Furyk eyes third Canadian title Weir eyes first

By Associated PressJuly 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
RBC Canadian OpenOAKVILLE, Canada ' Jim Furyk has his sights set high at rain-soaked Glen Abbey in his bid for a third consecutive Canadian Open title.
 
Coming off a fifth-place tie in the bump-and-run British Open at windswept Royal Birkdale, Furyk has adjusted his ball flight skyward to take advantage of the soft conditions on the course saturated by nearly 8 inches of rain in five days.
 
This is definitely a golf course where you want to bring the ball in high into a lot of these greens, coming off a week where I didnt hit it higher than about head high for four days, Furyk said. So its different, but I just want to slowly get my feel and my rhythm back and get the ball in the air.
 
Stephen Ames also is looking up after tying for seventh at Royal Birkdale.
 
Ive gone from a 10-foot high ball flight to a 120-foot high ball flight, said Ames, a naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad & Tobago.
 
At No. 10 in the world ranking, Furyk is the top player in the championship hampered by a difficult schedule spot after the British Open and before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship. While Furyk plans to play all four events, Canadian star Mike Weir is skipping the WGC event next week at Firestone to give himself a break before the PGA Championship.
 
Weir is back at Glen Abbey for the first time since a playoff loss to Vijay Singh in 2004. The 2003 Masters champion is making his 18th appearance in the tournament. He missed the cut in his first nine starts ' eight at Glen Abbey and one at Royal Montreal ' and failed to advance to weekend play in 2005 and 2006.
 
I finally played the golf course well, Weir said. I never played very well here at all and I finally figured out a way to score around here. I do feel more comfortable around this golf course than in years past. When I first started playing here I wasnt very good. I was struggling on the Canadian Tour.
 
Weir, Ames and the 17 other Canadians in the field are trying to become the first home winner since Pat Fletcher in 1954.
 
The player who does the best this week and wins is going to be driving it in the fairway, because the rough is thick and, with it being wet, youre not going to bounce it very far, Weir said. So the key is to keep that ball in the fairway.
 
Furyk won in 2006 at Hamilton and successfully defended his title last year at Angus Glen for the last of his 13 PGA Tour titles.
 
Its interesting coming back to an event where youve won and its on a different golf course, Furyk said. You lose the warm, fuzzy feeling.
 
Furyks left wrist was taped Wednesday as a precaution. He had arthroscopic surgery on the wrist in 2004 to repair cartilage damage.
 
My wrist was just a little sore yesterday, Furyk said. Why? I dont know whether it was from the hard ground last week or the flight coming back. Sometimes you get some inflammation and such. Its an old injury.
 
It was real tender yesterday and bothering me, so I decided not to push it and kind of take the day off, just kind of chipped and putted a little. It felt great today. It didnt bother me a bit.
 
DIVOTS: Weir won the Frys Electronics Open in October for his first victory since the 2004 Nissan Open. He has eight PGA Tour victories, matching the late George Knudson for the most by a Canadian. Anthony Kim, a two-time winner this season, also is the field along with Retief Goosen, Fred Couples, Camilo Villegas and Richard S. Johnson, the Swede who won the U.S. Bank Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title. The tournament will return to Jack Nicklaus-designed Glen Abbey in 2009. The 2010 event is set for St. Georges in Toronto.
 
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.