by Alex Miceli

The PGA Tour has elevated the status of the Genesis Open to an invitational, effective next year, reducing the field size by 24 players, to 120, and raising the purse by $1.9 million, to $9.3 million.

The event, which starts today at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., has been hosted by Tiger Woods for the past three years and primarily benefits his TGR Foundation. Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said Wednesday that the upgrade helps recognize Woods in stature alongside Jack Nicklaus and the late Arnold Palmer as modern-day golf icons.

What was missing in Monahan’s statement was the fact that the rich will get richer and that exclusion will be better than inclusion.


by Len Ziehm

There isn’t much more that Bernhard Langer can accomplish as a golfer. Last week, he became the career money leader on the Champions Tour, surpassing Hale Irwin.

With his $255,000 payday for winning the Oasis Championship in his adopted hometown of Boca Raton, Fla., Langer has $27,196,504 in career earnings on the senior tour. Irwin, who at 73 plays a limited schedule, still leads Langer in victories on the 50-and-over circuit, with 45 to Langer’s 39. But Langer, a 61-year-old German, can pull closer to Irwin this week at the Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla. (tee times). Langer already has won three times in Naples: 2011, 2013 and 2016.


Kuchar could take a lesson from Spike Lee
I always enjoyed watching Matt Kuchar play golf. He seemed like a good guy. So, it comes as some surprise that he actually is a jerk. And a major jerk, at that (“In the news,” Feb. 13).

How can he make $46 million on the course, probably a similar amount in off-course income, have a net worth estimated at $25 million, live in a mansion and then stiff his caddie? Yes, $5,000 is stiffing the caddie when Kuchar picked up another cool $1.296 million. The standard fee would have been 10 percent, or nearly $130,000.



Number of times that Tiger Woods has won his hometown PGA Tour event, the Genesis Open, in 12 career starts. Woods, an 80-time Tour winner who grew up in Cypress, Calif., got his first Tour start as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992 at what was then the Nissan Los Angeles Open, and he missed the cut.


Increased: The prize money for the winner of the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, to $3 million. It will be the largest winner’s check in golf.




Hawk & Rude: 44 at 48
In the Hawk & Rude podcast, co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude ponder Phil Mickelson’s 44th PGA Tour victory and another squandered 54-hole lead by Paul Casey. Why can’t some guys finish?

The Grill Room with Bob & Jay
Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. talk about Phil Mickelson, who at age 48 recorded his fifth career victory at Pebble Beach and the 44th of his PGA Tour career. Also on the menu: Bernhard Langer blitzes the field in Florida; Tiger Woods announces three assistants for his U.S. Presidents Cup team; and a preview of the Genesis Open. Eddie “Lil’ Pro” Merrins and Morning Read founder Alex Miceli are the featured interviews.


Registration is open for the second annual Streamsong Spring Classic, which will be held March 24-27 at the resort in Streamsong, Fla. The price starts at $1,040 per person, double occupancy and includes three nights of accommodations for the 54-hole, four-ball, walking-only event on the resort’s three courses.


Big Max reported significant growth in Europe for its line of golf bags and push carts, according to 2018 research by Golf Datatech. Citing the data, Big Max said it has achieved twice the market share for its bags as its nearest competitor and four times the market share of its nearest competitor for its push carts.


The Fountaingrove Club in Santa Rosa, Calif., has been recognized with a Distinguished Club award by BoardRoom magazine. The magazine, which is the publication of the Association of Private Club Directors and The Distinguished Clubs, evaluates clubs based on members’ experiences.


The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., introduced its “Best of the Lake” package. The three-day, two-night package includes three rounds of golf – on the Porto Cima, Cove and Ridge courses – and starts at $179.50 per person, per night.


Members at Audubon Country Club in Naples, Fla., recently approved construction of a $7 million lifestyle center. The 18,000-square-foot building will include tennis, fitness and dining and replace an existing structure at the club. The project is scheduled to begin in the spring, with completion expected in December.


Some of the world’s top international golfers will represent Troon, the golf-management company announced. Six PGA Tour players, including American Justin Thomas, and Cheyenne Woods of the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour are among the golfers who will sport the Troon logo this season.


February 14-17
European: ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth

Lake Karrinyup CC, Perth, Australia

PGA Tour: Genesis Open

Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, Calif. Suncoast Classic

Lakewood National GC, Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

LPGA: ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Grange (Australia) GC

February 15-17
Champions: Chubb Classic

Classics Country Club at Lely Resort, Naples, Fla.

12700 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 300, Reston, Virginia 20191
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