Saturday, October 16, 2010

Phil Mickelson unveils HSBC Champions official World Golf Championships trophy

Two-time HSBC Champions winner Phil Mickelson has helped to unveil the new trophy for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions: 'The Old Tom Morris Cup', reports Tim Maitland.
The new cup and name are in keeping with the other three World Golf Championships events, which also boast similarly-designed Wedgwood trophies named after golfing legends. The World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship awards The Walter Hagen Cup to the winner, the World Golf Championships-CA Championship offers The Gene Sarazen Cup, and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational winner holds aloft The Gary Player Cup.

 “I am really fond of the original trophy, which can happen when you win something more than once,” says Mickelson, who lifted the 2007 HSBC Champions and then became the first winner of the tournament following its elevation to World Golf Championships status in 2009.

“But the new trophy has even greater worldwide significance. First, it is instantly recognizable as one of the WGC prizes, second, it carries the name of one of the legends of golf. Third, and perhaps most importantly, it is proof of just how fast the game of golf in China and Asia has evolved and how significant that growth is to the world of golf,” the four-time Major champion adds.

In choosing Old Tom Morris the world’s local bank has found a figure recognizable to the established golf world. HSBC chose one of the famous names in the history of Scottish golf because the pioneering work “Old” Tom Morris did in the 1800s to shape the game of golf is symbolic of the pioneering work being done in Chinese golf now.

“Old Tom represents the birth of the game of golf. Asia, China and the WGC-HSBC Champions in varying ways represent the future of the sport and, you could argue, will in time be looked at as being part of one of the most dramatic shifts for golf since Old Tom’s era,” says Giles Morgan, HSBC Group Head of Sponsorship.

“The WGC-HSBC Champions could be described as the nucleus which has shaped the way tournament golf in Asia is evolving and developing on the world stage, in the same way the Old Tom Morris helped shape and define the sport of golf” he adds.

Padraig Harrington, Ireland’s three-time Major winner, describes Old Tom as one of the bedrocks on which the sport was built.

“He’s the heritage of the game! He was one of the first Open Champions and won it four times; it adds a lot to an event when it has heritage and I know it takes a long time to build heritage, but this helps" said Harrington. "It’s a trophy that anyone would be proud to lift and they’ll be proud of the association with Old Tom Morris and the history that goes with that. It’ll help the players feel even more about the event and it’ll make it that little bit more special.”

Morris was greenkeeper and golf professional on the Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland; a four-time winner of The Open Championship and ranked among the top links course designers of the 19th Century. Among the 75 courses he designed or remodelled are some of Scotland’s world-famous courses, including Carnoustie, Muirfield and Royal Dornoch.

“You’re talking about one of the legends of the game. You talk about Tom Morris you’re talking about Prestwick and St Andrews and you’re talking about a game steeped in history; the legends of the game are hugely important to us!” exclaimed 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell.

“Guys like him shaped the game we play now. How different would it be if you didn’t have Old Tom Morris, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods?  How big is the game now? A TV spectacle, a global game, you just look at the milestones of the game and he’s one of them.”

In one way or another, “Old” Tom influenced almost every aspect of the sport. He helped to set up the first (British) Open Championship in 1860 and competed in every Open until 1896. Various authorities and experts have attributed everything from standardising the number of holes to 18, the size of the golf hole, the appearance of bunkers and several fundamentals of greenkeeping to the influence of “Old” Tom.

“Old” Tom Morris, who was born in St. Andrews in 1821 and died there in 1908, is remembered as a true pioneer and exponent of golf.

In recognition of his service, the R&A has hung his portrait on permanent display in its clubhouse, while the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America's most prestigious honour is the Old Tom Morris Award.

WGC Winners
16 – Tiger Woods (USA)*
3 – Geoff Ogilvy (AUS)
2 – Phil Mickelson (USA)
2 – Ernie Els (USA)**
2 – Darren Clarke (NIR)
1 – Hunter Mahan (USA)
1 – Ian Poulter (ENG)
1 – Henrik Stenson (SWE)
1 – David Toms (USA)
1 – Kevin Sutherland (USA)
1 – Steve Stricker (USA)
1 – Jeff Maggert (USA)
1 – Mike Weir (CAN)
1 – Vijay Singh (FIJ)
1 – Stewart Cink (USA)
1 – Craig Parry (AUS)
*plus 2000 World Cup
**plus 2001 World Cup

HSBC Champions
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, no cut
Field: Approximately 78 players, consisting of tournament winners from around the world and the best players from the International Federation of PGA Tours, as dictated by each Tour’s money list, order of merit, etc.
2009 – Phil Mickelson (USA) 271 (-17) (Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China)
2008* – Sergio Garcia (ESP)
2007* – Phil Mickelson (USA)
2006* – YE Yang Yong-Eun (KOR)
2005* – David Howell (ENG) 268 (-20)

* = Before granted WGC status

Bridgestone Invitational*
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, no cut
Field: Members of the most recent United States and International Presidents Cup teams and the United States and European Ryder Cup teams. Players ranked among the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking. The past year’s Major winners.

2010 – Hunter Mahan (USA) 268 (-12) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2009 – Tiger Woods (USA) 268 (-12) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2008 – Vijay Singh (FIJ) 270 (-10) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2007 – Tiger Woods (USA) 272 (-8) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2006 – Tiger Woods (USA) 270 (-10) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2005 – Tiger Woods (USA) 274 (-6) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2004 – Stewart Cink (USA) 269 (-11) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2003 – Darren Clarke (NIR) 268 (-12) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2002 – Craig Parry (AUS) 268 (-16) (Sahalee CC, Washington, USA)
2001 – Tiger Woods (USA) 269 (-12) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
2000 – Tiger Woods (USA) 259 (-21) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
1999 – Tiger Woods (USA) 270 (-10) (Firestone CC, Ohio, USA)
*From 1999- 2005 known as NEC Invitational

CA Championship*
Format: 72 holes, stroke play, no cut
Field: 65-70, including 44 of the top 50 from the Official World Golf Rankings and leaders of the six Tours' Official Money Lists/Order of Merit.
2010 – Ernie Els (RSA) 270 (-18) (Doral, Florida, USA)
2009 – Phil Mickelson (USA) 269 (-19) (Doral, Florida, USA)
2008 – Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 271 (-17) (Doral, Florida, USA)
2007 – Tiger Woods (USA) 278 (-10) (Doral, Florida, USA)
2006 – Tiger Woods (USA) 270 (-23) (The Grove, Hertfordshire, England)
2005 – Tiger Woods (USA) 270 (-10) (play-off) (Harding Park, San Francisco, California, USA)
2004 – Ernie Els (RSA) 270 (-18) (Mount Juliet Conrad, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland)
2003 – Tiger Woods (USA) 274 (-6) (Capital City Club, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
2002 – Tiger Woods (USA) 263 (-25) (Mount Juliet Conrad, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland)
2001 – Cancelled (Bellerive, St. Louis, Missouri, USA)
2000 – Mike Weir (CAN) 277 (-11) (Valderrama, Spain)
1999 - Tiger Woods (USA) 278 (-10) (play-off) (Valderrama, Spain)
*From 1999-2006 known as American Express Championship

Accenture Match Play Championship
Format: Match Play
Field: Top 64 available players (Based on the Official World Golf Ranking)
2010 – Ian Poulter (ENG) 4&2 vs Paul Casey (Dove Mountain, Arizona, USA)  
2009 – Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 4&3 vs. Paul Casey (Ritz-Carlton GC, Arizona, USA)
2008 – Tiger Woods (USA) 8&7 vs. Stewart Cink.  (Ritz-Carlton GC, Arizona, USA)
2007 – Henrik Stenson (SWE) 2&1 vs. Geoff Ogilvy  (Gallery,  Arizona, USA)
2006 – Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 3&2 vs. Davis Love III (La Costa, California, USA) 
2005 – David Toms (USA) 6&5 vs. Chris DiMarco (La Costa, California, USA) 
2004 – Tiger Woods (USA) 3&2 vs. Davis Love III (La Costa, California, USA) 
2003 – Tiger Woods (USA) 2&1 vs.  David Toms (La Costa, California, USA) 
2002 – Kevin Sutherland (USA) 1 up vs. Scott McCarron 1 up (La Costa, California, USA) 
2001 – Steve Stricker (USA) 2&1 vs. Pierre Fulke (Metropolitan GC, Victoria, Australia)
2000 – Darren Clarke (NIR) 4&3 vs. Tiger Woods (La Costa, California, USA) 
1999 – Jeff Maggert (USA) 38 holes vs. Andrew Magee (La Costa, California, USA) 

Note: From 2000 to 2006 the World Cup was a WGC event. Winners as follows:
2006 - Germany (Bernhard Langer/Marcel Siem) 268 (play-off) (Sandy Lane, Barbados)
2005 – Wales (Bradley Dredge/Stephen Dodd) 189 (Victoria Clube, Algarve, Portugal)
2004 – England (Paul Casey/Luke Donald) 257 (Real Club, Seville, Spain)
2003 – South Africa (Rory Sabbatini/Trevor Immelman) 275 (Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA)
2002 – Japan (Shigeki Maruyama/Toshimitsu Izawa) 252 (Vista Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
2001 – South Africa (Ernie Els/Retief Goosen) 264 (play-off) (Taiheiyo Club, Shizuoka, Japan)
2000 – United States (Tiger Woods/David Duval) 254 (Buenos Aires GC, Argentina)

Golf for Beginners thanks Tim Maitland for this informative article.


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