Furyk Aims for Top Money Spot

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 15, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Bank of America ColonialThe PGA TOUR hops, skips and jumps from Irving, Texas to Ft. Worth, from the event named after Byron Nelson to the event played on Ben Hogans Alley.
 
The Bank of America Colonial marks the TOURs second straight stop in the Lone Star State, and the 21st overall event this season.
 
Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk will need a big week to pass Phil Mickelson for the top spot on the money list.
Thus far, there have been only three multiple champions: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Stuart Appleby ' all of whom have a pair of victories apiece.
 
None of the three are in the field this week, but defending champion Kenny Perry has returned to try and continue his Colonial dominance.
 
Perry has three top-3 finishes in his last four starts in this event, including runaway victories in 2003 and 2005. He set the 72-hole tournament scoring record in his maiden Colonial triumph, finishing at 19-under 261 ' six clear of second place. Last year, he matched that mark, finishing seven clear of second.
 
But the Kentuckian will have a difficult time adding a 10th career TOUR victory to his resume this week, as he is competing in just his second event since a knee injury sidelined him for two months. Perry, who was forced to miss his title defense earlier this year at Bay Hill, admitted that he rushed his recovery a little in order to make it back for this repeat bid.
 
Other past winners, on the other hand, dont seem to share in Perrys enthusiasm for this event. 2000 winner Phil Mickelson is absent so that he can concentrate on the U.S. Open; 2001 champ Sergio Garcia, who has three missed cuts in four Colonial starts since his victory, did not commit; neither did 2002 winner Nick Price, who felt shunned in his 03 title defense, when Annika Sorenstam garnered all the attention, and hasnt since played.
 
The field includes just two of the top 10 players on the Official World Golf Rankings. And it no coincidence that they are both among the favorites this week.
 
Jim Furyk
Furyk is one of the hottest players in golf right now. Three top-3 finishes in his last five starts, including a playoff win two weeks ago at the Wachovia Championship, have vaulted Furyk to second place on the money list. He's less than $300,000 behind Mickelson, who is absent this week, and can pass him with a good finish at Colonial. This is his 11th appearance in this event. He has four career top-10s here, including a runner-up showing in 1998 to Tom Watson.
 
Justin Leonard
Justin Leonard
Justin Leonard is looking to add this victory to his pair of Texas Open titles.
Each year, Leonard dances the Texas Two-Step ' the Byron Nelson and the Colonial, and each year he leaves the dance floor empty-handed. The Dallas native and resident would love to change that this year. Though he wasnt able to win the Nelson, finishing T26, he does have a good track record on this shot-makers course. He has never missed the cut in 12 career starts at Colonial Country Club and has five top-10s. His best result was a distance second place to Perry in 2003.
 
David Toms
Toms, like Leonard, has never won at Colonial. But, just like it does for Leonard, the course appears to suit his game quite well. Toms has played this tournament eight times and has four top-10 finishes. Toms could use some friendly surroundings at the moment. He got off to a great start this season, winning the Sony Open and collecting two other top-3s. But he has missed the cut in three of his last five starts.
 
Chad Campbell
Campbell hadnt been much of a factor on TOUR since he tied for third at the Masters Tournament, until his fifth place effort last week at the Byron Nelson. The Texas native has played this event four times, finishing one shot back of winner Steve Flesch in 2004.
 
Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer? Yep. Its doubtful that the 48-year-old German will earn his first TOUR title since the 1993 Masters, but he does have a good track record here ' even if that is a short, short track. Langer first played this tournament in 1986 and finished tied for third. He didnt play it again until last year, when he tied for sixth. If the course is manageable and demanding, then Langer, even at 48, is a viable contender.
 
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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.