Notebook: Kaymer cannot be rookie of year after PGA Tour rule changes

Martin Kaymer
Getty Images
Martin Kaymer, and anyone else, can't be the PGA Tour rookie of the year if they've played in more than seven PGA Tour events as a pro in any previous season.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Martin Kaymer is no longer eligible to win rookie of the year on the PGA Tour. 

The PGA Tour board voted at its last meeting to change the eligibility. Previously, a player's rookie season was the year he became a member (including special temporary members) and played in at least 10 tournaments as a member. The new regulation stats that new members -- such as Kaymer -- will not be eligible for the rookie of the year award if they had played in more than seven PGA Tour events as a pro in any previous season. 

"There have been cases throughout the years when a highly ranked, veteran player who has not been a PGA Tour member previously has been eligible for the award -- a situation that can be confusing for fans and seems to go against the spirit of the award," the tour said in its newsletter to players. 

It chose the seven events because that's the limit for sponsor's exemptions for players who are not members. 

The most confusing situation was in 2010, when Rickie Fowler won the award over Rory McIlroy, even though McIlroy had the stronger credentials (starting with a victory at Quail Hollow). It was seen as a pro-American vote by the players, although it was confusing because McIlroy had played in all the majors and World Golf Championships the previous year. 

Under the new definition, McIlroy would not have been eligible for the award in 2010. 

Previous rookie winners have been Trevor Immelman in 2006 and Carlos Franco in 1999. Both won rookie of the year after having played in the Presidents Cup. 

USGA RETIREMENT: The USGA is losing 50 years of experience and passion when Rhonda Glenn retires on May 9. 

Glenn's affiliation with the USGA began in 1963 when she played the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur, the first of her 11 USGA events, which included five U.S. Women's Amateurs. Over the years, she has expanded her role as a writer, broadcaster and historian, and she later became a fixture running interviews at the U.S. Women's Open. 

Perhaps her most impressive feat was helping to pull together the Mickey Wright Room for the USGA Museum. Glenn is a longtime friend of Wright, considered by many to be the greatest female ever. It was the USGA Museum's first room to honor a female player. 

Glenn became the first full-time female broadcast for a national network when she went to work for ESPN in 1981. She won the USGA International Book Award in 1992 for "The Illustrated History of Women's Golf," and she is working now on a biography on Nancy Lopez. 

DIVOTS: IMG has acquired IGP Sports & Entertainment Group, which manages the Honda Classic. Tournament Director Ken Kennerly will join IMG's golf division and be in charge of the agency's North American golf events. IMG also runs the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the Father-Son Challenge. ... Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark tied for sixth at the Masters and earned $278,000, pushing him over the amount to make him eligible to be a special temporary member on the PGA Tour. He will have 60 days to take membership, making him eligible for unlimited exemptions the rest of the year. ... Vijay Singh now has gone 27 rounds without breaking 70 at the Masters, dating to a 67 in the first round of 2006. ... A 54-hole lead in the Masters is no longer as safe as it once was. Adam Scott became the fourth straight winner who trailed going into the final round, the longest streak for the Masters since 1984-1987. 

STAT OF THE WEEK: Dating to the 2010 Masters, every major champion except for Martin Kaymer (No. 33) and Darren Clarke (No. 230) remain inside the top 25 in the world ranking. 

FINAL WORD: "A phone conversation isn't going to do it for us. We are really close, and I'd love to share a beer with him over this one." -- Adam Scott after becoming the first Australian to win the Masters, on what he would say to Greg Norman.