DeChambeau tied for the lead in Puerto Rico

By Associated PressMarch 25, 2017, 12:18 am

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico - Former U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau ran off four straight birdies in a stop-and-start round Friday and finished with a 7-under 65 to share the lead with D.A. Points in the rain-delayed Puerto Rico Open.

Points hit all 18 greens in regulation at Coco Beach Golf and Country Club, though he didn't have as many reasonable looks at birdie as he would have liked. Points also had a three-putt bogey to go with four birdies in his round of 69.

They were at 11-under 133 when the second round was suspended by darkness.

Heavy rain kept the opening round from finishing, and there was another two-hour rain delay on Friday.

Bill Lunde, the former Las Vegas winner who is playing his first PGA Tour event in five months, was at 11 under with three holes to play.

DeChambeau has shown spells of good golf since turning pro, starting with a tie for fourth at Hilton Head in his pro debut. He earned his PGA Tour card last year and has struggled at time, including a dispute with the USGA that disallowed his side-saddle manner of putting.

After making only one cut in his last seven tournaments, he tied for 27th two weeks ago in the Valspar Championship and thought that could have been better.


Puerto Rico Open: Articles, photos and videos


''A couple of weeks ago at Innisbrook I three-putted a couple times - six times, in fact - and just cut the momentum out of me and that was kind of a disappointment. I never really got a low round there and I could have pretty easily. So I took the three-putts out this week.''

Tim' Wilkinson shot a 63 and was in the group at 10-under 134 that included J.J. Henry, San Juan native Rafael Campos and J.J. Spaun, a PGA Tour rookie who had a pair of top 10s during the West Coast Swing.

When play was suspended, there were 80 players at 3 under, meaning the cut was likely to be no worse than 3-under 141. Among those likely to miss the cut were Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, who is running out of time to keep full status under his major medical extension from a foot injury last year.

He has five starts remaining to earn 117 FedEx Cup points or $177,729.

Points is a two-time PGA Tour winner, most recently at the Houston Open in 2013, who has a low priority ranking and had a tough time getting into tournaments after the first month of the year.

The Puerto Rico Open is opposite the World Golf Championships event in Texas, meaning it gets reduced FedEx Cup points and the winner is not automatically invited to the Masters. But it still comes with an exemption, and other perks like the PGA Championship and The Players Championship.

That would mean plenty to Points and other players in the field. Lunde is playing out of the past champion's status.

Points ended the opening round by holing a 9-iron from the fairway. On Friday, his 40-foot birdie putt on the opening hole hit the middle of the cup and came back out

''All the guys in the group just kind of laughed at me,'' Points said. ''They were like, 'That hole knew you holed out yesterday to finish the round.' That was kind of how the day started. But I stayed patient and really didn't play poorly, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens and then finally holed a couple putts coming in.''

Wesley Bryan was at 6 under with three holes remaining. He has to win this week to have any chance of moving into the top 50 and earn a spot in the Masters.

Another former U.S. Amateur champion, Peter Uihlein, was at 8 under through 13 holes. Uihlein primary plays on the European Tour and received a sponsor's exemption.

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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.