|Published:||Aug 17, 2011 12:39 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 17, 2011 6:30 AM EDT|
JOHNS CREEK, Georgia (AP) - U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy still hasn't figured out his 2012 schedule when he takes up PGA Tour membership, although it doesn't sound as though he's going to play the bare minimum tournaments required.
"My guess is he might play more anyway," said Chubby Chandler, McIlroy's agent.
There will be a few changes. Chandler said McIlroy likely will not play the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, which he did two years ago when he was a PGA Tour member. He also plans to swap out the Memorial, hosted by Jack Nicklaus, for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. McIlroy finished fifth at Muirfield Village, but it was his third straight week before a major.
"We'll write a letter to Mr. Nicklaus, and Mr. Palmer will be really happy, won't he?" Chandler said. "But I think Rory feels a responsibility as a U.S. Open champion to play more."
Depending on how he fares, McIlroy won't have to play all four FedEx Cup events. After all, two of the four champions wound up missing the first playoff event - Tiger Woods in 2007 because he didn't enter, and Jim Furyk last year because he was disqualified for missing his pro-am time.
Chandler said Masters champion Charl Schwartzel won't be playing the Barclays next week.
"Until the PGA Tour works out a (points) system that entices the guys to play, they won't take advantage of it," Chandler said.
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, 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 ranked No. 1 when he 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 returned to Victoria last year.
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.