A Game of Power and Precision

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipSean OHair will be making his first trip to the TPC of Boston for this weeks Deutsche Bank Championship. It will be his debut in Tigers tournament.
 
Woods, whose Tiger Woods Foundation is the primary charitable benefactor of this event, wont be handing out any free advice to his adversary, but to find the key to winning, all OHair need do is check out some statistics.
 
Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh stayed a step ahead of Tiger Woods in last year's event.
The Deutsche Bank is only in its third year of existence, which means its difficult to associate a pattern to winning; however, there are a couple of things that really stand out.
 
Each of the two tournament champions led the field in greens hit in regulation. Adam Scott did so when he won in 2003, and Vijay Singh did the same en route to victory in 04.
 
But while iron accuracy is significant, so too is driving power on the par-71, 7,415-yard layout.
 
Last year, the top 6 players in the field in terms of driving distance all finished inside the top 12 in the tournament. That included winner Singh, runners-up Scott and Woods, and Daniel Chopra, who tied for fourth.
 
Currently, there are six players who rank inside the top 20 on the PGA Tour in both driving distance and greens hit in regulation.
 
And only one of them is in this weeks field: Woods.
 
Five for the Title:
 
Tiger Woods
Since missing the cut at the Byron Nelson, Woods has yet to finish outside the top 4 in an event. That includes victories in the Open Championship and in his most recent start, the WGC-NEC Invitational. This being Tigers tournament, since it benefits his foundation, Woods would love to add this trophy to his collection. He tied for seventh in the inaugural event in 2003 and tied for second a year ago. This is most likely one of just four remaining official, individual events for Tiger in 2005. He has five victories on the year, and has his sights set on running the table, which would tie his nine-win season of 2000.
 
Davis Love III
Despite some significant and positive changes to the TPC of Boston course for the 2004 tournament, many recognizable names are skipping the event. The first two editions featured players like 03 champ Scott, Darren Clarke, Jim Furyk, David Toms, Stewart Cink and Stuart Appleby. None of those players are in attendance this week, including Scott, who said he just needed a break.
 
Only three of the top 15 players in the world are in this years field. In addition to Woods and Singh, there is Love. It will be Loves first appearance in the tournament, and one of only a handful of opportunities to avoid his second straight winless season. He has plenty of length to compete on this venue; his confidence may be the key to his contending.
 
Sean OHair
Sean O
Sean O'Hair looks to lock up rookie-of-the-year honors this week.
Its been a wild ride for the tour rookie, and one that will continue this week in Norton, Mass. OHair took a break last week after having played eight of the previous nine tournaments. OHairs run included a win at the John Deere, a tie for 15th at the Open Championship, a tie for eighth at the Buick Open and a cut made at the PGA Championship. OHair has been one of the tours most consistent performers of the season, having missed only one cut since the beginning of March. After a week off, he should be recharged and ready to make a strong run down the stretch.
 
John Daly
Daly, who tied for second last week at the BMW International Open in Germany, obviously has the power to be a factor at the TPC of Boston. Daly also has an affinity for the sponsor, finishing T3 at the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship of Europe the week after the Open Championship. Daly tied for 37th in last years event in Boston.
 
Brad Faxon
Faxon, a native New Englander, lives about 30 minutes from the course in Barrington, R.I. Faxon represents the TPC of Boston and has served as a player-consultant. Even though he lacks raw power, Faxon has used his course knowledge and superb short game to tie for 24th in 2003 and tie for ninth in 2004. He won last week's Buick Championship with a final-round 61 for his first tour victory since 2001.
 
Playing Out the Front Nine
 
Four more to keep and eye on
 
*Brett Wetterich, who ranks third on tour in driving distance. Wetterich is also in the top 40 in greens hit in regulation, and as we know, thats the winning combination on this venue.
 
*Tim Petrovic, who has a pair of top-10s since his maiden victory in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He is a native of Northampton, Mass., and has finished inside the top 25 in each of his two Deutsche Bank starts.
 
*David Duval, who tied for 13th in this tournament a year ago. Duval hasnt made a cut in 15 starts this season. His showing here a year ago, however, was his best performance since the 2002 Invensys Classic at Las Vegas.
 
* Vijay Singh, who will not be able to defend the title he won last year by birdieing three of the last four holes. Singh withdrew on Tuesday citing back spasms caused by an injury that occurred while he was playing table tennis with his son at home.
 
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.