OWING MILLS, Maryland (AP) – The PGA Tour is still planning an event for its Asia Swing this fall.
The players were informed last week that the Zozo Championship outside Tokyo is still on the schedule, and they face a deadline for visa applications in case they decide to go.
But that will be the only stop, assuming it happens.
Two people familiar with the decision said the HSBC Champions in Shanghai have been canceled. They spoke on condition of anonymity as the tour did not announce the decision.
The PGA Tour lost its Asia Swing due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The HSBC Champions, a World Golf Championships event since 2009, have been canceled. The CJ Cup in South Korea moved to Shadow Creek north of Las Vegas, while the Zozo Championship moved to the Sherwood Country Club in Thousands Oaks, California.
The CJ Cup has already announced its return to Las Vegas, this time at the prestigious Summit Club. Japan-based Zozo does not have a presence in the United States, and it was a big step for the company to host their tournament in California.
Patrick Cantlay, who is already particular with his travel time and schedule, won last year at Sherwood. It was not clear if he was planning to return to defend.
Spectators were not allowed in Kasumigaseki for the Olympics. The Zozo Championship is scheduled at Narashino Country Club in Chiba Prefecture. Oddly, it is not listed on the Japan Golf Tour website, even though the tournament is co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour.
If anyone was looking to spend two weeks in Japan, the next week is ISPS Handa, which has one of the lowest prizes on the Japan Golf Tour.
The tour schedule for the fall runs from Las Vegas to Japan via Bermuda. The Bermuda Championship is usually held in front of the HSBC champions and was awarded full status last year, meaning Brian Gay secured a place in the Masters by winning.
MAJOR CHAMPION, EARLY RELEASE
Phil Mickelson will try to avoid a single roster of players who have won major tournaments and have short PGA Tour playoffs.
Mickelson won the PGA Championship in May, making him at 50 the oldest major champion in history. But that was his only top 10, and he only has one more top 20 result. He missed the cut at the Northern Trust and narrowly stayed in the top 70 in the FedEx Cup which qualified. for the BMW Championship.
The top 30 reach East Lake for the Tour Championship.
This is unusual, but not unprecedented. Shane Lowry (British Open) and Tiger Woods (Masters) in 2019 were the last players to win major tournaments and not make it to East Lake. Prior to that, Danny Willett (Masters) and Henrik Stenson (British Open) won the majors and did not reach the Tour Championship.
The others were Charl Schwartzel (Masters) in 2011 and Angel Cabrera (US Open) in 2007.
Also on the list are Woods and Padraig Harrington in 2008, where an asterisk is required. The point system was so volatile that Harrington missed two cups and couldn’t recover. Under the current system, he would have been insured from East Lake.
As for the woods? He had knee surgery after winning the US Open and did not play the rest of the year. He was still 32nd before the third qualifying round.
THE HONOR OF CADDY
Justin Thomas’ caddy Jimmy Johnson is inducted into the Caddy Hall of Fame Wednesday at the BMW Championship.
The honor comes from the Western Golf Association, which has a deep caddy heritage with its legendary Evans Scholars Foundation which awards tuition fees to top performing caddies.
Johnson, 64, started his career playing on the Sunshine Tour, where he befriended Nick Price, who later asked him to be a caddy for him.
Johnson also worked for Steve Stricker until the Ryder Cup captain started cutting back on his schedule, and he switched to Thomas as he began his rise to golf’s top flight.
MAJOR PATTY T
Patty Tavatanakit had one last charge to end the major season of the LPGA Tour. She didn’t have a great chance of winning the Women’s British Open, but her closing 67s at Carnoustie gave her a tie for seventh. That was all the 21-year-old Thai man needed to win another award.
Tavatanakit passed Nelly Korda to end the year with the best record in all five majors, winning the Rolex Annika Major Award.
Players are required to earn a major and then earn the most points based on the top 10 in the other majors. Tavatanakit won the ANA Inspiration and is tied for fifth in the PGA Women’s Championship. She was one of those who did not compete in the Evian Championship because of the Olympics.
Korda finished tied for third in ANA Inspiration and won the Women’s PGA. She was outside the top 10 in two other majors and missed the cut at the US Women’s Open. Korda had a slight lead over Tavatankit, but closed with a 72 at Carnoustie and tied for 13th, not gaining any points.
Tavatanakit will receive the award at the LPGA Tour final event in November. He started in 2014 and hasn’t had a repeat winner.
Japan’s Keita Nakajima won the Mark H. McCormack medal as the best male player in the 2021 world amateur rankings, the best golf amateur for the second year in a row came from Japan.
Takumi Kanaya won the award last year.
Nakajima earns a spot at the US Open at Brookline and the British Open at St. Andrews next year.
“As I approached college, my goal was to be the No. 1 player in the world amateur golf rankings,” said Nakajima. “My next goal is to demonstrate my abilities on the world stage with confidence and hopefully follow in the footsteps of my fellow Japanese players, including Hideki Matsuyama, Nasa Hataoka, Takumi Kanaya and Yuka Saso.”
A good year for Jordan Spieth just keeps getting better. He and his wife are expecting their first child in November. … The PGA Tour has announced two sponsor extensions. The Boeing Classic on the PGA Tour Champions has extended through 2024 at the Snoqualmie Ridge Club outside of Seattle. During the PGA Tour, Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic announced a four-year extension. It takes place in front of the Dell Match Play. … The PGA Tour champions will have a new event next year called the ClubCorp Classic at Las Colinas outside of Dallas. It will feature 78 players competing for $ 2 million, as well as 50 celebrities and sports stars competing separately in a Stableford competition for a purse of $ 500,000.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Jordan Spieth had back-to-back Eagles on his second round of 62 and back-to-back triple bogeys on his last round of 79 at the Northern Trust.
“This game is difficult as it is. These guys are that good. If you can’t believe you can beat them, man, it’s just an uphill battle. And I just keep believing. -Tony Finau.
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