Accepted: By South Korea’s Hosung Choi, a sponsor exemption to play in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Feb. 7-10 at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. It will be the first PGA Tour appearance for Choi, whose unconventional, animated swing has led to the nickname “The Fisherman.” Choi, 45, plays primarily on the Japan Golf Tour, where he won the Casio World Open in November. He has risen to No. 200 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Expanded: Toptracer ball-tracking technology, to include all 18 holes of PGA Tour telecasts on NBC and Golf Channel, NBC Sports Group and Topgolf Entertainment said. The expansion will begin Jan. 31 with the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Toptracer, which tracks the flight of the ball for TV viewers, provides such information as ball speed, apex, curve and carry distance. The technology, which was acquired by sports-entertainment company Topgolf in 2016 and renamed Toptracer, was used on 161 televised golf tournaments worldwide last year. The PGA Championship, which was broadcast by CBS from Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, was the first time that a network used it on all 18 holes.
Promoted: From its spot on the PGA Tour’s fall calendar as an opposite-field event to standalone status, the Sanderson Farms Championship. Tournament officials and the PGA Tour disclosed that the tournament, traditionally played in late October at Country Club of Jackson (Miss.) and opposite the WGC HSBC Champions, will move to Sept. 19-22 and own the week on the Tour calendar. With the upgrade, the winner will get an invitation to the Masters. The purse also will increase, from $4.4 million to $6.6 million, with $1.19 million for the winner. Sanderson Farms fills the calendar slot that recently was vacated when negotiations for a tournament to be hosted by basketball star Stephen Curry in San Francisco fell through.
Announced: By the PGA of America, that Doug Ferguson, the Associated Press’ national golf writer, will receive the PGA's Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism. Ferguson, 55, who has covered golf for the AP since 1998, reaches millions of readers through more than 4,000 publications worldwide. As magazines and daily newspapers have shrunk and scaled back golf coverage in recent years, Ferguson’s work has become an even stronger connection to the game for many golf fans. He will be honored April 11 in Augusta, Ga.