Brandt Snedeker proving to be a wise investment
Taking into account his red-hot start in 2013, Snedeker has already pocketed more than $15-million since the end of last year
Published on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 12:18PM EST Last updated on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 12:32PM EST
RBC’s decision to add Brandt Snedeker to its golf stable appears, at least in the early going, to have been a wise investment.
Snedeker is off to a red-hot start on the PGA Tour, having already chalked up $2.859-million in his first five events of the year. Incidentally, that would have put him 26th on the 2012 PGA Tour money list. Take his earnings from this year and, as of the FedEx Cup playoffs to close out 2012, Snedeker has added more than $15.488-million to his bank account. (That includes the $10-million bonus he got for winning the FedEx Cup title).
With the season’s first major still a few months away, Snedeker has suddenly thrown himself into the mix at Augusta when it comes to the oddsmakers. While Tiger and Rory still dominate when it comes to the favourites to win (5-to-1 and 7-to-1 respectively), Snedeker is at least a fourth choice behind Phil Mickelson at 15-to-1.
Asked after winning at Pebble Beach was he wants to be know for, Snedeker said, “I've got no clue. That's a great question. I don't know what I want to be known for. I would love to be known as the best American golfer. I've got a long way to go to do that, but this is a great start to the year.”
On Monday, Snedeker rose to No. 4 in the world and since the start of the year, he has gained six places in the world rankings - only Phil Mickelson has made up more ground among the top 20 ranked golfers (Dustin Johnson has also gained six spots in the rankings to get himself into the top 20).
MOVING FORWARD: Seven months after opening his $150-million golf course on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Donald Trump has announced plans for a second 18-hole facility.
Trump says plans are now before Aberdeenshire Council for the course, which will be named The Mary MacLeod Course after his Scottish born mother. (While he called the decision to name the course after his mother an easy one, Trump told the Scotsman last month that if he named it The Donald Course, he would have been “ridiculed out of Scotland”).
Golf architect Martin Hawtree, who designed the first championship course, will also design the second one, said to be a par 72 course of over 7,500 yards. It will be situated to the south of the main championship course, putting it outside the designated Site of Special Scientific Interest which sparked major controversy and debate during the development of the first 18 holes.
“We are more committed than ever to creating the greatest golf destination in the world,” said Sarah Malone, executive vice president for Trump International Golf Links. “Following the launch of our championship course last year, Aberdeenshire is now considered a must visit destination for golf.
“The addition of a second course will further strengthen this.”
Trump claims more than 10,000 golfers played the first championship course, which was only open from July to October last year. The course is set to re-open in April this year and Trump says bookings are up 55-percent from a year ago.
However, shortly after opening the course, Trump suspended any more development plans on the site, which was to include 500 private homes, 950 holiday homes, 36 golf villas and a second course, unless plans to erect an offshore wind farm near the course were halted.
Trump is hoping to lure either a British Open championship or a Ryder Cup event to his championship layout.
THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR: We’ve recently heard the rumors that Tiger Woods is dating ski star Lindsay Vonn but, as we tend to do with everything when it comes to Tiger’s non-golf related life, we take it with a grain of salt. Even after Vonn herself refused to outright deny the relationship, we still weren't sold. But as this article by the New York Daily News points out, where there’s smoke there might just be some fire.
After Vonn suffered a season-ending crash at the world alpine championships in Austria (breaking her leg and tearing ligaments in her knee), seems Tiger fired up his private jet and sent it to Austria to take Ms. Vonn back to the United States where she could undergo surgery and begin her recovery.
UP IN THE AIR: It was quite the week for Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly. According to an item in Global Golf Post, Kelly flew out to California last Sunday in advance of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and played a practice round on Monday and Tuesday before flying back to Indiana Tuesday night in order to be in the school office for Signing Day on Wednesday. That is college football’s version of the draft when all of the top high school players declare where they plan to play their college football after being wooed by the big institutions. Wednesday night, Kelly was back in the air heading for California, landing in the Monterrey Peninsula at 4 am local time, four hours before his scheduled tee time for the first round. If he was suffering from jet lag he didn’t show it as he and his pro-partner, James Driscoll, carded an opening round 68. They managed to make the cut at -19 under par and finished the tournament in 23rd place at 22-under.
CHANGE OF HEART: Back in December, Jessica Shepley announced she was putting her professional golf career on the shelf at the age of 29. She told the Toronto Sun that she was ready for a change and it was time to start a new chapter in her life.
Now it seems, Canada’s fourth ranked female pro has had a change of heart. She tells ScoreGolf’s Jason Logan that she’s decided to unretire. She plans to make her season debut on the Symetra Tour - the LPGA’s developmental circuit - next month while her first LPGA Tour event should come in mid-April.
ONE YEAR LATER: When the 2012 LPGA season began last year in Australia, Yani Tseng was coming off a dominating campaign the previous year which saw her extend her lead atop the world rankings to what many thought was an insurmountable 6.81. After winning the first three events of the LPGA season, it appeared as though it was be the year of Yani once again. But the Taiwanese golfer fell into a slump and never really recovered through the latter half of 2012. In the meantime, players such as Stacy Lewis and Na Yeon Choi chipped away at Tseng’s world ranking advantage and as the Tour prepares to kick off 2013, Tseng’s lead over Choi is but 1.21 points.
DRIVERS SEAT: John Paul Newport of the Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece on golf manufacturer TaylorMade and how it has made significant market gains at the expense of its rivals.
TaylorMade hasn't just blown away Callaway, it now positively dominates the business. Last year in the U.S., TaylorMade captured 47% of every dollar spent on woods (drivers, fairway woods and hybrids), according to Golf Datatech, the industry's leading market-research firm. That's up from 26% in 2007 and a mere 11% of the driver-only market in 2002. In irons last year, it hauled in 25% of all sales, up from 16% in 2007. No other company comes close.
TaylorMade's rise is even more remarkable considering that the $2.6 billion golf-equipment market, as tracked by Golf Datatech (excluding goods sold at sporting-goods stores and mass merchants), has shrunk by $300 million since 2007. Every bit of TaylorMade's growth has come from the hide of its competitors.
Meanwhile, over at Forbes, Larry Olmstead asks, Can Golf Be Saved By Capitalism?
“If I wanted to get through one more year to get to the Champions Tour and go dink around, I could get by. I don’t want to go to the Champions Tour.” -- Davis Love III after undergoing surgery on his back to help correct the pain and problems caused by spinal stenosis and bone spurs