Notebook: Garcia earns first Vardon trophy

MX-700 driver
Schecter Lee

$299, graphite
mizunousa.com

It's for: All skill levels

Masao Nagai, global director of R&D:
"All the gameimprovement drivers out there have high MOI and COR to the [rules] limit. We take these elements to the extreme with revolutionary Ti-9 titanium that comprises the 'Hot Metal' face. You'll never hit it longer or straighter."

How it works: MX-700 boasts the lowest, deepest center of gravity (CG) and highest moment of inertia (MOI) of any Mizuno driver. Company brass say the grain structure (in the titanium face) expands the high-COR area and boosts ball speed. A low, deep CG should bolster head stability on shots struck high or low on the face. The result is low-spinning shots with a high, penetrating flight. Internal reinforcements improve sound while a crown decal makes for simple alignment.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) — With the PGA Tour season officially over, it's now official: Sergio Garcia has won the Vardon Trophy, the first European-born winner since 1937 to have the lowest adjusted scoring average.

Garcia played 72 rounds with an adjusted average of 69.12, overtaking Phil Mickelson (69.17) at the Tour Championship. Anthony Kim finished third at 69.28.

The last European-born winner was Harry "Lighthorse" Cooper in 1937, the first year of the award when it was based on points. Tiger Woods was not eligible because it requires 60 rounds, and Woods only played 25 before he was injured.

Padraig Harrington wrapped up the points-based PGA player of the year award after winning the PGA Championship, which came with a 50-point bonus for winning two majors in one year. Harrington, who also won the British Open, finished with 116 points to finish ahead of Woods, who had 78 points in six events.

AN AMAZING JOURNEY: D.J. Gregory walked up the 18th fairway on the Magnolia Course at Disney and completed his mission of walking every hole of every round every week on the PGA Tour this year.

Gregory is a 30-year-old with cerebral palsy who was given little hope of ever walking. But he earned a bachelor's and master's degree from Springfield (Mass.) College in sports management, and walked every hole to raise awareness.

He wound up walking 3,256 holes for a total of 988 miles. He traveled 79,838 miles to get to every event, starting with Mercedes-Benz Championship on Maui and ending at Disney. He consumed 280 bottles of water, 259 bottles of sports drink and 332 sodas. He traveled to 23 states and two countries (England and Canada).

The other statistic he kept: Gregory fell 29 times during his journey, a source of pride and some humor.

"The worst was at the Bob Hope," he said earlier this year. "I tripped over some TV cables twice in 30 seconds."

Gregory chose one player to walk with at each tournament, interviewed them later and spent the year writing a blog. He has considered writing a book on his quest. He walked the final event at Disney with Jason Gore, but when he finished, Robert Gamez and Rich Beem were at the 18th green to celebrate.

But he might not be finished.

His legs stiff, body rocking from side to side as he walked, it was easy to spot him heading toward the induction ceremony Monday night at the World Golf Hall of Fame.

When someone mentioned that he still had the silly season, Gregory's eyes lit up.

"I think I'm going to the Merrill Lynch Shootout," he said.

KIWI CHALLENGE: The Kiwi Challenge will be shown this weekend on NBC Sports, and while Hunter Mahan won the 36-hole event on two courses in New Zealand two weeks ago (along with $1.5 million), the broadcast marks the debut of Steve Williams as a commentator.

Based on one exchange, the caddie for Tiger Woods might want to stick to looping or racing.

Williams said he was amazed how much information was available on all the players. But he wishes he could have one mulligan.

"On the 13th hole at Kauri Cliffs, the moment Hunter Mahan's second shot left the club, I knew it was well over the green, and my first thought was that it was a bad yardage," Williams said in an interview with tournament organizers. "But these days, caddies who work for this caliber of player don't make mistakes with yardages.

"I made the call on air, which was a poor call on my behalf," he said. "However, it was the first thought in my head."

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