Kent State Captures FirstEnergy Collegiate
RAVEENA, Ohio -- The Kent State University mens golf team won its second tournament of the 2002-03 season, this time it was their home event, the FirstEnergy Collegiate. The Golden Flashes took the crown for 11th time in school history with a blistering final round of 278. Kent State finished ahead of Miami University by 18 strokes and third-place Wright State University by 20 shots. The University of Toledos Brad Heaven defeated Kent State sophomore Peter Laws (Mississauga, Ontario/Our Lady of Mount Carmel) with a par on the first playoff hole to take the individual crown.
Kent State received outstanding performances from Laws (69-70-71=210) and freshman Ryan Yip (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll), who fired a final-round 67 even though suffering through a bad back. Kent State also counted even-par 70s from junior Chris Miller (New Philadelphia, Ohio/New Philadelphia) and sophomore Joe Hurtuk (Bedford, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel) to miss the single-round scoring record by only two shots.
Laws started out three-over par on the first two holes, but rebounded with a birdie on three. A bogey on four put him two strokes behind Heaven after four holes. A bogey on nine by Heaven cut the lead to one heading to the back nine. Heaven bogeyed 10, but birdies on 11 and 12 put him up two strokes. Laws cut the lead to one with birdies on 13 and 15 after Heaven birdied 14. The two would tie after Laws birdied the par-5 16th and Heaven would par out. The two would go to a playoff on the first hole. Laws hit his drive left, almost going into the pond while Heavens drive was center cut. Laws hit his approach to a shorter distance, but was straight downhill, while Heaven had a left to right break. Heaven hit his lag to three feet, while Laws went by about four feet. Laws putt was pulled while Heaven made his and picked up his second victory in as many weeks.
Yip finished in fourth place after shooting the days best round of 67. Yip didnt birdie a hole until the ninth, but then birdied 11, 16 and 17 while bogeying 18. This is his second straight week in the top five, as he tied for fourth place at the Kepler Intercollegiate last weekend. Miller tied for 11th place after being back in the lineup. He shot rounds of 74-73-70=217. Hurtuk tied for 26th place with scores of 76-76-70=222. Sophomore Steve Lohmeyer (Dayton, Ohio/Oakwood) also tied for 26th place with scores of 74-73-75=222.
The Golden Flashes have six players competing as individuals and senior Scott Vallina (Langeloth, Pa./Burgettstown) led the way with a tie for 32nd place after scores of 75-75-73=223. Junior Sean Howell (Erie, Pa./McDowell) tied for 39th place with scores of 73-74-79=226. Freshman J.D. Schonhoft (Canton, Ohio/Central Catholic) tied for 61st place with rounds of 78-79-75=232. Freshman Joe Meglen (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) tied for 66th place with scores of 78-77-80=235. Sophomore Matt Boumphrey (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/West Geauga) finished in 70th place firing rounds of 80-79-78=237 while sophomore Jake DeHart (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) tied for 72nd place with scores of 83-77-79=239.
The Golden Flashes will next play at the Bruce Fossum Invitational April 26-27, in East Lansing, Mich.
1. KENT STATE 291-288-278=857
2. Miami 292-285-298=875
3. Wright State 297-293-287=877
4. Penn State 300-289-289=878
5. Toledo 293-290-296=879
6. Eastern Kentucky 301-289-293=883
7. Xavier 290-290-304=884
8. Eastern Michigan 294-297-301=892
9. Akron 302-294-298=894
10. Northern Illinois 309-293-295=897
11. Ball State 293-302-305=900
12. Bowling Green 293-304-308=905
13. Ohio 304-299-304=907
14. Marshall 303-303-310=916
15. Manitoba 314-324-318=956
Top-10 Individuals plus KSU
1. Brad Heaven (Toledo) 70-69-71=210*
2. Peter Laws (KSU) 69-70-71=210
3. Brandon Brown (EKU) 73-70-69=212
4. Ryan Yip (KSU) 74-72-67=213
t-5. John Schones (WSU) 73-71-71=215
t-5. Brad Pemberton (EMU) 72-72-71=215
t-5. P. Wilkes-Keier (BSU) 69-70-76=215
t-8. Jim Fuller (PSU) 74-70-72=216
t-8. Korey Mahoney (EMU) 70-73-73=216
t-8. Ted Neville (PSU) 74-70-72=216
t-11. Chris Miller 74-73-70=217
t-26. Joe Hurtuk 76-76-70=222
t-26. Steve Lohmeyer 74-73-75=222
t-32. Scott Vallina 75-75-73=223
t-39. Sean Howell 73-74-79=226
t-61. J.D. Schonhoft 78-79-75=232
t-66. Joe Meglen 78-77-80=235
70. Matthew Boumphrey 80-79-78=237
t-72. Jake DeHart 83-77-79=239
*won in playoff
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
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
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
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.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
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.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
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.