by Jeff Skinner
Donald Trump is on the verge of buying Doral Golf Resort and SPA the home of The Blue Monster. Trump has been adamant about getting a high profile tournament on one of his courses. If the deal goes through he’ll have The WGC-Cadillac Championship, not quite the major championship he covets but fairly close. If you listen to Trump it’s only a matter of time before he lands a U.S. Open or a PGA Championship. I can’t imagine the number of palms he would have to grease for that to happen.
Rickie Fowler got to hoist his first professional trophy this past weekend at the OneAsia Tour’s Korea Open. So it’s not the PGA or the European Tour but it still has some significance for Fowler. A win is a win and while it won’t mean much on his home tour it’s always positive to notch a victory no matter where it is. Hey, he did beat a pair of major winners, Rory McIlroy and Y.E.Yang. So he’s got that going for him.
Cheers to Davis Love III for hosting the McGladrey Classic this week. DL3 has taken “ownership” of this event if you will. He has worked hard and maybe called in a few favors to get a damn good event during the PGA’s Fall Series. If more players were as active as Love the tour would be better off.
With the advent of the FedEx Cup Playoffs the PGA Tour Money Title really does not have much meaning. Or does it? Tiger had won it so many times (9) that it seemed like he owned it. But this year is different. Webb Simpson trails leader Luke Donald by $68,971 and decided to play this week to try and take the lead. He’ll need at least a 15th place finish to take the top spot. Donald is trying to be the first member of both the PGA and European Tour to win both titles. Donald’s PGA Tour season is over, we think. Will he come back to play next week at Disney to keep his lead? Also, the money title isn’t a hollow title as there is one significant perk besides bragging rights that comes with it: a five year exemption into the PGA Tour. Even for winners like Webb and Luke that takes a little pressure off.
Speaking of the money list, Bud Cauley is another compelling story this week at The McGladrey Classic. Five months ago Cauley, 21, was a junior at Alabama but left to pursue his dream of playing on the PGA Tour. So far it’s a dream come true. In seven tournaments he has earned enough to put him 114th on the PGA’s Money List. If he can stay in the top 25 after next week’s Disney he’ll have earned his PGA Tour Card for next season. He’ll be only the sixth player to have accomplished that feat and join some pretty good company: Ryan Moore, Tiger Woods, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson and Gary Hallberg.
Is there a bigger knucklehead in golf right now than this guy who threw the hot dog at Tiger Woods? He said he wanted to do something “courageous and epic.” Try taking your meds, that’s pretty courageous.
The long putter debate rages on but some people are taking action. TaylorMade Golf expects sales of long putters to triple in the fourth quarter of this year and it forecasts that it will sell five times as many long putters next year. It could be an epidemic!
Good news for the LPGA: they are in the middle of one of their busiest streaks of the season, five tournaments in six weeks. Bad news for the LPGA: the 12 hour time difference in Malaysia relegates the ladies to taped, time delayed coverage on The Golf Channel, never a good thing.
The last few weeks of the PGA Tour are filled with players trying to better their position for next season. Whether it’s trying to move into the top 125, or the top 50 or top 30 just about every golfer that tees it up now has something important to play for in addition to the win. Tommy Gainey is one of those guys. He is one of the ironmen on tour this year. He tees it up just about every chance he has and only he and Blake Adams have played in a season high 32 tournaments this year. Gainey has made the most of his season: 32 starts, 17 cuts made, four third place finishes, $2,174,191 and he sits 35th on the Money List. He has assured himself of keeping his card for next season and by any measure he has to consider this year an overwhelming success. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that he was working in a factory building hot water heaters. The former mini-tour legend and Big Breaker still has a carrot he is chasing these last two weeks. One tournament he didn’t play in this year was The Masters. If he can move up five spots on the money list and break the top 30 he’ll get to play at Augusta next season. Playing at Augusta would be a dream for the affable, South Carolina gentleman and a fitting climax for a man that has never let his dream die.