Oct 08

The Internationals planned Presidents Cup boycott without changes

This Presidents Cup almost didn't happen.

(And don't make a wisecrack how, now facing a 4-1 deficit after Day 1, the Internationals might wish it never got started.)

The International players, led by the likes of captain Nick Price, PGA Championship winner Jason Day and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen, had planned a boycott of the biennial meeting if PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem didn't agree to reduce the number of matches. 

"Had it stayed at 34 points, it would have been a massive decision as a team, but I don't think that we would have played," Oosthuizen said, according to Golf.com.

After some heavy lobbying from Price, Finchem agreed to drop four matches, going from 34 to 30 matches for the 2015 contest. Price and company wanted a six-point drop to 28, matching the number of points up for grabs in the Ryder Cup, which matches the U.S. against Europe in the off years of the Presidents Cup cycle.

The United States team, led by Jay Haas, has expressed some confusion as to why Finchem, who unilaterally controls the rules of the competition wholly owned by the PGA Tour, acquiesced to the Internationals' demands. After all, the U.S. team never agreed to the changes. In fact, negotiations to change the rules were at an impasse, with the U.S. resisting change. Finchem, knowing that the future of the matches may have been on the line, forged what amounts to a compromise.

The change means that, after Day 1, the Americans are closer to winning the Presidents Cup for the ninth time in 11 matches. With four points on the board, the U.S. needs 11.5 more from the remaining 25 available to win this year's match in South Korea. 

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Oct 08

Luke Donald needs a new caddie after his old one fired him

It's not an everyday thing that a caddie fires his player, but that's what veteran looper John McLaren did to world No. 1 Luke Donald after a six-year relationship.

The pair are no longer together, and it came as a shock to the former world No. 1.

“It was more his decision than mine," Donald said after an opening-round 67 at the British Masters on Thursday, according to the Daily Mirror"I was a little surprised."

McLaren was vague in explaining his decision.

“I just felt that it had run its course," he said. "There were just a couple of things that I don’t need to go into that made me feel it was time for a change.”

Donald, who began the year ranked 33rd in the world, is now 66th. He stopped working with his collegiate golf coach, Pat Goss, in 2014 to work with Chuck Cook. In November 2014, Donald returned to Goss and has been playing better golf throughout the second half of the year. Until missing the cut at last week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Donald had made his last 12 worldwide cuts in a row.

So, what is Donald looking for in a new caddie?

He said, "Now I am looking for someone who is energetic, upbeat and brings a good energy to the round.”

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.