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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    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."