Love tries to extend his streak at Disney

Love tries to extend his streak at Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III is back to being a player, and he wraps up a busy Fall Series at Disney. Even though his 20 career wins make him a lifetime member on the PGA Tour, Love still has an amazing streak on the line.

His tie for fourth at the McGladrey Classic last month moved him up to No. 98 on the PGA Tour money list with $973,707. That gives the 48-year-old Love a distinction that not even Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods can claim. Love has never finished out of the top 125 on the money list, a streak that dates to his rookie season in 1986.

``It just means you're getting older,'' Love said. ``But I've hung in there a long time. Pride is a good word, too. When I went to Vegas (immediately after the Ryder Cup), Scotty Verplank texted me and said, `Pretty good for a ceremonial golfer.' But he was saying, `I know you're competitive and just want to go out and play.' When I go to play, I like to play. When I go to goof off, I like to goof off.''

Love's streak nearly ended in 2008, when he was returning from major ankle surgery. He was well outside the top 125 when he had a pair of top 10s in the Fall Series, then finished it off by winning at Disney. That was his last win.

Not only has he kept his card every year, Love will be going for his 27th consecutive year of finishing in the top 100 on the money list. And if he can play well enough to earn $26,293, it would be his 18th consecutive year of making $1 million or more.

Love is no longer on the PGA Tour policy board. The PGA of America is in the process of picking the next Ryder Cup captain. Love is looking ahead.

``Next year should be great,'' he said. ``I should have no distractions. So I'm excited about next season.''

Love and Vijay Singh played three rounds together at the Open and the top of the Champions Tour came up. Neither of them are in a big hurry.

``We want to beat these guys,'' Love said. ``Everybody else is asking me and Vijay, `When are you going on the Champions Tour?' And I'm thinking, ``How do I get as many wins as Vijay?' Vijay is thinking, `How do I get as many wins as Phil?' So we want to keep going out here. We're competitive.

``There's a lot of money to play for,'' Love said. ``I've never won a FedEx Cup. I'd like to get back in the top in the world rankings. I'm still motivated.''


Q-SCHOOL DQ: A week after Blayne Barber easily advanced from the first stage of Q-school, the former Walker Cup player took himself out.

According to Golfweek magazine, Barber disqualified himself for signing an incorrect scorecard because of an incident in the second round. He wasn't sure if he had brushed a leaf in the bunker on the 13th hole at Callaway Gardens, and after a week of contemplation, he felt he had no choice.

Barber said while his caddie (Shayne Barber, his brother) said the leaf had not moved, he decided to assess a one-stroke penalty. The problem came later that night when he was talking about the incident with former Auburn teammate Michael Hebert, who told Barber that the penalty for such an infraction was two shots.

``That's when things went haywire in my mind,'' Barber told the magazine. ``My caddie was watching and didn't see the leaf move. I thought maybe I'd psyched myself into thinking I'd (touched the leaf).''

He played the final two rounds because his caddie was certain the left didn't move, but Barber said he ``just did not have any peace about it.''

He called the tour on Friday to tell them he had signed for an incorrect score and was disqualified. That allowed six other players - Jamie Arnold, Corbin Mills, Jonathan Moore, Chesson Hadley, Robert-Jan Derksen and Maarteen Lafeber - to move up a spot and advance to the second stage.

As for Barber?

He will rely on Monday qualifying and sponsor exemptions on the PGA Tour and Tour. Before that, he is getting married Dec. 15.


BELLY UP: Justin Rose, whose 35-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole was one the most decisive shots in the Ryder Cup, once tried a belly putter.

``I used it one round this year, believe it or not, little known,'' Rose said at the HSBC Champions.

It was the final round of The Players Championship. Rose said he went to a golf score and bought a long putter, just to see how it would work.

``I toyed around with it, and it's always felt great from 20 feet and on putting greens and on fairly flat surfaces,'' he said. ``And I thought, `I'm going to put it in play.' First putt of the day, I have an 80-foot putt from the front edge of the green, lipped out. I thought, `This could be the future right here.'''

Just not his future.

Rose said he thinks the long putters help some players, and it helps under pressure.

``I don't think there's as much nerves involved,'' he said. ``But it's still very hard to make putts. putting is an art form. You have to read the green. You have to start it. It's not all about making a perfect stroke. You have to match up line and speed, and that can happen many different ways. So that's what I learned.''


FATHER AND OFFSPRING: If the strength of field is determined by major champions, nothing beats the Father-Son Challenge.

The popular tournament returns this year after a three-year absence, and it again features some of the biggest names in golf. Arnold Palmer is bringing another grandson, Will Wears. Bernhard Langer, who once played with son Stefan, will tee it up with his daughter, Christina. Jack Nicklaus will partner son, Gary, who once had a PGA Tour card.

The 18-team field also features Nick Faldo, Curtis Strange, Davis Love III, Hale Irwin and defending champion Larry Nelson. The fathers have combined for 492 professional wins on the PGA and European tours, including 67 majors. The only one-time major champions are Love, Steve Elkington and Lanny Wadkins.

The Father-Son Challenge, revived with a new sponsor in PNC Bank, will be Dec. 13-16 at The Ritz-Carlton Club in Orlando, Fla.


DIVOTS: Geoff Ogilvy has parted ways with Alistair ``Squirrel'' Matheson, his caddie for the last 13 years. Ogilvy told Golfweek the split was similar to a marriage that had run its course. ``It's not because any job wasn't getting done properly. It's just it was kind of time,'' he said. He used Matthew ``Bussy'' Tritton of Melbourne at the HSBC Champions. Tritton most recently worked for Cameron Tringale. ... More charity figures continue to roll in from PGA Tour events. The John Deere Classic raised a record $6.79 million, up $1.5 million from last year. The Houston Open raised nearly $2.3 million, an increase of more than $200,000 from the previous year. ... Ian Poulter had gone 46 official stroke-play tournaments without winning until his two-shot victory in the HSBC Champions. ... England has as many WGC titles as the United States - four - since 2010. ... Ian Poulter and Hunter Mahan are the only players to have multiple World Golf Championships without ever having won a major.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Mike Weir has missed the cut in all 13 of his PGA Tour events this year. He is a combined 109-over par in 23 rounds and has yet to break 70.


FINAL WORD: ``Beth Daniel ... told me that she would love for me to win that award so they can stop talking about her.'' - Stacy Lewis, whose win in the Mizuno Classic put her on the verge of winning LPGA Tour player of the year. Daniel in 1994 was the last American to win the award.

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Paul Richardson's Redskins contract is team friendly early

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Paul Richardson's Redskins contract is team friendly early

The Redskins’ contract with wide receiver Paul Richardson is very team friendly in the first year but it increases over the years to the point where he needs to be a very productive receiver in order to justify staying on the roster.

The big picture of the deal is $40 million over five years. A total of $12.5 million is fully guaranteed at signing, which is comprised of a $10 million signing bonus, his $1.5 million 2018 salary, and $1 million of his $5 million 2019 salary.

More money will become guaranteed if Richardson is on the roster as of five days after the start of the league years in 2019 and 2020. The remaining $4 million of his 2019 salary and $3.5 million of his $6 million 2020 salary become guaranteed on those dates.


Richardson will get salaries of $7.5 million in 2021 and 2022. Each year of the contract he can earn $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses ($31,250 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster).

It all adds up to the following salary cap numbers:

2018: $4 million
2019: $7.5 million
2020: $8.5 million
2021: $10 million
2022: $10 million

The average annual value of the contract is $8 million, which is tied for 24th among NFL receivers.

The first window the Redskins have to terminate Richardson’s contract without taking a negative cap hit would be in 2020 as long as they do it prior to the fifth day of the league year when the partial salary guarantee kicks in. They would take a $6 million deal cap hit but they would save a net of $2.5 million.

The last two years, when the cap numbers are at their highest, the Redskins could easily move on, saving $6 million in cap space in 2021 and $8 million in 2022.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


John Carlson gets the better of John Klingberg in duel of top defensemen


John Carlson gets the better of John Klingberg in duel of top defensemen

One week ago, the hockey world was captivated by the matchup of Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, two players battling for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer. Tuesday's matchup between the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars once again pitted two competitors locked in a point battle together in John Carlson and John Klingberg.

Carlson and Klingberg entered Tuesday's games with 59 points each, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. In a 4-3 win for Washington, both defensemen delivered phenomenal performances as each recorded two points, two assists for Klingberg and a goal and an assist for Carlson.

Tuesday's game was the latest example this season of Carlson rising to the occasion. He has been at his best when he has been needed the most such as when he was averaging 27:46 of ice time a night while Matt Niskanen was out injured.


Carlson's ability to deliver has not gone unnoticed by his teammates.

"John's having just a whale of a year, obviously," Niskanen said. "Monster year. Production, been carrying the load all year. He's been just a stalwart back there for us. He leads the way."

"The numbers don't lie, he's been having an unreal season," T.J. Oshie said. "Definitely on the points side of things, but maybe some parts that don't get talked about, the defensive side of things. He rarely loses a battle. It's very encouraging, it gets the bench going when he plays like that."

After the game, Carlson tried to downplay the notion that he elevated his game in response to playing against Klingberg.

"No," Carlson said when asked if he was motivated by the points race. "I think the guys do a good job of pumping that up in the locker room. I just want to go out there and win. I think we played a good game tonight so that's most important."

But while his words were subdued, his play was anything but.

Despite both players getting two points, Carlson got the better of his counterpart by scoring the game-winning goal in the third period, a one-timer slap shot to beat goalie Kari Lehtnonen, to lead Washington to the win.


Carlson may say he was not motivated by Klingberg, but his play certainly seemed to suggest otherwise.

"I think they both know, they know the stats," Barry Trotz said. "They know who they're lined up [against]. They're proud athletes. You're in a business where there's a lot of alpha males. That's what it is."

Of course, Carlson may not need a matchup with Klingberg to motivate him.

In the final year of his contract, Carlson has picked a good time to set new career highs in goals, assist and points. With a cap hit of just under $4 million, the 28-year-old blueliner will be due a significant raise in the offseason. That price tag continues to climb with every good performance as Carlson continues to cement himself among the league's top defensemen.

"Obviously he's very motivated," Trotz said. "He's in the last year of his contract. He'll be motivated. He's putting out points. He's gotten better and better. He's more poised every year. When he's intense and detailed in his game, he's a top defenseman in the league and he shows it."