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November 03, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Puerto Rico Open would welcome Yani

Posted at 12:21 PM by Jeff Ritter | Categories: Fred Couples, Tiger Woods, Truth & Rumors, Yani Tseng

Fresh off her 11th win of the year, Yani Tseng created a stir recently when she said that she might one day consider entering a PGA Tour event.

That day may be fast approaching.

According to Golfweek's Sean Martin, the Puerto Rico Open will offer Tseng an exemption to its event this March.

The Puerto Rico Open will be happy to help Yani Tseng if she decides to play against the men.

Sidney Wolf, the tournament’s general chairman, told Golfweek that he intends to offer Tseng an exemption into his event in 2012. The PGA Tour event will be held March 8-11, opposite the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Wolf told Golfweek, "Having the No. 1 player here would open our event to a broader audience. It could open up the possibility of a LPGA event here, and ultimately help us raise funds for our charities. It would also create awareness of Puerto Rico globally, which would economically be very positive for the island."

In response to the story, Tseng's adviser, Ernie Huang, told Golfweek: "We appreciate that Puerto Rico has responded so soon, but she has more goals to accomplish, such as completing the Grand Slam and qualifying for the Hall of Fame. To play on (the) PGA Tour now will be too much distraction for her."

Freddy has Tiger on the brain
The hits just keep coming for Fred Couples. The U.S. Presidents Cup captain is still taking heat for using a wildcard pick on Tiger Woods, and on Thursday the man he snubbed, Keegan Bradley, jumped out to an early lead at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Monday morning quarterbacks are also questioning Couples's recent selection of John Cook to replace Michael Jordan as an assistant captain, and Couples admitted that Tiger was a factor in that decision. Ryan Ballengee at Pro Golf Talk has more:

Fred Couples admitted Wednesday that the relationship newly-appointed assistant captain John Cook has with Tiger Woods had some influence on his appointment to replace Michael Jordan on the American Presidents Cup team.

"I felt like John and Tiger are very close, and that would help Tiger as much as any of the other guys," Couples said at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park.

"Even if Tiger Woods was still the No. 1 player in the world, didn’t have any problems and they weren’t friends, I think 100 percent I probably would have picked John Cook anyway."

Cook said Woods was pleased with his friend’s new role.

"[Woods] just texted me and said, ‘Congrats. Really excited to have you aboard.’ I said, ‘I’ll do whatever you want me to do. Get you water, get your energy bars, you know, whatever.’ That’s going to be my job,” he said.

D.J. picks a temporary caddie for Presidents Cup
After Joe LaCava left Dustin Johnson to become Tiger Woods's permanent caddie, D.J. was left without a bagman for the upcoming Australian Open and Presidents Cup. Now he's found a temporary solution: longtime friend and TaylorMade vice president Keith Sbarbaro will carry Johnson's sticks Down Under. Sbarbaro frequently travels to tour events, and is involved with fitting Johnson with his TaylorMade clubs. Here's what Johnson said in a press release:

"It was an easy decision to have Keith on my bag in Australia," Johnson said. "We're friends off the course, I trust him to build my clubs and he knows my game as well as anyone. I look forward to working with him as I continue searching for a full-time caddy."

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