Sport Golf

Wednesday 19 December 2018

G-Mac to miss Wanamaker Trophy date in Missouri


Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Brian Keogh

Graeme McDowell has just two events left to secure his PGA Tour card after he failed to qualify for next week's US PGA Championship in Missouri.

The 2010 US Open champion received an invitation from the PGA of America for last year's US PGA at Quail Hollow when he dropped out of the world's top 100.

However, there was no invitation for the Portrush man when the field was confirmed for Bellerive Country Club in St Louis yesterday, with world number 79 Paul Dunne and 89th ranked Shane Lowry joining past champions Rory McIlroy (2012 and 2014), and Pádraig Harrington (2008) in the field.

Currently 149th in the FedEx Cup standings, McDowell is in Reno with Lowry, Harrington and Seamus Power for this week's Barracuda Championship, aiming to move closer to the 125 who will qualify for the playoffs at the Wyndham Championship on August 19.

While Power (123rd) and Lowry (159th) are also under pressure to qualify, Harrington (222nd) can use his one-off Career Money exemption to play in the US next year.

As a major winner, Ryder Cup hero and now a Ryder Cup vice-captain, McDowell (39) has said that losing his full playing credentials will not be a major drama.


Meanwhile, what could be a issue for many are plans by the R&A and the USGA to curtail the use of detailed "green" books - comprehensive maps that show every subtle slope on a green.

The governing bodies announced yesterday that they plan to limit "the use of green-reading materials, reaffirming the need for a player to read greens based on their own judgement, skill and ability".

While traditional yardage books, as well as handwritten player and caddie notes, will be allowed, a new "interpretation" of Rule 4.3 (Use of Equipment) will be issued after a six-week consultation period and included in the new rules, which come into effect on January 1 next year.

David Rickman, Executive Director - Governance at The R&A believes the green books "tip the balance too far away from the essential skill and judgement required to read subtle slopes on the greens".

Yardage books, as well as notes and illustrations that show ridges or general slopes, will continue to be permitted, but the mass of indicator arrows will disappear.

The governing bodies are preparing to impose a "Minimum Slope Indication Limit" of 4pc (2.29 degrees), similar to the amount of slope readily visible to the naked eye.

Irish Independent

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