Rickie Fowler decides to part ways with caddy Joe Skovron

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Rickie Fowler narrowly avoided missing the FedEx Cup playoffs for the second year in a row, and he will proceed with a new caddy.

Fowler parts ways with Joe Skovron, a childhood friend and the only full-time caddy he’s ever had.

“It was a team decision,” Fowler said. “I decided to take different paths. This might be the best option right now. This in no way means that it is the end of the road. He’s like a big brother to me. »

Fowler hasn’t won since the 2019 Phoenix Open and his drop in the world rankings took him down to No. 167. He missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship and only finished at No. 125 when a few players had a tough final round, and because of nine LIV Golf players who didn’t count in the standings.

He will use Cobra-Puma employee Ben Schomin, who previously replaced Bryson DeChambeau, at the FedEx St. Jude Championship this week.

“It’s different,” Fowler said. “In 13 years, there’s only been one other week, my rookie year, where I had someone else on the bag. One of our Oklahoma State assistants, Donnie Darr, he mentored me at the Memorial, other than that Joe has been my guy.

Fowler and Skovron grew up together northeast of San Diego in Temecula. Fowler says he’s known him since they were little.

“It’s more than a matter of business for me,” Fowler said. “Like I said, he’s like a big brother, and we’ve always been a team; I just thought it was potentially the best option at the moment.

CAME SMITH

Cameron Smith was last seen at a golf tournament with the Bordeaux pot by his side after his remarkable win at St. Andrews at the British Open. One of the most awkward moments was when he was asked about the rumors of him joining LIV Golf.

“I just won the British Open, and you’re asking me about it. I think it’s kind of… not so good,” Smith said.

A month later, nothing has changed.

Australian golfer Cameron Percy told an Australian radio station that Smith was defecting, only to later tell Australian Golf Digest he was just passing on what he heard in the locker room during rain delays on tour.

But then the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday that Smith had signed a deal worth more than $100 million to join the Saudi-funded league, and was planning to start the first week of September in outside Boston.

“My goal here is to win the FedEx Cup Qualifiers. That’s all I’m here for,” Smith said when asked about the reports. I must say regarding the PGA Tour or the LIV, it will come from Cameron Smith, not Cameron Percy. I am a man of my word and whenever you need to know anything, I will be the one to say it.

Later, he was asked about the Boston event, which would prevent Smith from playing in the Presidents Cup in late September. He didn’t touch that one either.

“Like I said, I’m here to play the FedEx Cup playoffs, mate,” he said. “It’s my priority.”

Smith is No. 2 in the world and has a mathematical chance of reaching No. 1 this week. LIV Golf still only has one player in the top 20 in the world.

RETURN TO THE OLD COURSE

Rory McIlroy gets another shot at St. Andrews this year, minus the pot of claret displayed on the first tee of the Old Course.

McIlroy returns to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the end of September with his father, Gerry, as his amateur partner.

McIlroy finished tied for third at the British Open last month, where he had the lead over 54 holes. He also finished tied for third at St. Andrews at the 2010 Open. And he was runner-up at Dunhill Links, which also uses Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, on three occasions.

“I’m really looking forward to playing,” McIlroy said. “It’s one of the oldest events on the DP World Tour and one that I really enjoy, especially when I’m partnered with my dad. I will take the team championship as seriously as the pro event, and that would be a special experience if we could win together.

This will be the second European tour played by McIlroy in September. He is also expected to play the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

SCHEFFLER PREMIUM

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler raked in $5 million in bonuses before the FedEx Cup playoffs even started.

Scheffler earned $4 million from the Comcast Business Tour Top 10 for leading the FedEx Cup throughout the regular season. He took first place in March on his incredible four-game winning streak, including his first major, and no one came close to catching him.

He earned an additional $1 million for winning the Aon Risk Reward Challenge, a season-long race that rewards players for how well they play a chosen risk-reward hole on the PGA Tour.

His short game has paid big dividends on challenge holes, mostly par 5s and accessible par 4s. Although his average closeness to the hole was below course average when heading to the green, his corner play and putting carried him. He managed 29 birdies and three eagles.

WORLD RANKING

The Official World Golf Ranking has a new formula and a new look on its website.

OWGR officials have been working on a system that measures every player on the field and what they contribute to a tournament, not just the top 200 players. It has been described as a “shots won” formula for how it measures performance against other players.

It is not retroactive over the two-year rolling period, which means that the new methodology will be progressive.

DIVOTS

Jon Rahm returns to competition as the father of two boys. Rahm’s wife, Kelly, gave birth to a boy on August 5. Both mother and son are said to be healthy and doing well. … The Korn Ferry Tour travels to the Sooner State. Compliance Solutions will be the title sponsor of a five-year agreement that brings the Korn Ferry to Jimmy Austin Golf Club at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. It will be played from June 22 to 25 starting next year. … The Genesis Scottish Open will be at the Renaissance Club for the next four years. It preceded the British Open at St. Andrews this year. Next year the Open will go to Royal Liverpool. … The BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea moves to Oak Valley Country Club in October.

STATS OF THE WEEK

Of the players who joined Saudi-funded LIV Golf, 19 were in the top 70 when the FedEx Cup qualifiers began last year. This year, only four are in the top 70.

LAST WORD

“From what I understand of these contracts, they lock in players in ways the PGA Tour never imagined.” –U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman on LIV Golf.

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