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Golf notebook: Faldo will play when Open returns to Muirfield

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--Sir Nick Faldo announced that he will play in the 153rd Open Championship in July at Muirfield, where he won the oldest tournament in the world in 1987 and 1992.

The 55-year-old Faldo, a six-time major champion, will play in the Open for the first time since 2010. That year, he missed the cut on the Old Course at St. Andrews, where he claimed a third Claret Jug in 1990. He has missed the cut in his last four appearances in the Open.

"I've been fighting it for years," said Faldo, who is the lead golf analyst for CBS Sports. "I was in the gym on Monday, and it suddenly just hit me. I thought, 'Come on, this is one more walk, and I'll probably never (again) get a chance to walk at Muirfield.'

"If I can just get over the hurdle and say to myself, 'What will be, will be' ... I can't be any fitter. If I can just hit a few solid long irons, who knows what could happen? I could just go play and enjoy the shot.

"I've got just over two months to go to get myself to pretend that I'm a golfer."

Faldo chose his son, Matthew, to be his caddie for the week at Muirfield, saying he is playing in the tournament primarily to allow his family to experience the event.

--The World Cup of Golf will be played Nov. 21-24 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced.

Royal Melbourne, which hosted the Presidents Cup in 2011, will host back-to-back events in November, with Masters champion Adam Scott defending his title on the course in the Australian Masters a week earlier.

"We're thrilled that the World Cup will return to Australia, bringing this historic event to a venue, city and country that have hosted the biggest and best international sporting events for many years," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said.

"The Presidents Cup 2011 was the best in event history, thanks in no small part to the welcome provided to us by the incredible Australian sports fans, the Victorian government and the Victorian Major Events Company.

"With all of those ingredients still in place, and added to them Adam Scott's win at the Masters Tournament in April, there is tremendous momentum and excitement for the World Cup 2013."

The World Cup has been played three previous times in Australia, each time at Royal Melbourne. The event was last played in Australia in 1988 as part of the nation's bicentennial celebrations, and Ben Crenshaw and Mark McCumber of the United States beat out Masashi (Jumbo) Ozaki and Tateo Ozaki of Japan.

The World Cup of Golf boasts an $8 million total purse and returns to an individual, stroke-play competition for $7 million, with a team component (adding the total scores of two-man teams) for $1 million.

The qualification system for the event is similar to that which will be used in the Olympic Games, when golf returns to the program in 2016. The field will include 60 players, with eligibility taken from the Official World Golf Rankings.

Up to four players can qualify per country, if they are in the top 15 of the rankings. Beyond No. 15, up to a maximum of two players per country can qualify.

The World Cup of Golf was first played in 1953, with Roberto De Vicenzo and Antonio Cerda of Argentina winning at Beaconsfield Golf and Country Club in Montreal.

The event was played annually until becoming a biennial event in 2011, when Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland of the U.S. claimed the title on the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Golf Club in Hainan, China.

The U.S. has dominated the event with 34 titles, followed by South Africa with five. Spain and Australia are tied with four championships.

--Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, has been selected as the venue for the 2019 Walker Cup matches, the United States Golf Association announced.

The 47th edition of the biennial matches that pit the best amateur golfers of Great Britain and Ireland against those from the United States will be played in September 2019 as Royal Liverpool celebrates the 150th anniversary of its foundation.

"The Walker Cup is one of the most historic and prestigious events in golf," said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director of championships for the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. "We are delighted to be taking the match back to Royal Liverpool in its 150th year. Hoylake will provide an outstanding challenge for both teams. It is one of the finest tests of links golf to be found anywhere and has hosted many successful championships over the years."

Hoylake was the venue for a 1921 match between amateurs from the U.S. and Great Britain that led to the Walker Cup matches being established. The first official Walker Cup was played at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., in 1922.

The Walker Cup was held at Hoylake in 1983, when the U.S., led by captain Jay Sigel, beat Charlie Green's team from Great Britain and Ireland, 13 1/2-10 1/2.

The Open Championship will return to Hoylake, where Tiger Woods claimed the title in 2006, for the 12th time next year.

In 2012, Royal Liverpool hosted the Ricoh Women's British Open won by Jiyai Shin of South Korea, and the course has been the site of the British Amateur Championship on 18 occasions in addition to the 1992 Curtis Cup, the event that matches the top women amateurs from Great Britain against those from the United States.

This year's Walker Cup will be played at the National Golf Links of America on Sept. 7-8.

The 2015 event will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club, and the 2017 venue will be Los Angeles Country Club.

The Walker Cup is contested between teams of 10 players from Great Britain and Ireland and the United States. It is played over two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes matches.

Great Britain and Ireland holds the Walker Cup after defeating the U.S., 14-12, at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in 2011, but the Americans hold a commanding 34-8-1 lead in the series.

--Ken Venturi teamed with Pat Summerall to form one of the most respected broadcast teams in sports in the 18th hole tower for CBS Sports at PGA Tour events for more than a decade in the 1980s and '90s.

Venturi, who impacted the game of golf on the course and in the broadcast booth, died last week at the age of 82 in Ranch Mirage, Calif., only 11 days after he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

His death came a month and a day after the death of Summerall, also at the age of 82.

Venturi, who won the 1964 U.S. Open and later became one of the best commentators in the game for CBS over 35 years until 2002, had been hospitalized for two months because of a spinal infection, pneumonia and an intestinal infection.

"He was a deeply principled man with a dynamic presence; he just exuded class," said Jim Nantz, his partner in the CBS booth for several years after taking over for Summerall. "Through his competitive days and unequalled broadcasting career, Kenny became a human bridge connecting everyone from Sarazen, Nelson and Hogan to the greatest players of today's generation.

"Kenny faced many adversities in his life and always found a way to win."

Venturi's greatest moment as a golfer came when he captured the 1964 Open at Congressional, despite nearly collapsing because of exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke in temperatures that surpassed 100 degrees.

It was the last time the national championship was determined by a 36-hole marathon Sunday, and a doctor told Venturi between rounds that he was putting his life in danger, but Venturi went back out anyway and came from two strokes back to win his only major title with scores of 66-70.

"I dropped my putter and I raised my arms up to the sky," said Venturi, who was so weak that playing partner Raymond Floyd had to retrieve his ball from the hole after his final putt. "I said, 'My God, I've won the Open.' The applause was deafening. It was like thunder coming out there.

"I felt this hand on me, and it was Raymond Floyd handing me the ball. I looked at him, and he had tears streaming down his face."

Sports Illustrated selected Venturi as Sportsman of the Year in 1964.

Venturi, who graduated from San Jose State and spent part of his U.S. Army stint in Korea, was born in San Francisco and turned to golf at 13 because it was a solitary sport after a teacher told his mother that his case of stammering was incurable.

Following a brilliant amateur career, which included California Amateur Championships in 1951 and 1956 plus three San Francisco Amateur Championships, he turned pro in 1956. He also posted the highest finish in the Masters by an amateur, losing a four-stroke lead by shooting a closing 80 in windy conditions to wind up second behind Jack Burke Jr. in 1956.

Venturi claimed the first of his 14 PGA Tour victories in the 1957 St. Paul Invitational and his last in the 1966 Lucky International at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco, where he learned to play the game.

Forced to retire in 1967 after he was diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome in both wrists, Venturi forged a distinguished career in the broadcast booth.

Venturi is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and two sons, Matthew and Tim, who represented him at his Hall of Fame induction.

--The European Tour, which lost several events in Europe in recent years during the worldwide economic downturn, announced that the Made in Denmark tournament will be played for the first time on Aug. 14-17, 2014, at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort in Farso, Denmark.

"It's fantastic news for the tour and the country that we're having a new tournament in Denmark next year," said Danish golf star Thomas Bjorn, who has won 13 times on the European Tour. "I think Himmerland will be a perfect venue, and I hope the Danish golf fans will come along and support the tournament in good numbers.

"With Thorbjorn (Olesen) playing so well and a lot good young amateurs coming through the ranks, it's a good time for Danish golf, and having a European Tour event in Denmark can only help grow the game even more.

"My first win as a professional was the Himmerland Open on the Challenge Tour in 1995, so in many ways that's where it all began for me."

Ian Poulter of England claimed the only previous Euro Tour event in Denmark, beating Colin Montgomerie of Scotland by one stroke in the 2003 Nordic Open at Simon's Golf Club in Humlebaek, near the capital city of Copenhagen.

The new tournament will be played on the Backtee New Course at Himmerland, which measures 7,382 yards and plays to a par of 72.

The Backtee New Course re-opened at the start of the year after a 2 million pound renovation program that included the re-sodding of all 18 greens and the re-shaping of every bunker.

"This dream opportunity has now become a reality," said Lars Larsen, co-founder and owner of Himmerland. "Made in Denmark will focus partly on Danish golf, but also focus on Denmark as a golfing destination.

"By working with a number of sponsors, Sport Event Denmark and other organizations across the North Jutland region, we will ensure that Danish design and innovation are both integral to the event marketing."

Himmerland is Northern Europe's largest golf resort, offering two 18-hole courses, a nine-hole course and extensive practice facilities in the Nike Performance Centre.

--Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium arrived in Kavarna, Bulgaria, last week all set to defend his title in the Volvo World Match Play Championship at a new venue, the Thracian Cliffs Golf and Beach Resort on the Black Sea.

However, his clubs and the rest of his luggage didn't make it.

Colsaerts was caught up in a strike at Brussels Airport, and apparently his luggage never got off the ground, so in desperation he turned to Twitter.

"Does somebody know someone from Brussels Airport or SN Brussels Airlines to make possible that my people would have access to the luggage and take them back," he tweeted. "Somebody would then travel from Paris or Amsterdam to bring them to me! How can you be unlucky defending a world title."

As a backup, he arranged for his mother to travel from Paris to Bulgaria with another set of clubs and some clothing.

Colsaerts was on hand at the beginning of the week, but he was unable to get a head start on seeing the new venue for the tournament that might have given him an advantage over 11 players who arrived from Florida on a chartered jet after playing in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

That group included Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Geoff Ogilvy, Carl Pettersson, Bo Van Pelt and Henrik Stenson.

Colsaerts' clubs were finally found in the Brussels airport, and his father, Patrick, brought them to Bulgaria on a private plane that arrived late Tuesday night, giving Colsaerts a chance to play the course with them the day before the tournament started.

In his title defense, Colsaerts reached the quarterfinals before being ousted by eventual champion McDowell, 2 and 1, despite making a remarkable up-an-down for par on the 10th hole after his ball wound up in an open restroom near the green.

--The Class of 2013 had barely been inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame when commissioner Tim Finchem of the PGA Tour said there might be some changes with several parts of the process.

Finchem has no direct influence of the day-to-day operation of the Hall of Fame. However, he has a seat on the board of the World Golf Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame.

"I think it's timely to take a look at everything we're doing and take a fresh look," Finchem said. "We haven't done that in several years. The World Golf Foundation board is very open to change, and has indicated to the (Hall of Fame) staff that we want to."

The induction ceremonies at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., originally were held in the fall, but they were moved to May to coincide with the Players Championship, a short drive away at TPC Sawgrass.

At the start of this year's ceremony, Hall of Fame members in attendance were introduced, but it was embarrassing that only eight were on hand, all of them women.

The only male golfers in the audience were Blaine McCallister and John Cook, who both play on the Champions Tour.

"Getting players to come back has always been a bit of a challenge over the years," Finchem said. "It does raise a question in my mind about whether this is the best time of the year to do it.

"It was phenomenal ceremony, a compelling night. But if you do it this week or the week of a really big tournament, the golf interest is kind of split. There are three or four things we're looking at, and that's one of them."

Finchem had to be persuaded to move the Hall of Fame induction ceremony to the week of the Players Championship because he feared it would take away from the tournament, but it appears the opposite has happened.

There also was controversy this year over the inductions of Colin Montgomerie of Scotland, who never won a major championship, and Fred Couples, whose only major title came in the 1992 Masters.

Finchem said the idea of having two voting ballots, one for PGA Tour players and one for international players, might be outdated. In addition, the minimum age of 40 years will be re-examined, he said.

Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh have been inducted in recent years after turning 40 while continuing to play on the PGA Tour, another aspect of the Hall that has been questioned.

The LPGA Tour has its own criteria, based on a point system, for players qualifying for the Hall of Fame.
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