Wizards

South Korean has PGA Tour card and no place to go

South Korean has PGA Tour card and no place to go

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) The final Q-school that granted direct access to the PGA Tour could turn out to be a waste of a remarkable effort by Si Woo Kim.

The 17-year-old from South Korea made it through all four stages of qualifying - that includes a pre-qualifying stage in September - and was among 25 players who earned their cards Monday at PGA West. Trouble is, he can't become a PGA Tour member until he turns 18 on June 28.

Kim might play as few as three tournaments and go right back to Q-school - only then, he would have to spend a year on the Web.com Tour.

The PGA Tour has no provision for Kim to appeal to be a member before he is 18, so his options are limited until his next birthday.

He can accept as many seven sponsor exemptions before June 28, but those exemptions might be hard to come by for a kid hardly anyone knows, especially with the likes of Camilo Villegas needing a spot next year. Kim also can try to qualify on Mondays in open tournaments. Whatever points he earns would not count in the regular FedEx Cup standings, though he could transfer those points when he becomes a member.

Kim turns 18 the week of the AT&T National, and will be the lowest-ranked member (zero points) among this Q-school class. He can only hope he gets in The Greenbrier Classic and John Deere Classic. There are two events he can count on (Mississippi opposite the British Open, Reno-Tahoe opposite the Bridgestone Invitational). He also might have a chance at getting in the Canadian Open.

And then the FedEx Cup playoffs begin for the top 125.

The players who finish from 126 to 200 would qualifying for the four tournament series called ``The Finals'' that, in effect, replaces Q-school and awards 25 cards to the top finishers on that separate money list. With so few starts, Kim would have to play well to get into the top 200.

Claiming an injury so that he could start the season fresh in October would not do him any good because he would only get about four starts, the same as he realistically could have played starting in July.

His best hope would be to get a few exemptions earlier in the year and make the most of them. But those rules have changed, too. Because of the short season, tournaments no longer have four unrestricted exemptions to award. The number has been reduced to two, and tournaments have to award four spots to players from Q-school or the Web.com Tour based on their priority ranking. Kim is toward the bottom.

So the kid with the polished swing came a long way to get his PGA Tour card. And he still has a long way to go.

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RYDER CUP REVIEW: Ian Poulter struggled with jet lag going from Dubai to California, and he was on his own last week, giving him plenty of time to kill. It turned out to be the perfect opportunity to watch highlights of the Ryder Cup for the first time since Europe's comeback at Medinah.

And he still couldn't believe it.

``I knew the outcome and I'm still sitting there saying ... `look at the board.' The board kept changing, changing, changing,'' he said. ``It was really solid blue, then it went empty with three matches all square, more red numbers, then it went blue again. Calculations were going all over the place.''

The two shots that stood out for Poulter were Steve Stricker's chip behind the 17th green that went 7 feet past the hole and led to bogey that gave Martin Kaymer the lead, and Justin Rose making a 35-foot putt on the 17th to square his match with Phil Mickelson.

``If you're trying to find something late in the field, those were it,'' he said.

His only criticism of U.S. captain Davis Love III was the very thing Love already has said he regrets - the hole locations for Sunday singles. The pin was far right on the 17th and front right on the 18th.

``If he goes left corner, left corner, they win the Ryder Cup,'' Poulter said, noting that most of the Americans favor a right-to-left shot.

His overall observation of this Ryder Cup is one that few can dispute.

``I'm not sure we'll see another one quite like it,'' he said.

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OBNOXIOUS FANS: Keegan Bradley's comments about a fan who called him a cheater for using a belly putter gave Graeme McDowell a platform to speak out against another kind of noise from the gallery that has gone on too long.

``You da man!'' has given way to ``Get in the hole!'' to ``Mashed potatoes.''

``I'm kind of fed up with all this `mashed potatoes' and all this rubbish that the crowd are kind of enjoying shouting right now,'' McDowell said after his win at Sherwood.

``Keegan had a guy out there ... after every shot he was `Yabba dabba doing' and it was just stupid. It's something for the players. It's not a lot of fun, and it's kind of becoming a little bit of a cool thing to do for the spectators. It gives them their two or three seconds of fame. But it gets a little frustrating for everyone.''

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COUNTDOWN TO RIO: Few things in golf get Suzann Pettersen more excited than the Olympics in 2016.

``Growing up in Norway, the Olympics was the biggest thing in sports,'' she said. ``I never thought that I would ever compete in an Olympic Games as a golfer. So when that chance came up a couple years ago, it was a very obvious goal for me. It would be nice to complete a career with a gold medal or a medal in the Olympics. That's kind of where I see my road right now, and it's quite exciting.''

Some players believe an Olympic gold medal would not be as valuable as a U.S. Open trophy, a green jacket, a claret jug or even a jump into the pond at the Kraft Nabisco. Pettersen believes that will change over time, assuming golf becomes a permanent part of the Olympic program.

``I think it will take a generation to build the kind of respect and the honor it is to actually have a gold medal in golf,'' she said. ``I think you will see the kids at 4, 5 years old now seeing Rory and Tiger compete for an Olympic medal. Once they see that, they want to be there, as well, and I think that's when you start building the new generation where the Olympics would be a major part of the sport of golf.''

Her Olympic inspiration came from winter sports, and she lists Kjetil Andre Aamodt as Norway's greatest Olympian (putting him ahead of Johann Olav Koss). As for the best Olympian in summer sports?

``Summer is not our strongest season,'' she said.

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DIVOTS: Counting only past champions who played in eight or more events last year, the PGA Tour membership for 2013 features 80 players from 21 countries outside the United States. Australia continues to lead the way with 22 players, followed by 10 each from South Korea, England and Sweden. ... Jason Dufner, coming off a breakthrough year of two wins and an impressive Ryder Cup debut, will be playing in Abu Dhabi and Qatar in January. That means missing three PGA Tour events he played this year - Sony Open, Humana Challenge and Northern Trust Open. Asked his first time to play overseas, Dufner mentioned Panama on the Nationwide Tour. ``That's probably not what you meant, is it?'' he said. ... The HSBC Women's Champions returns to Singapore next year with its $1.4 million purse, though it is changing courses to Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club. The tournament will be played Feb. 28 to March 3. ... Ricardo Santos won The Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award on the European Tour, making him the first player from Portugal to do so. Santos won the Madeira Islands Open. ...

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STAT OF THE WEEK: Three players who earned their cards at Q-school have never competed in a PGA Tour event - Si Woo Kim, Donald Constable and Henrik Norlander.

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FINAL WORD: ``It feels like we've been here for a month.'' - Ross Fisher, after earning his PGA Tour card at Q-school.

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jaxson Hayes

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jaxson Hayes

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jaxson Hayes

School: Texas
Position: Center
Age: 19
Height: 7-0
Weight: 219
Wingspan: 7-4
Max vertical: 34.5 in.

2018/19 stats: 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.6 spg, 2.2 bpg, 72.8 FG% (3.8/5.3), 00.0 3PT% (0.0/0.0), 74.0 FT%

Player comparison: Jarrett Allen, John Henson

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 10th, NBADraft.net 9th, Bleacher Report 10th, Sports Illustrated 9th, Ringer 10th

5 things to know:

*Hayes is considered the best center prospect in this year's class. He is athletic, plays with energy and measured in at the combine at about 7-feet in shoes with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. He can run the floor and play above the rim.

*The skill that stands out most for Hayes is rim protection. He averaged 2.2 blocks in only 23.3 minutes per game. That extrapulates to 5.7 blocks over 100 possessions. He has long arms and appears to have good instincts tracking the ball in the lane. He is following in the footsteps of fellow Texas shot-blockers before him like Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen. The latter may be the best player comparison for Hayes in today's NBA.

*Hayes is not considered a very good rebounder. He averaged 5.0 per game and only once reached double figures. It could be that he just needs to add some weight, an issue that is correctable but would hurt him even more at the NBA level initially. The worst-case concern is that he is soft and won't do the necessary dirty work.

*At this point, Hayes offers nothing in the way of an outside shot. He didn't attempt a single three-pointer in college and didn't do much on offense outside of dunks and putbacks. In order to justify being taken with a high draft pick, he will either need to develop a post game, an outside shot or be extremely good on defense. His lack of an all-round game will certainly give some teams pause in evaluating him.

*Hayes comes from a family of impressive athletes. His father played 12 seasons in the NFL and recently served as the tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. His mother played basketball at Drake University and later coached in college, including a stint as an assistant at Oklahoma. Hayes followed his father's footsteps by playing wide receiver in high school before a growth spurt made it clear basketball was the path to go.

Fit with Wizards: Hayes is one of the best fits for the Wizards among the players who could be available with the ninth pick. He does what they arguably lack the most, which is play defense and more specifically protect the rim.

The Wizards allowed the most field goals within five feet of any team this past season and the third-highest field goal percentage in that range. They desperately need someone who can block and alter shots.

Hayes would likely be the Wizards' best shot-blocker Day 1. But whether he can help them in other ways is a question at this point.

Hayes would represent a bit of a project for the Wizards and may not have All-Star potential because of his offensive limitations. Still, he remains one of their best options in the first round. Long-term, he could transform their defense and form a strong pick-and-roll partner for John Wall.

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Watching Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum, one quarterback definitely stands out

Watching Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum, one quarterback definitely stands out

The Redskins might be just in the beginning of a quarterback battle, but at Monday's OTA session, it seemed pretty clear which player would eventually win. 

Dwayne Haskins made a number of impressive throws while he was on the field, and while Case Keenum had his share of good passes too, the rookie shined. Even on the surface: Haskins looks the part of a franchise quarterback, standing 6-foot-3 and 230 lbs. Keenum is listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 lbs, but that seems fairly generous. 

When Haskins throws the ball, it zips through the air. He can go deep and has touch on his underneath routes. Keenum gets the ball where it needs to be, but there's a difference in velocity. 

Let's be crystal clear, however, that one OTA session in May will not determine the starting quarterback job. While Keenum and Haskins are both learning the Redskins offense, Keenum has proved he can stand in the pocket of an NFL game and make plays. Haskins has never seen the size or speed of NFL defensive linemen. 

"It’s a long process and I think they both handled it well today," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "Hopefully we’ll do better tomorrow and the next day and so on and so forth and I’m sure it will be a good, lengthy competition with some great players going at it."

A few, unexpected things stood out with Haskins.

Though he has a long windup on his throws, the ball gets out plenty fast. He also seemed quicker in the pocket than some of his NFL Scouting Combine numbers would suggest. Haskins certainly isn't fast, but he's not a plodder either. That said, Keenum does seem to have the advantage in squirting through the line of scrimmage and keeping plays alive. That's something Gruden really likes in his passers.

Both of the QBs seemed comfortable with their role in the competition. 

"It’s normal. I compete every day whether I’m playing football, playing ping pong, playing golf, I’m competing. I’m competing against myself. I’m competing against the defense. In the quarterback room, we’re always competing," Keenum said. "Competition makes you better and that’s what the spring is about."

Haskins sounded very tactful in his responses; respectful of the veterans already on the team in Keenum and Colt McCoy, yet also eager to get more work.

"I want to be with the best, be around the best, and compete with the best. All season I’ll be around working out with the best quarterbacks on my team," the rookie said. 

Planned or not, Haskins also seemed modest in his goals for the OTA session. 

"I didn’t have any expectations for today, I just wanted to execute. The biggest thing for me was going to play right in the huddle."

That stands out in stark contrast to the Redskins last first-round rookie passer, Robert Griffin III. Expectations for RG3 were out of control, almost immediately, and while parts of his rookie season actually lived up to the hype, that situation was not healthy or sustainable. It's smart for Haskins to set reasonable goals at this stage of his career. Calling plays correctly in the huddle will get him on the field more, and that will give him more chances to make big plays.

It's a learning process, and at OTAs, Haskins showed a willingness to start on the ground floor. In a world of egos and branding, that's a sage move. 

While McCoy was not present on the field at OTAs, he is in Ashburn. He will be a part of this competition, but he needs to get healthy soon. Gruden didn't provide much of an update when asked about McCoy, though the coach did say the quarterback should be back on the field for training camp.

McCoy knows the Redskins offense backward and forward, but without him on the field, Keenum and Haskins are learning the Redskins plays at the same time. And that means while Gruden is looking at a rookie and a veteran, neither player has much of a leg up on his playbook. 

"I think we have to grade them based on production out here every day. Every day is a new grade, every day you see how they’re developing, see how they’re getting better, see if they’re making the same mistakes over and over. But it’s a process, this is the first time Dwyane has had a chance to call plays in a live huddle and go after a live defense and this is the first time Case has had a chance to do that with the Redskins terminology. So, we don’t expect perfection on the day one, but we do expect the guys to know what they’re doing when we go out to the practice field, execute and then continue to get better each and every day."

Get better each day. Compete. That's the cornerstone of success in the NFL, and for the Redskins, how QB1 will find his spot.

"Somebody is going to rise I would think," the coach said. "The cream always rises to the top and we’re hoping that’s the case.”

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