Top 125 A Small World at Disney

By Brian HewittOctober 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
Now is the time for all good golfers to come to the aid of their future.
No, thats not quite the same as, Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
But this weeks Childrens Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart is a lot more than a typing exercise for players looking to finish the season in the top 125 on the money list.
Thats what they must do at the Palm and Magnolia courses at Disney World near Orlando to keep their playing privileges for 2008. Players who dont finish above PGA TOURs Mendoza line have only the dreaded Q-School to fall back on.
There will, to be sure, nervous moments.
Take the case of TOUR veteran Billy Andrade. Through the Frys Electronics Open, Andrade ranked No. 146 on the money list. He had hoped to improve on that number at the Ginn sur Mer Classic at Tesoro, the week before Disney.
But when the Ginn event replaced the one that was going to be played at Running Horse, it required all players to re-file their entries. Andrade failed to do so and was left out of the field at Tesoro.
Disney will be his last chance to earn his card for 2008 in a 2007 regular TOUR event.
There are, believe it or not, players who can breathe easier. Jay Williamson has received a sponsors exemption into Disney. And because he has earned more than $825,000 this year he is safe to finish above the No. 125 line.
Williamsons caddie, for the entire tournament, will be GOLF CHANNELs Kraig Kann. The last time Kann caddied on TOUR was for Steve Flesch during the Pro-Am at Colonial in 2004. Flesch went on to win the golf tournament. Williamson is hoping some of Kanns mojo will rub off on him.
Kann will report on his week for GOLF CHANNEL. But he was quick to point, This week for us is going to be about Jay Williamson, not me.
Speaking of Flesch, he has won twice on Tour this year and recently said he looks forward to Disney because his family loves the attractions at the theme parks.
This will be 10 years in a row now going to the Magic Kingdom, he said. At nine and five years old my kids are right at the age where theyre dying to go to Disney World. You never die of boredom at Disney. You never know when youre going to have to wrestle Mickey Mouse to the ground.
Fleschs five-year-old daughter Lily wants to meet all the characters. His nine-year-old son Griffin is in it for the rides. So Flesch, when hes not on the course, goes with Lily. His wife, Lisa, goes with Griffin.
The pro-am format at Disney is one the players have come to appreciate as well. Rather than just a one day pro-am on Wednesday, amateurs get to play Thursday and Friday right along with the TOUR pros. The amateurs have a different partner each day as the pairings feature two pros and two amateurs in every group.
Foursomes move much more quickly than the Wednesday fivesomes found at most Tour stops. And the amateurs leave the weekend to the pros.
We like our format, says tournament director Kevin Weickel. And we have no plans to change it.
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

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    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.