Seaside Course The Deciding Factor

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 22, 2002, 4:00 pm
By Eric N. Schneider
Director of Golf Operations, Sea Island Company

The Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club should prove to be an exciting test for the competitors in the second UBS Warburg Cup. The Tom Fazio redesign, which combined the historic Colt and Allison nine from 1928 with the Joe Lee-designed Marshside, has produced a dramatic links style championship test that is garnering rave reviews from the golfing world.
Seasides setting combines vistas of natural marshes and the Atlantic Ocean creating a visually intimidating links course. The course begins innocuously with a slight dogleg left par 4 measuring 410 yards. The golf course rapidly intensifies with holes 2 through 5 providing stern tests early in the round. These four holes present challenge and drama and could set the tome for any of the matches during the Warburg Cup.
Hole No. 2 demands a precise tee shot over the marsh to a fairway with water lurking right and marsh left. The second shot is difficult to get close, especially to a back pin placement.

Hole No. 4 at SeasideHole No. 4 is perhaps the most difficult hole on the course. The 415-yard par 4 demands a solid tee shot avoiding the marsh left and water right. A mid-iron second shot to a green nestled over the marsh and fronted by a gaping bunker make this hole a challenge. The undulating green is surrounded on three sides by closely mown chipping swales which carom a misplayed shot further from the hole and present multiple options in playing a recovery shot. These chipping swales are a predominant feature on most holes on the course, and the mastery of these challenging undulating swales may be the key to a victory in many matches.
Hole No. 5 completes the tough opening stretch on the front nine with a 90-degree dogleg that tempts the player to bite off as much as he dares. The swirling winds and angled fairway make the tee shot on the fifth among the most difficult on the course.
The back nine of Seaside follows closely the original routing historically created by Colt and Allison in the 1920s. Holes 10 and 11 move boldly through windswept dunes with dramatic large bunkers strategically placed guarding the landing areas and greens. Both holes are visually intimidating and demand precise tee shots and irons to successfully manage the holes.
Most matches are going to be won or lost by the side that best manages holes 13-16. This stretch of holes provides some of the most intriguing shots on the course. Hole No. 13 is the most frequently photographed hole in Seaside. This dramatic par-4 plays to a dramatic backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and is bordered by a tidal river to the left. Large bunkers emanate from the dunes that seem to swallow any ball hit off line guard the right. The elevated green is fronted by a large deep bunker making a precise iron a requisite for any chance at birdie.
Hole No. 14, at 445 yards, requires a long drive across the marsh and a precise mid- to long iron to a green guarded left and long by the marsh. This hole will challenge every player in the field.

Hole No. 16 at SeasideHole No. 16 will most likely be the most pivotal hole in most matches. The 410 yard par 4 challenges the player to bite off as much as he can off the tee as the fairway angles from right to left across tidal creek. The narrow green is much more receptive to a short iron than a mid-iron, so a bold line off the tee is crucial.
Any match making its way to hole 18 will find a long, tough finishing hole facing them. The 470 yard par 4 is made longer by an elevated landing area off the tee and a fronting prevailing wind off of St. Simons Sound. Two large bunkers fronting the green make this a great finishing hole.
The Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club will provide an excellent venue for the competitors in the UBS Warburg Cup. The dramatic setting, breathtaking natural beauty, challenging course routing, and the classic historical significance of Sea Island will make this event one to remember.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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''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.

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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.