Looking to Hit Blackjack in Vegas

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 9, 2006, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)There was no denying that when it happened, the first time that it happened, that it would happen again ' and again and again.
 
But 56 times in just 10 years?
 
Its been one decade ' and 55 more PGA TOUR titles ' since Tiger Woods earned his first TOUR win in the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. The skinny rookie from Stanford knocked off veteran Davis Love III in a playoff for win No. 1.
 
Wes Short, Jr. and Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk will try and atone for his surprising playoff loss to Wes Short, Jr. a year ago.
His legacy had already begun long before that maiden professional triumph, and it continues to grow exponentially today.
 
Woods is riding a six-event winning streak on TOUR; though, he will not extend it this week, as he is not in attendance. Woods came back to Vegas in 97 to try and defend his title. He tied for 36th that year and hasnt since returned ' except to gamble, practice or host Tiger Jam.
 
No Tiger is good news for the rest of the field, many of whom are scratching and clawing for their TOUR cards for 2007. This is one of only three full-field events remaining on the 06 calendar.
 
This years edition, the 24th overall for this event, is called the Frys.com Open. It offers a purse of $4 million, with $720,000 going to the eventual champion.
 
For the third straight year the tournament will be contested over 72 holes, after being a 90-hole tournament for the majority of its existence.
 
The TPC at Summerlin will play host with the TPC at the Canyons also in the rotation over the first two days.
 
And now that you have the particulars, here are our five favorites for this week:
 
Jim Furyk
Furyk is the unquestionable King of Vegas ' in relation to this event. In 12 career starts, he has three wins and six top-5 finishes. He was runner-up a year ago, losing in a playoff to Wes Short, Jr. Aside from the Ryder Cup fiasco, Furyk has played exceptionally well over the last 3 months. In his last eight starts on the PGA TOUR, he has seven top-5s, including a victory in the Canadian Open.
 
Ryan Moore
Each of the last two Vegas winners have been first-time winners on TOUR. And each player, Andre Stoltz in 2004 and Short in 05, won in Vegas without any momentum. Short had only one top-10 finish all year before coming up aces; Stoltz hadnt had any (both men have combined for all of one top-10 since their victories). Could another first-timer prevail at Vegas? If so, it could well be Moore. Moore was an amateur legend at UNLV. He's come close to winning a couple of times on TOUR; this could be his breakthrough performance.
 
Danny Ellis
Or perhaps Lady Luck could favor Ellis. Like Stolz and Short, Ellis enters Vegas without any fanfare. He has only one top-10 and is in dire need of a good finish to keep his card for next year. He has twice played this event, tying for seventh in his last appearance in 2004.
 
Scott Verplank
It's probably no coicidence that the winning number the last two years, since the event returned to a 72-hole format, is 21 under. Verplank, who hasn't had a winning hand since 2001, hopes to hit blackjack this time around. This is his 16th start in this event, and he has finished inside the top 25 in six of his last eight appearances, including a three times in top 10.
 
Charles Howell III
Speaking of winless droughts, Howells dates back to 2002. He has become the poster boy for underachieving U.S. players in their 20s on TOUR, which means he desperately needs another win. Despite the fact that he has only two top-10 finishes this year, he has amassed nearly $1.4 million. Thats because his two top-10s have been runner-up finishes. If he gets his ever-evolving game clicking this week, he could be a contender. He was solo fifth here a year ago.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Frys.com Open
  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."