Molder Regains Lead at Canadian Q-School
The Arkansas native carded a third round even-par 71 and his 54-hole total of 4-under 209 is two shots clear of Marcus Jones and Chris Weil. Will Moore of Dallas, TX, who leapt in front of Molder into first on Tuesday, struggled to a 76 and is now in fourth, four shots off the lead.
Eddie Maunder of Whitby, ON moved up to 11th with a 3-under 68 and is now just seven shots back of Molder.
The Canadian Tour will award exempt cards to the low five scores following Fridays final round, with the next eight plus ties receiving conditional status.
Australian Ben Bunny won the California Q-School by seven shots last week, while American Rob Labritz finished atop the leaderboard at the Florida school earlier this month.
This marks the first time the Canadian Tour has staged three consecutive Winter Qualifying Schools. The initial WQS was held in Myrtle Beach, SC back in 2001, with Orlando, FL playing host to the event for the next two years. Last season, Swedens Anders Hultman won Q-School by a record ten shots before winning the TravelTex.com Canadian Tour Classic in his first Tour start. Hultman would go on to win the Tours International Rookie of the Year Award.
Later this year, Spring Q-School will be held in Kamloops, BC with Fall Q-School closing out the season this September.
Once Q-school wraps up later this week, the Canadian Tour will stay in Austin for the first two official events of 2004. The Barton Creek Classic will be held next week, with the Barton Creek Challenge slated to go the week of March 1-7.
Round 3 Scores
1. Molder, Bryce Conway, AR 67 71 71 209
2. Jones, Marcus Graham, TX 70 70 71 211
2. Weil, Chris San Antonio, TX 72 72 67 211
4. Moore, Will Dallas, TX 70 67 76 213
5. Danielson, Paul Anchorage, AK 74 71 69 214
5. Hoenig, Ron Hobe Sound, FL 73 71 70 214
5. Woodson, Richard Sachse, TX 73 71 70 214
8. Goetze, Nick Valrico, FL 70 73 72 215
8. Maldonado, Antonio Mexico 72 68 75 215
8. Weibring, Matt Dallas, TX 71 71 73 215
11. Karnow, Kyle Sacramento, CA 75 73 68 216
11. Maunder, Eddie Whitby, ON 74 74 68 216
13. Donovan, Matt Pittsfield, MA 76 70 71 217
14. Bloomfield, John Jamaica 76 73 69 218
14. Carpenter, Gary Crofton, MD 74 73 71 218
14. Dillon, Brian Stockton, CA 76 69 73 218
14. McLeod, Mac Brandon, MB 74 73 71 218
14. Parker, Steve Houston, TX 75 71 72 218
14. Porter, Seth Hastings, NE 72 71 75 218
14. Sauger, Mark Moore Haven, FL 77 67 74 218
21. Novoa, Bryan San Antonio, TX 69 74 76 219
22. Humphries, John Baton Rouge, LA 73 72 76 221
22. Kielman, Kirby Austin, TX 78 71 72 221
22. Little, Blake Scottsdale, AZ 77 72 72 221
22. Mouw, Ryan Muskegon, MI 76 75 70 221
26. Alizzeo, Mark Hammock Dunes, FL 78 71 74 223
26. McGowan, Brian Port Saint Lucie, FL 74 75 74 223
26. Smith, Warren Houston, TX 77 76 70 223
26. Staples, Whit Tequesta, FL 79 73 71 223
26. Wall, JJ Austin, TX 76 75 72 223
31. Dawson, Philip Shingle Springs, CA 77 73 74 224
31. Hunt, Randall Arlington, TX 77 74 73 224
31. Newbolt, Tim Maui, HI 74 72 78 224
34. Kim, Tommy Honolulu, HI 73 78 74 225
35. Cassidy, David Scotland 75 77 74 226
35. Hastings, Brad Easton, MD 79 70 77 226
35. O'Reilly, Neill Port Washington, NY 78 76 72 226
35. Warner, Jarrod Phoenix, AZ 78 75 73 226
39. Ibarreche, Juan Pablo Mexico 78 77 72 227
40. Clay, Joshua Scottsdale, AZ 73 84 71 228
40. Mayhew, Drew Kingston, ON 78 77 73 228
42. Walters, Barry Yakima, WA 73 77 79 229
43. Bergstedt III, Russell Phoenix, AZ 76 75 80 231
43. DeGrasse, David Grass Valley, CA 81 77 73 231
43. Kuraoka, Justin Honolulu, HI 77 76 78 231
43. Patterson, Marcus Rancho Cordova, CA 80 74 77 231
47. Kaplar, Jeff Austin, TX 77 75 84 236
47. Stevens, Noah Austin, TX 80 77 79 236
49. Burbidge, David Orangeville, ON 78 79 81 238
50. Olsen, Kevin Newport Beach, CA 87 74 80 241
51. Klotz, David Marble Falls, TX 87 79 81 247
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
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
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
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.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
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.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
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.