Press Pass Kerrs Win Ochoas Loss

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 4, 2007, 4:00 pm
Press PassEach week, GOLF CHANNEL experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass.
Hot Topic
With Tiger and Phil returning this week, who are we likely to see more of over the remainder of the year?
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist,
I think you are going to see very little of either. Phil because of the wrist and Tiger because of Sam Alexis. Both will be especially scarce after the FedExCup.
Steve Sands Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
Tough one to answer. Tiger just became a father for the first time and his schedule could be altered because of that. Phil doesn't usually play much after the PGA, but with the new FedEx playoffs probably will play more often than in the past. My guess is that we'll see them both equally as much through the TOUR Championship and then see a bit more Tiger from the end of September through the end of the calender year.
Mark Rolfing Mark Rolfing - Analyst, GOLF CHANNEL:
I think it will be about equal because of the FedExCup. But without the FedExCup I might have said Tiger, because sometimes Phil shuts it down later in the year. I think they will both play a lot in August and September.
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer,
There's actually a pretty good chance that when we see one, we'll see the other over the remainder of the year. They will both be playing almost exclusively in majors, WGC events or FedExCup tournaments. After that ... poof. If Phil's wrist is OK, he might get in one extra tournament than Woods.
Hot Topic
What was the biggest story to emerge from the U.S. Womens Open: Cristie Kerrs first major win or another major loss for Lorena Ochoa?
For me it was another disappointment for Lorena. She handled the defeat with her usual aplomb but there almost seems to be a ghost in the machine with her swing down the stretch in majors.
Lorena Ochoa not winning. The win for Cristie is a good story, but when the No. 1 woman in the world has yet to win her first major and has another chance down the stretch to do so, but doesn't, unfortunately that overshadows Cristie's win.
I think it was Cristie Kerrs win, because shes the second best player to not have won a major prior to last week.
Lorena's defeat. As big as Kerr's birdie was on the 14th hole, the defining shot of the tournament was Ochoa's drive on the 17th and subsequent bogey. We were all waiting to see if Lorena could stand firm while in contention on the back nine, but she wavered.
Hot Topic
The average winning score over the last five years at the U.S. Senior Open is 9 under. Should the Senior Open play tougher?
The over-50 guys aren't much into torture and the USGA knows it. Not many of them are looking forward to getting beaten up by Whistling Straits. After all, haven't they suffered enough? The winning score this week will probably be anywhere from 5 to 10 under.
If the USGA, which among other things, is known for it's tough set-ups, is OK with the U.S. Senior Open being that low under par it's fine with me. I think Champions Tour players struggling to keep it around par, like a US Open, would not be good for fans to watch in person or on television.
I dont like saying what a winning score should be until Ive seen the course and the set up. I imagine that Whistling Straits will play tough. Even par could win.
I don't have a problem with any red number in single digits winning a USGA event. Even 8 under only equates to an average of 2 under a day, which is not exactly lights out. This year's edition at Whistling Straits should play pretty tough, particularly with the wind. Five under or higher could win.
What's the ONE thing you are most looking forward to this week in the world of golf?
How well Tiger Woods will play as a father and a first-time host in a PGA TOUR event.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Washington, D.C. area host a PGA TOUR event. The fans in the D.C. area will show they can support a quality tournament with a good field at a great venue, Congressional. Greg McLaughlin and his staff will put on a first-class event that will make the TOUR and my hometown proud.
Hopefully not having to talk about Michelle Wie at least for a while.
The condition of Phil Mickelson's wrist. Hopefully it's not one of those things that will nag him for some time to come.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - AT&T National
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Senior Open
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.