Dalys Big Win at 94 BellSouth

By George WhiteApril 1, 2003, 5:00 pm
For all his ventures into fame,, its hard to believe that John Daly has only won two tournaments on the PGA Tour. He has also won the PGA and the British Open, which may explain why he is so famous. But in the year 1994, it looked like Daly was on a roll which would net him victories by the handful.
Daly had gone through his first rehab and emerged with a quiet confidence. Later, much later, he would confess that he still was a long way from being cured. At the BellSouth in Atlanta that year, he won for the final time in the United States. Since then, time hasnt been good to Daly, either personally or professionally.
The greatest thing about this day (in 1994) is I know I can win golf tournaments sober, said Daly. That means a lot.
That was nine years ago, and so much has happened since then. The next year he won the British Open. But with that moment of glory has come so many negatives.
It had started that same year ' 94 ' when he scuffled in August in the parking lot with the father of a competitor, and there is strong evidence that he was not to blame. But in September of 94, Daly agreed to sit out to remainder of the year due to his erratic behavior. A couple of years later, he was seen drinking in public again, and in 1997 he came unglued at The Players Championship after a night of drinking. He arrived back at his hotel room and what happened next is unclear, but wife No. 2 left him and didnt return.
He lost his Reebok endorsements and Wilson as well. He entered rehab again in 97, then emerged with a newfound declaration of sobriety and an endorsement with Callaway. In 1999, though, he revealed that he was drinking socially again, and his Callaway deal was withdrawn. However, he made what he feels was a landmark decision when he stopped taking his medication. Since then, he has taken a slow climb up lifes ladder personally, if not always professionally.
Along the way, he has married four times and been through a lifetime of ups and downs. But at Atlanta in 1994, John Daly did what he had to do ' to win.
Most of the final day he was in a position to playing catch-up to David Peoples. At No. 16, he three-putted to fall one behind. Number 17 was another gaffe ' he mis-hit his drive, got the approach on the green but 80 feet away, and then proceeded to three-putt again. Fortunately for him, though, Peoples also made bogey, meaning they would go to the 18th with Peoples still out in front by a stroke.
The 18th at Atlanta Country Club is a par-5 that curves left around a lake. Twice Daly used a 2-iron, 4-iron to reach the green, but since he figured he would need a birdie Sunday to tie Peoples, he choose a driver.
Anybody who knows me knows Im not gonna lay up, Daly said. Not when I have to make birdie.
So Daly stepped mightily into his drive and watched it float dangerously close to the trees on the left. But it landed in the fairway, leaving Daly a mere 172 yards ' 8-iron distance ' to the hole.
Nolan Henke was now in the mix, having finished the tournament tied with Daly, one back on Peoples. But he was so sure Daly would birdie that he didnt even bother warming up.
I didnt even go to the range and get loose, said Henke. I was counting on John making birdie.
Dalys second shot was into a greenside bunker, injecting a little excitement. He got it out to five feet on his third shot, but Brian Henninger eagled the hole to tie Henke and Daly, still a shot behind Peoples.
Daly, however, then sank his putt for the win. And Peoples made bogey to doom his chances.
I really did struggle, said Daly. One or two years ago, I couldnt have pulled it off. I played smart when I needed to and took chances when I needed to.
And, he won. The intervening years have been somewhat rocky, but for this week, it was smooth riding.
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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.”

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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.

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''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.

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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.