High Altitude High Scores at International

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 7, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 The INTERNATIONALOne week before the PGA Championship, the PGA TOUR travels just south of the Mile High City to Castle Rock, Co., for the 21st edition of The International.
 
Though scheduled just prior to the year's final major, a world-class field will be on hand at Castle Pines Golf Club, headlined by world No. 2 and two-time champion Phil Mickelson.
 
Camilo Villegas
Camilo Villegas is quickly becoming one of the PGA TOUR's most recognizable stars.
With the high altitude and the rarely used modified Stableford scoring system in effect, this is perhaps not the ideal event to prep for a major championship. But the list of top players in the field may suggest otherwise.
 
Along with Mickelson, those gathering in Castle Rock include defending champion Retief Goosen, fellow South African Ernie Els, British Open contenders Sergio Garcia and Chris DiMarco and a pair of former International winners Davis Love III and David Toms.
 
The scoring system awards 8 points for double eagle, 5 for eagle, 2 for birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse. Mickelson and Els share the tournament scoring record with 48 points.
 
Another big story that will be played out this week is the battle to make Tom Lehman's Ryder Cup squad this fall at the K Club in Dublin, Ireland.
 
The top-6 currently on the points list are virtually a lock to make the team - Tiger, Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Chad Campbell and DiMarco. But starting at Vaughn Taylor's spot at No. 7, many scenarios could play out over the next two weeks. The top 10 players after the PGA Championship will get automatic berths.
 
Taylor, who jumped from 11th to seventh with his fourth-place finish at the Buick Open, will not be in the field, choosing to instead to get ready for Medinah. Both J.J. Henry and Zach Johnson, currently in the 8th and 9th positions will be in Castle Rock but Brett Wetterich, No. 10 on the list, will not.
 
Of the players sitting in the 11-15 spots - John Rollins, Jerry Kelly, Lucas Glover, Love and Fred Couples - only Kelly will not be teeing it up.
 
Love, who has been on six straight Ryder Cup teams dating back to the U.S. victory at the Belfry in 1993, will need good finishes this week and next or hope that captain Lehman will make him a captain's selection due to his vast Ryder Cup experience.
 
With all the subplots going on, here are five players to look for to win the title:
 
Phil Mickelson
As mentioned above, Mickelson is one of only two players - along with Love - to have twice won this tournament and also shares the scoring record. In 13 starts, Lefty has finished in the top-10 over half those times and along with his two wins he has a pair of runner-ups. And dont forget what he did in another major tune up earlier in the year - a blowout 13-shot victory at the BellSouth Classic. Add in the fact that he is second only to Tiger in birdie average and is in the top-12 in eagles per hole played and Lefty and the modified Stableford scoring system make quite a nice fit.
 
Retief Goosen
Much like last season, the quiet South African comes into this event with nary a win on either the PGA TOUR or European Tour. He quickly took care of that winless problem last year with a solid, if not spectacular, four rounds in Colorado. Not that he has been off that much this year as seen by his runner-up bid at The Players Championship followed with his tie for third at the Masters. The last two times he has entered this event he finished second and first.
 
Lucas Glover
With the up and coming Glover it has been a simple case of the good, the bad and the ugly. The good: his breakout victory at last year's Funai Classic at Disney where he made a 40-foot putt from the fringe at 17 and then holed a 35-foot bunker shot on the last hole for the win. He has since racked up six top-10 finishes in '06 to vault into Ryder Cup consideration. The bad: he has missed the cut in eight of his 21 starts this year including five of the last eight. The ugly: the former Clemson All-American has failed to make it to the weekend in all three majors this season.
 
Steve Lowery
A two-time winner on TOUR, the 45-year-old Lowery has had success at this event as seen by his playoff win over Rick Fehr back in 1994. But it was his performance in the 2001 edition, however, that might be best remembered. Trailing eventually winner Rich Beem coming down the stretch, Lowery twice holed out from the fairway - for eagle on the par-4 15th and then for a mind-blowing double-eagle at the par-5 17th. Alas, his birdie putt on 18 hung on the lip, leaving a clearly shaken Beem with the victory.
 
Camilo Villegas
The stylish rookie from Columbia, who is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable stars on the PGA TOUR, is having a terrific season thus far with three top-3 finishes including a pair of runner-ups. Currently 31st on the PGA TOUR's money list he sits in a good position to qualify for the season-ending TOUR Championship. He is ranked in the top-15 in both total birdies and total eagles on the tour, which bodes well for this event.
 
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

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    Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

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    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry