Shiny Happy People at Memorial

By Associated PressMay 28, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 The Memorial TournamentDUBLIN, Ohio -- The Memorial had high hopes of landing all of the top 10 players in the world for the first time until Tiger Woods decided his left knee was not fully recovered from surgery.
 
Since then, the stars have been falling like rain, which is never a good sign at Muirfield Village.
 
Adam Scott opted not to play, citing fatigue. Vijay Singh was still smarting from a rib injury and had to pull out. Steve Stricker withdrew with an elbow injury. Even some of the alternates for the 120-man field decided not to come.
 
Who does that leave at the Memorial?
 
Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, both fresh off important victories.
 
Mickelson had not seriously contended since his February victory at Riviera, his only top 10 coming at the Masters, where he finished six shots behind Trevor Immelman. He was headed for more disappointment Sunday at Colonial when he drove left into the trees on the final hole, only to escape with a stunning shot through the treetops to just inside 10 feet for a winning birdie.
 
Im excited about how Im starting to play, and I want to continue that momentum, Mickelson said. This will be the last tournament I play before the U.S. Open. And after this event, Ill get home and start practicing at Torrey (Pines) getting ready for that. Although the U.S. Open is on my mind, I would like to play well this week.
 
Garcia didnt need any heroics, but he was far more desperate.
 
The 28-year-old Spaniard had gone three years without a victory anywhere in the world, and constant questions about his putting problems were getting under freckles. That all changed Sunday at Sawgrass, when Garcia holed a half-dozen putts that proved pivotal, none bigger than a 7-footer for par on the final hole to get into a playoff that he won against Paul Goydos.
 
Then it was off to Spain for two weeks of rest and celebration, and he has a solid outlook heading into the summer.
 
Its definitely a boost of confidence. Theres no doubt about that, Garcia said. I guess at the end of the day, every tournament is different, and winning the Players was great. But Ive still got to go out there and perform at the U.S. Open, and at the British Open, and at the PGA, and give myself a chance.
 
The good thing about it is I know that coming down the stretch, my whole game can step up to it, he said. So thats good to have.
 
Adding to the spice of Mickelson and Garcia coming off big wins is theyll be playing together the first two days at Muirfield Village, which is in supreme condition from tee-to-green, with rough that might be thicker'albeit different ' than the U.S. Open.
 
They arent alone, of course.
 
Ernie Els was coming and going and finally showed up Tuesday for a tournament he won in 2004. Three others from the top 10 were Geoff Ogilvy, Jim Furyk and K.J. Choi, the defending champion of the Memorial.
 
The big absence, however, is Woods.
 
He missed the Memorial two years ago while coping with the death of his father, and he skipped this year with a knee thats not quite ready for competition. The question is whether anyone inside the ropes misses Woods.
 
Garcia jokingly thanked Woods at The Players Championship for not being there, and there is a part of him that truly wishes Woods were around at Muirfield Village this week.
 
We always enjoy playing against the best, and when hes around, its always a little bit extra motivation, Garcia said. It does make it a little bit tougher to win the event, but thats what drives you into trying to become a better player. So we miss him a little bit, and well see him in a couple weeks.
 
Mickelson and Woods have switched roles this year.
 
Woods got off to a stunning start in 2008 by winning his four tournaments, and finishing no worse than fifth in the last two he failed to win. Then came stiffness in his knee that grew so painful that surgery couldnt wait, and no one is sure what to expect when he returns in two weeks for the second major of the year.
 
A year ago, Mickelson was coming off a victory at The Players and was gearing up for a big summer when he injured his wrist while practicing out of deep rough at Oakmont for the U.S. Open. He had to withdraw from the Memorial, he missed the cut at the U.S. Open and endured what turned out to be a lost summer.
 
This time, Mickelson is feeling better than ever.
 
Even though he never seriously contended from Riviera through Colonial, he realized he was never too far off once he sorted out his putting. A trip to a testing center showed him the flaws in his stroke, and hes starting to piece that together.
 
I feel better than Ive ever felt, Mickelson said. Ive got no more issues with my hands or anything. I feel great. Ive had a year now to work on the swing changes with Butch (Harmon). I expect a lot of this summer. I think it could be a very good one.
 
The official start of summer is a month away, but it starts here for Mickelson on a course that has not treated him all that kindly. And he would love to add a trophy from another tournament made famous by legendary figures, having already won at Bay Hill (Arnold Palmer), Colonial (Ben Hogan) and the Byron Nelson Championship.
 
He was asked where the Memorial ranked among tournaments he has not won.
 
Well, I havent won the U.S. or British Open, so those two are going to be the ones I would like to get the most, Mickelson said. But this is one of the most prestigious events we have on tour. So its high up there.
 
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    CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.06 million

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

    1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
    2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
    T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
    T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
    T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
    T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
    T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
    T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
    T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
    T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
    T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
    T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
    T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
    T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
    T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
    T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
    T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
    T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
    T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
    T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
    T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
    T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
    T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
    T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
    T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
    T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
    T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
    T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
    T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
    T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
    T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
    T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
    T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
    T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
    T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
    T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
    T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
    T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
    T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
    T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
    T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
    T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
    T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
    T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
    T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
    T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
    T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
    T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
    T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
    T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
    T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
    T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
    T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
    T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
    T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
    T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
    T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
    T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
    T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
    T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
    T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
    T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
    T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
    T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
    T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
    T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
    T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
    T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
    T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
    T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
    T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
    T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
    T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
    T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
    75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
    76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
    77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.