Rain Relents Janzen Ties Lead

By Associated PressMarch 7, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 PODS ChampionshipTAMPA BAY, Fla. -- Lee Janzen is coming up on the 10-year anniversary of one of his biggest victories, a steady performance in the final round at The Olympic Club in San Francisco that brought him his second U.S. Open title.
 
That also was his last victory, and there are times it seems longer than a decade ago.
 
Janzen has been mired in a slump so bad that he lost his PGA TOUR card two years ago, hasnt finished in the top 125 on the money list the last three years and now is having to rely on sponsor exemptions.
 
His start at the PODS Championship brought some hope.
 
Playing on a sponsors exemption, in a stretch of competing three out of four weeks, Janzen holed a 65-foot putt from the fringe on the third hole, played a brilliant shot off the pine straw to 7 feet for birdie on the tough 16th, and wrapped up a 6-under 65 on Friday morning to share the first-round lead with Bart Bryant.
 
Ive worked on my game for quite a while, Janzen said. Eventually, you have to shoot better scores.
 
Half the 144-man field had to return Friday morning to finish the first round because of rain and storms that stopped play for 2 1/2 hours Thursday, the first time all year a PGA TOUR event was stopped by rain. Janzen was in the bad half of the draw, for the wind gusted to 20 mph in the morning, and more rain was due in the afternoon.
 
Stuart Appleby, among 72 players fighting for space on the practice range, finished off a bogey-free round of 66 and was joined by Kenny Perry, Jeff Maggert and Stewart Cink, who completed the first round Thursday morning.
 
John Senden, a runner-up last year to Mark Calcavecchia, Jerry Kelly and Paul Casey were among those who played well in the wind and moved up the board to finish at 67.
 
John Daly shot 77 and was struggling no matter whom he used as a caddie. Daly was 2 over through three holes when play was stopped by rain for the first time on the PGA TOUR this year. He headed for the Hooters hospitality tent, ran into Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, and Gruden wound up on the bag until dark.
 
That was just another sideshow in the unpredictable world of Daly.
 
Janzen has been living a nightmare, but he hopes there are signs of turning things around.
 
I shoot good scores on Mondays and Tuesdays and weeks off, he said. Its just a matter of feeling the same way when you get into a tournament.
 
He felt extremely confident heading to the Mayacoba Classic in Mexico two weeks ago, making eight birdies in 13 holes during a friendly match early in the week. Then he missed the cut.
 
The good news was I didnt leave there totally dejected, Janzen said.
 
Bryant didnt allow himself to get dejected after a few errant shots early in his round Thursday, especially when he saved par both times that kept his score at even par and his spirits in good shape. When he started hitting it better, he made putts. And before he knew it, he was at 4 under with three holes to play.
 
Then came birdies at the 16th and 18th holes, two of the toughest at Innisbrook.
 
I felt like I got my bad stuff out of the way and I was still even par, Bryant said. I think that gave me a little confidence.
 
Cink was playing for the first time since losing to Tiger Woods at the Accenture Match Play Championship, and while he suffered the worst beating in the 10-year history of the final match (8 and 7), he figured this was a continuation of good play.
 
I had a lot of confidence after Match Play, Cink said. Even losing the last match, I was happy to be in the last match.
 
Rain earlier in the week took some of the bite out of the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, regarded as one of the toughest tour tracks in Florida, and rarely has it played this easy.
 
Even so, it is a course that requires more brain than brawn.
 
You cant hit too many shots without putting thought into them, Jonathan Byrd said after a 67.
 
The good news for Bryant is that hes hitting shots without feeling too much pain. It seems every time he recovers from one surgery, another body part starts hurting, which was the case last year. Bryant said his right hip was in such bad shape that he took two months off during the summer. When he returned, his right elbow was acting up again, and he couldnt practice the last three months of the season.
 
No practice, just playing, the 45-year-old said. This year, Ive been able to start hitting balls. My health has been good.
 
The results are slowly coming along. It was only three years ago that Bryants career turned the corner with victories in the Memorial and the Tour Championship, the latter a six-shot victory over Woods.
 
Last week at the Honda Classic, he was among the leaders on Friday until taking a quadruple-bogey on the sixth hole that sent him back to the pack. Those big numbers can happen at PGA National, and Bryant wasnt too bothered.
 
It showed my game is in the kind of shape that I can get up there at the top, 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.