And the Winners Are

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 9, 2005, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)With the 2005 PGA Tour season now officially complete, its time to hand out the unofficial awards.
Reunited and It Feels So Good
The award for player of the year goes to Tiger Woods. Woods won six times, including two major championships, collected $10,628,024, and topped the scoring charts. He won this award on the PGA Tour from 1999-2003, before Vijay Singh wrested it away a year ago.
Hey, Youre Just Like Tiger and Mark Carnevale
The award for rookie of the year goes to Sean OHair. The talk at the beginning of the season surrounding OHair concerned his relationship with his father. By years end it was all about his game. OHair won the John Deere Classic, was runner-up at the Byron Nelson and qualified for the Tour Championship. He finished 18th on the money list.
Sean O
Sean O'Hair hopes to have a career more closing resembling Tiger Woods' than Mark Carnevale's.
The favorite for the award on the PGA Tour, OHair would join the likes of Woods, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh as winners ' as well as Carnevale and Michael Clark II.
All Warm and Fuzzy, Like a Teddy Bear
The award for feel-good story of the year goes to Jason Gore. Gore nearly gave up the game in order to financially support his family; had his car broken into, everything down to his underwear stolen; nearly won the U.S. Open; went back down to the minors; won three consecutive starts to earn a promotion back to the big leagues; and then promptly won the 84 Lumber Classic to gain financial and professional security. All the while, doing so with a big 'ol grin and a teddy bear-comforting quality.
You Got That on TiVo, Right?
The award for best event goes to the Ford Championship. A great tournament is ultimately defined by its final round, and no final round was more compelling from start to finish than the Ford. With all the hype surrounding the Big 4 (or 5), Sunday saw Phil Mickelson vs. Tiger Woods head-to-head. Woods started the day two back and cut his deficit to one by the turn. He took a two-stroke advantage with a birdie on 10 and an eagle at the par-5 12th, but Mickelson birdied 13 and 14 to regain a share of the lead. Both men bogeyed 16 ' the only bogey posted by each man that day ' to remain tied. Woods then clinched the tournament by making a 28-foot birdie putt on 17 to win by one and reclaim the No. 1 position in the world rankings. The Masters certainly had an exciting finish, but it had a lackluster feeling until the 16th hole. Speaking of the 16th hole
I Dont Believe What I Just Saw, Part 1
The award for shot of the year goes to Tiger Woods on the 16th hole in the final round of the Masters Tournament. Tigers second shot on the par-3 16th Sunday at Augusta National wasnt just a chip-in; it wasnt just a birdie; and it wasnt just luck. It was one of the most memorable and thrilling moments in major championship history. Woods picked out a spot well left of the hole, hit it right to that exact point, and then watched his ball slowly trickle downhill and right ' right towards the cup. And after one second two seconds of hanging on the lip, the ball gave in and fell. Tigers subsequent high-five with his caddie was pretty lame, and he even squandered the two-stroke lead that miraculous stroke afforded him. But it was the signature moment of that tournament, and the most memorable shot of them all in 2005.
No, No, Nice Shot, Right on the Beach
The award for worst shot under pressure goes to Tiger Woods on the 18th hole in the final round of the Buick Invitational. Leading by one, Woods tried to hit the par-5 18th green with a 2-iron from 240 yards over a pond. No problem for the Great One, right? Wrong. Woods fanned it so badly that his ball went in the narrow landing strip right of the hazard. It was so bad that it actually turned out good, as he avoided hitting it in the water. I absolutely whiffed it, he would say after making birdie and winning by three strokes.
Weve Been Waiting for You, Mr. Bond
Actually, its Mr. Harrington. The award for breakthrough performance goes to Padraig Harrington. Regarded as one of, if the not the best European-born player in the game today, Harrington finally got his first PGA Tour victory this year at the Honda Classic. He then won the Barclays Classic with an improbable eagle on the 72nd hole.
And I Never Even Used Steroids
The award for comeback player of the year goes to Jim Furyk. Furyk may have lost to Harrington at the Barclays, but he did manage to win the Cialis Western Open and finish fourth on the money list. Not bad for a guy who was sidelined four months due to wrist surgery a year ago, a year in which he failed to win on tour for the first time 1997.
Wheres the Reset Button on This Thing?
The award for most disappointing season goes to Mike Weir. Weir didnt win a tour event for just the second time in the last seven seasons. The 2003 Masters champion has gone from fifth to 14th to 56th on the money list over the past three years. After a decent start to the year, in which he finished runner-up at Pebble Beach and tied for fifth at Augusta, Weir missed the cut in eight of his final 13 events and failed to record a top 10. Hes fallen from eighth in the world rankings to 40th.
Harriet Miers? Harriet Miers?
Tiger Woods
Even Tiger Woods was shocked to see his cut streak end in Dallas.
The award for biggest head-scratcher of the year goes to Tiger Woods for missing the cut at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. Once again, many candidates ' Adam Scott for his unofficial win at the Nissan Open; Woods for his driving the green on the 347-yard, par-4 16th at Doral; Phil Mickelson for not showing up the Tour Championship; the PGA of America for not moving up tee times Sunday at the PGA Championship ' but nothing was more confounding or incomprehensible than Tigers first missed cut in seven years and 142 events ' and at a tournament in which he won in 1997 and hadnt finished outside the top-4 since 99.
You Better Recognize
The award for most over-looked victory of the year goes to Ted Purdy at the Byron Nelson. There are plenty of forgotten winners every year. But even Byron Nelson would have trouble remembering to whom he handed the trophy ' and hes still very keen at the age of 94. This tournament will always be remembered for the man who didnt even play the final two rounds, not the man who won it.
Hes in a Better Place Now
The award for best move of the year goes to Jay Haas. The 51-year-old finished 15th and 27th on the money list in 2003 and 2004, respectively, and even was selected for the Ryder Cup. But this year, he had only one top-10 and finished 151st in earnings ' and remained winless on tour since 1993. He switched his focus late in the year to the Champions Tour ' which he had been avoiding while trying to compete on the regular circuit ' and ended up winning twice.
I Dont Believe What I Just Saw, Part 2
The award for most bizarre moment of the year goes to Rory Sabbatini and Ben Crane. Visibly upset with Cranes painfully slow pace of play during the final round of the Booz Allen Classic, Sabbatini stood on the green at the 17th while Crane was hitting his approach shot. After Crane finally fired, Sabbatini putted out of turn and then huffed off the hole. He then teed off on 18 before Crane could even finish 17. Sabbatini barely acknowledged Crane in the post-round handshake, and then stormed to the scorers trailer spouting expletives. Sabbatini refused to speak to reporters, while Crane handled the situation with class in interviews. Sabbatini issued an apology the next week.
In Lieu of Freddie Mitchell, Our Guest Speaker Will Be
The award for talking a good game and not backing it up goes to Vijay Singh. Singh, who all but blamed his partners and slow play for his 0-1-3 record leading up to the singles session in the Presidents Cup, didnt figure to have any problems with his one-on-one match with winless captains selection Fred Couples on Sunday. He advised officials to have a cart ready to pick up Couples on the 12th hole, believing he would have dispatched of his opponent by then. Couples birdied 18 to win 1-up.
Michael, What Are You Doing in There? Open the Door
The award for best use of a port-a-john this year goes to Michael Campbell. Campbell ducked in and out of portable toilets so much during the final round of the U.S. Open that you had to question his nerves, the size of his bladder and his sense of smell. It turned out that that they all were just fine ' especially the nerves. Campbell used the port-a-loos to practice eye exercises, because he didnt want to do them in public. They were performed to strengthen his eye muscles, so that he could better see putting lines. Campbell made three birdie putts in excess of 20 feet on the back nine, as well as numerable clutch par saves to capture his first major championship.
Ill Go With the 5-Year Finance, No-Interest Plan
The award for best abuse of exempt status goes to David Duval. In recent years, a handful of major champions have been criticized for their lack of pedigree. And most continue to show that their major triumphs were more fluke than a sign of things to come. Ben Curtis, the 2003 Open champion, Todd Hamilton, the 2004 Open champion, and Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA champion, all finished outside the top 125 on the money list this season. Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA champion, barely made it in, thanks to a late-season surge. Duval was expected to win a major. But he wasnt expected to completely lose his game thereafter. Duval played 20 events this year, making one cut and finishing 260th out of 268 players in earnings. Next year will be the end of his five-year tour exemption that is awarded to major champions.
And, Finally
The award for longest winless streak ended goes to Robert Gamez. Gamez won twice in his rookie season of 1990, but it would be 394 events before he would win again. That came at this years Valero Texas Open.
Just One More
The award for upholding the 'spirit of the game' goes to Brad Faxon. Faxon had to skip U.S. qualifying for the British Open, because he had to conduct his charity tournament. So he decided to fly to Scotland on his own dime for a 36-hole qualifier that awarded just three spots. He made it through, and then contended on the weekend before tying for 23rd. He went on to win the Buick Championship in his native New England area for his first tour victory in over four years. Honorable mention goes to Sean O'Hair, who unlike Mark Hensby the year before, did everything in his ' and everyone else's ' power to compete at St. Andrews after winning the John Deere.
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.

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."

Getty Images

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.