Oberholser takes over in Scottsdale

By Associated PressOctober 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
2006 Frys.com OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. ' Arron Oberholser is making the most of his home-field advantage.
 
He estimates he has played the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club 75 times, and his last two rounds were among his best.
 
Oberholser shot a 6-under 64 on Friday for an 11-under 129 total and a one-stroke lead halfway through the Frys.com Open, the fifth of seven stops on the PGA Tours Fall Series.
 
This was my practice facility in 2002 when I first moved down here, he said. Ive played this golf course so many times and Ive been in every spot imaginable, so Im very comfortable around it, and I really have no fear of any golf shot out here.
 
Australian Steve Allan, who also lives in Scottsdale, shot a 63 and was one shot behind at 10 under on the sun-baked 7,125-yard desert layout.
 
Brad Elder and George McNeill were 9 under after 63s.
 
Paul Goydos ' the 2007 Sony Open champion ' sank a 47-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to highlight an 8-under 62. Goydos was tied with Aussie Mathew Goggin, first-round co-leader John Mallinger and Robert Garrigus at 8 under.
 
Billy Mayfair and Steve Elkington were among five players at 7 under.
 
Like Oberholser, Allan, Goggin, Garrigus and Mayfair live in Scottsdale.
 
Kevin Stadler shot a tournament-best 61, but still missed the cut after opening with an 81.
 
Oberholser, a top 10 finisher 18 times on the PGA Tour heading in to this year, is playing his second tournament after coming back from two surgeries on his left wrist in a span of nine months. He said the forced time off may did him some good.
 
I made a decision to change teachers, and the good thing was that I hadnt been playing so I hadnt been working on any bad habits, he said.
 
The winner of the 2006 Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Oberholser says he had developed many bad habits while compensating for the severe pain he had felt in the wrist. He said the first surgery didnt fix the problem, but the second one ' to remove bone spurs ' did.
 
Its actually been a blessing in disguise, he said, because now Im coming out here with a fresh look and a fresh start.
 
Allan ranks 139th on the PGA Tour earnings list. A move up to the top 125 would give him full exempt status for next year.
 
Its nice to be playing well, he said. Theres a lot on the line at this time of year, and Im really trying hard not to think about it and just enjoy the fact that Im hitting the ball good.
 
Doug LaBelle II, who shared the first-round lead, shot a 72 and was six back at 5-under 135.
 
Also at 5-under was Richard Johnson, the Nationwide Tours leading money winner a year ago. Playing the back nine first, Johnson hit the water twice on the par-4, 515-yard 18th for a triple-bogey, then had a double-bogey on the par-4 second. He sprinkled in four birdies for a second round score of 1-over 71.
 
Defending champion Mike Weir followed his first-round 66 with a 68 for a 6-under 134.
 
Davis Love III had an eagle on the fourth hole, the courses only par-5. He was at 4-under 166.
 
Vaughn Taylor had a hole-in-one with a 5-iron on the par-3, 209-yard second hole but still missed the cut.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.