Sunday, November 5
ATLANTA -- After 25 years without a major golf tournament, East Lake Golf Club is firmly back in the fold. East Lake, the course where Bobby Jones grew up and site of the 1963 Ryder Cup, will get the Tour Championship back in 2002. It also held the tournament for the top 30 money-winners in 1998. And it could become part of a permanent rotation. "We are looking at possibly a two- or three-way rotation beginning in the next few years," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Sunday. "We might play in San Francisco some more." Harding Park, a public course in San Francisco going through renovations, appears to be the only thing holding the rotation back. It is supposed to get the 2003 Tour Championship, but Finchem said nothing is firm past 2002. The other course appears to be Champions Golf Club in Houston, which had the Tour Championship last year and gets again next year, when the tournament of the top 30 money-winners returns to its traditional spot as the final official event of the year. The World Golf Championship is next week in Spain. In 2001, it moves to September at Bellerive in St. Louis, and then to Mount Juliet in Ireland. Record run
Tiger Woods still has some scoring records in view. He finished the Tour Championship with a 269, and can have an 8-over 292 next week at Valderrama to break Byron Nelson's actual scoring average of 68.33 set in 1945. That shouldn't be too difficult, since Woods has gone 43 consecutive rounds at par or better. The tougher task is to break 68. He would have to finish with a 17-under 267 in the World Golf Championship next week. He won in a playoff last year at 6-under 278. Fall finish
For the first time in his career, Woods posed with a piece of crystal without winning a tournament. He picked up unofficial money of $200,000 for finishing first in the Fall Finish, a bonus program based on points over the final nine tournaments of the PGA Tour season. Woods had a victory (Canadian Open), runner-up (Tour Championship) and third-place finish (National Car Rental) to easily beat out Grant Waite. Georgia on his mind
Phil Mickelson was born in San Diego and lives in Arizona. He might consider a vacation home in Georgia. Two of his four PGA Tour victories this year came in the Atlanta area. He also won the BellSouth Classic in May. "This town has been good for me," Mickelson said. And when he was a junior, Mickelson won three consecutive American Junior Golf Association tournaments in Roswell, Ga. "I don't know why, but I have really enjoyed it here," he said.
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