Illinois Women Bring Home Title

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 12, 2003, 5:00 pm
Courtesy of FightingIllini.com
 
MIAMI. -- Illinois held on to its first-round lead during the final round to capture the team title at the Golden Panther Women's Championship, hosted by Florida International University at the par 71, 6,003-yard Doral Resort Silver Course in Miami.
 
Illinois shot a score of 324 to give the team a 36-hole total score of 633. The Illini finished 12 strokes better than North Carolina-Greensboro, who placed second with a score of 646. Georgia State placed third at 653, 20 strokes behind the victorious Illini. The win marks the first tournament title of the 2002-03 season for the Illini and the first for the program since it won the Illini Spring Classic last season.
 
Leading the way for Illoinois was senior Laurin Kanda, who captured runner-up honors at 13-over par. Kanda finished second in the 80-player field after carding rounds of 77 and 78 for a total score of 155. She just missed winning the individual title, finishing one stroke behind Florida International's Courtney Burdick, who captured medalist honors with a score of 154. Kanda's second-place finish ties her career-best as an Illini, dating back to her freshman season in the fall of 1999 when she tied for second at the Wolverine Invitational.
 
'As a team we're very excited to come away with the win,' Kanda said. 'We played really well yesterday and although our scores weren't as low today, we held on and won and it's really exciting to start the spring season by winning our first tournament.
 
'As for myself, it's hard not to be a little disappointed with missing first place by one stroke, because I can look back and think of how one shot or one putt here or there would have made the difference,' Kanda added. 'But runner-up is still a great honor and definitely gives me confidence heading into our upcoming tournaments.'
 
Three Illini golfers in all finished in the top 10 in the individual standings. Junior Michelle Carroll tied for fourth with a score of 15-over par 157. The fourth place performance by Carroll marks the highest finish of her collegiate career. Senior Renata Young placed seventh at 16-over par (158) to join Kanda and Carroll in the Top 10.
 
Illinois takes a two-week break and is next in action Feb. 24-25 at the Central District Challenge in Parrish, Fla.
 
Golden Panther Women's Championship Final Team Standings
 
1. Illinois 309-324=633
2. North Carolina-Greensboro 334-312=646
3. Georgia State 334-319=653
4. Florida Atlantic 337-319=656
T5. Middle Tennessee State 334-324=658
T5. Florida International 334-324=658
T7. Southwest Texas State 330-332=662
T7. Bethune-Cookman 331-331=662
T9. Barry 343-331=674
T9. Daytona Beach CC 345-329=674
11. Lynn 357-332=689
12. The Citadel 360-334=694
T13. Northwood 357-341=698
T13. Southern Illinois 353-345=698
15. Nova Southeastern 355-350=705
 
Illinois Individual Results
 
2. Laurin Kanda 77-78=155 +13
T4. Michelle Carroll 78-79=157 +15
7. Renata Young 76-82=158 +16
T16. Stephanie Cheney 78-85=163 +21
T40. Megan Godfrey (Ind.) 86-84=170 +28
T47. Marla Cox 83-91=174 +32
 
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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.