Perry Refocuses at FedEx

By Associated PressMay 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Kenny Perry knows he has a serious problem. Sure, he blew away the field last week by seven strokes in winning the Colonial despite a case of nearsightedness so bad he couldn't read his eye doctor's chart less than 24 hours later. But vision wasn't his dilemma Wednesday as he prepared for the St. Jude Classic.
'I've got to somehow regroup. I shot a couple over today in the pro-am. ... My head wasn't quite in it. I was out in space. I'm thinking too much in the past. I've got to refocus, get back in the present and get ready to play golf,' Perry said.
Perry certainly has shown that he can remain focused in consecutive weeks. The last time he won Colonial in 2003, he followed up with a victory at Memorial the next week.
But he said Wednesday he doesn't know exactly how he came down off the high to win those tournaments, and he thinks his second victory this year and ninth career was much more emotional because of how special Colonial is to him.

'Somehow, I've got to come back to Earth here,' Perry said.
That shouldn't be much of a problem because Perry has very few good memories at the TPC at Southwind. He hasn't played there since 1999, partly because he hasn't fared very well on the course with five missed cuts, including his last two visits in 1998 and 1999.
He was third in 1996 for his only top 10 finish.
Perhaps in a lucky stroke for Perry, the golf course is very different from last year when David Toms won the tournament sponsored by FedEx for a second straight year.
Work began the day after Toms finished off a routine six-stroke victory in 2004. The grass on the greens was stripped with champion Bermuda replacing the original bentgrass, and tee boxes were pushed forward or back to add 141 yards.
Par is a stroke lower at 70 on the 7,244-yard course. The par-5 No. 5 was changed to a 485-yard par 4, with the tee moved forward. Sticking a shot on the green that slopes to the back won't be easy.
Toms said he has heard a couple people mention the changes were made to protect the course from him. He went 20 under in 2003 and 16 under in 2004 when the greens were soft enough that golfers could shoot right at the pins, knowing their balls would stick close.
Shooting low has been the key since the tournament moved to this course in 1989, including John Cook's 26 under in 1996.
'I'm anxious to get started (Thursday) to see how I do, see how everybody else does on the redesign just because I think there's some unknowns about exactly how it's going to play,' Toms said.
Toms will try to become the first player to win this event three straight years, which would make him the first since Tiger Woods to win a PGA Tour event three consecutive times. Woods won Bay Hill four straight years from 2000-2003.
Toms feels he is playing well enough to do just that after finishing tied for third at Colonial with four straight rounds in the 60s. That followed a stretch in which 13 of his 14 rounds were 70 or higher, and Toms credited good memories and strengthening his left hand on his grip.
'Obviously, it would be big for me to be able to do it three times. You don't get that opportunity very often. Certainly, I don't, and this is my one chance. I look forward to the challenge. There's no reason why I can't play well again,' Toms said.
Well, there is the changes on the course.
Tom Lehman loved most of the alterations, especially on the greens he called firm and very smooth. But he thinks they turned the par-4 10th into the toughest on the course thanks to a new tee box and more rough down the left side that he thinks takes away options to play left or lay up on the 465-yard hole.
'Now it's back there where you have to hit driver, and you're hitting right at a bunker. You can't carry the trees. There's high rough left. You've made a difficult hole even worse,' Lehman said.
Perry, who has had Lasik surgery twice, said a new pair of glasses won't be ready until Monday to help him putt better than he did Wednesday. Fortunately, the man who leads the tour in total driving statistics still sees a course that prefers straight and accurate hitters.
'So I kind of like that,' he said.
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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.