Lydia Ko, Steven Alker and Ryan Fox make this a big year for the Kiwis

It would be an overstatement to call 2022 the year of the Kiwi, but not by much.

Steven Alker capped off one of the most notable stories of PGA Tour champions. He had no status when he turned 50 last year with three months left in the season and he still made the playoffs. And then he continued that momentum this year by winning the Charles Schwab Cup.

Alker earned just over $3.5 million, nearly $1 million more than his career earnings on the PGA Tour, European Tour and Korn Ferry Tour combined.

Lydia Ko gave New Zealand another big title when she won the CME Group Tour Championship with her $2 million prize to win the LPGA Tour’s Player of the Year award and win another Vare trophy. to have the lowest average score.

Not to be overlooked, Ryan Fox.

He finished last year ranked 213th in the world and was almost three years away from his last victory. The Masters remained only a dream.

Eleven months later, the 35-year-old Kiwi was No. 2 in the DP World Tour rankings behind Rory McIlroy until a pedestrian start in the season finale knocked him out of the way to become Europe’s No. 1.

“Beating Rory is pretty hard to do, but going into this week with a chance is pretty cool and probably exceeded my expectations for the year,” Fox told DP World Tour Championship.

McIlroy was the only player to finish in the top 10 at all four majors, and he finished no worse than fourth in five of his six regular European tours. Fox has played 21 regular European Tour events with two wins and four second-place finishes.

“If you had given me this at the start of the year, I would have jumped on it,” he said.

Perhaps the biggest advantage was rising to No. 27 in the world, which locks in his first trip to the Masters. It was the third time in the last five years that Fox had played in three major tournaments. It never happened at Augusta National.

“It’s the one I’ve wanted for a long time, since before I turned pro,” he said. “I guess a few years ago I probably thought I was getting a bit older and it was going to be a bit too difficult. But to do it this year is amazing.


Steve Williams returns to work for Adam Scott.

The Kiwi caddy, who won 13 majors with Tiger Woods and was on the bag when Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, will work for Scott for the next two weeks at the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian.

And there is apparently more to come.

Golf Digest says Williams will share caddy duties with Greg “Helpful” Hearmon next year. Hearmon is Scott’s regular caddy.

“For me, it’s exciting to work with Steve again and see if we can rediscover the magic,” Scott told Golf Digest. “As a player, you go through different times in your career. Right now the PGA Tour is a time of change, and I’m adapting to it. Having Steve and Greg job-share is going to help me get everything what I need and that is to be fresh at the biggest events.

Williams worked steadily for Scott until 2017.

“Steve is at a point in his life where he’d like to try again, so to speak,” said Scott, who hasn’t won since the 2020 Genesis Invitational. “It’s a good balance for him because it won’t be not a full year.”


The PGA Tour loses its longest-serving title sponsor.

As first reported by Golfweek, Honda is ending its title sponsorship of the Honda Classic in South Florida that dates back to 1981. That’s a year before the Honda Accord became the first Japanese car produced in the United States.

The company said its “marketing mix” had evolved and it was focusing on other ways to present its brand to consumers.

The unsaid was his sticking point on the golf calendar.

He was pressed when the Players Championship returned in March to end the season before football started. The situation has gotten even worse with a new calendar that places two elevated events before (Phoenix, Riviera) and after (Bay Hill, The Players) the Honda Classic.

Tournament director Andrew George told Golfweek he has begun looking for a new sponsor for 2024.

The longest-serving title sponsor will be AT&T, which took over at Pebble Beach in 1986.


The European tour presents itself as a world circuit, which is reflected as much in its winners as in the place where the tournaments are played.

The 43-tournament program went to 21 countries. The winners came from 18 countries.

In the lead, the United States, accompanied by an asterisk. While the Americans have won seven events on the European Tour schedule, six of them have been co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour (including majors and events held during the two weeks of Scottish swing). The only winner of a pure European tour was Sean Crocker, who was actually born in Zimbabwe and moved to California when he was 5 years old.

England and Spain have each won six, with Jon Rahm and Pablo Larrazabal winning twice each.

The 18 countries included Poland for the first time, after Adrian Meronk won the Irish Open. The sole Swedish winner was Linn Grant, who won the Scandinavian Mixed playing from a separate set of tees.

Missing from the list of countries was Northern Ireland. Rory McIlroy has won the DP World Rankings to become what is known as “Europe’s No. 1”. He played six regular European tour events.


Ted Scott should have learned from last year that Scottie Scheffler doesn’t need a lot of motivation. Scott, his caddy, provided it by offering money (he didn’t say how much) if Scheffler finished 10 times during the season from the green.

But he remembers that the challenge ended quickly.

“He’s been to the US Open twice in three days,” Scott said. One was on the par-5 14th at about 40 yards, the other 80 yards up the hill on the par-5 eighth.

Scott said the plan was to pay him on the spot. The middle of the US Open, where Scheffler finally finished one stroke behind, was not the right time for that. But he paid his debt, then decided to take the same bet this year.

“He’s played three times already this season,” Scott said.


Assuming the criteria for the Masters has not changed, 65 players are currently eligible for invitations. This includes debutants Sahith Theegala, Sea Island winner Sahith Theegala and Ryan Fox. … The United States and South Korea lead the eight countries that qualified for the International Crown from May 4-7 at Harding Park in San Francisco. The others are Japan, Sweden, Thailand, England, Australia and China. The four players for each team will be determined by the Women’s World Ranking on April 3. … The European tour returns to the title “Race to Dubai” for its season ranking thanks to the support of the Department of Economy and Tourism of Dubai. It was called the DP World Tour Rankings this year when DP World became the main sponsor of the tour.


Adam Svensson was the first player in more than two years to win a PGA Tour event after opening with a 73 or higher.


“As much as I’m excited to have won, I’m excited to take some time off and prepare to be a bride.” – Lydia Ko after winning the CME Group Tour Championship to claim the $2 million prize and win the LPGA Player of the Year.


AP Golf: and


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