Notebook: Fans have their say in PGA Tour's player of the month voting

Webb Simpson
Getty Images
Despite winning the U.S. Open in June, Webb Simpson lost out to Tiger Woods in the PGA Tour's player of the month voting.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 | 6:47 p.m.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- The PGA Tour signed up Avis as a sponsor of its player-of-the-month award, and decided this year to let the fans vote.

They have spoken for the month of June. Tiger Woods, who won the Memorial, received 51 percent of the vote to edge Webb Simpson, who won the U.S. Open. Also on the ballot was Memphis winner Dustin Johnson and Hartford winner Dustin Johnson.

There have been cases when a major champion didn't win the award. Vijay Singh won in August 2008 over PGA Champion Padraig Harrington, though the Fijian won a World Golf Championship and FedExCup playoff event that month.

Then again, it's not just the fans.

Players voted Rickie Fowler the PGA Tour rookie of the year in 2010 even though he didn't win a tournament and failed to reach the Tour Championship. He won over Rory McIlroy, who shot 62 to win at Quail Hollow and tied for third in two majors, tying a record with a 63 at St. Andrews.

Under the marketing deal, Avis made a $50,000 contribution to the Tiger Woods Foundation. This comes two days after Woods donated his $1.17 million check to the foundation from winning the AT&T National.

OGILVIE OUT: A sore back turned into a short year for Joe Ogilvie.

Ogilvie was reaching down to pick up a head cover more than two months ago when he experienced a kind of pain he had never felt before. He treated it with massage, though it never went away entirely, and it reached a point where Ogilvie said he had issues with either his back, shoulder or neck three out of seven days.

"Finally at Hartford, I woke up and couldn't move," Ogilvie said.

An MRI revealed a herniated disk in his L-5 and S-1, meaning he is out for the year to let it properly heal. Ogilvie said doctors have said he should rest for four to six weeks and then start an intense rehabilitation. He could be ready by October if all goes well, but Ogilvie figures he is better off applying for a major medical exemption in 2013 instead of trying to make up ground in October.

"If I was a 15-handicap, I could play golf," he said. "It's just really tough to beat Hunter Mahan this way."

The biggest pain now might be figuring out what to do with his time. He already is tired to reading everything on the Internet. Television doesn't hold his interest for long. To kill time, the guy with an economics degree from Duke said he would study and take his Series 7 exam -- formally known as the General Securities Representation Exam -- required by all brokers and money managers.

Of course.

GREENBRIER EXTENDS: The PGA Tour has extended its contract with the Greenbrier Classic through 2021.

Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice made the announcement Tuesday.

Justice bought the resort in 2009, and the tournament debuted a year later as a replacement on the FedEx Cup schedule for the Buick Open in Michigan. The Greenbrier Classic's original contract was set to run through 2015.

Justice called the first three years of the tournament "a thrilling ride" and said the state of West Virginia has embraced the tournament from the beginning.

This year's tournament starts Thursday on the Old White TPC Course.

RATING RACES: Tiger Woods again showed his television power last week when CBS Sports reported a 4.6 overnight rating with a 10 share for the final round Sunday, when Woods won the AT&T National for his third win of the year. It was up 188 percent over last year, though the rating did not measure the same metered markets because of widespread power outages in Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and Columbus, Ohio.

Next up for Woods is The Greenbrier Classic, his first trip to West Virginia.

The PGA Tour event will be up against NBC Sports and the U.S. Women's Open, the biggest event on the LPGA Tour schedule. This will be the first time since 2003 that Woods has played the same week as the U.S. Women's Open.

DIVOTS: Bo Van Pelt became the 71st player on the PGA Tour to be a runner-up to Tiger Woods. ... The PGA Tour will take over all aspects of its digital business starting next year. It had relied on Turner Sports to help produce its website and the tour's digital products. ... John Peterson has been given a sponsor's exemption for the Frys.com Open, which has a history of giving spots to players just out of college. Peterson, who won an NCAA title last year at LSU, already is assured of playing in the Masters and U.S. Open next year because he tied for fourth at the U.S. Open. ... Tiger Woods now is 54-7 when playing in the final group and trailing by no more than one shot.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods, at The Greenbrier Classic, will be trying to record back-to-back top 10s for the first time since September 2009.

FINAL WORD: "I should say I've watched a lot of women's golf, but I really haven't. I've watched a lot of men's golf just because, I don't know, just seems to be on." -- Juli Inkster, who missed six months this year recovering from elbow surgery.