Slocum, Langley share lead at Wyndham

By Associated PressAugust 15, 2014, 11:32 pm

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Heath Slocum needs a strong finish at the Wyndham Championship to earn a spot in the PGA Tour's postseason.

Scott Langley might not be on the playoff bubble - but he sure knows how his friend is feeling.

Slocum and Langley each shot 5-under 65 for the second straight day Friday to share the lead at 10-under 130.

Brian Stuard, Nick Watney, Martin Laird and Andrew Svoboda were a stroke back. Watney and Svoboda shot 64, Stuard had a 65 and Laird a 66.

Ryo Ishikawa had the best round of the day - a 62 that was one stroke off the course record and included six birdies on the back nine.

Since the tournament returned to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008, every two-day leader until now had been at 11 under or better.


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In what's become an annual rite of mid-August, the field is littered with players trying to prolong their seasons for at least one more week by cracking the top 125 on the points list and qualifying for the first round of the playoffs, which begin next week at The Barclays in New Jersey.

Langley isn't one of them.

The second-year pro's main concern is chasing his first PGA Tour victory.

He isn't feeling quite as much stress as he did here last year, when he missed the cut yet squeaked into The Barclays at No. 124.

''Last year, so much going through my head as a rookie, not knowing how to handle it,'' Langley said. ''I was thinking a little too much about things that I really have no control over in terms of keeping my card, what other guys are doing. Lesson learned.''

Langley ran off three straight birdies early in his round and closed with two in a row after putting both of his approach shots less than 6 feet from the stick.

At No. 81 on the points list, his spot next week is safe.

Slocum's isn't.

He's at No. 158 but is well aware that if you can somehow get into the playoffs, anything can happen.

Five years ago, he made the playoffs ''by the skin of my teeth'' at No. 124 - and then went on to win The Barclays.

''I came into this week trying to create a little bit of momentum for me to whether I could somehow get myself into the playoffs or the (Web.com) finals,'' Slocum said.

Slocum had seven birdies and moved atop the leaderboard after a run of four in a row late during his second consecutive 65.

He sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 13th before twice sticking approach shots within seven feet of the flagstick and converting those short putts.

''It was a good stretch, and obviously at this point, you're going to need a lot,'' Slocum said. ''You're going to have to have some of that to keep yourself in contention and go for it.''

Indeed, that put the Florida player in position to challenge for his fifth PGA Tour victory and first since the McGladrey Classic in 2010.

''I do miss this feeling of being in contention,'' Slocum said. ''Not being in contention for a while, I'm going to savor it.''

Svoboda briefly joined them at 10 under with a birdie on the 17th, but slipped back after missing a 20-foot par putt on the 18th and closing with a bogey.

First-round leader Camilo Villegas, who opened with a 63, put two strong rounds together after his 69 left him in a pack of players two strokes back.

He had three birdies but closed his round with his first two bogeys of the tournament, coming on the 17th and 18th.

Still, his low score was an indication of progress: He struggled each of the last two times he held a first-round lead, missing the cut at last year's Honda Classic and finishing 71st at the John Deere.

''The golf course is not easy,'' Villegas said. ''Seven-under out here was pretty good yesterday. One under out here today wasn't bad. I'll take that and keep going.''

Among those bubble players who came to Sedgefield hoping to play their way into the postseason, No. 125 Paul Casey shot a 69 to move to 6 under and put himself well past the cut line of 2 under.

Others ran into bubble trouble: No. 122 Robert Allenby, No. 127 Charlie Beljan and No. 128 Greg Chalmers were among the borderline players who missed the cut.

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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.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry