5 Things: Can we all get along?
Colin Montgomerie has appealed for common sense to prevail in the battle between the Asian Tour and OneAsia.
Speaking ahead of this week’s Barclays Singapore Open, Europe’s Ryder Cup-winning captain said he was saddened by the escalating disputes over regional supremacy.
“I understand that everyone wants a piece of the pie, but it’s up to the heads of these establishments to come together. . . to sit down and sort things out,” Montgomerie said. “They are the custodians of the professional game.”
While careful to avoid taking sides, the Scotsman said all parties would benefit if they worked together, especially in the scheduling of events.
OneAsia has issued a preliminary 13-event schedule for 2011, but there has been no consultation with the Asian Tour, which will release its line-up in the coming weeks.
“It’s not good for players or tournament sponsors when there are clashes of dates with big events,” Montgomerie said.
When Sam Chun first moved to the United States last winter, he struggled to find a place to play and rarely broke 75. What a difference a year makes: In 2011, he’ll pick and choose his schedule, with an eye on capturing a USGA championship.
Golfweek Junior Invitational Highlights (Reunion Resort)
Chun claimed victory Nov. 7 at the Golfweek Junior Invitational in Orlando – three shots clear of Dylan Heale.
Chun, 17, moved from Seoul, South Korea, last November and transferred to the Brian Mogg Elite Golf Academy in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. At the time, Chun could play only in small-field junior events, and he struggled to find a repeatable swing.
“He used to stay back on his right side and got stuck a lot,” said Bill Nelson, a coach at the academy. “Now he’s stacked on top of it more and is way more consistent. He hits the ball pure almost every time.”
That came in handy during a blustery final round at Reunion, with wind gusts near 30 mph. It was his fourth victory in 12 events since coming to the U.S. Chun said he wants to win either the U.S. Junior or U.S. Amateur in 2011.
For motivation, Chun can take a page from Doris Chen’s book. The 2010 U.S. Girls Junior champion won the girls’ side at the same invitational.
Ernie Els will have no one to hide behind when the 2011 BMW PGA Championship is held over the Wentworth West Course in May. Els took a lot of flak this season over course changes.
European Tour players were especially scathing about the new 18th hole. Els, who has a house on the Wentworth Estate, redesigned the Harry Colt layout but owner Richard Caring overruled him on certain design elements, particularly the 18th.
Els lost the battle over the 18th, but has won the war. The hole has been reconstructed to reflect Els’ true intention. So if there are complaints next year, then Els is in the firing line.
Celtic Manor will take at least nine months to recover from the hammering it took during the Ryder Cup, when heavy rains and high gallery traffic mucked up the course. That’s the view of respected greenkeeper Chris Kennedy.
Kennedy is head greenkeeper at Wentworth, but he trained Celtic Manor superintendent Jim McKenzie and was at the Ryder Cup to witness the conditions.
Most worrying if there’s a cold, wet spring, then getting the course ready for next year’s Wales Open might be impossible.
Phil Mickelson will start his season in the desert like he often does.
But it won’t be in Palm Springs, Calif., at the Bob Hope Classic.
Phil Mickelson will play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Jan. 20-23. Prize money in Abu Dhabi is $2.7 million, up from the $2 million offered this year. However, Mickelson won’t have to worry about prize money to make his first trip to the Middle East a lucrative one.
Abu Dhabi paid about $2 million in appearance money this year to lure Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer. Mickelson will be paid handsomely next year, too. Westwood, Kaymer and Casey already committed to the 2011 event.
It looks like the richest state in the United Arab Emirates is upping the ante on neighbors Dubai and Qatar.