Dufner takes 2 shot lead into Sunday at Zurich; Els tied for third

By Associated PressApril 28, 2012, 10:37 pm

AVONDALE, La. – Jason Dufner got through Saturday without any of the problems that have marked his past weekend struggles. He knows Sunday will be a much bigger challenge.

Winless in 163 starts on the PGA Tour, Dufner shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead over Graham Delaet after the third round of the Zurich Classic.

''For me, it means instead of two good rounds I've had three good rounds, so maybe we can make it four, starting tomorrow,'' Dufner said. ''I don't really think about all that type of stuff. Obviously, I know that I hadn't played as well as I would like on the weekends, try to identify some of the reasons why and try to implement some of those tomorrow.''

Dufner birdied three of the first four holes to get to 15 under, holing 50-foot putt on the par-4 fourth and a 25-footer on the par-4 fifth.

''That's probably a huge key to today,'' Dufner said about his good start. ''Maybe a couple of bogeys to start the round or even par through same holes maybe I start doubting myself again.

''Be nice to kind of start that way again, get you a little bit more comfortable, know that you're going to have a chance to shoot a score under par and not be struggling or fighting it for the day.''

After dropping a stroke on the par-4 sixth, he birdied the par-5 seventh and got to 17 under with birdies on the par-4 15th and par-5 18th. He has played the 18th in 4 under in three days.

''It's not a golf course I'm absolutely am in Love with, but my results I'm in love with here,'' Dufner said about the Pete Dye layout. ''There's some holes that don't look too well to me, but I played really well.''

Dufner lost playoffs last year to Mark Wilson in the Phoenix Open and Keegan Bradley in the PGA Championship for two of his three career runner-up finishes.

''Right now a win would be great,'' Dufner said. ''Obviously, I've been be knocking on the door with a lot of solid rounds, lot of solid play last year at the end of the year, but I take pride in being consistent with my game. I don't shoot too many high numbers. I don't feel like I'm very far away from playing well each week.''

DeLaet, from Canada, shot a 66. He birdied three of the final six holes.

''Really felt I was in great control of my irons today,'' said DeLaet, whose best career finish is a tie for third in the 2010 Houston Open. ''It's exciting. It's the first time I've been in this position this deep into a tournament. I understand what's on the table.''

Ernie Els and John Rollins were 14 under. Els shot a 68, and Rollins had a 69.

''I feel like it's coming around,'' Els said. ''I feel I'm not too far back. The guys have been scoring well and I think you're going to have to play really well to have the scores we've been playing.''

The Southern African known as The Big Easy is comfortable in the city that shares the moniker.

''My kind of town,'' Els said. ''People like to have a good time.''

Rollins credited a new philosophy of not looking at the leaderboard for his success.

''I've just been out there playing golf and not really worrying about it,'' said Rollins, who has broken par in 15 of 19 career rounds at TPC Louisiana. ''I've never known where I stood in the golf tournament until I'm actually finished. It's been fun.''

Ryan Palmer tied the course record with a 64 to join Steve Stricker and Cameron Tringale at 13 under. Tringale had a 68, and Stricker a 69.

Second-ranked Luke Donald was 12 under after a 66. He needs to finish at least solo seventh to regain the top spot from Rory McIlroy.

Defending champion Bubba Watson, playing in his first tournament since winning the Masters, was 9 under after a 65. He opened with consecutive 71s to make the cut by a stroke.

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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

Photo by Enrique Berardi/LAAC

Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile

By Nick MentaJanuary 21, 2018, 8:44 pm

Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.

The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from what would be a return trip to Augusta National but his first Masters.

"The truth is that I crossed off on my bucket list playing Augusta [National], because I happened to play there," Rivarola said. "I've played every year with my university. But playing in the Masters is a completely different thing. I have been to the Masters, and I've watched the players play during the practice rounds. But [competing would be] a completely different thing."

He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).


Click here for full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship


Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Web.com Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.

“Today, I had a completely different mentality, and that's usually what happens in my case," Niemann said. "When I shoot a bad round, the following day I have extra motivation. I realize and I feel that I have to play my best golf. The key to being a good golfer is to find those thoughts and to transfer them into good golf."

Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.

Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Web.com Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.

Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.

The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.