Originally created 03/31/04

Changes to the world ranking under review

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Changes to the world ranking could be coming, but it might not be this year.

At a meeting last week at The Players Championship, PGA Tour officials proposed that the points system be based on a player's top 50 tournaments over two years. The majors and World Golf Championships would have to be included regardless of the result.

The current system awards points for every tournament, which is divided by the number of events over two years. Some believe this makes it unfair on those who play the most events, such as Vijay Singh and Jeff Sluman.

Singh has earned more points than No. 1 Tiger Woods, but his divisor is 57, while Woods has played only 40 official tournaments the last two years. Woods has a 3.82-point lead.

The proposal was given to a technical committee for review, and the world ranking board will meet again at the British Open in July to make a formal recommendation. If the proposal is adopted, it might not be until another board meeting in late September during the American Express Championship.

Tour officials already have run some projected points if the system were changed, and Woods still would be No. 1.

The biggest differences would be from No. 30 to No. 81, which can be more important than the top 10 because those are the guys who qualify for the Masters, Players Championships and other big events.

TEASING ADAM: Adam Scott has had only one bad week on the PGA Tour, but it cost him.

Scott has top 10s at every tournament except the Sony Open. Not only did he shoot rounds of 73-70 to miss the cut at Waialae, he finished three shots behind 14-year-old Michelle Wie.

Don't think his friends let him off the hook.

Leading the way was Butch Harmon, who taped a picture in his locker of Scott winning the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston - his first PGA Tour victory - with words scribbled below, "Michelle Wie wasn't there."

Scott nearly blushed when a reporter asked him Sunday after winning The Players Championship whether he expected to see any more pictures of Wie.

"Did she win today?" he responded.

Wie finished fourth Sunday at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA's first major of the year.

"I got her this time," Scott said with a smile.

RED SHIRT ALERT: Fans walking from the practice range to the first and 10th tees at Sawgrass were greeted by a man in a red shirt who greeted them, thanked them for coming to The Players Championship and asked if they needed help with anything.

They probably didn't recognize him: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

Finchem and 144 tour staff members decided to be "ambassadors" at their flagship tournament, taking three-hour shifts everywhere from merchandise tents to hospitality clubs.

Finchem got the idea while attending the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City two years ago.

"The hospitality that was extended by people in Utah was night-and-day to anything I had ever seen," Finchem said. "People were being thanked as they left an event. They lined up people to chat with you if you had to go through security lines so you weren't bored - 'How are you doing? Where are you staying? What event are you going to?'

"It was enormously well-organized and a positive experience."

Finchem wanted to bring that hospitality to The Players Championship, so he dressed his staff in red shirts to work the crowds. His shift was Saturday morning.

"We want to get people used to the fact that if you see a red shirt, you get a question answered," he said.

SALES PITCH FROM THE SHARK: Greg Norman, already involved in golf course design, real estate, apparel and wine, has ventured into new waters - motivational speaker.

Cialis, which makes erectile dysfunction tablets, has enlisted the Shark to speak to its sales force. He said he does not endorse the company, the way he does Fosters beer by putting its logo on his golf bag.

"I'm not the face of Cialis," Norman said.

His first speech was a few months ago to some 3,000 salesmen in Dallas.

"It was a speech about what it takes to get to No. 1, how to get to No. 1, expectations out of yourself," Norman said. "I kind of enjoyed that. It was neat to get before that many young people who are very energetic about their product."

WACHOVIA CHANGES: Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina was so popular that some players said it was good enough to hold a major that week, instead of a regular PGA Tour event.

And just like a major, the Wachovia Championship is making a few changes.

Quail Hollow Club officials have added 22 yards to the par-3 second hole to make it 178 yards, lengthened the par-4 ninth to 491 yards and made No. 8 shorter so that it plays 343 yards, tempting the long hitters to drive the green.

"We always felt like there were a couple of things that didn't get done when we were hurrying around trying to get ready for last year's tournament," club president Johnny Harris said Tuesday.

Harris also is a member of Augusta National, which tweaks its golf course just about every year.

The Wachovia Championship is May 6-9 and has a $5.6 million purse. David Toms is the defending champion.

DIVOTS: Michelle Wie's father says she already has received a sponsor's exemption to play in the Sony Open next year. ... Greg Norman won't be watching the Masters on TV and wishing he were there. For the second straight year, Norman plans a family vacation during the Masters. "It's Easter," he said. "We're going to get some Easter bunnies." ... JoAnne Carner extended her record as the oldest player to make a cut on the LPGA Tour. Carner, a week away from turning 65, opened with a 1-under 71 in the Kraft Nabisco Championship and eventually finished in a tie for 70th at 15-over 303. ... Overlooked in the race to get into the Masters was Duffy Waldorf. He needed to finish eighth at The Players Championship and went into the final round in a tie for eighth. He wound up shooting 84.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Since shattering the record at The Players Championship in 1994 with a 24-under 264, Greg Norman has played 25 rounds at Sawgrass without breaking 70.

FINAL WORD: "I actually have one of the biggest names in golf." - Paul Stankowski, when someone suggested he wasn't a "big name" on the PGA Tour.


Trending this week:


The Augusta Chronicle © 2015. All Rights Reserved.  Contact Us  | Terms of Service  | Privacy Policy  | Advertise