Each Thursday, the Boston Globe hands out its weekly golf award, goes inside the numbers, and looks at the week ahead on the tours:
Player of the week: Mike Calef.
It might seem like a long way to travel for a golf tournament, but Calef probably would have walked from Allen, Texas, to Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead if he knew he’d finally win the Massachusetts Amateur. The 33-year-old had been a staple on the state golf scene before moving late last year, but has kept the best Massachusetts event on his schedule, despite the distance. That kind of love was rewarded last week, when Calef was co-medalist after 36 holes of stroke play, then survived five matches. None were easy, but at this level, they shouldn’t be. Plus, it’ll give Calef some great stories to tell his new friends back home.
Inside the numbers: Phil Mickelson has finally dethroned Tiger Woods, at least in one category. SI.com, which has ranked the top 50 US athletes based on yearly total earnings (on the field and off) since 2004, had Woods No. 1 every year, beginning with its first list. But not anymore. He’s not even the highest-earning golfer from the 2011 calendar year or 2011-12 sports season. That title goes to Mickelson, who banked, according to SI’s research, a total of $60,763,488 in 2011. Most of that – $57 million – came from endorsements. Mickelson was No. 2 on the list, behind boxer Floyd Mayweather, who made $85 million from just two fights (and no endorsement income). Woods was No. 3, at $56,440,238, with $54.5 million in endorsements. No other golfer cracked the top 50. The Boston athlete who earned the most? Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, with $22,357,142, all but $500,000 in salary. He was No. 25, right in front of Tom Brady ($22,250,000, with $10 million off the field) and Kevin Garnett ($22,103,870, including $5 million in endorsements). The other two Boston athletes on the list: Carl Crawford, who tied for 36th at $20 million, and Josh Beckett, 44th with $17.2 million.
The 59 club gets bigger: Golf’s most exclusive club has a new member. Michael Sims, playing in last week’s Southern Open on the eGolf Tour, shot a 12-under-par 59 at the Country Club of Salisbury in Salisbury, N.C. Sims, a 33-year-old from Bermuda who played his college golf at Rhode Island, birdied his first eight holes and shot 27 on the front nine. He added a birdie at the 10th, then three straight on Nos. 15-17. He left a 15-foot birdie putt inches short on the 18th, and thought he had squandered his chance, thinking the course was a par-72. “When the other guys in the group congratulated me, I remembered that it was a par-71,” Sims told the Charlotte Observer. “Pretty surreal feeling.” Sims’s 59 came in the second round of the 72-hole tournament. He followed with 70-67, which got him into a playoff with Drew Weaver, who won with a birdie on the first extra hole.
This week’s tour schedules:
PGA Tour: British Open, Lancashire, England. Purse: $8 million (winner’s share TBD). Defending champion: Darren Clarke. Number of top-10 players in field: Nine (Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan. TV: Thursday/Friday 5 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (all on ESPN).
PGA Tour: True South Classic, Madison, Miss. Purse: $3 million (winner’s share $540,000). Defending champion: Chris Kirk. TV: Thursday-Sunday 3-6 p.m. (all on Golf Channel).
Quote of the week: “I’d like to see some difficult weather this week. Seventy-two holes of tough weather means it’s basically last man standing.” -- Padraig Harrington, two-time British Open winner.