Golf

Monday, January 20, 2020
Three late birdies get him to 13 under par . . .

    Ted Potter salvaged a tie for 37th place in The American Express at La Quinta yesterday by birdieing three of the last four holes over the Stadium Course.

    Ted had squandered a potential good round by making bogeys at No. 13 and 18 after birdies at 10 and 12 had gotten him off to a quick 2-under start. 

    On the front nine, he made par on the first five holes, but missed a good chance on No. 5 when he couldn't hole a birdie putt of 9 feet, 1 inch. Then he birdied the par-3 sixth, pitched it up to two feet for a birdie on seven, and closed it out with a birdie on nine for a 33 after hitting a 181-yard iron five feet from the hole.

    He wound up with a 3-under 69 - 13 under for the 72 holes - and picked up a check for $29,815. Added to his haul at the Sony the week before, he's earned $244,315, moving up three spots on the money list to 117th. Ted also collected 17 FedEx points and now has 105, good for 115th on that list. 

    Andrew Landry won the event with a 26-under-par 262, two strokes better than Abraham Ancer, who closed with a 9-under 63. Scottie Scheffler was another stroke back at 23 under. 

    Gator Matt Every bombed out on Sunday with an 82 and finished 74th and last at 1 under. Seminole Hank Lebioda enjoyed a good week, tieing for 17th at 16 under, while Daniel Berger tied for 29th at 14 under.   

    The Tour heads south this week to Torrey Pines in San Diego for the $7.3 million Farmers Insurance Open, and Ted will be there looking to make it three cuts in a row after missing his previous five. Among those on the entry list are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Gary Woodland, Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, who tied for 10th yesterday at 18 under, and defending champ Justin Rose, who celebrated with a $1,278,000 payday last year. 

       

   

Sunday, January 19, 2020
Ted loses chance for big payday . . .

   A triple bogey on the 18th hole yesterday buried Ted Potter's chances for a high finish in the $6.7 million The American Express, and it turned out he was even lucky to make the cut. After making a birdie 2 on the eighth hole, his 17th hole of the day, Ted was sitting in a tie for 13th at 13 under par. But the triple derailed his effort, and he went from 2-under for the day to 1-over 73.   

    With rounds of 70-63-73-206, 10 under par, Ted heads into today's finale at La Quinta in a tie for 43rd, 11 strokes behind Scottie Scheffler and Andrew Landry, tied for the lead at 21 under. It's another four strokes back to Rickie Fowler in third. The cut came at 10 under, so Ted squeaked in by one stroke.

    Ted began on the back nine of the Nicklaus Tournament course and birdied No. 11 to go along with eight pars for a 1-under 35. On the front, he hit into a fairway bunker on No. 5 and took a bogey, but got that back with a one-putt birdie on the par-5 seventh. He went to 2-under for the day with the birdie on No. 8. Then came the triple. 

    Gators: Matt Every, 70-67-68-205, 11 under, tied for 33rd; Brian Gay, missed cut at 4 under; Billy Horschel, missed cut at 1 under. Seminoles: Hank Lebioda, 67-71-66-202, 14 under, tied for ninth; Daniel Berger, 69-68-69-206, 10 under, tied for 43rd.   

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Ted makes 8 birdies and an eagle . . . .

    Ted Potter turned in one of the best rounds of his PGA Tour career yesterday in round 2 of  The American Express - a 9-under-par 63 - over the La Quinta course. Coupled with his opening-round 2-under 70, Ted heads into today's round at 11 under par, tied for sixth place, four strokes behind Rickie Fowler (65-64-129) and Scottie Scheffler (65-64-129). 

    Ted began on the front nine and promptly birdied the first hole. He  gave it back with a bogey on the par-3 third, but birdies on 5-7-9 put him at 3-under 33 on the nine. On the back, he birdied 10, eagled the par-5 11th, then added birdies on 13, 16 and 17 for a 6-under 30. He played the final 14 holes in 9 under. 

    Between Ted and the two leaders are Andrew Landry at minus 14, Tony Finau (69-62) at minus 13 and Bud Cauley at minus 12.  

    Gators: Matt Every, 70-67-137, -7, T-39; Brian Gay, 76-68-144, even, T-134; Billy Horschel, 74-71-145, 1 over, T-142. Seminoles: Hank Lebioda, 65-71-136, -8, T26; Daniel Berger, 69-68-137, -7, T-39. 

    Because of pro-am, cut comes after round 3. 

    

Friday, January 17, 2020
Ted still shoots 2-under 70 . . .

    One of those nasty par-3 double bogeys that have caused Ted Potter so much trouble for the past few years reared its ugly head yesterday in the first round of The American Express over three courses at PGA West in La Quinta, California. 

    The double bogey, on the 13th hole, ruined what would have been a solid opener on the Stadium Course, and Ted wound up with a 2-under-par 70, in a tie for 74th. That's one stroke over the early projected cut line of minus 3 and there are 25 deadlocked at that number, so the line is eligible for change somewhere during today's round.

    Other than the double, Ted played flawless golf, making birdies on 12, 14 and 15 on the back nine, and on the par-5 fourth on the front. He goes into round 2 six strokes behind Zac Blair, who shot 64 on the La Quinta course, tied with Grayson Murray, whose 64 was fashioned over the Stadium Course. Tied for third are Seminole Hank Lebioda, who shot 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course, along with Rickie Fowler (LQ) and Scottie Scheffler (LQ).  There are eight more tied at 66.

    Gators: Brian Gay - 76; Bill Horschel - 74; Matt Every - 70. Seminole: Daniel Berger - 69. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020
Two Gloves shoots 11 under despite a 75 . . .

     The first event of the Korn Ferry Tour season was won yesterday by Tommy Gainey, who has been well-known in the golfing world for years because of his wearing "two gloves," but whose career has reached new heights of controversy via his arrest last month as the result of a prostitution sting. 

    Gainey was able to overcome his situation, at least temporarily, to play superior golf for three of the four rounds in the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay, winding up at 11-under and winning by four strokes. This, despite a second-round 3-over-par 75. He earned $108,000 of the $600,000 purse, which should help pay his upcoming lawyer's fees. 

    Other players of note: Mark Blakefield, winner of one of the Hooter's Tour events at Golden Hills several years ago, tied for ninth at 3 under. Dan McCarthy, back-to-back winner of the Ocala Open at Candler Hills in 2015 and 2016, tied for 16th at 1 under. Wade Binfield, winner of the Ocala Open in 2017, tied for 34th at 5 over.

    Gators: All missed the cut, including Tyson Alexander (71-82, 9 over); Camilo Villegas (79-75, 10 over); Brett Stegmaier (76-78, 10 over).  Seminole: Jack Maguire (6 over, 78-72). The cut came at 5-over 149. 

      

      

Monday, January 13, 2020
Ted breaks long losing streak, banks $214,500 . . .

    Ted Potter saved the best for last at the Sony Open, continuing to display an excellent short game over the final 18 holes, but adding some superior putting to the menu. As a result, he broke his 2019-2020 streak of five straight missed cuts and finished in a tie for seventh place, earning a juicy check of $214,500.

    Ted came to the 18th hole tied for 14th place, but his birdie 4 on the short par-5 moved him up seven spots. He finished with a 4-under-par 66 and an 8-under-272 total, just three strokes behind Cameron Smith and Brendan Steele. Smith defeated Steele in a one-hole playoff on No. 10 when Steele took a bogey after he had been leading the event most of the way. 

    Ted's putter came to life on No. 2 after he parred the first hole. He two-putted the second from 44 feet, 9 inches away, then proceeded to sink a nearly 17-footer on the third for his first birdie. He two-putted again from 50 feet, 7 inches on No. 4, and went to 2 under with a 23'-11" putt on the fifth. 

    He dropped a stroke on the par-3 7th after hitting into a bunker off the tee, but he got it back on the par-5 ninth when he pitched his third just 3 feet, 2 inches from the hole. At this point, Ted was 2 under again and tied for eighth at 6 under overall.

    He quickly moved to 3 under on the 10th when he hit a 100-yard wedge to within 4'-5" and canned it to go 7 under and into a tie for fourth. After pars at 11 through 13, Ted salvaged a par on 14 by two-putting from 57 feet, 1 inch. But he dropped another stroke on 15 when he couldn't get it up and down from 66 feet, 8 inches, missing from 9 feet, 7 inches for the par.

    A birdie putt of 4 feet, 6 inches on 16 got him back to 7 under, then he barely missed a televised 24-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 17th - by two inches. On 18, he drove it 278 yards into a fairway bunker, hit his second 223 yards to the right fairway, pitched up 3 feet, 4 inches from the hole and made it for his final birdie. He wound up the week ranked No. 1 in scrambling. 

    Over the 72 holes, Ted made 16 birdies and 8 bogeys, and his finish shot him up to - oddly enough - 120th place on both the PGA Tour money list and the FedEx Cup list (with the 88 points he earned Sunday).

    The only Seminole/Gator to make the Sony cut, Daniel Berger (70-70-69-69-278), tied for 38th at 2 under par. 

    Ted will head right for California for this week's American Express event over the Stadium Course in La Quinta with its purse of $6.7 million.  

    

     

Sunday, January 12, 2020
Posts even-par 70 in round 3 . . .

    The best part about Ted Potter's game after 54 holes of the $6.6 million Sony Open has been his proficiency from around the greens. Hitting only 35 of 54 greens in regulation at the Waialae Country Club, Ted's pitching/chipping needed to be at its best to stay close, and he has been able to do that - he's ranked No. 1 in the field in the scrambling department.

    But he hasn't had the same touch with his putter and as a result, he's tied for 16th place at 4 under par with rounds of 67-69-70. He's eight strokes behind Brendan Steele, who added a 6-under 64 to his previous rounds of 68 and 66 to head into today's finale at 12 under. He's three strokes better than Cameron Smith and four ahead of Kevin Kisner, who also shot 64 Saturday.  

    Ted made one birdie and one bogey on both nines to forge his even-par round, but was unable to birdie the two par 5s, 9 and 18, holes that have proven to be very vulnerable to the field for three days. He tees off today at 11:30 Hawaii time with Emiliano Grillo and Patrick Rodgers.   

Saturday, January 11, 2020
Ted bogeys 14 and 15 or he'd be tied on top . . .

    After Ted Potter birdied the ninth hole at the Waialae Country Club yesterday, he was sitting atop the leader board at the Sony Open in a deadlock with first-round leader Collin Morikawa at 5 under par. That situation lasted less than an hour, though, as first Keegan Bradley and Sam Ryder made birdies and got it to 5 under, joining the deadlock, then Ted proceeded to bogey the 14th and 15th holes to drop back to 3 under. 

    The pair of bogeys left Ted in a momentary tie for for 10th, but he rectified it on No. 16, when he hit a 122-yard iron 23 feet from the hole and made it for his third birdie of the day. He was now 4 under, and tied for fifth. 

    He remained there after making par on 17, then had a chance to get it back to 5 under after hitting the green in two on the par-5 18th. But Ted three-putted from 39 feet, 3 inches after leaving his first putt 7 feet, 7 inches short. 

    At the halfway point, Brendan Steele and Cameron Davis are tied for the lead at 6 under, with a group of nine deadlocked for third one stroke behind. That group includes Morikawa, who followed up his opening-round 65 with an even-par 70.

    With rounds of 67-69-136, Ted is tied for 12th and set to make his first check of the 2019-2020 season. He tees off today in the fifth group from the end in the company of Andrew Putnam and Hudson Swafford at 12:20 Hawaii time, whenever that is. 

    The cut line had been sitting at 2 over for much of the day, but it dropped to 1 over late in the round and defending champ Matt Kuchar missed by one stroke. Last week's winner, Justin Thomas, missed it at 3 over. 

    Seminoles: Daniel Berger made the cut at even par (70-70); Hank Lebioda missed it at 6 over. Gators: Brian Gay missed it at 3 over and Matt Every withdrew even though he had made the cut (73-66-139). 

      

Friday, January 10, 2020
Ted makes 5 birdies, 2 shots behind Morikawa . . .

    In a sharp reversal of form after missing his first five cuts of the 2019-2020 wrap-around season, Ted Potter finds himself in a tie for second after posting a 3-under-par 67 in the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

    Ted wound up the windy afternoon at Waialae Country Club  two strokes behind Collin Morikawa, who fired his 65 early in the day and waited for hours before seeing his round hold up against the 144-man field. Matt Jones, Ryan Palmer and Sam Ryder are the other three involved in the deadlock for second with Ted. There are 10 more deadlocked at 2 under and another 15 at 1 under. The early projected cut came at plus 2 and there are 87 players within that number.

    Ted played the back nine first and made a quick bogey on No. 11. But he birdied the par-4 12th to get back to even and was never over par again for the rest of the round. He saved par on No. 15 by making a putt of 14 feet, 5 inches, then closed out the nine with his second birdie when he hit the par-5 in two and made a putt of 3 feet. 

    On the front nine, Ted went to 2 under on No. 3 after hitting his second to within six feet of the hole, then got it to minus 3 with a birdie on the par-4 fifth. At the time, he had moved up to third place all alone. A three-putt green from 46 feet, 5 inches on No. 7 slowed him down temporarily, but Ted got that one back on his final hole when he hit the par-5 ninth in two with a 228-yard iron from a fairway bunker and two-putted from 45 feet, 7 inches. 

    Ted hit 9 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens. But he tied for 5th in the scrambling department, which led directly to his high finish. 

    Defending champ Matt Kuchar had a see-saw day and finished at 1 under. Gators: Brian Gay, 2 over, tied for 63rd; Matt Every, 3 over, tied for 88th. Seminoles: Daniel Berger, even, tied for 31st; Hank Lebioda, 3 over, tied for 88th.  

Monday, January 6, 2020
Ted has missed his first five cuts of new season . . .

    After a layoff of six weeks, Ted Potter makes his return to the PGA Tour Thursday at the Sony Open in Hawaii, looking to break a streak of five straight missed cuts while kicking off the 2019-2020 season

    Ted last played at the RSM Classic at Sea Island in late November and shot 74-78, taking an early trip home. His best showing thus far was the 70-68 he posted in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, but at minus four, he still didn't make it to the weekend. 

    Matt Kuchar is the defending champ, shooting 22 under par at the Waialae Country Club last year, four better than Andrew Putnam.  

    There are two Gators in the field - Matt Every and Brian Gay - and two Seminoles, Daniel Berger and Hank Lebioda.  

    

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Blakefield, past winner at Golden Hills, ties for 7th . . .

    The Korn Ferry Tour is the latest version of the No. 2 pro tour in the U. S., formerly called the Ben Hogan Tour, the Nike Tour, the Buy.com Tour and the Web.com Tour, among others. Its qualifying tournament no longer leads to exempt status on the PGA Tour, as it did for so many years in the past.

    What the Korn Ferry qualifier gets for its participants is eligibility for the next season's Korn Ferry Tour only. The 72-hole qualifier was played at Orange County National in Winter Park from Dec. 12-15, the place where Ocala's Brendan Pappas finished second about two decades ago to gain his PGA Tour card. Brendan enjoyed much success on Tour and wound up earning more than $3 million, at the time the best haul ever for any Marion County resident, more than Mike Sullivan, Grant Waite or Doug Johnson. He has since been passed by Ted Potter, who has earned more than $5 million.

    Curtis Thompson and Braden Thornberry tied for first at Orange County at 21 under par and both are fully exempt for 2020. The third through 10th finishers are guaranteed at least 12 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour. Thompson's younger sister is LPGA star Lexi Thompson and his older brother is Nicholas Thompson, who tied for 53rd in the event at 10 under. 

    Included in that three through 10 group is Mark Blakefield, who wound up tied for seventh at 18 under. About a decade ago, in a Hooters tournament played at Golden Hills, Blakefield began the final round at even par, shot a 6-under 66, and defeated Potter by one stroke. Ted came back the next year and won the event and a check for $28,000 from Hooters, plus a bonus of $5,000 from the local Harley Davidson dealer.

    After No. 10, finishers 11 through 40 earned a guaranteed eight starts, and that group included 45-year-old Tag Ridings, who played in his first major in 2000. Tag won the 2017 Barbasol Championship; he shot 14 under this time and tied for 21st.

    Tied for 27th was 25-year-old Jack Maguire, a former Seminole who lives in St. Pete. Jack tied for 42nd in the 2017 U. S. Open. He was 13 under this week.

    Brooks Koepka's brother, Chase, a 25-year-old who went to the University of South Florida, tied for 69th at 8 under. He teamed with his Seminole brother to tie for fifth at the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

    Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina, also tied for 69th at 8 under, and veteran Tommy (Two Gloves) Gainey, who was arrested in a prostitution sting two days before the tournament and was out on $500 bail, tied for 76th at 7 under. 

    Eric Cole, son of former pros Bobby Cole and Laura Baugh and a many-time high finisher in the Ocala Open at Candler Hills Golf Club, was also at 7 under. Former Florida player Andres Echavarria, 31, who played for the Gators in 2010-2011, wasn't sharp and finished at 2 over. Andres had won a PGA Latinoamerica event in April at 14 under.  

      

    

    

    

       

    

 

Sunday, December 8, 2019
President's Cup next on the horizon . . .

    After Tiger Woods blew the final two holes on the first day of the Hero World Challenge with a bogey and a double, his even-par 72 left him six strokes off the lead. Over the next three days, a 6-under-66, 5-under-67 and 3-under-69 only served to get him back to four off winner Henrik Stenson, who wound up at 18 under (69-67-68-66-270) in the $3.5 million event played in New Providence, Bahamas.

    In between Stenson and Tiger were Jon Rahm (-17) and Patrick Reed (-16), so Tiger was able to grab fourth money that he will donate to the sponsors' charity, as he has done for 11 years. 

    Next on the schedule is the highly-anticipated President's Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia, where Tiger will share the spotlight as player and captain. His televised announcement that he would be a captain's pick - spoken in the third person - was hilarious.

    Also on the schedule is the $3.5 million QBE Shootout at Tiburon in Naples, featuring 23 male players, plus Lexi Thompson. Gator Billy Horschel will be there, along with such as Charley Hoffman, impressive rookie Viktor Hovland, Charles Howell III, up-and-coming star Kevin Kisner, Ian Poulter, Chez Reavie and Bubba Watson.    

     

Thursday, December 5, 2019
He had exploded for 5-under run earlier . . .

    After Tiger Woods went on a birdie/eagle spree over the span of five holes on the back nine at the Hero World Challenge yesterday, he moved from an out-of-touch 2 over par to 3 under, and well within the range of the leaders.

    But a disappointing finish - bogey at 17 and double bogey at 18 - dropped Tiger back to even-par 72, six strokes behind co-leaders Gary Woodland and Patrick Reed in the $3.5 million event being played in New Providence, Bahamas.

    Tiger was 2 over and going nowhere when he reached the 11th tee, but he promptly went birdie-par-birdie-birdie-eagle, chipping in his third shot on No. 15, and he suddenly became a contender. Until the slips on the final two holes that dropped him into a tie for 11th in the 18-man field. 

    Woodland and Reed are three strokes ahead of third-place Chez Reavie at 3 under, and four ahead of a foursome at 2 under - Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson. 

      

Monday, December 2, 2019
Dustin Johnson withdraws awaiting President's Cup . . .

    There's very little change in the 18-man field scheduled to tee off in the $3.5 million Hero World Challenge beginning Wednesday in New Providence, Bahamas.

    The defending champ is Jon Rahm, who won last year at 20 under par and took home the $1 million first prize. Also returning are the next five finishers, Tony Finau (16 under), Justin Rose (-15), Henrik Stenson (-14), and Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler (-13).

    No. 7, Dustin Johnson, is among five who will not be returning, along with Alex Noren, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama. Dustin decided he wants one more week to recuperate from his September knee surgery prior to the President's Cup. The newcomers are Kevin Kisner, Matt Kuchar, Chez Reavie, Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth.   

    Last year, Tiger Woods shot a disappointing 73-69-72-73, 1 under, and finished 17th, beating just one player. However, after his impressive victory in the Zozo Championship in Japan with its first prize of  $1,755,000, Tiger will be mostly everybody's choice to win again. He's already tied Sam Snead for the most all-time PGA Tour victories with 82.  

Saturday, November 23, 2019
Tyler Duncan takes lead with a 61 . . .

    A second disappointing day in Sea Island has knocked Ted Potter to the sidelines in the RSM Classic, his fifth straight missed cut in the wrap-around season. Ted added a 788 to his opening-day 74 and bowed out at 10 over par in the $6.6 million event.

    Ted was never in it on Friday, making just one birdie,  while posting five bogeys and a double. He missed the cut of minus 4 by 14 strokes.

    Tyler Duncan took over the lead at the halfway point with rounds of 67-61-128, 14 under par. Sebastian Munoz, Rhein Gibson and D. J. Trahan are deadlocked for second at 12 under. First-round leader Webb Simpson (65 Thursday) fell into a tie for 11th after a Friday 68; he's 9 under. Veteran Tim (Lumpy) Herron made an upward move into a tie for 18th with a 64 for 134, 8 under. 

    Seminole: Hank Lebioda - tied for 24th, 67-68-135, 7 under. Gators: Billy Horschel (74-67-141, 1 under) and Brian Gay (69-73-142, even par), missed the cut. 

    


 

Friday, November 22, 2019
Ted makes 6 bogeys on Seaside course . . .

    It wasn't the kind of return to action that Ted Potter was looking for. After his short layoff from the Tour, Ted wasn't sharp in the first round of the RSM Classic at Sea Island, posting a 4-over-par 74 on the Seaside course and finishing in a tie for 151st place, ahead of just two players. 

    Ted Made six bogeys over the par-70 layout and just two birdies and will have to go bananas in today's afternoon round to have any hope of making the cut. He plays the par-72 Plantation course today. 

    Veteran Webb Simpson is alone at the top with a 7-under-par 65 over the Plantation course, and holds a one-stroke lead over Cameron Tringale, Kyoung-Hoon Lee and Rhein Gibson. 

    Seminole Hank Lebioda had a good day, and is tied for fifth at 65. Tournament Host Davis Love III shot 2 under, and Gator Brian Gay is at 1 under. Gator Billy Horschel had a disappointing 74, 2 over.   

     

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Ted hasn't cashed a check in 4 events . . .

    Ted Potter will try to end his recent cool streak at the $6.6 million RSM Classic beginning Thursday at Sea Island, Georgia. Ted hasn't make a check in four events since the wrap-around season began, but he's played well at Sea Island's Seaside course in the past. Last year, he posted rounds of 68-70-69-66-273, 9 under par over the par-71 layout, and tied for 46th.

    Charles Howell III won the event last year and its $1,152,000 check, and he'll return in a field once again sparsely sprinkled with veteran Tour players. Among them are host Davis Love III, Bill Haas, Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, K. J. Choi, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Alex Noren, Boo Weekley and J. J. Henry. 

    Brendon Todd, winner of last week's Mayakoba Golf Classic at 20 under par, is playing, as are Vaughan Taylor and Adam Long, two of the three who tied for second at 19 under. 

    Two Gators are entered - Billy Horschel and Brian Gay - and one Seminole, Hank Lebioda. Horschel's rounds of 65-71-66-68-270, 14 under, were good enough for a tie for eighth in Mexico, while Gay's 66-72-69-65-272 put him in a tie for 14th. Gay contributed a notable hole-in-one, one of two in the event - Kuchar had the other.   

    

    

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Ted has missed four cuts this season without cashing a check . . .

    Ted Potter won't be in Mexico for this week's Mayakoba Golf Classic, and he'll make his PGA Tour return next week at the RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia. Ted played in the RSM last season and finished at 9 under par, tieing for 46th.

    Ted has played in just four events in the new wrap-around season without making a check. He has had three missed cuts and withdrew in the fourth. After the RSM, he'll be idle again until the Sony Open in Honolulu beginning Jan. 9. Ted missed the cut at Greenbrier even though he was 3 under, and at the Shriners Hospitals for Children, at which he was 4 under. 

    Matt Kuchar is the defending champ in the Mayakoba, which will be another in a long line of events featuring the new, young breed of Tour players that have dominated the entries in so many recent events. Included on the list of marquee names entered are Jason Day, Zach Johnson, Davis Love, Keegan Bradley, Charley Hoffman, Charles Howell III and Tony Finau. 

    Kuchar collected $1,296,000 last season when he won by a stroke over Danny Lee, who is also returning. Matt created a firestorm after his 2018 victory when he only paid substitute local caddy David Ortiz a measly $5,000, when a normal check for a fill-in caddy is 5 to 7 percent of the winner's share. Five percent in this instance would have been $64,800.

    After taking a tremendous amount of criticism from all angles, including from PGA players, Kuchar later sent Ortiz another $45,000. It's hard to understand what Kuchar did, since he's earned more than $50 million in his career.  

    There are two Gators playing: Billy Horschel and Brian Gay, and one Seminole, Hank Lebioda. 

    

      

Friday, November 1, 2019
Rory eagled final hole to move up to 2nd . . .

    After two rounds of the WGC-HSBC Championship in Shanghai, Matthew Fitzpatrick's 66-67-133, 11 under par, is one better than Rory McIlroy (67-67-134), who achieved his lofty position via an eagle 3 on the par-5 18th hole of the Sheshan International Golf Club.

    Fitzpatrick has accounted for five victories in Europe, but hasn't been able to win on the PGA Tour, although he has been in position to do it several times, including a second-place finish at Bay Hill. 

    Xander Schauffele, red-hot Sungjae Im and Adam Scott are tied for third at 9 under, all shooting 66-69-135. Justin Rose, Bubba Watson and Tony Finau are tied for 11th at 5 under, while Gator Billy Horschel, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson are tied for 20th at 4 under, Hideki Matsuyama is 2 under and Jordan Spieth is 1 under. 

    At the Bermuda Championship in Southampton, Bermuda, Scottie Scheffler's 9-under 62 leads Wes Roach by one, with Russell Knox, Bo Hoag and Central Floridian Rob Oppenheim all at 7 under 64. 

    Seminole Hank Lebioda's 5-under 66 put him in a tie for seventh, and Gator Brian Gay is tied for 34th at 2 under. The projected cut as round 2 is being played is 1 under.

   

 

 

    

    

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Tiger fooled them all but one . . .

    'They' said he would never again win any tournament. 'They' added that there was no doubt he would never again win a major. A majority said he'd never play again. So 'they' were all wrong on every count. (Except for one guy who didn't believe any of it and wrote it often. To protect the guilty I won't mention his name).

    To me, one of the major points 'they' made wasn't even that he wouldn't be good enough to win - it was that he'll 'be 43' when he returns. 43!!!! Like 43 is a time when people are put out to pasture. Jack Nicklaus won the Masters at 46. Bernhard Langer has been the best player on the Champions Tour for a decade or so and he's 60 now. Give me a break.

    So Eldrick Woods won the Tour Championship, and then the Masters, and now the Zozo. He's tied the immortal Sam Snead for the all-time victories lead with 82, and won his 15th major to get within three of Nicklaus. And how good did he look winning in Japan? He's never been so cool, so focused, so determined - and so slim. 

    Tiger won over the par-70 Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club at 19 under par, three better than Hideki Matsuyama, who posed the only threat of any consequence over the last 36 holes. But Tiger never wavered, nor did his fans, and the crowds that followed him for the first 65 holes were overwhelming. The Japanese love him, too. 

    This drama is far from over. If his back and his knees hold up, there's no telling what Tiger can accomplish before he finally decides to go out on his own terms. There seems little doubt now that he'll pick himself for the President's Cup team that he will captain, and there won't be one ounce of dissent. He's also thinking Olympics, and wouldn't that put a stamp on his unreal resume.

    P. S. Tiger added $1,755,000 to his already record PGA Tour money-earnings - now up to $120,459,468. That's about $30 million more than second-place Phil Mickelson. 

    P. P. S. Gator Billy Horschel tied for sixth in Japan at 11 under; Seminole Daniel Berger tied for 17th at 7 under.