5 Things: New yutes on the PGA Tour
This is Rookie Week on the PGA Tour. Twenty-six of the 35 rookies will be competing in the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Don’t look now, but the Tour just got younger. Twenty-nine of this year’s rookies are under 30, and 15 are 25 or younger – including 20-year-old Bio Kim. Eleven of them have never played a Tour event.
Kim was born in 1990. Some amateurs in the Sony pro-am could have shoes older than that.
If you wait long enough, everything comes up for sale at least once. In the golf world, there are certain pieces of memorabilia that are cherished, many of them having to do with Augusta National and The Masters.
This week, a private collector decided to sell a replica of the Masters Trophy.
Approximately 10 years ago, Augusta National Golf Club authorized the production of two Masters trophies that were intended to reside in the permanent collections of two new golf museums in the United States: the Brandenburg Golf Museum in California and the Augusta Golf Museum.
The trophy was made to specifications that would be easily viewable in a museum setting. In this case, the trophy was reproduced to nearly three times the size of the trophy given to Masters champions. Because of insufficient funding, the Augusta Golf Museum never materialized.
The trophy was left in the possession of Frank Christian, a golf historian and longtime Augusta National photographer. Christian offered the trophy to Augusta National Golf Club, which informed him that he was free to sell the trophy, which he did, to a collector in Augusta, Ga.
The new owner decided that he wished to sell the trophy and again contacted Augusta National, which informed him that it did not wish to exercise its first right of refusal.
Green Jacket Auctions recently offered the 75-pound trophy to a dozen or so collectors by e-mail.
According to sources in the golf memorabilia market, an original trophy awarded to a player would fetch between $300,000 and $400,000 if sold on the open market.
The victorious European Ryder Cup team is up for another obscure award.
Hard on the heels of winning the BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year trophy – a bauble known only to British television viewers – Colin Montgomerie and his men are nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year award.
What are the Laureus Awards? Good question.
The awards are given for world sportsman and woman of the year, team of the year and newcomer of the year, among others. . The winners will be announced Feb. 7 from Abu Dhabi.
Europe is up against the New Zealand rugby team, Inter Milan, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Red Bull Formula One team and Spain’s winning World Cup team.
Maybe, Monty shouldn’t prepare a speech just yet.
Spring training came early for potential members of the U.S. Walker Cup team, who gathered recently for a three-day practice session at Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa, Fla.
The sixteen players were divided into two teams – the Red and Blue – to compete in singles and foursomes matches. The session also was used to teach players about the Walker Cup’s history and motivate players for this year’s matches scheduled for Sept. 10-11 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
When the U.S. team arrives, it won’t be seeing Royal Aberdeen for the first time. Coach Jim Holtgrieve went on a reconnaissance mission to the Walker Cup site last July, taking detailed notes of each hole. He showed potential team members a slide show of the course.
Holtgrieve is compiling a book that will contain photos and yardages of each hole, and will give each team member a copy before departing for Scotland.
Nike has a new top-of-the-line golf ball that has appeared on the PGA Tour and should be available for consumers later in the spring. This ball, called the 20XI Prototype, will become the 20XI when it hits retail shelves. At Kapalua, it was used by Anthony Kim, Francesco Molinari and Carl Pettersson.
The real question is: Will Tiger Woods put the ball in play?
The ball is unique because it has a core made of lightweight resin. This allowed Nike engineers to reposition a small amount of weight nearer the outside of the ball, although calling it a perimeter-weighted ball might be a stretch. Players in Hawaii used the S (spin) version. Eventually, an X (distance) version will be available.