Power Rankings: 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship

By Will GrayAugust 27, 2014, 5:19 pm

This week marks the 43rd event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as the Tour continues the playoffs with the Deutsche Bank Championship. A field of 94 players will tee it up this week at TPC Boston, where the winning score often exceeds 20 under par.

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Henrik Stenson returns to defend the title he won a year ago over Sergio Garcia. Here are 10 names to watch this week in Norton:

1. Adam Scott: The Aussie was T-15 last week at Ridgewood despite a Saturday 75, his seventh straight top-15 finish dating all the way back to May. Scott got his first PGA Tour win here back in 2003 and has added four top-10 finishes since then, including three years in a row from 2010-2012. He knows what it takes to contend at TPC Boston, and should do so again this year.

2. Rory McIlroy: An "off" week for the Ulsterman still netted a top-25 finish, which McIlroy has produced in every start on Tour this year. He won here in a shootout back in 2012 and while his other two results haven't been spectacular, he has shot 65 or better in four of 12 competitive rounds at TPC Boston. McIlroy is certainly not hurting for confidence these days, and should contend again before heading to Denver.

3. Jason Day: Day appears ready to put an injury-plagued summer behind him, as he followed a T-15 finish at Valhalla with a runner-up showing at The Barclays. The Aussie cracked the top three in Boston in both 2010 and 2011, and he had four rounds in the 60s en route to a T-13 finish a year ago.

4. Jim Furyk: While another chance to end his victory drought passed him by, Furyk still notched an eighth-place finish at Ridgewood, his ninth top-10 finish in 18 starts this season. He hasn't finished outside the top 20 since Colonial, and he continues to lead the Tour in scrambling. Furyk has three top 10s in nine starts at TPC Boston, most recently 2011 when he finished sixth.

5. Brandt Snedeker: Despite a missed cut last week in New Jersey, Snedeker remains one of the hotter players around and now heads to a course where he finished sixth or better for three straight years from 2010-2012. Snedeker's three prior starts before the missed cut at Ridgewood all netted top-15 finishes, and he should add to that tally in his final start before Ryder Cup captain's picks are announced.

6. Matt Kuchar: In his first start since withdrawing from the PGA Championship with a bad back, Kuchar picked up right where he left off with a T-5 finish at Ridgewood. It was his third straight top-15 result, and Kuchar has turned 21 starts this season into 11 top 10s and 15 top 25s. He's cracked the top 15 at TPC Boston three of the last five years, including a T-4 finish last year.

7. Hunter Mahan: Now atop the FedEx Cup standings, Mahan is heating up just in time for a potential Ryder Cup berth. His Barclays win was his third straight top-15 finish including Firestone and Akron, and Mahan was among the field leaders in GIR percentage each of those three weeks. He's finished inside the top 15 in Norton two of the past three years, including a T-13 finish last year when he opened with 65.

8. Rickie Fowler: One of the best players this summer, but heading to a course where he has had limited success in the past. Fowler is now riding a streak of five straight top-10 finishes after a T-9 result at Ridgewood but his finishes at TPC Boston have gotton progressively worse: T-41, T-52, T-74 and a missed cut last year. Something's gotta give.

9. William McGirt: The veteran is quietly flying under the radar, and has now notched four straight top-25 finishes. After bookend 64s at Sedgefield, he tied for fifth at The Barclays to head to TPC Boston with some significant momentum. He is among the Tour's putting leaders and has shot 66 or better in six of his last 16 competitive rounds.

10. Jordan Spieth: Spieth hasn't had a month to remember in August, but he closed with a 67 at Ridgewood to finish T-22 last week, his 17th top-25 finish of the season. Spieth is seventh on Tour in birdie average in 2013-14 and returns to TPC Boston after a memorable debut last year, when he tied for fourth after a final-round 62 that locked up his spot on the Presidents Cup team.

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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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