Michigan State Wins Landfall Tradition

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 31, 2004, 5:00 pm
Courtesy of Michigan State University
 
College CentralWILMINGTON, N.C. - The men's golf team maintained its second-round lead at The Landfall Tradition and won for the second time in three weeks on Sunday. The Spartans finished the tournament with a score of 851 (281-285-285), edging Duke by four shots and Big Ten foe Purdue by seven shots.
 
The Spartans shot back-to-back rounds of 3-under 285, and both rounds were the lowest round of the day among the 12-team field. In addition, Michigan State only counted one 18-hole score above par throughout the tournament, resulting in the Spartans lowest tournament score of the year, improving upon their previous low by 22 shots.
 
'We had three straight rounds under par and that is really tough to do,' head coach Mark Hankins said. 'We had pressure on us, and we went out and fought hard. It was a really good team win and we had a great time doing it.'

Four Spartans posted under-par as well as career-best tournament scores at the 6,948-yard, par-72 Nicklaus Course at the Country Club of Landfall. As a team, the Spartans shot 13 under par, their first under-par tournament of the season.
 
Sophomore Matt Harmon finished as the Spartans' lowest scorer for the third consecutive week, capping off the fall season with a 210 (68-72-70). With the tie for fourth-place finish, Harmon has finished in the top five for three straight weeks after posting one top five all of last season.
 
Duke's Ryan Blaum took medalist honors for the second week in a row, beating Harmon by two shots after he edged Harmon last week in a playoff. Harmon trailed Blaum by one heading into Sunday's round, but could not overcome the deficit as Blaum shot a final-round 69.
 
As a team, three Spartans placed in the top 20 in addition to Harmon's top-5 finish. Senior Andrew Ruthkoski posted his fourth top 10 of the season, finishing with in a tie for 10th with a three-round total of 210 (71-69-72).
 
Freshmen Ryan Brehm and Brandon Cigna both improved upon their second-round positions during Sunday's final round. After posting consecutive rounds of 71, Brehm finished the tournament in a tie for 13th, shooting a final-round 72 and a 214 total for the tournament. Brehm has shot even par or better in five of his last six rounds, including four scores of 71.
 
In his first collegiate tournament, Cigna posted two rounds under par and a three-day total of 215 (71-73-71). His one-under tournament total put him in a tie for 19th, his first career top 20.
 
Senior Jimmy Chestnut closed the tournament with back-to-back rounds of 75 and played consistently throughout the week. Though the Spartans did not use any of Chestnut's scores during the week, he finished in a tie for 39th with a total score of 224 (74-75-75), his second best tournament of the season.
 
'We had four solid scores in each round,' Hankins said. 'Every day our guys were prepared and ready to play.'
 
With the win, the Spartans conclude a very successful fall season that saw the team win two tournaments and place in the top three in each of their five tournaments. The Spartans return to action in March when they open the spring season in Alabama for the Alabama Spring Invitational on March 11-13, 2005.
Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.