20 Years of Golf: Players' advice to 20-year-old selves

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2015, 3:30 pm

(Editor’s note: Golf Channel turns 20 years old on Jan. 17. In recognition, we are looking back at golf over the last two decades with a series of articles and photo galleries throughout the week.)

If PGA Tour pros knew then what they know now, what would they do differently? On Golf Channel's 20th anniversary, here's what some would tell their 20-year-old selves:

“For me, everything I’ve been through, I’d say, listen to your body more. When you’re hurt, get away, get healthy. I tried to play through numerous injuries, and it did nothing but cause me problems, further problems. So I would say, pay more attention to how I’m feeling and take a break.” - David Duval

“I’d practice the short game harder. That’s what I’d do if I was gonna do it again. Play golf more instead of getting too bogged down on the range, hitting balls. Those are the two things I’d probably do different if I could do it all over.” - Simon Dyson

“Careful what you say.” - Vijay Singh

“Just to be patient and that you’re not as good as you think you are, and you need to put in a lot of hard work. Thankfully I kind of figured that out after a little while." - Chris Kirk

20 Years of Golf: Articles and photo galleries

“To relax. Be patient with yourself, and not try to search everyday for the answers, just kind of gradually work on a game plan." - Brandt Snedeker

“Enjoy it. Because it goes really fast. If I could go back 20 years, just try your best to enjoy the rise. I think it can get kind of monotonous out here at times. A year leads into another year leads into another year, and as players, I think sometimes we forget what level we’re playing at, and I think really quick it can all be gone. So, make sure you enjoy the climb upwards to get here.” - Briny Baird

“Just be a bit more patient, because I think when we’re 20 years old or just a little after that – getting out of college – we try to make everything happen at once. And I know when I got out on the Tour, my first year was a bummer, man. And if I would have been a lot more patient there, it would have been better. But fortunately I was able to play better after that. I think we’re just all in too big a hurry to make things happen.” - Andy Bean

“Just to have fun. As far as the golf goes, we’re out here, we’ve got the best job there is and we beat ourselves up too much. We worked our whole life to get out here, so I’d say just to have fun and enjoy every day because life is short. Same advice for life. Just enjoy it, every day, every step. Just smile, have a good attitude.” - Charlie Beljan

“My biggest piece of advice would be to just not sweat every little detail. Because it always feels like, when you first come out here, you have to play great every tournament, that you have to play in every tournament. I probably did a little too much worrying in the past 20 years, that I probably would have saved years of my life in the next 20, if I had not done that much worrying. Don’t sweat the small stuff.” - Stewart Cink

“You gotta believe in yourself. That’s all you gotta do, really. Just believe in yourself, and try to be you.” - David Lingmerth

“Get in better shape, hit the ball harder. Definitely get stronger. If I’d have known 20 years ago how important power was going to be, I definitely would have tried to get stronger when I was younger. Growing up with equipment these days, if you grow up with the current equipment, you’re definitely going to hit it harder and compress the ball more. So that would have been something, 20 years ago, I would have looked into.” - Greg Chalmers

“Don’t go snowboarding until you finish your golf career, how’s that? Action sports will always be there. Yeah, it’s difficult, so many things. I would just say, keep things simple. Find out what works and keep repeating it. Certainly for golf, and I think it applies to a lot of stuff, there’s no magic secret, there’s no one size fits all. Find out what works and keep doing it, and make sure you enjoy the journey. Because it goes too quickly." - Paul Casey

“I wouldn’t change anything now. I’m sure I’ve made mistakes, but nothing I haven’t learned from so no, I wouldn’t (give myself any advice). They were all good mistakes. I know I didn’t get everything right, but I certainly wouldn’t change any of my past, so I wouldn’t give myself any advice.” - Padraig Harrington

“Go early to bed. Start maybe working out a little sooner. Stay patient. Stop smoking.” - Nicolas Colsaerts

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

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

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry