officials thought, and introduced the redistribution of points before the final tournament. With the result that hardly anyone still understood the rules. The golf world was not thrilled. Even Tiger Woods once criticized the rule as unfair. After all, consistency over the entire season is no longer rewarded. If a player wins all the tournaments in the season, except for the last playoff, then in case of doubt, someone else collects the Cup.

With the new points system, the FedEx Cup should feel more attainable for all players, especially those in the top 30. Although even this format would have rarely resulted in a different winner in past years from a purely mathematical standpoint, the principle of the final tournament is changing. While some players play better when they are “in the chase” and have to overtake others, many a player plays better when they have to maintain their lead.

“I would feel better about a ten-stroke lead for four days than having to start from 30th place in the FedExCup like everyone else did before,” said Jordan Spieth, the 2015 FedExCup winner.

“The new system still gives a player a chance to finish really high and start a run in a week, but at the same time rewards those who have earned it at the top. I like that every shot counts, but also that some count a little more than others by rewarding a good season,” said 2010 FedEx Champion Jim Furyk.

However, the best performance in the final playoff pays off twice. In each playoff tournament, the lion’s share of the $15 million in total prize money beckons the winner. The overall FedExCup victory earns the champion an additional 18 million US dollars from a total bonus pot of 75 million dollars, the majority of which is paid directly to the players. A smaller portion goes into a “pension fund” that the players cannot dispose of before their 45th birthday.