NAPLES, Fla. – In another move away from money counting anywhere except the bank, the Presidents Cup will be relying on FedExCup points to determine the United States team for the 2015 matches in South Korea.
That means golf's strongest fields will not award as many points compared with previous years.
American players previously earned one point for every dollar in official PGA Tour earnings (double the amount in the year of the Presidents Cup). Prize money at the majors was roughly $8 million this year, while the World Golf Championships offered $8.75 million, The Players Championship had a $9.5 million purse and the FedExCup playoff events were at $8 million. The largest purse for a regular PGA Tour event was $6.7 million last year.
Americans now get FedExCup points counted toward the President Cup standings.
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Majors and The Players offer 600 points to the winner. The WGCs and FedExCup playoff events award 550 points, while the rest of the PGA Tour events offer 500 points (except for opposite-field events, which award 250 points).
Then again, winning majors never guaranteed a spot on the Presidents Cup team. PGA Champion Keegan Bradley didn't make it in 2011. U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover was a captain's pick in 2009, and neither British Open winner Ben Curtis nor PGA Champion Shaun Micheel was on the 2003 team.
International players are determined by the world ranking. Major champions are awarded 100 ranking points, nearly double the average of other PGA Tour events.
WESTWOOD CADDIE: Billy Foster is returning to work as Lee Westwood's caddie for the first time in 18 months.
The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday that Westwood, who faces his first winless season in five years, will get back together with his old caddie at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge next week in California.
Foster, whose list of players ranges from Seve Ballesteros, Darren Clarke and even one week with Tiger Woods, injured his knee playing soccer at the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2012. Westwood eventually hired Mike Kern.
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Foster returned this summer and was working for Branden Grace of South Africa.
He was on the bag with Westwood when the Englishman had five top-3s in the majors over a four-year period and reached No. 1 in the world.
WEB.COM CHANGES: Starting next year, the top 65 and ties will make the cut in Web.com Tour events, an increase from top 60 and ties. The change was approved in the latest policy board meeting.
Also, the policy board decided that the new PGA Tour China series will provide a full Web.com card for the winner of that tour, with the next four players on the money list in China earning conditional status on the Web.com. That's how it also works on the Canadian and Latin American circuits run by the PGA Tour.
FINAL WORD: "Sports are at their absolute best ... when the best athletes in that sport are having the best years of their lives." – LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan.