European captain Pádraig Harrington has plumped for experience by naming Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell as vice captains for this year’s Ryder Cup match at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, on 24-26 September.
Former US Open and PGA champion Kaymer is new to the job but has played on three winning European Ryder Cup teams, most notably in 2012 when he holed the winning putt in the match later labelled as the “Miracle at Medinah.”
This will be McDowell’s second outing in the role, having served in that capacity for Thomas Bjørn in the winning side at Le Golf National, Paris, in 2018. The Northern Irishman, also a former US Open winner, played in the match on four occasions and like Kaymer also knows what it feels like to bring home the winning point, in his case at Celtic Manor in 2010.
“I’m delighted to welcome Martin and Graeme as vice captains, both of whom I believe will bring experience, knowledge and great balance to the team room,” said Harrington. “They have both contributed winning points in Ryder Cup history, have been there and done it, and the other players look up to them.
“Martin is somebody I wanted as a vice captain because he has a great personality and brings a calmness, a European element, and a lot of confidence with him. The fact that he won round Whistling Straits (at the 2010 PGA Championship) also brings that level of authority and assurance that you need.
“I decided on Graeme as a vice captain a long time ago,” added Harrington. “He was vice captain in 2018 with me, and I like what he brought to the team room. He’s quite an authority, confident in what he’s doing and saying and knows the scene. The only reason he would not have been a vice captain was if he was going to be a player.
“Graeme is a strong influence and the players look up to him,” Harrington added. “When he speaks, people listen, but he doesn’t speak unless he’s got something to say. I definitely saw that when he was vice captain previously, players pay attention and follow him.”
Kaymer and McDowell join Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson as vice captains for Team Europe named by Harrington.
The European Tour has introduced a major campaign to support UNICEF’s drive to deliver two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses globally.
The tour will contribute €1 for every birdie and €10 for every eagle carded in its events between now and the end of the season after launching its new “Every Birdie Counts” campaign. Any albatrosses will net the charity €1,000.
Donations also will be made retroactively from this January.
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour said: “One of the key pillars of the ‘Golf for Good’ initiative we launched last year is our support of worthy causes and communities around the world and I cannot think of a more appropriate, or indeed necessary, cause to support under the banner right now than UNICEF and their key role as part of the COVAX Facility.
“The work UNICEF have done for the past 75 years and are currently doing in the battle against the pandemic is extraordinary and we are delighted to be able to offer our support, and the support of our players, in any way we can.”
Stacy Lewis has confirmed she will return to defend her title at this year’s Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dumbarnie Links in Fife.
Her decision was confirmed during a media day at the new Clive Clark Course in East Neuk during which Prin Singhanat confirmed the new title sponsors’s grandiose plans for the championship.
“This is the Home of Golf and I would like to see the Women’s Scottish Open as a major with the same prize money or more than the other majors,” said Singhanat, a Thai physicist who owns 20 companies in her homeland including technology enterprise Trust Golf, which is working on a new scientific approach which will revolutionise the way golfers learn to play the game. “I don’t want it to be just another event. I want Scotland to be on the world map.”
Also confirmed at the media conference was the introduction of a new Jock MacVicar Trophy, which is named in honour of the veteran Scottish golf writer who passed away aged 83 earlier this year and will be awarded to the leading Scot at the championship. The recipient also will receive a weeklong trip to Trust Golf’s state-of-the-art training facility in Bangkok where she can see for herself the methods in place to transform golf teaching.
The R&A World Golf Museum at St Andrews has reopened after being closed for more than a year for a major redevelopment.
The original museum, situated behind the R&A clubhouse and close to the first tee on the Old Course, was opened 30 years ago but has been renamed and brought right up to date with a series of interactive displays designed to appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike.
For 18 months, starting in July, it also will house a special exhibition celebrating the life and greatest achievements of the legendary Seve Ballesteros, whose three Open Championship victories included one at St Andrews in 1984.
“Golf is synonymous with St Andrews – it was first played here in the 1500s and the Old Course was the first 18-hole course in the world – so it is fitting the R&A World Golf Museum resides just steps from the first tee,” said Phil Anderton, the R&A’s executive director/chief development officer.
“Golf is rich in tradition which has been built through centuries of enjoyment. It is these traditions and the evolution of the game which are explored in the galleries of the R&A World Golf Museum.”
Angela Howe, the R&A’s museum and heritage director, said: “Our goal when developing the R&A World Golf Museum was to re-imagine the golf heritage experience; making it appealing to established golf fans while attracting and educating those new to the sport. The refurbishment of the galleries provides a modern backdrop for people to learn about golf’s heritage via immersive, interactive and interesting exhibits.”
A group of local people have formed a community company with the aim of submitting a new planning application to build what they describe as an environmentally sensitive golf course at Coul Links, near the village of Embo, in East Sutherland, Scotland.
Communities For Coul (C4C) was formed after an original planning request was turned down following a petition which attracted more than 92,000 signatures worldwide, but less than 200 from the local community.
“Ours is an economically challenged area with ongoing depopulation and an ageing demographic and we were dismayed when an economically transformative plan to create a global hub for golfing tourism in East Sutherland was refused by Scottish Ministers in far-away Edinburgh, even though it had been passed 16-1 by our elected Highland Council,” said a C4C spokesperson.
“Our disappointment was magnified by the fact that the project would have brought in almost £50 million of private investment, with no call on the public purse, and create over 200 jobs locally.
“This decision goes against the Scottish Government’s own policy which states: ‘We believe the best people to decide the future of our communities are the people who live in those communities.’ ”
In the aftermath of that decision C4C recruited Civica, the UK’s leading provider of election services, to conduct a community ballot in the East Sutherland villages of Brora, Golspie, Embo and Dornoch, with every person on the Electoral Register having one vote.
“We hoped we could motivate the support we knew existed, even though we had only been in existence five months and faced an organised opposition that had been working against the development for five years,” added the spokesperson, who said the result of the ballot came in at 69.2 percent in favour of Coul Links Golf Course.
The R&A and watchmaker Rolex have teamed to sponsor the Challenge Tour Grand Final at T-Golf & Country Club in Mallorca on 4-7 November.
Rolex has been affiliated with the Challenge Tour for more than 30 years and now will become the title sponsor of the tour’s grand finale. The R&A is confirmed as a supporting partner of the event.
The newly named Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by the R&A will have a prize fund of €450,000, an increase of €30,000 from last year.
“We are incredibly grateful to Rolex for the support they have given the Challenge Tour over the last 30 years,” said the tour’s head, Jamie Hodges. “They have been a true partner to our tour throughout this time and we are very excited to work with them on this next chapter.”
Charley Hull, Anne van Dam and Catriona Matthew are the latest top players to be added to the field for the $1 million Aramco Team Series – London at the Centurion Club, near St Albans, on 8-10 July.
The three Solheim Cup players join an impressive field which will also include former Women’s Open champion Georgia Hall, US major-winner Lexi Thompson, 2021 LET No 1 Emily Kristine Pedersen from Denmark and young Australian Minjee Lee, who has won eight times on the LPGA and LET.
“It is certainly shaping up to be quite a field which is understandable considering the exciting new team format and what’s up for grabs,” said Matthew. “Being just a couple of months before the Solheim Cup adds a real bit of spice to the mix, especially with so many major winners from both sides of the pond playing.”
The London event is one of five Aramco events on the 2021 LET schedule.
The four Team Series events will see 36 captains lead teams of four featuring two other professionals selected from a unique draft system. The fourth member of the team will be an amateur selected through Aramco’s Team Up competition, which invites amateurs to go online and upload a video or image showing they have what it takes to play in the event.
The USGA has announced that the three highest-ranked American players on the World Amateur Golf Ranking on 21 July will earn automatic places on the US Curtis Cup team for the match at Conwy Golf Club, Wales, on 26-28 August.
Those places currently are held by world No 1 Rose Zhang, No 2 Rachel Heck and No 15 Allisen Corpuz. The next US players on the list are Emilia Migliaccio (16), Rachel Kuehn (22) and Gina Kim (26).
The team’s remaining five players will be selected following the US Women’s Amateur Championship at Westchester Country Club, New York, on 2-8 August.
Colin Callander and Alistair Tait