Devil Ball Golf

  • The European Tour announced Tuesday a new seven-event, loosely connected series, dubbed the Rolex Series, which will offer high-purse events designed to maintain the allegiance of the best European-born players and attract other top global stars.

    The docket, which starts in May with the Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship in England, will feature six events with a purse of $7 million, and it will conclude with the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which will have an $8 million purse. The five other tournaments in the series are the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the Italian Open, the Turkish Airlines Open and the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

    The series effectively renders the current Final Series — the three-event, formerly four-event, swing that led to the season’s conclusion — dead.

    The Rolex Series events now make it easier for top European players and European Tour members to target particular

    Read More »from European Tour cultivates Rolex Series to offer high-purse events
  • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is turning into a buddy trip for 2017 and beyond, as the PGA Tour bucks with its overwhelming docket of stroke-play events.

    The Tour officially announced Monday that the annual event played at TPC Louisana in Avondale will become a two-man team event. There will be 160 players in the field, with 80 teams of two. The top 80 players in the PGA Tour’s priority ranking — the order in which players get first crack to play in a tournament — that commit to the field will get to pick their partner. That partner must have PGA Tour status or secure a sponsor exemption into the event.

    Rickie Fowler is ready to team up with an Aussie. (Getty Images)
    Rickie Fowler is ready to team up with an Aussie. (Getty Images)

    Two teams have already been announced for the 72-hole tournament, which will be played April 27-30. Jason Day and Rickie Fowler will be a duo, as will European Ryder Cup stalwarts Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.

    “I’ve loved being a part of team events throughout my amateur,

    Read More »from Zurich Classic of New Orleans goes to two-man event in 2017
  • Aditi Ashok made history in India on Sunday. (Getty Images)
    Aditi Ashok made history in India on Sunday. (Getty Images)

    Aditi Ashok made history on Sunday, becoming the first Indian-born player to win on the Ladies European Tour.

    The 18-year-old, who made a splash in golf’s return to the Olympics, won the Hero Women’s Indian Open by a shot over two-time LPGA major winner Brittany Lincicome and Belen Mozo at DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon. A closing even-par 72 was enough to hold on for a 3-under 213 total and the victory.

    Only sweetening the win for Ashok, who won with a 4-foot birdie on the final hole, is that it came in her home country.

    “I’ve had a lot of good finishes at the Indian Open and to finally get the job done feels good, especially as an Indian player in front of my home crowd,” Ashok said. “It means a lot to win this.”

    Ashok turned pro last year at the age of 17, going on to win the LET’s Q-school. However, that title did not initially come with a lot of playing opportunities. Ashok has made good on the chances she’s had

    Read More »from Aditi Ashok becomes first Indian winner on Ladies European Tour
  • Alex Noren has been in a groove all season, winning three times on the European Tour before this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. He popped out of that groove on Saturday at Gary Player Country Club, shooting a 3-over 75 that left him six shots back of the 54-hole lead.

    Well, Noren found that groove again, and he did it quickly.

    Noren shot 9-under 63 on Sunday to turn a six-shot deficit into a six-shot win, pulling away from South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang, who closed with 3-over 75 in search of a third European Tour win this season.

    The 30-year-old made up ground quickly, deftly placing his approach shots in positions to give himself makeable birdie and eagle bids.

    “All I was trying to do was hit the right shots at the right pieces of the green and putt uphill, and then not make too many bogeys,” Noren said. “Because around here, I think you’ve got a few birdie chances.”

    He converted early and often, getting to 8 under par on the

    Read More »from Alex Noren wins Nedbank Challenge for fourth Euro Tour win of the season
  • Mike Davis leads the USGA as executive director and CEO. (Getty Images)
    Mike Davis heads the USGA. (Getty Images)

    It hasn’t been a good last handful of years or so for the Rules of Golf. They’ve been used by observant fans to get players in trouble from the comfort of their couches. They were muddied in a way that marred the end of the U.S. Open, perhaps the ultimate stepping-in-it moment for the USGA, which, along with the R&A, crafts the rulebook.

    In the wake of the litany embarrassing situations the Rules of Golf have created, the USGA is working toward making them a little easier to understand.

    Speaking at the PGA of America’s annual meeting this week in New York, USGA executive director and CEO Mike Davis said the organization will soon unveil a first-effort version of a revised, simplified slate of rules.

    “We are assessing how we can make the Rules of Golf easier, plain English, easier to apply. Some of the rules right now are simply too difficult,” he said, according to Golf Channel.

    That can only be a good thing, particularly, as Davis indicated, if

    Read More »from USGA's Davis signals simplification of Rules of Golf
  • This year’s PGA Championship was moved up several weeks from its typical August date to accommodate the sport’s return to the Olympic program.

    What is usually the season’s final major appears set to be the second major of the year in 2020, when golf is again in the Olympic program in Tokyo.

    Speaking at the PGA of America’s annual meeting in New York, CEO Pete Bevacqua said the organization is looking at a move that would put their championship in May and likely bump The Players Championship back to March, where it had been played for most of its existence prior to the May move in 2007.

    “We are huge proponents of the Olympics. We are all about the Olympics, but we also have to protect the PGA Championship and we can’t just bounce the PGA Championship around every four years,” Bevacqua said, according to Golf Channel. “That’s something that, with our peer organizations in the game, with the PGA Tour, the USGA, the R&A, and the European Tour,

    Read More »from 2020 PGA Championship could be played in May for Olympics
  • The Web.com Tour will have some new events next year. (Getty Images)
    The Web.com Tour will have some new events next year. (Getty Images)

    The Web.com Tour season will kick off next January with a pair of tournaments that buck tradition.

    The tour, which ultimately determines the fate of 50 PGA Tour cards each season, has partnered with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism to present a pair of tournaments in the Bahamas in a three-week stretch. From Jan. 8-11, the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic will be contested at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course. After a week break, the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic will be held at The Abaco Club from Jan. 22-25.

    bd Global, LLC, a representation, event management and public relations firm, will serve as the host for both events.

    And before you rush to your calendar function to figure out the twist, this means the tournaments will run from Sunday through Wednesday, which is unprecedented under the PGA Tour umbrella. The events will be appetizers for the PGA Tour events during those weeks, with Golf Channel airing four-round

    Read More »from Web.com Tour to introduce Sunday-Wednesday tournaments
  • Jim Justice is the new governor of West Virginia. (Getty Images)
    Jim Justice is the new governor of West Virginia. (Getty Images)

    President-elect Donald Trump is not the only newly elected official which will host big-time professional golf in 2017.

    Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier resort, which is site of the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic, was elected on Tuesday to become the next governor of West Virginia. Justice defeated Republican state government opponent Jim Cole by a 49-42 margin.

    “I wanted to be West Virginia’s governor, because I know I can help,” Justice said. “I didn’t do this for me. I did it for the people of West Virginia. I’m thrilled that the people of West Virginia trust me, and I promise I won’t let them down.”

    You’ll recall this year’s Greenbrier Classic was cancelled after massive flooding wiped out the host course, The Old White TPC. The tournament is on the

    Read More »from The Greenbrier owner Jim Justice wins West Virginia governor's race
  • Jordan Spieth was a busy man in 2016. (Getty Images)
    Jordan Spieth was a busy man in 2016. (Getty Images)

    Jordan Spieth is trying to craft for himself an offseason that the PGA Tour, frankly, doesn’t offer.

    The two-time major winner and two-time PGA Tour winner in 2016 will play in next week’s Australian Open in Sydney, and then he’ll play in Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December. Then we’ll see him again in January.

    “I just wanted an offseason. I needed some time off,” Spieth said to Golf.com.

    The Aussie Open start is his first since finishing off the PGA Tour season at the Tour Championship in September and following it up at the Ryder Cup the following week.

    Freeing up his calendar will come at the cost of some overseas events. After last year’s remarkable season that saw him win the Masters and U.S. Open, as well become the No. 1 player in the world, Spieth and his team capitalized. He played in Australia, made two stops in Asian events, including the WGC-HSBC Champions, and then played in Woods’ event. He went

    Read More »from Jordan Spieth cutting back non-PGA Tour schedule
  • The PGA Tour heads to Cancun, Mexico, going for the penultimate event of the calendar year, the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. El Camaleon is a fun host course, and on it unfolded a great three-man playoff last year, with Graeme McDowell beating Russell Knox and Jason Bohn to pull out a surprise win.

    This field is loaded with strong young players, as well a few veterans who are making their first appearance on the Riviera Maya.

    Here are our top five players this week:

    1. Russell Knox – Knox lost here to G-Mac in a playoff last year. Had a win at the Travelers this year and a modest title defense at the HSBC Champions.

    2. Jon Rahm – Rahm top-10-ed here last year an amateur, and he has top-15 finishes in his pair of starts this season. It’s a matter of time before he wins.

    3. Jim Furyk – Furyk isn’t typically a Cancun guy, but he’s played strong golf since coming back to a runner-up finish at the U.S. Open.

    4. Keegan Bradley – Bradley has surged back into the top 100 in the Official World Golf

    Read More »from Power rankings: OHL Classic at Mayakoba
  • Patrick Reed incidentally changed Graeme Storm's life. (Getty Images)
    Patrick Reed incidentally changed Graeme Storm’s life. (Getty Images)

    Patrick Reed’s decision to withdraw from last week’s Turkish Airlines Open turned out to change Graeme Storm’s life as a professional golfer.

    You see, when Reed skipped out on the first of the European Tour’s three-event Final Series, he guaranteed that he wouldn’t meet the tour’s minimum requirement for membership, which is playing in five events on the schedule that are not majors or World Golf Championships. Reed had played in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the Olympic golf tournament and the Ryder Cup. He had intended to play in Turkey and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Without Turkey, Reed, who is not in this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, will not reach that minimum threshold.

    In response, the European Tour has revoked Reed’s membership, removing him from their Race to Dubai standings, from which the top 111 players earn European Tour status for the next

    Read More »from Patrick Reed gifts Euro Tour membership by not playing in Turkey
  • Phil Mickelson underwent sports hernia surgery. (Getty Images)
    Phil Mickelson underwent sports hernia surgery. (Getty Images)

    Phil Mickelson has undergone a successful surgery to repair a sports hernia.

    According to Tim Rosaforte of Golf Channel and Golf World, Mickelson had umbilical hernia surgery on Oct. 19, three days after the five-time major winner finished tied for eighth place in the PGA Tour’s season-opening Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

    “It wasn’t an outie belly button per se, it just looked like it,” Mickelson told Rosaforte. “It was a walnut-sized hernia behind my belly button. It was no big deal, nor did it affect me when I played. I pushed it back in every minute or so. I couldn’t work out as intensely as I wanted to. That’s all. It didn’t hurt or affect me. It was just annoying.”

    The 46-year-old said he will be able now to engage in his planned off-season training and fitness program.

    The 2016 campaign was a good one, by most measures, for Mickelson. He finished second three times on the PGA Tour: at Pebble Beach in February, in

    Read More »from Phil Mickelson has sports hernia surgery
  • Meet new PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. (Getty Images)
    Meet new PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. (Getty Images)

    Come the start of the new year, the PGA Tour will have a new commissioner.

    On Jan. 1, 2017, current PGA Tour deputy commissioner Jay Monahan will be elevated into the commish’s office, taking over for the retiring Tim Finchem. The PGA Tour Policy Board unanimously approved Monahan’s promotion on Monday, giving a formal stamp on a succession plan that’s been laid out for almost two years.

    Monahan will become the fourth PGA Tour commissioner in its history, joining Joe Dey (1969-1974), Deane Beman (1974-1994) and Finchem, who took over the job in 1994.

    “I am greatly honored by the trust the policy board has shown in me to succeed Tim Finchem as commissioner,” Monahan said in a release. “We are now entering a very important time in our organization’s history, and I know our executive team and I will draw upon and be inspired by the invaluable experience of working with Tim as we take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities,

    Read More »from Jay Monahan becomes new PGA Tour commissioner
  • Rod Pampling had an unexpected triumph on Sunday in Vegas. (Getty Images)
    Rod Pampling had an unexpected triumph on Sunday in Vegas. (Getty Images)

    Rod Pampling wasn’t even supposed to be playing golf this week. He got in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open thanks to a PGA Tour clerical error. Seriously.

    This Vegas field was supposed to be 132 players, an effort made in deference to the tournament’s first-time November date and the fading sunlight. However, between the PGA Tour telling its players about the field size and the actual creation of the field, the size wasn’t changed in the Tour’s computer systems. So, instead of 132 players getting tee times, another 12 players got into the event. Rod Pampling was one of those 12. And, in the interest of fairness, the Tour let them all play.

    The 47-year-old Aussie took full advantage, opening with an 11-under 60 on Thursday at TPC Summerlin to seize the lead. Then, as long-hitting Brooks Koepka and major-winning Lucas Glover seemed to take charge on Saturday and early on Sunday, Pampling hung in there. In

    Read More »from Pampling wins in Vegas for unlikely third PGA Tour victory
  • Danny Willett has been struggling since winning the Masters. (Getty Images)
    Danny Willett has been struggling since winning the Masters. (Getty Images)

    Since winning the Masters in April, it’s been a rough road for Danny Willett.

    The Englishman became the first from his country to don a green jacket since Nick Faldo in 1996, and then he drew top billing on the European Tour as he gained higher marquee in events around the world. Unfortunately, Willett largely struggled since. His best major finish through the rest of the year was a tie for 37th at the U.S. Open. Prior to that in May, he finished third at the BMW PGA Championship.

    The 29-year-old showed signs of a turnaround with a second-place finish at the Italian Open before the Ryder Cup. Then Willett’s brother, P.J., wrote a pre-Ryder Cup satirical column that led American fans to dog Willett throughout the matches and hinder his performance.

    Since the Ryder Cup, Willett finished near the bottom of the field in missing the cut at the Dunhill Links Championship, finished 75th out of 78 players at the

    Read More »from Masters champion Willett says he's not having fun on the golf course
  • Ryder Cup 2016. Day Three. Rory McIlroy of Europe congratulates Patrick Reed of the United States on his win during the Sunday singles competition at the Ryder Cup tournament at Hazeltine National Golf Club on October 02, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
    Ryder Cup 2016. Day Three. Rory McIlroy of Europe congratulates Patrick Reed of the United States on his win during the Sunday singles competition at the Ryder Cup tournament at Hazeltine National Golf Club on October 02, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

    Changes could be coming to the process by which the European Tour picks their 12 players for the Ryder Cup.

    After the Europeans lost by a 17-11 margin at Hazeltine National in early October — the Europeans’ worst loss in 35 years — several players, including Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, called for changes to how players made the team. Much of the brush back centered on the fact that Paul Casey and Russell Knox were not on the team.

    Casey, in particular, was not able to be on the team because he is not a European Tour member, a prerequisite that the Tour sets as, in part, an act of self-preservation. However, on the No Laying Up podcast, McIlroy re-asserted an idea he put forth in September

    Read More »from European Tour head signals potential change to Ryder Cup process
  • John Daly is still hittin' it hard. (Getty Images)
    John Daly is still hittin’ it hard. (Getty Images)

    “My life changed in four days. That doesn’t happen to too many people.”

    John Daly has become a human punch line, a cautionary tale, written off as a rube who never realized he was the butt of the joke. But as we see “Hit It Hard,” the new documentary in ESPN’s uniformly strong, often outstanding 30-for-30 series, Daly is in on the joke, both maniacal driver and bewildered passenger on the barreling RV that is his life and career.

    Daly came from nowhere—that would be Dardanelle, Arkansas—and surprised even himself with how quickly he cannonballed into the national consciousness. The doc provides a helpful thumbnail reminder: Daly, a burly, mulleted, dirt-lip mustachioed kid on the very farthest fringes of the PGA Tour, was the ninth alternate for the 1991 PGA Championship. He arrived at the course at 2 a.m. on the morning of his first tee time, learned he was in the field, and proceeded to shock an entire sport.

    “Grip it and rip it”

    Read More »from ESPN documentary 'Hit It Hard' shows the many sides of John Daly
  • Tiger Woods has reaffirmed his commitment to play in December’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, a small event that will offer Woods a friendly environment for his first tournament since August 2015.

    Look, you’ve heard this before. Woods had committed to play in last month’s Safeway Open but pulled out just days before the tournament began. But the Hero World Challenge could not be safer ground: Woods’ own foundation runs the tournament, and the field will include just 18 of the world’s finest golfers … all of whom owe Woods a debt they could never repay. (Not that they’ll take it easy on him.) Woods has won the event five times, and used it as a return from injury in 2014 as well.

    “My game is coming, it’s getting there,” Woods told Stephen Colbert late in October. “I’m not quite there where I feel like I can shoot 63s and -4s in tournaments. I’m shooting low rounds at home, but I just don’t feel it’s quite ready to shoot those types of scores under tournament conditions.”

    Woods

    Read More »from Tiger Woods says he's coming back in December, really, no kidding
  • Inbee Park won a gold medal in Rio. (Getty Images)
    Inbee Park won a gold medal in Rio. (Getty Images)

    We won’t see Inbee Park in the final two events of the LPGA schedule, as the Olympic gold medalist continues to recover from a nagging left thumb injury.

    According to Golf Channel, Park won’t defend her title next week at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and won’t play in the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Florida.

    The good news is that the Park’s long-injured left thumb is now out of a protective cast, and she’s able to start practicing in anticipation of a 2017 return.

    “Her recovery is on the right track, and she is improving,” Park’s agent, Matt Kim, said to Golf Channel. “Inbee is trying her best to be back on the golf course as soon as possible.”

    Park hasn’t competed since winning gold in Rio in somewhat of a shocker considering the pain from the thumb injury had sidelined her for most of the season. However, she played through the ligament damage and the pain to secure an emotional win in the Olympics. After the

    Read More »from Inbee Park done for 2016 as thumb injury heals
  • Henrik Stenson is not competing in Turkey this week. (Getty Images)
    Henrik Stenson is not competing in Turkey this week. (Getty Images)

    Several big names have followed Rory McIlroy in withdrawing from this week’s Turkish Airlines Open, the first of the three-event Final Series on the European Tour.

    Open champion Henrik Stenson, Ryder Cup hero Patrick Reed and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel have opted out of the 78-player event, played in the resort area of Antalya, which has been target of a number of attacks in recent weeks.

    More broadly, Turkey has been victimized by attacks from various forces, including ISIS. A failed military coup in July caused more concerns.

    Stenson, the Race to Dubai winner in 2013, is the current points leader after his joint runner-up finish in China. He chose to go home to Orlando to work on his game in preparation for the final two events. Danny Willett, who Stenson passed for the top spot, is in the field in Turkey.

    Reed, who finished T-51 at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and T-60 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China,

    Read More »from Stenson, Reed, Schwartzel all withdraw from Turkish Airlines Open