THURSDAY  | NOVEMBER 1, 2018
by Alex Miceli

Bernhard Langer was the first player to top the Official World Golf Ranking when the ratings debuted in April 1986. He held the spot for three weeks, never to return to No. 1.

Curiously, Langer is one of only five players to reach the top of the world rankings and never return after being unseated. The others were fellow German Martin Kaymer, Wales’ Ian Woosnam, Australia’s Adam Scott and, more recently, England’s Justin Rose.

 



by Mike Purkey

Since taking over as CEO of the European Tour in 2015, Keith Pelley has proved to be an innovative, creative, forward-thinking leader. He knew from the start that business as usual would not only fail to enhance the tour’s future but would move the organization backward.

In the face of increasingly lucrative purses on the PGA Tour, which understandably attracts most of Europe’s stars, Pelley has had the challenge of finding ways to keep the top players at home. The most effective idea has been the Rolex Series: eight events on the 2018-19 European Tour schedule with purses of $7 million or more each. Most European Tour events offer much less than half of that amount.

 


by Alex Miceli

Golf is an interesting game, with a history older than the beginning of any of the major sports in the U.S.

Although baseball, football, basketball and hockey developed from their inventors’ individual ideas about sports, the birth of golf is not as certain. The Scots claim to be the “home of golf,” dating to the 15th century, but there is evidence of the game’s origins centuries earlier in the ancient world.

 


Just lose one for The Gipper
The idea of pulling for a member of our Ryder Cup team to fail is "reprehensible” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 31). Seriously?

But it's OK for 62 million people to pull against the president of the United States because their candidate didn't win? Calling him names under the protection of the First Amendment is not "reprehensible"?

 


2

Number of consecutive years that China’s Shanshan Feng has won the Toto Japan Classic, which begins Friday at Seta Golf Club in Shiga, Japan (tee times). Feng is entered this week after she and countrywoman Yu Liu reportedly were asked by Chinese authorities not to play last week in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, which was held on the disputed island province to which China claims sovereignty.

 


Dropped: From Fox Sports’ golf broadcasts, Holly Sonders, according to a report on Golfweek.com. Sonders had been part of Fox Sports’ coverage of U.S. Golf Association tournaments since the network landed the contract four years ago. She is expected to have an unspecified studio role with Fox, according to the report.

 



RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS

Grill Room powered by Vertical Groove Golf
More young, strong 300-yard drivers of the golf ball with silky putting strokes are making waves on the PGA Tour. While Xander Schauffele was winning his first WGC title in China, Cameron Champ broke through in Mississippi. They talk about their victories. Also, Duane Bock explains the role of a professional caddie, and Morning Read’s Alex Miceli has numerous topics on his plate.


Hawk & Rude: Trick or treat?
In Hawk & Rude, a podcast featuring veteran golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude, the hosts discuss the $20 asking price on the upcoming pay-per-view TV match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.




FROM THE INDUSTRY

John Lyberger has been appointed director of golf at Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., the club announced. Desert Mountain is home to six Jack Nicklaus Signature Design courses. Lyberger recently had been at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla., after 20 years at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

 

Big Max has introduced a test-drive program for retailers of the golf push carts, the manufacturer announced. For a refundable fee, retailers can offer their customers the chance to test Big Max carts. With the program, retailers can buy two Big Max push carts at wholesale pricing and then purchase a cart at a reduced rate for use as a test model. Once the retailer has ordered six carts in 12 months, the price of the test cart is credited to the account.

 

Kapalua Golf will donate $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity in support of relief efforts on west Maui from the Lahaina Fire, the Hawaiian resort announced. Brush fires destroyed more than 2,000 acres in late August. Approximately 20 Kapalua Golf and Tennis associates were among the hundreds of displaced residents.

 

Former tennis champion Stan Smith will sign his new book on Nov. 15 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C., the resort announced. “Stan Smith: Some People Think I’m a Shoe!” will sell for $55, plus tax. Proceeds from the signing, at 4-6 p.m. in the Heritage Room, will benefit the Hilton Head Island Boys and Girls Club.

 

BallenIsles Country Club will salute its clubhouse renovation with a champagne toast and ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Friday at the club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The $35 million renovation expanded the building to 115,000 square feet, maximizing views of the club and its three golf courses.

 


CALENDAR
October 31 - November 3
LPGA: Q-Series

Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort No. 7

November 1-4
PGA Tour: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas

European Tour: Turkish Airlines Open

Regnum Carya Resort, Belek, Turkey

November 2-4
LPGA: Toto Japan Classic

Seta GC, Sjoga, Japan


      
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