Pedal to the Metal at Chrysler

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 23, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Chrysler ChampionshipAnd then there was one.
 
One full-field event remains on the 2006 PGA TOUR schedule, this weeks Chrysler Championship in Tampa Bay, Fla.
 
The par-71, 7,340-yard Copperhead course at Innisbrook will either prove to be a field of dreams for some or a nightmarish end to the season.
 
Ernie Els
Ernie Els is trying to avoid missing out on the TOUR Championship for the second straight season.
There are those who are vying for spots inside the top 125 on the money list, in order to secure full playing status for next year. There are others who are hoping to just get inside the top 150, in order to retain partial playing privileges for 07. And, there are those trying to crack the top 30, in order to play for some guaranteed cash in next weeks $6.5 million TOUR Championship.
 
Count Ernie Els among those in the last group.
 
Els is currently 30th in earnings. He is trying to avoid missing out on the season finale for the second straight year, and for just the third time over the last 13 seasons.
 
Els missed the latter part of the 05 campaign due to a knee injury. He finished that year 47th in earnings, and without a win. He doesnt yet have a victory this year either, but hes hoping to get one this week ' or at least give himself a chance to do so next week.
 
Els, whose last event in the U.S. was the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational nine weeks ago, has played this tournament only once, tying for 34th in 2003.
 
While Els might consider going winless on TOUR for the second straight year a huge disappointment, others in the field have a much bigger plight to fight.
 
For many in attendance, a victory this week would be a huge, but they would be more than willing to settle for a fist full of dollars.
 
Of course, as every TOUR player likes to say, Winning takes care of everything else. A win this week will net someone $954,000 as well as a two-year exemption.
 
Here are our five favorites for the Chrysler Championship ' and it starts with a South African not named Ernie Els.
 
Retief Goosen
Goosen has two more opportunities to avoid his first winless season on the PGA TOUR since 2000. The last time he went this deep in the season without a victory was in 2003. He came to the Chrysler Championship having earned four top-5 finishes in 17 starts, but no titles. He then went on to capture the event. Goosen hopes for a similar scenario this time around, as he has four top-5 finishes in 16 starts, but no titles.
 
Vijay Singh
Singh is once again among the favorites this week, but based primarily on his past performances in this particular event. Despite a missed cut at Innisbrook a year ago, Singh won in 2004 and was runner-up in 2003. He is trying to keep alive a streak of four straight multiple-win seasons. His lone title this year came in June at the Barclays Classic. He tied for fifth last week at the Funai Classic.
 
Chad Campbell
Many believe Campbell is a future star on the PGA TOUR. But to get there, he needs to win on a more consistent basis. If he should prevail this week, it would be the first multiple-win season of his career. Campbell won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January and would love to (pretty much) bookend his season with another Chrysler title. Campbell was runner-up to Carl Pettersson last year and tied for fourth in 2003.
 
Bo Van Pelt
In 2003, Singh was runner-up here and then won the following year. In 2004, Pettersson tied for eighth and then went on to win the next year. If there is a trend here, were going to go with Bo Van Pelt, who tied for third a year ago. Van Pelt is seeking that elusive first win on TOUR. He can take comfort in the fact that there have been three first-time winners over the last six weeks.
 
Paul Azinger
Its likely that Azinger wont contend for the title. But, as stated above, this week is more than just about winning. Two years ago at this event, Azinger was knocked out of the top 125 to lose his card. He played in 2005 on partial status, but finished that year 187th in earnings, forcing him to take a one-time, one-year exemption for being among the top 50 on the TOURs career money list. Now his only option, if he wants to play full-time next season, is to finish inside the top 125 for the first time since 2002. Azinger has been slipping over recent weeks. He missed the cut last week at Disney and is currently 122nd in money. Were betting on him this week to do just enough to earn his card for 2007.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Chrysler Championship
  • Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

    An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.



    Original story:

    Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

    President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



    Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

    Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

    By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

    Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

    ''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

    Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

    ''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

    Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

    Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

    ''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

    Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.