Knost in US Amateur Finale

By Associated PressAugust 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
US Amateur 2007 ERMA, N.J. -- Ever since Colt Knost started to take golf seriously seven years ago, he's been focused on someday making a living at the sport he loves.
 
The stocky 22-year-old might want to wait a few months before he starts cashing those oversized paychecks. He'll have some remarkable opportunities next year after an outstanding summer as an amateur.
 
Knost is one step from completing a rare amateur double after beating Jhonattan Vegas 4 and 3 Saturday to advance to the finals of the U.S. Amateur Championship at The Olympic Club. He'll face Michael Thompson of the University of Alabama, who beat Casey Clendenon 3 and 2, in Sunday's 36-hole final round.
 
With yet another day of steady play on the historic course just south of San Francisco, Knost is in position to be just the second player to follow a U.S. Public Links title with an Amateur championship in the same year. Ryan Moore, now a top-60 player on the PGA TOUR, won the Amateur and the Publinx in 2004.
 
'That'd be great,' said Knost, who played at Southern Methodist. 'I'd like to hold one (trophy) in each hand. ... I've thought about it. People tell me all the time how Ryan Moore is the only guy that's done it in the same year. He's a great player, and I'd love to be up there with him.'
 
Both players earned spots in next year's Masters and U.S. Open fields with their semifinal victories -- and Knost already was bound for Augusta after winning the Publinx.
 
But all this amateur success has complicated Knost's previous plans to turn pro after playing in the Walker Cup next month in Northern Ireland. Knost couldn't accept his automatic bids to the two majors if he turns pro beforehand, and no Amateur finalist has turned down a trip to the Masters in 15 years.
 
It's a wonderful dilemma for the personable Texan. Though Knost said he'll find it difficult to pass on the Masters, he can't imagine staying in the amateur ranks until the U.S. Open.
 
'I don't think I can delay turning pro any longer,' Knost said. 'I need some money. I need a job. I love golf more than anything. This is what I want to do. This is all I want to do.'
 
Knost lost the first two holes against his Venezuelan opponent but didn't lose another, closing out the match with wins on four straight. Vegas, whose power off the tee impressed every opponent during the week, was all square with Knost until his tee shot on the 12th strayed into the right-side rough.
 
He bogeyed the hole, and Knost followed with a par and two birdies to close out the match.
 
'I knew he hits it a long way, and he's not the most accurate driver,' Knost said. 'I knew he probably wouldn't go the whole day without missing a fairway.'
 
Thompson, a second-team All-American at Alabama last season, led from the opening hole in his match against Clendenon. The Arizona native was the only semifinalist to finish the front nine under par, and he closed with five straight pars as Clendenon ran out of time to catch up on the 16th.
 
While Knost weighs the perks of turning pro, Thompson hopes his strong play in the Bay Area will propel him onto the Walker Cup team alongside Knost. He's among the top candidates for the final two spots on the squad.
 
'There's no doubt in my mind that I should play in the Walker Cup,' Thompson said. 'Colt came up to me this morning and told me, 'Go get 'em, you deserve to be on that team with us.' That was real nice to hear before the round that all those guys were convinced I could play with them. Hopefully I'll get a call sometime soon.'
 
Thompson and Knost have played several rounds together during the summer, so their final will be a friendly rivalry -- particularly because they could be teammates in two weeks.
 
'I love classic courses like this,' Thompson said. 'It's a true test of the game, and those kinds of courses, that's the way the great players in the '40s, '50s, '60s played it. They're still tough today. I don't really appreciate the newer courses as much.'
 
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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.”

    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.

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    Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.


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    Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

    Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

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    Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

    “I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.


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    “I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

    Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

    “This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

    Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009. 

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    Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

    John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

    The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

    That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

    He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.