Notes Does Anybody Owe Tiger Any Favors

By Associated PressJuly 8, 2008, 4:00 pm
Paul Goydos remembers the first time he was asked to play in a PGA TOUR event, and his RSVP was immediate.
 
His victory at Bay Hill in 1996 got him into the Masters and allowed him for the first time to set his own schedule. He never had much success at the Byron Nelson Championship, so he figured he would skip that one and play Colonial and Memorial, both invitationals.
 
Im playing the second round of the Masters, and Byron Nelson is sitting on a chair five feet from the tee markers. You had to take your practice swing to the side because you would hit him in the forehead, Goydos said. And he looks at me and goes, Hey, Paul, great playing at Bay Hill. Are you coming to the Byron Nelson?
 
And I looked at him and said, I am now.
 
That led some to wonder when Tiger Woods will go from the worlds No. 1 player to chief recruiter for his AT&T National.
 
Players typically rank quality of the golf course and the spot on the calendar as their top reasons for playing, so the lack of so many top 20 players ' injuries aside'was surprising. Congressional is as good as any track in golf. The setup was close to perfect, with the rough deep enough to present problems, yet not so thick that players couldnt try to reach the green.
 
One problem might have been perception. Europe had 14 players among the top 50 in the world last week, none at Congressional. Most were at the European Open, with the British Open two weeks away. And this being a Ryder Cup year, some need to get in their minimum 11 tournaments for membership purposes.
 
Players invariably thank Woods for making them so much money. What would happen if he asked them to play in his event? Thats hard to imagine, for no other reason that its not Woods style.
 
Tiger has done a lot for this tour the last 11 years, Goydos said. And I think if Tiger asks you to come help him out, youre going to come help him out. And if you dont, youre a nut.
 
LINKS DEBUT
Brandt Snedeker will be making his British Open debut next week at Royal Birkdale, but it will not be his first time playing links golf. Snedeker jumped at the chance to play in the British Amateur in 2001 at Prestwick, where the first dozen British Opens were held.
 
You used to be able to get in if you qualified for the U.S. Amateur, he said. I went over there one summer and had a blast. I missed out on match play, but I had a lot of fun. I cant wait to get over there to get started.
 
Even better for Snedeker is that he already has arranged for a practice round with his idol, Tom Watson, the only player to win the British Open on five courses'including Royal Birkdale in 1983.
 
KEEP UP
PGA TOUR rules official Mickey Bradley stepped inside the ropes at Congressional to urge the group of Robert Allenby, J.J. Henry and John Rollins to close the gap between them and the next group.
 
We just had a ruling on the last hole, Allenby protested.
 
I know, Bradley replied. Im the one who gave it.
 
This stopped Allenby in his tracks, but only briefly.
 
Then you should give a quicker ruling, he said, and both men broke into laughter.
 
NAME GAME
Se Ri Pak inspired a nation of golfers from South Korea when she won the U.S. Womens Open in 1998, with players such as Inbee Park and Birdie Kim among many who consider her their role model.
 
But what about the men?
 
K.J. Choi, whose seven victories make him the most prolific Asian winner on the PGA TOUR, was asked if he recalled Pak winning in 1998. Choi said he was living in Seoul and watched Paks playoff victory on television.
 
Asked if he paid close attention to the LPGA, however, Choi wore a look of confusion.
 
Hard to keep track, he said. Too many Kims and Parks.
 
The LPGA has 10 members with the last name Kim, and six with the last name Park. He didnt bother mentioning the six Lees.
 
OUT OF WORK
Tiger Woods is out for the rest of the golf season, and so is caddie Steve Williams.
 
Caddies are a caring group, especially when it comes to their own, so it was only fitting that they take up a collection for a guy whos player wont be earning any more money on the PGA Tour until he recovers from reconstructive knee surgery.
 
Two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship, the caddies put up a sign in their trailer that said, Steve Williams Benevolent Fund, offering caddies a chance to donate to the cause.
 
For a money jar, they used a shot glass.
 
AHEAD OF HER TIME
LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens might have spoken too soon.
 
She was in the media center at Interlachen before the third round of the U.S. Womens Open, dressed in white slacks, a white sweater and white shoes. Someone jokingly remarked that she looked to be on her way to Wimbledon.
 
Let me tell you, Id rather have our leaderboard than theirs, Bivens said with a laugh.
 
Rookie of the year Angela Park was in the lead, followed by Helen Alfredsson, with defending champion Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer another shot back. Over at the All England Club, the top three seeds in the womens bracket had failed to reach the quarterfinals for the first time at any Grand Slam in the open era.
 
The next day, the four names atop the leaderboard at Interlachen at one point in the final round were Park, Kim, Kim and Park.
 
The next weekend, Venus Williams beat sister Serena in the womens final, and Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer in what many consider to be the greatest match ever at Wimbledon.
 
Strawberries and cream, anyone?
 
DIVOTS
Stacy Lewis is off to a good start as a professional beyond her game. She received a sponsors exemption to Kapalua, and called the tournament office the next day to say thanks. The PGA TOUR keeps stockpiling its office with talent, the latest move enticing Jay Monahan to leave Fenway Sports Group as executive vice president to become the executive director of THE PLAYERS Championship. Robert Garrigus had a 74.5-yard advantage in driving distance over Corey Pavin at the Buick Open. But both hit 54 greens in regulation for the week, and Pavin wound up one shot ahead. Three-time major champion Meg Mallon will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in February.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Because of the exchange rate, the British Open will offer more Ryder Cup points for American players than any other tournament.
 
FINAL WORD
If we win, Ill go down as having the lowest I.Q. of any genius who ever lived.'Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger, on changes he made to the U.S. qualifying process.
 
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.