Power Rankings: 2015 Deutsche Bank Championship

By Will GraySeptember 2, 2015, 2:54 pm

The 45th event of the season - and the second event of the postseason - is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to Massachusetts for the Deutsche Bank Championship. A field of 99 will tackle TPC Boston, with the top 70 in the standings advancing to the BMW Championship later this month.

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Chris Kirk won this event a year ago over Billy Horschel. Here are 10 players to watch in New England:

1. Jason DayHe's the man of the moment, and merits no other spot. Day topped the rankings last week at Plainfield and won in a rout, and now he returns to TPC Boston with even more momentum and the No. 1 ranking in his sights. Day has three top-10 finishes here in the last five years, including a runner-up in 2010 and a T-3 finish in 2011.

2. Rory McIlroy: He has played only once since his ankle injury, but McIlroy should be able to thrive on a course where he won a shootout in 2012. The Ulsterman played pretty well at Whistling Straits, all things considered, and his T-5 finish last year was highlighted by a third-round 64. TPC Boston sets up well for his lengthy carry off the tee and aggressive iron play.

3. Jordan Spieth: Spieth enters off a rare missed cut, but that was his first finish outside the top 10 since May. His record at TPC Boston is highlighted by a final-round 62 in 2013 that cemented his spot on the Presidents Cup team, and while he had a somewhat middling performance last year, the chances of Spieth putting up back-to-back duds seem pretty low.

4. Henrik Stenson: The Swede was unable to catch Day last week, but Stenson now has three straight top-25 finishes and appears to be rounding into form as his favorite part of the season approaches. Stenson won here two years ago, firing 66-66 over the final two rounds, and he leads the Tour in both total driving and GIR percentage.

5. Brooks Koepka: In his last chance to impress captain Jay Haas, Koepka will look to bounce back from a missed cut that ended his run of seven straight top-20 finishes. His record this season speaks for itself, and the low scores expected this week in Boston resemble the ones seen earlier this year in Phoenix, where Koepka notched his breakthrough win.

6. Dustin Johnson: Johnson finished T-9 at Plainfield after a T-7 finish at the PGA Championship, and appears to be peaking at the right time. His record at this event includes a T-4 finish in both 2009 and 2012, and Johnson remains among the Tour leaders in both scoring average (fifth) and birdie average (sixth).

7. Justin Thomas: The rookie has been on the cusp of a breakthrough all season long, and it just might come this week. His T-16 finish at The Barclays was his 14th top-25 finish this season, and Thomas ranks seventh this season in birdie average heading into a course where rounds in the mid-60s will be needed to contend.

8. Justin Rose: The Englishman remains on a tear, with six top-20 finishes over his last seven starts including a T-16 finish last week. He ranks inside the top 10 in a number of ball-striking categories, but his record at TPC Boston - only one top-50 finish in his last six appearances - could be a reason for concern.

9. Bubba Watson: Watson scored another close call at Plainfield, his third top-three finish in his last four starts. Dating back to his win at the Travelers, he has five top-25 finishes in six starts, and he leads the Tour in total strokes gained. In nine trips to TPC Boston, though, he has yet to crack the top 10.

10. Zach Johnson: Johnson finished T-4 at The Barclays, his fifth finish of sixth or better in his last eight starts. The Open champ has struggled to crack TPC Boston, with a best finish of T-13 way back in 2004, but he has finished inside the top 30 in five of the last six years, showing that all is not exactly lost. 

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

He's making his first start in the event.

''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

How rare is his missing the cut there?

The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.