Cashman Cashes In in Tampa Bay

By Futures Tour MediaApril 6, 2003, 4:00 pm
Futures TourTAMPA, Fla. -- Colleen Cashman of Plantation, Fla., shot a 71 (-1) for a 209 (-7) to become the third first-time winner of the season at the inaugural Tampa Bay's Next Generation Futures Golf Classic in Tampa, Fla. Cashman won by one shot over Kristen Bloomer, formerly Samp, of Moberly, Mo., who fired a three-under-par 69 at Rogers Park Golf Course. Second round co-leader and non-exempt LPGA Tour player Liz Earley of St. Catharines, Ontario, finished in third at 212 (-4).
Cashman headed into today's final round tied for the lead with Earley at 138 (-6). Bloomer, who was 141 (-3) after 36-holes, shot up to 7-under for tournament with birdies on one, two, six, and seven. She bogeyed nine, but maintained a one-shot lead over Cashman through nine holes, who was playing one group behind. Cashman's front nine consisted of a double-bogeyed five and a 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe on six.
'I hit my tee shots out of bounds on five,' stated Cashman. 'That double-bogey hurt, but I knew I had a lot of holes left to play. I wanted to hit the ball as close to the pin as possible and set myself up for some good putts.'
Both Cashman and Bloomer bogeyed 10, but the lead changed hands on the par three 178-yard 12th hole. Bloomer bogeyed and Cashman made a 15-foot birdie putt to go to 5-under, one shot a head of her opponent.
Cashman followed up with two more birdies on 14 and 15, elevating her to 7-under-par. However, Bloomer did not give up that easily. She birdied 14, bogeyed 16, and eagled 18 to come within a shot of the lead at 6-under. Cashman two-putted for par from 10 feet on number 18 and finished at 209 (-7).
'I heard the crowd cheering when I was in the 18th fairway, but I wasn't sure what was happening,' noted Cashman, in reference to Bloomer's eagle putt. 'When I got up to the green to make my putt, I looked at the leaderboard and knew I had to at least par this hole.
'My goal was to hit the ball decent, make pars, make birdies, and eliminate bogeys. I also wanted to play my own game and not worry about how anyone else was doing on the course. I needed to play my own game. What a feeling.'
Earley recorded two bogeys, one double-bogey, and an eagle on the final hole for a 74 (+2). Her hit her 5-iron from 176 yards to eight feet and she made the putt to finish in third at 212 (-4).
Earley stated, 'I did not play as well as I did yesterday. I wasn't hitting the ball as close to the pin as I wanted to. I had a lot of 30-footers instead of 12-footers, but I'm happy I was able to finish strong.'
Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Conn., shot a 74 (+2) and finished tied for 33rd with a 221 (+5). Her round was made up of four birdies and six bogeys.
At the 2001 LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Venice, Fla., Cashman hit her drive on the 17th tee and as she was walking back to her golf cart, she was struck by lightning. The odds of this happening are 1 in 600,000.
'I heard a deafening roar and then felt electricity going right through my body,' commented Cashman. 'Everything went blurry, I got a headache, and felt my right arm shaking, like a seizure. I thought I got struck by lighting, but I wasn't sure. I don't even remember driving back to the clubhouse.'
The ambulance was called and Cashman was examined immediately. Her prognosis was positive and she competed in the tournament, but missed the cut. For four months after the ordeal, her entire body and brain were tested for any side effects that could have occurred.
Cashman stated, 'I was having a lot of headaches, similar to a migraine, but worse. I was wearing metal sunglasses, which acted as a conductor to my brain. The doctors wanted to be cautious.'
Despite the experience, Cashman has remained on the golf course. Even getting struck by lightning can not keep her away from her passion.
'My heart pounds every time I see a lightning bolt,' Cashman noted. 'I am always looking around to see if bad weather is rolling in. I have a sort of anxiety attack that I can't control, but it is getting a lot better.'
A year-and-a-half later, under beautiful and sunny skies, Cashman was able to earn her first FUTURES Tour victory and collect the $9,100 first-place check. She was able to share that experience with her husband-to-be, Dave McSween, and the couple will be married in December. Things keep getting brighter for Cashman.

Thomas vs. Rose could be Ryder Cup highlight

By Rex HoggardNovember 19, 2017, 11:40 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – For those still digesting the end of 2017 – the European Tour did, after all, just wrap up its season in Dubai on Sunday – consider that the PGA Tour is already nearly one-fifth of the way into a new edition.

The Tour has already crowned eight champions as the game banks into the winter break, and there are some interesting trends that have emerged from the fall.

Dueling Justins: While Justin Thomas picked up where he left off last season, winning the inaugural CJ Cup in October just three weeks after claiming the FedExCup and wrapping up Player of the Year honors; Justin Rose seems poised to challenge for next year’s low Justin honors.

The Englishman hasn’t finished outside the top 10 since August and won back-to-back starts (WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open) before closing his year with a tie for fourth place in Dubai.

Note to U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk: Justin v. Justin next September in Paris could be fun.

Youth served. Just in case anyone was thinking the pendulum might be swinging back in the direction of experience over youthful exuberance – 41-year-old Pat Perez did put the veterans on the board this season with his victory at the CIMB Classic – Patrick Cantlay solidified his spot as genuine phenom.

Following an injury-plagued start to his career, Cantlay got back on track this year, needing just a dozen starts to qualify for the Tour Championship. He went next level earlier this month with his playoff victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

They say these trends come and go in professional golf, but as the average age of winners continues to trend lower and lower it’s safe to say 25 is the new 35 on Tour.

A feel for it. For all the science that has become such a big part of the game – from TrackMan analysis to ShotLink statistics – it was refreshing to hear that Patton Kizzire’s breakthrough victory at the OHL Classic came down to a hunch.

With the tournament on the line and Rickie Fowler poised just a stroke back, Kizzire’s tee shot at the 72nd hole came to rest in an awkward spot that forced him to stand close to his approach shot to keep his feet out of the sand. His 8-iron approach shot sailed to 25 feet and he two-putted for par.

And how far did he have for that pivotal approach?

“I have no idea,” he laughed.

Fall facelift. Although the moving parts of the 2018-19 schedule appear to be still in flux, how the changes will impact the fall schedule is coming into focus.

The Tour’s goal is to end the season on Labor Day, which means the fall portion of the schedule will begin a month earlier than it does now. While many see that as a chance for the circuit to embrace a true offseason, it’s becoming increasingly clear that won’t be the case.

The more likely scenario is an earlier finish followed by a possible team competition, either the Ryder or Presidents cup, before the Tour kicks off a new season in mid-September, which means events currently played before the Tour Championship will slide to the fall schedule.

“So if you slide it back, somebody has to jump ahead. The mechanics of it,” said Davis Love III, host of the RSM Classic and a member of the Tour’s policy board. “I’m still going to go complain and beg for my day, but I also understand when they say, this is your date, make it work, then we'll make it work.”

While 2019 promises to bring plenty of change to the Tour, know that the wraparound season and fall golf are here to stay.

Product protection. Speaking of the fall schedule and the likely plan to expand the post-Tour Championship landscape, officials should also use the platform to embrace some protections for these events.

Consider that the RSM Classic featured the third-strongest field last week according to the Official World Golf Ranking, behind the season-ending tournament in Dubai on the European Tour and the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour.

The winner in Dubai received 50 World Ranking points, a marquee event that has historically been deeper than that week’s Tour stop, while the Dunlop Phoenix winner, Brooks Koepka, won 32 points. Austin Cook collected 30 points for his victory at Sea Island Resort.

All told, the Japan event had four players in the field from the top 50 in the world, including world No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama; while the highest-ranked player at the RSM Classic was Matt Kuchar at 15th and there were seven players from the top 50 at Sea Island Resort.

Under Tour rules, Koepka, as well as any other Tour members who competed either in Japan or Dubai, had to be granted conflicting-event releases by the circuit.

Although keeping players from participating in tournaments overseas is not an option, it may be time for the circuit to reconsider the conflicting-event policy if the result is a scenario like last week that relegates a Tour event to third on the international dance card.

After Further Review: Whan deserves major credit

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 11:18 pm

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

On Mike Whan's really, really good idea ...

If LPGA commissioner Mike Whan hasn’t earned a gold star yet for creating the Race to the CME Globe four years ago, he deserves one now. The race’s finish at the CME Group Tour Championship has become a spectacular fireworks show. Stacy Lewis said it best on Saturday. She said the pressure the top players feel at CME is the “worst” those players feel all year, and by that she meant the “most intense,” the kind that makes for the best weeks.

You can argue there’s more pressure on the top women at the CME than there is in a major. The Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring, the Rolex world No. 1 ranking and the money-winning title all seem to come down to this final week, when there’s also the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot up for grabs. You have to think the weight of all that might have had something to do with Lexi Thompson missing that 2-footer at Sunday’s end. She came away with the Vare Trophy and $1 million jackpot as nice consolation prizes. We all came away thrilled by Ariya Jutanugarn’s birdie-birdie finish amid the gut-wrenching drama. - Randall Mell

On Austin Cook's improbable winner's journey ...

Despite becoming a Monday qualifying sensation on the PGA Tour in 2015, Austin Cook still had to head to Tour Q-School that winter. There he collapsed over his final four holes to blow a chance at full status, and one year later the cancellation of the Tour Championship because of Hurricane Matthew left him $425 short of a PGA Tour card.

But Cook put to rest all of his recent near-misses with four days of nearly flawless golf at Sea Island. Now he’s headed to Augusta National in April and exempt through 2020, afforded ample time to look back at how tough breaks in the past helped to shape his unique journey to the winner’s circle. - Will Gray

On what Cook's win says about PGA Tour depth ...

Players talk regularly about the depth of talent on the PGA Tour, claiming that anyone in a particular field can come away with a trophy on any given week.

To prove the point, Austin Cook, No. 306 in the Official World Golf Ranking, rolled over the field at the RSM Classic with rounds of 66-62-66-67 for a four-stroke victory. Before Sunday at Sea Island Resort, Cook’s only triumph in a professional event was at a mini-tour winter series tournament. That payday was $5,000.

His victory at the RSM Classic was worth considerably more and proved, yet again, the depth of the modern game. - Rex Hoggard

Snedeker feels close to 100 percent after RSM week

By Rex HoggardNovember 19, 2017, 11:09 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Even if the result – a tie for 29th place – wasn't exactly what Brandt Snedeker is accustomed to, given his journey back from injury he’ll consider his final regular-season start of 2017 a success.

Snedeker had been sidelined with a sternum injury since June and overhauled his swing with the help of his coach John Tillery in an attempt to alleviate future injury. Needless to say, his expectations at the RSM Classic were low.

After starting the week with back-to-back rounds of 67 to move into contention, Snedeker wasn’t as sharp on the weekend, but he was still pleased with his week.

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

“It was great to see how my swing held up and the golf course toughen up today and the changes we made. Inevitably you kind of revert back to what’s comfortable and natural,” he said. “But now my body feels good. I was shocked. I thought I’d be close to 75 percent this week and felt closer to 100 [percent]. Hopefully it continues to stay that way.”

Snedeker said he has a busy schedule planned for early next season on the West Coast and also plans to play next month’s QBE Shootout.

“Every time I’ve come back from injury I’ve been kind of like, well I’m close but not quite there,” said Snedeker, who added that he was pain-free for the entire week. “This is the first time I’ve come back and been like it’s there.”

Cook hopes RSM win starts a ROY campaign

By Rex HoggardNovember 19, 2017, 10:43 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook cruised to his first PGA Tour victory on Sunday at the RSM Classic, a nearly flawless performance that included just two bogeys for the week and a 21-under total.

Earlier in the week, Cook’s caddie Kip Henley said Cook was playing the most effortless golf he’d ever witnessed. But as is so often the case, it can be tough to tell what is really going on inside a player's mind.

“A lot of stuff going on, especially up here,” Cook laughed pointing at his head. “A little tenseness. This week my ball-striking was great, and for the most part my putting was great as well. All around my game was just incredible this week.”

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

Following a bogey at the second hole on Sunday that cut his lead to two shots, the rookie responded with a birdie at the seventh hole and added three more over his final four holes to beat J.J. Spaun by four strokes.

It was a timely victory for a player who has set rather lofty goals for himself.

“My goal coming into the year was to win Rookie of the Year and I’ve gotten off to a good start. Now my goal is to make a long deep run into the FedExCup playoffs,” he said.

Cook became the second consecutive rookie winner of the RSM Classic following Mac Hughes’ victory last year.