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Lindheim wins Web.com playoff to regain Tour card

By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2017, 9:40 pm

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Nicholas Lindheim made a downhill, 35-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole after bogeying the final two holes in regulation and won the DAP Championship on Sunday to regain his PGA Tour card.

Lindheim, who lost in a playoff in this Web.com Tour Finals event last year, hit every green in regulation on the front nine and held the lead from the third hole on. But he missed his tee shot well left on the par-4 18th at Canterbury Golf Club, punched out and failed to get up and down. He shot a 1-over 71 to join Rob Oppenheim (67) and Chesson Hadley (69) in the playoff.

Given a fresh start, the 32-year-old self-taught player quickly capitalized.

''I think last year I was just content being in the playoff,'' Lindheim said. ''It was destiny. That's all I can say.''

The event was the third of four tournaments that determine 25 PGA Tour cards. The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings and non-members with enough money to place in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup had they been eligible.

The good news for Lindheim was that merely getting into the playoff was enough to earn his PGA Tour card after he finished 197th in the FedEx Cup in his rookie season.


Full-field scores from the DAP Championship


''Winning on this golf course proves to me that I have what it takes to play some very good golf courses. I didn't really prove that this year,'' Lindheim said. ''I got my butt beat in pretty hard, but I hope that I can feed off of this and know that I can play championship-venue golf.''

Hadley, who won last week in Boise, Idaho, took a commanding lead atop the combined money list from the Web.com Tour regular season and Finals, earning fully exempt status on the PGA Tour and a spot in the Players Championship. He has won $295,000 in the three Finals events and leads Peter Uihlein by $109,000, and he's guaranteed to win at least one of the two money lists.

''That's awesome. That's huge,'' Hadley said. ''I'm fully exempt out there, and it allows me to take weeks off.''

Oppenheim also got his card back after finishing just outside the top 25 on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list.

As usual, much of the drama came further down the leaderboard as players scrambled to secure their cards.

The other players to guarantee themselves PGA Tour privileges were Keith Mitchell, Troy Merritt, Martin Piller, Corey Conners, Brett Stegmaier, Denny McCarthy, Bronson Burgoon and Joel Dahmen. Mitchell finished 26th on the regular season money list and missed his card by one shot.

''I know we've got one more tournament, but it's such a weight off my shoulders going into that week and the rest of the year,'' Mitchell said.

Zac Blair, who finished 126th in the FedEx Cup and came within one stroke of retaining his PGA Tour card, is on the bubble again. He bogeyed the 17th hole to shoot 71 and heads into next week's Web.com Tour Championship at 26th on the Finals list.

Knowing what was at stake, Steve Wheatcroft kicked his golf bag in anger after a poor shot from a fairway bunker on 18. He ended up saving par to shoot 70 and is 23rd in the standings.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.