Its an International Love Fest

By Golf Channel NewsroomAugust 8, 2003, 4:00 pm
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Davis Love III eagled three holes Friday en route to 17 points and a comfortable lead after two rounds of The International. He has 36 points through 36 holes and owns a 10-point lead over John Rollins.
 
At The International, play is contested using the modified Stableford scoring system. Players receive two points for a birdie, five points for an eagle and eight points for a double eagle. Players lose one point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey or worse, with a par receiving a score of zero.
 
The three eagles Friday for Love matched a PGA Tour record for most eagles in one round, which 12 players have done previously. Mathew Goggin did it most recently in the 2001 Invensys Classic at Las Vegas and Love also turned the trick once before at the 1994 Hawaiian Open. Love became the first player ever to record three eagles in tournament history.
 
The 36 points through two rounds is also a new tournament record, besting the mark of 34 that Ernie Els tallied in 2000.
 
'I played some pretty good rounds back-to-back, but not this low of scoring,' said Love, who netted 19 points in the first round, falling one shy of the one-round record. 'Yesterday we were saying 10 birdies; no eagles. Today I got all the eagles, so you never know. But it was exciting.'
 
Phil Mickelson, the 1997 champion, tallied 14 points Friday to take third place with 22 points. Vijay Singh recorded 15 points and Kent Jones 14 to share fourth place with 19 points.
 
Love, the 1997 PGA Champion, started on the second nine Friday and knocked a pitching-wedge 20 feet from the hole, where he sank the putt. Two holes later, Love missed the fairway with a 3-wood, but wedged his approach to 15 feet to set up another birdie.
 
At the par-5 14th, Love reached the green with a 4-iron and landed the ball 30 feet from the stick. He drained the long eagle putt to pick up his ninth point of the round through only five holes.
 
Love found trouble at the par-3 16th when his tee ball landed in the back right bunker. His blast from the sand stopped 35 feet from the hole where he two-putted for bogey, but rebounded with an amazing shot at 17. Love's 4-iron second at the par-5 hole nearly fell in for a double eagle but instead lipped out, forcing him to settle for a tap-in eagle, his second of the round.
 
'The reaction of the crowd, we figured it had come real close or lipped out; then somebody said after I was done that it did lip out,' said Love, referring to his approach at 17. 'You can only see about half the stick so you can't really tell, but I knew I hit a good shot right at it.'
 
Love hit a good drive at the par-5 first then played a 3-iron eight feet from the hole. He made that eagle putt to match the PGA Tour record then birdied No. 2.
 
He ran into a lull with five consecutive pars, but Love would have gladly taken par at the par-5 eighth. Love hit a poor shot and had to take an unplayable lie, but had six feet to save bogey. He missed that putt for a double bogey and a loss of three points.
 
'Obviously I didn't finish the way I wanted to, but I hit the ball, except for the tee shot at 8, very good all the way,' said Love, a three-time winner on tour this season. 'I was looking like I was going to get into the 40s but I obviously made a lot more points on the par-fives today than I did yesterday even with the double bogey.'
 
Rollins had 12 points in his round until a mistake at the par-3 fourth hole. His tee ball landed in the right hazard and he took a drop and did well to save bogey and lose only one point instead of three.
 
Rollins rebounded after the miscue at four when he played a wedge to six feet at No. 6 to set up birdie. He went past Mickelson into second place at the par-5 eighth when he two-putted for birdie from 35 feet.
 
That final birdie gave Rollins 15 points on Friday and put him within striking distance of Love, a feat that seemed impossible when Rollins teed off on Friday afternoon.
 
'My initial reaction was we're playing for second,' said Rollins. 'But then once I got out and started playing, I saw that he was only at 36 and then I started to make some birdies and get points on my own and get over the 20 mark. Then at the end of the day, now you feel like you have a chance, you are back in the tournament. He still has to play. Before he just had a cake walk.'
 
Bob Tway and Charles Howell III share sixth place with 18 points, followed by 2001 U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, who netted 15 points on Friday for a 36-hole total of 17.
 
The 36-hole cut came at four points and 2002 champion Rich Beem missed the cut. He finished with minus-5 points and joined Jay Haas (-1), Fred Funk (-5) and David Duval (-7) as big-name players who will miss the third round.
 
There will be another cut after Saturday's third round and that cut will trim the field to the low-36 plus ties.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The International
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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.