Gainey, Quinney co-lead Wyndham; Ernie looking for magic

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2011, 11:27 pm

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Jeff Quinney and Tommy Gainey shot rounds of 7-under par 63 on Thursday to share the lead after the first day of the Wyndham Championship.

Quinney had eight birdies, including five in a row early in his round, to start strong in his last chance to qualify for golf’s postseason.

Gainey had five birdies and an eagle in matching his career-best round. Both players are chasing their first PGA Tour victory.

Stuart Appleby had a 64. Ten players – Paul Casey, Carl Pettersson, Ernie Els, Jason Bohn, Jimmy Walker, Tim Herron, Lee Janzen, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh and George McNeill – shot 65s during another low-scoring day at Sedgefield Country Club.

Once again, the prevailing storyline was the list of players who came in search of a push into the playoffs. The Wyndham annually marks the final chance to crack the top 125 on the points list and qualify for the postseason, which starts next week in New Jersey.

Els, who arrived at No. 126, was part of a morning threesome of bubble players that also included No. 124 Cameron Beckman and No. 125 Camilo Villegas.

“I said to the guys, ‘My playoffs started this week. If I don’t play well this week, I’m not advancing,”’ Els said. “Most of the other guys have four playoff events. I have five. I feel like I need to do well (to go to) The Barclays and keep going. It’s hard not to think about it. There’s quite a bit of pressure on us guys lower down the field. We need to perform well.”

Els comes to Greensboro off a missed cut at the PGA Championship last week. His best finish of the year was a T-15 in March at the WGC-CA Championship. Once a mainstay in the discussion of world’s best, he’s now fighting other notables and no-names for a shot at the playoffs.

Co-leader Quinney arrived in 215th place in the FedEx Cup standings. A win – and the 500 points that accompany it – would put him in The Barclays.

“The only chance I get in the playoffs is probably winning this week, and coming with the attitude of ‘all-in,”’ Quinney said. “Basically, just push all your chips in, and this is what I got.”

A year ago, a close-but-not-enough finish on this course left Quinney outside the playoff field. He wound up in 126th place, falling short of the postseason by three points.

He spent most of the first day of his return to the par-70 Sedgefield layout near the top of the leaderboard after his early flurry of birdies.

Starting on the back nine, Quinney birdied Nos. 12-16 to move to 5 under. After a bogey on No. 18, he added three more birdies on his final nine holes and closed by sticking his 140-yard approach shot within 3 feet and sinking that putt for his eighth birdie.

“It’s my last chance, and don’t hold back, try to get out of my own way,” Quinney said.

Quinney, who has conditional status on the Tour, is playing just his 11th tournament of the year.

“Once you do get in, you put a little pressure on yourself,” Quinney said. “It’s been frustrating. This is my first year I’ve been non-exempt for five years, and so I think you just expect it to be somewhere else, and it’s a struggle mentally to fight that. I still got the game. I just need the opportunities and not to get in your own way and try to force things.”

Gainey caught him during the afternoon, with four birdies and the eagle coming during the South Carolina native’s front nine. He moved to 7 under with a birdie on the par-4 13th, but ran into trouble on No. 15 when he sent his tee shot into a creek and closed his round with five pars.

“I hit it terrible off the tee, hit my irons really good, made a lot of putts, but I left quite a few shots out there, so I’ve got to definitely work on the tee ball here, because it’s starting to really frustrate me,” Gainey said. “Any time you play and shoot 63 … when you have no blemishes on a golf course like this – or any golf course, for that matter – it’s a good day.”

Gainey – who’s at No. 40 on the points list – is safely in the playoff field.

Fabian Gomez delivered the shot of the day – a double eagle on the par-5 No. 15. His 5-wood shot from 250 yards out went into the hole on the fly for the Tour’s third albatross of the year.

And Furyk had two eagles in a span of four holes, his second multi-eagle round this year.

Indeed, low scores once again were the norm at the Donald Ross-designed course. Since the tournament moved back here in 2008, two of the three winners have finished at 20 under or better.

“My caddie said 5 under every day is sort of the goal,” Casey said.

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.