Some Seek Special Delivery into US Open

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 25, 2004, 4:00 pm
Memphis in May. Its hot. Like 90 degrees hot. But it beats Memphis in June.
For the first time since the country celebrated its bicentennial year of 1976, the PGA Tour makes its annual stop at the TPC at Southwind (par 71, 7,030 yards) in May.
The event, for 27 consecutive seasons, had been contested in June and beyond, meaning players could start a round wearing one color shirt and end it wearing an entirely different shade ' without making a change.
The change in date should shave a few degrees off the thermometer, but players will still be sweating it out ' some more so than others.
This is the final week for players to qualify for the U.S. Open via earnings and the world rankings.
The top 10 on the PGA Tour money list, top 2 on the European Tour money list, and the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 31 will be exempted into the seasons second major championship.
John Daly is the most notable Open outsider in attendance this week. He dropped from 12th to 15th on the money list after skipping the Bank of America Colonial. He is now $177,192 behind No. 10 Sergio Garcia.
Mark Hensby, at No. 30, is the only other player, not otherwise exempt, in the top 30 on the money list who is trying to qualify for the Open this week.
Daly is also close to qualifying through the world ranking. He is currently ranked 54th. He tied for fifth at this event in 2001; that is his only top 10 in 12 career starts.
Loren Roberts (58th in the world), Geoff Ogilvy (68) and 2001 FedEx champion Bob Estes (69) are also on hand trying to play their ways into the Open.
David Toms wont have to worry about qualifying for the U.S. Open for quite some time; as the 2001 PGA champion hes exempt until 2006.
Toms is also the reigning FedEx champion. Unlike his first win of the 2003 season at the Wachovia Championship, he didnt limp into the winners circle in Memphis; rather he shot 7-under 64 on Sunday to race past the field.
The victory was his ninth on tour and his most recent to date. He had only one top-10 finish over his final nine starts in 2003 and then underwent surgery in December to remove bone spurs in his left wrist.
After missing the first seven events of this season, Toms tied for ninth in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and tied for fifth at Doral. But he has missed five of his last seven cuts, including at the Players Championship, Masters and the Wachovia, where he was also the defending champion.
Defending ones title is never easy, in particular at this event. Dave Hill won back-to-back in 1969 and 70. Lee Trevino then accomplished the same thing the following two years. No one, however, has since done it.
Hill is a four-time FedEx champion, also winning in 1967 and '73. Trevino added a third title to his credit in 1980. Trevino also finished runner-up in his three-peat bid in 1973 and in 78.
Nick Price is the most recent player to win this tournament on multiple occasions, doing so in 1993 and 98.
Price is not in the field this week. He also skipped last weeks Bank of America Colonial ' where he likewise is a two-time champion ' to compete in the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open in Germany.
Price shot 65-62 over the weekend last year to finish runner-up to Toms.
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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.