Love III looking forward to Reno-Tahoe Open

By Associated PressJuly 31, 2013, 10:16 pm

RENO, Nev. – J.J. Henry knows calculating how far the ball travels at high elevation along the Sierra Nevada was one of the keys to his Reno-Tahoe Open victory last year.

He got a greater appreciation for the altitude when his rental car broke down this week on the narrow, winding mountain highway that travels over an 8,900-foot pass between Lake Tahoe and the Montreux Golf & Country Club.

''Unfortunately, the car clunked out on us right on the side of Mount Rose,'' said Henry, who claimed his second career PGA Tour victory at the 7,472-yard mountain course in the modified Stableford event.

''We could have picked a better place to break down,'' he told reporters. ''It was kind of an adventurous hour and a half on the side of Mount Rose.''

Tournament officials dispatched another car to pick up Henry and his friend near the entrance to the Mount Rose ski resort.

''Nothing like rental car trouble at 8500 ft!'' Henry tweeted his followers complete with a photo of his car and barren ski runs in the background. ''Thanks (at)Reno-Tahoe Open for coming to the rescue.''

Davis Love III, Padraig Harrington, Stuart Appleby, David Toms, Ben Curtis, John Rollins, Rory Sabbatini, Ben Crane, Camilo Villegas, Chad Campbell, Carl Petterson, Rich Beem and Woody Austin are among others playing at Reno while the world's 73 best compete at the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.


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''It's a great golf course,'' Henry said. ''A lot of risk-reward, reachable par 5s, drivable par 4s based on the tees and the wind direction. It's one of the most picturesque and one of the most exciting.''

Exciting because of the scoring format adopted for the first time last year that puts a premium on eagles and birdies and makes a winner out of the man with the most points instead of the fewest strokes. Used for years at the International in Colorado, players are awarded 8 points for double eagle, 5 for eagle, 2 for birdie, 0 for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse.

Love, who is making his Reno debut, won the International in 1990 and 2003 when it was played at Castle Pines outside of Denver. He thinks long hitters will have an advantage this week on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.

''I like playing at altitude and I like Stableford, obviously,'' Love said Wednesday before getting his first look at the course in a practice round.

'' I've had some success at that in the past, so I'm excited about this week,'' said last year's Ryder Cup captain and winner of the 1997 PGA Championship.

Love was on the players' board of directors when the tournament first approached the tour two years ago about the scoring change.

''My first reaction was, 'I want to play.' Obviously you'd rather be at Akron. But this is going to be a fun week for me,'' he said. His daughter told him she might have trouble following the scoreboard.

''Hopefully, I can show her pluses are good and minuses are bad,'' Love said.

Henry said the key is to be aggressive. He had three eagles last year in claiming the $540,000 winner's check.

''All I think about is that a birdie and a bogey is better than two pars,'' he said. ''You can pass 40 guys making an eagle on one hole.''

Love agrees, but warned being too aggressive can prove costly.

''You want to make sure you've got a putt for par and it's not a putt for bogey. You don't want to make 'others,''' he said. But in many cases he said he's more likely to fire at pins from the fairway - ''because a bogey is not going to kill you. Six birdies and six bogeys is better than six pars.''

''That is why I think a lot of the long hitters did well at Castle Pines,'' he said, ''because they make a lot of birdies but they also make a few bogeys so it balances out better for the bombers.''

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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