Sutton Joins US UBS Cup Squad

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 15, 2003, 4:00 pm
Hal Sutton, the captain of the 2004 U.S. Ryder Cup team, has been named to the United States team for the 2003 UBS Cup Nov. 20-23 at Sea Island, Ga.
 
Sutton becomes the ninth member of the 12-man U.S. team. He joins captain Arnold Palmer, Brad Faxon, Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Mark OMeara, Craig Stadler, Curtis Strange and Tom Watson on a team that will be going after its third consecutive UBS Cup title. The U.S. won the inaugural meeting, 12 - 11, at Kiawah Island in 2001, and 14 - 9, at Sea Island in 2002.
 
Although Sutton will be playing in the UBS Cup for the first time, he is no stranger to the format. He played on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams and played a key role in sparking an American comeback in the 1999 match at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
 
Sutton has a 7-5-4 record in Ryder Cup matches, including a 3-1-1 record in 1999. He was the inspirational leader of the 1999 team because of his desire and passion for the game.
 
I love this kind of challenge, Sutton said. All of the players love it. We have to play not only for ourselves, but for each other and for the team.
 
Sutton, 45, is a 22-year veteran on the PGA Tour. He owns 14 career victories, including the 1983 PGA Championship at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, where he defeated Jack Nicklaus by one stroke. That victory, plus his win in the Players Championship earlier that year, helped earn him PGA of America and Golf Writers Association of America Player of the Year honors.
 
A native and resident of Shreveport, La., Sutton won the 1980 U.S. Amateur, then turned professional the following year. He was voted the PGA Tours Rookie of the Year on the strength of three runner-up finishes.
 
Suttons major championship means the nine Americans on the team now own a combined 28 major championships (nine Masters Tournaments, nine U.S. Opens, nine British Opens and 1 PGA Championship).
 
The naming of Sutton gives the U.S. team a formidable presence in the match-play event that features two teams of six players age 40-49 and six players 50 and older.
 
The Rest of the World team, which has named seven players, will feature some of golfs greatest international stars. European legend Tony Jacklin is the captain of the team that includes Nick Faldo, Rodger Davis, Barry Lane, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam.
 
The third annual UBS Cup will be played in St. Simons Island, Ga. The United States will be defending its title against the Rest of the World in the $3 million, match-play event that features two 12-man teams competing in a Ryder-Cup style format.
 
Palmers reign as captain of the United States team included victories in the first two UBS Cup tournaments, and he was the winning captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1963 and 1975. Jacklin takes over from Gary Player, who was the Rest of the World captain for the first two UBS Cups. The UBS Cup is sanctioned by the European Seniors Tour and the PGA Tour.
 
Six Foursome matches will be played on Friday, six four-ball matches on Saturday, and 12 singles matches will conclude play on Sunday.. A pro-am will precede the competition on Thursday.
 
The Golf Channel will devote 45 hours of worldwide coverage to the UBS Cup.
 
Related Links:
  • Meet the Teams
  • UBS Cup - TV Airtimes
  • UBS Cup - Full Coverage
  • Getty Images

    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

    Getty Images

    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

    Getty Images

    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

    Getty Images

    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.