PGA Tour Notebook: Johnson might play more European events in 2012

dustin johnson
Getty Images
"I like traveling and seeing the world," says Dustin Johnson of his plan to play more on the European Tour in 2012.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Sunday, August 21, 2011 | 9:51 p.m.

The PGA Tour gets Rory McIlroy. The European Tour might be getting Dustin Johnson.

It's not a straight-up trade since players have joint memberships, but Johnson is leaning toward joining the European Tour for the 2012 season. He already has played three European Tour events this year in South Korea, Germany and Sweden. Counting the four majors and World Golf Championships, he only needs a couple more to be a full-time member.

"I like traveling and seeing the world," Johnson said, adding that he doesn't have to decide until December.

The appeal is his enjoyment of European Tour events, and he considers the Race to Dubai an additional perk.

"You get two shots to win a money title," he said. "Both would be nice to win."

MAJOR RECAP: No one played the majors better this year than Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, and that's nothing new.

Not only was Schwartzel among 11 players who made the cut in all four majors, he had the lowest aggregate score at 14 under par. He was followed by Steve Stricker and Sergio Garcia at 4 under, with U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy at 2 under.

Garcia, who started the year assured of playing only the Masters, made the cut in all four majors for the first time since 2002.

It was the second year in a row that Schwartzel made the cut in all four majors. Schwartzel and Phil Mickelson share the longest active cut streak in the majors at nine, dating to Turnberry in 2009 -- the South African missed the cut, and Mickelson didn't play.

The others to make the cut in all four majors: Bill Haas, Edoardo Molinari, Ryan Palmer, Bubba Watson, Gary Woodland and Y.E. Yang.

On the other side were Jonathan Byrd and Hiroyuki Fujita, who failed to qualify for the weekend at any major this year. Byrd ran his missed cut streak in the majors to eight tournaments. He last made a major cut at Carnoustie in 2007.

MASTERS DOWN UNDER: The Australian Masters might have the No. 1 player in the world for the second time in three years.

Only this time, it will be Luke Donald.

Despite getting bumped on the schedule to a month after the Presidents Cup in Melbourne -- it had been held the last two years the week before the matches -- the Australian Masters will have Donald, Ian Poulter, Italian teen Matteo Manassero and defending champion Stuart Appleby on Dec. 15-18 at Victoria Golf Club.

Tiger Woods was No. 1 when won the Australian Masters in 2009 before record crowds at Kingston Heath. It remains his last win. Woods was No. 2 in the world when he defended his title last year at Victoria.

Woods is no longer with IMG, which runs the event. He instead has signed on to play the Australian Open. Donald and Manassero are IMG clients.

DIVOTS: Pine Valley is No. 1 in Golf Magazine's 15th biennial list of top 100 courses in the United States and the world. The magazine relied on a panel of 100 voting members, including major champions and architects. Pine Valley, Cypress Point and Augusta were the top three in the U.S. and world lists. In America, Shinnecock Hills and Pebble Beach rounded out the top five, while the world list had St. Andrews and Royal County Down. ... The Old Course at St. Andrews has raised its green fee by about $15. It now cost about $250 in the peak time of the year. ... The Phoenix Open raised just over $4 million to give to local charities. Since the tournament first signed on a title sponsor in 2003, it has raised more $46.4 million.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Tiger Woods played eight times on the PGA Tour this year and earned $629,863 from a combined purse of $62.8 million. As a 20-year-old rookie in 1996, he played eight times and earned $790,594 from a combined purse of $11.95 million.

FINAL WORD: "I don't see how you can see anything negative from losing in a playoff in a major, other than not winning." -- Jason Dufner, who lost in a playoff at the PGA Championship after losing a four-shot lead with four holes to play.