AP Sources Pavin to be named next Ryder Cup captain

By Associated PressDecember 10, 2008, 5:00 pm
Corey Pavin has been selected as the next U.S. captain in the Ryder Cup, leading the team 15 years after last competing in the matches, two officials with knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press.
Pavin, who will be introduced as captain Thursday morning in New York, will be responsible for bringing the Americans consecutive victories in the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Pavins selection has not been announced.
The PGA of America elected not to give Paul Azinger the captaincy for the second straight time after the Americans, without Tiger Woods, ended a decade of losing to Europe with a 16 1/2 -11 1/2 victory at Valhalla.
The 2010 Ryder Cup will be played at Celtic Manor in Wales. The Americans have not won in Europe since The Belfry in 1993.
Pavin won 15 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, during a career in which his grit, ball control and short game made up for his lack of power off the tee.
He went 8-5-0 in his three Ryder Cup appearances, two of them on winning teams, but has not played since 1995 at Oak Hill. He was an assistant to Tom Lehman in 2006 in Ireland, where Europe won by a record margin for the second straight time.
It makes sense to choose Corey, with his history and everything in the event, Justin Leonard said. I think hell do a great job. As a team, we learned a lot this year that well be able to apply to the Presidents Cup next year and the Ryder Cup in 10.
Only one other U.S. captain has been selected after such a long gap since playing ' Dave Marr in 1981, after last playing in 1965.
The Americans have not had a captain in consecutive Ryder Cups since Ben Hogan in the 1947 and 1949. U.S. players lobbied for Azinger to return the night of their victory at Valhalla, and only recently has he said he might be interested.
It was Azinger who persuaded the PGA to modernize its qualifying process by basing the points strictly off money, emphasizing performance the year of the matches, and doubling his captains picks to four.
I would have liked the opportunity to do it again, Azinger said when contacted Wednesday. But I support their decision to move on.
Pavin likely will face more scrutiny than any other captain since Lanny Wadkins in 1995, when the Americans were coming off consecutive victories. The only other U.S. captain since who tried to defend the cup was Curtis Strange in 2002, but the emphasis that year was on restoring civility to the matches and the one-year postponement brought on by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
PGA of America chief executive Joe Steranka seemed cool to the idea of a repeat captain, saying there were more candidates than Ryder Cups to go around.
Even so, Pavin appeared to be the only logical choice from the PGA model ' a major champion in his late 40s with Ryder Cup experience. Davis Love III, a lock to be captain one year, said in September he still felt he could make the team as a player.
Leonard thought Azinger was at least half-interested in returning, but was not surprised by the decision.
The PGA of America kind of views those Ryder Cup captaincies as a real career achievement, he said. When youve played as many Ryder Cups as guys like Zinger and Corey and you see how important it is to those guys, its natural for them to want to be captain. And the PGA of America realizes that.
They want whats best for the event, he said. At the same time, they want to spread that around.
The 49-year-old Pavin last won in 2006 at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee and thought he might make the Ryder Cup team. Instead, he served as one of the assistants for Tom Lehman as the Americans lost all five sessions for the first time in an 18 1/2 -9 1/2 European victory.
His best performance in the Ryder Cup was his last one, when he went 4-1 in 1995 at Oak Hill. His signature moment came in a fourballs match Saturday afternoon, when he chipped in for birdie on the 18th hole to team with Loren Roberts for a 1-up victory over Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer, giving the Americans a 9-7 lead going into the final day.
Pavin was among only four Americans to win singles matches, however, and Europe rallied for a victory to start a stretch in which it won five of the next six Ryder Cups.

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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.