Hoch Unhappy with Season

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 8, 2003, 4:00 pm
NEW YORK (AP) -- Scott Hoch would seem to have few complaints about his season. At age 47, he won at Doral for his 11th career victory that made him exempt until he is eligible for the Champions Tour.
Hoch doesn't see it that way.
'It's been my worst year ever,' Hoch said after his tie for 70th in the 72-man field at the American Express Championship. 'Other people can maybe do what I've done, but I can't stand it. I expect too much of myself.'
Hoch has been a model of consistency throughout his 24-year career on the PGA Tour. He finished in the top 40 on the money list 20 times, and the only time he was outside the top 100 was the year he had shoulder surgery and missed most of the season.
This year, he has been hampered by an injury to his left hand, and went four months without making a cut.
His only good weeks were the Match Play Championship, where he ran into Tiger Woods in the quarterfinals (Woods was 7 under through 13 holes), and the Ford Championship.
His hand started hurting on the range at Doral, and Hoch nearly withdrew until a few minutes before his tee time. He wound up beating Jim Furyk in a playoff.
'I should be smart enough to know when I shouldn't be playing, but I continued to play and it put me in bad habits,' Hoch said. 'You think it's getting better because it's not getting any worse. The times it was hurting me enough to stop, I did.'
A review of Hoch's statistics confirm the worst.
He is last among 197 players in the all-around ranking (a combination of all major statistical categories), and he isn't in the top 100 in any category except the obscure 'three-putt avoidance.' He's tied for 62nd.
'Go look at my stats. You cannot believe how bad they are,' Hoch said. 'I'm not in the top 100 in any category except the world ranking and the money list.'
He is 50th in the world ranking, 52nd on the money list.
Hoch is playing in Las Vegas this week but might not play again the rest of the year except for Disney -- and only because he lives in Orlando.
Phil Mickelson never missed the Tour Championship while playing a full schedule, and he's not about to let that streak end without a fight.
Mickelson is playing the Las Vegas Invitational this week, and he has told organizers he plans to play at the Funai Classic at Disney and the Chrysler Championship in Tampa.
Mickelson is 35th on the money list.
'I'd like to make it,' Lefty said last week at Capital City Club.
As for the two Florida tournaments, Mickelson said he is planning to play them, but it's 'day to day.'
Ernie Els was one putt away from being a lock to win his first Order of Merit on the European Tour.
Els closed with a 67 at the American Express Championship and tied for 12th, which nearly gave him an insurmountable lead over Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland.
If Ignacio Garrido had missed a 5-foot par putt on the final hole, Els would have risen to the 11th spot and made just enough money to clinch the title. Now, Clarke must win the Madrid Open and the season-ending Volvo Masters to beat Els by about $425.
Els is done playing in Europe for the year.
'It's probably the fullest season I've played in Europe,' Els said. 'I said from the get-go, it's not one of the goals I've chosen in my career, but if it comes around, it will be great.'
Still, it would be a meaningful feat.
Fellow South African Retief Goosen won the Order of Merit the last two years. And Els has spent 10 years devoting time to both tours, more than any other current player. He says next year, he will focus more on the PGA Tour.
'I paid my dues,' Els said.
Duval trades the clubs for a rod
David Duval might be in a bad slump on the golf course, but that isn't the case when he puts a rod and reel in his hand.
While fishing last month in British Columbia, Duval landed a king salmon that measured nearly 50 inches and weighed between 45 and 48 pounds.
'I'm not sure if it was a record,' Duval said Monday. 'But it had to be close.'
Refreshed by a seven-week break, Duval returns to the PGA Tour this week at the Las Vegas Invitational.
Tiger Woods wears some shade of red in the final round. Masters champion Mike Weir dresses in black from top to bottom.
It started with the Bob Hope Classic, where Weir won by two. He wore a white shirt when he won at Riviera, then went back to black at the Masters and has stuck with it ever since in the final rounds.
Will he wear it the rest of his career?
'I might if it keeps working,' Weir said. 'With the exception of the PGA, where I had a bad fourth round, I've played most of my best golf on Sunday this year. I'm really not a superstitious guy, but that's one thing I'm a little bit sticky about right now.'
DIVOTS:If this week is any indication, qualifying for the Tour Championship could be tight. Rocco Mediate is in 30th place by $54 over Robert Allenby. ... Ryder Cup captain Hal Sutton has decided to play in the UBS Cup on Sea Island in November. ... Juli Inkster slightly injured her right shoulder while moving out of her northern California house for renovations, causing her to miss the Safeway Classic in Portland. She returned last week and tied for 14th at the Longs Drugs Challenge. 'I don't think my body is used to manual labor,' she said. ... The TPC of Scottsdale, home of the Phoenix Open, is the latest golf course to increase its yardage. The 7,070-yard track will be more than 7,200 yards. Among the changes is a new tee on the par-5 15th that will leave a second shot from about 235 yards to the island green.
Going into last week, Tiger Woods had made only four putts longer than 25 feet, last on the PGA Tour. He made three of them at the American Express Championship.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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CareerBuilder Challenge: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 1:10 pm

The PGA Tour shifts from Hawaii to Southern California for the second full-field event of the year. Here are the key stats and information for the CareerBuilder Challenge. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch (all rounds on Golf Channel):

Thursday, Rd. 1: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Friday, Rd. 2: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Saturday, Rd. 3: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Sunday, Rd. 4: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

Purse: $5.9 million ($1,062,000 to winner)

Courses: PGA West, Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,113); PGA West, Nicklaus Tournament Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,159); La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,060) NOTE: All three courses will be used for the first three rounds but only the Stadium Course will be used for the final round.

Defending champion: Hudson Swafford (-20) - defeated Adam Hadwin by one stroke to earn his first PGA Tour win.

Notables in the field

Phil Mickelson

* This is his first start of 2018. It's the fourth consecutive year he has made this event the first one on his yearly calendar.

* For the second year in a row he will serve as the tournament's official ambassador.

* He has won this event twice - in 2002 and 2004.

* This will be his 97th worldwide start since his most recent win, The Open in 2013.

Jon Rahm

* Ranked No. 3 in the world, he finished runner-up in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

* In 37 worldwide starts as a pro, he has 14 top-5 finishes.

* Last year he finished T-34 in this event.

Adam Hadwin

* Last year in the third round, he shot 59 at La Quinta Country Club. It was the ninth - and still most recent - sub-60 round on Tour.

* In his only start of 2018, the Canadian finished 32nd in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Brian Harman

* Only player on the PGA Tour with five top-10 finishes this season.

* Ranks fifth in greens in regulation this season.

* Finished third in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and T-4 in the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Brandt Snedeker

* Making only his third worldwide start since last June at the Travelers Championship. He has been recovering from a chest injury.

* This is his first start since he withdrew from the Indonesian Masters in December because of heat exhaustion.

* Hasn't played in this event since missing the cut in 2015.

Patrick Reed

* Earned his first career victory in this event in 2014, shooting three consecutive rounds of 63.

* This is his first start of 2018.

* Last season finished seventh in strokes gained: putting, the best ranking of his career.

(Stats provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit.) 

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Teenager Im wins Web.com season opener

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 10:23 pm

South Korea's Sungjae Im cruised to a four-shot victory at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, becoming just the second teenager to win an event on the Web.com Tour.

Im started the final day of the season-opening event in a share of the lead but still with six holes left in his third round. He was one shot behind Carlos Ortiz when the final round began, but moved ahead of the former Web.com Player of the Year thanks to a 7-under 65 in rainy and windy conditions. Im's 13-under total left him four clear of Ortiz and five shots ahead of a quartet of players in third.

Still more than two months shy of his 20th birthday, Im joins Jason Day as the only two teens to win on the developmental circuit. Day was 19 years, 7 months and 26 days old when he captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

Recent PGA Tour winners Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay and former NCAA champ Aaron Wise all won their first Web.com Tour event at age 20.

Other notable finishes in the event included Max Homa (T-7), Erik Compton (T-13), Curtis Luck (T-13) and Lee McCoy (T-13). The Web.com Tour will remain in the Bahamas for another week, with opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic set to begin Sunday.

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Mickelson grouped with Z. Johnson at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 8:28 pm

He's not the highest-ranked player in this week's field, but Phil Mickelson will likely draw the biggest crowd at the CareerBuilder Challenge as he makes his first start of 2018. Here are a few early-round, marquee groupings to watch as players battle the three-course rotation in the Californian desert (all times ET):

12:10 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday, 1:20 p.m. Saturday: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson

Mickelson is making his fourth straight trip to Palm Springs, having cracked the top 25 each of the last three times. In addition to their respective amateur partners, he'll play the first three rounds alongside a fellow Masters champ in Johnson, who tied for 14th last week in Hawaii and finished third in this event in 2014.

11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson

At No. 3 in the world, Rahm is the highest-ranked player teeing it up this week and the Spaniard returns to an event where he finished T-34 last year in his tournament debut. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Watson, who is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2016-17 season and failed to crack the top 50 in two starts in the fall.

11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker

Reed made the first big splash of his career at this event in 2014, shooting three straight rounds of 63 en route to his maiden victory. He'll be joined by Snedeker, whose bid for a Masters bid via the top 50 of the world rankings came up short last month and who hasn't played this event since a missed cut in 2015.

1:10 p.m. Thursday, 12:40 p.m. Friday, 12:10 p.m. Saturday: Patton Kizzire, Bill Haas

Kizzire heads east after a whirlwind Sunday ended with his second win of the season in a six-hole playoff over James Hahn in Honolulu. He'll play alongside Haas, who won this event in both 2010 and 2015 to go with a runner-up finish in 2011 and remains the tournament's all-time leading money winner.

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Mackay still a caddie at heart, even with a microphone

By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

HONOLULU – All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim ''Bones'' Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.

It just wasn't enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.

Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.

It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas' regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.

''The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,'' Mackay said before the final round. ''There's nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, 'I don't like 6-iron, I like 7,' and being right. I miss that part of it.''

The reward now?

''Not stumbling over my words,'' he said. ''And being better than I was the previous week.''

He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage – ''Show up, keep up, shut up'' – apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.

During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.

''It's my job to report on what I see. It's not my job to ask questions,'' Mackay said. ''I forgot that for a minute.''

Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.

''What I didn't know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,'' Mackay said. ''I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He's now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.''

During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.

''Bones, don't ever do that again.''

It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That's why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.

Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.

And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.

It's common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.

''I want to be a caddie that's doing TV,'' he said. ''That's what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it's good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I'm a caddie. I'll always be a caddie.''

Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.

And not the Masters.

He hasn't missed Augusta since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.

''That killed me,'' he said, ''but not nearly as much as it's going to kill me this year. I'll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I'll be really grumpy. I'll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I'll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.''

There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty's three green jackets.

Mackay still doesn't talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.

''If you lose that positive dynamic, there's no point in continuing,'' he said. ''It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.''

He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.

''I thought I'd caddie until I dropped,'' Mackay said.

He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it's for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn't look at it as a second career. And he won't rule out caddying again.

''It will always be tempting,'' he said. ''I'll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I'm very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.''

Except for that first week in April.