Backspin Aussie Rules Ol Monty

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 26, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note: In Backspin, the editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.

GREAT SCOT!: Colin Montgomerie teamed up with fellow countyman Marc Warren to bring the World Cup of Golf home to Scotland, the country's first. Monty and Co. defeated the American duo of Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum, who carried a one stroke lead going into the final day. It was Montgomerie who secured the win with a tap-in for par on the third extra hole.
Backspin Monty did what Monty does best - win team-format tournaments. Surprisingly though, this was the first win for Scotland, the birthplace of the golf. On the other side, the Americans played better than expected and as Weekley put it, 'We weren't even supposed to be here and that's even a bonus.'

THE SKINNY: The 25th annual Skins Game was held over the weekend and Stephen Ames rolled in a 7-foot birdie putt on the final hole to collect eight skins worth $650,000. It was his second straight Skins Game title.
Backspin The Skins Game, which originally featured the names Nicklaus, Palmer, Player and Watson - who between them had a combined total of 55 major championships, has certainly lost a bit of its lusters through the years. Although Freddie can still bring in some fans, the names Wetterich, Johnson and Ames don't exactly bring in the viewers. Nevertheless, it's a format almost all recreational golfers play and can relate to and offered a diversion from wall-to-wall football.

AUSSIE RULES!: Aaron Baddeley got his first Australian Mastercard Masters title after a four-hole playoff thriller against Sweden's Daniel Chopra. The 26-year-old Aussie had the opportunity to seal victory with an eight-foot birdie putt when the two played the par-4 18th for the fourth playoff hole. However, Baddeley missed the chance and had to wait for Chopra's par putt attempt to slide just by the cup to claim the championship.
Backspin A player would always rather win by making a putt instead of having his opponent miss one, but Baddeley certainly isn't going to give back the trophy. Fellow Aussies Stuart Appleby, Peter O'Malley, Rod Pampling and Robert Allenby all finished inside the top-10 in what was a solid showing by the home country contigent. G'day mates!

THE WEEKLEY NEWS: Although Weekley and his partner didn't win the World Cup, sportwriters and American golf fans were still treated to a solid week from the man from Milton, Fla. He would have easily won the World Cup if birdies were awarded for all of his off-beat quotes during the week.
Backspin Weekley in a press conference is quickly becoming must see TV. Here's a gem from this past week in China - 'I think I was up in a tree deer hunting when I got the call. I was teary-eyed because it was awesome.' If Steve Stricker or David Toms would have said that, it wouldn't be funny. But when it spills out of Boo's mouth it's quite entertaining.

THE GREAT ONE: The Nationwide Tour announced this past week the formation of a new tournament on the 2008 schedule in which Wayne Gretzky will serve as host. The Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic will be held June 23-29 at The Georgian Bay Club and the Raven Golf Club at Lora Bay, located about a 100 miles northwest of Toronto.
Backspin Aahhh, the Great One. In Canada no less. Even more fun than just Gretzky's name being associated with the event, the Great One will actually be playing in the tournament, as the format calls for 160 Nationwide Tour players being paired with 160 celebrities/amateurs. But it begs the question - just what do you have to accomplish in order to host a PGA TOUR event? I guess four Stanley Cups titles, nine MVP awards and 10 scoring titles doesn't quite make the cut.

ALL GREEN IN THE DUBAI DESERT: The European Tour this week made known their plans to create a season-ending 'Race to Dubai,' in which the top 60 players on the Order of Merit will play for part of a $10 million pool. The 'Race to Dubai' will finish with the newly formed The Dubai World Championship, which will feature the largest purse in all of golf.
Backspin The European Tour seems to have no boundries, or at least they do not adhere to the philosophy of less is more. In addition to playing 51 out of 52 weeks of the year, the tour has now decided to take a page from the PGA TOUR and try to create a little excitement to close out their season. It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of fields they will be able to attract seeing as the 'Race to Dubai' will be coming off the heels of the month-long FedExCup.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Greg Norman's lawyers have filed a lawsuit against his former wife, alleging she has breached a part of their divorce settlement; In a Golf Digest interview out this month, Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson admits to using a foot wedge to escape trouble.
Backspin It's a flat out shame when all the news golf fans hear about Greg Norman these days is about his on-going divorce problems; Not surprising to learn that Jack might bend the rules a bit on the course - just look at some of the characters he's played during his long career on the silver screen.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - World Cup
  • Full Coverage - The Skins Game
  • More Headlines
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.