Top Stories in 2008 - Honorable Mentions

By Erik PetersonJanuary 2, 2009, 5:00 pm
Top 10 StoriesIt wasn't easy narrowing down our list of top stories from the past year to just 10. Our panel debated and ultimately came up with a final list, but that didn't mean there weren't some disagreements.
Here are a few honorable mentions who just missed the cut:



Kenny Perry: Goals. All of us have them, and we know that in order to achieve them we must exhibit dedication, hard work and focus. If youre Kenny Perry you can add up those traits, include a hot new putter, and you have a recipe for success.
For Perry the goal for 2008 was simple: Make the Ryder Cup team. Most players might aspire to win a major, but this Kentucky boy wanted to return home and represent his country at Valhalla. The not-so-simple part was that Perry, 47, is in the twilight of his PGA Tour career.
Perrys season started slowly, save for a T3 finish at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January. Things seemed to click, however, after Perry finished runner-up at the AT&T Classic in May. After that week Perry enjoyed a five-week period in which he won the Memorial Tournament, the Buick Open and the John Deere Classic. In doing so, Perry had all but secured his spot on captain Paul Azingers U.S. team.
He took heat for skipping two majors along the way, but Perry had accomplished his goal. He then went on to finish with a 2-1-1 record at Valhalla.
FedEx Cup: Through two seasons the FedEx Cup Playoffs system has endured more than its fair share of controversy. In 2007, Tiger Woods proved he could skip an event and still win the Cup. In 2008, the points system was adjusted, but Vijay Singh had the title wrapped up by the Tour Championship. Although it was created to give credence to the Tours fall season, the FedEx Cup Playoffs system was in the headlines for the all the wrong reasons.
To kick off the 2008 Playoffs Singh won the Barclays in a playoff over Sergio Garcia. The next week he birdied the final three holes en route to winning the Deutsche Bank Championship. As it turned out, that would be all Singh needed to do in order to win the Cup.
During the next two weeks, Camilo Villegas won the BMW and Tour Championships in exciting fashion, and the FedEx Cup and $10 million prize were non-chalantly awarded to Singh. For the second consecutive year the Tour playoffs ended with just as many yawns as questions.
John Daly: Daly made a late push to make our honorable mention list, and he'd much rather not be here. Daly's 2008 disaster of a season included being recorded playing golf without a shirt and shoes; hitting a tee-shot off a beer can in a pro-am; playing the final few holes of a round in Tampa with football coach Jon Gruden as his caddie; a bitter, public war of words with Butch Harmon; spending the night in a Raleigh jail due to public intoxication at a Hooters; and being suspended ' according to him ' for six months by the Tour entering 2009. Oh, and he made only five cuts in 17 events on Tour in '08. It was, by his own admission, the worst year of his life.
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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.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.