Webb Back in Familiar Spot Down Under

By Associated PressFebruary 9, 2008, 5:00 pm
Ladies European TourGOLD COAST, Australia -- Six-time champion Karrie Webb made a 16-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Saturday to grab a share of the lead at the ANZ Australian Ladies Masters.
Webb's 5-under 67 gave her a two-round total of 136 in the rain-shortened 54-hole tournament at Royal Pines. Two regulars on the Japanese tour -- Australian Tamie Durdin and South Korean Shin Hyun-ju -- were tied with Webb, Durdin after a 67 and Shin with a 68.
Taiwan's Tseng Ya-ni and England's Lisa Hall, both with 69s, were tied for fourth, a stroke back of the leading trio.
One of Webb's biggest putts came on the 16th, when she saved par from 16 feet to stay within a stroke of the lead. Webb missed the green on the par-4 17th, but again saved par.
'I just hit a real bad shot on 16, kind of fat,' Webb said. 'But I made a nice putt, then a good up-and-down on 17.'
Webb said she hasn't been hitting her driver well, 'but on this course, you can get away with it.'
'I was hot and cold today,' she said. 'Tomorrow I'll have to hit another low score. You can't be conservative out there.'
Durdin, who played 26 events in Japan last year, was among the early leaders at Royal Pines last year before fading on the weekend.
She double-bogeyed the par-4 4th hole Saturday after taking a penalty drop when her ball landed in trees and under branches, then her bogey putt lipped out. But she had seven birdies the rest of the way.
Durdin, whose best finish in Japan is a tie for fourth, is aware of her reputation of not being able to remain among the leaders.
'I've had trust and belief issues before and I have then obviously failed at the finish line,' she said.
'But it's a question of believing in what I'm doing, trusting myself. I'm doing that now.'
Webb called Durdin 'the biggest underachiever in Australian golf.'
'She has more talent in her little toe than 90 percent of the field this week,' Webb said.
Shin will begin her fourth year on the Japanese tour this season, where she has two career wins.
She had two bogeys on the back nine -- both on par 3s, including a three-putt on the 16th. But she made a 16-foot birdie putt on the ninth -- her last of the day -- to pull into a tie with Durdin.
'My driving is not that long, so my strong point is my short game,' Shin said through an interpreter. 'I am pleased with the way I am playing.'
Seven players were two shots off the lead: former Duke University player and 2002 NCAA champion Virada Nirapathpongporn of Thailand, who shot a 69, Louise Stahle (67) and Anna Tybring (68) of Sweden, Tania Elosegui of Spain (70), and Carri Woods and Diana D'Alessio of the United States and Marianne Skarpnord of Norway, all after 69s.
Former three-time Masters champion Laura Davies of England shot 69 and was at 139, three shots back.
'I drove the ball much better today, I was always in play,' Davies said. 'I missed a few short birdie putts, which was disappointing, but I'm one of the people still around with a chance to win.'
Ai Miyazato of Japan and Shin Ji-yai of South Korea, who lost to Webb in a playoff in last week's Australian Open at Kingston Heath in Melbourne, each had 69s and were tied in the group with Davies.
Australian Nikki Garrett, who held a one-stroke first-round lead over 10 players, had a 73 Saturday and was four strokes back.
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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