Garcia chases lead, British Open bid at BMW International Open

By Associated PressJune 25, 2011, 12:50 pm

MUNICH – Sergio Garcia says destiny will determine whether he will play at the British Open next month after edging closer to qualification at the BMW International Open on Saturday.

Victory or second place in Munich would earn Garcia a place at Royal St. George’s. But after finishing his third round just two shots behind English leader Mark Foster thanks to a 64, he believes he would have achieved only half of the job.

The Spaniard insists he will not alter his lifestyle to ensure his presence on the first tee at the British Open.

“Everybody knows that The Open is my favorite event so I would not enjoy missing it,” he said.

“If that is the case, well, it is what it is.

“I’ve said it before. Obviously I’m not going to jump off the roof, and I hope that nothing happens, but I am going to do what I love doing.

“If I’m not meant to play The Open, even if I qualify, then I won’t play, something will happen.

“Even if I stay in bed, something could happen that will make me not play in The Open.

“So I’m a huge believer in that, and I’ve got to do what I love doing and I’ve got to live my life.”

Garcia revealed he was going to play a football game Monday.

“Golf is not the only thing I have in life, and I’m very thankful for that,” he said.

“If I’m meant to get injured, I mean, I’ve injured myself playing golf before. So you can’t control those kind of things.”

Garcia missed an eagle on the 11th, and a bogey on the 17th prevented him from leading going into the final round, but he was nevertheless satisfied.

“It was a huge round for us,” he said. “We knew that we needed to do something important to have a chance of getting to the British Open.

“I’m a little disappointed with the bogey on 17. It looked like a birdie, but unfortunately we made bogey. But other than that, I think it was very nice.”

Foster birdied four of the last seven to establish a two-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard, but he knows he will have to do equally well on Sunday to emerge victorious.

“I know exactly what’s ahead,” he said. “You’re in the lead, you’re two thirds of the way there, but I’ve been on both sides, the ecstasy of winning and the horrible feeling when it goes wrong and you’re flying home.

“I know I’ve got to shoot a positive score tomorrow.

“If I shoot anything around par, I won’t win the tournament. That speaks for itself.”

Lee Slattery (66) could have tied for second with Garcia, Robert Coles (65), George Coetzee (70), Retief Goosen (67) and Pablo Larrazabal (69) had he not temporarily forgotten that the preferred lies rule had been lifted.

“I hit a nice 4-iron off the 16th tee, just laying it up, and stuck my tee in the ground and my caddie shouted ‘No!’ and as he shouted, I was picking the ball up,” he explained.

Nevertheless, the Englishman made amends.

“It was a little bit unfortunate, but I chipped in straight after it,” he reported.

“So, you know, it wasn’t that bad in the end.”

Matteo Manassero is not out of the running either after a 66 left him on 10 under.

“Obviously I need to make another round like this, like I had today, and hope,” said the Italian.

“But I’m very happy about this round, and if I’ll be able to shoot another one like this, it will be great.”

Meanwhile, a nine on the 11th after finding water saw the joint overnight leader Henrik Stenson fall out of contention, but he recovered with three birdies to the 18th, leaving him on 9 under, while a level-par round of 72 left home favorite Martin Kaymer eight strokes adrift of the lead.

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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.