Quinney Keeps Fire Going in Phoenix Desert

By Associated PressFebruary 3, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Five years on the Nationwide Tour transformed Jeff Quinney from a talented but uncertain golfer to a confident pro ready for the big time.
 
After two top 10 finishes in the last two tournaments, Quinney shot an 8-under 63 on Friday to open a three-shot lead halfway through the FBR Open.
 
David Toms
David Toms stands five back of the lead heading into the weekend. (Wire Images)
The 2000 U.S. Amateur champion and former Arizona State star lives in Scottsdale and could think of few better settings for a breakthrough victory.
 
'Other than probably a couple of majors, I think this is where I'd want to win,' he said.
 
Quinney, a PGA TOUR rookie, was at 13-under 129 through 36 holes after a dominating second round under bright sunshine at the TPC Scottsdale course.
 
and Bart Bryant were three shots back at 10-under 132 after 66s.
 
Bubba Watson, John Rollins, Robert Garrigus and Charles Howell III were four back at 9 under. Play was suspended because of darkness Friday with 18 players on the course. Howell was one of them, finishing his final two holes with pars Saturday morning.
 
Quinney acknowledges he was uncertain about his career when he turned professional in 2001.
 
'I probably didn't trust myself enough,' he said.
 
It took five years of struggle and initially not much success before he qualified for the PGA TOUR by finishing sixth on last year's Nationwide money list.
 
He said he is surprised by how well he's done this year -- a tie for fourth at the Bob Hope Classic and a tie for seventh at the Buick Invitational.
 
'But you shouldn't be in a way,' Quinney said. 'This is why you play the game, to contend and to compete. You just don't go out there to finish 30th place and kind of squeak by. This is where I want to be. I want to be in contention and in front of the lights.'
 
Mayfair, who also played golf at Arizona State, hasn't won on the tour since 1998 and is coming off a difficult year that included a divorce, surgery for testicular cancer and his mother's stroke.
 
But his game has been terrific this week on a course that's just a few hundred yards from his home.
 
He chipped in from 85 yards for an eagle on the 552-yard, par-5 15th hole to reach 11 under before his only bogey of the day on the 18th.
 
'I hope an old guy wins once in awhile like myself,' the 40-year-old Mayfair said, 'but it's good to see these young guys come off the Nationwide Tour and start playing well immediately out here, because that's what that tour is for.'
 
Bryant, finishing just before darkness fell, made a birdie on his final hole, the 464-yard, par-4 ninth.
 
Quinney had nine birdies and one bogey on the 7,216-yard layout, where the start of play was delayed 40 minutes Friday by frost. But the sun quickly made conditions ideal.
 
'It was one of those days where you get in the zone and you feel like nothing can go wrong,' Quinney said.
 
Playing with Tiger Woods at the Buick Invitational last Saturday was an added boost.
 
'Just to be thrown in the fire, playing against the No. 1 player in the world,' Quinney said. 'It seemed like he was heads above everybody else. To be right with him playing 18 holes -- I think I bogeyed the last hole and lost by one to him that day -- but that just kind of proved to me that I can play at this level, and on the weekend. It just gave me a lot of confidence.'
 
Two-time FBR champion Phil Mickelson is finished for the week. He shot a 69 on Friday for a 1-under 141 and missed the cut by one stroke.
 
Mickelson tied for 45th at the Hope Classic and 51st at the Buick Invitational. He has not finished better than tied for 16th since his 18th-hole collapse at last year's U.S. Open.
 
'Well, it's not the start I wanted to the year,' he said. 'I'm going to work on it this weekend and see if I can get the putter working.'
 
Divots
For the sixth consecutive year, Woods is skipping the FBR event, opting to play halfway around the world at the Dubai Desert Classic. Next year's FBR Open will be held the same week as the Super Bowl in nearby Glendale. ... FBR officials met with Woods in San Diego last week to try to persuade him to enter next year's event.
 
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  • Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

    For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

    While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

    When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



    After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

    The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

    Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

    “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

    The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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    Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

    John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

    That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

    Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

    Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

    By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

    Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


    Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

    World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

    Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.