Mediate opens Sr. PGA with record-tying 62

By Associated PressMay 27, 2016, 1:36 am

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Rocco Mediate played the first 13 holes in 9 under and closed with five pars for a 62 to match the Senior PGA Championship and Harbor Shore records Thursday.

Taking advantage of greens softened by overnight rain, Mediate matched the marks set by Kenny Perry in the 2012 final round.

''It wasn't wet, as far as soaking wet. A couple wet spots. But it was fine,'' Mediate said. ''Greens were good. Soft. They received pretty good. ... I know it rained like heck last night. I heard it last night. But the golf course was fine. Greens were good. Everything was good. A little softer.''

The 53-year-old Mediate capped a front-nine 29 with an eagle on the par-5 ninth and added birdies on the par-3 11th and 13th holes at Jack Nicklaus-designed Harbor Shores.

''Solid stuff,'' Mediate said. ''A lot of fairways. A bunch of greens. When I missed it was in the right spot. ... I hit it close, so I had a lot of short putts for birdie. I didn't really make a long one. It was one of those days. I just drove it really well. I hit a lot of solid irons.''

Mediate has two victories on the 50-and-over tour after winning six times on the PGA Tour.

''Stuff I'm working on is coming around,'' Mediate said. ''I'm just trying to get back to what I used to do and that's hit the ball in the middle of the face most of the time. It's been a few years since that's happened. So it was a lot of fun. A lot of fun.''

Gene Sauers had a bogey-free 63.

''I like being up early in the morning. It was nice,'' Sauers said. ''You get fresh greens and I hit the ball really solid. Just tried to concentrate on just where I wanted to place the ball and just not have too many long putts, because you can get some really pressure putts out here.''

Mike Goodes shot 64, and Kenny Perry, Kirk Triplett and club pro John DalCorobbo were another stroke back. Perry played alongside Mediate and two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie, who had two late bogeys in a 67.

''We were all feeding off each other,'' Perry said. ''Rocco shot 29 on the front nine and drug us all along in there. He hit it close and made a lot of putts. It kind of set the tone for the whole group.

''The whole group played nice until the last couple holes, I don't know if we got tired or what, but they're hard holes, 16, 17 and 18 are tough holes. I bogeyed 17 and I think Colin bogeyed 16 and 17. But Rocco parred them all. So he had an amazing round.''

Bernhard Langer, fresh off the 100th victory of his career - at a major, no less, at the Regions Tradition in Alabama, opened with a 69.

The 58-year-old German is going for an unprecedented sweep of all five PGA Tour Champions majors. In Alabama, he won his sixth major championship as a senior and joined Nicklaus as the only players to win four different senior majors. Nicklaus had largely retired when the Senior British Open was added to the major rotation. He only played that once in its first year as a major in 2003.

John Daly struggled to a 75 in his second senior major start. He had a 9 on the par-4 16th, a double bogey, three bogeys and six bogeys. Daly tied for 15th and 17th in his first two senior starts since turning 50.

Montgomerie played the first 10 holes in 6 under, with four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10. The Scot won in 2014 at Harbor Shores and last year at French Lick Resort in Indiana.

DalCorobbo holed out with a 9-iron from the fairway for an eagle on the par-5 18th. A PGA assistant professional at Brickyard Crossing in Indiana, he won the Senior PGA Professional Championship in October.

''For not playing in a competitive event for quite some time, I think that the focus, really, the plan was, to not so much to score, but can I handle my mental routine and stay within that. So for the most part I think I did a good job. I hit a tremendous shot on 18 and a lot of that is luck, but I hit some good shots during the day and really happy about that.''

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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