Furyk, Day lead Barclays by 1 through 54

By Doug Ferguson, Associated PressAugust 23, 2014, 10:17 pm

PARAMUS, N.J. - Jim Furyk was steady. Jason Day was wild. Both wound up with a share of the lead Saturday at The Barclays.

Day lost his golf ball in a mound of high grass and took double bogey on the par-5 13th, the third-easiest hole at Ridgewood. He also took four shots to get down from a bunker on the par-5 17th for a bogey. But the Australian made enough birdies for a 3-under 68.

Furyk played bogey-free for a 69 and joined Day in the lead at 9-under 204.

The final round of his opening FedEx Cup playoff event was shaping up as a shootout, with 15 players separated by three shots.

Hunter Mahan was tied for the lead until his approach went right of the green on the 18th and he took bogey for a 68. He was one shot behind. Matt Kuchar, who won The Barclays the last time it was at Ridgewood in 2010, was among seven players two shots behind.

The group at 6-under 207 included Ernie Els and Erik Compton.

Missing from the mix - but not entirely out of the picture - was Rory McIlroy. The British Open and PGA champion made an early move until he was slowed by a pair of bogeys around the turn. He had a 70 and was five shots behind in his bid for a fourth straight victory.

Adam Scott failed to keep pace. Tied for the lead going in a cloudy Saturday, the defending Barclays champion made only one birdie in a round of 75 and left him five shots out of the lead.

At least he's still playing. Phil Mickelson missed the 54-hole cut, which is in effect when more than 78 players make the 36-hole cut. For the second straight day, Mickelson hit his tee shot onto the terrace of a grandstand left of the fifth green. This time, he saved par.


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That was the lone highlight, however. Mickelson shot a 75 and headed home. It was unclear if he would play the Deutsche Bank Championship next week, which might end his season if he doesn't stay among the top 70 eligible for the BMW Championship.

Just about everyone else at Ridgewood is still in the running, or so it seems.

''It's going to be interesting tomorrow,'' Day said, who is trying to make the most out of what seems like a lost year because of a thumb injury.

Day injured his thumb while winning the Match Play Championship in February, costing him tournaments and momentum. But a big run now that he's healthy could help him salvage his season.

The focus figures to be on Furyk, who has gone nearly four years without a victory. Since winning the Tour Championship at the end of 2010, Furyk has had at least a share of the 54-hole lead seven times and has failed to convert.

His last chance was a month ago in the Canadian Open, where Tim Clark beat him by a shot. He also missed out on two majors, the PGA Championship last year at Oak Hill and the U.S. Open in 2012 at Olympic Club.

Furyk said only a few guys had a realistic chance in Canada. This is different.

''Going to be a little bit of a shootout tomorrow,'' he said. ''Excited about one more opportunity.''

Mahan has gone more than two years without winning. Not only is he trying to extend his streak of reaching the Tour Championship every year, Mahan still is auditioning for Tom Watson as a potential captain's pick for the Ryder Cup. He took the outright lead with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 15th hole, but he lost a good birdie chance with a poor wedge into the 17th, and then flared his approach to the right on the 18th.

Even so, he's right there with a chance to win and make a big statement.

And so is everyone else. Even as Scott went sliding backward, Cameron Tringale held his own. It was the first time Tringale had a share of the lead going into the weekend, and he bounced back from an early bogey to stay in the hunt.

Morgan Hoffman, at No. 124 the second-to-last man into the playoffs, had the best round Saturday with a bogey-free 66 and was in the group at 7-under 206. Kevin Chappell had a two-shot lead with he drove the green at No. 5 and converted a long two-putt for birdie. He didn't make another birdie and dropped three shots for a 71 and was among those two shots behind.

The players at 5-under 208 - four shots back - included Rickie Fowler (67), Ryo Ishikawa (68) and Paul Casey, who had a 71 as he tries to extend his season.

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Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


FALLING

Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.