Beem in Australia to Unwind

By Associated PressDecember 10, 2003, 5:00 pm
COOLUM, Australia -- As much as Rich Beem didn't want his life to change after winning the PGA Championship in 2002, he knew it would. Just how much wasn't apparent until the golf season ended in the United States.
'This year has been such a grind,' Beem said Wednesday on the eve of the Australian PGA championship. 'Demands on your time, the expectations of other people, including myself, all greatly different from years past.'
Beem decided several months ago to head to Australia when the U.S. season ended for two Australasian tour events. Last week's first effort at the Australian Masters at Huntingdale in Melbourne ended early when he missed the cut, thanks to a wayward driver.
This week, about 1,200 miles further north in subtropical Queensland state, he's enjoying the weather and atmosphere around the Hyatt Regency resort course.
'Reminds me of Hawaii because of all the palm trees,' said Beem.
'I wanted to come to Australia and play some of the offseason events because they're fun and relaxing. I was kind of hoping it might put me in a good frame of mind for next year.'
Whatever happens next year, it should be better than 2003, at least in Beam's estimation. He picked up $2.9 million in 2002 while winning the PGA, the first major for the journeyman pro who quit golf for three years in 1995 and once sold cellular phones in Seattle, Washington.
This year, he won just over $1 million and finished 71st on the money list, with his best finish a second to Tiger Woods in the Western Open. He finished in the money in 19 of 30 tournaments and in the top 10 on five occasions.
A struggling kind of year, not surprising considering what he was going through.
'It's a totally different experience once you win a major championship,' said Beem. 'As much as I didn't want my life to change, it had to. By the end of the year, you just wonder if it's ever going to end.
'I probably spent more time on my game last year than I ever had in my life. It just got to be the point where I would eat, sleep and breathe golf. You'd wake up in the middle of the night and all of a sudden you are just thinking about a golf course, or about your swing. It's just way too much.'
He's hoping the relaxed atmosphere in Australia will be good therapy.
'This week has really done wonders for me, regardless of how I play,' he said. 'I feel much more relaxed on the golf course than I have in an awful long time. Hopefully I can get out there this week and freewheel it a bit.'
That wasn't the case last week at Huntingdale.
'I put myself in some spots with the driver that I really couldn't recover from,' said Beem. 'I didn't take advantage of any of the par-5s.'
This week, recent rain has softened the par-72 course and Beem figures 20 under could be the figure needed to win. The field includes Greg Norman, Australians Adam Scott, defending co-champions Jarrod Moseley and Peter Lonard and fellow American Chip Beck.
'I'm in my element here,' said Beem. 'I'm looking forward to putting myself in a position to win, which I didn't do last week.'
If not, so be it, says Beem.
'Unfortunately my game is still such that it leads itself to error every now and again,' he said. 'Am I disappointed? Absolutely. But that's just the way it goes.
'I know in my heart I'm a good player. Just because my performances don't say that, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.

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Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

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Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

“I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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“I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

“This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.