Cleveland TaylorMade Among Contenders for Tour Iron Count
IRON BATTLE CONTINUES: For those who had any doubt: Tour-based club marketing strategies are alive and well. Just ask TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Cleveland Golf.
Its no secret that TaylorMade is working hard ' and paying much ' to pump up its weekly iron count on the PGA Tour. But even with tee-up payments for iron use reportedly at $1,500 per week, TaylorMades dominance isnt a lock.
Cleveland just took the golf equivalent of the yellow Tour de France jersey, winning the iron count at the Nissan Open with 22 sets in play. (Cleveland also won the all-wedges count, which surprises no one because of the companys hold on a third of the wedge market.) Cleveland tied for second in irons at the Bob Hope and Phoenix tournaments this year.
But sources close to Cleveland say that the company isnt paying tee-up money. Cleveland does have a performance-based pool plan from which players who have made good showings with its clubs can be rewarded, but many of the iron players who contributed to the count at Los Angeles are Cleveland staff endorsers.
TaylorMades momentum cant be ignored, and its likely to continue its aggressive tactics. In consecutive weeks ' Pebble Beach and Buick ' TM won the count in three major categories: irons, drivers and fairway woods. And the company has led the driver count on the PGA Tour every week so far.
NIKE SHIPS: Just a year ago, there was no such thing as Nike golf clubs, at least not for the mass market. How things have changed.
In a modest ceremony Feb. 14 at Nikes Tigard, Ore. facility, golf division president Bob Wood packed and sealed the first set of Nike irons to leave the dock.
Nike opened the facility in Tigard, near its Beaverton headquarters, expressly for golf equipment assembly and distribution.
ONE-RIDER CARTS AT TPCs: To improve access for handicapped players, the 21 PGA Tour-owned Tournament Players Clubs have added a Club Car 1-PASS single-rider golf cart to their fleets, Club Car reports. (So has the Golf Club of Jacksonville, which the Tour developed in conjunction with the city of Jacksonville, Fla.)
The 1-PASS, which is made by SoloRider, a Colorado company that specializes in accessibility vehicles, has a lockable, 360-degree swiveling seat. That helps golfers with lower-body limitations to line up to the ball effectively, Club Car says. Club Car and SoloRider thought of the greens, too: Thanks to its suspension and tires, the 1-PASS transfers on six or seven pounds per square inch to the turf, less than an average man standing would do, says Club Car.
JUST A THOUGHT: Golf balls fly farther and straighter because they have dimples. So why isnt there a whole crew of people with ball-peen hammers working at Boeing?
CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:
|T20||Charles Howell III||-14||$57,754|
|T36||Tyrone Van Aswegen||-12||$27,189|
|T69||Billy Hurley III||-6||$11,623|
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.