Grillo takes medalist honors at Polo Junior

By Ajga StaffNovember 24, 2010, 11:30 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. –  Emiliano Grillo of Bradenton, Fla., earned medalist honors following stroke play at the Polo Golf Junior Classic for the third year in a row. Grillo's 3-under-par 68 put him two strokes ahead of the field and earned him the No. 1 seed heading into match play. With a 3-under-par 69, Moriya Jutanugarn of Bangkok, Thailand, extended her first-round lead to claim medalist honors in the Girls Division.

The Polo Golf Junior Classic, which has been conducted annually since 1978, marks the first tournament of the American Junior Golf Association's 2011 season. The 156-player invitation-only field is made up of 78 boys and 78 girls, ages 12-18, from 26 states and 10 foreign countries. Former champions include Stewart Cink (1989), Trevor Immelman (1995), Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002), Grace Park (1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel (2004).

During Tuesday's second round, the Boys Division played the Champion Course (7,147 yards, par 71), while the Girls Division played the Haig Course (6,275 yards, par 72). The cut in the Boys Division fell at 148, and the Girls Division cut was at 152.

Grillo, a two-time first-team Rolex Junior All-American, began the round tied in second place. With birdies on his first two holes of the day, he made his way to the top of the leaderboard and finished stroke play at 6-under-par 137. Grillo said strong play with his irons was crucial to carding five birdies on the day. He will play Trey Valentine of Melbourne, Fla., in the first match Wednesday and is looking to improve on his 2009 match play finish.

“I just want to keep the ball on the fairway and greens and try to make some putts as always,” Grillo said of his match play strategy. “Last year I got to the quarterfinals. I had to putt like I'm always playing with the winner.”

Other first-team Rolex Junior All-Americans qualifying for match play include defending champion Oliver Schniederjans (No. 4 seed), Patrick Rodgers (No. 6), Anthony Paolucci (No. 11), Michael Johnson (No. 15) and Beau Hossler (No. 22).

In the Girls Division, Jutanugarn began the day on No. 10 and posted six birdies on the round, including three in a row on Nos. 11-13 to increase her lead to three shots and complete stroke play at 3-under-par 141.

“I think today I played okay,” said Jutanugarn, who is ranked No. 14 in the Polo Golf Rankings. “On the front nine I had three birdies and on the back nine I had one double and two birdies. I think yesterday I hit irons better than today but I had an eight on No. 11 yesterday.”

Jutanugarn is making her first appearance at the Polo Golf Junior Classic following two top-five finishes at AJGA Invitationals in 2010. She will take on Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., in the first round of match play.

First-team Rolex Junior All-Americans earning a spot in match play were Kristen Park (No. 6 seed), Shannon Aubert (No. 9), Doris Chen (No. 10), Alison Lee (No. 17) and Yueer Cindy Feng (No. 25).

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.