Notes Tiger Talks Daughter Holds Club

By Associated PressOctober 31, 2007, 4:00 pm
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Most players used to come to Disney to play golf and enjoy the theme parks. As the final tournament of the PGA TOUR season, the Children's Miracle Network Classic has a much more serious tone this year.
 
Most guys here are simply trying to save their jobs.
 
No one feels it quite like Ted Purdy, who has plunged from No. 110 on the money list at the start of the Fall Series to No. 125, giving him a $4,118 lead over J.B. Holmes.
 
If he misses the cut and Holmes makes it to the weekend, Purdy will lose his full exemption for 2008.
 
'Never was I worried about keeping my card until the last couple of weeks,' Purdy said. 'I've played my way into this situation.'
 
He's not alone.
 
Since the Fall Series began, nine players have fallen outside of the top 125 in what has proven to be an unpredictable set of circumstances. TOUR officials figured something around $700,000 would be enough to finish in the top 125, but that number has been moving north every week.
 
One reason is because the top stars have taken the year off, leaving more players out of the top 100 on the money list into fields and raising the chances of them either winning (George McNeill) or doing well enough to secure their cards (Mark Hensby, Michael Allen).
 
Other bubbles for the week:
 
  • Anders Hansen is at No. 150, the cutoff for conditional status. Hansen, however, is not at Disney, and he would be bumped if Tripp Isenhour, Robert Gamez or Jeff Gove make the cut.
     
  • Carl Pettersson is at No. 32 on the money list, needing at least $84,926 to have any hope of moving into the top 30 to qualify for the Masters. Heath Slocum (No. 31) already is eligible, as is David Toms (No. 30). Also in range of a trip to Augusta National is Justin Leonard (No. 35) and Ken Duke (No. 36).
     
    TIGER TALKS:
    Tiger Woods said any rumors about him leaving Hank Haney are just that.
     
    'I have not split with Hank Haney, my friend and swing coach,' Woods said in his monthly newsletter. 'He's spent more time at home helping his wife deal with health issues, which is the way it should be. Besides, I've become much better at correcting my swing flaws, and that's ultimately where you want to get to with a coach-pupil relationship. Hank is still going to be my coach; that's not changing.'
     
    Haney has not been at a tournament with Woods since the Bridgestone Invitational, fueling rumors about a split.
     
    Woods won't play again until the Target World Challenge in California on Dec. 13-16, and about the only one touching a club in the house appears to be 4-month-old daughter Sam.
     
    'She can grab things now and has held a golf club in her hands,' he said. 'I didn't start swinging a club until I was 11 months, so she's got seven months until that happens.'
     
    USGA PRESIDENT:
    Jim Vernon has been nominated to a one-year term as president of the USGA, replacing Walter Driver. The election of Vernon, other officers and the 15-member executive committee will take place Feb. 9 in Houston at the annual meeting.
     
    Vernon has been vice president for two years and spent four years as chairman of the Equipment Standards Committee. He is a past president of the board of the California Golf Association and the Southern California Golf Association.
     
    Jim Hyler of Raleigh, N.C., and Cameron Jay Rains of San Diego were nominated as vice presidents.
     
    COLONIAL:
    Six more players will have a chance to play at Colonial next year.
     
    Stewart Cink, a member of the PGA TOUR policy board, said Tuesday the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial has agreed to increase the size of its field from 114 to 120. Past champions who want to play, such as Rod Curl, would be added to the field.
     
    He was not certain if the Memorial Tournament had agreed to increase its field from 105 to 120 players.
     
    The TOUR has been trying to make the field size more uniform at the invitational events, particularly after some grumbling last year when Tiger
     
    FIRE RELIEF:
    The Nationwide Tour plays its Tour Championship this week in Barona Creek in San Diego County, where more is at stake than the top 25 players on the money list earning PGA Tour cards. Through a program called 'Birdies for Relief,' the tournament will donate at least $200,000 to the Red Cross Fire Relief Fund to support victims of the California fires.
     
    Nationwide Insurance and the PGA TOUR has pledged to donate $100 for every birdie made at Barona Creek.
     
    Tournament organizers said admission would be free, and they have encouraged fans to donate to the relief fund instead of buying a ticket. The Century Club of San Diego also invited eight firefighters to play in the pro-am Wednesday.
     
    MOLDER'S MOMENTUM:
    Bryce Molder finished 10 shots off the lead last week at the Ginn sur Mer Classic, earning $52,200. What might sound fairly ordinary to most represented a great turn of fortunes for Molder.
     
    Molder didn't make the cut in any of his first 11 events of the year, didn't cash a tour check until late July, and the tie for 21st at Tesoro Club was by far his best showing of the season.
     
    'There's about three or four things you need to do well, and I was not doing any of those well,' Molder said. 'I wasn't driving it well, I wasn't hitting any of my irons very well ... I wasn't scoring well, I wasn't putting well. Everything was bad.'
     
    Molder persevered, and wound up more than doubling his 2007 last week.
     
    It would take a win this week at Disney to keep Molder from having to endure Q-school. Understanding that victory doesn't exactly seem realistic, Molder is simply trying to build some momentum for '08 now.
     
    'I know how well I can play when things are going my way, so it's very frustrating and it's a little bit humiliating to go that long without making a cut,' Molder said. 'But it happens -- it happens to good players -- and you just have to be able to try to put it behind you so that you can give yourself a chance the next time.'
     
    DIVOTS:
    U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera made eagle on the final hole to force a playoff, and he beat Ricardo Gonzalez in the Argentina Masters. Cabrera also eagled the 18th and won in a playoff in his previous event, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. ... Chris DiMarco, who had shoulder surgery on Sept. 12, withdrew from the final PGA TOUR event of the year. ... Nine players outside the top 125 on the PGA TOUR money list have played at least 30 times this year.
     
    STAT OF THE WEEK:
    Three years after Todd Hamilton won the British Open and rose to No. 16 in the world ranking, he has fallen to No. 894 going into the final event of 2007.
     
    FINAL WORD:
    'I like time off, but I golf. So that's why we play.' -- Mark Calcavecchia on playing in the Fall Series.
     
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    Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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