Gof Writers Association honors Donald, Lehman and Tseng

The Golf Writers Association of America has named their 2011 Players of the Year. To no ones surprise they chose Luke Donald, Tom Lehman and Yani Tseng.

The trio will be honored at a ceremony and awards dinner in Augusta on April 4, 2012 - The Wednesday before the Masters begins.

This will mark the first POY award from the GWAA for Donald, and second for both Lehman and Tseng.

Donald, Lehman and Tseng won the awards going away from the other players in the running for the honor.

Donald commanded 88 percent of the voting over Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson.

Furyk looks to carry momentum into 2012

With the rain coming down and his hat turned backwards, Jim Furyk sank a putt on the 18th green to secure the 2010 FedEx Cup and the $10-million purse that goes along with it.

Fast forward to the end of the 2011 season, and the ending is much different for the 16 time, PGA Tour winner.

Furyk had one of his worst years on Tour in 2011, enduring the worst slump of his 16-year career.

After winning three times in 2010, including seven top-10's and 13 top-25's, Furyk had just four top-10's in 2011. The worst however was the goose egg in the win column.

"I lost some confidence along the way during the year," Furyk said if his 2011 season. "But I didn't lose confidence in the fact that you're not going to go from player of the year to I can't play anymore."

Why push so hard for rivalries in 2012?

We all know that rivalries are good for sports -- Any sport. Especially in the world of golf, where it is always a one-on-one battle with each player in the field. Differing from team sports.

Rivalries are what make sports great to many fans, especially in golf fans.

Looking back over the years, golf has had some great rivalries no question. And those rivalries helped grow the game to a much broader audience.

However, too many around the game of golf are too quick to try and force rivalries between two players, just for the sake of a rivalry, before the players in question have faced each other more than a hand full of times.

Why do we want to force rivalries in golf before they have had the opportunity to form naturally? The way all the best rivalries have come to be known and appreciated in any sport.

Kodak extends PGA Tour patnership; drops challenge

Kodak has announced that they will extend their partnership with the PGA Tour through 2016. However, there will be no more Kodak Challenge beginning in 2012.

The Kodak Challenge was a year long competition throughout the PGA Tour season, that singled out a 'challenge' hole on each course.

Players' scores were accumulated throughout the entire season, ending with the player with the lowest cumulative score over those holes would win the event and the $1-million that went along with it.

In 2011, Bill Lunde won the challenge and collected the $1-million payout. Beating out Josh Teater, Cameron Tringale and Fabian Gonzalez by two strokes.

Kodak's new agreement with the PGA Tour will focus more on the business side of the sport as well as client hospitality at events.

"We are happy to announce the extension of our Official Marketing Partnership with the PGA Tour through 2016," Pradeep Jotwani, Chief Marketing Officer of Kodak said of the announcement.

LPGA founder Bettye Danoff dies at age 88

The LPGA has lost one of it's founding members, with the passing of Bettye Danoff at the age of 88 today in Texas.

Danoff, along with 13 other women who included: Babe Zaharias, Alice Bauer, Shirley Spork, Patty Berg, Louise Suggs, Helen Dettweiler, Helen Hicks, Betty Jameson, Sally Sessions, Marilynn Smith, Opal Hill and Marlene Bauer Hagge -- Founded the LPGA in 1950, and is now the oldest professional sports organization for women in the U.S.

LPGA commissioner Michael Whan had this to say on Danoff's passing, "Bettye really did make a difference, in the world of golf - and all of us are living proof."

"Because of her courage, and the vision/belief of many others that followed our Founders, we all get to participate in a fantastic business and game."

Known as "Mighty Mite" by her fellow competitors, Danoff measured out at 5-foot-2 and 100 pounds.

Consistency, iron play and putting; keys to Donald's success in 2011

Of course we all know galleries love the long ball on the PGA Tour. Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Gary Woodland can really bomb the ball off the tee with at times, ridiculous length.

Luke Donald on the other hand, reallies more on his consistency, iron play and putting to drive him all the way to being the No. 1 ranked player in the world -- As well as the first player to ever win the money titles on both the PGA and European Tours in the same season.

Looking back on his 2011 PGA Tour season, it's easy to see how he was the most consistent golfer on Tour, and how his overall game and stats showed he was indeed, one of, if not the best golfer of 2011.

Donald of course is never going to over power a golf course, averaging 284.1 yards off the tee. Good enough for 147th overall on the PGA Tour.

Yani's year not good enough for female athlete of the year

Yani Tseng had an incredible 2011 that saw her win 12 events around the globe, including two major championships, LPGA Tour Rolex Player of the Year (for a second straight year) as well as setting the single season earning record.

All of those accomplishments apparently were not good enough for the 22-year old Taiwanese super star to be voted the, AP female Athlete of the Year.

She would ultimately finish fourth in the voting, from the American Associated Press, behind Amy Wambach (winner), Hope Solo and Maya Moore.

Thompson wins; makes history in Dubai

16-year old Lexi Thompson couldn't let Luke Donald make all the history this year on both sides of the Atlantic.

The young golf star carded a final round of five-under 67, to claim her second victory of the year, and becoming the youngest professional winner on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours.

Thompson, who won earlier this year at the Navistar LPGA Classic, is not even a rookie on the LPGA Tour until next season. She now has two victories on her young career.

“It feels amazing,” said an excited Thompson after her final round. “I’m just honored they invited me back and I’m just grateful to be here. I’ve been working on my game really hard and it has paid off.”

She would eventually win by four strokes over Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa and by five over Sophie Gustafson of Sweeden.

Pace would make it interesting in the final round, as she came out hot carding two birdies and an eagle through her first six holes.

Westwood wins by 7 in Thailand

After flirting with a 59 in the opening round of the Thailand Golf Championship, Lee Westwood went on to dominate the field in the inaugural event, posting a final score of 22-under par to claim his fourth victory of 2011.

With his opening round of 60, followed by a 64 in round two, there seemed to be little hope of anyone catching or challenging the world's No. 3 ranked player this week.

The Englishman did slip in his third round, posting a one-over, 73. Though he was so far ahead of the field, he most likely could have posted a score in the 80's and still coasted to victory.

Lexi Thompson leads by one in Dubai

36 hole leader Lexi Thompson birdied the 18th hole at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters to take a one shot lead over Sophie Gustafson heading into the final round.

After carding a bogey free 66 in her second round, the 16-year old had just two slips in her third round, en route to finishing with a two-under, 70.

Beginning her round with a bogey at the first, she quickly rebounded by birding the par-five third to get back to even on her round.

Thompson went on to card seven straight pars to make the turn at even par.

On the back nine, the teenage star birdied the par-five 10th hole, to get to one-under on her round.

Westwood in complete control in Thailand

Lee Westwood fired an opening round 12-under 60, to take the lead at the Thailand Golf Championship, nearly carding golf's illusive 59.

What could the world's No. 3 ranked player to for an encore?

Go out and card a second round score of eight-under par, 64, to move his total to 20-under par through 36 holes and an 11 shot lead over second place.

Westwood once again kept a clean card as he did in round one, carding eight birdies on the Amata Spring Country Club course, in much windier conditions than in the opening round.

Lexi Thompson leads by 2 at Dubai Ladies Masters

Teenage sensation Lexi Thompson leads the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters by two strokes over Sophie Gustafson and Margherita Rigon.

Thompson, as you may recall, made major head lines this season on the LPGA Tour by becoming the youngest winner ever at the Navstar LPGA Classic.

The 16-year old followed her first round score of two-under 70, with a nice six-under par 66 in round two, to take the lead heading into the third round by two strokes.

Thompson kept a clean card in round two that included six birdies -- Three on both sides of the course.

In round one, she struggled a bit to control her short game, carding four birdies and two bogeys en route to her two-under, 70.

She did however close her first round out strong with three consecutive birdies, to really take some momentum into the second round.

Westwood flirts with 59; leads in Thailand by five

Lee Westwood opened the 2011 Thailand Golf Championship flirting with a very exclusive number, 59.

The current world No. 3 was well on his way, and on a '59 watch', after going out in 29.

Westwood started out on fire, carding five birdies and an eagle through his first six holes. He knew then he could have a go at the illusive 59.

The former No. 1 ranked player had come close to that number a few times before. Westwood has carded a few 61's as well as a 62 just two weeks prior to this event at the Nedbank Challenge.

Tom Lehman makes history with Champions Tour POY

Tom Lehman was announced today as the 2011 Champions Tour Player of the Year.

In doing so, Lehman became the first player in history to win the POY award on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Champions Tour. A testament not only to his his play on the course, but his consistency over his 29 year career.

"Tom's year has been incredible," Champions Tour President Mike Stevens said in his announcement on Wednesday.

"To become the first person to receive Player of the Year on all three Tours is a significant historical achievement and must be rewarding and satisfying for Tom. His goal at the start of the year was to win the Charles Schwab Cup and to do that he knew he had to win tournaments and be consistent all year."

J.J. Killeen earns Nationwide Tour Player of the Year

J.J. Killeen has been voted as the 2011 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year, the PGA Tour announced today.

Just as big brother's (PGA Tour) award is voted on by the players, so too is the Nationwide Tour's POY award.

"Congratulations to J.J. on his great play this year and being named 2011 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year," PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem said after making the announcement on the award.

Player of Year to Donald; Top Rookie to Bradley

The PGA Tour announced today that the 2011 Player of the Year was awarded to Luke Donald, as well as the Rookie of the Year going to Keegan Bradley.

Each of the awards are voted on by the PGA Tour members, making this an award from their peers.

No surprises I'm sure on either award -- Though now it is official.

Commissioner Tim Finchem made the announcement earlier today.

"On behalf of the PGA Tour, my congratulations to Luke and Keegan for their award-winning accomplishments in 2011."

"Both players had significant and impressive performances throughout the course of the year, and the member vote reflects the respect their peers have for them."

Donald, the world's No. 1 ranked player is of course an almost shoe-in for the award this season.

Tseng captures 12th title of 2011 at 'Swinging Skirts'

Yani Tseng was already having an unbelievable 2011 season before heading to the 'Swinging Skirts' event in New Taipei this past week.

The 22-year old No. 1 ranked player in the world had already claimed victory 11 times worldwide in 2011, including two majors at the Wegmans LPGA Championship and the Ricoh British Open.

How could she possibly end her season with a bang?

With another victory of course -- Number 12 as it were.

That's right. Make it a dozen world wide wins in 2011 for Tseng. A year in which she has in a word, dominated.

Luke Donald completes double in Dubai

History was made at the Dubai World Championship, as world No. 1 Luke Donald won the Race to Dubai to become the first player in history to win the money titles on both the PGA and European Tour in the same year.

World No. 2 Rory McIlroy, was the only player in the field that had the opportunity to stand in his way of accomplishing that feat.

The Northern Irishman needed to win the event and have Donald finish outside the top-nine for that to happen.

Quiros fires 64 to take the lead in Dubai as Donald Surges

Alvaro Quiros carded six birdies in round two of the Dubai World Championship, finishing his round off in style with an eagle on the par-five 18th en route to his eight-under, 64 to take the lead by four at 12-under.

With that score, the long hitting Spaniard tied the course record at Jumeirah Estates as well as setting the 36-hole scoring record after two rounds with a total of 12-under par.

First round leader Peter Hanson did not have the round he was hoping for to back up his eight-under 64 yesterday.

McIlroy has advantage over Donald in Dubai

The Dubai World Championship could not have started any better for Rory McIlroy, in his pursuit to take the European Money title away from World No. 1, Luke Donald.

McIlroy closed out his round carding a 30 on the back nine, that included six birdies, stringing three together on 16, 17 and 18 to close with a six-under 66, to finish in solo third.

The 22-year old was bested only by the leader Peter Hanson's 64 and Paul Lawrie's 65.

Donald on the other hand, did not have his best day.

Already securing the PGA Tour money title, the 34-year old Englishman was looking to become the first player in history to win the money titles on both the PGA and European Tour.

Donald began his round by bogeying the par-4 first hole, though bounced back with four birdies after that to go out in 33.

Still Recovering JB Holmes Withdraws from Shark Shootout

Four months ago, JB Holmes under went brain surgery at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital to correct a condition known as Chiari Malformations.

The Mayo Clinic defines the condition as when brain tissue protrudes into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward. Chiari malformation is uncommon, but improved imaging tests have led to more frequent diagnoses.

He began to experience symptoms as early as May of this year at The Players Championship. Seeing a range of specialists before being diagnosed with Chiari Malformations.

Holmes surgery was a successful procedure and he has continued to recover from the surgery and has been in good spirits following the ordeal.

Brendon Todd Medals as 27 Earn PGA Tour Cards

The 2011 PGA Tour q-school or 'Hell Week' as it is called is now over, as Brendon Todd carded rounds of 71, 68, 69, 71, 68, 68 to earn medalists honors, along with a check for $50,000 and a trip to the PGA Tour.

All total, 27 players earned their 2012 PGA Tour cards in La Quinta, California over a grueling six round competition that is most likely the toughest challenge any of these players will ever face in their careers.

Todd, a Nationwide Tour player did not have a great 2011 to go along with a sub-par 2010 -- Missing the cut in 27 of 37 events over the last two seasons.

“I think I just really stuck to my game plan,” said Todd after letting everything sink in after his final round on Monday. “I was hitting it well coming into the week.”

Another Nationwide Tour player, Stephen Gangluff, finished second to Todd to earn his card and a $40,000 check for his second place finish.

Luke Donald Facing Showdown Chasing History -- Again

The World's No. 1 player Luke Donald, finds himself once again starring a showdown right in the face while chasing history, trying to become the only player to ever win the money title on both the PGA and European Tours in the same season.

Webb Simpson forced his hand earlier this year on the PGA Tour, when he decided to enter the final event of PGA Tour's Fall Series at Disney.

Donald of course showed up and won the event to wrap up the 2011 money title on the PGA Tour.

Much of the same is happening again for Donald, as the final stop on the European Tour's chase to Dubai is this weekend and he finds himself once again needing a strong finish to secure the money title -- again.

Rory McIlroy won the UBS Hong Kong Open this past Sunday, trailing Donald now by only £1,058,711. With the winners check at the Dubai World Championship is £1.25-million.

749 days later, Tiger Woods is a winner once again

Tiger Woods, after 749 days is finally a winner again.

Capping off a birdie, birdie finish at the Chevron World Challenge to hold off Zach Johnson by one stroke to claim victory for the fifth time at the event he hosts.

The former World No. 1 had his last win at the Australian Masters, way back in November of 2009. However, we all remember the events on Thanksgiving night of the same year that would seemingly send Woods and his golf game into a tail spin.

It's now 2011, and 26 official events later, Woods has added another championship to his resume'.

Quiros struggles open the door for McIlroy in Hong Kong

Alvaro Quiros held a three shot lead over Rory McIlroy heading into the final round of the UBS Hong Kong Open -- Only to falter in the final round, carding a three-over 73 to open the door for McIlory to claim the victory.

The Northern Irishman finished off his bogey-free round of 65, by holing out a bunkers shot on 18, to rally from three strokes down for his fourth victory of the year.

“It is very special to win this. No matter how prestigious tournaments are, this is one of my favorites and I’m really happy to win it,” McIlroy said.

“To be able to win a golf tournament when you are not at your best is something. Tiger Woods did this all the time. This is a great win, to come from behind and to be able to draw level and then close it out.”

Claxton wind tested to remain on top at q-school

Windy conditions all over southern California have made golf quite interesting the past few days. Not that these guys didn't need any more added pressure to their already stressful week of trying to make it onto the PGA Tour.

First round co-leader Will Claxton carved his way through the wind in La Quinta to remain at the top of the leader board through two rounds of play, at 10-under par overall.

The 30-year old Swainsboro, Georgia native carded an opening round score of 64 to share the over night lead. He backed that up in extremely windy conditions with a two-under par 70 in round two.

K.J. Choi leads as Tiger Woods trails by 3 at Chevron

The Santa Anna winds began to blow through Thousand Oaks, California later in the afternoon at the Chevron World Challenge during the opening round of play.

K.J. Choi began his round by blowing through the first five holes. Carding five birdies in a row to begin his first round at Sherwood Country Club.

Choi would hold on as the winds gusted upwards of 30 mph to finish the day with a six-under, 66 to lead by three over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

The Chevron World Challenge uses a select field of just 18 players. However, with the conditions worsening as the round went on, only three players managed to break par in round one.

Woods, who is also the event host, began his day with a bang birdying four of his first five holes before giving his first shot back on the par-four ninth hole.

Claxton and Summerhays lead after round 1 at Q-School

Round one of six is over for the 171 players grinding it out at the PGA Tour qualifying school to try and make it into the top-25 and earn their 2012 PGA Tour cards.

Will Claxton and Daniel Summerhays share the lead at eight-under par, after both carding opening rounds of 64.

The event is played this year in La Quinta, California across two courses. The Nicklaus Tournament Course and the TPC Stadium course.

Claxton, who played three events this year on the Nationwide Tour, kept a clean card in round one with six birdies and an eagle for his share of the lead.

Summerhays, on the other hand played on the PGA Tour in 2011. Finishing outside the top-125 on the money list in the 171st position forced the Utah native to return to q-school to try and earn his card once again for 2012.