TOUR Notes Curse of the Double Eagle

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
 
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • Since the PGA TOUR began tracking double eagles in 1970 an interesting thing has happened. A total of 95 double eagles have been made in that time span, but only once has a player made an albatross and won the tournament. That player would be Bob Gilder at the 1982 Westchester Classic.
     
  • More on double eagles: When Hunter Mahan and Peter Lonard made double eagles last week at THE PLAYERS, it marked only the fourth time since 1970 that two were made in the same tournament. The others came at the 2005 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, the 2001 British Open and the 1990 International.
     
  • The PGA TOUR is in suburban Atlanta this week at the AT&T Classic and local Georgia Tech fans will have a number of players to cheer for with five Yellow Jackets in the field. Playing this week in Atlanta are Stewart Cink, Tripp Isenhour, Matt Kuchar, Troy Matteson and Bryce Molder. Georgia Bulldog fans will have plenty cheer about as well with several Dogs in the field, including Justin Bolli, Ryuji Imada and Franklin Langham.
     
  • Also in the field this week are two Champions Tour regulars'Raymond Floyd and Larry Nelson. Nelson won the AT&T Classic in 1980 and again in 1988. Floyd never won it, but did lose in a playoff in 1982 to Keith Fergus.
     
  • Charley Hoffman began last weeks PLAYERS in the worst possible way making a quintuple bogey-9 on the 10th hole, his first of the week . He made a remarkable recovery, however, playing the rest of his first round in 2 under par in strong winds to shoot 75. He came back the next day to fire a 69 to make the cut. He ended the week in a T75.
     
  • Jose Coceres is having a very nice comeback season. Since winning twice in 2001, Coceres has finished 157-152-106-182-147 on the money list. This year, however, hes made only six starts, but hes finished second twice (both in playoffs) and fifth in last weeks THE PLAYERS Championship. Hes currently 32nd on the FedExCup points list.
     
  • A little more than halfway through the PGA TOURs regular season, the cream is rising to the top in the FedExCup points race. World No. 1 Tiger Woods is first, world No. 2 Phil Mickelson is second and world No. 6 Vijay Singh is third.
     

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • World Golf Hall of Fame member Seve Ballesteros will make his Champions Tour debut this week at the Regions Charity Classic in Birmingham, AL. Ballesteros won five major championships during his playing days'two Masters (1980, 1983) and three British Opens (1979, 1984 and 1988).
     
  • The Regions Charity Classic Pro-Am may look like a coachs clinic this week.
    Expected to play are football coaches Bobby Bowden, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier and Tommy Tuberville along with basketball coaches Jim Boeheim, Mark Gottfried, Jeff Lebo and retired Crimson Tide coach Wimp Sanderson.
     
  • Defending champion Brad Bryant set a Champions Tour mark that may be very difficult to beat. In last years event, Bryant hit 53 of 54 greens in regulation to set an all-time Champions Tour record.
     
  • The Regions Charity Classic is the only event on the Champions Tour that has been contested 15 times or more and never had a repeat winner.
     

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • David Frost, a 10-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is expected to make his Nationwide Tour debut this week at the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs.
     
  • The Pro-Am at the BMW event will feature Hollywood stars Kevin Costner, George Lopez and Cheech Marin, along with former standout athletes Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, John Elway, Sterling Sharpe and Jim Rice.
     
  • Playing on a sponsor exemption this week is PGA TOUR veteran Larry Rinker. Hes had a different job recently, picking up a guitar instead of a driver and playing rhythm guitar for rock legend Stephen Stills on his recent tour.
     
  • The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is the only event on any of the three tours that is contested in two different states. Two of the courses in the rotation are in South Carolina with the third across the border in North Carolina.
     
    Related Links:
  • PGA TOUR Statistics
  • Champions Tour Statistics
  • Nationwide Tour Statistics
  • Getty Images

    Lexi looks to shine as LPGA season begins next week

    By Randall MellJanuary 17, 2018, 6:06 pm

    Lexi Thompson may be No. 4 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, but in so many ways she became the new face of the women’s game last year.

    That makes her the headliner in a fairly star-studded season opener at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic next week.

    Three of the top four players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings are scheduled to tee it up on Paradise Island, including world No. 1 Shanshan Feng and co-Rolex Player of the Year So Yeon Ryu.

    From the heartache at year’s start with the controversial loss at the ANA Inspiration, through the angst in the middle of the year with her mother’s cancer diagnosis, to the stunning disappointment at year’s end, Thompson emerged as the story of the year because of all she achieved in spite of those ordeals.

    Next week’s event will mark the first time Thompson tees it up in an LPGA tournament since her season ended in stunning fashion last November with a missed 2-foot putt that cost her a chance to win the CME Group Tour Championship and the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and become the world No. 1.

    She still walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for the season’s low scoring average.

    She also walked away sounding determined to show she will bounce back from that last disappointment the same way she bounced back from her gut-wrenching loss at the year’s first major, the ANA, where a four-shot Sunday penalty cost her a chance to win her second major.

    “Just going through what I have this whole year, and seeing how strong I am, and how I got through it all and still won two tournaments, got six seconds ... it didn’t stop me,” Thompson said leaving the CME Group Tour Championship. “This won’t either.”

    Thompson was named the Golf Writers Association of America’s Player of the Year in a vote of GWAA membership. Ryu and Sung Hyun Park won the tour’s points-based Rolex Player of the Year Award.

    With those two victories and six second-place finishes, three of those coming after playoff losses, Thompson was close to fashioning a spectacular year in 2017, to dominating the tour.

    The new season opens with Thompson the center of attention again. Consistently one of the tour’s best ball strikers and longest hitters, she enjoyed her best year on tour last season by making dramatic improvements in her wedge play, short game and, most notably, her putting.

    She doesn’t have a swing coach. She fashioned a better all-around game on her own, or under the watchful eye of her father, Scott. All the work she put in showed up in her winning the Vare Trophy.

    The Pure Silk Bahamas Classic will also feature defending champion Brittany Lincicome, as well as Ariya Jutanugarn, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Brooke Henderson, I.K. Kim, Danielle Kang and Charley Hull.

    Getty Images

    One & Done: 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 5:55 pm

    Beginning in 2018, Golf Channel is offering a "One & Done" fantasy game alternative. Choose a golfer and add the salary they earn at the event to your season-long total - but know that once chosen, a player cannot be used again for the rest of the year.

    Log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to start your own league and make picks for this week's event.

    Here are some players to consider for One & Done picks this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, where Hudson Swafford returns as the defending champion:

    Zach Johnson. The two-time major champ has missed the cut here three years in a row. So why include him in One & Done consideration? Because the three years before that (2012-14) included three top-25s highlighted by a third-place finish, and his T-14 at the Sony Open last week was his fifth straight top-25 dating back to September.

    Bud Cauley. Cauley has yet to win on Tour, but that could very well change this year - even this week. Cauley ended up only two shots behind Swafford last year and tied for 14th the year prior, as four of his five career appearances have netted at least a top-40 finish. He opened the new season with a T-7 in Napa and closed out the fall with a T-8 at Sea Island.

    Adam Hadwin. Swafford left last year with the trophy, but it looked for much of the weekend like it would be Hadwin's tournament as he finished second despite shooting a 59 in the third round. Hadwin was also T-6 at this event in 2016 and now with a win under his belt last March he returns with some unfinished business.

    Charles Howell III. If you didn't use him last week at the Sony Open, this could be another good spot for the veteran who has four top-15 finishes over the last seven years at this event, highlighted by a playoff loss in 2013. His T-32 finish last week in Honolulu, while not spectacular, did include four sub-70 scores.

    David Lingmerth. Lingmerth was in that 2013 playoff with Howell (eventually won by Brian Gay), and he also lost here in overtimei to Jason Dufner in 2016. The Swede also cracked the top 25 here in 2015 and is making his first start since his wife, Megan, gave birth to the couple's first child in December. Beware the sleep-deprived golfer.

    Getty Images

    DJ: Kapalua win means nothing for Abu Dhabi

    By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2018, 2:55 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Dustin Johnson's recent victory in Hawaii doesn't mean much when it comes to this week's tournament.

    The top-ranked American will play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the second straight year. But this time he is coming off a victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which he won by eight shots.

    ''That was two weeks ago. So it really doesn't matter what I did there,'' said Johnson, who finished runner-up to Tommy Fleetwood in Abu Dhabi last year. ''This is a completely new week and everybody starts at even par and so I've got to start over again.''

    In 2017, the long-hitting Johnson put himself in contention despite only making one eagle and no birdies on the four par-5s over the first three rounds.

    ''The par 5s here, they are not real easy because they are fairly long, but dependent on the wind, I can reach them if I hit good tee balls,'' the 2016 U.S. Open champion said. ''Obviously, I'd like to play them a little better this year.''

    The tournament will see the return of Paul Casey as a full member of the European Tour after being away for three years.

    ''It's really cool to be back. What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder? Quite cheesy, but no, really, really cool,'' said the 40-year-old Englishman, who is now ranked 14th in the world. ''When I was back at the Open Championship at Birkdale, just the reception there, playing in front of a home crowd, I knew this is something I just miss.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship starts Thursday and also features former No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who is making a comeback after more than three months off.

    Getty Images

    Kuchar joins European Tour as affiliate member

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 2:52 pm

    Months after he nearly captured the claret jug, Matt Kuchar has made plans to play a bit more golf in Europe in 2018.

    Kuchar is in the field this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told reporters in advance of the opening round that he has opted to join the European Tour as an affiliate member:

    As an affiliate member, Kuchar will not have a required minimum number of starts to make. It's the same membership status claimed last year by Kevin Na and Jon Rahm, the latter of whom then became a full member and won two European Tour events in 2017.

    Kuchar made six European Tour starts last year, including his runner-up performance at The Open. He finished T-4 at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in his lone European Tour start that wasn't co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.