Stories of interest you might have missed…
The return of golf to the Olympic Games hasn't gone particularly swimmingly, but there was always Tiger Woods on which to fall back. Now, that is not a given, Nick Zaccardi writes at NBC OlympicTalk. "If the Olympic golf field was chosen based on today's rankings, the last American to qualify would be Matt Kuchar, who is ranked 10th overall and fourth among Americans. Woods is currently the 13th-highest ranked American," Zaccardi notes.
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It seems a given that should China ever embrace golf fully the game will encounter a new world order. "I played with an 11-year-old girl this week who if she does nothing but continues to play, I'm sure she'll be on the LPGA Tour in about five years," Adam Scott told Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press. "She played off my tees on the 17th, 205 yards. Hit a 3-wood to 15 feet and lipped it out. Made an easy 3. Just looked beautiful." Ferguson notes in this story that "each year brings more advancement by Chinese golfers, and the inaugural year of PGA Tour China would appear to be accelerating that growth."
The European Tour will be getting a new CEO and his first order of business, according to Colin Montgomerie, is figuring out a way to keep Europe's best players playing the tour, including Rory McIlroy. "The first thing a sponsor asks is, 'Who's playing?' And too many times nine or 10 of our Ryder Cup team are playing full-time in America and we have to address that," Montgomerie said in this Reuters story by Tony Jimenez. "We have to have more of our stars playing more in Europe more of the time. That's a big, big first job of the CEO to try and address that situation."
The European Tour's Race to Dubai is no race at all. Rory McIlroy is a virtual cinch to win it without actually giving chase. "At the moment you've got the season concluding with four strong tournaments known as the Final Series," Derek Lawrenson writes in the Daily Mail. "Rory McIlroy began with a lead of just over three million points and, despite playing in neither [of the first tour events], ends them with an advantage of just under three million. What's the point of linking four tournaments together if so little change takes place? Where's the incentive to make sure everyone turns up when the leader can miss the first three events and still be miles in front going into the last one?"
Donald Trump's grandiose vision for Trump Turnberry include "plans to transform ailing Prestwick Airport into a hub for the world's super-rich, with hundreds of private jets' bringing golf fans to Ayrshire amid plans for a Â£250 million revamp of his Turnberry resort," according to this story in the Herald Scotland. "The flamboyant mogul has struck a deal with bosses at the Scottish Government-owned base to run flights to and from the airport on the Trump Organisation's fleet of private jets, including his own luxury converted Boeing 757 jumbo, which can seat up to 43 passengers."