Wie May Face Big Decision

By George WhiteOctober 14, 2005, 4:00 pm
For those of you who like to look into the future, heres one for you: Michelle Wie is going to have to decide which one will it be ' the LPGA or the PGA Tour ' when she becomes eligible for the pro tours at age 18.
 
There wont be any playing both at the same time. That point was brought out at a news conference this week. New LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens reiterated for those who dont know (and I didnt) the LPGAs longstanding prohibition:
 
Michelle Wie
Michelle Wie will face not only some tough shots over the next couple of years, but some tough decisions as well.
If she joins the LPGA, said Bivens, she would have to play 10 events and she could only get two exemptions for events that took place that competed with the LPGA.
 
In other words, on weeks when the LPGA is playing, Wie could only play in two PGA Tour events (or any other events, for that matter). According to my calculations, the PGA Tour only has 10 weeks that the LPGA is not playing. And Michelle must play in 15 events to be a PGA Tour member.
 
Of course, who says that Wie wants to do both? She has the rather formidable task of somehow qualifying for the PGA Tour ' LPGA, too, for that matter, although for arguments sake that point isnt considered here.
 
Granted, the two tours schedules may ' and probably will ' look far different in 2007 from what they do now. Thats when the PGA Tour will begin playing a new schedule, one that will bear no resemblance to now, if we are to believe several observers.
 
But, Michelles list of PGA Tour tournaments would be mostly confined to events in the West, if we were going by this years schedule. She couldnt play in the Mercedes Championships ' that is for winners from the previous year. The first event she could play would be the Sony ' as it is now.
 
From there, the Buick Invitational, the Bob Hope Chrysler, the FBR Open near Phoenix, the Pebble Beach AT&T and the Nissan Open are all open to Wie hypothetically. The LPGA cranks up with the SBS Open in Wies native Hawaii the last week in February. Thats where she would ' again, hypothetically - hit the big roadblock.
 
But were just dreaming, OK? So lets dream a little further. Thats six tournaments so far. It would be foolish to expect Michelle to play six weeks in a row, of course. So lets say she could get in a maximum of five.
 
This year the LPGA was idle the week of the Honda Classic. OK, well slot her in there is our imaginary little game. Thats six. And there was no LPGA event opposite the BellSouth in Atlanta. The LPGA also doesnt play the week of the Masters, but we wont consider that one until ' if ' Wie makes it. But so far, so good ' shes up to seven events.
 
Now, the going really gets tough. The LPGA was busy every week until the first of August, the week of the International. But, lets say she plays the International ' and she now has eight events.
 
The next week is the PGA Championship. The LPGA was idle that week this year, but remember ' the PGA is a major. And the LPGA doesnt have another week off until the last week of September. Wie could play again in the Texas Open ' thats nine.
 
There is only one other week when the LPGA isnt playing ' the week of the Funai Classic at Disney. And thats 10.
 
Now, the LPGA would give Wie two tournaments to play whatever ' in this case the PGA Tour. But that still is only 12. And remember, she has to play in 15 events to keep PGA Tour membership.
 
Of course, this is taken from the 2005 schedule only. The schedule for 2007 might be quite a bit different. But remember, for it to be any help for Wie, the LPGA would have to play fewer events ' NOT the PGA. And the LPGA is looking to add a few tournaments ' not subtract them.
 
In short, count out the hope of Michelle playing fulltime on both tours. Its much more likely that she will continue to play a schedule such as she has now ' up to eight LPGA tournaments without becoming a member, up to seven on the PGA Tour. She wont belong to either organization, of course, but then she can pick and choose tournaments. That is, pick and choose the ones that offer her a sponsor's exemption.
 
In two years, though, at the end of 2007 when she has finished high school, Wie might well have decided on one tour ' LPGA or, if she makes it, the PGA Tour. But ' she is going to have to come to that decision.
 
If she chooses to be a member of the (LPGA) Tour, there are some guidelines, Bivens said. Sponsors and partners put up money to run events and put purses up and they want top money winners to show up.
 
If somebody wants to just dip in and out and go play in a competing event, that really hurts the association. We would be better off with the course that Michelle has chosen, and I don't think you are going to hear any of us saying if what Michelle wants to do is compete against the men, and occasionally play on the LPGA, all of those options are open. That's perfectly fine.
 
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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.