Power Rankings: Puerto Rico Open

By Will GrayMarch 5, 2013, 5:14 pm

While many of the game's best contest the season's second WGC event at Doral this week, the PGA Tour is also hosting a full-field event in Puerto Rico. Power Rankings for the WGC-Cadillac Championship can be found here, but below you'll find rankings for the Puerto Rico Open at Trump International Golf Club.

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George McNeill returns to defend the title he won last year by two shots over Ryo Ishikawa. Here are 10 players to watch this week in the Caribbean:

1. Kevin Stadler: After a successful run through the 2012 FedEx Cup Playoffs, Stadler picked up right where he left off to start 2013, highlighted by a T-3 finish at Pebble. He's also shown an affinity for this course, finishing inside the top 20 in four of five starts in Puerto Rico.

2. Luke Guthrie: Guthrie is receiving more attention after a third-place finish at Honda, but the rookie has now been inside the top 30 in five of seven starts this year. Expect another high finish this week with many of the bigger names playing at Doral.

3. Brendon de Jonge: The Zimbabwean was one of the steadier players in 2012 and notched a pair of top-15 finishes during the West Coast Swing to begin his 2013 campaign. De Jonge was inside the top 15 in two of the last three years in Puerto Rico, including a tie for third in 2010.

4. John Rollins: Another player who has quietly compiled a great start to 2013, with four top-25 finishes in five starts, including a T-16 at Riviera in his last event. Rollins is currently fourth on Tour in birdie average and seventh in the all-around ranking.

5. Bryce Molder: Like Rollins, Molder has finished inside the top 25 in four of five starts this year, highlighted by a tie for 12th at Pebble Beach. He currently leads the Tour in strokes gained putting, and finished inside the top 15 here in both 2009 and 2010.

6. Josh Teater: Teater already has a pair of top-10 finishes to his credit this year, including a T-2 showing at Torrey Pines and a T-6 finish at Riviera in his last start. Since then, the Kentucky native has gotten married, so this week's event may serve as a pseudo-honeymoon for him and his new bride.

7. Jeff Overton: The Hoosier has struggled a bit to get his 2013 season off the ground after a strong close to his 2012 campaign, but his track record at this event is noteworthy. Overton has been inside the top 15 each of his last three starts in Puerto Rico, including a tie for 14th last year.

8. Patrick Cantlay: Cantlay notched his first professional victory last week, winning by four shots at the Web.com Tour event in Colombia. Momentum from his maiden win should help him this week in his first Puerto Rico appearance, having also finished T-9 last month at Pebble Beach.

9. George McNeill: The defending champ also finished fifth here in 2011, and has broken par in each of his eight competitive rounds at Trump International. This year he has made the cut in each of his five starts, with his T-41 result last week at Honda marking the first time all year he's finished outside the top 40.

10. Graham DeLaet: Fresh off a tie for ninth at PGA National, the Canadian heads back to Puerto Rico, where he also finished tied for ninth a year ago. DeLaet is currently 13th in total driving and also had high finishes at Torrey Pines (T-9) and Riviera (T-21) earlier this season.

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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 played a six-hole stretch in 6 under and shot an 8-under 64 in breezy conditions Saturday to take the lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook began the run at La Quinta Country Club with birdies on Nos. 4-5, eagled the sixth and added birdies on No. 7 and 9 to make the turn in 6-under 30.

After a bogey on the 10th, he birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 15 and saved par on the 18th with a 20-footer to take a 19-under 197 total into the final round on PGA West's Stadium Course. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player is making his first start in the event. He won at Sea Island in November for his first PGA Tour title.

Fellow former Razorbacks star Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were a stroke back. Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 on the Stadium Course. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. They are both winless on the PGA Tour.

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

Jon Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium Course to reach 17 under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3, 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.

Scott Piercy also was two strokes back after a 66 at the Stadium.

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 PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course, and Harkins shot 68 on the Stadium Course.

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 Course 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. The Southern California recruit had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over for the week.

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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Mickelson 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.

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Defending champ Gana co-leads Latin America Amateur

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 11:20 pm

Toto Gana moved into early position to try to win a return trip to the Masters Saturday by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The defending champ posted a 3-under-par 68 at Prince of Wales Country Club in his native Chile, equaling the rounds of Argentina’s Mark Montenegro and Colombia’s Pablo Torres.

They are one shot ahead of Mexico’s Alvaro Ortiz and Mario Carmona, Argentina’s Horacio Carbonetti and Jaime Lopez Rivarola and the Dominican Republic’s Rhadames Pena.

It’s a bunched leaderboard, with 19 players within three shots of each at the top of the board in the 72-hole event.

“I think I have my game under control,” said Gana, 20, a freshman at Lynn University. “I hit the ball very well, and I also putted very well. So, I am confident about tomorrow.”

The LAAC’s champion will get more than a Masters invitation. He also will be exempt into the The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event he is eligible to play this year. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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LAAC returning to Casa de Campo in 2019

By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 8:23 pm

The Latin America Amateur Championship will return to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in 2019 (Jan. 17-20), event organizers announced Saturday in Chile, where this year’s championship is underway.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to play the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club every spring.

The champion is also exempt into The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur and any other USGA event for which he is eligible to compete. The champion and players who finish runner-up are also exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open.

The LAAC was founded by the Masters, the R&A and the USGA, with the purpose of further developing amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The championship got its start in 2015 with Chile’s Matias Dominguez winning at Pilar Golf in Argentina. In 2016, Casa de Campo hosted, with Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet winning. At 16, he became the first player from Central America to compete in the Masters. In 2017, Chile’s Toto Gana won the title at  Club de Golf de Panama.