Money Money Money

By Golf Channel NewsroomNovember 2, 2003, 5:00 pm
Retief Goosen hoisted the Chrysler Championship trophy Sunday, but he wasnt the only winner at the Westin Innisbrook Resort.
 
With this being the final full-field event of the season, players were battling one final time for a spot in the Tour Championship; an invitation into the Masters; their PGA Tour cards for 2004; and limited status for next season.
 
Glen Hnatiuk tied for 49th at the Chrysler, but had to leave feeling like a champion. He was the only player who started the week outside the top 125 but finished on the inside.
 
Hnatiuk shot 74 Sunday, yet it was good enough to move him from 130th to 124th on the money list.
 
Of course, that meant someone had to fall outside of the magical number. And that person was Per-Ulrik Johansson.
 
Johansson, who entered the week 125th on the money list, missed the cut and dropped to No. 126.
 
Dicky Pride, who started the tournament ranked 126th, also missed the cut and fell to No. 127.
 
Esteban Toledo had the weekend off as well. He was involved in a controversy when he was disqualified from last weeks Funai Classic.
 
Toledos playing companion at Disney, Marco Dawson, told tour officials that Toledo had taken an improper drop in the second round. Officials agreed and disqualified Toledo last Sunday for signing an incorrect scorecard.
 
Toledo, who would have tied for 30th at Disney, missed the cut this week, but it didnt prove too costly. He dropped only two spots from No. 123 to No. 125.
 
Players who finish inside the top 125 receive full exempt status on tour for the following season. Those who finish from 126-150 earn limited status that will get them into roughly 20 tournaments in 2004.
 
Thomas Levet needed to get a solo fifth-place finish or better this week to move into the top 125. He entered the week at No. 153, and at one point on Sunday was in a two-way tie for third place.
 
However, the Frenchman, who lost in a four-way playoff to Ernie Els in the 2002 British Open, shot 1-under 70 to tie for sixth. It didnt get him his card for 04, but it was enough to secure conditional status for next season as he finished 133rd in earnings.
 
Had Levet birdied his final hole he would have bumped out Toledo for No. 125. He made par.
 
Jose Coceres needed a strong finish Sunday to move from his 160th position. Instead, he shot 75 and dropped from a tie for fifth place as the day began into a tie for 17th.
 
The 2001 Disney winner could only move to 153rd on the money list.
 
Chris Anderson and Darron Stiles, both of who missed the cut this week, fell out of the top 150. Mike Grob, who finished 68th, crept into the 150 position, just over $2,000 ahead of Stiles.
 
On the Tour Championship front, Rocco Mediate was the man on the bubble and had to watch it burst from the sidelines.
 
Mediate missed the Chrysler cut, thanks to his ailing back. He was supplanted in the season finale by Briny Baird. Baird shot 1-over 72 in the final round to finish in solo third place. The paycheck was enough to move him into 22nd place.
 
Mediate fell from 30th to 31st.
 
PGA champion Shaun Micheel missed his opportunity to climb into the top 30 when he missed the cut. He started the week at No. 31, less than $6,000 behind Mediate, but shot 75-74 to end up in 32nd place.
 
Fred Couples, like Mediate, was also a victim of his chronically bad back. He was forced to withdraw after playing only two holes of his Wednesday pro-am. He started the week 32nd on the money list and was trying to make the Tour Championship for the first time since 1998.
 
His failure to do so was even more painful given the fact that this years event is being contested in Houston, Texas, where he attended college and won this years Shell Houston Open.
 
Phil Mickelson also missed qualifying for the season finale for the first time in a decade. Needing a clutch performance this week, he shot 80-74 to miss the cut.
 
The lefthander finished a dismal season without a victory and 38th in earnings (his worst showing since his rookie year of 1992).
 
The top 40 players on the season-ending money list, not otherwise exempt, gained a spot into the 2004 Masters Tournament.
 
Tim Petrovic tied for fourth to jump from 41st to 36th and earn his first trip to Augusta National.
 
Jeff Sluman tied for 13th to move into 40th place. He also will be going to the seasons first major.
 
Sluman bogeyed the 17th and 18th holes and had to wait to see what Coceres and Loren Roberts did on the 72nd hole. If either player made birdie, Sluman would miss on his bid for a return trip to Augusta. Both, however, made bogey.
 
Rory Sabbatini and John Huston were bumped from the top 40. Neither player is currently exempt into the Masters.
 
Related Links:
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    Rahm, with blinders on, within reach of No. 1 at Torrey

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 10:10 pm

    SAN DIEGO – The drive over to Torrey Pines from Palm Springs, Calif., takes about two and a half hours, which was plenty of time for Jon Rahm’s new and ever-evolving reality to sink in.

    The Spaniard arrived in Southern California for a week full of firsts. The Farmers Insurance Open will mark the first time he’s defended a title on the PGA Tour following his dramatic breakthrough victory last year, and it will also be his first tournament as the game’s second-best player, at least according to the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Rahm’s victory last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his second on Tour and fourth worldwide tilt over the last 12 months, propelled the 23-year-old to No. 2 in the world, just behind Dustin Johnson. His overtime triumph also moved him to within four rounds of unseating DJ atop the global pecking order.

    It’s impressive for a player who at this point last year was embarking on his first full season as a professional, but then Rahm has a fool-proof plan to keep from getting mired in the accolades of his accomplishments.

    “It's kind of hard to process it, to be honest, because I live my day-to-day life with my girlfriend and my team around me and they don't change their behavior based on what I do, right?” he said on Tuesday at Torrey Pines. “They'll never change what they think of me. So I really don't know the magnitude of what I do until I go outside of my comfort zone.”

    Head down and happy has worked perfectly for Rahm, who has finished outside the top 10 in just three of his last 10 starts and began 2018 with a runner-up showing at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and last week’s victory.

    According to the world ranking math, Rahm is 1.35 average ranking points behind Johnson and can overtake DJ atop the pack with a victory this week at the Farmers Insurance Open; but to hear his take on his ascension one would imagine a much wider margin.

    “I've said many times, beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task,” Rahm said. “We all know what happened last time he was close to a lead in a tournament on the PGA Tour.”


    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Rahm certainly remembers. It was just three weeks ago in Maui when he birdied three of his first six holes, played the weekend at Kapalua in 11 under and still finished eight strokes behind Johnson.

    And last year at the WGC-Mexico Championship when Rahm closed his week with rounds of 67-68 only to finish two strokes off Johnson’s winning pace, or a few weeks later at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play when he took Johnson the distance in the championship match only to drop a 1-up decision to the game’s undisputed heavyweight.

    As far as Rahm has come in an incredibly short time - at this point last year he ranked 137th in the world - it is interesting that it’s been Johnson who has had an answer at every turn.

    He knows there’s still so much room for improvement, both physically and mentally, and no one would ever say Rahm is wanting for confidence, but after so many high-profile run-ins with Johnson, his cautious optimism is perfectly understandable.

    “I'll try to focus more on what's going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win,” he reasoned when asked about the prospect of unseating Johnson, who isn’t playing this week. “I'll try my best, that's for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

    If Rahm’s take seems a tad cliché given the circumstances, consider that his aversion to looking beyond the blinders is baked into the competitive cake. For all of his physical advantages, of which there are many, it’s his keen ability to produce something special on command that may be even more impressive.

    Last year at Torrey Pines was a quintessential example of this, when he began the final round three strokes off the lead only to close his day with a back-nine 30 that included a pair of eagles.

    “I have the confidence that I can win here, whereas last year I knew I could but I still had to do it,” he said. “I hope I don't have to shoot 30 on the back nine to win again.”

    Some will point to Rahm’s 60-footer for eagle at the 72nd hole last year as a turning point in his young career, it was even named the best putt on Tour by one publication despite the fact he won by three strokes. But Rahm will tell you that walk-off wasn’t even the best shot he hit during the final round.

    Instead, he explained that the best shot of the week, the best shot of the year, came on the 13th hole when he launched a 4-iron from a bunker to 18 feet for eagle, a putt that he also made.

    “If I don't put that ball on the green, which is actually a lot harder than making that putt, the back nine charge would have never happened and this year might have never happened, so that shot is the one that made everything possible,” he explained.

    Rahm’s ability to embrace and execute during those moments is what makes him special and why he’s suddenly found himself as the most likely contender to Johnson’s throne even if he chooses not to spend much time thinking about it.

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    Rahm focusing on play, not shot at No. 1

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 9:06 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Jon Rahm’s meteoric rise in the world rankings could end with him reaching No. 1 with a win this week at Torrey Pines.

    After winning last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, his fourth title in 51 weeks, Rahm has closed the gap on Dustin Johnson – less than 1.5 average points separates them.

    With Johnson not playing this week, the 23-year-old Spaniard has a chance to reach the top spot for the first time, but only if he defends his title at the Farmers Insurance Open.


    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


    “Beating Dustin Johnson is a really, really hard task. It’s no easy task,” he said Tuesday. “We still have four days of golf ahead and we’ll see what happens. But I’ll try to focus more on what’s going on this week rather than what comes with it if I win.

    “I’ll try my best, that’s for sure. Hopefully it happens, but we all know how hard it is to win on Tour.”

    Rahm has already become the fourth-youngest player to reach No. 2 in the world, behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. 

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    Rahm: Playoff wasn't friendly, just 'nervous'

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:53 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Too chummy? Jon Rahm says he and Andrew Landry were just expending some nervous energy on the walk up to the fairway during the first playoff hole of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    “I wouldn’t have been that nervous if it was friendly,” Rahm said with a smile Tuesday. “I think it was something he said because we were talking going out of the first tee.

    “I didn’t know Andrew – I think it was a pretty good time to get to know him. We had at least 10 minutes to ourselves. It’s not like we were supporting each other, right? We were both in it together, we were both nervous together, and I felt like talking about it might have eased the tension out of both of us.”


    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


    On Sunday, two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange saw the exchange on TV and tweeted: “Walking off the tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”

    Strange followed up by saying that, in a head-to-head situation, the last thing he’d want to do was make his opponent comfortable. When his comments went viral, Strange tweeted at Rahm, who won after four holes: “Hopefully no offense taken on my comment yesterday. You guys are terrific. I’m a huge fan of all players today. Made an adverse comment on U guys talking during playoff. Not for me. A fan.”

    Not surprisingly, the gregarious Rahm saw things differently.

    “We only talked going out of the first tee up until the fairway,” he said. “Besides that, all we said was, ‘Good shot, good putt, see you on the next tee.’ That’s what it was reduced to. We didn’t say much.” 

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    Tiger grouped with Reed, Hoffman at Torrey Pines

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 8:35 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods will make his 2018 debut alongside Patrick Reed and Charley Hoffman.

    The threesome will go off Torrey Pines’ South Course at 1:40 p.m. ET Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open. They begin at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the North Course.

    Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, but he hasn’t broken 70 in his last seven rounds on either course. Last year, he shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut.


    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


    Reed, who has grown close to Woods after being in his pod during the past two international team competitions, is coming off a missed cut last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Hoffman, a San Diego native, has only two top-10s in 20 career starts at Torrey.

    Other featured groups for the first two rounds include:

    • Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Brandt Snedeker: 1:30 p.m. Thursday off South 1, 12:20 p.m. Friday off North 10

    • Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele: 12:30 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:30 p.m. Friday off South 1

    • Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama: 12:40 p.m. Thursday off North 10, 1:40 p.m. Friday off South 1