Singh Wins Nelson Will Skip Colonial

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 18, 2003, 4:00 pm
Vijay Singhs week started with sound and ended with possible fury.
 
Singh shot 4-under 66 to win the EDS Byron Nelson Classic by two shots over Nick Price (65), at 15-under-par 265, and then announced he would not be playing in the Bank of America Colonial. Singh made national headlines with his disparaging remarks concerning Annika Sorenstam's participation in the upcoming event.
 
''It has nothing to do with the controversy,'' Singh said. ''I've played in four straight tournaments, and I need a break.
 
'I have to be at (Mark) McCormack's memorial on Wednesday and I have something with my boy on Thursday. It's a good time to take off I think. The U.S. Open is around the corner.'
 
This past week began on an inauspicious note for 40-year-old Fijian. He created a firestorm after being quoted by The Associated Press as saying he felt Sorenstam didnt belong in the Colonial field, and that he hoped she missed the cut.
 
Singh tried to qualify his statements, saying he hoped she missed the cut if he did the same, and adding his remarks werent meant as a personal attack on Sorenstam. Nonetheless, his original quotes dominated national headlines. Columnists and critics across the country attacked him personally and professionally.
 
Yet through it all, he shot 65-65-69 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.
 
'The way I was playing, I didn't want anything else to bother me,' Singh said of how he handled the distractions. 'I spoke to my wife a lot and she said, 'Just go and play your game.' This is for my wife as well.'
 
Its the 14th time in 20 events this season that a player with at least seven career PGA Tour victories has prevailed. Its also the fourth time a player in his 40s has won this year. Singh previously accomplished that at the Phoenix Open, meaning hes now one of five players with multiple victories in 2003.
 
Singh collected a career-best $1,008,000 for his 13th tour title. He moves to fourth on the money list with over $2.9 million.
 
'This is something I've wanted to do for a long time and I've finally done it,' Singh said. 'Byron's a great man, great for golf.'
 
Similarly to last weeks Wachovia Championship, Price mounted an early Sunday charge. He birdied the first and then added three-in-a-row starting at the fifth. Four birdies in his opening seven holes gave him a share of the lead with Singh at 12-under.
 
Singh reclaimed sole possession of the top spot with a birdie at the par-5 seventh, his third birdie ' compared to one bogey ' on the day. He took that one-shot advantage into the back nine, where it evaporated in one swing.
 
Singh hit driver off the tee at the par-4 10th and double-crossed himself. He pulled his ball into the left trees, narrowly avoiding a water hazard. Instead of safely pitching back into the fairway, Singh flew his second shot from rough to rough. He hit a flop shot to 15 feet, but missed the par save and dropped to 12-under.
 
A week ago in Charlotte, N.C., rain dampened Prices front-nine momentum and he was never able to recover after a stoppage in play, eventually settling for a tie for fifth. There was no such interruption in Irving, Texas.
 
Price made a 10-footer for birdie at the par-4 11th to claim the outright lead. At 13-under, he was one clear of Singh and Robert Allenby. The Australian made six birdies over his first 14 holes to climb into contention; however, he parred his final four to finish at 12-under.
 
It came down to two men, two groups apart.
 
Singh hit his approach shot on the par-4 12th to two feet to again reach minus-13, but moments later Price hit a laser of his own to near gimme range on the par-4 14th to stay one clear.
 
Faced with a downhill 35-footer at the par-4 15th, Price raced his birdie putt eight feet past the hole. He missed the comebacker for a three-putt bogey.
 
'I had probably the fastest putt on the course,' Price said of his first putt.
 
On the other hand, Singh birdied 15 by making a 28-footer. And when Price was unable to capitalize at the par-5 16th, Singh got up and down from a greenside bunker for birdie at the same hole to take a two-shot lead at 15-under.
 
'I played solid golf. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and made one good putt, the one on 15,' said Singh. 'I wanted that one. I had a one-shot lead. I birdied 16 and cruised in after that.'
 
He parred his final two holes to finish on that number. Price parred his last three holes.
 
I knew the target was 15-under, said Price, who will try and defend his title at Colonial Country Club.
 
'I'm really looking forward to next week. I hope the course is fast and fiery and those greens have got some speed on them.'
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the EDS Byron Nelson Classic
  • Full coverage of the EDS Byron Nelson Classic
  • 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.