Langer needs Harding Park win to win Schwab Cup

By Associated PressOctober 30, 2013, 11:04 pm

SAN FRANCISCO – Bernhard Langer knows what he needs to do at TPC Harding Park to win the Charles Schwab Cup season points title and $1 million annuity.

And it isn't going to be easy.

Kenny Perry enters the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship with a 612-point lead over Langer.

Langer, who lost to Perry in a playoff Sunday in San Antonio in the AT&T Championship, not only needs the 880 points that go to the tournament winner, he needs Perry to finish sixth or worse.

Langer said he would focus on his game and not worry about anything else. It's hard enough, he says, to think through his own approach.

''It's exciting to come into this event having an opportunity, slim as it might be, to win the Charles Schwab Cup,'' Langer said. ''It's a yearlong competition and it just proves you've had a great year, first of all by being here in the top 30.''

Langer has been one of the most consistent players on the tour this season, winning two titles and holding the lead at some point in eight others.

Perry has won three events, and held the lead at some point in three others.

''I can't control what other people do, I can only play the best I can,'' Langer said. ''That's my goal - play as good as Bernhard Langer can play each and every shot.''

Langer remains optimistic because of the success he has enjoyed thus far.

''I started off better than any other year,'' he said. ''I continued to play great golf through the whole year. I never really had a low point. I've been in contention probably more than ever and had opportunities to win maybe win five, six, seven times this season. It's been an interesting year.''

The 56-year-old German won the Masters in 1985 and 1993 and became golf's first official No. 1 ranked player when the system was devised in 1986. Langer has 18 career Champions Tour titles and 82 top-10 finishes in 124 career starts.

''Whether I am better now than I was, I really don't know,'' Langer said. ''I just know I've had a lot of solid years and had a lot of fun out here.''

Perry won 14 PGA Tour title and has five Champions Tour victories, including two majors this season.

''It's been a great summer to win the two majors and finally break through on that deal,'' Perry said. ''Now I'm trying to win this thing. To me it would be the ultimate accomplishment to win the Charles Schwab Cup, the season-ending trophy we all shoot for come January.''

According to Perry, he has 28 other blockers. Should he finish out of the top five, having someone other than Langer win means the trophy belongs to him.

''I've got a lot of things going my way,'' Perry said. ''If I get another player to get hot and win the tournament, then they win the Cup for as well. I'll be looking and paying attention but I also need to step my game up too and I need to figure out a way to the top five this week.''

Australian Steve Elkington, who won the 1995 PGA Championship, was the final qualifier from the money list, finishing 30th with $501,332.

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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.