End of the PGA Tour line for Adam Scott

By Doug FergusonSeptember 2, 2009, 1:15 pm
NORTON, Mass. – Adam Scott won his first PGA Tour event at the Deutsche Bank Championship six years ago. Not many could have guessed at the start of this year that he would not make it back to the TPC Boston for the second round of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

His troublesome season ended Sunday with a 25-foot birdie and a wistful smile, knowing that he was not even close to moving into the top 100 in the standings to advance.

What’s next for the 29-year-old Scott?

He will return to Australia after next week and plans to have surgery on his right knee for a cyst that has become a nuisance the last few years. Scott said it was unrelated to six times he has dislocated his right knee cap (the most recent last November), nor did it affect his golf swing throughout the year.

He said fluid has caused the cyst to grow, and doctors either will drain it and patch it, or remove it.

“It’s something I should have had done at the start of the year,” he said.

Instead, he played at Kapalua, where he spent the week with Kate Hudson, then tied for second at the Sony Open. That was as good as it got, as Scott spiraled into a mysterious slump. He showed signs of emerging with his tie for fourth at the Loch Lomond, only to miss the cut in the final two majors.

Scott and swing coach Butch Harmon mutually agreed to take a break as Scott tries to find his way.

He only has the Australian Masters, Australian PGA and Australian Open on his schedule the rest of the year. He likely can scratch off the Presidents Cup, although Scott (No. 14 in the standings) won’t rule out being a captain’s pick until Greg Norman tells him so.

He saw Liberty National as an audition, and it turned out to be a final audition.

“I had high hopes of playing well,” he said. “I did play well the last three days, and it’s the most I’ve enjoyed golf in a long time. But I don’t have high hopes – I don’t have realistic hopes – of being a pick.”


ALL IN THE FAMILY: In a peculiar move, Kenny Perry parted ways last week with longtime caddie Fred Sanders, with whom he has won most of his tournaments. Sanders said Perry has decided to use his son, Justin, the rest of the year – the final three FedEx Cup playoff events, and even the Presidents Cup.

His son played college golf at Western Kentucky and caddied for his father at the British Open, where Perry tied for 52nd without breaking par in any round at Turnberry.

Sanders said he learned of the change through Perry’s agent, even though they worked all week at The Barclays.

Asked about using his son, Perry replied tersely to two reporters, “Guys, I really don’t want to talk about that.”

Perry, who turned 49 last month, has won twice this year, lost in a playoff at the Masters and is No. 5 in the world ranking. He has 14 career victories, and has said one of his ambitious goals is to get to 20.


FRUSTRATED KIM: Anthony Kim was 13 shots out of the lead going in to the final round of The Barclays, pounding balls on the range, most of them close to perfect.

“I need some of these out there,” he said as his swing coach and trainer looked on.

Kim turned to an observer and promised, “Something big is coming – soon.” Then he started his final round with a bogey and double bogey, and had to rally for another round of 71.

So what is big, especially with the majors over? And what exactly does he mean by soon?

“For me, being in the hunt is big,” Kim said after his round, an indication of how much his performance has slipped. “And soon will be in the next three weeks.”

Kim says his game is close, but he’s not scoring. Lately, he has been hurt by slow starts. He nearly missed the cut at The Barclays until a strong closing kick Friday.

“I’m just not getting the ball in the hole fast enough,” he said. “And when I do, I’m stalling. I’m not moving forward. It’s frustrating. This is the most time I’ve spent on my swing. This is the most time I’ve spent chipping and putting.”

Later, however, he said he had to “clean up a few things,” which including doing a better job managing his time. He did not elaborate.


PLAYOFF PERKS: Heath Slocum never had a chance to digest the significance of his victory at The Barclays. One minute he was barely in the playoffs, the next he was at No. 3 in the FedEx Cup standings and assured a spot in the Tour Championship.

That means he gets in all four majors next year – the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open take the 30 who qualify for the Tour Championship, the PGA Championship by virtue of winning.

He also gets into all the invitationals and two of the World Golf Championships – Doral and Firestone. And there’s the trip to Kapalua for the winners-only SBS Championship to start the year. His wife, Vicky, won’t be joining him. She is pregnant with their second child and due in the middle of January.

 


 

PLAYOFF FEVER: Three years into the FedEx Cup, no one gets ready for the playoffs quite like Steve Stricker.

He won the inaugural playoff event at The Barclays in 2007 and was the runner-up Sunday. Along the way, Stricker has become one of only three players to compete in all 36 rounds of the nine playoff events.

“It’s the playoffs, I guess,” Stricker said with a laugh. “I mean, it’s the time of year. Fortunately, I’ve been playing well since the playoff started. I got that going for me. Obviously, you want to be playing well at this time. There’s a lot of incentive there for us at the end of it all.”

Make that double incentive for Stricker – hunting season is around the corner.

Stricker rarely plays much past September, although he has the Presidents Cup this year. As for the HSBC Championship, a World Golf Championship in Shanghai the first week of November?

“Let me think about that – no,” he said with a laugh.

 


 

DIVOTS: With his runner-up finish at The Barclays, Tiger Woods went over $8 million for the season for the fifth time in his career. … U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover is the only major champion who has turned down his spot in the HSBC Championship in Shanghai. … Woods’ runner-up finish at The Barclays leaves the FBR Open in Phoenix as the only tournament he has played at least three times without finishing second or better. … Nick Watney has chosen John Merrick as his partner for the World Cup in China.

 


 

STAT OF THE WEEK: Everyone in the top 10 of the FedEx Cup standings has won at least once this year. Last year, three players among the top 10 after The Barclays had not won a tournament.

 


 

FINAL WORD: “It’s hard to win out here, as I’m finding out. But at least I’m finding out. Before I didn’t know.” –Paul Goydos.

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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 Web.com 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.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


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.

@tommyfleetwood_1

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.

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Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."