With Phil out, field set for WGC Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 27, 2015, 3:01 am

Phil Mickelson withdrew from this week's WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship late Sunday evening, which means Mikko Illonen is a late addition to the 64-man field at TPC Harding Park.

A 90-minute “Selection Monday” show to determine the groupings that will complete the competition bracket for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play will be showcased live on a Golf Central Special airing April 27 at noon ET, on Golf Channel.

The new format this year will assign the top seed for each of the 16 four-player groups based on the top 16 players in order of their position in the Official World Golf Ranking.

The remaining three players in each group will be determined by a blind draw from each of three pools depending on their standing in the OWGR (17-32, 33-48 and 49-64).

Each group will play round-robin matches within their group Wednesday through Friday. The player with the best record in each group advances to the Round of 16 for single-elimination match play.

Here are the player pools for Monday's blind draw show:

Top 16
1. Rory McIlroy
2. Jordan Spieth
3. Henrik Stenson
4. Bubba Watson
5. Jim Furyk
6. Justin Rose
7. Jason Day
8. Dustin Johnson
9. Adam Scott
10. Sergio Garcia
11. Jimmy Walker
12. J.B. Holmes
13. Rickie Fowler
14. Matt Kuchar
15. Patrick Reed
16. Hideki Matsuyama
Group 17-32
17. Martin Kaymer
18. Billy Horschel
19. Brooks Koepka
20. Kevin Na
21. Victor Dubuisson
22. Ryan Palmer
23. Bill Haas
24. Zach Johnson
25. Chris Kirk
26. Lee Westwood
27. Ian Poulter
28. Ryan Moore
29. Louis Oosthuizen
30. Jamie Donaldson
31. Hunter Mahan
32. Graeme McDowell
Group 33-48
33. Keegan Bradley
34. Anirban Lahiri
35. Brandt Snedeker
36. Paul Casey
37. Charl Schwartzel
38. Branden Grace
39. Bernd Wiesberger
40. Matt Every
41. Stephen Gallacher
42. Brendon Todd
43. Joost Luiten
44. Thongchai Jaidee
45. Russell Henley
46. Webb Simpson
47. Shane Lowry
48. Danny Willett
Group 49-64
49. Charley Hoffman
50. Gary Woodland
51. Marc Warren
52. Alexander Levy
53. Jason Dufner
54. Tommy Fleetwood
55. Harris English
56. Marc Leishman
57. Andy Sullivan
58. Matt Jones
59. George Coetzee
60. John Senden
61. Ben Martin
62. Mikko Ilonen
63. Miguel A. Jimenez
64. Francesco Molinari

Following the telecast at 1:30 p.m. ET, tune into GolfChannel.com for further analysis and discussion of the groupings on Monday Scramble, a new, weekly digital program.

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.