You Oughta Know: Day will move to No. 1 with a win

By Nick MentaSeptember 19, 2015, 11:02 pm

Jason Day leads by six and is on the verge of taking over as the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here's what You Oughta Know heading into the final round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms.

• Day is in search of his seventh PGA Tour win and fifth this season. He would become only the fifth player in the last 20 years to win five or more times in the same season, joining Tiger Woods, who did it 10 times, and Vijay Singh, who did it in 2004.

• Day would also become the third player to win a major and multiple FedEx Cup Playoff events in the same year, joining Woods (2007) and Rory McIlroy (2012).

• Six shots clear of the field, Day will vault to No. 1 in the world for the first time with a win. Should he not hold on, he can still take over the top spot by finishing solo second, so long as Rory McIlroy finishes outside the top four and Jordan Spieth finishes outside the top 10. McIlroy is currently solo fourth, and Spieth tied for 11th.

• Day would become just the third Australian to reach No. 1, joining Greg Norman and Adam Scott, and at age 27 would be the youngest of the three to do it.

• Prior to this week, the season's largest 54-hole lead was held by J.B. Holmes, who led by five at the WGC-Cadillac at Doral. Holmes lost his lead to Dustin Johnson. 

• Day's 20-under total is the lowest 54-hole score to par this season. In his last seven PGA Tour starts, dating back to the Open Championship, he's a combined 99 under par.

• No surprise given the preceding stat, Sunday would mark Day's fourth win in his last six events. The last four times that's happened? Woods in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

• As for the rest of the field, Piercy is looking to play spoiler and pick up his second win of the year, following a victory at the Barbasol Championship, played opposite the British. He's 16 for 17 on putts made inside of 15 feet this week. His 14-under 199 is the lowest 54-hole total of his career. The 36-year-old is looking to make the Tour Championship for just the second time.

• Berger first made himself known to wider audiences with his appearance earlier this year in a playoff at the Honda Classic, where he lost to Padraig Harrington. He had missed seven straight cuts before a T-12 finish last week at Deutsche Bank.

• McIlroy could hold onto the No. 1 ranking with a win of his own tomorrow. The largest 54-hole deficit he has ever overcome was four shots at the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship, his first PGA Tour victory. He's played his last four rounds a combined 18 under par.

• Finally, Spieth has had, thus far, a postseason to forget. He missed the cut at both the Barclays and the Deutsche Bank and although he's currently tied for 11th, his 1-over 72 Saturday marked the fifth time in his last seven rounds he's been over par. Spieth did not make a putt longer than 8 feet in the third round.

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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.