American Team Finalized

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 28, 2003, 5:00 pm
With team captain Arnold Palmer trying to remain unbeaten as a captain in international play, the United States will try for its third straight UBS Cup title at the third-annual UBS Cup, held at the spectacular Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club Nov. 20-23.
 
The $3 million UBS Cup features two 12-man teams competing in a Ryder Cup style format. Each team consists of six players 40-49 and six players 50 and older.
 
Scott Hoch, Rocco Mediate and U.S. Senior Open champion Bruce Lietzke were the last three players named to Palmers U.S. team. Hoch, Mediate and Lietzke join a formidable squad that includes 40-49-year-olds Hal Sutton, Mark OMeara, Brad Faxon and Curtis Strange and 50-and-older players Ray Floyd, Hale Irwin, Craig Stadler, Tom Watson and team-captain Palmer.
 
Not to be outdone is team captain Tony Jacklins Rest of the World team, which welcomed 40-49-year-old Eduardo Romero of Argentina and 50-and-older players Carl Mason of England and Bill Longmuir of Scotland to a team that includes 40-49-year-olds Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam and Barry Lane and 50-and-older players Rodger Davis and Jacklin.
 
The two remaining Rest of the World players will be determined by Nov. 10.
 
A member of both previous UBS Cup teams, Hoch is regarded as one of the PGA Tours most consistent players, a reputation burnished in 2003 when he won more than $1 million for the eighth consecutive year. The winner of 11 PGA Tour titles, Hoch has finished in the top 40 on the money list every year but one since 1982.
 
Mediate and Lietzke are both making their UBS Cup debuts. For Mediate, the invite comes after a season in which the five-time winner racked up four top-10 finishes, including runner-up finishes at the Deutsche Bank Championship and the Mercedes Championship.
 
With his U.S. Senior Open victory at Inverness, outside Toledo, Lietzke won his first Champions Tour major title this year. That was one of his nine top-10 finishes this season. The 13-time winner on the PGA Tour has seven Champions Tour victories.
 
A UBS Cup rookie, Longmuirs career was revived on the European Seniors Tour this year, where he won two events (the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open and the De Vere PGA Seniors Championship) and earned seven top-10 finishes in 15 events. Currently, Longmuir is second on the European Seniors Tours Order of Merit.
 
Romero, who went 1-1-1 in last years UBS Cup, continued his solid play on the European Tour with two top-five performances. He placed fifth on last years European Tour Order of Merit.
 
Like Romero, Mason is making his UBS Cup debut. He enjoyed a breakout season on the European Seniors Tour, with four victories and nine top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments. That boosted Mason to the top spot on the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit.
 
As U.S. captain, Palmer will try piloting the U.S. team to its third straight UBS Cup title and his sixth international team title. Before leading the Americans to victories in 2001 (12 -11 ), and 2002 (14 -9 ), Palmer captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team to wins in 1963 and 1975 and the U.S. Presidents Cup team to victory in 1996.
 
My players have always been quite good, Palmer said. I tried to juggle them into the right positions and get their interest and focus on what they were doing.
 
Jacklin could make the same claim. In 1987, he guided the European Ryder Cup team to perhaps its most impressive victory in the events storied history ' a 15-13 victory over the host Americans that gave Europe its first Ryder Cup victory on U.S. soil. This came two years after Jacklin captained the Europeans to their first victory in 28 years. Counting the European Teams victory in 1989, he is 3-1 as a Ryder Cup captain.
 
The third annual UBS Cup will be played at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Georgia, November 20-23. The United States will be defending its title against the Rest of the World in the $3 million, match-play event that features two 12-man teams competing in a Ryder-Cup style format.
 
Jacklin takes over from Gary Player, who was the Rest of the World captain for the first two UBS Cups. The UBS Cup is sanctioned by the European Seniors Tour and the PGA Tour.
 
Six Foursome matches will be played on Friday, Nov. 21, six four-ball matches on Saturday, Nov. 22 and 12 singles matches will conclude play on Sunday, Nov. 23. A pro-am will precede the competition on Thursday, Nov. 20.
 
The Golf Channel will devote 45 hours of worldwide coverage to the UBS Cup, with much of that in prime time. Replays of the action, which include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, will begin Saturday, Nov. 22 and run through the week following the event.
 
Related Links:
  • Meet the Teams
  • UBS Cup - TV Airtimes
  • UBS Cup - Full Coverage
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    Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

    Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

    Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

    Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

    Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


    FALLING

    Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

    Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

    Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

    Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

    Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    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

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    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.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    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.