Boo Weekley has withdrawn from this week's Franklin Templeton Shootout after the deaths of his grandfather and uncle over the last 10 days.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Boo during this difficult time,” said Taylor Ives, Franklin Templeton Shootout Tournament Director. “We know he was very close with both of these gentlemen. Without question he needs to be with his family at this time.”
Weekley will be replaced by Freddie Jacobson, winner of the 2011 Travelers Championship.
Jacobson will team with Retief Goosen in the tournament at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Naples, Fla. The event, which features 12 two-man teams, begins on Friday.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Zach Johnson's victory Sunday at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge was his second of the year and while it was an unofficial event, the world ranking points that went with it were indeed very official.
Johnson moved into the top 10 (No. 9 to be exact) in the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career on Monday.
"I'm proud of that," he said after beating Tiger Woods in a sudden-death playoff. "I feel like I am a product of the guys that have helped me.
"I know I've got something inside of me that drives me. I love the competition. I love being in difficult situations and having to execute and that sort of thing. I like getting after it. I've always liked that."
Trailing by four to the world's top-ranked player with eight holes to play, Johnson had to get after it, alright.
Johnson finished par-birdie-birdie-par, the last of those pars of course coming when he holed out from the drop zone on the 18th to ultimately force extra holes with Woods.
You could argue that few if any players get more out of themselves than the 5-foot-11, 160-pound Johnson. But he also knows his game as well as anyone and that self-awareness has carried Johnson a long way -- he has as many wins on the PGA TOUR as Adam Scott, Larry Nelson and Fuzzy Zoeller, to name a few.
"I may not be as talented in some regards, but I know what my talent is," Johnson said, referring to Woods. "I know my limitations and I feel like I know my game. If it's good enough that week, that day, then great. If it's not, I'll just keep working."
Part of that work includes getting together with the team around him in late October or early November. Because of his schedule, however, Johnson didn't have that meeting until just before the World Challenge.
"We were just trying to get ready for next year," Johnson said, who added that he's still adjusting to the new irons he has in his bag.
"I don't know if it's much of a silly season anymore. But it's set up just like an old TOUR event, so it gets me ready for January."
Editor's note: Ernie Els has been writing a blog for PGATOUR.COM in 2013 and this is his latest installment. For more information on the World Golf Hall of Famer, visit www.ernieels.com.
seems somehow disrespectful to talk about my golf in the context of
what happened at the weekend, so all I’ll say for now is that I found it
virtually impossible to properly focus on my game. Playing with a heavy
heart; that’s the simplest way to express how my emotions were on the
golf course. Deep down inside I just felt very, very sad out there.
Of course, Friday was a tough and emotional day for our nation and for the world. There was obviously a somber mood at the golf course that morning and understandably the fans were a little more subdued than normal. Hats off to everyone involved in running the Nedbank Golf Challenge. These were unique and difficult circumstances and I thought the guys handled everything in a very respectful and correct way.
My own personal tribute to the greatest human being I ever met is posted elsewhere on this website so there’s no need to repeat it. Suffice to say, Nelson Mandela’s passing is something that will be tough for all South Africans to come to terms with, but at the same time we have to be thankful for what he did and also celebrate the life of one of the most iconic leaders the world has ever known.
He never saw himself as a saint or a hero – he was too humble for that kind of thing – but that’s what he was to us. He changed our lives and you cannot say enough good things about the man.
We met many times. Among the most special was during The Presidents Cup in 2003, when President Mandela invited Tiger and me around for tea at his place. He treated us like we were his two sons. His sincerity was amazing and it really left a mark on both of us.
Another man who left his mark on my life was my former coach Jos Vanstiphout, who also sadly passed away at the weekend. We heard the news when we got to the golf course on Saturday morning and it was devastating for me. Jos meant so much to my career. We really connected and there was a genuine love for each other. It was a love-hate at times, as many people will know, but the stuff he taught me and the way that he did it was totally different. His approach was unique and I know he got under a lot of people’s skin but for me he was just brilliant.
He gave me the absolute honest truth at exactly the times when I really needed it, never more so than during the Open at Muirfield in 2002. Just before the playoff he took me to one side and told me to pull my finger out of my backside in no uncertain terms and told me to do what he had trained me to do! He taught me to think in a certain way and he helped me win that Open, no question. In all we probably won 25 tournaments together in quite a short period.
Another memorable moment that springs to my mind was the time I shot a course record 60 at Royal Melbourne on the way to winning the Heineken in 2004. I walked on to the range the next day and he looked at me that way he did sometimes. I said “What?” and he said “You know and I know that you should have shot 58.” That was Jos! He knew me so well and was one of the only people who could say that to me.
The thing is, Jos had a lot of bravado but deep down he was a genuine, genuine man. He came from a tough background where he had nothing. He didn’t have the education, but he understood the psychology of how things worked and he gave that to me. I will be forever grateful to him for that. He changed my life and I am really going to miss him. I know you shouldn’t have regrets but I regret not seeing him before he left us, just to give him a hug or something. It’s really tough.
Anyway, the Nedbank was my last tour event of the year and we’ll be staying in South Africa now through the festive period and into the New Year.
Bye for now.
Tiger Woods responded to this shot by getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker for his own par to force a playoff. Click here to watch Tiger's clutch par.
Zach Johnson went from on the ropes to in the winner's circle Sunday at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. After hitting his approach into a hazard on the 72nd hole, Johnson knocked in his par chip from the drop zone and went on to defeat Tiger Woods on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. Want to congratulate Johnson on his victory? Leave a message in our comments section below!
With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Check out this preview of No. 23 Luke Donald and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 players to watch in 2014.
NO. 23 PLAYER TO WATCH: LUKE DONALD
2014 OUTLOOK: Once a top-10 machine, not to mention the No. 1 payer in the world, Luke Donald had a bit of an off year in 2013. He had his fewest number of top 10s in five years with just five (compared to a career-high 14 in 2011) and mostly parted ways with longtime coach Pat Goss, who he retained only to work with on short game. Donald turned to Chuck Cook and hopes Cook can do what he did for Jason Dufner and help push him to his first major championship. Still, Donald had some very good weeks and should again this season. He was third at the RBC Heritage and fourth at the BMW Championship and missed only three cuts in 17 starts. -- Brian Wacker
THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Donald’s only start came at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, where he failed to break 70 and finished in a tie for 31st.
It's been 16 months since he sat atop the Official World Golf Ranking. If you can now separate yourself from the impossible pace he set in 2011, you're rewarded with a solid, back-end cornerstone in all formats. -- Rob Bolton
|ON THE MARK
If I had to recommend to any player's rhythm and short game technique to watch and how shots around the green and the cup were approached and executed I would recommend that Donald be the model. He does at times get a bit inconsistent from tee-to-green, and if he does ever fall short it is with the driver, but Luke is in the process of refining and improving his silky smooth and balanced swing. -- Mark Immelman
The question is not if but when will Luke wins a major championship. He does not have great length off the tee but everything else is championship caliber. Donald has a tremendous short game and might be the single-best bunker player in the world. All that screams THE PLAYERS Championship to me. -- Fred Albers
|INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Ball-striking has never been Donald’s forte, but he’s never seen a putt he didn’t like. But during an up-and-down 2013, Donald even struggled on the greens -- at least by his standards. He was 13th in strokes gained-putting at .529, but down from .797 (3rd) in ’12, .844 (1st) in ’11, .871 (1st) in ’10 and .933 (1st) in ’09. -- Bill Cooney