With the Russian property giant Inteko pulling out of the title sponsorship role, the organizers of the Russian Open decided to cancel the event.Â They were left $990,000 short of their prize money goal.Â Inteko’s withdrawal came out of th blue and organizers didn’t have enough time to find a replacement sponsor.Â The tournament is expected to be held again in 2010.
Athens Regional Foundation Classic
International Olympic Committee
Jennings Mill Country Club
St. Jude Invitational
Volvo China Open
World Golf Championships
Zurich Classic of New Orleans
John Daly’s 6 month PGA suspension is officially over.Â Daly was suspended in November after numerous off the course incidents and had recently been playing on the European Tour.Â He has been given a sponsor exemption to play in the St. Jude Invitational June 11-14 and is expected to play.
In other news, Daly wore bright pink trousers in the Sunday’s final round at the BMW PGA Championship as a gesture of support for Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.Â “I had a pair, so I figured I’d do that for her today. I thought it would be a good gesture,” Daly said of his trousers. “I know Phil very well and I know Amy. I’ve known them for a long time — we’ve played the Tour together. She’s a great lady. She has always been a sweetheart to everybody.”
Looks like the down economy has struck the golf world yet again.
This time, the British Masters has been dropped from this years European Tour after they were unable to secure a new title sponsor.Â Quinn Insurance’s sponsorship ran out and no replacement could be found for the tournament.
The PGA and LPGA tours are not immune to the effects of reduced corporate spending.Â U.S. Bank has dropped its sponsorship of the tour stop in Milwaukee, putting that tournament in serious jeopardy.Â The LPGA has already begun lobbying hard for Anheuser-Busch to renew it’s deal with the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill.Â The most current tournament at Kingsmill ended Sunday.
While John Daly still has 4 months remaining on his PGA Tour suspension, he is starting to get his game back on the European Tour.
Daly, who had tied for 31st at the Spanish Open last week, finished tied for 2nd at this weeks BMW Italian Open.Â Daly shot at 31 on the back nine Sunday, with birdies on 11, 14, 16, and 17, in route to a 5-under 66.Â It marked the 5th consecutive round in which Daly broke 70.
Daly has lost about 50 pounds and perhaps has matured since undergoing gastric band surgery in February.Â When he finished second to Tiger Woods in the 2005 WGC-American Express Championship in San Fransisco, Daly drove to Las Vegas and lost $1 million gambling in just 30 minutes.
That’s right, fresh off a 6 month PGA Tour suspension, John Daly is ready to get back to playing golf.Â Daly will be coming back as a changed golfer.Â He’s stomach has shrunk (thanks to surgery) and his gambling, drinking and divorce have left him near bankruptcy.Â Daly says he’s looking forward to “hitting the European Tour” this week.
Daly’s first action will be the Spanish Open.Â This will be Daly’s first tournament since being thrown in jail to sober up almost 6 months ago.Â After this, he is scheduled at the Italian Open in Turin, the Irish Open in Baltray and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to have this guy back in my life:
The HSBC Champions in China has been added as a World Golf Championship this year, with a new qualifying criteria and a $7 million purse.Â This will be the largest purse ever for a golf tournament in Asia.
The HSBC Champions began in 2005 and has been sanctioned by every major golf tour with the exception of the PGA Tour.Â That now changes with its status as the 4th World Golf Championship and the only one not staged in America.
Tiger Woods and defending champion Sergio Garcia have both committed to playing in this years tournament.Â It will not be know exactly how many American players will play until the fall.Â The event is played after their official season is over and any money earned will not count towards the PGA Tour money list.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans – Charlie Wi leads the classic after Thursday’s round at 6-under par.Â Five golfers are tied for 2nd at 5-under.Â For the full leader board, click here.
South Georgia Classic – Jonas Blixt of Sweden leads at Kinderlou Forest golf Club after 1 round at 6-under.Â Two are tied at 5-under behind him.Â For the full leader board, click here.
Ballantines Championship – Mark Brown and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castrano are tied atop the leader board in South Korea at 7-under.Â Three golfers are tied for 2nd at 6-under.Â For the full leader board, click here.
Here’s the tournament winners this week.
Verizon Heritage – Brian Gay lit up Harbour Town on Sunday, with a 7-under 64.Â He broke a 13-year old scoring record by finishing 10 strokes better than everyone else.Â For his win, Gay gets $1 million and a spot in next years Masters.Â Click here for the final leader board.
Volvo China Open – Scott Strange shot a final round 4-under-par 68 to win the China Open by one stroke.Â Strange outlasted Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who shot a 72 on Sunday.Â For the complete final leader board, click here.
Athens Regional Foundation Classic – Patrick Sheehan sank a 22-foot putt on the first hole of a play-off to win the Athens Regional Foundation Classic at Jennings Mill Country Club.Â Sheehan beat Australian Michael Sim for the $99,000 first prize.Â Click here for the final leader board.
Here’s a few leader board updates after Saturday’s rounds.
Verizon Heritage – Brain Gay is still holding on to his lead in Harbour Town.Â Gay shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday to push to a 3-stroke lead over Tim Wilkinson after 54 holes.Â Two time defending champion, Boo Weekley, is tied for 26th at 1-under.Â Click here for the full leader board.
Volvo China Open – Richard Finch shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday to move to the top of the leader board at the China Open.Â Finch birdied 6 holes in a row and leads Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano by one stroke heading into Sunday’s final round.Â Click here for the full leader board.
Athens Regional Foundation Classic – Bob Burns launched himself into first place with a bogey-less 67 on Saturday at the Jennings Mill Country Club.Â Burns is 12-under through 3 rounds.Â He holds a 2-stroke lead over Rich Barcelo and Patrick Sheehan.Â Click here for the full leader board.
Choi Ho-sung picked up four strokes to take the lead after Friday’s second round of the Volvo China Open.Â Ho-sung made six birdies on his way to shooting 68 for the round, taking him to -6 through 2 rounds.Â Thursday’s round 1 leader, Markus Brier, shot a 73, with 3 bogeys and sits at -4 after Friday’s round.
For the complete leader board, click here.