Memorial Day Long and Rainy

By Associated PressJune 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Carl Pettersson would have to consider this a good day. He made five birdies in the five hours he spent on the golf course, and had only one milkshake in the six hours he spent inside the locker room during a rainy Friday at the Memorial.
 
The best part of all was that he finished his round and was atop the leaderboard.
 
Rain has wreaked havoc over the first two days at Muirfield Village.
Pettersson make up ground quickly after a six-hour rain delay by playing bogey-free in his round of 5-under 67, making him the leader in the clubhouse by two shots with more than two-thirds of the field unable to finish the second round.
 
'It's nice to be finished,' Pettersson said.
 
The outcry over the furrowed bunkers were quickly forgotten when a steady rain that began at dawn saturated Muirfield Village and led to the long rain delay. Stuck in the clubhouse half the day, all anyone wanted to do was get back on the course.
 
'Twelve hours for 18 holes. That must be a world record,' Ernie Els said after a 70 brought him back to even par, eight shots out of the lead but extending his streak to 34 tournaments making the cut.
 
Pettersson returned to the course and struck a 7-iron to 10 feet on the sixth hole for birdie, and continued moving up the leaderboard until he was at 8-under 136.
 
Sean O'Hair birdied three of his first six holes and also was at 8 under when play was suspended. Steve Flesch (72) and Zach Johnson (68) each dropped a shot over the final two holes to finish at 6-under 138.
 
It was the 10th round in the last seven years at the Memorial that a round has not been completed because of weather.
 
The day felt so long that David Howell, who opened with a 69, was walking along a muddy path near the clubhouse just before 8 p.m. when someone asked him how he had fared.
 
'Actually,' the Englishman said, 'I've yet to play.'
 
At least he showed up.
 
New Orleans winner Chris Couch, who opened with a 76, started the second round with a bogey and a double bogey when play was suspended. He didn't bother returning, and neither did Steve Lowery, who was 9 over for the tournament.
 
John Daly opened with an 80. His tee time was adjusted to 6:30 p.m., and in a development that shocked no one, he was nowhere to be found when his group went off. It was the third straight tournament in which Daly was over par after the first round and withdrew.
 
Former U.S. Amateur champion Ryan Moore and Justin Rose won't be returning for another reason. A tour official said they were disqualified for walking off the course before the horn sounded -- Moore was at 3 under, and Rose at 2 under, both inside the cut line.
 
Those who returned from the six-hour delay found a different course. The furrows in the bunkers created by gap-tooth rakes were slightly packed, making it a little easier to play. But the soggy fairways made it so long that Jim Furyk hit 3-wood for his approach on the 470-yard opening hole; during practice rounds, he was hitting an 8-iron.
 
Pettersson had a simple explanation for his good play.
 
'The shots I didn't hit quite well still went straight,' he said. 'My mis-hits went well. I putted well.'
 
And this isn't a bad week for that to happen. The world ranking that came out Monday had Pettersson at No. 51 by one-hundredth of a point, meaning he will have to qualify for the U.S. Open the day after the Memorial. The top 50 are exempt.
 
'I wasn't too pleased,' he said. 'Maybe winning here, that might help.'
 
It would get him to Winged Foot, because the U.S. Open also exempts players who have won twice on the PGA Tour since the last U.S. Open, and the Swede earned his first tour victory late last year in Tampa Bay.
 
But there is plenty of work left, and Pettersson wasn't sure how the leaderboard would shake out by the time the second round finished late Saturday morning. The round was to resume at 8 a.m.
 
Tim Clark and Byron Nelson winner Brett Wetterich -- good friends with Gary Nicklaus -- were at 6 under and still on the course.
 
Masters champion Phil Mickelson made four pars and a bogey during his short time on Muirfield Village and was at 2 under for the tournament. Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen was chipping away along the back nine with four birdies in a five-hole stretch, only to see it come undone with a double bogey-bogey finish that put him at 2-over 146.
 
'We're going home,' he said to his caddie as he walked out of the scoring room, and it wasn't clear what he meant. Perhaps he was thrilled to not have to return Saturday morning. Or maybe he figured that with Muirfield expected to be soft and sunny and pristine when the second round resumes, the projected cut will change.
 
Either way, it was an exhausting day for all.
 
'That was a long day, a tiring day. I'm just glad we finished,' Flesch said. 'We've been here since 7 this morning. We played three holes this morning, then sat around all that time. I just felt a little lethargic.'
 
Chris DiMarco, still recovering from a rib injury in March, shot 71 and was at 1-under 143. He moved briskly down the autograph line as he scribbled his name, and when one fan kept reaching over the fence, DiMarco said wearily, 'I've been out here 12 hours.'
 
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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

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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.

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    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