TOUR Notes International Pres Cup Advantage

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 1, 2007, 4:00 pm
News and notes from PGA TOUR officials for the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours.
PGA Tour (75x100) PGA TOUR:
  • If The Presidents Cup teams were settled today, the top 10 International team members would all be ranked among the top 21 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The U.S. team would have six players among the top 21. The overall average of the top 10 International players on the OWGR is 12.1 while the U.S. team averages 21.0 on the rankings. The points will be finalized after the PGA Championship and captains Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus will also select two players to each squad.
  • 2005 Rookie of the Year Sean OHair got off to a very slow start this season, missing the cut in five of his first six starts. Through the PODS Championship, OHair was 197th on the FedExCup points list, but since then he has climbed to 57th place thanks to a stretch where hes finished T14-T14-7-T15 and T25.
  • This weeks Wachovia Championship field features all but five of the 47 different tournament winners since the start of the 2006 season. The only players missing are Mark Calcavecchia, Chris Couch, Fred Funk, Paul Goydos and David Toms.
  • Jonathan Byrd leads the TOUR in sand saves, converting 76.09% of the time. He enters this weeks Wachovia Championship with 10 consecutive sand saves to his credit.
  • At the official halfway point in the PGA TOURs regular season, the leader in the FedExCup points race is Vijay Singh. Holding down the 144th and final spot in the chase to reach the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup is Kenny Perry. Perry has 673 points while Steve Lowery is currently the first man outside the top 144. He has 672 points.

    Champions Tour CHAMPIONS TOUR:
  • The Champions Tour will make the first of three stops in Texas this week at the FedEx Kinkos Classic in Austin. No native Texan has won a event in the state since John Mahaffey took home the title at the 1999 AT&T Championship in San Antonio.
  • If Jay Haas successfully defends his title this week at the FedEx Kinkos Classic, he will join Hale Irwin as the only players in Champions Tour history to win the same two tournaments back-to-back in consecutive seasons. Haas completed the first half of the feat when he won his second straight Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf title recently. Irwin won the 1997 Senior PGA Championship and Las Vegas Senior Classics in consecutive events and won the same two titles in consecutive weeks the following season.
  • Two-time PGA TOUR winner Donnie Hammond is the latest player to reach age 50 and he will make his Champions Tour debut this week in Austin. His last TOUR victory came at the 1989 Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

    Nationwide Tour NATIONWIDE TOUR:
  • Aussie Nick Flanagan claimed his first Nationwide Tour title last week at the Henrico County Open and in the process became the 50th different international player to win an event in tour history. International players from 18 different countries have won 69 tour events since the Nationwide Tour began in 1990. Australians have won 28 of those.
  • Speaking of Australians, they currently hold down six of the Top 25 spots on the Nationwide Tour money list. In fact, international players hold 11 of the spots on the coveted 25.
  • Darron Stiles is back in Fort Smith, Ark., this week to defend his title at the Fort Smith Classic presented by Stephens, Inc. If he successfully defends, hell be the first player in tour history to do so.
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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    Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

    Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

    Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

    What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

    Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

    Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

    Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

    Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

    Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

    Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry