Garcia Goosen Look to Turn Things Around

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Deutsche Bank Players ChampionshipFresh off the 135th Open Championship, the European Tour keeps the momentum going with another world class field assembling in Hamburg, Germany, for the Deutsche Bank Players Championship of Europe.
Although most of the top American players have flown back across the Atlantic - including the Open champ and three-time winner of this event Tiger Woods - the field still includes European Tour stars past, present and future set to do battle for the $4.5 million dollar purse.
No less than eight of the world's top-20 players will tee it up at Gut Kaden Golf Club, led by world No. 5 Retief Goosen and No. 9 Sergio Garcia.
Goosen, who was just four off the lead at the halfway point at Royal Liverpool, struggled a bit on the weekend, seemingly matching every birdie with a bogey and ultimately coming in a disappointing tie for 14th. Having played in this event every year dating back to 1995, Goosen has never visited the winner's circle but does have four top-10 finishes including a runner-up in 1999.
Perhaps the most interesting player to keep an eye out for, however, will be Garcia. The 26-year-old Spaniard again faltered in what was his best chance to garner the first major of his career. Paired with Tiger in the final round, Garcia quickly bogeyed two of the first three holes and was never a factor in the outcome, ultimately finishing in a tie for fifth.
Although it was Garcia's best finish in a major this year - after a 46th in the Masters and a missed cut at the U.S. Open - he has struggled for most of the season. He currently ranks 51st on the PGA TOUR's money list, well behind his earnings for the previous two seasons, where is ended up ranked 9th and 10th, respectively.
The other top-20 players joining Goosen and Garcia in the field will be 10th-ranked Luke Donald, David Howell (11), Colin Montgomerie (15), Henrik Stenson (17), Tim Clark (18), and Padraig Harrington (19). Howell, Monty and Harrington all missed the cut at Hoylake.
Last year's champ Niclas Fasth is set to defend the title he won when he birdied the third playoff hole to outlast Angel Cabrera.
American John Daly also returns to look to improve on his third place showing last year, just two shots out of the playoff.
Other top names teeing it up are Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Cabrera, Michael Campbell and Lee Westwood. Westwood and Harrington are both past winners of this event.
Also in the field is Edoardo Molinari, the 2005 U.S. Amateur champion, who just completed his eligibility to play in the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
The Italian, who is the brother of 2006 Telecom Italia Open winner, Francesco, turned pro after his playing in the Open Championship, where he was paired with Woods the first two days. He finished in a tie for 68th with 2004 champion Todd Hamilton.
Darren Clarke, who was scheduled to be in Germany, announced after missing the cut at the Open that he was taking an extended break from golf to be with his ailing wife.
The Golf Channel will televise all four rounds beginning Thursday at 9:30 a.m ET.
First prize for the Deutsche Bank Players Championship is $754,000.
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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.