Notes Campbells Cameo Tiger Going Global

By Associated PressDecember 27, 2005, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell will make his 2006 debut next month in the Mercedes Championship at Kapalua.
Take away the majors, World Golf Championships and The Players Championship, and that leaves him only one other PGA Tour event he can play.

Despite winning a major, Campbell's options on the PGA Tour are limited because of a bad year in 2003.
As a New Zealand native, he claimed 'home circuit' status on the PGA Tour two years ago, meaning he did not need a release to compete overseas provided he played at least 15 times on tour. Campbell quit after playing 14 events, and it has cost him.
'The penalty for using the home circuit exception and not satisfying the requirements is immediate forfeiture of membership the following year, and for five years, he can play only 10 tournaments as a nonmember,' said Andy Pazder, the tour's vice president of competition.
Campbell was at a low point in 2003. He made only five cuts in his 14 tour events, and three of those were at WGC events that had no cuts. He was disqualified at The Players Championship after opening with an 89.
'I played (bad),' he said. 'I had no house to go to. I was traveling with the family, two kids. It made me crazy. So I went back to England, to the European tour, and I won about a month later at the Irish Open. That told me it was time to pack up my bags and get back to England.'
Campbell sought a compromise with the tour, asking if he could play 12 or 13 events in 2006. Because he could not commit to 15 tournaments, his request was denied.
The only other regular tournament he will play is the Bay Hill Invitational.
'I want to play Memorial, but I can't play that now because of my restrictions,' Campbell said. 'I feel that my wings have been clipped a little bit. I want to be a global player. I want to play in Europe and Australia and different parts of the world. But I couldn't commit to 15 events.'
Tiger Woods is the most global player among Americans, and his schedule next year might include the most overseas events of his career.
Woods already has committed to the Dubai Desert Classic in early February, and said he will return to Japan to defend his title in the Dunlop Phoenix. He said he probably would return to Shanghai for the HSBC Champions event in November, and he is leaning toward playing the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England.
'And don't forget the American Express,' Woods said, noting that it will be played next year just north of London. Woods is the defending champion.
Throw in the British Open, and that could be six overseas tournaments. The most he has played in any year, including the British Open and American Express Championship, is five times in 1998, 1999 and 2002.
It looks as if the only way Cristie Kerr will ever to get to the Women's World Cup is to be the highest-ranked American on the LPGA Tour money list.
Kerr finished fifth on the list last year, one spot behind Meg Mallon, but Mallon chose 30th-ranked Beth Daniel as her partner in South Africa. Mallon and Daniel are good friends and have played in a half-dozen matches together at the Solheim Cup.
Kerr finished third on the money list this year, one spot behind 19-year-old rookie Paula Creamer, who will go to South Africa with Natalie Gulbis.
'We've got similar games and get along,' Creamer said. 'I'm going over with someone I feel comfortable with.'
Creamer went 3-1-1 at the Solheim Cup to lead the Americans to victory over Europe. One of those points came with Kerr, a 1-up victory in better ball against Catriona Matthew and Carin Koch.
Creamer and Gulbis played together in the Lexus Cup earlier this month, winning a better-ball match.
Europeans still have not cracked the Big Five in the world ranking, with Sergio Garcia of Spain the best hope at No. 6. But the outlook is much brighter than a year ago.
Padraig Harrington once attributed the European slide to a mere cycle, and he might be right. A year ago, only four Europeans were among the top 20 in the world ranking. Now there are eight in the top 22, from the resurgent Colin Montgomerie to the younger players such as Luke Donald and David Howell.
'We didn't have many in the top 20 at the start of the year. Now there are a whole bunch,' Montgomerie said. 'We've done well to get back into it now. We went through a period in the early '90s where Europe held the top five places in the world rankings, and now we're coming back.'
The best measure might be at the Ryder Cup, where the United States typically has far more players at the top of the rankings than Europe.
Kenny Perry was playing a new ball with an old name at the Target World Challenge.
TaylorMade is getting back into the golf ball market, although only a handful of its top players are expected to be using it next year. Part of that depends on which player's contract with Titleist has expired.
Perry is one of them.
'I had good tests with it,' he said. 'It had the same ball spin, same launch trajectory. My ball speed was averaging 168 (mph) with the Titleist and it was 172 with that one. I've found they're a little softer chipping, but it flighted the same as a Titleist. I thought I was playing the same golf ball, to tell you the truth.'
Perry showed the ball with a Maxfli logo on it, but said it was supposed to have TaylorMade's logo. TaylorMade recently acquired Maxfli.
Those in green jackets can expect a menu of steak and chicken at the Masters champions dinner at Augusta National this year. Tiger Woods, who has to pick up the tab for the Tuesday dinner, said he probably would serve the same thing he did in 2003. ... Morgan Pressel has signed endorsement deals with Callaway Golf and Polo. ... Vijay Singh has decided to play the Qatar Masters the last week in January, meaning he will miss the Buick Invitational. Singh tied for 24th and missed the cut his last two trips to Torrey Pines.
The points difference between Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh at Nos. 1 and 2 in the world ranking is equal to the difference of Singh and Peter Lonard at No. 46.
'It's like being a young player all over again. We're going to have to figure it all out.' -- Jim Furyk on where and when to play when the new schedule starts in 2007.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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 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.

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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.


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.

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Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."