Hunter Wins National Title

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 8, 2006, 4:00 pm
Golf Channel Amateur TourThe 2006 Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championship provided drama and tight competition amongst the twelve flights, each generating a well-deserved National Champion.
 
Qualified Tour players gathered from all corners of the US in Palm Springs, CA to compete in a 72-hole, medal play event with a cut after the 54th hole.
 
Jeff Hunter
Jeff Hunter (R) receives his trophy at the 2006 National Championship.
The low gross and Nicklaus flight champion for 2006 was Southern California's Jeff Hunter, whose second round 64 at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort proved to be the difference in the tournament. Hunter held on to a one shot lead going into the final 18 and managed a one under 287 total for 72 holes, three strokes ahead of fellow Southern Californian and 2004 national champion Gerry Simoni.
 
Third place in the Nicklaus flight went to Tony Brown of Cincinnati (OH) with a four day total of 297.
 
In probably the tightest competition of the tournament, the Palmer flight champion for 2006 was awarded to Atlanta's (GA) Brock Kaufman with a total of 306. Kaufman saved his best round for last, firing a solid 74 to overtake Kasey Harriss of Southern California by one stroke for the championship. One stroke behind Harriss was Sean Coy, also from Southern California.
 
The Hogan flight produced the most drama in the tournament. After the 72nd hole, Greg Smith of Southern California and Robert McMinimy of Dallas (TX) stood tied with 324 strokes apiece. The sudden death playoff hole was The Golf Club at Terra Lago's par four 16th hole. Smith's approach shot landed a mere 8 feet from the pin, while McMinimy caught the greenside bunker with his. Smith drained his birdie putt and bested McMinimy's par to win the hardware.
 
Third place in the flight went to Palm Springs resident Billy Hargus, who carded a four day total of 329.
 
Home field advantage? Maybe. Southern California produced it's third national champion when Jason Matteson (342) finished three strokes ahead of Atlanta's Robert Boozer for the Sarazen flight championship.
 
One stroke back from Boozer was Adam Brack of Tampa (FL) and Alan Blades of Sarasota (FL) who tied for third place with totals of 346.
 
The Jones flight was won by Hampton Roads' (VA) Michael Stausser who carded a total of 344, five strokes better than second place finisher Jerry Maes of Southern California. Third place in the flight was awarded to Bradley Bressler of Columbus (OH) with a 350 tournament total.
 
The Chicago White Sox may not have brought home another championship this year, but Mike Dyer of the Snead flight sure did. Dyer played solid all week and finished a whopping 8 strokes ahead of Derrick Rivers of Atlanta. Lynn Hall of Southern California ended up in third place.
 
Nicklaus Senior flight champion was awarded to Phoenix's Tony Petronis (305), who bested Charlie Hodges of Sarasota.
 
In Palmer Senior, Dallas' Terry Galbraith's total of 322 bettered Darrell Williams of Indianapolis (IN) by three strokes for the title. Don Luke of Tampa took third place.
 
Keith Salvatore of West Palm Beach (FL) took medalist honors in the Hogan Senior flight followed by David Givens of Phoenix and Robert Christian Jr. of Minneapolis (MN).
 
The title of Sarazen Senior flight champion went to Louisville's (KY) Orville Smith. Second and third place went to Elton Border of Atlanta and Sarasota's David Fields, respectively.
 
In another very tightly contested flight, Jones Senior was won by Michael Brown of Indianapolis who edged out Jim Dredge of Minneapolis by a lone stroke. One back from Dredge was Jacksonville's Mike Sena.
 
Snead Senior flight champion was awarded to Sarasota's Russ Yoder who was followed by Mike Pavlik of Phoenix.
 
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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.