Wednesday
MAY 10, 2017
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By ADAM SCHUPAK

The PGA Tour pulled out all of the stops for what commissioner Jay Monahan at first called a "milestone day" and later a "historic day."

There was a flurry of tweets from past FedEx Cup champions; a simulcast announcement from the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass on Golf Channel and CNBC; World No. 1 Dustin Johnson delivering the FedEx Cup trophy dressed in a FedEx uniform; and a bobblehead doll of Rory McIlroy that the defending champion thought made him look old, "like I've been on Tour two decades instead of one."


By ALEX MICELI

What started in 1985 as a tournament title sponsorship in FedEx’s hometown of Memphis, Tenn., has grown into the PGA Tour’s biggest deal in history.

On Tuesday at TPC Sawgrass, the Tour announced a new 10-year contract with FedEx as umbrella sponsor of the season-long FedEx Cup.

Unlike the first 10 years for FedEx, the second decade will begin with what Tour commissioner Jay Monahan called “moving parts.” But one aspect to the agreement that is firmly in place will be protecting the FedEx brand on Tour for the life of the deal.



A few ideas to hook youngsters

Changes in formats on the pro tours are great to watch, refreshing and needed. However, that is not what is going to grow the game with our youth. Not if the youth can’t or won’t watch (“Short format, long gain: Euro Tour’s bold stroke,” May 8, http://bit.ly/2qKTQJw).

In regards to the Golf Sixes format of the European Tour last weekend, how about this: Let kids and their parents into the event for free. Give the kids a free event-logoed hat and then guarantee access to touring pros so that they can get the hat signed. Tax the vendors that are selling $6 beer and hotdogs. Let the guys who are raking it in pay for it. I can at least then claim that my beer money goes for something good.


Keeping score

5

Number of wire-to-wire winners in The Players Championship, which returns to TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., this week:Al Geiberger (1975), Greg Norman (1994), Steve Elkington (1997), Hal Sutton (2000) and Jason Day (2016).

39

Percentage of votes, from among more than 25,000 cast, in a Twitter survey that went to Sharmila Nicollet for the final spot in the ShopRite LPGA Classic, the tournament announced. Blair O’Neal, a Golf Channel on-air performer, finished second at 30 percent, followed by Carly Booth (25 percent) and Susana Benavides (6 percent). Nicollet, 26, is a two-time Order of Merit winner on the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour in her native India and plays occasionally on the Ladies European Tour. The ShopRite LPGA Classic will be played June 2-4 at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, N.J.

70.13

Career scoring average at TPC Sawgrass, site of this week’s Players Championship, for Justin Thomas, the lowest among the 147 competitors entered (minimum eight rounds). Thomas finished T-24 in 2015 and T-3 last year. Hideki Matsuyama is the next-best, at 70.33.


In the news

Signed: By the PGA Tour, a two-year contract extension with the Puerto Rico Open, through 2019, commissioner Jay Monahan said. The tournament, which was played this year during the week of the WGC-Dell Match Play, will be scheduled opposite the WGC-Mexico Championship.



FROM THE INDUSTRY

Buffalo Agency has named Chris Van Duyne as vice president, the marketing company announced. Van Duyne, a former sales director at Golfweek, will focus on resorts, destinations and real estate for the Reston, Va., company. He also serves as advertising director for the Morning Read and Where to Golf Next digital newsletters.

Troon recognized the 2016 outstanding performers among the company’s employees and managed facilities during the Troon Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Alice Cooper, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and an avid golfer, presented the Troon 2016 Rockstar Awards.

Bridgestone Golf has introduced a pink version of its Extra Soft golf ball, the company announced. The ball is engineered for players who score 100-plus and seek distance and feel. It is available at select retailers and at Bridgestonegolf.com.



CALENDAR
May 8-10
College women: NCAA Division I regionals at four sites
Albuquerque, N.M.; Athens, Ga.; Columbus, Ohio; Lubbock, Texas
May 9-10
NGF Golf Business Symposium
Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village, St. Augustine, Fla.
May 11-14
PGA Tour: The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
European Tour: Portugal Open
Morgado G&CC, Portimao, Portugal
Symetra Tour: Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Classic
Links at Stoney Point, Greenwood, S.C.
May 15-17
College men: NCAA Division I regionals at six sites
Baton Rouge, La.; College Grove, Tenn.; West Lafayette, Ind.; Stanford, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Sammamish, Wash.
May 18-21
LPGA: Kingsmill Championship
Kingsmill Resort (River Course), Williamsburg, Va.
Web.com Tour: BMW Charity Pro-Am
Thornblade Club, Greer, S.C.
Champions Tour: Regions Tradition
Greystone G&CC, Birmingham, Ala.
PGA Tour: AT&T Byron Nelson
TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas
European Tour: The Rocco Forte Open
Verdura GC, Agrigento, Italy
May 19-24
College women: NCAA Division I championship
Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Ill.
May 21-25
Industry: ING Spring Conference
World Golf Village and Hall of Fame Museum, St. Augustine, Fla.
May 25-28
Champions Tour: KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
Trump National GC, Potomac Falls, Va.
LPGA: LPGA Volvik Championship
Travis Point CC, Ann Arbor, Mich.
PGA Tour: Dean & DeLuca Invitational
Colonial CC, Fort Worth, Texas
European Tour: BMW PGA Championship
Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, England
May 25-31
College men: NCAA Division I championship
Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Ill.
May 26-29
Junior: AJGA Thunderbird International Junior
Grayhawk GC (Raptor), Scottsdale, Ariz.

      
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