Wie Tries Again to Make Cut at Sony Open

By Associated PressJanuary 11, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- David Toms had some advice for Michelle Wie.
 
The defending champion at the Sony Open played a practice round with the 17-year-old Wie, who will be playing her hometown event for the fourth straight year Thursday, trying to end her 0-6 mark in making the cut on the PGA TOUR.
 
Wie played a practice round with defending champion Ernie Els in 2004. A year ago, she practiced with Justin Rose and Sean OHair, two guys who can pound it off the tee. Toms is of moderate length.
 
I felt like at times maybe she was overswinging, trying to hit a draw for extra distance, Toms said. She could probably tell after playing nines with me that she has adequate distance to play out here at a high level. She cant overpower our game like she does on the ladies tour, so she has to play a different game, more of an accuracy game.
 
I think once she learns that, shell do fine.
 
The Michelle Wie Show isnt nearly what it was when she made her Sony Open debut in 2004 and shot 68 in the second round to miss the cut by one shot. It doesnt even have the same energy as last year.
 
No one is taking about her, Paul Azinger said. Its kind of a shame. It looks like the novelty has worn off.
 
Even the senior in high school said she no longer feels out of place on the PGA TOUR, especially at Waialae Country Club. She doesnt spend every hour of daylight, soaking up her moment in the sun, never mind the overcast skies.
 
She couldnt say whether there was less buzz around her.
 
Its hard to think of myself as a novelty, she said. Its not like Im chocolate, or anything.
 
Wie was in the morning group in the first full-field event of the year on the PGA TOUR, playing with Gavin Coles of Australia, whose nickname on tour is the Angry Ant, which could lead to some interesting dynamics. The other player in their threesome is Stephen Marino, who shot the lowest round at Q-school (62) in earning his card.
 
For everyone else, its business as usual.
 
Vijay Singh will try to make it an island sweep, having won the Mercedes-Benz Championship last week. The only other player to start the year 2-0 in Hawaii was Ernie Els in 2003.
 
His confidence is climbing. His work is endless, shutting down the range two straight days leading to the opening round.
 
It really is a very comforting thing to have a win underneath your belt and to go out there and say, Even if I dont win this week, it doesnt matter because Ive got one already, Singh said. Thats probably not the right way to look at it. I need to pick myself up and get myself fired up again.
 
Singh already found plenty of motivation from The Golf Channel.
 
He told about seeing a report that suggested he would never be a top-5 player again, having won only once last year and about to turn 44. Singh hardly looked like he was aging at Kapalua, beating Adam Scott by two shots.
 
Its a shame, he said. Two years ago, I won nine events. Three years ago, I won four. So its not like I went off the map or anything. I did finish high on the money list last year (No. 4). I still won a golf tournament. I had a pretty average season last year, but that didnt mean I was totally off the map.
 
Whether Wie belongs in the same arena as golfs best players remains a hot debate.
 
I pull for her all the time, Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger said.
 
Stuart Appleby says Wie continues to bring exposure to the Sony Open, but hes not sure when it will end, referring to it as a saga.
 
I think she came five years too early to play the mens tour, he said. She should really just let it go for now, come back when shes accomplished at a game thats more comparable to someone like Annika. Shes certainly not proving anything except that she cant play with the men at her level right now. Theres not doubt shes going to improve dramatically as a player and mature as a person.
 
But right now, he added, its just the wrong time.
 
When someone suggested that playing against the men was about marketing, Wie fired back.
 
I guess being the only girl on the baseball team when I was 4-years-old was also a marketing plan'not, she said. Its what I want to do. Some people take it as, Its a marketing plan to make more money, blah, blah. But they dont realize its what I want to do and I enjoy it. You cant trade happiness for anything.
 
Singh said he was rooting for her to make the cut so she can get on with the rest of her goals.
 
Id like to see her win, go out there and make a real name for herself, he said. Shes a great player and will be a great player on the ladies tour. I think she wont do that if she keeps playing here and doing what shes doing now. You have to feel a rhythm about your swing, but how can you? You cannot just jump on one tour, especially if youre a (17-year-old) girl.
 
The guys out there are not scared of anything, they are not even scared of the top guys, Singh said. So they are not really worried about a girl going out there and beating them.
 
And there is nothing to suggest they should be nervous. In her last two PGA TOUR events, Wie was last at the 84 Lumber Classic and withdrew from the John Deere Classic.

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.