5 Things: Do it for the kids

By now, Jonathan Byrd’s shot in the dark – a brilliant 6-iron that found the bottom of the cup on the fourth playoff hole at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals Open – is legendary stuff. But if you think that by hitting the jackpot in Las Vegas he is going to go home, count his money and call it a season, think again.

He’s going to Disney. He’ll tee it up Nov. 11 in the Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Disney World.


Said Byrd: “I asked my wife (Amanda) after I won. . . . ‘So, what do you think? Do you want to just shut it down?’ And she said, ‘Are you kidding me? We’ve already told the kids we’re going to Disney World. Are you going to be the one who tells them we’re not?’”

He may be able to ace a par 3 of more than 200 yards to win $774,000, but Byrd isn’t about to tell young children that they’re not going to Disney. He’s added a 27th tournament to his 2010 schedule, for all the right reasons.


There’s everything to play for in this week’s Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, the last event of the 2010 European Challenge Tour season.

With the field limited to the top 45 players, competition for one of the top 20 spots on the end-of-season money list will be keen. The top 20 at the conclusion of the tournament earn cards for the 2011 European Tour.

Spain’s Alvaro Velasco holds down the No. 1 spot and has no worries about next year. The same can’t be said for Scotland’s Raymond Russell. He is No. 21 and vying to get his career back on track. The 38-year-old is a former European Tour winner, but he hasn’t held a full card for four years. One good week can rectify that.


Players on the Japan Golf Tour Organization have been warned to clean up their act away from the golf course.

Just days after the arrest of JGTO member Wayne Perske of Australia on charges of cocaine possession, the tour has acted swiftly to remind players of their wider responsibilities.

According to reports, the JGTO sent out a memo to its 200-plus membership calling on them “to be on their best behavior.” In the wake of the Perske incident, tour officials said they sought “full co-operation in trying to restore golf’s image.”

JGTO president Tadashi Koizumi said the tour took a dim view of Perske’s arrest, describing it as “extremely embarrassing.”

He added that 36-year-old Perske, who won the 2006 Token Homemate Cup, will face a suspension until the end of the season, at least.

Perske was arrested at a bar in Chiba Oct. 22, allegedly in possession of 1.25 grams of cocaine. Perske had been playing in the Bridgestone Open, where he missed the cut.


It’s a lean year. Well, sort of.

Matt Kuchar will top the PGA Tour money list at $4,910,477. OK, so it’s plenty enough to keep a smile on his face (truthfully, if Kuchar made $1.84 this year, he’d still be smiling), but you have to go back to 1998 when the top earner has made so little.

That year, David Duval was No. 1 with $2,591,031. Since then, however, Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh have taken turns setting new standards. Woods has won eight money title. His thinnest year was 2001 with $5,687,777; his biggest stash was $10,867,052 in 2007. Singh has captured three money titles, ranging from $6,601,094 (2008) to $10,905,166 (2004), which still ranks as the best.


Look out for England’s Nick Dougherty at Valderrama, Spain, this week in the Andalucia Masters.

The Englishman made a transatlantic voyage last week for two one-hour lessons with his latest instructor. Dougherty traveled to the United States to see the in-demand Sean Foley, the man currently working with Tiger Woods.

It’s a long way to go for two hours, but Dougherty has struggled this year. He is 130th on the European money list with a best-place finish of 14th.

Stay tuned to see if Foley provided the answer to get the one-time golden boy of English golf back on track.

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