Sheehan on Top as Play Called

By Associated PressAugust 11, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 The INTERNATIONALCASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- The best part of Patrick Sheehan's day was playing with Ian Leggatt and Chris Riley through the tall pines, thin air and steep hills of the Rocky Mountains -- before the rains came.
 
'When you got two guys that you really like ... it was a good group for me because everybody talks to each other and you're telling jokes,' Sheehan said. 'We all played pretty well (Thursday) and it just continued today. Everybody's in a good mood. A guy makes a couple birdies and you just follow him up.'
 
Sheehan piggybacked on Leggatt's incredible second round to take the lead at the halfway mark of the International golf tournament at Castle Pines Golf Club, the PGA Tour's most novel event.
 
Seventy-two of the 140 golfers will have to finish the second round on Saturday. A heavy thunderstorm caused a delay of about 3 1/2 hours, and play was halted shortly before 8 p.m.
 
Sheehan's five birdies offset his two bogeys and gave him eight points for the day and 18 for the tournament, the only stop on the PGA Tour that uses the modified Stableford scoring system, which awards two points for a birdie, five for an eagle and eight for a double eagle. One point is deducted for a bogey, three for a double bogey or worse.
 
Leggatt was just one back after firing a 13 on Friday. He recovered from a double-bogey on his first hole to sink three birdies and two eagles. Riley posted his second straight 6-point round.
 
Sergio Garcia scored 10 points to bring his total to 16; and Stewart Cink and Tom Pernice Jr. were tied for fourth with 15 points through holes 12 and 10, respectively.
 
Jeff Gove, who completed just eight holes, was among three other golfers four points back of Sheehan.
 
The International has been interrupted by inclement weather in each of its 21 times it's been held. That is one reason founder Jack Vickers so eagerly accepted the PGA's offer to move the tournament to the Fourth of July weekend next year -- that and his fervent hope that Tiger Woods will play here for the first time since 1999.
 
The lucky ones were those who teed off in the morning, although tricky winds did kick up midmorning.
 
'It was very windy and gusty and difficult out there. Any time you're hitting a sand wedge from 181 yards on a par-3, you know that something's not right,' said Garcia, who would normally use an 8- or 9-iron there.
 
Playing at altitude and using the special scoring system on the 7,619-yard Castle Pines layout, two factors that reward big hitters and aggressiveness, Leggatt recovered nicely after losing the maximum three points on his first hole, which he didn't even finish.
 
'It was definitely a bad start,' Leggatt said, 'but the way this tournament goes, you just never know what could happen out there.'
 
With this unpredictable scoring system combined with freshly soaked greens, anybody could change things dramatically Saturday in the span of one swing, and that's what gives hope to Phil Mickelson, who was right on the cut line with 5 points Friday.
 
The field will be trimmed to the top 70 golfers plus ties for the third round, after which the top 36 scorers plus ties will compete for the $990,000 winner's check on Sunday.
 
Mickelson's putter failed him for the second straight day at Castle Pines, nearly freeing up his weekend to prepare for the PGA Championship instead of chasing his third title at the International. Still, he wasn't worried about his overall game with the final major of the year looming next week.
 
'I think it's more just the putting,' Mickelson said. 'I've just really struggled on the greens here. Otherwise, I've been pretty pleased with the way I'm hitting it.'
 
Mickelson's off-kilter putting produced plenty of groans from the biggest gallery out here.
 
'I just have trouble seeing the lines,' Mickelson said. 'But again, if I can just make the cut, I'd love to have two more rounds here.'
 
He'll have to wait until Saturday to find out if he'll get to go back out on Castle Pines or pack up for Medinah.
 
Divots:
Kevin Sutherland holed out from 100 yards from the fairway for an eagle on No. 8. ... Sixth-tenths of an inch of rain was measured. ... Those who didn't finish the second round will resume at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
 
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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.