Greg Norman's final Presidents Cup picks did more than bolster the host nation's representation. He went for a true "home" advantage with his selection of Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley.
Allenby grew up playing Royal Melbourne, nearly winning the 1991 Australian Open there as an amateur, then conquering the course in the 1992 Johnnie Walker Classic and 1993 Australian Players Championship.
"It is my No. 1 golf course in the world," said Allenby, who missed the 1998 Presidents Cup as he recovered from a near-fatal car accident. "It's my favorite, and I have a pretty good record around there."
Allenby plays well just about anywhere Down Under, actually, capturing three Australian PGAs, two Australian Opens and two Australian Masters. In 2005, he swept all three.
Baddeley also was exposed early to Royal Melbourne, watching the 1998 matches as a 17-year-old amateur. Throw in automatic qualifier Geoff Ogilvy, whose home nestles against the Royal Melbourne property, and Norman has three men who know the nuances.
Family wealth: The late-season run by new FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas also was rewarding for his brother. Jay Haas Jr. served as his younger sibling's caddie for the season's last eight events, helping him earn about $2.2million in that stretch.
And that doesn't count the $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup. The usual caddie's cut for a tournament win is 10 percent, but there's no standard for bonus winnings.
"I don't know how that works," Bill Haas said.
Regardless, Jay Jr.'s expected $144,000 cut from Bill's Tour Championship payoff will go a long way for a guy soon to become a father for the first time.
If Jay Jr. gets his wish, though, this will be the end of their partnership. A former college star, he's entered in the PGA Tour qualifying process in hopes of earning his own card.
Tap-ins: Former Georgia teammates Harris English and Russell Henley, who won Nationwide Tour events as amateurs this year, have returned to the circuit as pros. They'll use the last six events to try to earn PGA Tour membership; neither cracked the top 30 last week in California. … Barclays has dropped its sponsorship of the Scottish Open, which attracted several U.S. players seeking a warm-up before the British Open. Barclays officials blamed "market factors."
— Jeff ShainCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun