Tom Watson is giving back one of his captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup.
In his first big move since he was appointed U.S. captain last year, Watson said Wednesday he would take the top nine players off the Ryder Cup standings and select three players as captain’s picks. For the past three matches, only eight Americans qualified for the team and the U.S. captain had four picks.
“Giving our players one more opportunity to earn a spot on merit, I believe, is the right thing to do,” Watson said.
The next Ryder Cup is in 2014 at Gleneagles in Scotland. Americans can start accruing Ryder Cup points at the Masters Tournament in April.
LPGA TOUR: Defending champion and formerly top-ranked Yani Tseng was dropped from the Kia Classic field after missing her 9:10 a.m. pro-am tee time Wednesday.
“I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t feeling well last night and accidentally overslept and missed my tee time for the pro-am this morning,” Tseng said in a statement released by the tour.
On Sunday, Stacy Lewis won the LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix to end Tseng’s 109-week run at No. 1.
Tseng is winless in 23 events since her Kia Classic victory last year.
OLYMPIC COURSE: Work has finally begun on the 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio De Janeiro after delays caused by a legal dispute over ownership of the site.
The course, which is expected to be ready for a test event in 2015, is being designed by Gil Hanse.
EUROPEAN TOUR: A 12-year-old Chinese boy will become the youngest player to compete in a tour event after qualifying for the Volvo China Open.
Ye Wocheng finished third Wednesday in one of the four 36-hole regional qualifiers for the event, which starts May 2 . He shot 68-74.
He finished three shots behind Jin Daxing and Li Xinyang with a two-round total of 142.
GOING PUBLIC: Tiger Woods figured it was worth going public about his relationship with Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn rather than having paparazzi make money off them.
The star athletes simultaneously posted messages on their Facebook pages this week to confirm they are dating.
Woods is fiercely private when it comes to his personal life, even before his downfall in November 2009 over multiple extramarital affairs.
So why now?
“Well, it’s very simple,” Woods said Wednesday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “We’re very happy where we’re at, but also we wanted to limit the ‘stalkarazzi’ and all those sleazy Web sites that are out there following us. I’ve had situations where it’s been very dangerous for my kids and the extent they’ll go to. We basically devalued the first photos. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is in our society right now, and we felt like it was the best thing to do. I’m very happy about it.”