Bay Hill Soup for Campbells Golfing Soul

By Golf Channel NewsroomMarch 14, 2005, 5:00 pm
After four years of being crowned king of Bay Hill by The King of golf, Tiger Woods is now just a man of the people ' so to speak.
Chad Campbell currently sits in the throne Woods occupied for nearly half a decade.
Chad Campbell
Chad Campbell ended Tiger Woods' four-year reign at Bay Hill with his six-stroke victory a year ago.
Campbell, however, may not much feel like a man in control at the moment. The 30-year-old Texan hasnt won since he left Bay Hill. Hes had a couple of chances this year, but Mother Nature and Adam Scott conspired against him at the Nissan Open and he had no one but himself to blame at last weeks Honda Classic.
Campbell led after an opening-round 64 and was just three back after Round 2. But Saturday was cruel. He shot 80 on moving day and moved right out of contention. He eventually finished tied for 52nd.
Maybe a return trip to Orlando is the soup for Campbell's golfing soul. He won last years title ' his second on tour ' by shooting a final-round 66 to overcome a four-stroke deficit and win by six.
Stuart Appleby was the unfortunate victim. Appleby opened in 67-67-66, but came home in 76. It was a tough loss for the local, who lives in the nearby neighborhood of Isleworth.
Appleby drove his bright yellow Lamborghini to the course each day. This year, he may be driving something a little more practical. Thats because Appleby became a father just three days after successfully defending his title at the Mercedes Championships.
I'm learning. It's a fantastic process, Appleby said about fatherhood. But it's pretty cool. I love it. And thank God Ash (his wife) is doing most of the work, because I'm stuck out on the golf course for eight to ten hours a day. It certainly takes both of us, but Ashley is taking most of the burden ' and Ella is Daddy's little girl, that's for sure.
Once again Arnold Palmer has assembled a quality field in his host tournament. Even though Palmer wont be participating in the actual event for the first time since he founded it 26 years ago, several of todays golfing luminaries will be on hand.
Four-time champion and reigning world No. 1 Tiger Woods is joined by the man he recently deposed at the top, Vijay Singh, as well as 1998 champion and world No. 3 Ernie Els, and world No. 5 Retief Goosen.
World No. 4 Phil Mickelson, who won here in 1997 and finished runner-up in 2001, is skipping the event for the third straight year.
Els is the only player in the top four on the Official World Golf Ranking who hasnt won this season on the PGA Tour. But he may be the hottest player on the planet as he heads back to the States.
Els has won each of the last two weeks on the European Tour, completing the Middle East Sweep, by winning both the Dubai Desert Classic and the Qatar Masters.
I really feel good,' Els said after his most recent triumph. My rhythm feels really good at the moment and I'm in a good position at the top of the backswing. When that happens, I can freewheel it and go for the ball. My iron play was a lot better. I feel like my game is right there and I can't wait to get to America now.
Bay Hill is the third of four events that comprise the Florida Swing. Its the week before to the Players Championships, and just three tournaments before the Masters.
Loren Roberts is the only player outside of Woods to repeat as champion, doing so in 1994-95. Woods four-peat, from 2000-03, made him the first player since Gene Sarazen in 1930 to win the same tournament on four consecutive occasions.
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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.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.