Ladies Tours

Michelle Wie West Named Assistant Captain for 2021 USA Solheim Cup Team

Wie West will join the previously announced Angela Stanford to work alongside Hurst when Team USA faces off with Team Europe at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, on Sept. 4-6.

“Naming Michelle as an assistant captain was an incredibly easy decision for me,” said Hurst. “She reached out to see if she could be involved with the team, and I quickly knew that I wanted her as one of my assistants. She’s out there playing with the younger players, and since I’ve been off the Tour for a while, that’s a crucial asset for me to have, first with Angela and now with Michelle. I can’t wait to work with this team as we look forward to our week at Inverness Club next year.”

Solheim Cup: Wie West naming for assistant captain

“When I heard that Pat had been named the captain for Team USA, I immediately knew that I had to be part of her team,” said Wie West. “Pat was my POD leader when we played in Germany and Iowa and I learned so much from her leadership and friendship. Those weeks were great opportunities to learn from one of the best players and coaches I know, and to work alongside her is going to be an amazing experience.” 

Wie has been a member of the LPGA Tour since 2009. She has five LPGA Tour victories, including a major title at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. She has competed in five Solheim Cups, representing the USA in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. She went an undefeated 3-0-1 in her Solheim Cup debut in 2009, when she became just the second LPGA Tour rookie in history to play on Team USA. Wie West also represented the USA at the 2018 UL International Crown.

Five-time Solheim Cup participant

“My five times playing for Team USA at the Solheim Cup and wearing the Red, White and Blue – those are incredible highlight moments in my career,” said Wie West. “This next step as an assistant captain is going to be yet another highlight moment, and I’m so grateful to Pat for giving me this opportunity. Our week in Toledo next year is going to be an absolute blast.”

Prior to joining the LPGA Tour, Wie West enjoyed a standout amateur career that saw her capture the 2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship at age 13. The same year, she became the youngest amateur to make the cut at an LPGA Tour event when she reached the weekend at the ANA Inspiration, a record that still stands. 

Wie West is a 2012 graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Communications, earning her degree while playing full-time on the LPGA Tour. She recently joined Hurst as one of the #LPGAMoms on Tour, giving birth to daughter Makenna on June 19, 2020.

(Text: LPGA)

Ladies Tours

Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings Resume with Individual Athlete Approach

The Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings (WWGR) Board of Directors today announced a plan to resume the rankings with a temporary modification which focuses on the individual athlete and the weeks when she competes.

The Rankings were paused the week of March 16, 2020, as professional women’s golf remained inactive due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No WWGR affiliated Tours competed until the week of May 11, at which time the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) resumed tournament play. Since the week of May 11, the KLPGA has completed seven WWGR tournaments, with the Ladies Professional Golf Association of Japan (JLPGA) completing one. 

New modification for rankings

With the modification, on a week an athlete competes, her individual points, average points and divisors will continue to change and age based on her performance and her overall position on the Rankings will be reflected based on that performance. 

On a week when an athlete does not compete, her individual points, average points and divisors will not change or age. However, her overall position on the Rankings could shift based on the performance of other athletes who are competing.

“Fair solution for the athletes”

“The WWGR Board was keen to find a solution that was as fair as possible for the majority of athletes whether competing or not during this unprecedented time. As a level of uncertainty around Member Tours’ tournament schedules continues, focusing on the individual athlete and the weeks she competes made the most sense.” said Executive Director of the WWGR Board, Heather Daly-Donofrio. “While the Board understands there is no perfect solution in these challenging times, we believe we landed on an approach that is reasonable for athletes and also protects the integrity of the ranking system.”

This individual athlete approach will begin retroactively with the week of May 11 (with a published ranking date of May 18). Rankings for an athlete will continue to be computed on a 104-week rolling period, but that 104-week rolling period will differ based on how much an athlete plays while the modification is in place. Weeks when an athlete does not compete will not count towards her individual 104-week rolling period.

Weeks between March 16 through May 11, when there was no tournament play, will not be factored into the 104-week rolling period for any athlete on the Rankings. The WWGR will be run in chronological order backdating to the start of the KLPGA schedule. Rankings for each week thereafter will be published but only recalculated on weeks where at least one Ranking tournament was completed.

During this approach, weeks of non-play for any individual athlete that happened during the pause will continue to be omitted until the player has a full 104-week period of Rankings tournament play. 

The Rankings will revert to its historical approach of running Rankings each week regardless of tournament or athlete play in due time. The WWGR will continue to monitor when this will happen based on the restart of its Member Tours and the participation of the top 200 athletes on the Rankings.

(Text: WWGR)

PGA Tour

Memorial Tournament: Interview with Tiger Woods

After the practice round during the Memorial Tournament 2020 Tiger Woods speaks about his actual game and his time at home.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll get started here with five-time winner Tiger Woods. We’d like to welcome him into the interview room at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Tiger is making his first start on the PGA TOUR since the season was suspended in March. If we could please just get an opening comment on the state of your game and how it feels to be back.

TIGER WOODS: It feels great to be back. I hadn’t played on a tournament venue in a while, and it’s been since February, so it’s been a long time for me. Then to get out there and to play with J.T. today was a bunch of fun. It’s certainly a different world, different environment that we’re in. To play practice rounds like this and to watch as the TOUR has evolved and started back and to see no fans, it’s just a very different world out here.

Q.  Tiger, what is your level of concern, now you’re going to start going out and traveling amidst COVID and the spiking cases. What is your level of concern dealing with COVID?

TIGER WOODS: That’s the risk that I’m taking. That’s the risk that all of us are now taking. I know the TOUR has done a fantastic job of setting up the safety and trying to ensure that all of us are protected and are safe, but it is a risk that we are now undertaking when we walk on the property and are around individuals that you don’t know where they’ve been or what they’ve been doing.

But the screening, the testing we’ve done, the protections that we’ve tried to implement on the TOUR have shown that we’ve had to make adjustments, but it’s a risk that I’m willing to take.

Q.  Last week Justin Thomas said he was giving you a hard time that you were scared to come out and play the guys. Did you get a bunch of other calls from other players during that time?

TIGER WOODS: I got a bunch of texts and a bunch of calls when he said that, and hence I’m out here. So I’m not afraid of J.T. anymore. I’ve gotten over that, and here we go.

Q.  You talked about how things are going to be different. I assume that you have talked to enough guys that give you a little bit of — have filled you in on what it is like to have no fans, everything from the rough not being trampled down to the loss of energy. What are your expectations and what have you picked up from them?

TIGER WOODS: Most of the venues that we’ve been playing at really haven’t had that much rough. The guys have — except for Hilton Head where you can possibly lose a ball in the trees, there really hasn’t been a whole lot of rough. Obviously the rough is up here, but the guys have said that it’s — more than anything it’s not really the trampled down lies or anything like that, it’s just the energy is different. There’s nothing to feed off of energy-wise. You make a big putt or make a big par or make a big chip or hit a hell of a shot, there’s no one there. That’s one of the more interesting things that it’ll be going forward. I think this is going to set up for not just in the short-term but for the foreseeable future for sure.

Q.  You’re a guy that’s had more cameras on you than anyone in the history of golf. How did you learn to deal with that, to adjust to that? Was it immediate? Did it take some time? That’s been a hot topic the last couple folks, how long they stay on you.

TIGER WOODS: Well, I’ve had cameras on me since I turned pro, so it’s been over 20-some-odd years that virtually almost every one of my shots that I’ve hit on the TOUR has been documented. That is something that I’ve been accustomed to. That’s something I’ve known for decades. But this is a different world and one we’re going to have to get used to.

Q.  I’m curious kind of building on that, when would you say is the last time you played a full tournament in the United States without a gallery?

TIGER WOODS: Not a full tournament. I don’t think that’s ever happened for me. But I’ve played a round in D.C. when I won, that Saturday we had a derecho come through there on that Friday night, and it was hazardous in the morning and we went out there with no spectators, no volunteers and just played. That was the quietest round I’ve ever been involved with in a tournament setting. That’s what the guys are saying now, that it’s a very different world out here, not to have the distractions, the noise, the excitement, the energy, the people that the fans bring. It’s just a silent and different world.

Q.  Would you have to go back to your college days to maybe find a round that it was just you and a competitor or two?

TIGER WOODS: Well, even in college I had a few people following. (Laughter.)

Q.  Given that it’s a compacted TOUR, how much urgency does that place to maximize every tournament or just approach it the way you would any other year?

TIGER WOODS: Well, for me, I’ve had to try and maximize every tournament start since I’ve had my last procedure, back procedure. I’ve had to manage that. My levels of play — I really haven’t played that much since then. I think that unfortunately over the last few years that I’ve been used to taking long breaks, long time off and having to build my game and build it to a level where it’s at a TOUR level at home and then come out and play and play a few tournaments here and there, so that’s something I have unfortunately been accustomed to. This was a forced break for all of us but also one that I’m excited to get back into playing again.

Q.  When you watch — if you watched the Workday, you saw all these young players. What’s your impression of guys like Collin and Viktor Hovland and those guys?

TIGER WOODS: Man, those two in particular have just such bright futures ahead of them. They both hit the ball great. Short game is only going to get better. Their putting is only going to get better over time. And don’t forget, when you’re a rook like those two were last year, it’s trying to get to know the golf courses. That takes a couple years here and there, and before that starts kicking in, generally you see guys start playing a little better in the second, third, fourth year after it’s gone around the rotation and they’ve seen these venues.

Q.  Given how you played at The Match you seemed to be in mid-season form, and I know it’s a very serious event, but clearly you were ready to come out. Did you consider playing before this week after the restart, and if not, why not?

TIGER WOODS: I did. I did consider playing, trying to figure out if I should play or not. But I just felt it was better to stay at home and be safe. I’m used to playing with lots of people around me or having lots of people have a direct line to me, and that puts not only myself in danger but my friends and family, and just been at home practicing and social distancing and being away from a lot of people. Coming back and playing the TOUR, in my case over the 20-some-odd years I’ve been out here, that’s really hard to say, that I’m used to having so many people around me or even touch me, going from green to tee. That’s something that I looked at and said, well, I’m really not quite comfortable with that, that whole idea. Let’s see how it plays out first and let’s see how the TOUR has played out, how they’ve started, and I feel that I’m comfortable enough to come back out here and play again, and I’m excited to do it.

Q.  Assuming you were watching golf on TV for the last five weeks or so, did you find yourself watching golf like you would, or were you observing other things in terms of the Schoop of the tournament, and kind of as a sidekick to that, if you’ve had any conversations with any of your friends on TOUR, what kind of questions were you asking them about what it was like?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think that watching like I normally would, no, I have not. It was more of watching golf to see how it is now, see what our near future, our reality is and our foreseeable future is going to be. Some of the guys when they first played the first couple weeks, it was very different. To have no one yelling, no one screaming, no energy, the social distancing, no handshakes. Some guys are used to taking the cap off after every round and doing handshakes. That’s just part of the traditions of the game. That changed. Contacts, how close can I be to my caddie. Those are all different questions that the players are trying to figure out on the fly as we’re trying to get back into our season and participate in our sport at a high level again. These are — some of the guys feel weird about it, other guys acclimated to it very quickly. Not having family around out here, when you’re at the golf course, what kind of contact are you going to have. Some of the players — where are you going to go work out, are you going to be able to go work out at a gym? No, you can’t go to the gyms. What are you going to do here? Face masks? We’re trying to figure out all the guidelines and the guys are trying to figure it out on the fly and also compete. So it was very complicated trying to get a routine, well, for most of the players.

Q.  You’ve been in this situation before, too, but I’m sure you saw on Sunday J.T. holes a 50-footer. If there’s a crowd around like Memorial usually gets and they react to it, how much harder is it for Collin to make his putt?

TIGER WOODS: A lot more difficult. I just think that the energy — even it felt weird as I was watching on my computer at home, like 14, when Collin hit the ball on the green there, and granted, they’ve never had the tees up there during the Memorial event, but if they were and had that same situation during a Memorial event, to have someone drive the ball on the green that close to the hole, I mean, that whole hillside would have been going nuts.

So to see J.T. make that putt, he’s screaming, but no one else is screaming. And then when Collin makes it, normally — he didn’t have that much of a reaction, but the whole hillside on 18 would have been just erupted. I’ve been there when they’re throwing drinks towards the greens and people screaming, high fiving, people running around, running through bunkers. That’s all gone. That’s our new reality that we’re facing. Those guys, J.T. and Collin, both how they played down the stretch and separating themselves and the shots they hit, they got into the world of playing against each other and got into that world.

But it’s so different not having the energy of the crowd, and for me watching at home as a spectator and one that has played this golf course and have heard the energy that the fans bring to these holes and these situations, not to have that is very different, very stark really.

Q.  ZOZO proved that after a long break you can win out of the gate; should we take that as a way people should be expecting your chances being good this week or should they be more tempered?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I would like to say that I’m going to win the event. That’s my intent. That’s my intent coming in here. That’s my intent going into every event. That’s certainly the intentions. Whether that plays out over the next four — well, come Sunday, hopefully that will be the case. It was that one particular week — well, three tournaments ago at ZOZO. There’s no reason why I can’t do it again this week. I’ve just got to go out there and do my work and make that happen.

Q.  Do you have a plan to counteract what you’ve been talking about with this no fans and no energy, because you’ve fed off that your entire career clearly. Do you have a plan to sort of counter it?

TIGER WOODS: I think for me in particular, I’m going to have to just put my head down and play. But it’s going to be different, there’s no doubt about it. For most of my career, pretty much almost every competitive playing round that I’ve been involved in, I’ve had people around me, spectators yelling, a lot of movement inside the gallery with camera crews and media. Watching the players play over the last few weeks, that hasn’t been the case, and that’s very different, and for the players that are a little bit older and that have played out here for a long time and have experienced it, it is very different. For some of the younger guys it’s probably not particularly different. They’re not too far removed from college or they’ve only been out here for a year or two, but for some of the older guys it’s very eye-opening really.

Tiger about his last round

Q.  When you played your last competitive round in mid-February, how would you describe where you were physically and where you are now after these five months? And then just on the back end of that, just what it felt to be back out there today.

TIGER WOODS: Well, physically I was very stiff at LA. I was not moving that well. Back was just not quite loose. It was cold. I wasn’t hitting the ball very far, wasn’t playing very well, and consequently I finished dead last. Fast forward five months later, I’ve been able to train a lot. I’ve been able to do a lot of things that I hadn’t done in a very long time, which is spend a lot of time with my kids and be around with them. It’s been very different not to have sports, but we’ve been lucky enough to have had Medalist open at home for most of this quarantine period. So it’s been nice to get out on the golf course and be able to play and keep active that way.

But as far as physically, I feel so much better than I did then. I’ve been able to train and concentrate on getting back up to speed and back up to tournament speed, so how I was moving at The Match and being able to progress since then, being out here today and being able to play with J.T. today, it was a lot of fun for both of us. We play like this at home a lot, so it’s different being on the road, but we’ve played so many practice rounds together and have played so many rounds together in the last few years that it’s been — it was quite normal.

Q.  I’m trying to start a movement with this question. The bunker rake is a relatively new thing in golf. It’s only been around for 60 years or so. In the pandemic a lot of courses have gotten rid of bunker rakes. I’m wondering how you feel about that; could that be part of the game’s future playing without bunker rakes?

TIGER WOODS: I don’t know. That certainly has been at my home course up at Medalist, if the guys happen to be in a footprint or previous hole explosion that one of the groups ahead of them had been in, we just kick it over and move it out of there and move on and play. Whether that works at the elite level, I don’t know what that’s going to be like for golf course maintenance, what it’s going to be like habitually, we as players like you who play the game, we’re used to raking the bunkers. It’s very different.

Q.  Do you view golf as a fundamentally fair game or unfair game?

TIGER WOODS: I don’t think any sport is fair.

Q.  Tiger, so much has changed in society in general since we last saw you. Can I please ask what you made of the development of the Black Lives Matter movement and the reaction to the George Floyd incident, and maybe more importantly, what positive difference you hope that all makes going forward?

TIGER WOODS: I think change is fantastic. As long as we make changes without hurting the innocent, and unfortunately that has happened, hopefully it doesn’t happen in the future, but a movement and change is fantastic. That’s how society develops. That’s how we grow. That’s how we move forward. That’s how we have fairness. Unfortunately we’ve lost innocent lives along the way, and hopefully we don’t lose any more in the future as we move to a much better place socially.

Q.  I was wondering, people have been spending all kinds of different time at home during quarantine and lockdown. I was wondering if there’s anything that you’ve been able to do, one or two things that you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to just because you’ve been stuck at home during this time?

TIGER WOODS: Well, there’s a lot of things that I hadn’t done in a long time, and one was sport-wise and physically is that we were playing quite a bit of tennis. That was very different and something I hadn’t done in a very long period of time because I hadn’t been able to do it physically. The kids enjoyed it. We were able to do that in the backyard.

Again, at the time to have the social distancing and be away from one another, from each other, soccer has been gone, as I’ve said, for us we’ve been lucky enough to have Medalist open and been able to play and practice social distancing and still enjoy being active and being outside. But as far as a lot of things inside the house, well, watched a lot of TV, read a lot of books and just tried and passed the time at times.

Q.  What’s the best book you’ve read?

TIGER WOODS: One of my favorite authors, Dean Koontz, California guy, horror novels. So I read a few of those.

Ryder Cup is postponed

Q.  Tiger, I wanted to get your thoughts on the postponement of the Ryder Cup. Two-part question: One, do you agree with it, and two, with everything now skipping forward a year, Italy will be a few months before your 48th birthday. Is that the one you’re targeting to be captain at?

TIGER WOODS: As far as captaining, we haven’t looked that far. The world has changed so fast. The fact that we were going to play the Ryder Cup, we were in position — what we were going to do as far as the vice captains, the team, how we were going to play practice rounds going forward and gelling as a team this year, all of a sudden the TOUR is suspended, we’re not playing, and we still haven’t come up with a plan going forward how we’re going to figure out the points for not this year but next year, how many picks Strick is going to get. Is that going to change or is it still going to be the same, where is the points cutoff going to be, are we going to be accumulating points at all through this. None of that’s been figured out yet.

Quite frankly, a Ryder Cup without fans is not the Ryder Cup. As it is now, okay. When the Ryder Cup first started there weren’t that many people involved in the game or whether it was GB&I versus the U.S., but the world has expanded, the event has expanded, and as far as I can remember, I’ve always seen people involved in a Ryder Cup and the chanting and screaming and the participation, the bipartisanship that has been part of the sport and part of the event. I think what they did with suspending it for the year and moving it to next year was the right thing.

We couldn’t have an environment in which we could protect all the fans that were going to be involved and have that type of insurance. Obviously if that’s the case, you can’t have the fans. Well, if you can’t have the fans, then it’s not the Ryder Cup.

We did the right thing of holding off for the year, and now from the U.S. side, we’re going to have to figure out how we’re going to accumulate points, how many players Strick is going to be able to pick and figure that out, and build our team from there.

Q.  You must have given some thought to whether you’d like to captain on U.S. soil or on European soil?

TIGER WOODS: I did my captaincy last year, and it was a lot of work, and I’m sure that I’ll look into that in the future.

Q.  Tiger, you’ve touched on this a little bit already: Just curious as you’ve watched on TV what have been your observations from a golf standpoint in terms of low scoring, in terms of course setup and that sort of thing?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the courses have been set up a little on the easier side, lack of rough, the guys have noticed that the pins have been slightly easier. The greens have been more watered. Trying to force pace of play to kind of move around better. But the guys have just absolutely played unbelievably well, considering the fact that we’ve been suspended for a while. And to see the guys come out in that good a shape, you’ve seen players — well, initially you saw one of two things, either guys that have come out rusty and not played well at all and have not played well, or you’ve seen guys that have taken off and run away with it and have gone low.

The low scores have been low and cumulative. To see the cuts at 3-, 4-under par each and every week on the venues that I know are traditionally very hard, to see the scores last week here, Muirfield, I mean, I’ve never seen anything like that, to see that many guys that low on a golf course that I know has always been very hard and very difficult.

I think that what the players have started to figure out as they’ve come back and started to get into the rhythm of playing again, understanding the new environment that we’re now in, it’s been fun to watch and will be even better to be a part of this week.

Q.  What do you make of what Bryson has been doing, more from the standpoint of what do you think the future of the sport looks like in terms of distance?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, he’s figured out a way to increase distance and maximize his efficiency with not only his driver but all of his clubs, but in particular the driver. If I just look back at when I first started playing the TOUR or right before I started playing the TOUR, we didn’t have TrackMans, we didn’t have launch monitors. Guys were learning how to bend clubs on their knee to try and take loft off of it. That’s now changed. Now you go into — you have all these different launch monitor technologies and you can send up a whole bunch of balls, figure out the shafts, the conditions that you want to optimize carry. What Bryson has done is no easy task. He’s got to put in the time and has put in the reps, and he’s figured it out. He’s gotten stronger, faster, bigger, and has created more speed. But more importantly, he’s hitting it further, but let’s look at the fact that he’s hitting it as straight as he is. That’s part of the most difficult thing to do. The further you hit it, the more the tangent goes more crooked, more along this line. So the fact that he’s figured that out and has been able to rein in the foul balls to me has been equally as impressive as his gains off the tee distance-wise.

THE MODERATOR: We appreciate the time. Best of luck this week.

(Transcript by ASAP Sports)

PGA Tour

The Memorial Tournament Press Conference: Q & A with Jack Nicklaus

JACK NICKLAUS: I’ve been hosting for 45 years, and this is the first time I’ve hosted half a group, just players. Players and press. Anyway, it’s a little different, obviously. We prepared the same way. The golf course is good. Most of the guys probably played here last week. The golf course will be a little different this week. Greens will be a couple feet faster. Rough will be a week older and deeper. Be pretty dead, as they say. And greens should be firmer unless we get too much rain.

But you know, outside of that, it’s — I know that the TOUR did a pretty darned good job from what I could see going around yesterday. They tried to spread the divots as much as they could and tried to use some different tees so they didn’t have the same landing area all the time as the things we’ll have at the Memorial Tournament. We’re looking forward to it. We’re delighted to be just playing the golf tournament.

We didn’t have live sports there for a long time. Now we’ve got live golf, and we’ve had it, what, five, six straight weeks.

THE MODERATOR: Yes, sir. It certainly is a little bit different, and it’s going to be different for you this year without the spectators at the event. Can you address how difficult of a decision that was for your team.

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, we didn’t make it. You made it. The TOUR made the decision. We didn’t have anything to do with it. We were approved by the state; Governor DeWine actually liked our proposal. He thought that we had really set out every safety issue that we could, and we were going to give it a shot.

You know, I think it’s not so much — I don’t want to put it on the TOUR’s back, but really, I think you really have to look back to the players, and the players I think had objections — if they happened to contract COVID-19, they’ve got two to three weeks mandatory that they have to leave. They’re trying to make a living, and that makes it very difficult for them.

In this particular time and what’s going on, I don’t blame them for wanting to make sure that they can stay safe and stay in a bit of a bubble and make sure that the whole world gets to watch good-quality championship golf.

THE MODERATOR: It was certainly a valiant effort on your team’s part to bring at that back to the TOUR with spectators, and we understand why that didn’t happen. We’ll take some questions.

Q.How much energy did you gain from having galleries? Did they help you? Just curious your thoughts on that.

JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, I enjoyed playing in front of people. I think that I had played in front of people since I was probably 11, 12 years old. 11, the galleries weren’t very big; 12 got a little bit bigger; 13 we actually had followings, and that just continued, so I got used to it. I played high school golf where we didn’t have anybody following. Played some college golf where we didn’t have anybody following. We played — once we started playing significant amateur tournaments, we always had people. So I grew up with it. But I did play some without it. It really didn’t make a whole lot of difference to me.

I think as evidenced at Oakmont when I played against Arnold in ’62, I didn’t know anything that was going on. I always had my mind so focused on what I was trying to do that I didn’t really hear a gallery. I was really more interested in what I was doing, my game, concentration, playing the golf course and shooting a score. That’s what I was out there for.

Did I enjoy having people out there and applauding and admiring what you’re doing and congratulating you? Absolutely, everybody has got an ego towards that. But did it make any difference to my game? Not really.

Q.Can you imagine the ’86 Masters, though, without having those fans there on the back nine for you?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, the fans were great, but I don’t even know how much — I got a nice ovation, nice applause and everything else, but I was really into trying to play golf. The people were fantastic, there’s no question about that, as they were in ’80 at Baltusrol, they were fantastic, ’78 at St. Andrews. I mean, you’d had a few times in your life where the galleries just are unbelievable, and they were unbelievable at all those three tournaments particularly. And quite a few others.

But it’s still a game to the player, and maybe some players handle it differently. A lot of times I would walk up at about the — when I get a little bit nervous coming down the stretch, 15th, 16th hole I just stop and look around and look at the excitement that was there. There I did play to a gallery because there I could stand around and say, gosh, look at this, this is what I’m here for, this is what I play for, this is what I got myself into this position to do. I’d look around and sort of feed off of that and say, okay, now, this is why I’m here, this is what I’m trying to do, have fun, go enjoy it, go win this thing. That would sort of get me pumped up, and actually it was looking and feeding off a gallery at that particular time.

I suppose I used them at times for that kind of a situation. I just looked at a picture just before I came over here, I think it was last year on the 18th hole, and the sea of people. I mean, just every inch of the 18th hole covered with people, and I’m sitting there saying, wow. You just don’t realize it when you don’t see it how many people really actually came out and watched.

Q.  And for this tournament, did you get the sense that you were going to have fans and then no fans and that some players maybe would have been hesitant to play the Memorial if fans had been here? Were you hearing that just because of the safety or not?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I think it was the players’ choice and the TOUR’s choice at this point to say, we would prefer not to have fans, and because of the issue that they had, if one of them got sick, then not only were they exposed to the caddie, then exposed to players they had played with, they’d have to go sit for two or three weeks, and the TOUR is shortened already, so it makes it harder for them to make a living. I understand that, and I think that the TOUR probably made the right decision as it relates to The Memorial tournament. Maybe we are a little too early for the galleries. We didn’t have a problem with it. We would have loved to have — my goal putting on the golf tournament is to bring major championship type golf back to Columbus, Ohio, where I grew up. That’s why this whole event is being played. It’s not being played for the players, it’s being played for central Ohio.

But I understand it, and I actually think it was the right decision. When you’re not really — even the governor liked our plan and went along with it and was going to allow us to start to have a gallery and open it up to spectator sports. I applaud the governor and thank him very much for his great efforts to try to help us and the work put in by Dan Sullivan and his team here and all the things they put together to set up a plan that would work and was passed by the state of Ohio.

But in the end, the players — you know, you can’t have a dance without the dancing girls, and so you just — and I can understand where some might be very hesitant. I think we’re probably doing the right thing right now, and we’re going to have a good tournament either way.

Q.  Two questions, unrelated: One is we spoke to Tiger a little bit earlier today and he pronounced himself more healthy than he’s been in months during the period of time he’s been off. He hasn’t played in five months. Just kind of curious with your experience how difficult that is to come off that layoff and maybe what you might expect after five months of no competitive play from him this week.

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I don’t know. I’ve seen Tiger play very well after long layoffs. I used to lay off early in my career, I’d stop playing in September, and I didn’t start playing again until January. And I played nothing in between, and quite often I’d start out and then a lot of times the Crosby was my first tournament, and I won that several times. I won three times, I think.

So I won immediately coming out of a winter of not playing golf. So you never know what to expect. I don’t think Tiger will be as sharp or as ready as he normally is, but Tiger is Tiger. He’s a pretty darned good player, and my guess is he played quite a bit of golf at home, and he doesn’t want to come here and not play well and not do his best. So he’s going to give it his best.

Q.  Unrelated, I’m curious, Bryson DeChambeau obviously has been kind of all the rage the past month and change; what’s your impression as to what he has done to his body with the working out, the distance he’s taken? I know you’ve talked about the ball a lot over the years, but is there a concern? Maybe concern is not the right word, but what’s your impression? Do you have a fascination about where he’s taken this so far?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I personally have not seen him in person. I’ve seen him on television, and he’s a much bigger man. But he was tall to start with, but if he’s carrying 250 pounds, that’s a lot of weight for Bryson. But Bryson, he doesn’t look heavy, he just looks big. The places that he has been hitting the golf ball — and he’s not — Bryson’s golf swing is not a fluid golf swing that really whips the club into the ball. Bryson’s golf swing is pretty much pretty firm going back and firm coming through with a lot of body rotation. It’s a little different than a lot of guys. And can you believe the power he’s getting from that? I mean, it’s unbelievable.

You know, I for one, I want to watch a little bit, watch him play a little bit. I’d like to see what he does and how he’s actually doing that because he’s obviously doing something right. The ball is going a long way. And he’s playing well with it.

Q.  This is really the first big ballpark he’s going to have faced, so to speak, comparatively. Obviously Colonial and Hilton Head are pretty tight, Travelers similar at River Highlands. This is the first place maybe he takes advantage a little more of that if he’s still hitting it straight.

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, this golf course you can only go so far off the tee before you start getting in trouble. I give you a fairly generous area to hit it into if you’re going to hit it 260, 270, but if you’re beyond that point I try to make you hit the ball pretty straight. It’s going to be a combination. There’s going to be some holes. I mean, 13 goes over the break of a hill, and the bunker is a little over 300 yards, but it’s downhill, downwind, so he probably won’t have any problem carrying that. Most of the guys carried it last year when they were here.

Q.14 and 17 would probably be similar to that?

JACK NICKLAUS: 17 is a little longer — well, it’s not that much longer. 17 is probably 320, 325, 322, something like that, to carry the bunkers. Yeah, he could probably take them over those if he’s carrying the ball that far, but both are downhill, downwind under normal conditions. Wind turns the other way, I don’t even think Bryson is going to be hitting it over those.

Q.  Did you have a chance to watch any of the action last week? I’m curious what your thoughts are on how they played 14 specifically on Sunday with it shorter, and would you ever consider doing that for the Memorial?

JACK NICKLAUS: I did not see virtually — I didn’t see much of the golf tournament. Never saw them play 14. I know they played it up three of the four days. They’ve asked me if we could play it up one day this week, and I said, sure, I have no problem having that being a drivable par-4 if that’s part of what you want to do in the round. It’s okay with me.

The hole is probably my favorite hole on the golf course because of how you really have to play it. I’ve actually made three 2s on the hole, so I’ve had a little bit of success. But I made one 2 from the fairway, two from driving the ball up off the side of the green. Not in a tournament, but I have done that.

I don’t know, I think 14, it’s a little different. And the distance these guys hit it, they’ve been hitting it at the green from the back tee, so I don’t know.

You had a two-part question, I think. Oh, how much have I seen of the guys that played last week? I had a little bit of an “oops” last week myself. We were getting up here, we scheduled our flight to get up here because I wanted to see — congratulate the winner in the locker room at 6:00, and of course then they moved up the tee times, and that didn’t work out. So we were getting on an airplane at 2:00 which is when we were coming up here, and just as we were getting ready to take off, the first hole of the playoff, Justin Thomas holes that big long putt. Well, I saw the putt. We didn’t see Morikawa’s putt.

Barbara and I both texted Justin and said to him, wow, what a fantastic putt, unbelievable fantastic super putt, can’t believe that you made that putt. Now you’ve got the chance to win two in a row. And then we got up in the air, and we picked up wi-fi after 10,000 feet, and we found out Morikawa won the tournament, and so I had to send him another text and say, Oops, a little premature.

He was good about it. He texted back and he said, All’s good, it’s okay. He was good about it, and Morikawa, what a pretty golf swing he’s got. You know, obviously to hole that putt behind Thomas was something pretty special. But I didn’t see a lot of it.

Q.Just to follow up on that, what would your advice be to J.T. to get over something like that?

JACK NICKLAUS: He won’t have any problem getting over it. He’s got his head screwed on properly and his feet on the ground. He knows that you get beat sometimes even when you play well and do the right things or even when you make a mistake. He knew he had a chance on the second playoff hole, what did he have, about an eight-footer, something like that? So he understands that. And sometimes you give your best effort and you just get beat, and that’s about what looked like happened. I think J.T. will be right there again this week.

Q.Just following up on the fans question, do you think not having fans at majors this year will or would affect the competition in terms of the pressure and who can win?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don’t know. Have all the majors declared no fans? I don’t know.

Q.Not yet.

JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, okay, because I hadn’t heard that. Will it make a difference? I think it always makes a little bit of difference. It depends on the individual. Some people do feed off of people. Some golfers do. And I said earlier, I said, it was part of me, I was so used to it. I never really fed that much off of it, but sometimes you get a gallery that sort of pushes you on like at Masters in ’86 or Baltusrol in ’80 or St. Andrews in ’78. The gallery was part of that for me.

But still, I was working so hard on trying to do what I had to do and concentrating on my golf game that that’s where my focus was. It was not on the people.

But I think fans do make a difference, but yeah, we played a lot of college golf and amateur golf where we had some exciting matches and exciting tournaments without anybody watching.

Q.Jack, a lot of the players have told me one of their favorite memories was shaking your hand after they won the tournament, but in this day and age have you thought about what you might do instead of the handshake?

JACK NICKLAUS: I’m going to shake their hand. I going to walk right out there and shake your hand. If they don’t want to shake my hand, that’s fine, I’ll give them a fist bump or an elbow bump, but I’m not going to give them COVID-19, so that’s — I wouldn’t put anybody in that position. I wouldn’t do that, and if I was in any danger of doing that, I wouldn’t shake their hands.

And incidentally, I like shaking their hand, too. I think that’s a great tradition, but it was as much fun for me as I hope it is for them.

THE MODERATOR: That’s all we have for now, so I appreciate your time coming in, and thanks for hosting us at the 45th edition of the Memorial. Look forward to a great tournament.

(Transcript by ASAP Sports)

European Tour

Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos completes three-event Iberian Swing

The Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos will return to the European Tour schedule as a dual ranking event on September 17-20, completing a three-event “Iberian Swing” with the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters and the Portugal Masters.

The tournament at Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort in Óbidos was already confirmed as part of the European Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca for the third consecutive year and will now return to the European Tour for the first time since 2017. 

Strategy of regional clusters

Following the strategy of playing events on the reshaped 2020 Race to Dubai in regional clusters, the Open de Portugal at Royal Obidos follows the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters at Real Club Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain, on September 3-6 and the Portugal Masters at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, on September 10-13.

The 58th edition of the historic event will be promoted by the Portuguese Golf Federation and moves to Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort – a Seve Ballesteros design – for the first time. 

First played in 1973, the tournament boasts an impressive list of winners including Sam Torrance in 1982 and 1983, Colin Montgomerie in 1989, Miguel Angel Jiménez in 2004 and Thomas Bjørn in 2010. 

Matt Wallace claimed the first of his four European Tour wins the last time the Open de Portugal was part of the Race to Dubai in 2017, while Dimitrios Papadatos and Adrian Meronk claimed their first Challenge Tour victories at the event in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Ben Cowen, the European Tour’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer, said: “In planning the reshaped 2020 Race to Dubai, part of our measured approach has been to play, where possible, in clusters in one region or territory. 

“Adding the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos as a dual ranking event creates a three tournament “Iberian Swing” for players on the European Tour, and delivers further good news for Challenge Tour members as the event remains on the Road to Mallorca for a third consecutive season, with an increased prize fund of €500,000. 

One of the most interesting golf destinations in Portugal

“We are grateful to our partners at the Portuguese Golf Federation and Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort for working with us to feature this event on both the Challenge Tour and European Tour.”

Miguel Franco de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Golf Federation, said: “We are very happy to secure another dual ranking Open de Portugal which moves to Royal Óbidos for the next three years. This region offers a variety of courses making it a very interesting golf destination in Portugal. We believe that Royal Óbidos, a Seve Ballesteros design, will be a good test of golf for both European and Challenge Tour players.

“This event shows our strong commitment to work closely with the European Tour in order to promote Portugal as one of the best golf destinations in the world, on one end and, on the other, to provide playing opportunities to our playing professionals, especially in this difficult season with very few tournaments being played.”

The European Tour returned this week with the Austrian Open, the first of two dual-ranking events in Austria, followed by the Euram Bank Open. The new six event UK Swing is next before the action moves to Spain and Portugal.

All tournaments in the reshaped 2020 season will be governed by the Tour’s comprehensive Health Strategy, which has been developed by Chief Medical Officer Dr Andrew Murray in consultation with health care specialists Cignpost and advisors in many of the 30 countries in which the European Tour plays.

They will also be underpinned by the European Tour’s new ‘Golf for Good’ initiative which aims to support communities where the European Tour plays, reward true heroes, such as frontline workers, and promote the many health benefits that golf offers.

(Press Release European Tour)

Apparel Equipment

Make it pop!

Author: Stefan Batsch

If golf is one thing, then it’s certainly not colourless and pale. There’s days in summer when hanging out on the club terrace feels like at the general meeting of the candy trade association – tons of pink, mint, bright blue and almost every pastel shade in the world is flickering in front of your eyes. But what’s missing often, however, are bright and other colors, clear announcements, a little pop, a little courage, unconventionalism, some fresh patterns that go beyond argyle checks, a little wink, freshness and nonchalance. And sometimes it’s eye-soothening when a clean look in black, white or gray basics is broken with just some small, pointedly used sprinkles. We took a look at a few newer, smaller brands to see what‘s on their table this season …

Dormie Workshop – Space Pop Throwback

Of course, especially after the delayed start of the season, your drivers and woods are so hot that they need to be cooled. Best way done with these wonderfully cool headcovers from Dormie Workshop that come along in an 80’s style and bring back memories of times of BMX bikes, eternally long summer holidays and hanging out in the swimming pool. Dormie are known for special and unique leather covers in limited short runs. Not the cheapest on the market, but still they go away like ice cream in midsummer, as I was told from the guys from Nova Scotia. So if you want it, hurry up!

$ 120 via

Almigos x Asher Gloves

In terms of color, this pretty glove from Almigos in cooperation with Asher Gloves is a perfect match for Dormie‘s Ice Popsicle design. Almigos, a brand out of the California desert, started as a group of friends who lanched the „Almigos Classic“, a relaxed tournament that is all about golf, margaritas and having a good time in the sun out of which this very likeable little label evolved.

$ 26 via

BB&F Co. – Battersea Ferrules

Ok, our irons all look pretty much the same. Silver, a few matt black or bronze and maybe a few sheikhs, Russians and Jack Nicholson have gold ones. That’s it. If you want to add some color and an individual touch to your set of irons, you can actually only go for it with colored grips – or with a set of BB & F ferrules. Countless color variations invite you to match your iron to your bag, your trolley, favorite cap, preferred ball color or your shoes. A set consists of ten ferrules and costs between $ 30 and $ 40, the one shown here is $ 40 on

Outerlinks – Praying Hands Floppy Hat

A beautiful, simple design that does not rage as a bull at the gate and screams GOLF! Dürer‘s praying hands wearing gloves saying „Please, baby, sit at the flag!“, you can almost hear it praying. Symbol for almost every golfer. The guys from North Carolina stand for clean design for on and off the course and good quality at really affordable prices.

$ 25 via

PRG Originals – Pop Art Blade Cover

Even after the lousiest 3-putt, the mood rises up again when you put the putter back in PRG Originals’ ’Pop Art Blade Cover. And it‘s almost impossible to forget this cover on the green, that‘s how loud it is. PRG from Northern Ireland has been producing various accessories for well-known golf brands, clubs and events for over 15 years now. PRG Originals, its own collection brand, has been launched last year. The design is also available as a mallet version and for drivers / woods.

£ 25 on

PE Golf Co. – Camoji Fairwaywoods Headcover

And another smile-provoking cover, this time from Sweden. PE Golf, the headcover brand established in 2015, worked with women pro golfer Camilla Lennarth for this leather emoji model. In any case, both go very well with my „play“ with fairway woods.

500 SKR (about 46 €) on

BNKR – Tournament Badges Pocket Tee

Ok, the Masters with the typical exaggerated azalea blossom has initially failed, being postponed to fall. With this shirt from BNKR, a small golf lifestyle brand from the West Coast, you’ll have the Masters always in your heart. „We can‘t guarantee this pocket tee will get you past the gates at Augusta National, but we can guarantee you‘ll be the best looking person getting escorted by security off the property for trying.“

$ 25 on

Sugarloaf Social Club – SSC Print Tour Visor Collection

Sugarloaf also evolved from a group of friends, the love to play and a certain rebellion against the rigid standards in golf clothing. You can see that in their current Visor collection. With a series of events spread over the east coast and a „hidden gem map“, in which they list rather unknown golf course pearls with extremely cheap green fees on their website (unfortunately only in the USA), they go beyond the mere manufacturing and marketing of products and are right in the Spirit of the Game.

$ 40 from

TOMO – Vol. 1

TOMO from Utah might have gained some fame even outside the United States. Simple and clean shoe styles that look extremely comfty, now in three different models, each of which is available in many colors – the Vol. 1 model shown here is available in seven different versions alone. You don‘t always have to leave your money at the big players!

Available for $ 95 at

Radry – 90‘s Hat

A cap stylistically somewhere between Miami Vice, Magnum, Venice Beach and Golf in cool, but not over the top, and somehow unobtrusive with its relatively small splash of color on the forehead. Radry, another small American label with always refreshing designs and ideas with good pop appeal from laces to ball markers to hoodies.

Cap € 32 on

Highlights Tours

Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup rescheduled for 2021 and 2022 respectively

The PGA of America, Ryder Cup Europe and the PGA Tour jointly announced today that both The Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup have been rescheduled and will now be played one year later than originally planned. 

The 43rd Ryder Cup, scheduled for the week of September 22-27 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, has been rescheduled for the week of September 21-26, 2021. 

Ryder Cup rescheduled

Likewise, the 2021 Presidents Cup, initially scheduled for September 30-October 3, 2021 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, will now be played September 19-25, 2022.

Additionally, as a result of the Presidents Cup date change, the Wells Fargo Championship will be played at its traditional venue at Quail Hollow in 2021 and at TPC Potomac in 2022, during Presidents Cup year.

The decision to reschedule The Ryder Cup was made based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in conjunction with the state of Wisconsin and Sheboygan County, with the health and well-being of all involved as the top priority.

“Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host The 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.

“It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible. Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call.

“We are grateful to Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners at the PGA TOUR for their flexibility and generosity in the complex task of shifting the global golf calendar.

“As disappointing as this is, our mandate to do all we can to safeguard public health is what matters most. The spectators who support both the U.S. and European sides are what make The Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option.

“We stand united with our partners from Ryder Cup Europe, the NBC Sports Group, Sky and our other broadcast partners around the world. We look forward to delivering The Ryder Cup’s renowned pageantry, emotion and competitive drama to a global audience in 2021.”

Presidents Cup is also postponed

Guy Kinnings, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director, said: “The Ryder Cup is rightly celebrated as one of the world’s greatest sporting occasions, made special and totally unique in our sport by the fervent atmosphere created by the passionate spectators of both sides.

“While that point is significant, it is not as important as the health of the spectators which, in these difficult times, is always the main consideration. We considered all options including playing with a limited attendance but all our stakeholders agreed this would dilute the magic of this great occasion.

“We therefore stand beside our partners at the PGA of America in the decision to postpone The Ryder Cup for a year and join with them in extending our thanks to the PGA Tour for their willingness to help by moving the date of the Presidents Cup.

“We also thank NBC, Sky and our many broadcast partners around the globe, in addition to the worldwide partners of this great event, whose support and commitment are second to none.”

With the decision to play The 2020 Ryder Cup in September 2021, all subsequent Ryder Cups after Whistling Straits will also shift to odd years: 2023/Marco Simone Golf and Country Club (Rome, Italy); 2025/Bethpage Black (Farmingdale, New York); 2027/Adare Manor (County Limerick, Ireland); 2029/Hazeltine National Golf Club (Chaska, Minnesota); 2031/Europe (to be determined); 2033/The Olympic Club (San Francisco); 2035/Europe (to be determined); 2037/Congressional Country Club (Bethesda, Maryland).

Off the momentum of the 2019 Presidents Cup played in Melbourne, Australia, the 14th playing of the Presidents Cup, will now be hosted for the first time in the Southeast United States at Quail Hollow Club in 2022. 

“These two premier international team events are lifted by the spirit of the fans,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “With the uncertainty of the current climate, we fully support The Ryder Cup’s decision to delay a year in order to ensure fans could be a part of the incredible atmosphere in Wisconsin, and the delay of this year’s Presidents Cup was the right decision in order to allow for that option. 

“We are thankful that our global partners, our friends at Quail Hollow Club and all associated with the Presidents Cup and the Junior Presidents Cup have approached this change with a unified, positive spirit. We are confident the move will give us even more runway as we bring the Presidents Cup to Charlotte in 2022.”

(Text: European Tour)

Highlights Tours

European Ryder Cup Qualification Process frozen until 2021

The European Tour today confirmed that the qualification process for Team Europe for The 43rdRyder Cup at Whistling Straits has been frozen until the beginning of the new year, after the biennial contest was postponed until 2021.

The Tour’s Tournament Committee voted unanimously to ratify the changes which will see qualifying resume on January 1, 2021, ahead of golf’s greatest team contest which will now be staged from September 24-26, 2021.

Ryder Cup Qualification frozen

All points earned to date on both the European and World Points lists, which started at the 2019 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and which were paused after the 2020 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in March this year, will continue to count.

In addition, one or more points multipliers may be introduced during the course of the 2021 European Tour season to ensure that strong performance closer to the match in September 2021 is given added importance. These will be agreed once the 2021 European Tour schedule has been announced and communicated to the Membership prior to January 1.

As in 2020, Qualification points will not be available anywhere in the world during 2021 from a tournament played opposite a Rolex Series event, further enhancing the status of the premier series of events on the European Tour.

Overall, there will be no modification to the qualifying criteria ratified by the Tournament Committee last year: i.e. The first four qualifiers for Team Europe will come from the European Points list, the next five from the World Points list and Captain Pádraig Harrington will have three wildcard picks.

The change to the qualifying process maintains the normal length of the qualification period plus a further two months, as January and February in both 2020 and 2021 are included. The end date of the qualification period will be confirmed when the 2021 Race to Dubai schedule is announced.

“I feel that players should not feel under pressure to play”

European Captain Pádraig Harrington said: “I think the proposals that have been outlined today are fair to all players involved in the qualification process, whether they have already amassed points or will be looking to do so from next January onwards.

“The 2020 season has already been heavily disrupted, and may continue to be further impacted, by a number of COVID-19 related issues in terms of travel restrictions, quarantine regulations and individual personal concerns. I feel that players should not feel under pressure to play and therefore the points tables should not apply from now until the end of the year from a schedule that could change further.

“However, while that is the case, notable performances will still very much count in my considerations for picks as I maintain a keen interest in the form of all possible Ryder Cup team members in tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic.”

(Text: European Tour)