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Tiger Woods, son Charlie to play PNC Championship

Team Woods is back.

Tiger and Charlie Woods will compete at the PNC Championship for the fourth straight year, they announced Wednesday on NBC's "TODAY" show. It will mark Tiger Woods’ second start in three weeks, following the Hero World Challenge, Nov. 30-Dec. 3., ending months of speculation regarding when he would return to competition after undergoing ankle surgery in April.

Once Tiger Woods said he would play the Hero – which requires walking 72 holes – it was expected that he would compete at the 36-hole PNC, which allows the use of a cart. It’s also a cherished parent-child competitive environment. Team Woods first competed in 2020, with fans quickly noticing parallel mannerisms between father and son. Their interactions inside the ropes show how much they enjoy the event, as well.

“The bonding … just to be able to be out there and share this with Charlie,” Tiger Woods said last year, “… It just means so much to all of us.”

The PNC Championship will be played Dec. 14-17 at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida, two weeks after the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas.

Tiger Woods did not compete at last year’s Hero World Challenge, withdrawing shortly before the event due to plantar fasciitis. He played through pain at the PNC, aided by a cart – “I can practice; I just can’t walk,” he said that week. He made two TOUR starts this spring, finishing T45 at The Genesis Invitational and making the cut at the Masters before withdrawing during the third round, citing plantar fasciitis. Then he underwent ankle surgery in late April that has competitively sidelined him since. He has ramped up his practice in recent weeks – Stewart Cink said Woods was in “go mode” after chatting with him earlier this month – and Woods’ upcoming return to competition aligns with these indications.

Earlier this month, Tiger Woods caddied for his son at the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship, where Charlie Woods finished T17. It has been a busy competitive stretch for Charlie Woods, whose high school team won a Florida state title earlier this month as well.

Team Woods finished seventh at the PNC in 2020, second in 2021 and eighth in 2022. Their closest call came in 2021 with a final-round 57 to finish two back of John Daly and John Daly II. The PNC uses a two-player scramble format, handicapped by tees based on age. Charlie Woods played from approximately 6,000 yards in 2020 and 2021, but last year at age 13 he moved back to the 6,500-yard range (also used by pros ages 65-72). Tiger Woods played from approximately 7,100 yards, the set played by TOUR pros ages 54 and under.

Vijay Singh and son Qass Singh will return to defend their 2022 title. The two previous winning teams, John Daly and John Daly II (2021) and Justin Thomas and father Mike Thomas (2020), have also committed to the event. The field will feature 20 duos overall, including newcomers Steve Stricker and daughter Izzi Stricker.

SOURCE: [pgatour.com]

Luke List wins $300,000 through RSM’s Birdies Fore Love

CHICAGO – RSM, the nation’s leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market – and title sponsor of The RSM Classic – is pleased to announce that Luke List has won $300,000 through RSM’s Birdies Fore Love on-course competition for recording the most birdies (or better) over the seven events of the 2023 FedExCup Fall. As part of the program, the money will be donated to List's choice of a children- and/or family-focused charitable organization or organizations that are building tomorrow’s middle market leaders.

RSM’s Birdies Fore Love also awarded $50,000 to Eric Cole for carding the most birdies or better during The RSM Classic. Cole joins other weekly winners Sahith Theegala, Zecheng Dou, Tom Kim, Collin Morikawa, Justin Suh and Camilo Villegas who won the weekly competition during the FedExCup Fall tournaments. The 2023 program concluded at The RSM Classic where birdies counted for double.

In the first six years of the program between 2018 and 2023, RSM’s Birdies Fore Love has raised $5.25 million donated to players’ charities, supporting over 85 different organizations. Four players have started their own foundations as a direct result of RSM’s Birdies Fore Love funds. Past winners and their charities of choice and the stories of the impact these donations have made can be viewed on the PGA TOUR's RSM's Birdies Fore Love website.

“I’m proud of the impact we’ve made yet again through The RSM Classic and RSM’s Birdies Fore Love on-course competition,” said Andy Bosman, chief marketing officer with RSM US LLP. “I’m happy to congratulate Luke List and all of this year’s weekly winners. I also extend thanks to all of our people, clients, communities, the PGA TOUR players and the Davis Love Foundation for everything they do to embody our core value of stewardship, year after year.”

In alignment with the RSM US Foundation, winning players designate funds to charitable organizations dedicated to building tomorrow’s middle-market leaders through programs that support education, as well as organizations committed to improving the lives of youth through a focus on hunger, housing and health.

“It’s been another great week for The RSM Classic at Sea Island, and exciting to see these players making birdies for charity,” said Davis Love III, PGA TOUR professional, Team RSM member and The RSM Classic Tournament Host. “Congratulations to all of the RSM’s Birdies Fore Love winners this year. Because of their on-course performance, these pros will be making a positive impact on some deserving charities.”

Since the inception of The RSM Classic in 2010, RSM and the Davis Love Foundation have donated over $41 million to nonprofit organizations that support children and families in need.

SOURCE: [pgatour.com]

See how a putter recommendation from Adam Scott helped Camilo Villegas return to the winner’s circle

Last year, Camilo Villegas was nurturing the next generation of international PGA TOUR pros. The Colombian took part in the 2022 Presidents Cup as a captain’s assistant to Trevor Immelman at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fast forward 14 months and the 41-year-old found himself rolling in putts on his way to a two-stroke victory at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

Turns out, a scouting trip to Quail Hollow helped Villegas end his nine-year winless drought with a fifth PGA TOUR title. During the team’s trip to the Charlotte venue, Villegas watched his good friend Adam Scott on the greens and took an interest in the unique putter that the Aussie was using. The L.A.B Mezz.1 Proto had been developed for Scott earlier in the year.

“I guess I've got to thank Adam in a way because you're right,” Villegas joked after the win at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. “We did a little trip to Quail Hollow before the Presidents Cup and I was watching Adam putt with a broom. He kept rolling it so good and he kept telling me how confident he was feeling.

“At one point I'm like, ‘OK, man, let me try it.’ I started trying the broom, which I didn't think I was going to go to the broom, but we started talking about the technology behind the (L.A.B) putter … It felt good right away. I tried different versions of it, different lengths, different grips, different shaft leans on it and then finally I came up with one that feels very comfortable. My hands tend to get pretty low. With this putter, I get them a little bit higher.”

L.A.B., which stands for “Lie Angle Balance,” crafts putters that are designed to reduce torque and twisting throughout the stroke. The winged shape of the L.A.B. Golf Mezz.1 Max putter which Villegas has in the bag helps to enhance forgiveness across the face, and the sole of the head has multiple weights to help with stability.

“I think my putting stroke is better. I think the technology behind it is great and I was telling Scottie earlier this week, this putter feels good, man, it feels unbelievable,” Villegas said. “It's been performing the last few weeks.”

Villegas ranked No. 4 at the World Wide Technology Championship in Putts per Green in Regulation, and he followed up the impressive performance with the flatstick a week later at Port Royal Golf Club, averaging 1.63 per green on his way to victory.

“He's been putting great with it. He's obviously very comfortable,” said Scott, who finished T5 in Bermuda. “In the last couple weeks has been incredible, so I'm stoked for Camilo. He's such a positive guy. To see him playing well again is nice for an old mate.”

Villegas isn’t the first International Team member that Scott helped pick up a win on the PGA TOUR. Si Woo Kim also took tips from the Australian at last year’s Presidents Cup. A switch to the long putter propelled Kim to a 3-1-0 record in Charlotte, and he followed up his impressive display with a win at the turn of the year at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

It will be interesting to see who’s next in line for Scott’s putting advice.

SOURCE: [pgatour.com]

Watch Erik van Rooyen’s emotional interview after making a 72nd-hole eagle to win

Erik van Rooyen held it together as long as he could. Then, after making eagle from 18 feet on the final hole of the World Wide Technology Championship to collect his second PGA Tour event, there was no reason to hold it inside. Van Rooyen recorded a back-nine 28 that included six birdies and an eagle, playing the last three holes in four under to top Camilo Villegas and Matt Kuchar by two shots. When that eagle dropped, van Rooyen and caddie Alex Gaugert had several long, emotional embraces over the next few minutes.

Their good friend and college teammate, Jon Trasamar, is back in Minnesota battling late stages of melanoma.

“I was calm because there’s bigger stuff in life than golf,” van Rooyen, 33, said.“Every shot out there today was for him. When you’re playing for something bigger than winning some silly trophy it puts it into perspective. At the end of the day whether I won here or lost here it really did not matter. When something motivates you like that whether you make the put or miss the putt who cares?”

Van Rooyen said that he and Gaugert are flying to Minnesota on Monday and will spend time with Trasamar on Tuesday morning saying, “I’ll give him a high-five then.”“We love him so much,” van Rooyen continued. “I’m still sort of in disbelief what he’s going through and I wish I could take all his pain away.”

SOURCE: golfdigest.com

Golf News

Rose Zhang is in position to claim her second LPGA title at this week’s Maybank Championship in Malaysia.

The 20-year-old fired a third-round 65, 7 under par, to take the lead by one shot over Attaya Thitikul and Jasmine Suwannapura. Zhang’s rounds of 65-68-65 (-18) set new personal lows with two- and three-round totals of 133 and 198, respectively.

A win on Sunday would mark the second of Zhang’s professional career, which has only spanned 12 starts thus far. Zhang played her first event as a pro in June at the Mizuho Americas Open, a tournament she won in a playoff, making her the first rookie to win in her debut since Beverly Hanson 1951.

Following that win, Zhang notched three top-9 finishes in her next four tournaments, but hasn’t contended until this week. Her best finish since July is T26 at the Buick Shanghai Open earlier this month.

Zhang’s Mizuho win granted her immediate LPGA Tour membership, and eligibility to compete in the Solheim Cup in Spain, where she went 0-2-1 in Team USA’s 14-14 tie with Europe, which meant the Europeans retained the Cup.

This week, Zhang has Danielle Kang’s former caddie Olly Brett on the bag — a pairing that already seems to be paying dividends.

“I think Olly makes a huge difference, especially with us just enjoying the golf course and having a good time,” Zhang said after her third round. “I felt like my game was very solid just from tee to green, and I was able to convert the putts I needed to. I feel really great. I just feel like being able to have this opportunity to come into the final round with a little bit of a lead is really great."

“I think that going forward it’s just making sure I’m having fun, having that game plan, and enjoying every simple moment.”

Zhang will play the final round alongside Thitikul and Suwannapura at 9:17 a.m. local time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can watch final-round coverage of the Maybank Championship Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.