Drive to Oakland Hills Continues at Nissan

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 16, 2004, 5:00 pm
Bernhard Langer now plays the majority of his golf in the United States, which could make it difficult for him to evaluate, first hand, the players who will comprise his European Ryder Cup team.
 
This week, however, many of those potential team members will join their captain on American soil.
 
Langer, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Fredrik Jacobson, Thomas Bjorn, Sergio Garcia, Niclas Fasth and Jesper Parnevik are all in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the Nissan Open.
 
And unlike in past campaigns, their PGA Tour play will go a long way towards their inclusion in the 35th Ryder Cup Matches.
 
For the first time, qualification for the European Ryder Cup team can be determined in two ways.
 
Players can qualify by finishing in the top 5 on the World Points List, which awards points based on finishes in worldwide events ' not just on the European Tour ' from Sept. 4, 2003 to Aug. 23, 2004.
 
They can also do so by being among the top 5 finishers, who did not make it via the world list, on the European Points List. This list is based on money earned in European Tour events from Sept. 4, 2003 to Aug. 29, 2004.
 
Click for the latest Ryder Cup standings
 
For now, Westwood, Clarke and Jacobsen are on the inside; Bjorn, Garcia, Parnevik and Fasth have a little ways to go, and plenty to time to get there.
 
The Ryder Cup is slated to be contested Sept. 17-19 at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield, Mich.
 
United States captain Hal Sutton will also get a sneak peak at players trying to make his team.
 
With the top 10 at the conclusion of the PGA Championship getting an automatic berth onto the U.S. team, 18 of the top 25 players in the standings are in this week's field.
 
That includes Tiger Woods.
 
The worlds No. 1 has played this tournament ' six times as a professional ' more than any other PGA Tour event without winning. He closed with a 65 last year to tie for fifth.
 
Woods grew up in the greater Los Angeles area, and competed in his first tour event at Riviera Country Club in 1992. He missed the cut that year, and did the same in 93. Hes since never finished outside of the top 20, while posting a pair of runner-up finishes.
 
His closest chance to victory came in 1998, when he lost to Billy Mayfair in a playoff at Valencia Country Club.
 
Ive come close a couple of times, Woods said. I've got a lot of great memories here.
 
As does Mike Weir.
 
Weir defeated Charles Howell III in a playoff to claim his second title of the 2003 season. He went on to win the Masters and nearly $5 million.
 
Howell didnt exactly fall apart after that defeat ' collecting another runner-up finish, at the Tour Championship, to go along with four other top-10 finishes ' but he hasnt yet come that close to earning his second tour title.
 
The promising 24-year-old has yet to break the top 20 in five starts this season.
 
This is the 78th playing of what was, for most of its existence, known as the Los Angeles Open.
 
Its the 42nd time that Riviera has hosted the tournament. The par-71 course, dubbed Hogans Alley after three-time winner Ben Hogan, has been lengthened to 7,222 yards ' up 48 yards from a year ago.
 
The purse has also been increased by $300,000 to $4.8 million; the winner will net $864,000.
 
The field includes Buick Invitational winner John Daly, Vijay Singh, who had his streak of 12 consecutive top-10 finishes snapped when he missed the cut last week in La Jolla, British Open champion Ben Curtis, PGA champion Shaun Micheel, Chad Campbell, FBR Open winner Jonathan Kaye and David Toms, who is scheduled to make his first start in two months after hand surgery.
 
Last years result was no anomaly. There have been three playoffs in the last six Nissan Opens. The other three tournaments during that span have been determined by a total of four strokes.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Nissan Open
  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.