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Why is 2017-18 PGA Tour season so long? It’s all about the players

ATLANTA — The PGA Tour released its 2017-18 schedule Tuesday, one that includes 50 tournaments in nine countries, if you count the Ryder Cup. It starts on Oct. 2 of this year, ends unofficially on Sept. 30 of next year and spans a total of 364 days. On the 365th day, they rest. Sure, there’s a six-week break at the end of this year, and with tournaments double-booked on five occasions, it’s hardly as if any players will be competing nonstop. But the immensity of the schedule alone is enough…

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Tournament hosted by Tiger Woods still has no sponsor

ATLANTA — The PGA Tour released its 49-tournament 2017-18 schedule on Tuesday, worth a record $363 million in total prize money, including two previously announced inaugural events and a recurring one which is still very much up in the air. Formerly known as the Quicken Loans Invitational, the tournament hosted by Tiger Woods in the Washington, D.C., area is currently without a title sponsor or host course, currently listed on the schedule as “The National” to be played June 28-July 1 at a still-unknown location. “We are in discussions with…

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Golf — Weekly 18 — Marc Leishman ready to shed “underrated” label?

A continuing story of perseverance, a developing story of dubiousness, a unique story of benevolence. This week’s edition of the Weekly 18 has all of ’em, starting with a story that almost never happened. 1. Even before his title contention at the Dell Technologies Championship two weeks ago and his victory at the BMW Championship on Sunday, the scuttlebutt within golf circles was that Marc Leishman just might be the world’s most underrated player. In fact, it’s a notion that has been suggested so much in recent weeks that it…

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PGA Tour takes on partner to monitor wagering for irregularities

The PGA Tour has entered into an agreement with London-based Genius Sports to monitor wagering information worldwide for any irregular activity. The move is part of the PGA Tour’s new integrity program set to launch Jan. 1, 2018. “[We] felt it was important to move forward with an Integrity Program to further protect our competition from betting-related issues,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in a news release announcing the deal. The PGA Tour’s move is similar to other U.S.-based sports leagues who have increasingly entered into related arrangements in…

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Rory McIlroy to play British Masters despite recent injuries

10:52 AM ET ESPN staff Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will play the British Masters at Close House as he plots out the rest of his 2017 campaign. The World No. 8 — who is at his lowest world ranking for more than three years — has been struggling with rib and back injuries this year but will return to the scene of his professional debut a decade ago — joining the likes of Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood in the Northumberland tournament. “I’m looking forward to playing my first…

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Chesson Hadley wins Web.com Tour Finals event in Boise

BOISE, Idaho — Chesson Hadley rallied to win the Albertsons Boise Open on Sunday to put himself in position for fully exempt PGA Tour status halfway through the four-event Web.com Tour Finals. Hadley shot a 6-under 65 at Hillcrest Country Club — birdieing Nos. 15-17 and closing with a par — for a one-stroke victory over Ted Potter Jr. (67) and Jonathan Randolph (69). His PGA Tour card already secured with a ninth-place finish on the Web.com Tour’s regular-season money list, Hadley earned $180,000 to overtake Brice Garnett for the…

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Jerry Kelly wins second PGA Tour Champions title in 4 weeks

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Jerry Kelly avoided the late trouble that derailed Lee Janzen and David McKenzie to win the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship on Sunday for his second PGA Tour Champions victory in four weeks. Kelly closed with a 3-under 68 in chilly, rainy conditions for a one-stroke victory over Janzen on Bear Mountain’s Mountain Course. The three-time PGA Tour winner won the Boeing Classic outside Seattle last month for his first senior title. “You always want that validation after you win the first one,” Kelly said. “And…

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Romain Wattel clinches first European Tour victory in 187 tournaments at KLM Open

Romain Wattel shot a steady two-under-par 69 Sunday to finish 15-under and win the KLM Open, the Frenchman’s first victory in 187 tournaments on the European Tour. Wattel, who posted a seven-under 64 to move into contention on Saturday, had four birdies and two bogeys in the final round and parred his final seven holes to close out his maiden win. Wattel, 26, said he has been struggling for two years with his putter, but finally found his touch again this week. “My putting was very, very good,” he said,…

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David McKenzie, Jerry Smith share PGA Tour Champions lead in Victoria

VICTORIA, British Columbia — David McKenzie birdied the final six even-numbered holes for a 7-under 64 and a share of the lead with Jerry Smith on Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions’ Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship. McKenzie, the 50-year-old Australian who Tuesday qualified to get in the field, began the unique run on the par-4 eighth and added birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 to match Smith at 12-under 130 on Bear Mountain’s Mountain Course. “I’m just trying to stand upright and play golf,” McKenzie said….

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Tyler Duncan holds 2-shot lead at Web.com Tour Finals event in Boise

BOISE, Idaho — Tyler Duncan shot a 3-under 68 to increase his lead to two strokes Saturday in the Albertsons Boise Open, the second of four Web.com Tour Finals events that will determine 25 PGA Tour cards. Duncan had four back-nine birdies at Hillcrest Country Club after playing the front nine in 1 over with two bogeys. He had a 15-under 198 total. Jonathan Randolph was second after a 66. Alex Cejka was 12 under after a 70, and Taylor Moore (71) and Ted Potter Jr. (70) were 11 under….

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