Taylormade Unveils JetSpeed Line

Four months after TaylorMade launched its SLDR driver at the John Deere Classic, the company announced the addition of a new line of woods (driver, fairway woods and hybrids) called JetSpeed on Monday.

According to TaylorMade officials, JetSpeed, which is set to replace the existing RBZ Stage 2 woods in December, is the first driver that features the new Speed Pocket in the sole (TaylorMade added a Speed Pocket to the SLDR fairway woods).

With a shallower head and low, forward center of gravity (CG) -- similar to the CG characteristics of SLDR -- the combination gives JetSpeed a sweet spot that's 25 percent larger and extends lower on the face than RBZ Stage 2. It also helps increase ball speeds and reduce spin on shots hit low on the face.

McIlroy Admits Off-Course Events were Distractions

For the first time Tuesday, Rory McIlroy admitted that all of the off-course distractions have had a negative impact on his game this season.

“I've obviously got people to handle that stuff for me and I only see a fraction of it,” he said in Dubai, according to The Telegraph. “But it’s something that shouldn't be in my mind. You know, it’s something that I don’t really think any athlete or anyone should go through.

“I've seen more lawyer’s offices and more lawyers this year than I care to see in my entire life. It’s not something I ever want to go through again and I’m making sure I won’t ever go through it again.”

McIlroy is being hit with a litigation double whammy, as Oakley is suing him for breach of contract and the 24-year-old is also embroiled in a legal battle with his former management company, Horizon Sports Management, which will be heard in court next fall.

Ernie Els WD's from Tiger Woods Event; Replaced by DJ

Ernie Els won’t make his debut in Tiger Woods’ tournament, after all.

The Big Easy withdrew from next month’s Northwestern Mutual World Challenge because of a scheduling conflict. He will instead compete in the 30-player Nedbank Golf Challenge, where he will make his record 17th appearance and first since 2010. He is a three-time winner of the event.

Els will be replaced in the 18-man field by Dustin Johnson, who recently won the WGC-HSBC Champions.

The tournament, scheduled for Dec. 5-8, invites players based on the Official World Ranking. It doesn’t count as an official PGA Tour event, but players can earn world-ranking points

via Golf Talk Central

Henrik Stenson's Wrist Still an Issue

Henrik Stenson was battling a wrist injury when he captured the $10 million FedEx Cup.

Not much has changed two months later, as the Swede looks to go for an unprecedented sweep of the end-of-season prizes on both tours.

Stenson still has the lead in the Race to Dubai standings heading into the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, but he might be forced to alter his pre-tournament preparations in order to rest his ailing wrist. He leads No. 2 Justin Rose by 213,648 points, but with the $8 million purse the top nine players in the standings all have a mathematical chance to capture the Euro Tour’s top prize.

Stenson told reporters that he likely would pull out of Tuesday’s pro-am and have a “light practice session” on Wednesday.

“It’s obviously going to affect my preparations,” he said after tying for seventh at the Turkish Airlines Open, “but it’s been like that for the last three weeks. Long term, I just hope I’m not damaging anything that’s going to take longer to get fixed later on.”

via Golf Talk Central

Adam Scott Wins Australian PGA; Fowler Second

Adam Scott shot a 4-under 67 to win the storm-delayed Australian PGA by four strokes on Sunday.

Scott and playing partner Rickie Fowler marked their balls on the 12th fairway after a severe storm warning suspended play with Scott holding a one-shot lead.

When Scott returned, his iron shot from the fairway nearly holed out for an albatross and he made the 1-foot eagle putt.

Scott was 4 under in his seven holes after the weather suspension. Fowler finished second with a 68.
Making his first appearance back in Australia since his April win at The Masters, Scott finished with a 14-under 270 at Royal Pines.

Scott joins Greg Norman, Craig Parry, Peter Lonard, Robert Allenby and Peter Senior as the only Australian golfers to add the Joe Kirkwood Cup for winning the Australian PGA to the Australian Open and Australian Masters titles in their careers. Those three tournaments are considered the Australian majors.

Rickie Fowler Takes Early Lead in Australia PGA

Rickie Fowler had six birdies over his last eight holes en route to an 8-under 63 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian PGA.

The American golfer's round took some of the attention from Adam Scott's first tournament back in Australia as Masters champion. Scott, however, was sitting only two strokes back following a 65 after playing in the afternoon groups affected by gusty winds at Royal Pines which made low scoring more difficult.

The 33-year-old Scott was level with fellow Australians Matthew Ballard and David McKenzie.

Nathan Green shot 66 and was alone in fifth spot, a stroke better than Australian compatriot Jason Norris and South Korea's Kwon Sung-yeol, who shot 67s and were equal sixth. Richard Lee of Canada was in a large group tied for eighth with 68s.

Jason Kokrak Aces 409 Yard Par-4 During Pro-Am

Jason Kokrak, a 28-year-old from Ontario, Canada, was playing in the pro-am at a PGA Tour stop on Wednesday when he got to the par-4 No. 5 hole at the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga.

The hole measures 409 yards, but distance is king and Kokrak is about 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, so I guess he got a lot out of his tee shot. He not only reached the green, but his shot reached the pin, hit it, and disappeared for the incredible hole-in-one on a par-4.

How rare is such a feat? It has happened only once in the history of the PGA Tour, back at the 2001 Waste Management Open, and it needed assistance from someone in the group ahead to find the cup.

Yes, Kokrak's improbable shot during the pro-am allows us to look back at the Andrew Magee double-eagle on the par-4 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale, when his ball landed on the green, hit the putter of Tom Byrum and went in the hole for the ace.

Via Yahoo Sports

Farmers Insurance extends tournament sponsorship through 2019

The PGA TOUR, Farmers Insurance and the Century Club of San Diego announced today that Farmers has extended its title sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open by five years, through 2019.
The new agreement will take effect following the 2014 tournament, scheduled for the week of Jan. 20-26 at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego.
“Farmers Insurance has been a wonderful partner of the PGA TOUR and Century Club since becoming the title sponsor in 2010,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “Farmers has remained very active in its role as title sponsor as well as in its support of the Century Club’s charitable initiatives through the tournament. We are extremely pleased to announce this five-year extension, which guarantees the continuation of the positive impact the Farmers Insurance Open has had throughout the San Diego area.”

Brandt Snedeker WD's from Australian PGA

The Australian PGA Championship lost one of its main draws Tuesday when former FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker was forced to withdraw from this week's event in Queensland due to a knee injury.

Details on how the injury arose were not immediately available. Snedeker made his 2013-14 season debut last week in China at the WGC-HSBC Champions, where he tied for 55th, but did not board a flight from Shanghai to Brisbane on Monday.

“The most important thing is of course Brandt’s health,” said Brian Thorburn, chief executive officer of the PGA of Australia. "Brandt is a player who is held in very high regard wherever he goes, and while we're obviously disappointed he won't be playing this week, our thoughts are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery."

Phil Mickelson to play Abu Dhabi Championship in 2014

Phil Mickelson's path toward a shorter schedule in 2014 took another interesting turn Wednesday when the reigning British Open champion committed to play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on the European Tour.

Mickelson's presence adds to what was already an elite field in Abu Dhabi, one that will include former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose. This will be the 43-year-old's second appearance in the event, as he also tied for 37th in 2011.

"To play Abu Dhabi in the early part of the year is a great opportunity," said Mickelson. "I've wanted to return since my first time there in 2011. The golf course and facilities at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club are outstanding and the quality of the field and the good weather make it a great place to start my 2014 season."

China Professional Golf Tour to Debut in 2014

A partnership between the China Golf Association, PGA TOUR and event promoter China Olympic Sports Industry (COSI) has established a new professional golf tour in China that will begin play in 2014 with 12 tournaments throughout the country.

The creation of PGA TOUR China was announced Sunday by PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; Zhang Xiaoning, Vice President and Secretary General of the CGA; and Sun Liping, President of COSI, at Sheshan International Golf Club, site of this week’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.

PGA TOUR China, which also will be open to professionals outside of China, will move geographically throughout the country. Fields are expected to be between 120 and 156 players and purses will be in the $200,000 range per tournament. Plans are to increase the number of events after the first year.

Ernie Els Rips European Tour over Playing Requirement

Ernie Els is so disgusted by the European Tour's increased playing requirements that he is willing to pass up a chance at $8 million to protest them.

According to a Reuters report, Els objects to the tour's new regulation that its members must play two of the three events leading into Dubai to be eligible for next week's $8 million season finale.

Els called the requirement "farcical" and "an absolute joke."

Els, who is a member of both the U.S. and European tours, said he understood why the European Tour wants its top players to play more of the big-money Asian tournaments.

Matsuyama withdraws from HSBC-Champions

Japanese sensation Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the WGC-HSBC Champions Friday, citing a bad back.

Though the 2013-14 PGA Tour season is less than a month old, this marks the second time the 21-year-old has been forced to withdraw from an event. He left the field at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last month shortly before his opening-round tee time, citing illness.

Matsuyama carded two birdies against a lone bogey Thursday at Sheshan International Golf Club en route to a 1-under 71 that left him six shots off the pace through one round. He withdrew Friday before the start of his second round.

Now up to No. 28 in the latest world rankings, Matsuyama has had a successful year since turning professional in April. The 21-year-old has won three times on the Asian Tour and qualified for last month's Presidents Cup, in which he compiled a 1-3-1 individual record. He tied for third at the season-opening Frys.com Open, his best career PGA Tour finish to date, and tied for 25th last week at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.

Via PGA Tour