Garcia needing good results to get into FedEx Cup playoffs
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — Three tournaments remain before the top eight players qualify for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, including $10 million or more purses from the World Golf Championship at Firestone and the PGA Championship.
Another deadline quickly approaching is the FedEx Cup, and Adam Scott did himself a big favor with his tie for 17th at the British Open.
Scott moved from No. 123 to No. 107 in the FedEx Cup standings. He should be set, especially being guaranteed points in two weeks at the Bridgestone Invitational. Scott, who has fallen to No. 73 in the world ranking, gets into Firestone because he played in the Presidents Cup last year.
“There’s good stuff in my game,” Scott said. “I didn’t hit it as well as I wanted this week, but there was still plenty of good in that. My short game is really good, I thought. So if I can just get the rhythm of the golf swing going a little better over the next couple weeks, I really feel like I can make a mark at the PGA and try to put a dent in the end of the season.”
Others remain in a tough spot.
Sergio Garcia missed the cut at Carnoustie and fell to No. 132, which is why he decided to play the RBC Canadian Open this week for the first time since 2001. Garcia has played only 11 events on the PGA Tour this year.
Bill Haas, who took time off from golf after being the passenger in a fatal car accident outside Riviera in February, is at No. 144.
Henrik Stenson banged the top part of his left arm on a door, and it was sore enough that it nearly kept him out of the British Open. He could use some quick healing with a schedule that is busier than usual.
A year ago, Stenson was at No. 75 in the FedEx Cup standings and in danger of not fulfilling his minimum 15 tournaments, so he entered the Wyndham Championship, which he won. Now, the Swede has a World Golf Championship at Firestone and the PGA Championship, and then the title defense at the Wyndham before the FedEx Cup playoffs start.
“That’s why I’m hoping the arm will clear up in a week or so, and I can get back into playing without thinking about that and just working on my game,” Stenson said. “If I’m going to play all that golf, I need to pace myself and not do too much. But at the same time, I’m not feeling like I’m firing golf-wise, so you still need to put the work in. So that’s a bit of a tough one.”
It’s tough in other aspects. The Nordea Masters in Sweden, which he has never won, was moved this year to the same week as the Wyndham Championship.
“So we’re disappointing a lot of people,” he said.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
The PGA Tour Champions has its final major of the year at St. Andrews this week for the Senior British Open, and it’s been a year of spreading out the victories.
Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Regions Tradition in Alabama. Paul Broadhurst won the Senior PGA Championship. David Toms won the U.S. Senior Open in Colorado, and Vijay Singh won the Senior Players Championship two weeks ago in Chicago.
Missing from the list is Bernhard Langer, who has won majors each of the last four years.
For the last six years, at least one player has won multiple senior majors. The last time the five majors were won by five players was in 2011, when they were won by Tom Lehman, Tom Watson, Olin Browne, Fred Couples and Russ Cochran.
Shubhankar Sharma turned pro at 16 and got his start on the Professional Golf Tour of India, which offered small purses and little else. Now, it is one of three small circuits that will start awarding world ranking points.
The board of the Official world Golf Ranking approved India, the All Thailand Golf Tour and the feeder circuit of the Japan Golf Tour into its system. Winners in Thailand and India will get a minimum of five points over 72-hole events, while the Abema TV Tour in Japan awards four points.
“I think it’s fabulous,” Sharma said. “India has some great players, and the scores are pretty low. I think it’s truly one of the better tours in Asia now. It’s great we have world ranking points. It will just attract more and more sponsors, and it will help making India bigger.”
The ranking starts one year before the Olympics, and Anirban Lahiri expects quick movement. Lahiri was the first Indian to play in the Presidents Cup, and Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia represented India in the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro two years ago.
“It’s unbelievable what that’s going to do,” Lahiri said. “We’re suddenly going to have another 20 guys in the top 300, I think.”
PGA PLAYER RACE
Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Justin Thomas are in a tight race for the points-based PGA player of the year, and none has won a major.
Johnson, Rose and Thomas are all three-time winners (each event is worth 10 points). Johnson leads in scoring average and is third on the money list, while Rose is second in scoring and money. That leaves both of them at 56 points.
Thomas leads the money list and is No. 4 in scoring average, leaving him two points out of the lead.
As for the major champions, that is their only victory this year on the PGA Tour. Majors are worth 30 points, and there is a 50-point bonus for winning two majors.
The PGA Tour’s award is based on a vote of the players.
The R&A reported attendance for the week at the British Open at 172,000, a record for Carnoustie. The previous mark was 159,000 in 1999. ... Tiger Woods raised $19,000 for his foundation last month when he auctioned the camouflage bag he used at the Quicken Loans National. The bag was made specifically for Woods to support the tournament’s military camouflage day initiative. He autographed it and wrote a personal message to the winning bidder. ... U.S. Junior Girls champion Yealimi Noh and semifinalists Lucy Li were among seven players named to the 12-member Junior Ryder Cup team. Li, who was on the Curtis Cup team, is playing the Junior Ryder Cup for the second time. ... Rory McIlroy was the only player with all four rounds under par at Carnoustie in the British Open. ... By winning the British Open, Francesco Molinari took over the lead in the Race to Dubai on the European Tour. It had belonged to Patrick Reed since he won the Masters.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Francesco Molinari and Y.E. Yang are the only players to win a major while paired with Tiger Woods in the final round.
“There’s going to be a lot of European guys vying for his partnership in the foursomes at the Ryder Cup, that’s for sure.” — Rory McIlroy on British Open champion Francesco Molinari.