Lang Leads Strong Field At Futures Q-School

By Futures Tour MediaNovember 7, 2005, 5:00 pm
Futures TourLAKELAND, Fla. -- A certain precocious teen named Paula Creamer showed up a year ago for the 2005 FUTURES Golf Tour Qualifying Tournament and used that event to kick off her professional rookie career. Creamer tied for medalist honors in Lakeland, moved on to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla., and won by five strokes to launch her sparkling 2005 LPGA rookie-of-the-year season.
Don't think those facts haven't crossed the mind of at least one player in this week's field of the FUTURES Tour's annual qualifier, which runs Nov. 8-11. Brittany Lang, the former Duke University collegian who tied with amateur Morgan Pressel for runner-up honors in June at the U.S. Women's Open Championship, hopes to follow in the footsteps of Creamer and use the FUTURES Tour's 72-hole tournament as a tune-up for LPGA Q-School. The LPGA's qualifier begins on Nov. 30.
'I see it as a two-fold reason to come [to the FUTURES Tour qualifier],' said Lang, 20, of McKinney, Texas. 'I'm not guaranteed a spot on the LPGA Tour and I'll have to earn my way there, plus this tournament falls at the perfect date. I haven't played tournament golf in a while, so I'm looking forward to it.'
Lang's presence is a reflection of the new wave of young talent coursing through the various ranks of women's professional golf, said Cynthia Rihm, vice president of corporate operations for the FUTURES Golf Tour.
'Just as we had Paula Creamer in the field last year, it gives great credibility to this tournament that a player of Brittany Lang's caliber wants to assure herself an exempt spot on the FUTURES Golf Tour just in case she doesn't advance to the LPGA Tour,' said Rihm. 'This is an extremely strong field with great depth.'
But while Lang, who won the California LPGA sectional tournament in September, obviously is seeking four competitive rounds this week prior to the LPGA Final Qualifying event later in the month, she also knows what the entire field of 303 contestants know going into the FUTURES Tour's annual qualifying tournament. And that is, players must face Plan B (FUTURES Tour Qualifying) before they travel to Daytona for Plan A (LPGA Tour Qualifying).
'The scheduling of the two tournaments is difficult for players because they do have to consider Plan B before they've completed Plan A,' added Rihm. 'But if they want a career in women's professional golf, they have to make that decision and plan accordingly for the coming year.'
This week's qualifying event will be contested on three Lakeland courses -- Cleveland Heights Golf Course, Huntington Hills Golf & Country Club, and Shalimar Creek Golf & Country Club. The field will be cut after 54 holes to the low 100 players and ties. Contestants will play each course once, with the final round to be staged Friday at Cleveland Heights.
The tournament field will include Lang's former Duke teammate Liz Janangelo of West Hartford, Conn., who is a senior on the 2005 national champion Blue Devil team. In addition, the field will include: former LPGA rookie of the year Lisa (Hackney) Hall of Stoke-on-Trent, England; FUTURES Tour alumna Seol-An Jeon of Seoul, South Korea, who took Christie Kerr to a seven-hole, sudden-death playoff at the 2004 LPGA Takefuji Classic; two-time Japanese Olympic beach volleyball player Yukiko Ishizaka of Kanagawa, Japan; and The Golf Channel Big Break III challengers Pamela Crikelair of Highland Beach, Fla., Cindy Miller of Silver Creek, N.Y., and Liz Uthoff of St. Louis.
Annie (Thurman) Young of Highland, Utah, who won the LPGA Florida Sectional tournament last month, already has a pass to the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament but also will be in the field of the FUTURES qualifier. Young is an All-American from Oklahoma State University.
Two members of the 2005 Rolex Junior All-America First Team will head a group of 89 amateurs registered to compete this week in FUTURES Tour qualifying. In-Bee Park of Las Vegas, a five-time Rolex Junior All-American, was the 2002 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and winner of two American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments this year. Ranked No. 2 in the Golfweek junior rankings, she won the 2002 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship and was a finalist in the 2003 and 2005 U.S. Girls' Junior Championships. Angela Park, 17, of Torrance, Calif., is the nation's fourth-ranked amateur girl and was a semifinalist in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship in August.
Lakeland-based Pamela Feggans of Ayr, Scotland, an NCAA Division II First-Team All-American from Florida Southern College, also is in the field alongside several other collegiate All-Americans including: Kelly Cramp of Pennington, N.J. (McDaniel College); Kelly Froelich of Athens, Ga. (University of Georgia); Ulrika Ljungman-Smith of Stockholm, Sweden (Rollins College); Audry Longo of Middletown, Conn. (Mt. Holyoke College; Lee-Anne Pace of Mosselbay, South Africa (University of Tulsa); and former NCAA Championship team member at Arizona State University, Thuhashini (Tui) Selvaratnam of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In a breakdown of ages in this year's FUTURES Tour Qualifying Tournament, 23 players are in their teens, while 208 players are in their 20s. The remaining age breakdown includes 47 players in their 30s, and 25 players age 40 and over.
Players in this year's event also represent 31 nations, with 188 players registered from the United States and the second-largest national representation coming from South Korea with 32 players, followed by 20 players from Canada and 12 from Australia.
'The diversity is clearly here with 31 nations outside the United States represented,' said Rihm. 'More and more strong young players are coming up in the ranks from throughout the world and we'll see many of them here this week.'
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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.