With Woods away others chase FedEx points in Reno

By Associated PressAugust 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)RENO, Nev. ' Charley Hoffman, Kevin Na, Andres Romero and Greg Chalmers are among those hoping to take advantage of the absence of Tiger Woods and the worlds top golfers by using this weeks Legends Reno-Tahoe Open to move up the PGA Tour money list and the FedEx Cup standings.
 
Paired opposite the World Golf Championship event at the $8.5 million Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio, the Reno tourney beginning Thursday offers only a $3 million purse but boasts one of its strongest fields in its 11 years partly because of the race for the FedEx Cup, players and tourney officials agree.
 
Typically this tournament provides an opportunity for someone to either get their career back on track, or someone who has never won before or a young guy to come out and do something crazy and have their first win, said Chalmers, an Australian who finished tied for second behind Woods at last weekends Buick Open outside Detroit.
 
Past champions Scott Verplank (2000), John Cook (2001), Kirk Triplett (2003) and Steve Flesch (2007) all had long winless streaks before their victories in Reno.
 
Defending champ Parker McLachlin, Notah Begay III, Chris Riley, Vaughn Taylor and Will MacKenzie all claimed their first PGA tour victories at the 7,472-yard Montreux Golf and Country Club that winds through towering pines and mountain streams on the edge of the Sierra.
 
Taylor, the tourneys only two-time winner who posted his best finish of the season with a tie for eighth at the Buick last week, is back again along with Triplett, Flesch, McLachlin, Riley and MacKenzie.
 
Chalmers, who has four other Top 20 finishes this year, was the only one to shoot all four rounds in the 60s last week. His second-place finish vaulted him from 122nd to 77th in the FedEx Cup standings.
 
Only the top 125 qualify for the PGA Tour Playoffs with only next weeks PGA Championship and the Wyndham Championship remaining before they begin with The Barclays. The field then is cut to 70 and finally 30 for the season-ending Tour Championship.
 
Its certainly coming down to the business end of the season, Chalmers said. Last week has catapulted me into a spot where I have an opportunity, if I play well, to achieve a lot of things that could be really exciting.
 
Getting into that Top 70 in the FedEx Cup would be a start. That would get me into some more events. That is a big part of the reason Im here this week Theres an awful lot on the table to play well this week.
 
Hoffman and Na both have 10 finishes in the Top 25 on tour this year. Hoffman, who tied for second at the FBR Open, is 21st in the FedEx standings and 29th on the tour money list with $1.6 million. Na, who was third at the FBR Open and tied for third at The Players Championship, is 22nd in the FedEx and 20th on the money list with just over $2 million.
 
John Rollins, who is 32nd on the PGA money list with $1.6 million, Nathan Green, Mark Wilson, Ben Crane, Briny Baird, John Merrick and Charlie Wi are in the Top 50 of the FedEx standings and another 32 golfers at Reno this week are in the Top 125.
 
Rich Barcelo, who after 10 years of playing claimed his first victory on the Nationwide Tour last month at the Cox Classic in Omaha, is a native of Reno and one of four former Nevada Wolf Pack golfers in the field along with Triplett, Wi and Michael Allen.
 
I think word is getting out that this is a great tournament, said Barcelo, who is seventh on the Nationwide Tour money list with $198,649.
 
Tournament director Michael Stearns said this years field has a combined 146 career victories on Tour compared to past years when that total was around 120.
 
Thats a great indication of how strong the field is, said Stearns, who credits the pursuit of the FedEx Cup for the tourneys increased popularity.
 
It is finally doing what it was designed to do, which is make the field more competitive and make more players play more. If you are not at the WGC in Ohio, you are here.
 
Crane has the highest World Golf Ranking in the field at No. 65, followed by Romero (69), Na (73) and Aaron Baddeley (75). Romero, a 28-year-old Argentinian, tied for third at the Northern Trust Open and tied for 13th at the British Open last month.
 
Five PGA Championship winners are in the field ' Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger, Steve Elkington, Rich Beem, Mark Brooks and Shaun Micheel.
 
Related Links:
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.