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Report cards: 2015 U.S. Presidents Cup team

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 11, 2015, 10:45 am

Rickie Fowler (1-3-0)

Rickie Fowler
Grade C-

Skinny: Although he played well in his opening foursomes match when teamed with Walker, Fowler was shut out the rest of the way and has now won only one full point (1-6-5) in three international team matches, including the 2010 and 2014 Ryder Cups.

J.B. Holmes (2-2-1)

J.B. Holmes
Grade B

Skinny: The 11th-hour replacement for Jim Furyk proved part of one of the American's stronger teams when paired with Watson, but he gave up a late lead on Sunday, losing to Hideki Matsuyama.

Bill Haas (1-1-1)

Bill Haas
Grade C

Skinny: The captain’s son and pick likely succumbed to the pressure early in the week, but he delivered when it counted Sunday, first with a 35-footer for birdie at the 12th to go 1 up, and then with a solid bunker blast at the last to secure the winning point.

Dustin Johnson (3-1-0)

Dustin Johnson
Grade A-

Skinny: The bomber teamed well with Spieth, dropping his only point to the International powerhouse of Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace, and stemmed the rest of the world’s Sunday rally with a 2-and-1 victory over Danny Lee.

Zach Johnson (3-0-1)

Zach Johnson
Grade A

Skinny: The veteran proved to be the perfect fit alongside Mickelson, who has played with younger partners in recent years, and was his signature steady self on Sunday when he rolled over world No. 2 Jason Day, 3 and 2.

Chris Kirk (1-2-0)

Chris Kirk
Grade C

Skinny: The rookie didn’t play well with Haas nor Walker in team play but came alive when he was needed most, draining a 15-footer for birdie at the last in a crucial victory over Anirban Lahiri, 1 up.

Matt Kuchar (0-2-1)

Matt Kuchar
Grade D

Skinny: The veteran got boat raced on Sunday by Grace and wasn’t sharp in team play, particularly on Saturday morning when he and Haas failed to hold a lead against Sangmoon Bae and Hideki Matsuyama.

Phil Mickelson (3-0-1)

Phil Mickelson
Grade A-

Skinny: The consensus “players’ pick” teamed well with Zach Johnson and made his only mistake on Friday when he cost his team a one-hole penalty for violating the one-ball condition.

Patrick Reed (1-2-1)

Patrick Reed
Grade B-

Skinny: Reed never seemed comfortable on the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea greens and let slip a singles lead on Sunday, but he rekindled his pairing with Spieth in a key fourball victory on Saturday.

Jordan Spieth (3-2-0)

Jordan Spieth
Grade B-

Skinny: The world No. 1 and Dustin Johnson emerged as a surprisingly prolific pairing in either team format, but Spieth made just three birdies on Sunday and lost his singles match to Marc Leishman.

Jimmy Walker (1-3-0)

Charley Hull
Grade D+

Skinny: The American has struggled since the early summer, recording his last top-10 was in May. Those struggles continued in South Korea, where he recorded just one point and lost to Steven Bowditch on Sunday.

Bubba Watson (2-1-2)

Bubba Watson
Grade C+

Skinny: His undefeated week was marred by a late loss to Oosthuizen and Grace on Saturday, and he failed to convert key birdie putts on No. 18 on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.

Jay Haas, Captain

Jay Haas
Grade A

Skinny: He channeled his inner Fred Couples with a relaxed atmosphere, but Haas’ best moves were picking Mickelson, who was 30th on the points list, Holmes, a late addition to replace Furyk, and his son, Bill. Those three combined to produce nearly half (7 ½) of the U.S. team’s points.

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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 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.

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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.


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.