Storms suspend Rd. 3 at PGA; Monday finish looms

By Doug FergusonJuly 30, 2016, 10:16 pm

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – The PGA Championship was halted because of thunderstorms Saturday, raising the possibility of a second straight Monday finish in a major championship at Baltusrol.

Jimmy Walker and Robert Streb, tied for the lead at 9-under par, were 40 minutes from teeing off in the third round when clouds gathered, the sky rumbled and the horn sounded to suspend play. The course was pounded with rain and players eventually were sent home.

The third round was to resume at 7 a.m., weather permitting. More rain was in the forecast.

The PGA said players would stay in the same pairings and go off in the same order for the final round, starting as early as 8:40 a.m. That at least would allow the chance to finish Sunday evening, though it also meant the champion could finish hours before the last group finished.

Kevin Kisner had a 5-under 65 and was done with 54 holes at 5-under 205. Padraig Harrington also had a 65 and was at 4-under 206.

Only 37 of the 86 players who made the cut completed the third round, and 10 players had yet to tee off. Russell Knox lagged his 65-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole to within a few inches, tapped in for par and a 67, and then the horn sounded right as Marc Leishman was getting ready for his 12-foot birdie putt.


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Knox jokingly apologized to Leishman on Twitter: ''Grub, showered and feet now up. Make that putt so we don't play 4 straight days together.''

Phil Mickelson won the 2005 PGA Championship when tournament organizers took a gamble on not moving up the Sunday tee times because of rain in the forecast, and it cost them. Mickelson had to return Monday morning to claim a one-shot victory.

The last Monday finish in a major was just last year at the British Open because of heavy rain that flooded St. Andrews.

Kisner and Harrington showed a glimpse of what figured to be low scoring Saturday because of the soft conditions from two spells of rain earlier in the week. Play had to be stopped Friday morning for nearly an hour because of moderate rain that left the two fairways on the far end of the course filled with too much water.

''You keep it in the fairway, you can attack,'' Kisner said. ''The course is receptive enough. You can make a lot of birdies.''

Mickelson made the cut with one shot to spare on Friday, rallying from an opening tee shot that went out-of-bounds and onto a side street. He shot a 68 on Saturday and was at 1-under 209.

''There is a low 60s round,'' Mickelson said when he finished. ''I think somebody is going to break that 63 record in these next two days. The greens are pristine. You can make a lot of putts. They are soft, so you can get the ball very close. I think that there's that 61 or 62 out there that I was probably trying to chase a little too hard.''

Two weeks ago, Mickelson had a putt for 62 that rimmed out of the cup at Royal Troon in the opening round. Henrik Stenson closed with a 63, needing his best golf to hold off Mickelson.

And then Friday, Streb became the 28th player to post a 63 when he made a 20-foot birdie on his final hole at Baltusrol.

The course was so susceptible that Harrington didn't feel as though he played all that well and still played bogey-free for a 65.

''Hit the right shots at the right time and any of the shots that I didn't hit well didn't do me any harm,'' he said. ''So it was one of those days. It's nice when you score better than you play. It was just an average day, as I said. Thursday was the day I played well. It was amazing, the best I played Thursday, is the worst score I shot. That's the nature of the game.''

The nature of the game Saturday was to wait.

Jordan Spieth played one hole and narrowly missed a birdie putt. Rickie Fowler had 45 feet for birdie on the first hole.

That was as far as they got.

Now they face a marathon Sunday, with a reasonable chance they will not finish until Monday.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry