Notebook: Ryder Cup players fill out Tiger Woods' World Challenge field

By Doug Ferguson
Published on

NAPA, Calif. – The Hero World Challenge that Tiger Woods hosts each December almost has enough players for a Ryder Cup reunion. 
Keegan Bradley and Steve Stricker were awarded sponsor's exemptions to fill out the 18-man field on Dec. 4-7. The tournament moved this year to Isleworth outside Orlando, Florida, from Sherwood Country Club in California. 
Twelve players will be competing who took part in the Ryder Cup, which Europe won handily at Gleneagles. That doesn't include Stricker, an assistant captain. The only three Americans from the team who will not be at Isleworth are Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed. 
Three players from the European team are in the field – Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell. 
The winner gets $1 million from the $3.5 million purse, along with world ranking points. 
SEE YOU AT THE SHOOTOUT: Jimmy Walker and Chris Kirk will be among those playing the Franklin Templeton Shootout for the first time. 
They were among the 24-man field announced Tuesday for the popular team event hosted by Greg Norman. The Shark won't be playing Dec. 11-13 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida. He will be making his Fox Sports broadcast debut with Joe Buck. 
The teams will be determined later. 
Joining Walker and Kirk as newcomers are Ryan Palmer, Cameron Tringale and Gary Woodland. Harris English and Matt Kuchar are defending champions. 
DIVOTS: Doc Giffin, the longtime press assistant to Arnold Palmer, has been selected to receive the Memorial Golf Journalism award. Giffin will be honored next year at Muirfield Village. ... Hunter Mahan will have a busy start to the new year. He and wife Kandi are expecting their second child in early February. Mahan left the Canadian Open while leading in 2012 when she went into labor with their first child, Zoe. This child is due the week of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. ... Inbee Park can finish in a three-way tie or better in South Korea to return to No. 1 in the world. Lydia Ko also can get to No. 1 if she wins and Park doesn't finish in a two-way tie for second. Stacy Lewis is taking the week off. 
STAT OF THE WEEK: According to ShotLink, Sang-moon Bae became the first player in five years to win a PGA Tour event without making a putt longer than 15 feet. 
FINAL WORD: "My problem was the majors were never in January and February." – Two-time major champion Johnny Miller. Of his 25 victories on the PGA Tour, 13 were in first two months of the year. 
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