Notes No More Tuesday Pro-Ams Freddie on Augusta

By Associated PressDecember 20, 2005, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)PGA Tour events run by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were distinctive because the pro-am rounds were on Tuesdays.
 
That won't be the case next year for the Memorial of Nicklaus or Palmer's Bay Hill Invitational. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem had said it would be best for all pro-ams to be held on the same day, and both tournaments confirmed they will move theirs to Wednesdays.
 
'I'm not objectionable to it,' Palmer said. 'In the beginning, we tried to do some extra stuff to make it attractive to the players, but now the indication is the guys want to come in on Tuesday night and play Wednesday in the pro-am as their practice round.'
 
Memorial tournament director Dan Sullivan said a move to Wednesday was in the works long before the tour got involved. He was concerned about players who had been with their families over the Memorial Day weekend and might have to rush to get to Ohio for a Tuesday pro-am.
 
The PGA Tour has a policy that players must take part in the pro-am if they want to compete in a tournament. Phil Mickelson missed the Memorial last year, saying he wanted to spend three days at Pinehurst to prepare for the U.S. Open and couldn't get back for the pro-am.
 
Sullivan said the Memorial, which honors star players each year, would move that ceremony to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. The pro-am is for only 18 players and features a shotgun start on 12 holes. That will take place at 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, allowing others to practice in the morning.
 
The Tour Championship also has a Tuesday pro-am, and Mickelson used that as an excuse not to play this year. That pro-am also will move to Wednesday.
 
'There will be no Tuesday pro-ams next year,' said Andy Pazder, the tour's vice president of competition. 'That helps some players who have an obligation Monday and Tuesday, whether it's an outing or a commitment to sponsors.'
 
MASTERS SCARE
Former Masters champion Fred Couples already has played Augusta National five times in two trips since the course opened after more changes to lengthen six holes.
 
He shot a 64 a few weeks ago but kept that nugget from players who came by his locker two weeks ago at Sherwood Country Club and milked him for information.
 
The first hole is 20 yards longer and now plays 455 yards, making it difficult to get up the hill.
 
'The last day, I hit 3-wood into No. 1,' Couples said, neglecting to tell them it was 8 a.m. and not quite 50 degrees, so the ball wasn't traveling all that far.
 
He was asked what he hit on No. 7, which was lengthened 40 yards. It played as a 2-iron and a wedge when Couples won in 1992. He told them he killed a drive and had a 5-iron left.
 
David Toms walked by.
 
'It's perfect for you, the way you hit your 5-wood,' Couples told him.
 
After they all left wide-eyed, Couples winked and said, 'I've got them all scared now. It's not that bad.'
 
LPGA AWARDS
Heather Daly-Donofrio has received the William and Mousie Powell Award for behavior and deeds that best exemplify the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA Tour.
 
A Yale graduate who returned to coach at her alma mater while keeping a full schedule, Daly-Donofrio has won twice and averaged 22 stars a year. She balanced her time inside the ropes this year with serving as president of the LPGA Tour and co-chair of the search committee for a new commissioner.
 
Amy Read was honored with the Heather Farr Player Award, given to the LPGA player who shows determination, perseverance and spirit in fulfilling her goals. Farr died in 1993 after a 4 1/2 -year battle with cancer.
 
Read has fought through injuries to her ankle, wrist, shoulder and knees, and has had eight knee surgeries since 1995. That was followed by two shoulder surgeries earlier this year, and doctors discovered she had Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease.
 
Read is on the course nearly every day with hopes of playing Monday qualifiers to get back on tour.
 
OPEN CHANGES
Royal Birkdale is the latest British Open venue to strengthen its links by adding 154 yards, 16 fairway bunkers and redoing the 17th green.
 
The Open returns to Birkdale in 2008 for the first time since Mark O'Meara beat Brian Watts in a playoff.
 
'Royal Birkdale has always been a strong Open venue, and we feel that by introducing these changes, that challenge can be maintained,' Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said.
 
The most significant change is likely to be No. 6, a par-4 that will play 499 yards. A bunker will be added at the left corner of the dogleg right, 280 yards from the tee. Another bunker will be added left of the green.
 
In 1998, the sixth hole was the toughest at Birkdale, yielding only 16 birdies and playing to an average of 4.62.
 
CHANGE OF LUCK
Tiger Woods has his red shirt for Sunday. Michael Campbell once wore red socks for luck.
 
But not anymore.
 
'That was about 10 years ago,' the U.S. Open champion said with a smile. 'I did for a while, yeah. At the (1995) British Open, I wore red socks. And then I started missing cuts, so I changed back. They're black and gray now.'
 
The last time anyone remembered Campbell and his red socks was in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship at La Costa, were Woods beat him, 5 and 4.
 
DIVOTS
Tour officials had been leaning toward taking the World Cup to China in 2006, but instead it will be moving to the Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados, site of Tiger Woods' wedding last year. ... Vijay Singh will be playing next month in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, to be held opposite the Bob Hope Classic. Also playing Abu Dhabi are Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia and John Daly. ... The 2007 Senior British Open will be held at Muirfield to coincide with the 50th birthday of Nick Faldo, who won two of his three claret jugs there.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Ever since Augusta National changed its qualifications in 2000, only five Americans have had to rely on top 50 in the world ranking to get into the Masters.
 
FINAL WORD
'Daytime television is pretty depressing.' -- Ernie Els, on the low point of a year in which he spent four months recovering from knee surgery.
 
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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.