Fun and games for Verplank at Disney

By Associated PressNovember 7, 2008, 5:00 pm
ChildrenLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. ' Scott Verplank shot his second straight 8-under 64 Friday to take a three-stroke lead in the Childrens Miracle Network Classic at Disney, the final official PGA Tour event of the season.
 
Steve Marino (66) and Troy Matteson (68) were tied for second, but the real drama was at the bottom of the standings.
 
Friday was cut day in the event that ends the race for spots in the top 125 on the final money list, the cutoff for full 2009 PGA Tour.
 
A guy from the PGA just told me Im projected at 125, said Brad Adamonis, who birdied the last hole to finish 1 under but missed the cut. I probably wont look at the standings until the tournament is over. At least thats my plan. Id probably throw up if I did.
 
Whether he comes in at 125 depends on what happens this weekend with the players behind him who made the cut at 5 under.
 
Bob Tway, who played with Verplank and shot a 62 after a first-round 73, made the cut and needs to finish in the top 12 to make the top 125. Tway, ranked 131st, and Verplank combined for 20 birdies on the Palm Course on Friday.
 
Erik Compton, whos had two heart transplants and got a sponsor exemption, shot a 68 and made the cut by two strokes. Hell play in the second round of Q-school next week, only six months after his second transplant.
 
Tway still holds the course record of 61 at the Lake Buena Vista course, where the tournament was formerly held.
 
Verplank, who sank a 60-foot putt on 14 for an eagle 3, has suddenly found his putting stroke and hinted his round could have been better in what he called perfect playing conditions.
 
I stayed out too late at the parks last night with my kids, so I was a little lethargic when we started, said Verplank, who has made a tournament-record 13 straight cuts. My equilibrium was off, and then something happened where I fell into a zone and didnt know where I was.
 
Adamonis played Thursday with his own private gallery ' his parents, wife and aunt and uncle. They groaned when he hit his tee shot into the water on 14 and cheered when he birdied 18.
 
David Adamonis, a Miami-area golf coach who has fought prostate, lymphoma, lung and throat cancer the last three years, toted his sons bag the last two holes.
 
He made mistakes he wouldnt normally make, David Adamonis said. I told him to just play and what happened, happened. Sometimes self-imposed pressure doesnt help.
 
Some of the players who lose their cards will go back to Q-school. Those whove won tournaments, or have some notoriety, such as 2002 PGA Championship winner Rich Beem, likely will rely on sponsorship exemptions.
 
Mike Allen, who has made it through nine Q-schools, shot a 67 to make the cut at 137. He feels confident about his chances, and with the experience of 13 trips to the final round of the Q-school, hes not easily fazed.
 
People say a guy can shoot a 63 without even trying, drinking the whole round, Allen said. Well, lets see him go out and shoot that round when it counts.
 
Allen, whose buddy at Mesa (Ariz.) Country Club placed a sign on his locker proclaiming Allen the Q-school all-time money winner, said he can relax a bit now that he made the cut.
 
Otherwise I was toast, said Allen, 49, who can qualify for the Champions Tour in January. I made the cut, so I have a lot of control over my own destiny right now.
 
Verplank was tied for the two-day tournament record before a bogey on 18. The record of 17 under is held by Chris DiMarco, Carl Petterson and Justin Rose.
 
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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.