Van Pelt Still on Top at Puerto Rico Open

By Associated PressMarch 21, 2008, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico -- Bo Van Pelt continued the most productive week off of his career Friday at the Puerto Rico Open.
 
Van Pelt, seeking his first PGA TOUR victory, shot a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Jerry Kelly halfway through the inaugural event.
 
Typically, Van Pelt skips events opposite a World Golf Championship stop to rest up for his next appearance. Earlier this season, he figured hed miss this one, too.
 
Dont expect that next year after his performance at Trump International Golf Club.
 
I just tried to take advantage of coming down here, he said. I didnt want to just waste the trip.
 
He hasnt yet.
 
Van Pelt started Thursday with his lowest round in nine months, then followed with another sub-70 showing'a back-to-back effort he hadnt accomplished in seven previous tournaments this season.
 
Its been good to me so far, Van Pelt said. Its just the halfway point, but weve enjoyed the resort.
 
Kelly, at No. 63 in the world, is the highest-ranked competitor in the field. He had a chance to tie Van Pelt, but missed a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18. Still, he followed his first-round 67 with a 66, not too shabby for a player worried about his game when the week began.
 
Kelly wasnt making near as many birdies as he should and his missed shots were pretty bad, he said.
 
Ive cleaned up my missed shots to where theyre just off the green now and my good shots are to where Im giving myself good birdie opportunities, he said.
 
Ted Purdy (68) was two strokes behind at 10 under, while Greg Kraft (66), 24-year-old qualifier Ryan Blaum (66) and Briny Baird (68) were another shot back.
 
If Van Pelts oldest children'theres 6-year-old Olivia, 5-year-old Trace and 1-year-old Crew'hadnt been on spring break, the family mightve spent Easter weekend at home in Tulsa.
 
The location may be tropical and he may hold the lead, but Van Pelts doesnt get a break from his childrens wishes once he steps off the course. The golf just kind of gets in the way of their fun, he said.
 
Take last night: Was Van Pelt working out some swing technique or honing his putting stroke? No, the Oklahoma State grad was eating pizza on the grass like the kids wanted.
 
I guess that was pretty much a redneck picnic in Puerto Rico, he said.
 
The Van Pelts could have all the picnics they want anywhere on the island if dad leaves with the first championship trophy.
 
By the time Van Pelt teed off, his two-shot first-round lead had disappeared.
 
He rolled in a 40-foot birdie putt on his second hole, the 11th, to keep pace. A bogey on No. 14, however, dropped him from the top of the leaderboard and left him wondering if his good play would continue.
 
Not to worry. Van Pelt soon found the game he brought to Puerto Rico.
 
He made birdies on the first and second holes to regain the lead. When he lost a stroke after three-putting the par-4 third, he knocked an 8-iron 10 feet away on the next hole to grab it back. Two more birdies coming in'both on par 3s'sent him back into the lead.
 
Kelly kept soaking in his Carribean trip. Kelly lives on two lakes in Wisconsin and believes everyones better off when theyre surrounded by water.
 
Put me on an island and Im a happy man, he said.
 
Thats obvious this week.
 
Kelly birdied five of his first six holes to stay near the top. Things slowed down back nine, but he closed with a particularly pleasing birdie on the par-4 17th after blasting out of a bunker. I think thats the first time thats happened in about 12 years, he said, laughing.
 
Purdy, seeking his first victory since 2005, had birdies on the 17th and 18th holes to remain where he began the round'two in back of Van Pelt.
 
Divots
 
Three Puerto Ricans made the cut in the islands first PGA TOUR event. Miguel Suarez was at 4 under, Wilfredo Morales was a stroke behind at 3 under and amateur Rafael Campos was even par. Eighty-one players made the cut at even-par 144. That means the field will be sliced to the closest number to 70 after Saturdays round. Those missing the cut this week included course designer Tom Kite and former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman.
 
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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.