Defending champ McNulty tied for lead

By Associated PressAugust 14, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Jeld-Wen TraditionSUNRIVER, Ore. ' Mark McNulty has a simple explanation for his recent success at the JELD-WEN Tradition. He loves the Crosswater Course.
 
I stand on the first tee and I just feel comfortable, the defending champion said Thursday after firing a 5-under 67 for a share of the first-round lead at the fourth of the Champions Tours five majors. Everybody has golf courses where you just look down there and you cant see anything. The comfort zone is the most important thing.
 
Craig Stadler, Gene Jones, Mark Wiebe, Tim Simpson, Jay Haas and David Eger joined McNulty at top of the leaderboard. The seven-man logjam matched the 1989 GTE North Classic for the biggest tie after 18 holes in Champions Tour history.
 
Taking advantage of calm and clear conditions to attack the fairways and pins, 15 players finished within a shot of the lead and 46 of the 68 players were even par or better on the Crosswater Course ' the tours longest at 7,533 yards.
 
The 54-year-old McNulty, from Zimbabwe, has three top-five finishes this year and hasnt missed a cut. He blistered the course with a 16-under 272 last year in the events first year at Crosswater. In five rounds, he has shot 66, 68, 68, 70 and 67.
 
I played nice and steady and had a good front nine to start, McNulty said. Thats what you want when you come back to defend a title.
 
Wiebe played well after poor results in the Senior British Open, where he finished at 7 over, and the Senior U.S. Open, where he missed the cut. Wiebe, born in Seaside, Ore., birdied five holes on the front nine, including four in a row.
 
Stadler birdied five holes on the back nine and could have held the lead outright, but he double-bogeyed the 456-yard, par-4 18th.
 
I looked at the turn and saw Stads was at 7 under, said Haas, who birdied five of the first 12 holes and just missed birdie putts at 15 and 17. Then I didnt see a board again until 15 and I saw the lead was five. I thought they just hadnt updated that board yet.
 
Tournament host Peter Jacobsen withdrew from the field before teeing off because of a hip injury. The Portland native also has battled knee and back injuries and has withdrawn from the tournament in each of his last three years.
 
DIVOTS
 
Former Ryder Cup player Des Smyth found out Thursday that 24-year-old son Gregory won the Irish National Lottery, worth about $14 million. Smyth shot a 71. Its all very surreal, Des Smyth said. Being so far away from things, its hard to grasp. We got a call in the hotel at 6:20 a.m. this morning. Usually when you get a call that early, its not good but he assured us right at the start that it was good news he was about to tell us. I played today but honestly cant remember a single shot I hit. I was thinking about him all day. Hell be well advised for sure. I just hope he takes it. Charles Schwab Cup points leader Bernhard Langer birdied the final four holes and was among the eight players one shot off the lead at 4 under.
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    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

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    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.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    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."

    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.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry