Notebook: Tiger Woods' ranking likely to plunge below No. 400
By Doug Ferguson
ATLANTA (AP) – Tiger Woods is out for the rest of the year after another back operation, meaning his world ranking continues to plunge.
Woods is projected to have a world ranking average of 0.426 at the end of the year, meaning he is assured of being well outside the top 400. The last time he was not among the top 400 players in the ranking was his second week as a pro on Sept. 1, 1996.
MEXICO EXHIBITION: Matt Kuchar lost his partner, Tiger Woods, for the second straight year in the Bridgestone America's Golf Cup. They canceled in Argentina last year when Woods took three months off to heal his back, and Woods is out the rest of this year because of another back surgery.
This time it appears the show must go on Oct. 22-25 in Mexico City.
Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management, who manages Kuchar and Woods, said in an email he expects the event to happen and the tournament is trying to find a new partner for Kuchar.
The tournament confirmed in a statement that it is "dedicated to the task of defining the player ... the Mexican public deserves" to play with Kuchar." It also said that "the value of the purchased ticket will be returned to whom so desires."
RBC HERITAGE VENUE REOPENS: The home of the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage tournament has reopened after $3.5 million of improvements this summer.
Harbour Town Golf Links closed in early May and re-opened to the public Monday. The course underwent several enhancements, including re-grassing of the tee boxes, fairways and rough with Celebration Bermuda turf. The greens at Harbour Town were also resurfaced with Tif-Eagle Bermuda, which been used since 2001.
There was also a new irrigation system installed.
Sea Pines vice president of sports and operations Cary Corbitt said the changes mean faster, firmer surfaces for patrons and PGA Tour members. The RBC Heritage takes place April 14-17.
MEET ME IN MARYLAND: The 2017 Constellation Senior Players Championship will be held at Caves Valley Golf Club in Maryland.
Champions Tour President Greg McLaughlin made the announcement Tuesday at the golf course in Owings Mills. The tournament will be played July 10-16, 2017.
This will be the fifth Senior Players Championship in Maryland. The tournament was played at Baltimore Country Club from 2007 to 2009 before heading to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in 2010.
Caves Valley will become the 12th course to host this major tournament, which began in 1983 when Miller Barber won at Canterbury Golf Club in Beechwood, Ohio.
Caves Valley opened in 1991. It has previously hosted the 2014 LPGA International Crown and the 2002 U.S. Senior Open.
PRESIDENT CUP CHANGES: Now that the International team has persuaded the PGA Tour to reduce the number of matches from 34 to 30 in the Presidents Cup, the next change might be more independent representation.
As it is, the PGA Tour oversees both teams, which is like a Super Bowl between two teams with the same owner. Jason Day talked about the International team "having our own federation ... starting our own body, as it should be."
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem suggested it was headed in that direction.
"Right now we reach out to the international tours and get their input on captain's selections," Finchem said. "We're going to broaden that next year and bring those tours in. It may be at some point you really separate it out, but that's probably a few years away. We're trying to get the other tours involved in what that's all about."
Finchem said the international tours would be those that traditionally send players to the Presidents Cup.
DIVOTS: The LPGA Tour can't catch a break when it comes to building momentum. After its stirring rally to win the Solheim Cup two weeks ago, the LPGA Tour does not play in the United States again until Nov. 19-22 at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. ... The Presidents Cup in South Korea is the first step on a worldwide journey for Matt Kuchar. He is headed to Fiji to play a tournament, and from there will go across to Mexico City for an exhibition. His father, Peter, will be caddying for him in Fiji. The only other time his father caddies for him is at the two-day CVS Charity Classic. ... Louis Oosthuizen has renewed his deal with Ping. He has played Ping since he was a teenager.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Of the 50 players who earned PGA Tour cards through the Web.com Tour or the Web.com Tour Finals, 26 kept their cards this year and five won tournaments.
FINAL WORD: "I'm glad I can provide some commentary for you." – Jordan Spieth to Johnny Miller on how much he talks to himself on the golf course.
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