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The PGA Tour does not pay players who miss the cut. Now they are at least paid to just play the minimum number of tournaments.
In a series of announcements sent to players on Monday, the PGA Tour announced a new bonus program called “Play 15”. Every member who participates in 15 or more tournaments will receive a performance bonus of $ 50,000.
That basically means $ 50,000 for everyone. A year ago, the best 150 players in the FedEx Cup played at least 15 tournaments each with the exception of Garrick Higgo from South Africa, who only became a member in South Carolina in June with only two months left in the season.
The top 10 in the FedEx Cup reached an average of just under 24 tournaments, not including the Ryder Cup or the Olympic Games that count.
There is also more money for the Players Championship. Already the richest event in golf, the wallet will rise to at least 20 million US dollars next March. The exact amount will be determined at the board meeting in November. Even at $ 20 million, first place would bring in $ 3.6 million.
The tour also said the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua increased its wallet to $ 8 million, with the winner receiving $ 1,444,000. The tour estimates the final spot for the winner-only field will receive $ 100,000.
Nick Watney meets Butch Harmon again
Nick Watney didn’t stand a chance and had to make some tough decisions. The math was the easy part. He wondered if he still felt like it.
Watney finished the worst of his 16 full seasons on the PGA Tour, making just six cuts in 25 events, with his best result being a draw for 34th place on his own ball.
The first decision was whether to take a one-time leave for the top 50 career money. He was in 50th place, just $ 68,324 ahead of Keegan Bradley. Not far behind were Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau.
“It was an easy decision,” he said. “If I fall on 51, I can’t use it.”
As for the wish?
“I talked to myself a bit. Do I still want to do that? Do I still enjoy it? Yes I do, “said Watney. “If I haven’t had good seasons, I can barely make the FedEx Cup (postseason). With this one year I have to go. I have to play golf. It was definitely a wake up call.
“The goal was to use it and play well and not have to think about it again. So far, so good.”
After a tie for 30th place at the start of the new season – decent compared to last year – Watney started well, finishing on a 65 in the Sanderson Farms Championship to finish second. He fell a little behind at TPC Summerlin last week, but it was still three cuts in three starts.
It is the first time in six years that he has started a new season with three straight cuts.
Watney said he saw an improvement in his game over the summer when he decided to return to his longtime coach, Butch Harmon. Harmon doesn’t travel much, but Watney was more than ready to see him in Las Vegas.
“I played my best golf with him. He saw me hit tons of balls. He’s like family, ”said Watney. “I called, he answered and said, ‘Come on.’ I just told him that my career is flashing before my eyes and that I want to try it. “
Watney is taking two weeks off and plans to end the year with four events in a row, starting with the Bermuda Championship. A strong finish could make the rest of the season less stressful.
First time Fluff Caddy for Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk and caddy Mike “Fluff” Cowan have been together for 22 years, including 16 wins, one US Open win and a FedEx Cup title.
It wasn’t a slow start in the spring of 1999, but it was memorable. Their first tournament together was The Masters, about two months after Cowan was fired from Tiger Woods. The caddy had apparently put on some weight during his free time at home.
The previous Saturday they played a training round in unusually hot weather.
“Fluff hadn’t gone for a walk and wasn’t on the track,” said Furyk. “He was about 10 pounds heavier at the time and had to be 50 yards behind me when he went up the hill at 8.”
Furyk said Cowan put the bag down and began to gasp and breathe heavily.
“I stared at that big mustache and said, ‘Buddy, I’ll tell you now, if it comes down to you dying and word of mouth, it will be a 50-50 call.’ “Said Furyk. And he started laughing. He doubled up. He says, ‘We’ll get along well.'”
Rory’s big win at Congress got Padraig thinking
Padraig Harrington no longer thought that his best golf was good enough, but thought that he would also need help from others who do not play well. Some of it was age. Much of it was for Irishman Rory McIlroy, who won the 2011 US Open with eight shots in Congress with a record result.
“Sure, when Rory came out, you’re standing there and just how can you beat this guy?” said Harrington. “That puts you under stress then. The best place to be is to go to the golf course and think that your things are good enough and you don’t have to worry about everyone else. “
To illustrate his point, he said that under the same conditions and golf course, he would tend to do better than PGA Tour players against a field of Irish club professionals.
“The relative act is against the better players, you don’t feel like you can make mistakes,” he said.
“Like I said, I definitely think Rory was a big change in that regard. How could you keep up? ”He said. “And I know Tiger was there, but maybe I was at my peak with Tiger and maybe I had a strategy with Tiger that was about doing my own thing. But with Rory the game certainly jumped a lot and it was difficult to follow. “
Matthew Wolff is 43 under par in his last two appearances at the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas. He finished second on both occasions for $ 1,386,000. … The European Tour is planning a five-week swing through the Middle East. It added a tournament in Ras Al Khaimah, the sixth largest city in the United Arab Emirates. The game will be played from February 3 to 6, the dates that previously belonged to Saudi International. … Steven Alkers qualified for the Boeing Classic, finished seventh with the same number of points and ended up in the top 10 at the next five events to continue playing. Alkers made just over $ 450,000. … Phil Mickelson surpassed $ 1 million in career profits at the PGA Tour Champions by winning three of his four starts. With his win in the PGA Championship, he won twice as much.
The golf stats of the week
Players from the top 50 in the world rankings have won the last six PGA Tour events, the longest series of its kind since summer 2018.
The last word of the week
“I don’t know if I’ve been known long enough to answer that.” – Patrick Cantlay, when asked if it was nice to be known.