Sutton Langer Pairing a Ryder Cup Preview

By Golf Channel NewsroomJune 7, 2003, 4:00 pm
POTOMAC, Md. (AP) -- It was a noteworthy pairing for Ryder Cup fans: U.S. captain Hal Sutton and potential European captain Bernard Langer.
 
The two played together Thursday and Friday in the first two rounds of the FBR Capital Open. Sutton said the subject of next year's competition at Oakland Hills in Michigan came up only once.
 
Hal Sutton'One time, I asked him if he was going to be the next captain,' Sutton said. 'He said he hadn't even put his name in as a possibility.'
 
Langer, Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle are considered the favorites to lead the European team.
 
'I've been thinking a lot about it,' Langer said, 'because I believe I'm one of those who might get a chance. I have to make this decision in a few weeks at the British Open, whether I want to be considered or not, and take it from there.'
 
IT'S NOT THE COURSE, IT'S THE TIMING:
 
For years, there's been speculation about what it was that made the TPC at Avenel course so conducive for younger players.
 
This event has produced 10 first-time PGA Tour winners since 1980.
 
Rookie Tom Gillis, who would like to become No. 11, has an answer.
 
'I don't think it's the golf course,' said Gillis, who is tied for second after a second-round 68. 'I think it's the time of the year.'
 
Gillis noted that the Capital Open usually follows high-profile events such as the Byron Nelson, Colonial and Memorial. After that run, the veterans usually want a break, allowing the fringe players to get in the field.
 
Before this week, Gillis had played in only seven events, making the cut just twice.
 
'From here on out, looking at the schedule, I'm probably going to get in quite a bit of events the rest of the summer,' Gillis said. 'That's relaxing for me. I think the early part of the year, there was pressure to get out and play well.'
 
DIVOTS:
 
Troy Matteson, the 2002 NCAA champion from Georgia Tech, made the cut in his professional debut. He has posted rounds of 69 and 71 and is tied for 24th. ... Fresno State All-American Nick Watney missed the cut with a 148 in his first pro start. ... Corey Pavin had a hard-luck par at the 18th hole when a gust of wind moved the ball as he was preparing to putt, costing him a penalty stroke. He shot a 69 on the day, but missed the cut by two strokes. ... Scott Hoch also missed the cut by two strokes, the first time he's failed to make the weekend at the TPC at Avenel. He was 14-for-14 since the tournament moved here in 1987, one short of the record streak of 15 by Hale Irwin. ... Hoch has missed the cut in five straight tournaments, the longest streak of his career. ... Phil Mickelson missed the cut by one stroke with a 145, the second time this year he has missed a cut the week before a major. ... The cut was at 2-over-par 144, the highest at this event since 1999.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the FBR Capital Open
  • Full coverage of the FBR Capital Open
     
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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.