Frost outlasts Couples to take Regions Tradition

By Associated PressJune 9, 2013, 9:10 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – David Frost parred the final two holes to hold on for a one-stroke victory over Fred Couples on Sunday in the Regions Tradition, the South African's first Champions Tour major title.

Both birdied No. 16 after play resumed with the sun shining after a delay of 1 hour, 8 minutes for lightning in a round played at times in a driving rain.

Frost didn't flinch in the showdown with the Presidents Cup captain and World Golf Hall of Famer. Both shot 4-under 68, and Frost finished at 16-under 272.

It was his second victory of the season and fifth career victory on the 50-and-over tour. He was making his 17th major start on the tour.

The two bumped fists coming up on 18 in what had ultimately turned into a two-man duel.

Also the Toshiba Classic winner in March in California, Frost hit his approach shot to 10 feet of the closing hole and two-putted to match Couples' par.

Couples had sent his approach into the bunker at right and his potential birdie putt went just to the left.

The next round of heavy rain started within a couple of minutes of the end of the round, which opened in the morning with a two-tee start.

John Cook and Esteban Toledo finished three strokes back, while Michael Allen, Russ Cochran and Duffy Waldorf were 12 under.

Cook closed with a 66. Toledo had a 67.

Couples was seeking a second straight win in a major. He sat out the Senior PGA Championship three weeks ago but won the Senior British Open Championship in 2012.

Frost, who won the Toshiba Classic in March, had come close in a major before but this time managed to nurse his one-stroke lead through the final round. He lost to Tom Lehman in a three-way playoff at the 2010 Senior PGA Championship.

Frost's only bogey came on No. 14 while Couples got his 68 with six birdies and two bogeys.

Couples, who had a 3-footer for birdie on No. 15, left the next hole with a grin after matching Frost's birdie.

His expression turned to a wince when his second shot on No. 17 went far to the right, landing down a steep slope from the green next to the grandstands.

He two-putted for his fourth straight par on the hole and couldn't make up that stroke.

Cook had beaten Frost in a playoff at the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii, and made a final-round run at Shoal Creek.

Cook birdied five of the first eight holes and finished his round a couple of minutes before the weather delay.

''We were running all day trying to outrun it,'' Cook said. ''I guess this is the very definition of scattered thunderstorms. They were all over the place.''

Langer, the points leader, closed with a 63 to tie the course record with Gary Player from the 1984 PGA Championship. Langer had 10 birdies and finished at 10 under.

''If I had made some putts earlier in the week,'' he said, ''it would have been pretty nice.''

Two-time defending champion Tom Lehman tied for 22nd at 6 under.

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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.