Coltart Looks to Turn Tide in Homeland

By Golf Channel NewsroomJune 7, 2004, 4:00 pm
As the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles, formerly the Scottish PGA Championship, rolls around, a few Scotsmen find their names on the tips of peoples tongues.
There is Colin Montgomerie, who is trying to regain his footing both personally and professionally. There is Scott Drummond, who shocked all of Europe ' and everyone else who was paying attention, when he won the European Tours flagship event, the Volvo PGA Championship, while ranked 435th in the world. And there is Paul Lawrie. As the U.S. Open approaches and Europeans are being reminded that no one from their continent has won the event since 1970, they are also being reminded that a European hasnt won a major of any kind since Lawrie in 1999.
But nowhere near the front of public consciousness is another Scot ' Andrew Coltart.
Five years ago, Coltart was an unlikely captains selection for the 1999 European Ryder Cup team. He had won the 98 Qatar Masters and finished the year ninth on the Order of Merit. He didnt win in 1999 or in 2000, but he cracked the top 25 in earnings both seasons.
Coltart added a second tour victory to his resume at the 2001 Great North Open, and was in position to make his second straight Ryder Cup team. But he couldnt capitalize on his mid-season victory and failed to qualify. This time he wasnt chosen ' by fellow Scot Sam Torrance ' as a wild card.
Coltart finished 54th and 31st, in 2002 and 2003 respectively, on the money list.

Eleven years into his European Tour career, Coltart had proven that he was not the second coming of Colin Montgomerie. But he had proved to be a consistent performer, one who could contend on occasion, and one who could earn a solid income doing so.
Enter 2004.
Coltart heads to his homeland in his worst slump since he first joined the tour in 1993, when he was 171st on the Order of Merit ' the only time he has finished outside the top 55.
The 34-year-old has six missed cuts and one withdrawal in 14 starts. He has yet to shoot back-to-back rounds in the 60s, and just last week earned his best finish of the season, a tie for 34th in Wales. He's 151st on the Order of Merit.
I've got to learn to crawl again before I start walking, getting back into contention again and enjoying Sunday afternoon, he said after opening one shot off the lead in the British Masters five weeks ago.
I've had a terrible start but I've tried not to lose faith, hoping you can come back.
Unfortunately for Coltart, he followed his opening 67 at the British Masters with rounds of 77-81-76.
And this may not be the venue that turns things around. He missed the cut in his debut in 2001, tied for 68th the following year, and was disqualified after opening in 81 a year ago.
This is the sixth playing of the event, which has been contested at Gleneagles Hotel since its inception.
Soren Kjeldsen is the defending champion, having won with a 9-under 279 total. That was 17 shots higher than Adam Scotts 72-hole tournament record score of 262 the year before.
With winds swirling over the first two days in last years tournament, the cut fell at 8-over 152.
Englishman Warren Bennett (1999) and Swedens Pierre Fulke (2000) join Dane Kjeldsen as past champions in attendance. Australian Scott is not in the field this week; neither is 2001 winner Paul Casey of England. Casey lost in a playoff to unheralded Simon Kahn last week at Celtic Manor.
Lawrie is the last Scotsman to win in Scotland, when he did so in the 2001 Dunhill links championship.
Alistair Forsyth came close to winning in his native country when he finished runner-up to Kjeldsen. Montgomerie finished fourth a year ago in his debut in this event.
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    Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

    Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

    “While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

    It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

    “What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

    The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

    “I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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    Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

    Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:

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    Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

    The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

    Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to to submit your picks for this week's event.

    Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

    1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

    2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

    3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

    4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

    5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

    6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

    7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

    8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

    9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

    10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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    Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

    By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

    It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

    Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

    "The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

    Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

    That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

    "You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

    "But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."