Lefty Satisfied With New PGA Tour Schedule

By Associated PressJanuary 24, 2006, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)The shorter PGA Tour season that starts next year is not exactly what Phil Mickelson had in mind, but he said Tuesday it likely would bring together the top players more often.
 
Mickelson recently suggested mandatory attendance for the stars at 20 tournaments each year.
 
The 2007 schedule, built around a points race called the FedEx Cup, will stack three 'Championship Series' events at the end of the year, followed by a Tour Championship in September.
 
'We're going to play together more often - not every tournament, though,' Mickelson said at the Buick Invitational. 'We'll have probably three or four more tournaments ... where the top guys will all play. But wouldn't it be great if we had 20 events where everybody played together? It would be cool.'
 
Still, the Masters and PGA champion had few complaints.
 
He has been criticized in recent years for ending his season early, saying in 2004 that he had a tough time getting motivated after the majors were over. Late last year, he skipped the season-ending Tour Championship, and then skipped the season-opening Mercedes Championships earlier this month.
 
Mickelson said he would play next year all the way through the Tour Championship.
 
'The big thing for me is that I need an end point,' Mickelson said. 'I can go at it hard, with the idea that once you go to this point, you can take some time off. What I like now is there's an end point, as opposed to dragging on for 12 months and never having the point where you relax and say, 'OK, we're done for a while.''
 
Mickelson said he had no discussions about a shorter season with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, saying he was approached with the idea at the Ryder Cup in 2004.
 
That was OK with him, too.
 
'I don't think players should be involved in the tour,' Mickelson said. 'I don't think we should have any say. I think it should be just like it happened. I think the commissioner should run the tour just like he did.'
 
Several players in Hawaii said they felt left out of the loop during the decision to have a shorter season, and the tour's negotiations for a TV contract that left out ABC and ESPN, and provided a 15-year deal with The Golf Channel.
 
Mickelson was reminded that the PGA Tour was created in 1969 when players, led by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, broke away from the PGA of America because they had so little input on tournament affairs.
 
Mickelson compared such anarchy to Champions Golf Club in Houston, which is run by Jack Burke Jr.
 
'It's one of the greatest clubs because Jackie Burke has a vision and he makes all of the decisions, and the club stays consistent with that thought process,' he said. 'I think it's a great way to run a golf club, and it would be a great way to run the tour.'
 
Mickelson tied for fifth last week in the Bob Hope Classic, the start of a year in which he will play six of the first seven tournaments through the Ford Championship at Doral.
 
Tiger Woods makes his 2006 debut this week at Torrey Pines, where he is defending champion, but the top five players in the world will not be at the same event until the Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa the last week in February.
 
'I just wish we would play against each other more often,' Mickelson said. 'I think the new schedule in '07 does that. Not as much as I would like, but it does it more.'
 
Mickelson's idea of the top players in 20 events a year was reminiscent of Greg Norman's plan for a world tour in 1994, when the Shark proposed a series of tournaments for the top 30 or 40 in the world.
 
That plan gave way to what is now the World Golf Championships, run by the tour.
 
'He's a brilliant individual and he's one of the guys that I respect the most, because of a lot of the decisions and ideas he has,' Mickelson said of Norman. 'I know that we somewhat stole the idea to make the World Golf Championships. So there you go. It must have been a pretty good idea.'
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry